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Canada General Service 1866-70, 1 clasp, Red River 1870

Officially impressed naming to: 665 Pte. E. Donegan, 1/60 Rifles

Dark toned, good very fine.

123 ‘Red River 1870’ clasps to the 1/60th Rifles from a total issue of 355 medals with this clasp.

Edward Donegan was born at Tullamore, Ireland, and enlisted into the 60th King’s Royal Rifles at Dublin on 28 January 1859, aged 18, a labourer by trade. He served in England, Ireland and Malta before embarking with the 1st Battalion to Canada in September 1867. In April 1869 he re-engaged for a further three years at Montreal and was to remain with the regiment in Canada until his discharge in 1872.

In January 1870, as a result of much local resentment caused by the incorporation of the previously independent Hudson Bay Territory into British Canada, Louis Riel and his native Métis supporters established a provisional government, seized the treasury of the Hudson Bay Company, took over Fort Garry (now Winnipeg), and imprisoned, murdered and mistreated many British residents. In consequence the Government ordered Colonel Garnet Wolseley to lead an expedition to Fort Garry. The so-called ‘Red River Expedition’ was comprised of approximately 1450 men, including the 1st Battalion of the 60th Rifles and two battalions of Canadian militia from Ontario and Quebec. Leaving Toronto in May 1870, the expedition covered the 1118 miles to reach Fort Garry on 24 August, only to find that Riel had withdrawn the previous day and fled to the United States. Thereafter the 1/60th Rifles returned to Quebec, leaving the militiamen to garrison the Fort, whilst Riel was later able to lead a second rebellion in 1885, following which he was captured and hanged for treason.

The 60th then remained in Quebec until late 1871, when they embarked for Halifax, Nova Scotia, where Edward Donegan was discharged on 7 May 1872, ‘free’ after 13 years service. Donegan remained in Canada and can be found in both the 1881 and 1891 census returns living in Morrisburg Village, Ontario, with his wife Isabella; and in the 1901 census return living with his wife in Aylmer, Quebec, his occupation being listed in each return as a tailor, a role that he was occasionally shown as undertaking in the regimental muster rolls. When he claimed his medal in 1899, he was a Canadian resident so his medal was issued by the Canadian authorities and was therefore officially impressed in the Canadian style.

Sold with copied extracts from the C.G.S. Medal Register, various muster and pay lists, and census returns.

Product Code: EM2454

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