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 William Digby Longfield. Deputy Inspector-General R.N. / Major Francis William Digby McClean

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PostSubject: William Digby Longfield. Deputy Inspector-General R.N. / Major Francis William Digby McClean    Tue Dec 28, 2010 1:46 pm

I have received a very interesting e-mail from Norm Robshaw. Who is researching the life Major Francis William Digby McClean? Rather than me trying to explain, here's the e-mail, which is self-explanatory. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Norm. Will send me additional information, which I will post when received.

"I am researching the life of Major Francis William Digby McClean who migrated to Marsden Park, NSW, Australia in 1912 accompanied by his wife Francis Jane Louisa Newton and young son Francis Willoughby Digby McClean. Their son unfortunately died from bronchial complications in July of the following year. My father was born in 1915 and whilst his biological father was at Gallipoli and the Major at Rouen, France, my grandmother surrendered him to Mrs McClean and when the Major returned to Australia in 1920 they both then raised him as their own. No official adoption was ever done although in 1917 my father’s birth record was altered to include the name McClean. I am trying to now, 100 years later, determine the reasons for this fostering arrangement. Even given the passage of time and the fact that all those who knew the story are now gone from the bits and pieces stored in the memory of those still with us a plausible explanation is beginning to emerge.

I have in my possession a rather worn and battered scrap book and photo album that the Major kept covering the years approx 1900 to approx 1920. I have just finished a 2 year project to reproduce the scrap book in Word so that I can share it with my family. Some of it is now illegible so it has taken some time to track down the original newspaper clippings and other information from various archives to verify the information. Photocopying the book was not an option as you could not read the copies.

This chase after the Major’s family and life led me to William Digby Longfield. Some details re this man are included in the scrapbook and there are a few photos of him in the album. See attached page from my reproduction as a sample. Chasing down his involvement in the Zulu war led me to your website.

The Major’s mother was Sarah Helena Longfield but at this time I am not sure of her relationship with William Digby Longfield. I will follow up that lineage next year as I try to restore the old photos in the album. Some of these photos have brief family tree details written on the back of them. There are a few of William Digby Longfield resplendent with his handlebar moustache in his later years.

I am happy to share the information I have on this man with your website as I unravel these various old documents. If you are interested please let me know the best way to get it to you. I don’t plan to start the album until Mar 2011 so nothing till then."

I have however set up a website for the McClean’s on Tribal Pages".
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PostSubject: Re: William Digby Longfield. Deputy Inspector-General R.N. / Major Francis William Digby McClean    Tue Dec 28, 2010 2:47 pm

Some various items relating to Longfield.
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He seems to have invented a Poultice Holder. (Not sure if the image was of himself in the photo.
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Career.
Surname: Longfield, First Names : William Digby
Awarded Medal (m) : m

Date promoted to :
Staff Surgeon: 13/05/1875
Assistant Surgeon: 08/10/1861

Date of Navy List - Appointment and date:
June 1870 : RNH Haslar 3 Jul 69
June 1879 : 486 - Tenedos 17 Apr 77


At one point he lived at 19, Harcourt-street, Dublin, owned 244 acres.

1.Charles M. Longfield, address 19, Harcourt-street, Dublin, owned 244 acres.
2John Longfield, address 140, Pembroke-road, Dublin, owned 244 acres.
3. Robert Longfield, address Dublin, owned 2,448 acres.
4. Robert O. Longfield, address 19, Harcourt-street, Dublin, owned 244 acres.
5. Thos. Henry Longfield, same address, owned 244 acres.
6. Wm. Digby Longfield, address Assistant Surgeon, H.M.S. "Minotaur," owned 244 acres.
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PostSubject: Re: William Digby Longfield. Deputy Inspector-General R.N. / Major Francis William Digby McClean    Tue Dec 28, 2010 3:23 pm

Admin,

Thank you for posting the Photograph of Longfield, and thanks to Norm Robshaw for sending the information to you. Hopefully he will send more photos.

Here is what little information I have on Surgeon Longfiled.

William Digby Longfield, Staff Surgeon

Landed in medical charge of the naval brigade of HMS Tenedos for service in Zululand. He was the senior, and for the greater part of the time, the only medical officer at the Lower Tugela for February and March, 1879.

