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 Lieutenant Walter Ingram

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littlehand

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PostSubject: Lieutenant Walter Ingram   Sun May 23, 2010 12:38 pm

Mr. W.H. Ingram, Dunn’s Scouts, Attached to Lord Chelmsford’s Chief of Intelligence, and Later Temporary Lieutenant, Royal Navy, Attached Naval Brigade for the Abu Klea Operations, Who Witnessed Various Events in South Africa up to and Including the Battle
of Ulundi 1879; Briefly Held a Lieutenancy in the 1st County of London Yeomanry, Middlesex Hussars; Back to Africa, Travelling Mainly by Steam Launch Through the Suez and Other Waterways of Adventure, He Eventually Caught Up With The Gordon Relief Expedition, and
Was Befriended By Lord Charles Beresford, Who Later Made Him A Temporary Lieutenant, Royal Navy; He Became Attached to the 61-Strong Naval Brigade; Advancing on Abu Klea He Witnessed the Attack By 10,000 Arabs And Dervishes on The Marching Square of the
Expedition; He Was Married Quickly in England 1887, But Back in Africa the Following Year; That April, After So Many Adventures, Close-Calls, And Exploits, Many of Which Were Published, And Which Could Not be Equalled By Any Contemporary ‘Boy’s-Own’ Character,
Ingram Passed into Legend After He Was Trampled to Death by a Wounded Elephant- He Was Just 33 Years of Age.

Lieutenant Walter Ingram born 1855, youngest son of Herbert Ingram, M.P. for Boston, Lincolnshire and founder and proprietor of the
London Illustrated News educated at Eton and Trinity College Cambridge. At 24 years of age Ingram went to South Africa and witnessed some of the events leading up to the defeat of the Zulus, culminating in the battle of Ulundi. Extracts of his letters home for this period were published in his father’s journal and gives Ingram as attached to John Dunn, Chief of Intelligence on Lord Chelmsford’s Staff. Dunn was an extraordinary character who had lived among the Zulus for 30 years, setting himself up as a petty chieftain in King Cetswayo’s confidence and siring over one hundred and sixteen children.

The Narrative of Field Operations connected with the Zulu War lists the strength of ‘Dunn’s Scouts’ as 244, many of which were probably natives of Dunn’s own enclave. It is curious that although undoubtedly official, being listed in the Handbook, no medal for the Scouts appears to exist. Dunn’s own medal, if issued, would probably have borne the title “Chief of Intelligence”, but he does not appear on the roll either. Ingram’s medal with ‘Dunn’s Scouts’ upon it may well be unique. At the end of the Zulu War Ingram returned to England and purchased a Lieutenancy in the 1st County of London Yeomanry, Middlesex Hussars.

He was in Africa again in 1884 when he heard of the attempt to raise the siege of Khartoum and rescue General Gordon. He arrived in Egypt several weeks after the expedition had set off, but he was determined to follow it. He purchased a steam launch, and together with an engineer and an Arab boy as crew, he passed through the Suez and Sweetwater canals to Cairo and on into the Nile. The boy deserted, and whilst ascending the cataract at Dal the launch capsized throwing Ingram and the engineer into the rapids. The latter, being unable to swim, was rescued by Ingram who later salvaged the boat, discarded the damaged engine and rigged a sail. He then went on alone to Korti, a distance of nearly 500 miles, negotiating two further cataracts along the way.

At Korti he finally caught up with the expedition commanded by Stewart, and it was also here that he struck up a friendship with Lord Charles Beresford, who commanded the 61 strong Naval Brigade. The British force, 1200 in number were in desperate need of securing fresh water along the march at Howeiyat, Jakdul Wells and Abu Klea. The first two they occupied without opposition, however at dawn on the 17th of January 1885, the British encampment found itself under fire from Dervish on the nearby hills. They were mustered into a marching square, with the Staff, wounded and sick at the centre. The Naval Brigade, of which Ingram had become a part, was given the task of operating and supporting the Gardner quick firing gun that was positioned just inside of the square at the rear. At 10am the square started to advance towards the Abu Klea, a distance of three miles to be covered under a withering fire.

