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Captain David Moriarity, 80th, KIA Ntombe
This photograph taken when he was in the 7th Regiment prior to his transfer to the 80th. [Mac & Shad] (Isandula Collection)
The Battle of Isandlwana: One of The Worst Defeats of The British Empire - Military History
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 90th Foot. Did it go to the 1879 war from India or from England?

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Victor



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PostSubject: 90th Foot. Did it go to the 1879 war from India or from England?   Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:31 pm

Hello,

I am new to the board. I am trying to help my father-in-law with some genealogy. We are fairly certain that his GGF, Ferdinand Kelly (b. Galway, Ireland, 1853) was in the 90th. We have have a nice studio photo of him c1875 in uniform. We know that he fought in the 1879 war, and that we had an assegai wound. He had a lengthy military career, was part of the Scottish Rifles after the 90th was amalgamated with the Cameronians. He served in India, where some of his children were born.

I am curious whether the 90th went out from England or from India. I have seen a photo that claims to be the 90th on parade in India before departing for Natal. But I have also read (or possibly, misread!) that the regiment went out from England.  

I will be most grateful to receive any insights.

Thanks!
Victor
Ottawa, Canada
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: 90th Foot. Did it go to the 1879 war from India or from England?   Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:52 pm

Victor,

They sailed from the U.K. to take part in the 9th Cape Frontier War, there are series of engravings in The Illustrated London News that chart their voyage. I’m out this evening but on my return I should be able to provide further details regarding ships and ports of departure etc., & etc.

Regards,

JY
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: 90th Foot. Did it go to the 1879 war from India or from England?   Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:30 pm

Victor,

With the wonder of the internet I found the information.

The 90th were based at Aldershot when they received orders to proceed to the Cape in January 1878.

The regiment left Southampton on two hired transport ships in two groups: the first departed on the Steamship Danube on 10th January; the second detachment left on the Steamship Nubian on 12th.

Those on the Danube disembarked at D’Urban, Natal, on 9th February 1878. Those on the Nubian landed at East London, Eastern Cape on the same day.

I hope that helps?

JY
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1879graves

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PostSubject: Re: 90th Foot. Did it go to the 1879 war from India or from England?   Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:31 pm

Hi Victor.

Welcome to the forum.

There is a Sergeant Frederick Kelly listed on the Medal Roll for the 90th.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

Could this be your man?

agree


Last edited by 1879graves on Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Victor



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PostSubject: Re: 90th Foot. Did it go to the 1879 war from India or from England?   Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:07 pm

John,

Thanks very much - that is awesome. I read a bit about the departure from England in the Alex Delavoye book online, but I was confused by the seemingly contradictory information in the photograph that I came across. I have been treating that caption with increased skepticism. It's great to have daes and to have it down to one of two ships.

Victor
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: 90th Foot. Did it go to the 1879 war from India or from England?   Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:13 pm

Andy,

If it is then he would have been in No. 2 Squadron, Mounted Infantry under Percy Barrow’s command at Nyezane. The 90th officer in that detachment was Lt. Rawlins.

JY
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: 90th Foot. Did it go to the 1879 war from India or from England?   Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:15 pm

Victor,

Given the information that Andy has posted he would have been in the Danube.

There is a photograph and deck plan of the Danube on the forum. Please see [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

JY
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Victor



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PostSubject: Re: 90th Foot. Did it go to the 1879 war from India or from England?   Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:17 am

Graves (Andy?)

Thanks so much for your reply. I did respond earlier this evenng, but perhaps I failed to click send, or log in - I am still very new to the forum.

The Sgt Frederick Kelly you identify is certainly our man. He frequently self-identified that way for census, etc., and likely went by Fred. I have never seen the medal information before. At first, I thought it would be something like a Great War medal card. I was delighted to see that you have included the attestation papers and that the miltary sheet is quite detailed record of his service. This is terrific - you have instantly added new dimensions to our knowledge of him.

I have been reading all evening about the battle/skirmish at Nyezane where he was wounded. And taking furious notes about the Danube.

I am sure that I will have further questions. I will try not to make a nuisance of myself

In the meantime, thank you very much!

Victor
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1879graves

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PostSubject: Re: 90th Foot. Did it go to the 1879 war from India or from England?   Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:49 pm

Hi Victor

You are more than welcome. I welcome any further questions that you may have.

