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 Howard Molyneux Edward Brunker

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PostSubject: Howard Molyneux Edward Brunker   Howard Molyneux Edward Brunker EmptyThu Jun 16, 2022 11:05 am

As I mentioned him briefly in another thread, here are some more details about Howard

Howard Molyneux Edward Brunker was born on the 9th February 1844 in Limerick. He was the son of Samuel Robert Brunker
On the 10th August 1870 at Fryzebad, India he married the 22 year old Ann Thomas, daughter of Robert Mosily Thomas.

4th July 1860  Gentleman Cadet Brunker from the  Royal Military College was made ensign without purchase in the 15th Foot vice Shaw who was promoted to the Military Train
Lieutenant 23rd December 1864. By 1864 he was with the 26th Foot and in February 1865 as a Lieutenant was made Adjutant. Captain 23rd May 1877, Brevey Major 29th November 1879, Major 1st July 1881. Lieut.Col 1890

During is military career he served in the 15th Foot; 26th Foot and 2nd Scottish Rifles. He served as Adjutant with the 26th Cameronians during the Abyssinian campaign receiving the campaign mendal Medal and for the South Africa campaign recieved a Medal and with Clasp and in 29th November 1879 Brevet of Major.

This is the despatch (15 March 1879 p2206/7) in which he is mentioned. It makes interesting reading:-

SIR,
Camp White, Umfelozi River,
2lst January, 1879.
I HAVE the honour to report that at 4 a.m.yesterday, Mr. Pict Uyrs kindly sent eight of his Dutch Burghers to reconnoitre the top of Zingan Mountain. At 9 a.m., in accordance with instructions,     I started on patrol, with the force detailed in the margin.* Crossing the Umfelosi River by an indifferent drift, about two miles above Mount Inseki, I moved towards Mabomba's Kraal, round the south-east spur of Zingan. About seven miles from the river Mr. Uy's' men, who were reconnoitering the left, found about 50 armed Zulus in a kraal of Seketwayo, under the side of Zingan,leaving the kraal the Kafirs at once took to the rocks. An engagement ensued, during which I reinforced the Burghers with 20 dismounted men under Captain Brunker.
Twelve Kafirs were I know killed, and I think a few more. One man, F. L. H., was wounded with an assegai thrown by a wounded Kafir, and another had a narrow escape. We found four
guns and a good many assegais, all of which I had broken, but I did not search the ground thoroughly as I did not think the risk of getting men stabbed by wounded Kafirs worth the result.
About this time two of Mr. Uys' men came to us and reported a commando of Kafirs on the top of Zingan. Ascending the mountain by a difficult stony cattle track, we found the report was      quite true, as the rocky ridges were lined with Kafirs. I endeavoured to cross the upper plateau in order to get a view of Mabomba's Kraal from above, but the hill was too strongly held for us to force it. With the view of ascertaining the full strength of the enemy who were coming down to attack us in three columns, I seized a small stony koppie and commenced an engagement with the centre column. Our fire soon drove them to cover with a loss of about eight dead (seen a' good many more reported), but meanwhile we were completely outflanked on our right by some 300 Kafirs who crept round among the stones and kraantzes of the ridge, and our left by some 400 men, boldly moved in tolerable order across the open ground about a mile off.
I accordingly decided to withdraw. In doing so one man F. L. H. was wounded and two men bit by spent balls, and the horse of Mr. Raymond,a bugler, was hit. The Kafirs pursued us tothe Umfelosi River in force, and about 100 crossed the drifts; but having then secured my retreat I turned on the flats and drove them back. As far as I could see they all returned to the top of Zingan. We reached camp about 9.30 p.m. Throughout the day I received the greatest possible assistance from Mr. Uys, whose experience and courage are alike remarkable, and from his men, who shoot well and are excellent scouts. I consider that we were engaged with about 1,000 Kafirs, the larger proportion of whom had guns, many very good ones; they appeared under regular command and in fixed bodies. The most noticeable part of their tactics is that every man after firing a shot or after being fired at drops as if dead, and remains motionless for nearly a minute. In case of a night attack an interval of time should be allowed before'a return shot is fired at a flash. I have, &c.,
(Signed) REDVERS BULLER,
Lieut.-Col. F. L. Horse..
* Frontier. Light Horse: 7 Officers, 75 N.C.O.and men.
Dutch Burghers: 22, under Mr. Pict Uys,


