Surgeon Major Edge's Oak Campaign Trunk

Surgeon Major Edge's Oak Campaign Trunk



This oak trunk has a name plate to the top for 'J. D. Edge, Medical Staff'. It is possible that it was originally made to house surgeon's equipment but the interior is very clean and, aside from evidence of a front to back divider close to one side, there is little to indicate how it was fitted out, if at all. The trunk has a line mould to the edge of the lid and brass strap work to the edges and corners. It is fitted with two locks marked Imperial Safeguard with Modern Improvements. The size of the flush handles to the sides show that they are true carrying handles as opposed to drawer handles that have been utilised for the job.

John Dallas Edge enlisted as an Assistant Surgeon on the 30th September 1871. Edge had a distinguished career and was involved in a number of important engagements. He first came to the notice of his superiors a year after enlisting when he was recommended for promotion as soon as he was qualified due to his gallant actions the Indians at Orange Walk, British Honduras. He graduated to Surgeon in March 1873 and Surgeon Major 5 months later. He served in the Zulu War of 1879 and was at Gingindhlovu and the relief of Ekowe. He then took part in the Afghan War of 1879 - 80 and took part in the defence of Candahar. He was also present at the battle of Tel-el-Kebir during the Eygptian War of 1882 and the Burmese Expedition of 1887-79. He became a Surgeon Lt. Colonel in 1891, was stationed in Bombay in 1895. In 1903 he became Surgeon General and was stationed in Dublin as the Principal Medical Officer of Irish Command. He received a number of medals for the above listed engagements and was more often than not in command of a Field Hospital.

As no rank is noted on the name plate it is probable that Edge purchased it early in his career and so entirely possible that he had it with him throughout his career. Aside from the trunk's interesting provenance the size is such that it makes a useful table besides an easy chair. Circa 1875.


Height 47 cm / 18 "
Width 75.5 cm / 29 "
Depth 44.5 cm / 17 "

Circa 1875






J. D. Edge Medical Staff

For King, Country & Comfort