Andy
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Victor



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PostSubject: Re: 90th Foot. Did it go to the 1879 war from India or from England?   Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:39 am

Hi Andy,
Here I am already with a few follow-up questions. My initial question was about the travels of the 90th so likely appropriate for this topic area. If you think my new questions should be posted elsewhere, please let me know.
1/2
I assume that you and John Young were able to conclude quickly that my Sgt. F. Kelly had to have been with Barrow's Mounted Infantry because he was with the 90th and fought and was wounded at Nyazane. I did a bit of searching here on the forum about Barrow and can see from discussions that his squadron had men from a number of line regiments, as well as colonials. I am curious about how they would have been selected/recruited. Volunteers who could ride? And, John points out that the 90th officer with that detachment would have been Lt. Rawlins. Does this mean that the troops from the 90th would have been a cohesive sub-group within the squadron its own officer, i.e, Rawlins?
Thanks,
Victor
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Victor



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PostSubject: Re: 90th Foot. Did it go to the 1879 war from India or from England?   Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:58 am

cont'd.
2/2

Sergeant Kelly's record says that he suffered two wounds at Nyezane. He was injured by an assegai in the left arm and the right wrist. His left arm was so badly wounded that it was thought to be rendered permanently useless. (I am not sure about that since he went on to serve for many more years, in Britain and India.)

My question relates to the disposition of the wounded. I believe I read that there were 16 wounded at Nyezane. I realize that we can only talk in "likelihoods", but is it more likely that those seriously wounded, included Sgt. Kelly, would have been sent back to Natal after the battle, or would it have been more common for them to proceed with the column to Eshowe?

Thanks!

Victor



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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: 90th Foot. Did it go to the 1879 war from India or from England?   Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:35 am

Victor,

Just to add to the muddle this Colonel C. K. Pearson’s casualty return for Nyezane as it appeared in Affairs of South Africa [C. - 2260]:

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

You will note that Frederick’s rank appears as ‘Quartermaster-Sergeant’ personally I feel that this is a local rank that he held within No. 2 Squadron, Mounted Infantry.  You will also note an inconsistency as to how the wound was caused.

Just to clarify a point you raised, No. 2 Squadron, Mounted Infantry was composed entirely of Imperial soldiers - regular British Army troops - Percy Barrow’s mounted command, however, did include Natal Volunteer forces.

On 22nd January, 1879 No. 2 Squadron, Mounted Infantry was officered by Brevet Major Percy Harry Stanley Barrow, 19th Hussars; Lieutenants Edward Reginald Courtenay, 20th Hussars; Henry de Courcy Rawlins, 90th Light Infantry & Harry Wetherell Rowden, 99th Regiment.

There were 115 other-ranks drawn from regular units including 2nd Battalion, 24th Regiment; 90th Light Infantry & the 99th Regiment.  For the most part they were selected for having previous riding experience or knowledge of horses.

There was Field Hospital forming part of Pearson’s No. 1 Column, and obviously Frederick would have received his initial treatment there.  Surgeons Henry Norbury, R.N. & W. Thompson, R.N. and Dr. E.R. Mansell received the casualties.

On reaching Eshowe it was determined the force was too large for the confined space of the abandoned mission station, and part of the force was sent back to Natal/Zulu border.  Surprisingly enough there appears to have been a shortage of medical supplies in Pearson’s column, I believe that those who needed further medical attention would have been evacuated back along the what had been the line of advance.  There was an established hospital at Fort Pearson on the Natal bank of the Tugela River.

If time had permitted I would have researched my last comment further, but I have to get things in order before leaving for KwaZulu-Natal tomorrow.  Hopefully someone can assist you further on that point.

Regards,

JY
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Victor



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PostSubject: Re: 90th Foot. Did it go to the 1879 war from India or from England?   Thu Jan 17, 2019 2:51 pm

John,
Thank you so much for taking the time, especially as you are busy preparing for travel. This is all amazing. I've gone from having a bit of family lore to a day-by-day account. The forum is very impressive.

I see what you mean by the discrepancy in the records about the wound. The service record says that he was wounded with an assagai in the right wrist, and that he was severely wounded in the left arm, without specifying what caused that one. It also states that the medical records were lost. I suppose he could have had a slight wound in the right wrist from an assagai - there were probably plenty of assagais at Nyezane. But I get the sense that it was by and large a gun battle. There is no mention, for example, of any other assagai wounds in Pearson's official report. (Besides,I would never dispute anything my wife's family holds to be true!)

