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 2nd Lieut. S. Strong 90th MID for Khambula

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Drakewood



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PostSubject: 2nd Lieut. S. Strong 90th MID for Khambula   Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:53 am

Was wondering if any Khambula aficionados could help me out with some info regarding a young 90th 2nd Lieutenant who was MID for the action.
Situation is that I have a pair of medals to Major Sidney Strong 90th /Scottish Rifles who was killed in action 24th Jan. 1900 at Spion Kop. His first medal is the Zulu 1877-8-9 and I’ve always covered his early S.A. service in a few lines –
“served in the Gaika War of 1878, including the operations in the Peri Bush. He also served throughout the Zulu War of 1879 and was present in the engagements at Zungin Nek then at Khambula (where he was Mentioned in Despatches London Gazette 7th May 1879) and later at the Battle of Ulundi, where the Zulu impis proved no match to the Artillery field pieces and massed Martini-Henry”.
Having read details re Khambula and the sad exploits of 2nd Lieutenant Bright 90th on the forum, I’ve very belatedly wondered what Sidney Strong, a 20 year old 2nd Lieutenant, did to be mentioned in Col. Wood’s despatches??
Bright and Strong are exactly paralleled; same age, both Public School. both same class Sandhurst; both commissiond same date; both to S.A. with same draft.; both in the front line at Khambula Bright leads a bayonet charge at Khambula; Strong gets MID’d….Any ideas??

PS Was Bright MID Posthumously??
PPS If of interest, have a nice CDV of very young Strong with a great big ‘90’ on his cap, which came with the medals,

Mentioned in Despatches – L.G. 7th May 1879 – Battle of Khambula (Zulus)
Mentioned in Despatches – L.G. 1st February 1900 (Post.) - Battle of Spion Kop. (Boers)

Les Nicoll
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PostSubject: Re: 2nd Lieut. S. Strong 90th MID for Khambula   Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:05 pm

Hi Les

I would love to see the CDV of strong, could you post it on the forum?

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Naval & Military Gazette and Weekly Chronicle of the United Service 28 May 1879
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PostSubject: Re: 2nd Lieut. S. Strong 90th MID for Khambula   Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:17 pm

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Essex Standard 03 May 1879
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PostSubject: Re: 2nd Lieut. S. Strong 90th MID for Khambula   Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:42 pm

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Major Sydney Philip Strong - 2nd Scottish Rifles
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Drakewood



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PostSubject: Re: 2nd Lieut. S. Strong 90th MID for Khambula   Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:41 pm

Seems strange saying thanks to someone called '1879graves' but thanks it is. I honestly couldn't have wished for a better result. As I said in opening the topic, Strong and Bright's careers seem to run in parallel and I can easily imagine them as friends (or couldn't stand each other ?). Anyway, what a terrific story, that the 90th's two youngest subalterns should both conduct themselves equally, with such leadership and bravery at such a critical turning point in the battle - I find it hard to try and actually imagine the scene - two young lads ,inspiring hardened, veteran campaigners to follow where they led - fantastic.
Again, thanks for the extracts and the portrait - as for Strong's CDV, I'll try and post it on the Forum tomorrow but I'm utterly useless at I.T. - I may ask for some help as to how you do it.

Les Nicoll

PS. Illogical but it seems that both young men were destined to lie in South African soil.



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90th

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PostSubject: 2nd Lt S.Strong 90th MID for Kambula    Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:32 am

Drakewood
Thanks for sharing the story , I'd also like to see the cdv of Strong and a pic of his medals if you'd like to post them as well ? . I'm going to Spion Kop in May , I'll be happy to put a couple of pics on here if you'd like to see them ? , I to need to rely on someone posting them for me , I'm a caveman when it comes to I.T etc ! No No '

Graves well done again .
cheers 90th Salute
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PostSubject: Re: 2nd Lieut. S. Strong 90th MID for Khambula   Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:02 am

What appears to be contemporary illustrated newspaper photograph of him on [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

JY
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PostSubject: 2nd Lt S.Strong 90th MID for Kambula    Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:23 am

Nice one JY .
90th Salute
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PostSubject: Re: 2nd Lieut. S. Strong 90th MID for Khambula   Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:59 pm

2nd Lieut. Sidney Strong 90th [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.][You must be registered and logged in to see this link.][You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
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PostSubject: Re: 2nd Lieut. S. Strong 90th MID for Khambula   Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:15 pm

Drakewood,

Just for your information that is the uniform of the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst.

Hills & Saunders was one of the fashionable photographers both for Eton College and the troops garrisoned at Windsor.

