Author Topic: Second Anglo-Afghan War 1878-80  (Read 174743 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 -
Garen

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?

Thanks
Sandra
Second Anglo-Afghan War 1878-80 - http://www.angloafghanwar.info
Family research - http://www.garenewing.co.uk/family/

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

Regards
Sandra
England: Brown Kingscliffe NTH, Ellis Balsall WAR, Lewis Hereford HEF, Oliver Morpeth NBL, Wall Coventry/Balsall WAR, Watkins Eardisley/Clifford HEF
Ireland: Culhane Limerick; Doolan Clare
Wales: Lewis BRE/DEN, Jones Eglwysbach DEN

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 Roberts’ 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

Chris


Offline Garen

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Re: Second Anglo-Afghan War 1878-80
« Reply #381 on: Tuesday 04 May 21 12:45 BST (UK) »
Hello Chris

Apologies for the late reply (I think if I don't check-in regularly my notifications stop coming), but it looks like you've built up a really excellent little biography of Gunner Alfred Ault there.

I'm pretty sure C/2 did not accompany Roberts and his Kabul Field Force in late 1879 - that consisted of F/A RHA, G/3 RA, No 1 Mountain Batt. and No.2 Mountain Batt. with C/4 posted in the Kurram and at Ali Khel. C/3 were in the Khyber area in the second campaign.

C/2 were in the south and were called into service from Hyderabad in early 1880 to reinforce Kandahar, where 4 guns stayed and 2 went on to Khelat-i-Ghilzai.

As to what kind of guns they were, I've not been able to find that information directly (with an admittedly quick look), but I do know that during the siege of Kandahar C/2 had a gun on the NE Bastion, one on the Bardurani Gate, one one the Kabul Gate, and one on the Topkhana Gate. Looking at a plan of the city at the time of the Deh Khoja sortie all these guns were marked as 9-pounders, and I think this is right as they were a field rather than a heavy or mountain battery.

Best wishes -
Garen
Second Anglo-Afghan War 1878-80 - http://www.angloafghanwar.info
Family research - http://www.garenewing.co.uk/family/

Offline Gunner1984

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Re: Second Anglo-Afghan War 1878-80
« Reply #382 on: Thursday 06 May 21 23:19 BST (UK) »
Garen,

Thanks for the reply - good to get the clarification on when C/2 actually deployed.

Another one for you to add to the list is as follows:

Charles Adams
Battery Sergeant Major, 14756
Royal Artillery

Charles (Hayne/Hain) Adams was born in East Chinnock, near Yeovil in Somerset in early 1855 and was the third child born to John and Caroline Adams, a sail-cloth weaver and a glover respectively. Sometime between 1855 and 1861, the family moved to Woolwich where two more children were born, and John worked as an excavator and later as a dockyard labourer.

Charles was employed as a general labourer when, aged 18, on the 18th of June 1874 he enlisted into the British Army at Woolwich, signing up for 12 years service with the Royal Artillery (RA) (original number 4638 – rank Driver). On attestation, Charles was posted to the 14th Brigade (Bde) RA with the rank of Driver for his initial training. Once completed, he was transferred to the 25th Bde RA on the 1st of April 1875 and subsequently to the 2nd Division Depot Bde on the 1st of June 1876.

On the 17th of October 1876, Charles was again transferred to the 9th Bde RA which was deploying to India. Once in India on the 1st of July 1877, Charles was once again transferred, this time to the H Battery, 1st Bde RA (H/1) with whom he would spend the next 10 years.

At the outbreak of the Second Anglo-Afghan War in November 1878, Charles was stationed with H/1 in Secunderabad . After successive British victories, the initial phase of the war ended quickly with the signing of the Treaty of Gandamak in May 1879, however another uprising in September 1879 led to a second invasion of Afghanistan.  H/1 we deployed to reinforce the British in XXXXX. Though the war would not conclude until effectively General Roberts’ defeat of the rebels at the Battle of Kandahar, H/1 had returned to India by September 1880, based in Multan.

Charles was promoted to the rank of Bombardier on the 24th of November 1881

Deployed to Egypt – 23 August 1882 (Jullundur)
Returned to India – 7 October 1882 (Jullundur)

The end of Charles’ first foray abroad came on the 28th of December 1883 when he returned to England where he was later promoted to Corporal on the 7th of August 1884.

