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» About the second invasion
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» Letter of officer during Zulu wars.
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» Bearing The Cross by Ken Blakeson | BBC RADIO DRAMA: Ken Blakeson's play tells the story of the Battle of Rorke's Drift and the effect it had on three of the soldiers who fought in it.
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 Cpl John Lyons

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Bill8183




Posts : 158
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Location : Sunderland

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PostSubject: Cpl John Lyons   Cpl John Lyons EmptySun Sep 13, 2020 1:00 am

Cpl John Lyons (wounded in the neck at RD) had previous service in the 57th & 63rd Regts.
Does any one have any info on whether he was discharged before joining the 24th?
I ask this because he is listed as a recruit in the 24th Bde Depot under troops allocated to the 25th Bde enlisting at Cardiff on pay 24-27 Jan 1877 before going to 25th Bde Depot as 25B/1112.
This would suggest he re-engaged.
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Herbie




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PostSubject: Re: Cpl John Lyons   Cpl John Lyons EmptySun Sep 13, 2020 8:47 am

Hi Bill
All I’ve got further is Greaves Rorkes Drift which says he Attested 28/1/77 posted to 1/24th transferred to 2/24th 22/2/77. I presume being attested again implies he had been discharged after previous service. Greaves says he was appointed L/Cpl 13/1/77 but is this a typo as it is before his attestation date? He was then promoted Cpl 26/11/77 so presumably recognition of his ability following his previous service.
Regards
Phil
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Kenny




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PostSubject: Re: Cpl John Lyons   Cpl John Lyons EmptySun Sep 13, 2020 3:40 pm

Bill,

The notes I have:

Enlisted c. June 1864. Attested c. June 1864 for the 57th Foot serving for 6 years. Served New Zealand c.1865-67. Served in India 4 years. Transferred to 63rd Foot, served for 4 years 4 months less desertion for 7 months. Transferred to 25th Brigade date not traced. Posted to 1st/24th Foot no date. Appointed Lance/Corporal 13/1/1877. Transferred to 2nd/24th Foot 22/2/1877.

New Zealand Medal 1845-66

One of the few defenders who already had a campaign medal.
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ADMIN

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PostSubject: Re: Cpl John Lyons   Cpl John Lyons EmptyMon Sep 14, 2020 9:30 am

There's further information on link below. That might be interesting to some members.

Click Here

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Bill8183




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PostSubject: Re: Cpl John Lyons   Cpl John Lyons EmptyMon Sep 14, 2020 7:49 pm

Evening gents,

To clarify, this is the information I have gleaned from the pay books:

Enlisted Cardiff 24/01/1877 24th Bde Depot 24-27/01/1877 (WO 12/10243 Pg 44) Remarks column: to 25 Bde 28 Jany

25th Bde Depot 28/01877-21/02/1877 WO 12/10247 Jan-Mar Quarter Pg 32d Remarks: To 2/24th 22 Feb

2/24th 25B/1112 From 25 Bde 22 Feb    22/02/1877-31/03/1877 WO 12/4157 Pg 42

2/24th Pte 01/10/1877-12/11/1877 Pg 34
          L/Cpl 13/11/1877-25/11/1877 L/Cpl vice Dick Pg 15
          Cpl 26/11/1877-31/03/1878  Cpl vice Cronin Pg 12              WO 16/1579 Oct 1877-Mar 1878 Quarter

@ Herbie, obviously a typo in Greaves.

