4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards - An Egyptian Campaign Charger’s Hoof, 1901
4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards - An Egyptian Campaign Charger’s Hoof, 1901
4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards - An Egyptian Campaign Charger’s Hoof, 1901
4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards - An Egyptian Campaign Charger’s Hoof, 1901
4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards - An Egyptian Campaign Charger’s Hoof, 1901
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4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards - An Egyptian Campaign Charger’s Hoof, 1901

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Height: 9cm (3.5in)

A 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards officer’s charger's hoof adorned with silver shoe and mount, the top engraved with a clover leaf and hinged lidded compartment inscribed ‘PAT / FAVOURITE CHARGER / OF / CAPT. J.W. DARLEY / 4TH ROYAL IRISH DRAGOON GUARDS / PAT DIED 11TH MARCH 1901’ Maker’s mark of John Smyth. Hallmarked Dublin 1901.

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Captain Joseph Watkins Williams Darley (kia 1885) was commissioned into the 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards in 1874, and served with his regiment in Egypt in 1882 at the Battles of Kassassin and Tel-el-Kebir and the occupation of Cairo. In 1884 he was selected as one of the five officers to serve with the 89-strong No. 3 Company of the Heavy Camel Regiment, composed of men drawn from the 4th and 5th Dragoon Guards in the Desert Column of the Gordon Relief Expedition commanded by Sir Garnet Wolseley. On 17 January 1884, as Desert Column entered the Sudan and the situation of Gordon and  the Khartoum garrison became desperate, the relief expedition was attacked at Abu Klea. The British square was broken and the Mahdist onslaught repulsed but not before Darley was killed by an on rush of fanatical Fuzzy Wuzzies. Darley is commemorated in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin while charger Pat presumably enjoyed a well earned retirement in Ireland.