Senior Naval Medical Officer with the Ekowe Relief Column; and present @ Battle of Gingindlovu 04/02/79; dangerously wounded by a bullet in the right shoulder and body while tending to a wounded man.

Served ashore from 1 Jan '79 to 13 May '79 (Tenedos). From 13 May '79 to 9 Jul '79 loaned to Boadicea.

SAGS Medal w/79 Bar
M.I.D. (2)
Promoted to Fleet Surgeon
Presented the Gilbert Blaine Gold Medal

Petty Officer Tom
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PostSubject: Re: William Digby Longfield. Deputy Inspector-General R.N. / Major Francis William Digby McClean    Wed Dec 29, 2010 6:44 am

Thanks Tom. I have a feeling some interesting information will come from Norm Robshaw. He has spend many years putting an album together.

Can anyone find a familey connection between, William Digby Longfield & Ida Mary Rodger who's buried with him. (Daughter Perhaps)
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PostSubject: Re: William Digby Longfield. Deputy Inspector-General R.N. / Major Francis William Digby McClean    Thu Dec 30, 2010 7:52 pm

Further Correspondence from Norm Robshaw.

"My thanks to the respondents also and for the information that they provided. I in view of that I have had a quick early look at the photo album. It is in a sorry state after 100 years and I think I shall only be able to recover about 60% of it. There were a few photos of WDL but unfortunately they were all the same photo. I could not find the one I mentioned before but I still have several boxes in the attic to go through yet but this is one of next year’s tasks. One of the photos had some details of his family written on the back so I have attached it with this email. The respondents raised a couple of questions;

Re Ida Mary Rodger – this name does not occur in any of the McClean documents in my possession but I have added it to the database so I can follow it up at a later date.

Whether the photo in the Poultice was in fact WDL himself - I have attached photos of his nephews and although I doubt it was either of them as one was not born at the time of the poultice news article and the other was only about 17 there is a familial resemblance to the chap in the photo so it could have been another family member. I doubt that it was WDL himself as in 1887 he would have been approx 49 and the poultice model appears to be much younger.

Hope this is of some interest to your members. I will be away off and on during most of January from tomorrow on so will not return to this task until early Feb. 2011."

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Nephews.
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Nephews.
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PostSubject: Re: William Digby Longfield. Deputy Inspector-General R.N. / Major Francis William Digby McClean    Fri Dec 31, 2010 1:12 am

This all looks very interesting, I start looking. Love mysteries. Norm thanks for sharing this...
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PostSubject: Re: William Digby Longfield. Deputy Inspector-General R.N. / Major Francis William Digby McClean    Sun Mar 06, 2011 7:37 pm

Received an e-mail from Norm Robshaw who sent me this image of a marriage certificate. Norm as just recently under gone several operations which have been successful. He hopes to be back with us in a few months. I'm sure we all wish him well and wish him a speedy recovery. Norm will send over some more information in the near future.

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PostSubject: Re: William Digby Longfield. Deputy Inspector-General R.N. / Major Francis William Digby McClean    Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:50 pm

Quote :
I'm sure we all wish him well and wish him a speedy recovery


Sure do!!!
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PostSubject: Re: William Digby Longfield. Deputy Inspector-General R.N. / Major Francis William Digby McClean    Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:49 pm

Wishing you good health Norm. Idea
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PostSubject: William Digby Longfield   Tue Mar 08, 2011 5:25 am

Hi Norm .
Get well soon mate .
cheers 90th. Idea
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PostSubject: Re: William Digby Longfield. Deputy Inspector-General R.N. / Major Francis William Digby McClean    Tue Mar 08, 2011 8:23 am

Get well soon Norm.

Cheers Mate
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PostSubject: Re: William Digby Longfield. Deputy Inspector-General R.N. / Major Francis William Digby McClean    Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:02 pm

Thanks Tom. For those interested.
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PostSubject: Re: William Digby Longfield. Deputy Inspector-General R.N. / Major Francis William Digby McClean    Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:18 pm

Many thanks for your thoughts and best wishes. I am progressing very well and continuing work on the WDL lineage and history. I have more information to contribute and will forward it in a couple of months.
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PostSubject: Re: William Digby Longfield. Deputy Inspector-General R.N. / Major Francis William Digby McClean    Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:35 pm

Norm. Good to hear from you. We are all wishing you the best of health for the future. Take your time and get back when you feel up to it. You will always be welcome... Idea
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PostSubject: Re: William Digby Longfield. Deputy Inspector-General R.N. / Major Francis William Digby McClean    Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:31 am

