"A MEDAL given to a Northwich soldier who took part in the Zulu Wars is set go under the hammer at a Knutsford auction house.
The medal belonged to Private Thomas Wilkinson – a foot soldier in the 2nd Battalion of the 21st Royal Scots Fusiliers – who took part in the battles for the British Empire against the Zulu Empire in 1879.
It is expected to fetch between £300 and £350 when it goes up for sale next month at Marshall auctioneers.
On one side the medal shows Queen Victoria’s head and the other a picture of a lion with South Africa written across the top.
It has Pte T Wilkinson 2-21st Foot inscribed along the edge and it is believed to have been awarded after Private Wilkinson, who was in his early 20s at the time, took part in the Battle of Ulundi – the last major battle of the Anglo-Zulu war.
Thomas took up a career as a methodist lay preacher and railway signalman after the war and was the grandfather of 90-year-old Northwich resident Florence Marrow.
Terry Webb, 62, of St John’s Road, Knutsford, was helping to clear his godmother’s home in Richard Street, Northwich as she was moving into a care home.
“When I had a look at it, it seemed to be more of a campaign medal from the Zulu war,” he said.
“I knew immediately that it was from that era but having done some research on the medal I realised that the conditions of issue were very complicated.”
Only 862 medals were issued to the regiment and Terry said life on the battlefields in Africa must have been much different than Northwich in the Victorian years.
“He must have been involved in some significant feats to win the medal at all,” Terry added.
“It is extraordinary to think of someone in that era going to such an exotic location and also to be involved in such dramatic events and then come back to late 19th century Northwich.
“It is such a shame that we don’t know more about it, it is a marvellous flash of light in a quite dramatic period of British history.”
The medal will be up for auction at Marshall’s in Knutsford on Tuesday, July 6."