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 Richard Mansell ADAMS

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CathyW




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Richard Mansell ADAMS Empty
PostSubject: Richard Mansell ADAMS   Richard Mansell ADAMS EmptyWed May 13, 2020 11:53 am

Hi, all,
A very first post from a new member.
I am writing up a family history for a branch of the ADAMS family resident in Perth, Australia.  According to his obituary in the South Australian newspapers, he fought in the AZW.  Having read a few posts here already, I can see that this can’t always be relied upon…!
His name was Richard Mansell ADAMS or Richard Michael ADAMS; he may have been born in 1846 or 1848 in Queens County, Ireland.  We are sure he was born somewhere in Ireland.  He may have been in the 88th / Connaught Rangers at the time he was in South Africa.  He certainly was in Pietermaritzburg in 1877, as he was married there by the chaplain to Anna Catharine Johanna VOLSTEEDT on 13 September 1877.  Her family was for the most part based in the Cape, and we have no idea how she got to be in Natal!
It would be wonderful to be able to confirm that Richard M ADAMS did indeed fight as he claimed – the family history research I have done for this branch has turned up everything from accidental poisoning, unsuccessful and repeated litigation, drowning, several affairs, changes of name, and a cavalier disregard for accuracy….  Of course, it’s also interesting if he didn’t or exaggerated his service.
I’ll try to attach the Obituary and wedding record in case they are of help – the obit gives a lot of detail (and faulty spelling of place names).
Thank you,
CathyW

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John Young

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Richard Mansell ADAMS Empty
PostSubject: Re: Richard Mansell ADAMS   Richard Mansell ADAMS EmptyWed May 13, 2020 5:05 pm

CathyW,

I will say that he served in 11th Battery, 7th Brigade, Royal Regiment of Artillery, as his rank at the time of his wedding was that of Bombardier.

Bombardiers at that time wore one chevron as their insignia of rank, rather than the later designation of  two chevrons, as the Royal Artillery still had Corporals in 1879 who wore two chevrons.

In the ranks of 11th Battery, 7th Brigade were two men with the surname Adams:
Corporal 238 R. Adams and Bombardier 1711 M. Adams.  Both of these soldiers were awarded the South African General Service Medal with the clasp '1879'.

A section of two cannon manned by twenty-two members of the battery under the command of Lieutenant Wilford Neville Lloyd fought at the Battle of Nyezane on 22nd January 1879.  The section were subsequently besieged at the Mission Station at Eshowe from 23rd January 1879 until 3rd April 1879, which is consistent with the newspaper report above.

Now to solve which Adams is your man!

JY
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Richard Mansell ADAMS Empty
PostSubject: Re: Richard Mansell ADAMS   Richard Mansell ADAMS EmptyWed May 13, 2020 5:10 pm

Hi CathyW

Welcome to the forum.

There is a Corporal 238 Richard Adams list in the Medal Roll for the Royal Artillery 7th Brigade 11th Battery which did take part in the Zulu War.

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Hope this helps

Andy
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1879graves

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Richard Mansell ADAMS Empty
PostSubject: Re: Richard Mansell ADAMS   Richard Mansell ADAMS EmptyWed May 13, 2020 5:11 pm

Sorry JY

Our posts Crossed

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Richard Mansell ADAMS Empty
PostSubject: Re: Richard Mansell ADAMS   Richard Mansell ADAMS EmptyWed May 13, 2020 5:41 pm

Hi Andy,

My version of the Medal Roll is playing up, where and when was 11/7's roll produced?

It could hold the key to the discharge in the Cape.

JY
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Richard Mansell ADAMS Empty
PostSubject: Re: Richard Mansell ADAMS   Richard Mansell ADAMS EmptyWed May 13, 2020 6:18 pm

Hi JY

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Richard Mansell ADAMS Empty
PostSubject: Re: Richard Mansell ADAMS   Richard Mansell ADAMS EmptyWed May 13, 2020 6:34 pm

Cheers Andy,

There was I was hoping it was not the Cape.

However, there is an Assistant Commissary R.M. Adams, Ordnance Department on the Cape of Good Hope General Service Medal Roll, with the bar for the Transkei, which fits with the obituary posted above by CathyW.

JY
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Richard Mansell ADAMS Empty
PostSubject: Re: Richard Mansell ADAMS   Richard Mansell ADAMS EmptyWed May 13, 2020 8:43 pm

CathyW,

There are five records in the National Archives of South Africa held in the Cape Town Records Office relating to Richard Mansell Adams.  The insolvency case is amongst them.

JY
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CathyW




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Richard Mansell ADAMS Empty
PostSubject: Re: Richard Mansell ADAMS   Richard Mansell ADAMS EmptyThu May 14, 2020 12:45 am

Oh, wow - you guys are great! I knew this was the right place to ask!!
Just wish I didn't have to go to work today - the past is calling...
Yes, I have the NAAIRS references (they pretty much put paid to the family's belief that the sons inherited shares in a South African gold mine...). Richard Mansell ADAMS appears to have been quite good at putting on a gloss on many things, hence the need to check and check again. The idea was that they left for Australia because he chose to take the position - rather than because he needed to escape creditors! Fortunately the family is very receptive to anything I find.
I need to go away and try to understand the branches of the services a bit better I think (need a Dummies' Guide to the 19thC British Armed Forces) - but I really appreciate the information thus far!
CathyW
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Richard Mansell ADAMS Empty
PostSubject: Re: Richard Mansell ADAMS   Richard Mansell ADAMS EmptyThu May 14, 2020 9:25 am

Hi CathyW,

The Royal Collection Trust has a photograph of Lieutenant Lloyd online, see you can see the Section’s commander.