Good to see you back on the forum.
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PostSubject: Re: William Digby Longfield. Deputy Inspector-General R.N. / Major Francis William Digby McClean    Sun Mar 20, 2011 4:27 pm

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PostSubject: Re: William Digby Longfield. Deputy Inspector-General R.N. / Major Francis William Digby McClean    Sun Mar 20, 2011 11:05 pm

With regard to a previous query re the presence of the name Ida Mary Rodger on the surgeon's headstone. The 1881 census includes an Ida Mary Black in the surgeon's household described as 'Step Daughter' aged 21. I have done some very high level research and have summarised this but cannot find how to attach it to this post so will send it to Admin and ask him to include it. I stress though that the research has not yet been verified or corroborated so must be considered speculative at this time. I will get back to it later as time permits and drill down further.
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PostSubject: Re: William Digby Longfield. Deputy Inspector-General R.N. / Major Francis William Digby McClean    Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:37 am

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PostSubject: Re: William Digby Longfield. Deputy Inspector-General R.N. / Major Francis William Digby McClean    Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:38 pm

Norm. Thanks for the up-date.
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PostSubject: Re: William Digby Longfield. Deputy Inspector-General R.N. / Major Francis William Digby McClean    Fri Apr 01, 2011 4:16 pm

Norm Robshaw. Has Kindly sent as promised the scrap book belonging to Major William Digby Longfield. Deputy Inspector-General R.N.  
To view the information, you need to work from the bottom up clicking on the links. I will try to to photograph the pages and post them in the right order but for some reason when I generate the codes page one start’s at the bottom.

The British Medical Journal seems to have a huge amount of data on the Zulu war.  The following article appeared in the 25th May 1879 re Surgeon Longfield.



COMBATANTS AND NON-COMBATANTS.

As a fresh instance of the disposition on the part of combatant officers

to ignore, or at least to keep in the background, the services of medical

officers engaged before the enemy, it is perhaps worth noticing that

Lord Chelmsford, in his despatch describing the battle at Ginghilova,

while mentioning the name of every combatant officer who was hit,

however slightly, with one exception (Captain Hinxman, slightly

wounded), and even reporting in the body of the document the deaths

of the horses of Captain Molyneux and Lieutenant Courtney, omits

to say one single word about Staff-Surgeon Longfield, R.N., who

was " dangerously wounded". The fact of this gentleman being the

only naval officer wounded at all, one might have thought at least as

worthy of notice as the slight hurts of military combatants, or even the

violent deaths of their horses. Staff-Surgeon Longfield is only a noncombatant

doctor, and therefore it seems to be thought well to say

nothing at all about him. The Zulus somehow do not seem duly to

discriminate between combatants and the doctors serving with them in

the field, certainly not with the same nice accuracy as do our authorities

in the distribution of praise and of honours.

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PostSubject: Re: William Digby Longfield. Deputy Inspector-General R.N. / Major Francis William Digby McClean    Fri Apr 01, 2011 10:40 pm

Just a small correction. The scrap book is that of Major Francis William Digby McClean the surgeon's nephew. The duplication of similar names sometimes confuses things.
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PostSubject: Re: William Digby Longfield. Deputy Inspector-General R.N. / Major Francis William Digby McClean    Sat Apr 02, 2011 3:14 pm

Thanks Norm. I,m halfway through the scrap book. Very interesting. Must have taken you a while to put it together.
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PostSubject: Re: William Digby Longfield. Deputy Inspector-General R.N. / Major Francis William Digby McClean    Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:25 pm

Has anyone got a good image of a Blane Medal. Would be appricated
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PostSubject: Re: William Digby Longfield. Deputy Inspector-General R.N. / Major Francis William Digby McClean    Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:09 pm

John,

Here is the Blane medal. (about half way down page 1) It was the one presented to Surgeon Henry F. Norbury of HMS Active.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2238350/pdf/annrcse00025-0075.pdf

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PostSubject: Re: William Digby Longfield. Deputy Inspector-General R.N. / Major Francis William Digby McClean    Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:27 pm

From the link from Petty Officer Tom

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PostSubject: Re: William Digby Longfield. Deputy Inspector-General R.N. / Major Francis William Digby McClean    Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:35 pm

Are these medals rare. First time I have seen one. Love the design. What would they be worth, any ideas. Idea
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PostSubject: Re: William Digby Longfield. Deputy Inspector-General R.N. / Major Francis William Digby McClean    Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:48 pm

Hi Dave

Here is a colour photo of the medal and it s on the far right.