After half an hour of this torturous advance a force of about 10,000 Arabs on foot and horseback started to converge on the square. Orders were given to reach a small area of high ground in the vicinity, however the square was beginning to disintegrate. Lord Beresford, realising what was about to occur, had the Gardner gun run outside of the square and opened fire, cutting swathes through the charging Dervish. The gun jammed, however, and whilst frantic attempts to fix it were being made two of the gun party were speared and Beresford knocked off his feet. Eight other sailors were killed by the oncoming hordes and as many others badly wounded. The Naval Brigade were caught in the crush between the charging Arabs and the front rank of the square.

Fortunately elevated ground was reached and volley fire forced the Arabs back temporarily. However, whilst probing for a weakness in the square, they swung round the back and managed to break in through gaps left by the camels. Thus ensued a desperate hand to hand struggle. The ordered discipline of the British volley fire came to the fore again, forcing the Arabs to retreat on all fronts.

Ingram had occupied a place in the front rank and Beresford mentions that ‘he was a keen soldier.... at one time he was outside the square at Abu Klea, but always cool and collected using his rifle with good effect. Many of us noticedhis gallantry and his quiet determined manner.’ After Abu Klea Beresford obtained a temporary commission for Ingram as a Lieutenant in the Navy. In part this was due to the fact that all his officers had either been killed or wounded at Abu Klea, indeed whilst Beresford was being operated on Ingram was the Officer Commanding in his absence. Having secured the wells, it was decided that two steamers were to be sent on ahead to Khartoum, however when they arrived it proved to be too late to rescue Gordon.

On the return voyage the Talahawiyeh steamer struck a rock and had to be abandoned, this bad luck continued when two days later the other steamer ( Bordein ) also struck a rock and had to be run ashore on a small island. News of this reached the main force at Gubat, and a rescue party of 9 officers (including Ingram) and twenty hand picked marksmen set off in the steamer Safieh. The steamer was armed with two Gardner guns and a 4 pounder brass mountain gun. They set off on the 1st of February and in two days were insight of the Bordein, but in order to reach her they had to pass within 80 yards of the heavily armed fort at Wad Habeshi. Safieh brought her guns to bear on the fort and seemed to have managed to run the gauntlet without too much damage before being hit by a stray shell. This pierced the boiler meaning that the steamer had to put in for repairs on the bank furthest from the hostile fort.

Repairs were carried on until well into the night, and under fire from the garrison. The steamer’s armament kept up a steady fire, with Ingram serving the Gardner gun all day. The repairs were completed and the men from the Bordein were picked up from the arranged rendezvous point, thus effecting a successful return to Gubat. Beresford commended Ingram for his part in the rescue operation. The Naval
Brigade had suffered heavily over the course of eighteen days, with every third man being killed or wounded in
action.

Ingram returned to England briefly in 1887 to take a wife. He was drawn back to Africa the following year, and in April he was a member of
hunting party in the Somaliland Protectorate. Whilst pursuing an elephant, 40 miles west of Berbera, he was trampled to death by one of the wounded animals that he was hunting. The gentleman adventurer was 33 years old.
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PostSubject: Re: Lieutenant Walter Ingram   Sun May 23, 2010 11:19 pm

Another great post Littlehand. Ingram certainly had an eventfull life.
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PostSubject: Re: Lieutenant Walter Ingram   Sun Jun 24, 2012 2:36 pm

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Walter Ingram. From the family collection of Anne Bricknell.

