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 William Papworth. Alan Gardner's servant.

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gardner1879

gardner1879

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William Papworth. Alan Gardner's servant. Empty
PostSubject: William Papworth. Alan Gardner's servant.   William Papworth. Alan Gardner's servant. EmptySun Feb 28, 2021 11:37 am

William Papworth Was Alan Gardner’s servant in Zululand. He was killed when the camp was overrun.
Contrary to documents and newspapers at the time his surname was Papworth and not Popworth.

Richard Onslow (Alan’s nephew):-

“I had accompanied my mother (Florence, Alan’s sister) to see my grandmother (Julia, Alan’s mother) in Dover Street, and I remember their anxious faces and eager questions.  My uncle’s fate was unknown, but they knew that ‘Papworth’ was killed.  I did not know who ‘Papworth’ was, and asked.  I was told he was my uncle’s servant.”
(Rifle and Spear with the Zulu page 175 ISBN 978-1-9999587-0-1)


Interestingly there did seem to be a Popworth in service as a General Order dated the 3rd February stated ‘Temporary Clerk Popworth resigned 24th January 1879’
(p180 Local General Orders relating to the Anglo Zulu War of 1879 by Keith Smith ISBN 1-905265-28-X)


The first Alan mentions his servant is in the long letter he writes home to his father that is published in the newspapers:-
My poor servant Papworth was killed, although, having one of my horses, I hoped he would have got off.”
(P182 Rifle and Spear with the Zulu 26th January 1879)


I do wonder if perhaps Papworth did get out of the camp and was killed on the Fugitives Trail as there is a tantalising little statement made by A.N. Montgomery when he visits the battlefield 6 months later:-

“Ascending a slope, I picked up some letters belonging to a cavalry officer on special service, who had escaped, one an Oxford boat builder’s bill, unreceipted !”

This has to be Alan but why would he take lots of personal correspondence with him when he left with Chelmsford that morning and I doubt he would have had time to start gathering things from his tent during the battle.What also intrigues me, apart from when he was 9 years old, he shows no interest of following his brother and great grandfathers footsteps into the navy, nor does he show any interest in boats in later life. And why have an Oxford boat builders receipt in South Africa!!!
Perhaps Papworth snatched up a lot of paperwork from Alan’s tent and tried to escape on his spare horse but was killed on the Fugitives trail.

After his wound bravely defending the camp at Kambula he writes this in a letter to his favourite sister Evie:-

29th April letter  to his sister Evie from Kambula.
"I think I ought to put up a tomb-stone, or whatever you call it to poor Papworth.  Poor fellow, he has very little of that sort of thing where he is lying at present – and forms a very fine skeleton till that far off day when we shall return and bury our dead.  But I think a small tablet might be put up in his parish church, or somewhere, with an inscription to say he was killed fighting at the battle of Islandwana in South Africa, and that it was put up in memory of a faithful servant by me.  Something short and quiet, and not an advertisement of myself.  I sent  my mother some details of his accounts, and also a letter from which his relations’ address could be gathered.  I also enclosed a savings bank book and think £25 more will be over that I owed him.  Whether I should have to do anything more for his relations I do not know.  Of course if he had any dependent on him, I must, but I think the subject should be properly enquired into, as with every desire to be generous, I think it would be very wrong to allow oneself to be a milch-cow for some drunken scoundrel, when ever he was hard up for beer money, and this is the very thing which would delight the tender heart of my mother, too delighted to do what she thought was a good act.  
The best way would be to write a note to the clergyman of his friend’s parish, and enquire about their character and means, and whether they received any support from their son.  It ought to be done at once. – and might mention I wish to put up a memorial stone in the Church.
Love to you all,
Yrs, affectly
Alan Gardner
(p220 Rifle and Spear with the Zulu)"


But who was William Papworth?
We know he was a ‘civil’ servant. Alan was serving with the Derbyshire Yeomanry at the time of his call up so was Papworth a Derbyshire local, an old retired 14th Hussar or a member of staff from Stansted Hall? Alan did not suffer fools gladly and so Papworth must have been quite an intelligent, switched on character for Alan to want him to go out to South Africa with him.
I would love to have more information about William Papworth and its a bit of a Holy Grail for me to find  out ,if a plaque ever was put up, where it is. His mother Julia was an extremely generous woman and I can’t imagine her not answering Alan’s wishes for a memorial.