"[Brunker] Served with the Frontier Light Horse under Col Buller in Wood's column, from date of crossing Blood River till end of March. Present at action at Zunguin Nek, at the action on the Zlobane, and other minor affairs . Was appointed D.A.Q.M.G. on lines of communication at Durban to land reinforcemenst from England. Accompanied expedition in June to land stores etc on the Zulu coast at Fort Durnford" Mac and Shad p309

After returning to England he was once more ordered to the Cape on special service the 13th January 1881 along with Sir Evelyn Wood (Glasgow Evening Post 6 January 1881)

In February 1883 he was instructed to travel out to India with the 2nd Scottish Rifles abord the troop ship Jumna ( Glasgow Weekly Herald - Saturday 03 February 1883)

By 1891 he was living at Worthing Road, Portsea, Hampshire with his wife three daughters (Ada, Violet and Eliza) and one son (James)

It seems he fell on hard times as the Portmouth Evening News 11 October 1892 reported on his bankrupcy case. It is useful as it show details of his military career.

"Howard Molyneux Edward Brunker, of 34. Worthing road, Southsea, retired Colonel from the Army.—Mr. J. F. Glanville appeared for Debtor, who came up for public examination with gross liabilities amounting to £3,775 18s. 11d., of which £3,774 12s. 3d. were expected to rank, while the estimated assets left deficiency of £3,600 18s. lid. —Debtor stated that he entered the service in July, 1860, and served at home until 1865, when he went with his regiment to India. Since that time he had never had anything but his pay. In 1870 he married, and in the following year was invalided home, and remained on sick leave with subaltern's pay for nearly eighteen months. Then he spent another year in India, but returned to England to join the Staff College, after passing through which he was promoted to the rank of Captain in 1877. He went to South Africa on war service and in 1883 proceeded to India as a Major to join his regiment at Cawnpore. In 1889 he was selected for the command of the 1st Battalion of his regiment in England, with the option of waiting for the command of the 2nd Battalion in India. At this time he was on the General Staff of the Army as Assistant Adjutunt-General, and he chose to wait. Meanwhile it came to the notice the authorities that he was in financial difficulties and he was deprived of the command of his regiment and placed on half-pay. Had he got the command of the regiment he could by this time have cleared off most of his debts and at the end that command could have retired on a pension of £420 per annum in addition to his savings. In reply to Mr. Moberly Debtor said that he retired last month after years' service with pension of £300 a year for life. His pension was capable of being commuted the age 55 years. attributed his financial difficulties to the losses he had experienced in buying and selling horses while on active service, and having to keep up two establishments, one for his family at home and the other for himself abroad. The depreciated value of the rupee had also contributed largely to his insolvency. He had borrowed money and re-paid it over and over again to relieve temporary difficulties. —Mr. Glanville said that there was a proposal on the part Col. Brunker to pay 20s. in the pound, and Debtor was allowed to pass"

He died on the 12th January 1914 at Albany House,Alexandra Road, South Farnborough, Hampshire. According to his obit he was Assistant Adjutant General to the field force in Griqualand West being mentioned in despatches. He saw service in the Transvaal campaign as deputy assistant adjutant-general and quartermaster general with the Natal Field Force.
It seems he continued to struggle with finances and left only £89 to Howard Milford Brunker (Retired colonial service)

Further details of Howard's SA service can be found in Cam Simpson's excellent book 'The Frontier Light Horse in the Anglo Zulu War of 1879' ISBN 978-0-6207728-3-9
https://www.1879zuluwar.com/t1911-major-brunker-h-m-e?highlight=brunker
https://www.1879zuluwar.com/t10760-location-of-special-service-officers-1878-9#99825
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