"Walter Herbert Ingram, who fought in the Zulu Wars and was a great hero of battles against Islamic rebels in Egypt and Sudan in the 1880s. Ingram bought a mummy case as a souvenir, only to be killed by an elephant on his next visit to Africa, prompting rumours that he had been cursed. Ingram was the youngest son of the founder of the Illustrated London News. His death, understandably, was a news sensation. The record of the lives of these extraordinary gentlemen has rested, largely untouched, in London’s eccentric archives and in family memorabilia, the fable of their curses wrapped around the true details of their lives.
Unravelling these histories tells us a lot about how Victorians and Edwardians used the supernatural to negotiate unease with colonial occupation and the traffic in ancient artefacts to the museums and private collections of the imperial metropolis. They tell us more, I’d like to think, than the clumsy way in which Downton Abbey’s Earl of Grantham and his sniffy butler are always bumping into world historical events."
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PostSubject: Lt.Walter Ingram.   Sun Jun 24, 2012 11:57 pm

Hi Littlehand .
Interesting story , I'm on my way to work so I'm pressed for time , do we know which unit he was with , his name does seem familiar ? .
Cheers 90th. You need to study mo
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PostSubject: Re: Lieutenant Walter Ingram   Sun Jun 24, 2012 11:59 pm

"Dunn’s Scouts, Attached to Lord Chelmsford’s Chief of Intelligence, and Later Temporary Lieutenant, Royal Navy, Attached Naval Brigade for the Abu Klea Operations,"
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PostSubject: Lt .Walter Ingram   Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:11 am

HI John.
Thanks , I've quickly checked ' For God , Queen & Colony ' by Terry Sole which says no record or medal list has ever been found for John Dunn's Scouts , but there is a notation at the bottom that states Ingram's Medal is in a private Collection in England and that the Regiment was disbanded in Sept 1879.
Cheers 90th. Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Lieutenant Walter Ingram   Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:10 am

Before Tutankhamen, there were two stories about English gentlemen adventurers in Egypt who allegedly suffered curses from objects brought back from Egypt. Their lives have never been properly researched before.

This talk recovers the case of Thomas Douglas Murray, the man who bought the fateful 'Unlucky Mummy' in 1865 and which still resides in the British Museum, and the soldier Walter Ingram, who fought in the Zulu Wars and the Gordon Relief, and was killed by an elephant in 1888, allegedly in fulfillment of a curse.
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PostSubject: Re: Lieutenant Walter Ingram   Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:27 am

Hi Ulundi .
Interesting , can you add anymore to the story ? .
Cheers 90th. Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Lieutenant Walter Ingram   Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:38 pm

Not at present. But it's to interesting not to follow up.
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PostSubject: Re: Lieutenant Walter Ingram   Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:51 pm

"

Archaeologist Howard Carter with Lord Carnavon, whose death within weeks of the discovery of Tutenkhamun's tomb fuelled rumours of a curse

Everyone knows about the dreaded curse of the Ancient Egyptian mummy. It became fixed in global consciousness in 1923, when the Fifth Earl of Carnarvon, who had sponsored Howard Carter to dig for seven years in the Valley of the Kings, died only six weeks after the lost tomb was opened and its treasures revealed.

The press got hold of the story because Carnarvon himself had signed an exclusive deal with The Times to report on the findings inside the tomb. Blocked from the actual discoveries, reporters used Carnarvon’s decline from blood poisoning and pneumonia to fill their pages instead. The rumours were zapped around the world in a new era of global communication.

There were some splendid stories attached to Carnarvon’s death. The lights of Cairo flickered and failed across the city as he died. His three-legged dog Susie, back in England, howled mournfully and dropped dead. In the following days, the British Museum was inundated with mummy memorabilia offloaded by guilty tourists fearing supernatural revenge. In the next few years, over 20 people were alleged to have been killed by the enraged elementals protecting the king. The suicides, accidents and exotic diseases of archaeologists and their families were all lovingly detailed.

These reports were written in the strange tone of disavowal that accompanies many superstitions: of course this is ridiculous, but you never know. British colonial attitudes tried to associate belief in curses with the credulous and primitive Arabs that lived in a sunken state amongst august tombs that they did not understand. But it is clear this was for many of the British a displacement of the anxiety that comes with colonial occupation. Tutankhamen was discovered at the time of a handover to Egyptian nationalist government, a time of conspiracies and assassinations of British officials in Cairo. You never know what knowledge the natives might range against you.

