Military General Service Medal 1793-1814, 1 Clasp: Egypt, awarded to Corporal later Sergeant Samuel Hall, Royal Artillery, who came from Sheepshead, Leicestershire, and saw service between December 1787 and June 1811 with the 5th Battalion. Hall was serving as a Corporal and Clerk of Stores during the campaign in Egypt from 2nd March to 2nd September 1801.
Military General Service Medal 1793-1814, 1 Clasp: Egypt; (S. HALL, CORPL. R. ARTY.)
Condition: edge bruise at 7 o’clock on obverse rim, otherwise about Good Very Fine.
Samuel Hall was born in Sheepshead, Leicestershire, and having worked as a stocking maker, then attested for service with the British Army on 5th December 1787, joining as a Gunner the Royal Artillery. Seeing service with the 5th Battalion, he saw service for 7 years and 117 days before being promoted to Corporal, and then after a further 8 years and 153 days service was promoted to Sergeant. It was whilst he was a Corporal and holding the position of a Clerk of Stores that Hall participated in the campaign in Egypt from 2nd March to 2nd September 1801.
Napoleon had visions of world domination and, as part of his strategy, he decided to move into Egypt as a stepping stone to the East. Hence in 1801, Napoleon's Army of the East under Marshal Baron Jacques de Menou occupied Egypt. Soon a British expedition under General Sir Ralph Abercromby, with additional forces from India and the Cape of Good Hope, commanded by Major General Baird, was despatched to Egypt to conquer the country. Abercromby's force landed at Aboukir Bay on 8th March 1801, and forced the French back towards Alexandria. A fierce action was fought at Mandora on the 13th March. The French were then driven back to Alexandria which lies on a thin neck of land with the sea to the north and Lake Mareotis to the south.
Between the 13th to 21st March, the two armies faced each other on this thin strip of land, then the French attacked the British position and, led by the Invincible Legion, broke through. Wheeling left, the French encircled the 28th Foot which, attacked in both front and rear, earned its right to wear two badges on the head-dress, one in front and one behind. After severe fighting, the Invincible Legion surrendered to Major Stirling, 42nd Foot, and handed over their standard. General Abercromby was fatally wounded in this battle and Lieutenant General John Hely-Hutchinson assumed command. He contained the French garrison in Alexandria and attacked Cairo, which surrendered in mid-June. General Menou, besieged in Alexandria, refused to surrender and a landing was made by General Coote to the west of the town. The fort of Marabout, which stood on an island in the harbour, was captured by the 54th Foot, which is the only regiment to have this honour on its colours. Severe fighting ensued both to the west and east of the town which capitulated in August. Throughout the conflict, British seapower had been very effective in preventing French attempts to reinforce their Army.
Hall was still in service at the time of the Peninsular War, but was not present on campaign, and was discharged at Woolwich on 24th June 1811 after 23 years and 202 days service.
Hall is one of 58 men from the Royal Artillery to have lived to claim the Military General Service Medal 1793-1814 with this single clasp for Egypt, out of a total of 892 single clasp medals awarded