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 Captain Augustus William Morris, 58th (Rutlandshire) Regiment of Foot

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PostSubject: Captain Augustus William Morris, 58th (Rutlandshire) Regiment of Foot   Sat Apr 28, 2018 7:31 pm

Augustus William Morris was born at Pondicherry on 18 January 1845, son of the Reverend G. E. Morris. He was educated at Rugby, and went to the Royal Military College in February 1863 when aged 18. He passed out in June 1864, was commissioned Ensign in the 16th Regiment on 5 July 1864, and transferred to the 58th Regiment on 9 August 1864. He was promoted to Lieutenant in December 1869, became Adjutant in November 1872, and Captain in July 1878. During the Zulu war of 1879 he was present with the 2nd Battalion of his regiment at the battle of Ulundi on 4 July. He served with two companies of the 2nd Battalion during the 1st Boer War of 1880-81, and was severely wounded in the chest at Majuba Hill on 27 February 1881.  Carter, in 'A Narrative of the Boer War'. states: ‘For many hundreds of yards down the mountain-side we saw the bodies of our men who had been cut off in their flight. It seemed as if we were never going to get away from the scene of the carnage. At the base of the sugar-loaf hill which I have mentioned as a spot we had passed during the night march, an officer’s servant, coming after us, said that Captain Morris of the 58th was lying badly wounded a little to our right, so we turned to visit him. He was very weak and exhausted, but conscious, with a wound between the shoulder and the chest, which looked dangerously near the heart. He had heard our voices, and sent his servant to tell us he was there. We could do nothing for him to alleviate his pain, except promise to hurry to camp as fast as possible, and indicate to a party of bearers and the surgeons where he was. His faithful servant had rigged up the best cover he could make by the help of a coat and two sticks, and had propped the wounded man’s head upon a pillow made of sod. Poor Captain Morris had come out to his regiment, and had only joined it a few days before the fight. We never expected to see him back in camp alive, but spoke cheerfully, for he set us the example'.  Of the 58th, Captain Morris and Lieutenant Lucy were mentioned in despatches for conspicuous coolness during the last few eventful minutes on the hill before the retreat began. Out of the 350 men who reached the top of the Hill, 225 officers and men were either killed or wounded. Morris became Major on July 1881, and Lieutenant-Colonel in November 1890, when he was placed on Half Pay. He served on the Dress and Equipment Committee in 1891-92, and commanded the 1st Battalion of the Northamptonshire Regiment from 1890 to 1894.  Lieutenant-Colonel Morris served during the South African War, 1899-1901, as Assistant Adjutant General, 5th Division, and as Commandant at Durban. At Spion Kop, on 24 January 1900, he was attached to Major-General Coke’s staff and, at 8p.m., he conveyed personally to Major General Warren details of the critical situation on the hill; these harsh details were almost immediately confirmed by Lieutenant Winston Churchill. Morris subsequently commanded the Melmoth Field Force which operated in the area of Eshowe, thus securing the Zulu border. He was created a Companion of the Bath on 29 November 1900, and mentioned in despatches on 8 February 1901. Colonel Morris retired in 1902 and died on 12 January 1906.
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Army and Navy Gazette 03 March 1906
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Captain Augustus William Morris, 58th (Rutlandshire) Regiment of Foot
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