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A Sir Gilbert Blane Gold Medal on it's own was sold at auction back in 2000 and it sold for £380.00
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PostSubject: Re: William Digby Longfield. Deputy Inspector-General R.N. / Major Francis William Digby McClean    Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:33 pm

1879Graves. Thanks very much for posting medals.
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PostSubject: Re: William Digby Longfield. Deputy Inspector-General R.N. / Major Francis William Digby McClean    Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:50 pm

Anyone found a connection between. William Digby Longfield. Deputy Inspector-General R.N. / Major Francis William Digby McClean. We certainly have lots of information. Thanks to Norm, for sharing his scrap-Book.
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PostSubject: Re: William Digby Longfield. Deputy Inspector-General R.N. / Major Francis William Digby McClean    Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:26 pm

Old H. The Connection..
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PostSubject: Re: William Digby Longfield. Deputy Inspector-General R.N. / Major Francis William Digby McClean    Wed Apr 06, 2011 5:04 pm

Thanks Norm, Admin.
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PostSubject: Re: William Digby Longfield. Deputy Inspector-General R.N. / Major Francis William Digby McClean    Mon Apr 15, 2013 4:45 pm

"FLEET-SURGEON WILLIAm DIGBY LONGFIELD is placed on the retired list with the rank of Deputy-Inspector-General of Hospitals and Fleets, October 16th. He was appointed Surgeon, October 8th, 1861; Staff-Surgeon,May 1st, 1875; and Fleet-Surgeon, July 3rd, 1879. From the Royal Navy List we learn that he was Assistant-Surgeon of H.M. ships Octavia and Spiteful during the Abyssinian War, 1868 (medal), Staff-Surgeon of H.M.S. Tenedos, and landed in medical charge of the inaval brigade of that ship for service in Zululand; was senior, and for the greater part of the time the only, medical officer at the Lower Tugela, February and March, 1879; Senior Naval Medical Officer with the Ekowe Relief Column, and present at the battle of Gingihlovo, April 2nd, 1879, danigerously wounded by a bullet in the right shoulder and body; specially thanked by Lord Chelmsford, the General Commandilng-in-Clhief, for his exertions when in charge of the Field Hospital at the Tugela; twice mentioned in despatches; promoted (medal and clasp); Sir G. Blane's Gold Medal,
1879"
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PostSubject: Re: William Digby Longfield. Deputy Inspector-General R.N. / Major Francis William Digby McClean    Wed Sep 16, 2015 3:02 am

Just as an addition to this thread. William Digby Longfield’s Blane medals were sold by Bonham's and can be seen here [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
His Abyssinian and 1879 South African pair are currently for sale here.
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
As can be seen in Norm's pic accompanying Admin's original post in this thread, Longfield donated them to his college. It would be interesting to know which college that was and if it still exists, and to know the provenance of the medals and how & why they left their possession, and were removed from their original display box which in itself was of historical interest.
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90th

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PostSubject: William Digby Longfield    Wed Sep 16, 2015 3:06 am

Hi Mcclean04
I can tell you those medals aren't for sale , I attempted to get them a while ago ! , they are very cheap it's an Archive listing Sad Sad Sad . I'll bet I wasn't the only one who asked to buy them , especially at that price ! Joker
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PostSubject: Re: William Digby Longfield. Deputy Inspector-General R.N. / Major Francis William Digby McClean    Wed Sep 16, 2015 4:03 am

Just looked a bit closer he was L.R.C.S.I., so that's Royal College of Surgeons Ireland. and they are still at their original site in Dublin.
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PostSubject: Re: William Digby Longfield. Deputy Inspector-General R.N. / Major Francis William Digby McClean    Wed Sep 16, 2015 4:06 am

Hi 90th
Thanks for that, it didn't look like an archive at all, fooled me. I might write to the college and ask if they have any info.
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PostSubject: William Digby Longfield    Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:14 am

Hi Mcclean04
Yes it fooled me as well , a friend sent me the link so I hastily enquired , all to no avail I'm afraid to say Sad Sad Sad .
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