JY
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PostSubject: Re: 2nd Lieut. S. Strong 90th MID for Khambula   Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:26 pm

MUST CONFESS I'M GETTING A BIT CHEESED OFF WITH THE FORUM - I MUST HAVE BEEN REQUSTED TO LOG IN ABOUT TWENTY TIMES TODAY AND JUST TRYING TO POST A REPLY IS A NIGHTMARE.
BELOW IS MY LATEST AND QUITE LIKELY MY FINAL ATTEMPT

Les Nicoll

Again, thanks to Graves for the later portrait – I do have the source, group photograph but I’d be interested to know how you isolated him in that pretty little ovoid.
Thanks to John Young – I do have that photograph lifted directly from the newspaper but yours is of a far superior quality.
To 90th , I did send this identical topic to you (you being a 90th man) via a PM six months ago but didn’t receive a reply. I and my beloved have, after HOURS of effort, managed to post images of Strong’s CDV – albeit a wee bit askew! ( I think she deserves a MID for putting up with my totally ineffectual “you don’t do it like that – you do it like this”)
Regards Spion Kop, I do have half a dozen other officers killed there so if they are close by Strong’s headstone maybe you could point your camera at them.
Pics of Strong’s medals will have to wait until my next visit to the bank.
I’ve (quickly) rehashed my original details re Strong’s Khambula exploits – a mixture of plagerism and Rudyard Kipling. – see below. I’m open to criticisms, sequence of events errors, additional info etc Etc


‘At 2.15, as the right horn made its withdrawal, the left horn and centre surged up out of the ravine, their leading warriors falling to crossfire from the laager and kraal as they came over the crest. However, more and more warriors swarmed on to the glacis between the cliff and the defenders, funnelling into the gap between the kraal and laager. The Zulus soon forced their way into the cattle Kraal and fought hand-to-hand with men of the 1/13th Company holding the position. The cattle in the kraal hampered both sides but with Zulu pressure mounting, the greatly outnumbered 13th men managed to extricate themselves and pull back to the redoubt. Zulu riflemen were now able to open fire from behind the walls of the kraal to give their advancing comrades cover. At about this time the right horn came on again from the north-east, charging across the north face of the redoubt towards the guns and the eastern sides of the laager.

Although now attacked on both sides, Colonel Wood appreciated that the situation to the south was critical and ordered two companies 90th Light Inf. to clear the Zulus off the glacis. Led by Major Hackett, men of the 90th formed in line with bayonets fixed and charged across the open ground, forcing the Zulus back over the rim. The troops then lined the crest and opened volley fire into the packed warriors in the ravine. Wood’s counter-attack had succeeded perfectly but Hackett's men suddenly found themselves under a heavy enfilade fire from their right, where Zulu marksmen had concealed themselves in a refuse pit and under the wagons in the laager.
Exposed in the open, men of the 90th began to fall, encouraging the Zulus in the ravine to charge again but this time along the narrow killing zone to the front of the laager. At this juncture some men of the 90th began to falter in the face of the onrushing hoards of screaming Zulu warriors - just an assegai thrust away.
It was then, at this critical moment, a young 90th subaltern, 2nd Lieutenant Sidney Strong, alone, leapt forward at the foremost Zulus, yelling for his men to follow him. With rage in their hearts, bayonets fixed and inspired by the youth’s fearless courage - follow him they did - to a man, stopping the Zulus in their tracks.
Had not the young subaltern blunted the enemy’s onslaught at that pivitol moment in the battle, would the impetous of the Zulu charge been sufficieny for it to have swept through the camp, as at Isandhlwana just a few weeks earlier, massacring then, over a thousand British souls? Who can tell?
Did Colonel Wood’s recognize the importence of the young subalter’s intervention at that critical moment or did he just recognize guts and bravery? Which ever way, he saw fit to mention the young man in his despatches, the highest accolade he could bestow at that time.
With casualties mounting rapidly Hackett sounded the 'Retire' and his men returned to the cover of the laager, but not before losing a colour-sergeant killed by a shot to the head, another young subaltern, 2nd Lieutenant Arthur Bright, grievously wounded, shot in both legs and himself receiving a blinding head wound. But now it was the onrushing Zulus who could not this time prevail against the controlled volleys from behind the wagons and the redoubt and were obliged to withdraw.

On the north side the Royal Artillery men fought their guns in the open, not taking cover, and poured round after round directly into the right horn. The Zulus charged again and again, with unwavering courage but the head of each charge was shot away and at about 5 pm Wood sensed the impetus was going out of their attacks. Two companies 90th moved to clear the kraal and lined the rim of the cliff with a further company to fire into the dead ground.
As soon as the Zulus began to pull away eastwards Woods ordered Buller, the commander of his mounted troops, to mount his men up and pursue. The Zulus were harried mercilessly for seven miles,
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PostSubject: Re: 2nd Lieut. S. Strong 90th MID for Khambula   Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:35 pm

There’s group photograph taken from 2nd Boer War publication in which he rates a mention.
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PostSubject: Re: 2nd Lieut. S. Strong 90th MID for Khambula   Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:08 pm

Hi Les
Many thanks for posting the CDV of Strong, they are fantastic.