Curse stories have always had the implacable power of rumours to sweep up everything, including denials, into their system. When the archaeologist Arthur Weigall died in 1934, the Daily Express headline was “Arthur Weigall, who denied Tutankhamen’s curse, is dead”. Within days, it was truncated and reversed: “A curse killed Arthur Weigall”.

In 1932, Boris Karloff played the reanimated magician Imhotep in the Universal horror film The Mummy, and the notion of implacable Oriental vengeance from beyond the grave was fixed in place. Fact and fiction fused in a simple moral tale: if you transgress, something ageless is shuffling towards you to finish you off.

These stories never quite go away. Earlier this year, the tabloids got excited that the filming of the new series of Downton Abbey was being vexed by spooky occurrences. Downton is filmed at Highclere Castle, the ancestral home of the Carnarvons, complete with its own Tutankhamen museum. That model of rational thought, the actress Shirley MacLaine, had claimed there were nasty supernatural forces swirling around the set.

Explanations of the circulation of mummy curse stories become required when you realise that Egyptologists have found very little evidence for their actual existence in Ancient Egyptian culture. Salima Ikram and Aidan Dodson, for instance, swat curse stories away in a mere two paragraphs in their monumental book The Mummy in Ancient Egypt. Curses are not written in legends on tomb walls, ever. The scribes who composed “threat formulae” (as researchers call them) did so in complex patterns of praise and blame. The idea of an indifferent vengeance launched at all transgressors is a complete fantasy, a later cultural imposition.

Most professional Egyptologists note that the Egyptians longed only for their name to be remembered. This was why new kings built vast monuments in their own name, but also took revenge by smashing out the names of superseded pharaohs or enemies. Why, then, would the archaeologist involved in the patient act of recovering lost kings be cursed? Surely, the old gods would bless them. Anyway, as a jokey British Medical Journal longitudinal survey of the death rates of Egyptologists concluded, there are no apparent statistical anomalies in life expectancy in the profession.

Notions of cursed Mummys have little to do with ancient Egypt and much to do with our fearful fascination with difference

There have been various attempts to explain curses as the product of thoroughly material rather than supernatural agencies. A popular one at the time of the Earl of Carnarvon’s death was to suspect that the wily tomb-builders protected the body of the king with booby-traps of poisons. Cue visions of Indiana Jones dodging all those man-traps and swarms of deadly darts. Since Tutankhamen’s tomb has been one of the very few discovered undisturbed, though, this makes little sense. A more recent theory suggests that the microbial bacteria expected to be found in graves could cause potentially fatal illnesses amongst researchers. When I visited the Valley of Kings, two separate tomb guides volunteered this theory, as if to reassure tourists that their brief visits would hold no danger.

Yet these kinds of explanation do nothing to dispel the circulation of rumours. To rail against superstition or to adopt a corrective attitude that proper science will prevail over false belief obstructs an understanding of the kind of cultural work that magical thinking about curses still performs.

As a cultural historian, I became interested in tracing back the prevalence of curse stories and was rather struck to discover how late in the British encounter with Egypt they seemed to appear. There was a rush of Egyptomania after Napoleon’s invasion in 1798. It reached Britain when the price of Napoleon’s defeat to the English navy was the transfer of all the Egyptian artefacts they had gathered to British ownership – including the famous Rosetta Stone, the key to translating hieroglyphic script. There was no sense of dread here, only sublime awe at the astonishing sophistication of ancient culture.

In 1821, a reconstruction in Piccadilly of Seti I’s tomb was a sensation, visited by thousands without a sense of fear. It started a craze for “mummy unwrapping”, society events where eminent surgeons would publicly unravel mummy bandages, and chisel away at the bitumen preservative in which ancient bodies were preserved, for hours on end in front of fascinated audiences. Thomas “Mummy” Pettigrew, the surgeon who unwrapped over thirty Ancient Egyptian mummies in London, was not considered an unlucky man.