@ Kenny not sure where the information came from which states he went to the first Battalion. The 57th were in New Zealand January 1861-April 1867 before returning to the UK then to Ireland in September 1871
The 63rd were in Ireland from August 1867-November 1870 before going to India until 1882.
It's possible he transferred over to the 63rd to increase their establishment for India, the dates are about right. When I next get a chance I will try to search the 63rd's paylist around 74/75 to see if he discharged. I will also try to see if his service record survived on Findmypast.
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gardner1879

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PostSubject: Re: Cpl John Lyons   Cpl John Lyons EmptyFri Jul 08, 2022 6:21 pm

"BELATED CLAIM TO V.C. NEWPORT HERO OF RORKE'S DRIFT DIES UNKNOWING.
Newport sympathisers are making a claim to the War Office for a Victoria Cross on behalf of Corporal J. Lyons, late of the South Wales Borderers, for conspicuous bravery at Rorke's Drift 44 years ago. Lyons is said to be on the Horse Guards' roll of Victoria Cross heroes, but has never received the award.
A pathetic feature in connection with the matter is that the gallant old soldier died at Newport on Wednesday without knowing the result of the belated claim. He enlisted in the 57th Foot of the old " Die-hards " in June, 1864, served in New Zealand through the Maori war in 1865-6-7, and after a subsequent short stay in England volunteered fur service with the 63rd Foot in India and later joined the 24th Foot (South Wales Borderers). He was present at the battles of 'Haynes Hill, Rubula Heights and Perie Bush in the Kaffir war in South Africa. When the Zulu war broke out he embarked for Durban and marched from there to Pietermaritzburg and on to Rorke's Drift where, on January 22. 1879, he was wounded in the neck by a bullet. He continued to fight and to serve out ammunition in spite of his wound. He was 78 years of age and leaves; a widow, two sons (both of whom are in Australia), and two daughters. The funeral will take place from Oxford street, Newport. Saturday morning next."

Western Mail - Thursday 03 May 1923
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Eddie




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PostSubject: Re: Cpl John Lyons   Cpl John Lyons EmptySat Jul 23, 2022 3:03 am

Is it at all possible that there may have been a 12th VC awarded to his family at a later date. As anyone researched this, considering it is mentioned that he may have been on the Horse Guards Roll in London.
Perhaps proved to be another Lyons.
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Eddie




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PostSubject: Re: Cpl John Lyons   Cpl John Lyons EmptySat Jul 23, 2022 1:46 pm

This is Cpl Lyons storey - Taken from the Cambrian 13th June 1879.
It is evident that Cpl John Lyons was in the thick of it,with and along side Cpl Allen and Hitch.

I belong to B Company of 2-24th, under Lt Bromhead. I went up to Greytown with Pte Hitch, who was one of the same Company. We arrived at Rorke's Drift about Jan 5th. I saw Pte Evans, of the Mounted Infantry, riding up at full gallop, without either coat or cap on, and I of course thought something was up.
Hitch by this time reported that the Zulus were in sight, and we were scarcely finished before they were upon us. We Were told not to fire without orders. This I suppose was to make sure that the advancing force was really Zulu. Only a few seconds elapsed before the real character of it was made known to us.
The Zulus did not shout, as they generally do, but, after extending and forming a half moon, they steadily advanced and kept up a tremendous fire.
I took up position to check the fire from the enemy's right flank, as it was thought the crack shots would go up there. Cpl Allen and several men were with me, and we all consider we did a good service. Lt Bromhead was on the right face, firing over the mealies with a Martini-Henry, Mr Chard was also very busy. I only turned around once to see this, and in that brief interval I saw Private Cole shot and he fell dead.
Seeing this I kept myself more over the bags, knowing that the shot which hit him had came over our heads, and I was determined to check this flank firing as much as possible.
I became thus more exposed and so did Cpl Allen. We fired many shots, and I said to my comrades, 'They (the Zulus) are falling fast' over there; and he replied 'yes; we are giving it to them' I saw many Zulus killed on the hill. About half past seven, as near as I can tell, after we had been fighting between two and three hours,I received a shot through the right side of my neck.
The ball lodged in my back, striking the spine, and was not extracted till five weeks afterwards.
My right arm was partially disabled. I said, give it to Allen, I am done; I am dying; and he replied 'alright Jack; and while I was speaking to him I saw a hole in the right sleeve of his jacket, and I said 'Allen are you shot; and he replied 'yes; goodbye; he walked away blood running down from his arm, and he helped to serve ammunition all night.
All I could do as I was lying on the ground was to encourage the men, and I did so as long as I was able to open my mouth.
Every man fought dearly for his life, but we were all determined to sell our lives like soldiers, and keep up the credit of our regiment.
Dr Dalton, who has since received a commission, deserved any amount of praise.
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Eddie