Quote :
I’d be interested to know how you isolated him in that pretty little ovoid.
I did not, I took it off the web but cannot remember where.

Very much looking forward to seeing the Medals when you can.

Many thanks

Andy
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PostSubject: Re: 2nd Lieut. S. Strong 90th MID for Khambula   Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:10 pm

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The Sphere 24 February 1900
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PostSubject: 2nd Lt S.Strong 90th MID for Kambula    Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:09 am

Hi Drakewood
Sorry if I didnt reply , but I can't remember receiving a pm from you ? . Great pics you've posted .
90th Very Happy Salute Salute
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PostSubject: Re: 2nd Lieut. S. Strong 90th MID for Khambula   Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:03 pm

Hi 90th
Appologies for my churlish response to your offer to take a photo. of Major Strong’s grave at Spion Kop. I had a very frustrating battle with ‘the computer’ which to my chagrin, it, as usual, won. To be quite honest, I’m not actually aware if Strong has a marked grave/headstone.
I’ve added a couple of extracts, which seemed sufficient as regards his burial, which has always concluded my write-up.
Regards 2nd Lieut. Strong’s CDV which after hours of toil, still endrd up manky, Andy has kindly offered to place it on the Forum for me, so I’ll lias with him and see if we can add a photo of the medals as well.

Les

Extract from the diary of Major G.T.C. Carter-Campbell, Adjutant, 2nd Battalion, The Scottish Rifles

24th/25th January 1900
… “We soon got instructions to come up to the top of the hill. I saw six companies get into position; the two other companies were behind assisting to bring water up, which was badly wanted. The Colonel, Major Strong and I were lying quite close together and a shell came and wounded some men near us and presently another piece of which hit Major Strong and also another man who was lying on the other side of me. Major Strong seemed to be all right. However, I had to go back and look after the other two companies, so I told him I would send him a stretcher; I was some little time getting these last two companies together and into their places and then I took a stretcher up to the Major and had him carried away. The fire was getting very hot and we were losing men pretty heavily. However, we regained some of the trenches, which had been lost in the morning but lost some of our officers in doing so. Captain Murray was hit just as he was getting up to charge. He had already been wounded once in the arm – he was hit in several places. Captain Walker was killed as he was raising himself to shout to a young subaltern to get under cover. Osborne was hit right through the head as he was firing. It was the Boer artillery that was doing all the damage and we could not imagine what our gunners were doing not to knock them out but apparently they never located them all day…”

27th/29th January 1900
… “We remained at the same bivouac. On the 27th, Major Strong died in the Field Hospital quite close to us and we buried him the next day near our bivouac. I went to the hospital several times to see how the wounded fellows were getting on.”

…oooOOOooo…

Extract from the account of Pte. A. Lynch, 2nd Btn, Cameronians (Scottish Rifles),
Present at the Battle of Spion Kop 24th January 1900
….”We were now lying amongst the killed and wounded - it was pitiful! Some of the poor fellows had been lying there since morning in the burning sun and they were craving for water, and we freely gave them all we had in our bottles. One poor fellow who belonged to the Middlesex Regiment was shot in the neck while lying down, and the bullet went right down through his body. I can see him now lying there, saying he would not last much longer as he felt he was dying. The poor fellow died before we left the hill. While we were firing half-company volleys, a shell struck a rock about six yards to my right and a man named Montgomery was cut to pieces. My own feelings at this time were that I should never come off that hill alive, as it seemed almost impossible to escape. We kept up firing until dark, when Major Twyford shouted to all the troops on the hill to fix bayonets, loud enough for the Boers to hear. No doubt this had some effect on the Boers, as they had learned to fight shy of steel. We had settled down to hold the hill all night when, to our surprise, an order was quietly passed along the firing line by man to man to prepare to retire. It was now pitch dark. The Boers were still firing occasional shots, and just as we were retiring a young man named Gavin Smith was shot in the back. He dropped down with a groan, and Sergeant McDonald (my section sergeant) stayed with him until he saw it was impossible to bring him off the hill then. It was afterwards ascertained...that he had died.

……‘On 26th January, we buried Major S. P. Strong under a big tree. The whole battalion paraded, and it was a sad scene. Colonel Cook, who commanded the regiment, felt the loss of his second-in-command very keenly, and I noticed tears in his eyes; in fact, I felt like it myself as the burial service was being read by the chaplain’.
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PostSubject: 2nd Lt S.Strong 90th MID for Kambula    Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:24 am

Thanks Drakewood , very interesting reading . Salute . I always lose to the Computer , I've never had a win over it yet , and won't ! Suspect Suspect Suspect Suspect
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PostSubject: Re: 2nd Lieut. S. Strong 90th MID for Khambula   Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:07 pm

Photos from Les (Drakewood).

Many thanks for sharing them.

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PostSubject: 2nd Lt S.Strong 90th MID for Kambula    Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:40 am

Thanks Les for sharing the pics and Graves for posting them , as always it's much appreciated .
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