I would be really grateful if anyone has any more information about William Papworth if they could post it up here or send me a private pm.
Thank you  
Kate Very Happy


Last edited by gardner1879 on Thu Apr 01, 2021 4:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

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William Papworth. Alan Gardner's servant. Empty
PostSubject: Re: William Papworth. Alan Gardner's servant.   William Papworth. Alan Gardner's servant. EmptySun Feb 28, 2021 12:37 pm

Kate while looking through the files for info on the missing colours I came across this.
http://teesdalemercuryarchive.org/pdf/1879/March-26/March-26-1879-03.pdf

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90th

90th

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William Papworth. Alan Gardner's servant. Empty
PostSubject: William Papworth ; Alan Gardner's Servant    William Papworth. Alan Gardner's servant. EmptySun Feb 28, 2021 1:34 pm

Hi Frank
Harbor / Huber etc , him pulling the staff out the water is in Harford's Zulu War Journal by Daphne Child
90th Salute
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gardner1879

gardner1879

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William Papworth. Alan Gardner's servant. Empty
PostSubject: Re: William Papworth. Alan Gardner's servant.   William Papworth. Alan Gardner's servant. EmptySun Feb 28, 2021 1:45 pm

Smashing thanks for that Frank. Salute
Yes thats an extract from the private letter written home to his father and which formed the basis for the push for him being awarded the V.C. in England.
Its not, as I think I've seen it written somewhere a while ago, a letter to Colonel Glyn. There are no commas so it reads:-
"a private letter of Alan Gardner, Staff Officer to Colonel Glyn, who arrived at the Isandula camp..."
It is all in the commas.

Kate Very Happy
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

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William Papworth. Alan Gardner's servant. Empty
PostSubject: Re: William Papworth. Alan Gardner's servant.   William Papworth. Alan Gardner's servant. EmptyMon Mar 01, 2021 6:31 am

Morning Kate
I had no doubt that you had/knew of, the letter but its that opening paragraph that tends to be overlooked that is so important. Possibly the discussions we have had of line, about the good Captains influence on the mounted men, is re enforced to a great degree? Or am I throwing spears at windmills? Very Happy
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gardner1879

gardner1879

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William Papworth. Alan Gardner's servant. Empty
PostSubject: Re: William Papworth. Alan Gardner's servant.   William Papworth. Alan Gardner's servant. EmptyThu Mar 11, 2021 12:07 pm

Post taken from another Topic 'Gardner's Escort' a question by Weekend Warrior about the possibility of William having gone out with Alan and Chelmsford that morning. These are my thoughts:-

It is an interesting point you make about about William being out with Alan that morning.
In Rifle and Spear I use a little artistic licence and write a short fictional piece about Alan shaking hands with William before he rides off into the mist with Chelmsford's column on that fateful morning and I've always assumed that William remained in the camp.
He was a civilian, not mounted infantry,so I don't think he would have gone out with a fighting force. Other aids of senior officers, such as Private John William's, Glyn's groom were left behind.
However as we know so little about him, he could have been a retired Hussar or trooper from the Derbyshire Yeomanry that Alan got to know during his stint with them. If he was he may have been more likely to have gone out with them to 'have a  bash'.

Alan makes no mention of William being with him out at Mgogo and as soon as Alan returns all hell breaks lose and I think its highly likely he never saw him again.
As a civilian he would certainly not have been with Alan when he took Bradstreet's men out in his gallant action to shore up the British right flank nor when he valiantly tried to pull a scratch force together and get through to Lord Chelmsford.
I can imagine Alan, that morning,telling him to look after his tent and spare horses and that was the last he saw of him.

Although I can't prove it 100%, I would say there's more than a fair chance he was left behind in the camp.
Unless more information comes to light we will just have to speculate.

I have moved this reply here to keep all the Papworth information on one thread.
Kate Very Happy
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gardner1879

gardner1879

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William Papworth. Alan Gardner's servant. Empty
PostSubject: Re: William Papworth. Alan Gardner's servant.   William Papworth. Alan Gardner's servant. EmptyThu Apr 01, 2021 2:58 pm

I've being doing some more research trying to track down William and have come across three possible leads.
The first two are because of an artillery/India link with Alan being a gunner in the Bombay artillery

1/ There was a William Papworth Royal Artillery who married  Mary Anne Richardson  (Indo British 14 years old) on the 5th May 1846. at the Chaplain station Archdeacon of Madras. He lived in Bangalore and had a child Frederick William Papworth born 24th Jan 1847 Madras.