The first Gothic or supernatural fictions about mummy curses appear first in the 1860s, but the satirical use of the awakened mummy to lambast contemporary society (as in Edgar Allan Poe’s “Some Words with a Mummy”) and romances with alluring and exotic ancient princesses long predominated. These turned properly nasty in the 1890s. Arthur Conan Doyle, who hated Egypt as a backward and corrupting place, thought up the first mummy animated to conduct the vengeful will of a modern black magician in his short story “Lot No. 249” in 1894. Richard Marsh published The Beetle in 1897, an extraordinary vision of London struck by a Biblical plague spread by ageless and vengeful Ancient Egyptian priests. Bram Stoker’s Jewel of Seven Stars (1903) used recently discovered radium to suggest that an experiment to use Ancient Egyptian magic to reanimate a woman pharaoh might possibly result in nuclear annihilation.

But I have mainly become interested in the life stories of two Victorian gentlemen adventurers, whose stories of being cursed by what they brought home were well known long before Tutmania began.

Nile explorer Thomas Douglas Murray

The first, Thomas Douglas Murray, had travelled down the Nile soon after graduating from Oxford in 1865. He and his fellow travellers bought a mummy case of a striking female figure from the 18th dynasty in Luxor before returning to Cairo. Out by the pyramids, Douglas Murray went quail shooting, slipped and promptly shot his own arm off. He survived and lived on to 1911, but was always associated with the curse whose physical wound he carried. The mummy case itself was alleged to cause much family misfortune until it was donated to the British Museum in 1889. It soon became known as “The Unlucky Mummy” for its fearsome malevolence and nasty tricks performed on visitors to the Egyptian Rooms. The British Museum files show that the curators were (and continue to be) constantly asked to confirm or deny stories of the curse attached to catalogue number 22542.

Douglas Murray was a society gentleman who knew diplomats, colonialists, painters and writers. He was a friend of the rival Egyptologists Ernest Wallis Budge and William Flinders Petrie. He was also a member of the private “Ghost Club”, a group of ardent spiritualists. It was this combination of social contacts, Egyptology and supernatural belief that ensured the story of his curse spread.

Soldier of fortune Walter Ingram
The second gentleman was called Walter Herbert Ingram. Ingram was the youngest son of the founder of the Illustrated London News, and something of a soldier of fortune. In 1885, he volunteered to join the Gordon Relief Expedition in Egypt, the doomed military dash to rescue the nutty evangelist General Gordon from an Islamic uprising in Khartoum. The mission failed, but Ingram fought heroically at the front line and bought a mummy case on the way back, said to have a fearful inscription cursing those who disturbed it. Three years later, he was trampled to death by an elephant outside Berbera in Somaliland, having failed to shoot it fatally, in apparent fulfilment of the curse. Because he came from a newspaper family, Ingram’s death was widely covered. Kipling heard this tale in a London club and sent the gory details to his fellow writer Rider Haggard, a mark of its circulation. In the end, this mummy travelled through several collections, steadily losing its cursed associations. The coffin of Nesmin now rests in the Rhode Island School of Design, apparently at peace.

What these histories reveal, once they are disentangled from rumour, are narratives of violent colonial encounter with Africa at the moment England begins serious territorial expansion in the 1880s. Douglas Murray wrote an adoring biography of Sir Samuel Baker, the man who followed the White Nile to its source, annexing territory as he went. His brother, Colonel Wyndham Murray, was in the army that occupied Egypt in 1882. Walter Ingram not only fought the dervishes of Sudan but was also involved in the final destruction of the Zulus, fighting at Ulundi in 1879.

The curses of these men are a register in supernatural terms of the knowledge that violence begets violence. I don’t think the curse of the mummy was ever really about Ancient Egypt or the superstitions of North African populations. It was a fantasy that was the product of colonial occupation. That mummy curses remain popular still tells us much about Western fears of the fate of the Middle East."
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PostSubject: Re: Lieutenant Walter Ingram   Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:08 am

Thanks Littlehand .
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