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The Death of Lt. Frith, 17th Lancers.
Pte. Robert Muddle 17th Lancers. Screenshot-20190305-200950-Gallery-181x240 At eZungeni, Zulu War of 1879" original painting by Hermanus Willem Koekkoek (1869-1929) (Isandula Collection)
Isandlwana & Rorke's Drift 22nd January 2019
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 Pte. Robert Muddle 17th Lancers.

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Pte. Robert Muddle 17th Lancers. Empty
PostSubject: Pte. Robert Muddle 17th Lancers.   Pte. Robert Muddle 17th Lancers. EmptyWed Jun 01, 2011 11:55 pm

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Pte. Robert Muddle 17th Lancers (medal with 1879 clasp), unfortunately it doesn't mention him but you can read more at the following link;                                       

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With thanks to Derek Miller for forwarding on the photo to Tim Needham.
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PostSubject: Re: Pte. Robert Muddle 17th Lancers.   Pte. Robert Muddle 17th Lancers. EmptyTue Aug 09, 2011 10:48 pm

Admin. I have posted this part from the web-link attached above. Just to make it easier to read with regards to "Robert Muddle"

"Robert Muddle who was born at Ditchling on 1 January 1844, and baptised at St Margaret’s Church in Ditchling on 28 January 1844. In the census of 30 March 1851 Robert, at the age of 7, was living with his parents in North Street at Ditchling, and he was going to school. Then in the census of 7 April 1861 Robert, now aged 17, was staying with his grandparents, Thomas and Susan Muddle, at the Post Office in East End Lane at Ditchling, and he was working as a farm labourer.

Robert was a farrier, when, at the age of 21, he enlisted for 12 years service in the 16th Lancers at Westminster on 27 October 1864, as Private 716, and received a bounty of £1 and free kit. His army records describe him as being 5ft 7¼in tall, with a fresh complexion, grey eyes, brown hair and a smallpox scar. Robert was first stationed at Colchester but had transferred to Norwich by March 1865 when he spent 26 days in hospital with orchitis (inflammation of the testicles) and was treated with leeches. Then on 28 June 1865 he embarked for India, where, from 10 September 1865, he was stationed at Bangalore in southern India. While at Bangalore Robert was in hospital six times; the first time was for 11 days in November 1865 with dysentery, then in September 1867 it was 19 days with orchitis again. In May 1868 Robert was in hospital for 3 days, followed by 93 days from May to August 1869 with bubo (enlarged lymph nodes in groin or armpit from infection by gonorrhoea, syphilis, tuberculosis or plague). Then for 11 days in September 1869 Robert was in hospital suffering from the effects of the climate, and in June 1870 it was 5 days as the result of an accident.

From early 1872 Robert was stationed at Secunderabad, which is near Hyderabad in central India. Almost immediately he in hospital again; for 9 days with ague caused by malaria from 28 January to 5 February; for 13 days from the effects of the cold from 27 February to 2 March; and for 17 days with syphilis from 15 to 31 July. Then on 30 October 1872 Robert re-engaged with the 16th Lancers for a period of time that would give him a total of 21 years service. He was soon back in hospital; for 8 days during November with ague caused by malaria, for which he was again treated with quinine. Robert then had almost 3 years free of illness before he was again in hospital; first with diarrhoea for 8 days during August 1875, and then for 24 days from 9 November to 2 December 1875 with syphilis.

In late 1876 Robert left India and arrived back in England on 8 January 1877. He was stationed at Shorncliff near Folkestone in Kent where he immediately applied for and became a Shoe Smith. While at Shorncliff he was in hospital for 10 days during August 1877 with an ulcer on his cornea. The following month he was transferred to Aldershot where he was stationed from 5 September 1877. While in Aldershot Robert was in hospital twice; for 56 days from 26 February to 23 April 1878 from the effects of the cold, and then for 12 days from 26 April to 7 May 1878 with an abscess.
Robert was 35 years old and had served in the 16th Lancers for 14 years when on 14 February 1879 he volunteered to join the 17th Lancers, which he did the following day. This change of regiment was presumably because the authorities were looking for suitable volunteers to bring the 17th Lancers up to full strength as they were about to be sent to fight in the Zulu Wars.