2/William Papworth a farm Labourer from Common Farm Elsworth, Caxton, Cambridge born 1843 aged 18 Joined the Royal Artillery  in November 1861. F504 fresh complexion blue eyes, brown hair.
Brother Charles b1847 sister Emma born 1845. The father was an Agricultural Labourer but they do have a house keeper.
Witness at his military attestation was Alfred Blyth. N.O.K. was his brother either Charles from London or Charles London.
His fathers name William Papworth of Cambridge
Tantalisingly William Papworth was a gunner in India from the 28th July 62 to the 24th Nov 1867 then 15th June 68-16th Dec 1869. The first spell being the same time as Alan was there as a gunner.
Served in the Abyssinian Campaign 67-68
He was discharged from the army on the  28th Nov 1882 with his place of intended residence being Collingwood Cottages, Lee?
Did Alan get to know him and his family and take one of his relatives on as a servant?

The lead that got me the most excited was that in the 1841 census:-
3/ William Papworth (dead by 1871) from Back Lane, Cotternham, Chesterton, Cambridge, a farmer married Elizabeth with their children being Ann, Mary, Betsy, Charles and William ( who was 7 in 1841)
By the 1871 census the son William Papworth was at Lodge House, Great Bardfield, Dunmow Essex  (now aged 36 1835 born Cottenham, Cambridgeshire) and  was a Farm Bailiff on a farm of 500 acres employing 17 men and 5 boys, with his wife Susan age 35 born 1836 Suffolk and daughter Ann Elizabeth Papworth age 1
By 1881 the family including William (hopes dashed. I thought Alan may have taken him) was at Little Hyde Inglestone, Essex
plus a 9 year old son George.
The Gardner's lived at Stansted Hall, Essex  only a few miles down the road from Dunmow from 1877
to 1883. Was Alan introduced to one of William the bailiffs relatives as a good servant?
(Alan and Nora moved to Newton Hall, Dunmow in 1885)

There are a lot of William Papworths out there and most of them are from Cambridge or Hertford and are either publicans, farm labourers, butchers and other common trades. Many often end up drunk, getting into bother and ending up in court.
Interestingly in a letter to his mother in 1873 Alan states:-
"I dare say Herbert has told you the bother I had with my brute of a groom getting drunk. I think however he has had a rather unpleasant time of it since so I intend keeping him on for the present as he will probably do very well for some time to come"
Is this William?

In relation to a memorial being made for him by Alan's mother this is the only Papworth grave location I can find. Its at Christchurch Cambridge, though it looks rather expensive for a farm labourer or butcher.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

William Papworth died 29th November 1846. Son of William and Elizabeth Papworth.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

On the same memorial William Papworth died 31st October 1860.

The investigation continues.
Kate Very Happy
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WeekendWarrior

WeekendWarrior

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William Papworth. Alan Gardner's servant. Empty
PostSubject: Re: William Papworth. Alan Gardner's servant.   William Papworth. Alan Gardner's servant. EmptyThu Apr 01, 2021 8:51 pm

I'm working on Papworth as well. I'm curious if they served together at some point- I asked a friend to see if he could find military records on him in the 11th or 14th.
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gardner1879

gardner1879

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William Papworth. Alan Gardner's servant. Empty
PostSubject: Re: William Papworth. Alan Gardner's servant.   William Papworth. Alan Gardner's servant. EmptyThu Apr 01, 2021 10:28 pm

Mike
The 11th Hussars records are kept by the Horsepower Museum in Winchester who were very helpful when I was researching Rifle and Spear. The 14th Hussar archives were originally kept at the Museum of Lancashire who weren't very helpful. They have subsequently given all their 14th/20th Hussar records to the Horsepower museum. When I spoke to Elliot at Horsepower about gaining access to them he said that a huge pile of documents had been 'dumped' on them from Lancashire and it would take at least a year to sort them out. They probably would have had them done if Covid hadn't hit. Once they are open again I will be straight down there.
Kate Very Happy
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