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Lord Chelmsford Said .Buller is ‘one of the finest soldiers of the century’, so modest and reticent –that it was difficult to say for what individual deed he had got the Victoria Cross as he had been doing acts worthy of it all along the line
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Subject: Lord Chelmsford's Comments on the Naval brigade Tue Apr 13, 2010 8:06 pm
21, St. James Square, Bath, September 15, 1879
Sir, I have the honour to request that a copy of my report on the officers of the Naval Brigade, who afforded me such able assistance during the time that I was commanding Her Majesty's Forces in South Africa, may be forwarded for the information of the Admiralty. I feel under such, obligations to the sister service for the cordial co-operation and valuable assistance which it afforded me on all occasions, whether on sea or on shore, that it is a matter to me of sincere regret that I was not able before leaving South Africa to place publicly on record, through the medium of a General Order, my hearty appreciation of those services.
It is impossible for me to speak too highly of the conduct and behaviour of the blue jackets and marines; whether in camp or under fire. Every duty which devolved upon them, no matter how long or how hard, was cheerfully and intelligently performed; and I have no hesitation in placing, on record; that without their help it would have been almost impossible to have made, satisfactory arrangements for the passage oftroops and stores at the Lower Tugela.
The officers, as usual, set a fine example; and never spared themselves when work had to be done.
To Admiral F. W. Sullivan, C.B., C.M.G., and to Commodore F. W. Richards, I am deeply indebted for the ready help and friendly assistance they at. all times afforded me.
Both these officers did their utmost to facilitate the work of the military authorities at the base of operations; and their advice and suggestions were often of the greatest value.
It is with pride and satisfaction I am able to report that during the whole time that I was commanding Her Majesty's Forces in South Africa, the Navy and Army worked together with the most perfect unanimity, and that the relations between the two services were always of the most friendly nature.
I have, &c., CHELMSFORD; Maj.-Gen, Late Commanding; Her Majesty's Forces in South Africa.. The Military Secretary; Horse Guards; War- Office.
(From The London Gazette, Noavembr 7, 1879)
Posts : 2558 Join date : 2009-04-06 Age : 57 Location : UK
Subject: Re: Lord Chelmsford's Comments on the Naval brigade Tue Apr 13, 2010 11:07 pm
Tom. Not the Zulu War, but there is mentioned of some of the ships used in the Zulu War.
THE operations against the Ashantees being now ended, it becomes my pleasing duty to bring to the notice of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, the highly satisfactory manner in which the Officers, seamen, and marines of the squadron under my orders have, on all occasions, carried out their duties during the trying time they have been employed on the Gold Coast.
All indeed have realized my highest expectations; and in making special mention of any, who, under my own observation, especially distinguished themselves by their gallantry, zeal, or ability, I am anxious that their Lordships should not under-rate the value I set upon the services of those, who, lacking an opportunity, were not so fortunate as to render themselves conspicuous.
The manner in which Captain W. J. Hunt Grubbe, of Her Majesty's ship "Tamar," performed special duties which devolved upon him, throughout the period he commanded the Naval Brigade, is deserving of my warmest approbation, and I beg to call their Lordships special attention to the fact that, although severely wounded in the left hand at the battle of Amoaful, he would not relinquish his command until the campaign was finished.
The services of the Brigade itself are recorded in the enclosed letter from Captain Hunt Grubbe. Of the Officers specially mentioned therein Lieutenant Gerard H. U. Noel, of Her Majesty's ship "Active" was landed on the 27th November, 1873, in charge of a party of fifty seamen and marines, who previous to the arrival of the European regiments were detailed to act as a guard to Sir Garnet Wolseley, on the occasion of his proceeding to the front to inspect the progress made in the construction of the road to the Prah.
Lieutenant A. B. Crosbie, Royal Marine Light Infantry, and Sub-Lieutenant Gerard R. Maltby, of Her Majesty's ship "Active," and Surgeon Henry T. Cox, of the " Amethyst," also landed with this party, and none of them rejoined their ships till the cessation of hostilities. I regret to say that I have lost the services of Lieutenant Noel as Senior and Gunnery Lieutenant of this ship, he having been invalided for the preservation of his life, through the ill effects of this prolonged stay ashore.
