Afghanistan Medal 1878-80, 2 bars, Charasia, Kabul, 1152 Andrew Steadman, 92nd Gordon Highlanders, Veteran of the First Anglo Boer War of 1881.
Officially engraved: “1152 Pte A. Steadman. 92nd. Highrs.”
As he is not entitled to the bar for Kandahar and the corresponding Bronze star, the medal has escaped the usual pitting and is in excellent condition.
Andrew Steadman, was a Scotsman, born in Abbosthall, Kirkaldy, Fife.
Attested for service at Edinburgh with the 92nd Highlanders, claming his £1 bounty and free kit at the age of 23, having worked as a Blacksmith on 16th July 1863.
He saw the following service in his 17 years of service:
Home, 17th July 1863 – 25th Jan 1868
India, 26th Jan 1868 – 30th March 1879
Afghanistan, 31st March 1879 – 18th Oct 1880
India, 19th Oct 1880 – 29th January 1881
Cape Colony, 30th January 1881 – 29th January 1882
Home 30th Jan 1882 – 17th Oct 1882.
He had consistently re-engaged for further service and was on track to complete his 21 years when he was admitted to hospital following his return from South Africa.
Following an examination he was found to be unfit for further service and discharged from the Army at Portsmouth.
He can be found on the 1891 Scotland Census, living with Margaret Steadman and his brother William, at 30 Nicol St in his home town of Kirkaldy, Abbotshall, he was working as a Pensioner and Street Porter.
When he was sent to the Cape Colony for the Boer War, the regiment had been overseas for many years and was finally due to go home, however they were diverted to Natal and arrived to fight in the disastrous First Boer War of 1881.
The 92nd Highlanders then fought in the infamous battle of Majuba Hill on 27th February 1881, having captured the top of the hill, the force of 350 soldiers of the 58th Foot and 92nd Highlanders with a few Royal Navy Gunners found themselves on the receiving end of heavy and accurate fire, in exposed positions, they suffered many casualties.
The bombardment was followed by a careful assault by about 2,000 Boers, they attempted a last stand but were swept from the summit and forced to retire.
One of the most humiliating defeats of the British Army, it swiftly led to the withdrawal of the British Forces and the war was declared a victory to the Boers.