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 17th Lancers

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Ian Chard




Posts : 8
Join date : 2018-07-25
Location : Bristol, UK

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PostSubject: 17th Lancers   17th Lancers EmptyFri Jun 17, 2022 12:10 pm

Does anyone know the name of the ship (or ships perhaps) that took the 17th Lancers to South Africa in Feb 1879?
Thanks in anticipation.
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John Young

John Young


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PostSubject: Re: 17th Lancers   17th Lancers EmptyFri Jun 17, 2022 1:00 pm

The hired transports the Spain & the Egypt.

Apologies for the brevity, unable to access my study due to building work.

JY
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Bill8183




Posts : 112
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Age : 53
Location : Sunderland

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PostSubject: Re: 17th Lancers   17th Lancers EmptyFri Jun 17, 2022 2:56 pm

John,

The "Spain & Egypt" embarked the 1st King's Dragoon Guards from Southampton.

"Spain" 27th Feb: 12 Officers 2 attached Officers 19 Sgts, 4 Buglers & 288 Other ranks with 274 horses.

"Egypt" 28th Feb: 13 Officers 1 attached Officer 28 Sgts, 4 Buglers & 275 Other ranks with 270 horses.

They also had a draft embark on the 3rd June from Kingston on board the "Queen Margaret" with 1 Officer, 3 Sgts & 67 OR's with 151 horses. Obviously Equine casualties were high.

The first part of the 17th Lancers embarked from London on the 24th Feb on the "France" 13 Officers 14 Sgts, 3 Buglers & 275 men with 262 horses.

The 2nd half embarked on the 25th Feb in the "England" at Southampton with 16 Officers 24 Sgts, 6 Buglers & 268 men with 263 horses.

A draft embarked on the 4th June at Portsmouth onboard the "Egypt" with 3 Sgts and 74 men with 150 horses.

Source WO 25/3510 Embarkation Returns 1879-1880 The National Archives
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John Young

John Young


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PostSubject: Re: 17th Lancers   17th Lancers EmptyFri Jun 17, 2022 3:03 pm

Bill,

Thanks for the correction, I was trying to answer of the top of my head without being able to check my sources. My study is taken up with clothes rails and is inaccessible at present.

JY
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Ian Chard




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Join date : 2018-07-25
Location : Bristol, UK

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PostSubject: Re: 17th Lancers   17th Lancers EmptyFri Jun 17, 2022 5:45 pm

Many thanks to both of you for your generous responses.

This suggests to me that the Pte that I am researching went on the 'France' for his service details give the 24th as the last date of Home service. Although as his first day of SA is the 25th, perhaps be went on the 'England'? Any thoughts?

Could I stretch my luck here and ask if anyone has access to the regimental muster rolls for the campaign? TNA is a little difficult to get to just now, so if someone has these, and is willing to look up one man, I would be extremely grateful.

The fellow in question served for 21 years, but the Zulu campaign was his only active service - the only campaign medal that he received at least. He was clearly with the Isandhlwana burial party in May, but I would be interested to know if he was with the wing that charged at Ulundi.

Thanks again.
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: 17th Lancers   17th Lancers EmptyFri Jun 17, 2022 6:22 pm

Ian,

As soon as the transport left harbour the service record will record that day as the start of the overseas service, hence the day’s difference.

This is an extract from D. H. Parry’s The Death or Glory Boys published in 1899.  

The duke [of Cambridge] came down to inspect them at Hounslow on the 22nd, and on the 24th one wing under Major Sam Boulderson, A, D, E, and F Troops, embarked on the France at Victoria Docks, the other wing, B, C, G, and H Troops, under Drury Lowe, embarking on the England at Southampton on the 25th…

…The strength on embarkation was 570 of all ranks and 522 horses, five of the latter dying on the England during the voyage, and six on the France.

The voyage was uneventful; both ships were detained at St. Vincent and again at Table Bay to coal, but reaching Durban early in April the regiment was ashore by the 14th….


JY
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Ian Chard




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PostSubject: Re: 17th Lancers   17th Lancers EmptyFri Jun 17, 2022 6:38 pm

Thanks again John. This will therefore place my man on the England at Southampton. How easy to make a mistake!
This info also helps narrow down the troop that he was in, which may come in handy.
Cheers
Ian
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Bill8183




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PostSubject: Re: 17th Lancers   17th Lancers EmptyFri Jun 17, 2022 11:31 pm

I'm visiting the TNA tomorrow for my research. If I can fit it in I'll take a look, who is the man you wish to look up?

Judging by your comments above you may hope to find out which troop he is in. I've not looked at Cavalry before but Infantry and Artillery list their men by rank and in alphabetical order. The only time a company/squadron is mentioned is in the Effects & Credits section when they are non-effective.

Bill
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Ian Chard




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Location : Bristol, UK

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PostSubject: Re: 17th Lancers   17th Lancers EmptySat Jun 18, 2022 4:11 pm

Bill
I am sorry - I've only just picked this up, but many thanks for the offer.

As you say I was hoping to determine his troop, but that may well be unlikely. I am more familiar with Napoleonic era musters/pay lists which are sometimes listed by company, but perhaps not in the Victorian period.

The Effects and Credits suggestion won't help unfortunately for this bloke was discharged twenty years after the Zulu War, so his squadron wouldn't prove what he was in in 1879.