The 17th Lancers sailed for South Africa on 25 February 1879. Robert had been Private 2204 for his first 10 days in the 17th Lancers, but the day after they sailed he was again appointed as a Shoe Smith. The regiment arrived in Natal on 6 April 1879 and moved on into Zululand. The final battle of the Zulu War was at Ulundi on 4 July 1879 when about 20,000 Zulus surrounded the British infantry, which formed a square with the 17th Lancers at its centre. Then when the Zulu attack faltered the 17th Lancers and other cavalry were ordered to charge and decimated the fleeing Zulu warriors, pursuing them until not a single live Zulu was left on the Mahlabatini plain. Robert was awarded the South Africa 1877-1879 medal with 1879 clasp for his service in the Zulu War during 1879.[6]

Robert reverted to being a Private on 17 September 1879. Then on 19 October 1879 the 17th Lancers embarked on the troopship HMS Seraphis for India, arriving at Bombay on 11 November 1879. Three days later they were stationed at Mhow, which is 330 miles northeast of Bombay. On 19 February 1880 Robert was granted 3d good conduct pay. While at Mhow Robert was in hospital twice; for 12 days in September 1881 with ague; and then for 15 days in July and August 1882 with a boil. On 28 October 1882 Robert's good conduct pay was increased to 4d, and then on the 1 July 1883 he was promoted to Sergeant Farrier. The regiment then transferred to Lucknow, which is in the Ganges Plain 430 miles northeast of Mhow, where they were stationed from 23 January 1884. On 1 January 1885 Robert was recommended for another Good Conduct Medal by his Regimental Commanding Officer but this was not sanctioned.[7] Robert's 21 years of service was completed on 27 October 1885 but he opted to extend his service beyond 21 years. Robert had just one spell in hospital while in Lucknow; for 11 days during March 1890 with influenza during an epidemic.


The regiment then left India, embarking on HMS Seraphis on 9 October 1890, and arriving back in England on 3 November 1890. The following day they were stationed at Shorncliff in Kent. In the census of 5 April 1891 Robert was a Sergeant in the 17th Lancers at Shorncliff Camp. Robert was then transferred to Hounslow where he was stationed from 18 July 1891. He was in hospital there for 69 days, from 30 December 1891 to 7 March 1892, with inflammation of his neck glands. Robert, at his own request, was discharged on 17 March 1893, at the age of 49, after having served 28 years and 141 days. While in the army Robert gained a 4th class certificate of education, and he was described as being of regular habits, temperate and of good conduct.[

Two and a half years after leaving the army, when he was 52 years old, Robert married 37-year-old spinster Betsy Waller at St Margaret's Church in Ditchling on 30 November 1895. They were both then living in Ditchling where Robert was working as a smith, and the two witnesses to their marriage were Mabel and Eliza Mustchin, who were Betsy's half-sisters. Betsy was the daughter of Thomas Russell Waller and his wife Ann; she had been born at Ditchling and baptised at St Margaret's Church in Ditchling on 3 May 1857. Betsy's father Thomas Russell Waller died in 1862, at the age of 27, and her mother then married Henry Mustchin in 1869.
Robert and Betsy didn't have any children. In the census of 31 March 1901 they were living in West Street at Ditchling and Robert was working as a blacksmith. Then in the census of 2 April 1911 they were living at Wynn's Place, West Street, Ditchling; Robert was now retired and described himself as an army pensioner. Living with them was 9-year-old William Hodges who was going to school and described as a boarder; he had been born in Brighton and it's thought that he was probably a foster child. Wynn's Place was also known as Wing's Place or The Old House and at this time was divided into four tenements.


Robert died at Ditchling on 7 January 1913, at the age of 69, and he was buried in St Margaret's Churchyard at Ditchling on 11 January 1913. His grave was later used for two more burials; on 8 December 1921 Ann Mustchin, who was Betsy's widowed mother and probably living with Betsy, was buried there. Then nine years later 16-year-old Daisy May Cotton was buried there on 27 December 1930 and a small headstone with the inscription: In loving memory of my dear foster daughter 'Molly' Daisy Mary Cotton who died 23rd Dec 1931 aged 16 now marks this grave; note that there are two errors on this headstone, the deceased second name should be May and the year should be 1930. As Betsy would have had her husband and mother buried in this grave it seem certain that it was Betsy who had Molly buried there, and that Molly was therefore Betsy's foster daughter. Molly was the illegitimate daughter of 36-year-old widow Agnes Cotton, who worked as a hotel cook; she had been born at 50 Park Street in Brighton on 7 August 1914, and died in Pouchlands House at East Chiltington, which was Chailey Union Workhouse then functioning as the local hospital."


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