Egypt Medal 1882-89
Michael was born in Tipperary, Ireland in 1855. Records indicate he had a brother called Thomas.
By 1879 Michael had moved to England and was working as a labourer. He joined the 6th Royal Lancashire Militia on the 10th June 1879 in Ashton-under-Lyne. He was 24 years old, five feet eight inches tall, and gave his religious denomination as Roman Catholic. This was a volunteer unit in which soldiers underwent an initial 56 days’ training, and then another 21-28 days a year on full Army pay. They were liable to be ‘embodied’ for full time service in times of war. The 6th Royal Lancashire Militia later became a volunteer battalion of the Manchester Regiment.
Michael was initially posted to Aldershot in July 1879 where he completed his training. He then left for the garrison at Malta on the 11th March 1881 and then to Egypt to serve in the 2nd Anglo-Egyptian War.
Michael’s Battalion left Egypt in October 1882 and landed in India on 2 November, where Michael was posted to a number of stations. He caught malaria and was admitted to hospital on two occasions in 1884 and 1885.
Serving as a Private throughout his military career, Michael received additional pay for Good Conduct after his enlistment and a second time in June 1885 after four years service.
Michael was posted to the Army Reserve from the 2nd Battalion in India on 27 October 1885. He returned to England and was discharged after completing 12 years service on 9 June 1891.
He was living at 30 Bridgewater Street, Salford. He was employed as a beerhouse keeper and lived with his wife Mary and daughters Mary and Ellen. His mother-in-law Catherine Canavan lived with the couple as well as her son Michael. The couple also had a son Thomas born in 1892.
The death of a Michael Maher was recorded in Salford in 1892 aged 36. It is unclear as to if this is the same person. Records indicate that Ellen Maher may have died in 1891 and her siblings emigrated to Philadelphia, USA with her grandmother, Catherine Canavan, in 1896.
Michael’s medal was donated to the museum collections in 1945.