The most I can say at the moment therefore is that he was either at Ulundi or on line of communication duties. Either way, he was there.

Thanks again

Ian
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Bill8183




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PostSubject: Re: 17th Lancers   17th Lancers EmptySat Jun 18, 2022 9:52 pm

Pity, I was sat on the platform at Kew Gardens waiting for the train when I got your message.

I did look at the Officer listings and they do actually indicate Troop Commanders. Is there anyone out there know if they followed a logical pattern in A&B troops = 1st Squadron? Although looking at the extract from Death or Glory Boys it would appear not.

A brief flick through the April-June 1879 muster indicates some differences in the days at sea, a portion has only 5/6 days whilst others have 14 days. I'm not sure of the significance of those (does anyone have the details of service in S.A. for the 17th)? but a quick cross check with the Officer's dates may give a clue as to who was where.

If you let us know which individual you wish to check I can have a look next time I'm there in a few weeks time.

Bill
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Ian Chard




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Location : Bristol, UK

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PostSubject: Re: 17th Lancers   17th Lancers EmptySun Jun 19, 2022 3:29 pm

Bill
I am very grateful for your help here.

The man in question is Pte 2173 H Turton.

His service record shows his overseas service as starting on 25 Feb, with arrival in Natal on 6 Apr 79. This would place him with Drury Lowe's wing of the regiment, leaving Southampton on the 'England'. From John's info above this means that he was in one of B, C, G, or H troops. My hope is that these might be identified as being either at Ulundi or LoC duties later in the campaign. Tying an officer to a troop is difficult enough, but trying to then allocate a private to a troop seems impossible!

I won't ask you to waste your own precious time at TNA, but if are willing to take a quick look I shall be, again, most grateful.

Cheers

Ian
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gardner1879

gardner1879


Posts : 447
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PostSubject: Re: 17th Lancers   17th Lancers EmptyWed Jun 22, 2022 8:08 pm

Just to slightly amend some of the facts and figures given above Ian.

17th Lancers - 30 Officers, 622 men 571 horses port of embarkation  London and Southhampton on 'England' and 'France'. (From 'Statement showing Names of Vessels taken up for Conveyance of Reinforcements for the Cape, and Allotment of Troops proposed to be made in them.  NA)

Admiral Sir W. Mends proposed
the 'France' Transport No8 would embark troops at Victoria Docks on the 24th February.
the 'England' Transport No12 would leave Liverpool on the 21st and embark Troops on the 25th at Southampton; to take out General Crealock and Staff, and General Marshall and Staff

However a later document also at Kew 'The Zulu war -Despatch Troops To Natal -Cont,' shows:-
                                                                             
17th Lancers Hd-Qrs half - 15 officers, 302 men, 263 horses, - (ship)'England' - port of embarkation Southampton, - date of embarkation 26th February, date on which left St Vincent 12th  March, - date on which left Table Bay, 2nd April,- date in which left Simons Bay 5th April, - date of disembarkation at Natal 6th April

17th Lancers half - 13 officers, 292 men 264 horses, -(ship) 'France' - Port of Embarkation Victoria Docks London, - date of embarkation 24th February, - date in which left St Vincent 14 March, date in which left Table Bay 2nd April, Date in which left Simons Bay 7th April. Arrived at Natal 11th April

They received 130 volunteers and 130 horses,  65/65 from the 5th Lancers and 65/65 from the 16th Lancers
These left on the same ships on the 24th and 26th as the 17th (From 'Return of the Number of Volunteers (and Corps from which furnished) to each Regiment and Battalion recently embarked for the Cape, showing the dates upon which these Regiments were put under orders and when they embarked.' Mobilisation Committee 28th April 1879 NA)

It appears the date of leaving was delayed from Southampton to the 26th.

Hope this helps
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Bill8183




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PostSubject: Re: 17th Lancers   17th Lancers EmptyWed Jun 22, 2022 8:47 pm

Kate,

Those look like interesting documents to read. Do you have a complete TNA reference number?

Bill
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gardner1879

gardner1879


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PostSubject: Re: 17th Lancers   17th Lancers EmptyThu Jun 23, 2022 10:15 am

I will see if I can find them Bill.
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John Young

John Young


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PostSubject: Re: 17th Lancers   17th Lancers EmptyThu Jun 23, 2022 2:16 pm

Kate,

I can’t get to my books at present, there is a table of departures and details of those embarked in The Narrative of Field Operations…, if that helps.

JY
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Ian Chard




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Location : Bristol, UK

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PostSubject: Re: 17th Lancers   17th Lancers EmptyThu Jun 23, 2022 2:31 pm

Extra detail seems to accrue with every passing day  - thank you Gardner1879 (implictly Kate I think). Even if Pte Turton's movements on land are only vaguely understood, I now know where he was on sea at almost any given day of the voyage! It all adds colour to the tale.
Thanks again to all.
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gardner1879

gardner1879


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PostSubject: Re: 17th Lancers   17th Lancers EmptyThu Jun 23, 2022 3:07 pm

Thanks for the heads up John. Saves me looking through my records.
Bill the table I took the information from is also in the Narrative of Field Ops.
In my Camberley Staff College edition this pops up as a fold out between p154 and 5, appendix B. It may be in a slightly different place in different editions.

Your welcome Ian glad we can help.
Kate
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