Although without leave to do so from his Chain of Command, Charles married Norah Susan Cordery on the 26th of July 1885 in Bracknell, Berkshire. This does not appear to have counted against him though as he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant on the 14th of March 1886. With his 12 years of military service drawing to an end, Charles re-engaged at Aldershot on the 12th of April 1886 for a further nine years.

Charles was transferred to H Battery, 2nd Field Bde RA on the 7th of October 1887, possibly to reinforce the battery prior to their deployment to re-join the rest of the Bde in India. Soon after, on the 22nd of November and accompanied by his expectant wife, Charles left for his second deployment to India. Whilst H Battery was based in Meerut, Norah gave birth to their first child, Alice Maud on the 11th of April 1888.

H Battery, 2nd Brigade became the 15th Battery Royal Field Artillery on the 1st of July 1889. Having moved across the country to Peshawar, Charles and Norah had their second daughter, Lilian, born on the 27th of November 1891. Soon after, Charles was posted to 1st Battery, 6th Depot Bde on the 5th of April 1892 before he and his family returned to Britain on the 3rd of May 1892. Their stay was short-lived however as Charles was promoted to Battery Sergeant Major, posted to the 45th Field Battery and redeployed to India for a third time on the 22nd of September 1893. Norah gave birth to their third daughter Elizabeth 18 months later, on the 26th of March 1895 whilst the 45th Battery were based in St Thomas Mount in Chennai, Madras.

Having now completed over his 20 years contracted service, Charles was posted to the Depot Division, Field Artillery for discharge on the 10th of October 1895 before he and his family returned to Britain for the final time on the 21st of November. Charles was finally discharged from the Army on the 10th of December 1895 having completed a total of 21 years and 175 days service.

Once he had been discharged, Charles and his family remained living in Plumstead, near Woolwich and Charles began working as an assistant warder at the Royal Arsenal which was responsible for armament manufacture, ammunition proofing and explosives research for the British armed forces. Unfortunately, in January 1898, Norah died aged just 31. Charles married his second wife Louisa Jervis (nee Dentten/Deuthie b.1858/9) on the 17th of September 1898 who had two sons, Henry (b.1892) and Alfred (b.1894) from her previous marriage. Charles and Louisa had a son, Charles in 1900.

By 1911, Charles had been promoted to the role of warder and retained this job throughout the First World War. He died on the 22nd of October 1924 aged 69.

Can you clarify H/1's movements in Afghanistan?

Regards

Chris

Offline Garen

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Re: Second Anglo-Afghan War 1878-80
« Reply #383 on: Saturday 08 May 21 10:07 BST (UK) »
Garen,

At the outbreak of the Second Anglo-Afghan War in November 1878, Charles was stationed with H/1 in Secunderabad . After successive British victories, the initial phase of the war ended quickly with the signing of the Treaty of Gandamak in May 1879, however another uprising in September 1879 led to a second invasion of Afghanistan.  H/1 we deployed to reinforce the British in XXXXX. Though the war would not conclude until effectively General Roberts’ defeat of the rebels at the Battle of Kandahar, H/1 had returned to India by September 1880, based in Multan.
...
Can you clarify H/1's movements in Afghanistan?


Another great write-up and bit of research Chris - thank you.

H/1 were moved from Secunderabad to Multan where they were stationed throughout the first campaign and up until the Autumn of 1880, when they joined General Phayre's forces to relieve Kandahar in the wake of the Maiwand disaster (en route from Multan to Quetta in Aug 1880). The route was a dangerous one and H/1 were initially brought in as a reserve to strengthen the lines of communcation.

They marched from Quetta, reaching Kandahar at the end of September with orders to relieve C/2 (a nice little link with your previous post). They moved to Dahila, in the Argandab Valley, in early October for a short while. After moving back to Kandahar they eventually evacuated the city with the remainder of the British and Indian forces in June 1881 - being part of the final group to leave, attached to Brig-Gen. Penton's 2nd Brigade, and returning to India.

Best wishes - Garen
Second Anglo-Afghan War 1878-80 - http://www.angloafghanwar.info
Family research - http://www.garenewing.co.uk/family/

Offline Gunner1984

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Re: Second Anglo-Afghan War 1878-80
« Reply #384 on: Monday 10 May 21 00:07 BST (UK) »
Garen,

Thanks for the additional information - I really like the link between C/2 and H/1. Its amazing to think that the odds are that Alfred and Charles probably met briefly in the dust of Kandahar in 1880.

Good luck with the project and if I find any more information or other individuals I'll be sure to send it your way.

Kind regards

Chris