Author Topic: Second Anglo-Afghan War 1878-80  (Read 174047 times)

Offline Garen

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Re: Second Anglo-Afghan War 1878-80
« Reply #378 on: Monday 11 January 21 08:59 GMT (UK) »
Hello Sandra

As ShaunJ says, Charles Elvis is confirmed on the Afghan war medal roll, and also his service record (or part of it) is viewable on FindMyPast, confirming some of your story.

He wasn't in receipt of the Kabul-Kandahar Star, the 10th Hussars were not involved in that event, and he also doesn't seem to have been awarded the Ali-Masjid clasp - this was the first action of the campaign in which two squadrons of the 10th Hussars were involved.

The river crossing story makes sense - I wrote an article about that event here.

The 10th Hussars departed Afghanistan in June 1879, suffering heavily from cholera and heat on the way.

Best -

I've just found the obituary of a very distant relative:

Charles Walter Elvis born 25 Mar 1858 Coventry, joined the 10th Royal Hussars on his 14th birthday as a drummer boy, and served with them until discharged in 1882. It says that he received a medal for the Afghanistan campaign and a star for the Kabul-Kandahar march, and that he was one of 14 survivors of a disastrous river crossing (possibly the one on 31 March 1879?).

He returned to Coventry, married twice and had 7 children in total. He died in Coventry on 26 Oct 1947 aged 89.

The military service details was second hand information supplied more than 6 decades after it happened. Is it possible to verify this, and if so, how?

Second Anglo-Afghan War 1878-80 -
Family research -

Offline slewi4

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Re: Second Anglo-Afghan War 1878-80
« Reply #379 on: Tuesday 12 January 21 23:30 GMT (UK) »
Thanks Shaun and Garen,

I didn't think that the march was likely, as I had read a couple of articles about it and neither mentioned the 10th Hussars. Maybe this was a story he told about the war in general, and years later the family assumed that he was in it.

The river crossing did seem plausible to me, but I haven't seen reference to 14 survivors anywhere else.

Thanks for finding the service record. Its very much appreciated

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Offline Gunner1984

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Re: Second Anglo-Afghan War 1878-80
« Reply #380 on: Saturday 27 March 21 12:22 GMT (UK) »
Hi Garen,

I'm researching 2 individuals whose medals I own and, having found your excellent website, thought I would reach out to see if you are able to add any meat to the bones. In addition, hopefully it can make a small contribution to your overall project.

365 Gunner Alfred Ault
C Battery, 2nd Brigade Royal Artillery
Afghanistan medal with Kandahar bar & Kabul to Kandahar Star

Alfred Ault was born in 1859 in Balsey or Batsey, Kent (According to his service records but I can't find a 'Balsey or Batsey') On the 19th of December 1873 at the age of 24, Alfred enlisted into the British Army at Birmingham, joining the Royal Artillery and signing up for a total of 12 years military service.

Alfred completed his initial training with 1st Depot Brigade and was subsequently posted to the 18th Brigade RA who were stationed in India. Alfred arrived in India in July 1874 and after a few months, in November 1874, was he transferred to the 4th Brigade RA in Belgaum (renumbered as the 2nd Brigade RA in July 1877).

At the outbreak of the Second Anglo-Afghan War Alfred was stationed with C Battery, 2nd Brigade (C/2) in Belgaum. As I understand it, C/2 formed part of Lord Robertsí Kabul Field Force that marched into Afghanistan in October 1879. The following spring C/2 comprising four guns, were redeployed to Kandahar with half the battery, including Alfred, detached to reinforce the British garrison at Kelat-i-Ghilzai. He joined Roberts' relief column on the 24th of August and took part in the battle of Kandahar.

Alfred returned to India in November 1880, serving in a number of garrisons throughout the country. In October 1885, whilst stationed at Hyderabad and with his 12 years of military service coming to an end, Alfred chose to re-engage with the Army signing on for an additional 9 years. Alfred and C/2 returned to Britain in November 1897.

In September 1889, Alfred was admitted to hospital in Aldershot having developed an oral epithelioma and was subsequently diagnosed with cancer of the tongue by a medical board. In an effort to save his life, Alfred had his tongue partially (or fully) removed in November 1889 after which, amazingly, he returned to work.

Unfortunately, the epithelioma returned and the new growth was declared to be malignant. In May 1890, the medical board recommended Alfred be discharged from the Army and he left military service on the 30th of June 1890. According to the records of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, Alfred was unable to contribute towards his pension and upkeep, most likely as a result of a deterioration in his health. The address given for him at time of discharge is in Battersea, not far from the RHC.

An Alfred Ault (born c.1859/60 - same one?) is recorded as having died in the Borough of Chelsea in late 1890 aged 40. To me this indicates that he could have been a patient at the RHC from his discharge until his death. Alfred never married and had no recorded next of kin.

I'd be interested if you had/could find anything additional on Alfred or C/2 during their time in India/Afghanistan. One of the questions I can never seem to find the answer to is, what guns were C/2 and the remainder of the artillery forces armed with? Any help of information would be gratefully received.

Kind regards