Thanks again, John.
Best wishes and safe travels.

Victor
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1879graves

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PostSubject: Re: 90th Foot. Did it go to the 1879 war from India or from England?   Thu Jan 17, 2019 6:42 pm

Hi Victor

With regards to his wounds:-

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

As you say and you can see that the wound on the right wrist was from an assegai. This could not have been serious as this is the only time it is recorded as an assegai wound.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

From the above two entries, you can see that his wound on his left arm was from a gun shot.

With regards to your comment -
"He was injured by an assegai in the left arm and the right wrist. His left arm was so badly wounded that it was thought to be rendered permanently useless. (I am not sure about that since he went on to serve for many more years, in Britain and India.)"

I do happen to agree with you. He could have used the wound later in life as an excuse not to have to do certain duties (this is only my thoughts).

The interesting thing about his service is that just after the Zulu War he was reduced to a Private and then again rose to the rank of Sergeant during the remainder of his service. He is turning out to be a very interesting man.

You say you have a photograph of him, could you post it on the forum if you are willing to share it.

Andy
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Victor



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PostSubject: Re: 90th Foot. Did it go to the 1879 war from India or from England?   Thu Jan 17, 2019 7:30 pm

Hi Andy,

This just keeps getting better and more interesting. I do have a photo of him and I am happy to share. He has two chevrons in the photo and he looks quite young. It was a bit faded out, but I have done a little photoshopping to bring him back. He was married in 1872, so probably a bit after that, maybe 1875ish. Can you advise on how to upload it, please? I gather that photobucket is no longer an option.

Many thanks,
Victor
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1879graves

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PostSubject: Re: 90th Foot. Did it go to the 1879 war from India or from England?   Thu Jan 17, 2019 7:36 pm

Hi Victor

I use IMGUR.COM for my images. It is free. Get an account, upload image from your computer, copy BBCODE and paste it on the forum and bingo it appears.

If you have any problems, please feel free to email me at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Andy
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Victor



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PostSubject: Re: 90th Foot. Did it go to the 1879 war from India or from England?   Thu Jan 17, 2019 7:59 pm

Thanks, Andy.

(testing)

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1879graves

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PostSubject: Re: 90th Foot. Did it go to the 1879 war from India or from England?   Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:03 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

Almost there

Right click on BBCODE and copy highlighted code and then paste on the forum.

Andy
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1879graves

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PostSubject: Re: 90th Foot. Did it go to the 1879 war from India or from England?   Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:08 pm

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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: 90th Foot. Did it go to the 1879 war from India or from England?   Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:21 pm

Victor & Andy,

Something of a curiosity as he appears to be in an infantry militia uniform - given the cuff details - rather than a regular army one.

Are there any photographer’s details to the reverse?

In haste.

JY
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1879graves

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PostSubject: Re: 90th Foot. Did it go to the 1879 war from India or from England?   Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:25 pm

Hi John

From his Service record

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

Andy
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Victor



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PostSubject: Re: 90th Foot. Did it go to the 1879 war from India or from England?   Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:31 pm

Hi John,

No, only annotation on photo was "Grandfather, taken at Portsmouth."

Victor
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Victor



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PostSubject: Re: 90th Foot. Did it go to the 1879 war from India or from England?   Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:36 pm

John and Andy,

So, from the promotion record, photo would have to have been between Oct 71 and Jan 73. He was married in June 1872, so perhaps suited up for that occasion...?

Victor
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Victor



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PostSubject: Re: 90th Foot. Did it go to the 1879 war from India or from England?   Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:37 pm

John and Andy,

Oops, my bad. Married at Stirling so not a wedding shot.

Victor
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90th

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PostSubject: 90th Foot Did it go to SA from India or England ?    Fri Jan 18, 2019 3:48 am

Outstanding pic Victor , he does look quite young ! , Thanks for sharing , excellent work Andy and JY , a job well done .
90th Salute
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Victor



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PostSubject: Re: 90th Foot. Did it go to the 1879 war from India or from England?   Fri Jan 18, 2019 9:17 pm

Hi 90th,

Thanks! As the main beneficiary, I would echo your comments about the great work done on my ueries by John and Andy. i am still shaking my head at my good fortune.

Victor.

PS I am going to try reposting the photo here to verify my understanding of Andy's kind advice.

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