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Egypt 1882 Shrops LI 18 Year old Sergeant


Egypt Medal 1882, Sergeant Walter Diss, 1st Btn Shropshire LI, who lied about his age to join up aged 16, becoming a Sergeant by the age of 18 after an unusually rapid rise through the ranks in only 2 years.

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SKU: J7411 Category:
Origin: United Kingdom
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Egypt Medal 1882, no bar, 1203 Sergeant Walter Diss, 1st Battalion Shropshire Light Infantry.


Officially engraved: “1203 Sergt W. Diss. 1/Shrops: L.I.” Some contact marking from wear alongside his Khedive’s Star.


Walter Diss was born in West Bergholt, Colchester, Essex during January 1863


He attested for service at Shrewsbury with the 53rd (Shropshire) Regiment on 14th June 1879, he claimed his age was 18 years and 6 months, however research into the submitted Census Data through his life and matching Birth Records show he was in fact only 16 years old.


Not even a year later he was promoted to Lance Corporal on 11th April 1880, followed by Corporal on 28th July 1880.


During 1881 with the Army reforms he became a part of the new Shropshire Light Infantry Regiment.


It only took a year as a Corporal for him to be appointed as a Lance Sergeant on 25th October 1881, less than a month later he was again advanced to full paid Sergeant on 19th November 1881. At this point he was still a few months shy of his 19th Birthday.


After returning home from Malta he was assessed at Netley Hospital but was found to be medically unfit for further service and was discharged on 19th August 1884, ending a Promising Army Career.


His Overseas service:


“Home, 10th June 1879 – 9th August 1882
Egypt, 10th August 1882 – 18th February 1883
Malta, 19th February 1883 – 10th May 1884
Home, 11th May 1884 – 19th August 1884.”


For services he was awarded the Egypt Campaign Medal for the initial war in 1882 “Including the Army of Occupation” and was also entitled to the Khedive’s Star dated 1882.


After leaving the Army he married Susanna Ralling on 19th June 1887 in Christ Church, Greenwich and would stay in Greenwich. He also had about 6 children.


He worked as a Time Keeper (1891) and later a Commercial Clerk (1901-1911).


He died in Lewisham, London during January 1914.