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PostSubject: Re: Cpl John Lyons   Cpl John Lyons EmptySat Jul 23, 2022 2:27 pm

I suspect the Newport sympathisers were referring to John Lyons VC of County Carlow 1824- 20April 1867, as John Lyons of Newport was also from Ireland.
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Eddie




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PostSubject: Re: Cpl John Lyons   Cpl John Lyons EmptySat Jul 23, 2022 4:31 pm

You can see in the Admin link above a photo of John Lyons in 1916 when he was a member of the recruiting staff at Newport.
If you look carefully you can see that he is not looking up for the photo, where everyone else is. This is probably as a result of the injury to his neck sustained at Rorke's Drift.
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Cpl John Lyons   Cpl John Lyons EmptySun Aug 14, 2022 12:24 pm

Bill
LYONS
Aug 1863 Joined the Hanbury Corps of the Monmouthshire Rifle Volunteers
June 1864 attested 57th Regt.
1867x1869 transferred to 63rd Regt.
1874 transferred to 25th Brigade and posted to 1/24th (no. 1112). 13.1.1877 L-Corp.
22.2.1877 transferred to 2/24th B coy.
26.11.1877 Corp.
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Bill8183




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PostSubject: Re: Cpl John Lyons   Cpl John Lyons EmptySun Aug 14, 2022 6:12 pm

Thanks Julian,

Though I would respectfully have to disagree with some of the replies above.

I have investigated the 57th and 63rd Regt's list and have the following to add to my post of 14/09/2020 (sorry it took so long).

WO 12/6691 57th Regt (20th Depot Bn @ Cork) enlisted 08/06/1864 Liverpool District age 20 yrs height 5 ft 5.1/4 inches.
On payment of Depot from 12/06/1864-02/02/1865 To Service Companies 03/02/1865 Regt number 57/858

WO 12/6698 57th Regt @ Devonport Transferred to 63rd Regt 31/05/1870

WO 12/7301 63rd Regt @ Kinsale and Cork Volunteer from 57th Regt. Regt number 63/1580

WO 12/7305 63rd Regt @ Jhansa India To England 16/11/1974

The Apr/Jun 1871 Qtr pay-list of the 63rd Regt indicates that he forfeited 4 years and 187 days whilst in the 57th due to Court Martial or desertion. Date of sentence 13/07/1869

I have not looked at the Monmouth Militia lists yet, just Brecon Militia, thanks for the heads up. I wonder why he joined in Liverpool (how big was their recruiting area)? Could he have been trying to hide his Militia service?

As my above entry says, the pay-lists state he joined the 24th Bde in January 1877 and thence the 25th Bde. There is no posting to the 1st Bn. (There were two John Lyons in the 1st Bn, one was KIA at Isandlwana, the other died at Milbank prison in 1876)
His service number alone would show he could not possibly have joined the 24th Regt in 1874 (ranged from 25B/51-539 for that year).

As stated the date of promotion is 13/11/1877 not 13/1/1877

I will have to look again at the Netley registers for 1874/75 as all I have copied has been for the 24th Regt.

Bill


Last edited by Bill8183 on Sun Aug 14, 2022 7:54 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Incorrect date to Service Companies)
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Cpl John Lyons   Cpl John Lyons EmptySun Aug 14, 2022 10:23 pm

Bill
The 1870 date is good and works for me.
I'll get back to you over the 1874 date if I may (via a pm).
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