I have some engravings of the siege of Eshowe, one of which includes one of 11/7’s cannon.  Please pm me if those are of any use in adding to Richard’s background.

JY
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CathyW




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Richard Mansell ADAMS Empty
PostSubject: Re: Richard Mansell ADAMS   Richard Mansell ADAMS EmptyThu May 14, 2020 2:27 pm

Hi, again,

Prepare for some ignorant questions!

First of all, thank you John for that information about RMA probably being in the 11th Battery, 7th Brigade, Royal Regiment of Artillery. So, Bombardiers (which sound very important a lay person) are lower than a Corporal, but equal to or higher than a Private?

And – what is an Assistant Commissary? Sounds like food, so would it be logistics? He was a clerk in later periods of his life.

One of the great-great-grandsons served in the Australian Army, so I am sure would be very interested in knowing more about the cannon they would have used, thank you!

I do know a little about the Zulu War and have been to Isandhlwana a couple of times, ditto Rorke’s Drift, Eshowe, Fort Durnford, Ulundi etc, but it was all over quarter of a century ago now and I’m sure I never really understood the more technical military elements…. Nonetheless I can picture something of what he went through at least as far as the scenes and the immense challenges. Of course, he’d been in India, too, but this! Even now, Isandhlwana has a different atmosphere to the surrounding countryside, imo.

Andy, may I share that cutting from the Medal Roll in the history I’m doing for the family, if it’s proven that’s the correct Richard Adams? It’s not for commercial publication, just for the family.

I wonder how long he had in Cape Town before coming up to Natal? Do you know, I have no idea how the troops would have travelled – did they sail to Durban? (No rolling of eyes!)

Thank you for your help,
CathyW
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1879graves

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Richard Mansell ADAMS Empty
PostSubject: Re: Richard Mansell ADAMS   Richard Mansell ADAMS EmptyThu May 14, 2020 3:23 pm

Hi CathyW

Yes you are more than welcome to use the cutting of the Medal roll, it does not have any copyright to it.

Andy
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Richard Mansell ADAMS Empty
PostSubject: Re: Richard Mansell ADAMS   Richard Mansell ADAMS EmptyThu May 14, 2020 8:22 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
The Graphic, 31st May 1879.

CathyW,

The engraving of one of 11/7’s cannon, looks like the driver on the limber has definitely been in lockdown.  Given the prevalence of disease at Eshowe, I suppose it is understandable.

A Bombardier in 1879, was the junior non-commissioned officer’s rank in the Artillery, the equivalent in the infantry of the line was the appointment of Lance-Corporal.  So between his marriage and the issue of the Medal Roll he had been promoted.

An Assistant Commissary did indeed deal with stores, in Richard’s case this was ordnance - artillery shells etc & etc.  That was an officer’s rank.

I hope that clarifies things a little?

I see what I have the Battery’s movements prior to the Zulu War.  For the campaign itself Lloyd’s section was assigned to No. 1 Column which crossed the Thukela (Tugela) River near to its estuary with Indian Ocean.  The remainder of the battery four cannon served in No. 4 Column on what was the border of Zululand and the Transvaal.

JY
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CathyW




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Richard Mansell ADAMS Empty
PostSubject: Re: Richard Mansell ADAMS   Richard Mansell ADAMS EmptySun May 17, 2020 1:21 pm

Hi, again,
I have shared your insights and knowledge and have consequently been bathing in reflected glory as the distant cousins digest the new information!

We believe that the writer of the newspaper article - which was never meant to be an obituary, but Richard ADAMS died two days after the interview - must have seen some sort of service record, to have had so many details.  What is particularly interesting is that the family has a very strong belief, across all branches, that Richard Mansell ADAMS' real name was Michael O'Toole, that his mother married an abusive man, Michael/Richard finally assaulted his stepfather thoroughly and fled Ireland via joining the Army and changing his name.  So the Michael ADAMS with a discharge at the Cape, would particularly match up on two counts.  

Now, one of the cousins has argued that Richard ADAMS "was never a commissioned officer but a senior non-commissioned one (once he got to Sydney) and a more junior army man in South Africa and India. In his assistant ordnance role, certainly the person in charge of artillery shells would have been an (commissioned) Officer- ie Captain or Lieutenant?".  Any opinion on that one? (I'm not sure there is documentation to support the idea that he was never a commissioned officer.)

According to the obit, he was promoted to Sergeant and posted to Shoeburyness for gunnery course and then placed in charge of a citadel in Portsmouth with secondment to Channel Islands.  A citadel??! (I keep thinking of the Salvation Army...)  Surely that's rather important?  Is he exaggerating?  Or  does it fit quite happily in a military service sense with his (possible) rank and occupation in the time of the Zulu War?  Again - excuse my abysmal ignorance of these military matters.

Thanks again for the help - I did acknowledge that I hadn't found out any of the above on my own!!
CathyW
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