Captain James W. V. Arbuckle, of the Royal Marine Battalion, who was appointed to take command of the Marines attached to the Brigade, having fallen sick, his place was most efficiently filled by Lieutenant Crosbie, who was present with his men in every engagement with the enemy, in one of which he was slightly wounded.
Mr. Maltby, who is temporarily filling the Lieutenant's vacancy caused by the deeply to be regretted death of Captain William Hans Blake, of the " Druid," (who landed in command of the Brigade), is a young Officer of great promise in the service, and I am pleased at having the opportunity of bringing his name to their Lordship's favourable notice.
The services of Mr. Cox and the other Medical Officers of the Naval Brigade, will be brought to notice in a separate Despatch, in which it is my intention to lay before their Lordships the excellent arrangements of Staff-Surgeon Second Class Henry Fegan, M.D., of this ship (who landed in charge), for the care and comfort of the sick and wounded.The steady behaviour of Lieutenant Robert B. Pipon, of this ship, and his Company when returning from the affair at Bouborassie, on the 31st January, on which occasion the rear guard was greatly harassed, has been specially brought to my notice ; and on another occasion this Officer is mentioned as having, with his Company, rendered the most material aid to Lord Gifford and his scouts at the destruction of Becquah. I have a high opinion of Lieutenant Pipon's professional ability, and it is with much pleasure that I recommend him to the favourable notice of their Lordships.
Captain Hunt Grubbe informs me that the services of Lieutenant William F. S. Mann, of Her Majesty's ship " Amethyst," who acted as Adjutant to the Brigade, were most valuable. This Officer bears a reputation of being a smart and energetic Officer.
Sub-Lieutenant Wyatt Rawson, of Her Majesty's ship "Active," did very excellent work while attached to the Land Transport Service.
His energy and tact did much to encourage the curriers, and as there was often very great difficulty in procuring people to transport stores and provisions to the front, the value of Mr. Rawson's services cannot be over-rated. There being a vacancy in the "Himalaya" for a Lieutenant, I gave this Officer an acting order to fill it, and he has proceeded to England in that ship. Sub-Lieutenant Rawson was wounded in the thigh by a slug.
I notice with satisfaction that the services of Lieutenant Angus McLeod, of the " Barracouta," and Mr. Charles Gladstone, Midshipman of the " Druid," who acted as Aide-de-Camp to Captain Hunt Grubbe, are favourably recorded.
At the battle of Amoaful the left and right wings of the Brigade were respectively commanded by Commander Percy P. Luxmore (now acting Captain of the " Druid" ), and Lieutenant Gerard H. U. Noel, already referred to, and the manner in which they led their men into action was highly creditable to them. It is now my duty to place upon record the valuable assistance I have received in the conduction of affairs at the hands of Captain George Henry Parkin, of Her Majesty's ship " Victor Emanuel."
During my absence in the front, this Officer carried out the duties of the port most ably and efficiently, and for this, as well as for the activity and zeal he displayed in his superintendence of the re-embarkation of the troops, my thanks are due to him.
The landing of the several regiments was superintended by Commander Herbert F. Crohan, the principal Transport Officer afloat, assisted by Mr. H. H. Hannay, Navigating Lieutenant of the " Active," and the manner in which both these Officers carried out this important service reflects very great credit on them. Their Lordships will easily conceive the heavy and responsible duties which have devolved upon Commander Robert Lowther Byng, of my pendant ship, during these operations, and it is with much satisfaction that I have to record the efficient and thorough manner in which he, at all times, conducted them.
The important service of blockading the windward coast, has, for the most part, been carried out under the direction of Captain Richard Bradshaw, who, in the " Encounter " was some time Senior Officer of a Squadron, specially placed under his orders. Lieutenant Edward Fitzgerald Day of the "Merlin," was for a long time detached on this service, and in common with the Lieutenants Commanding the other gun vessels similarly employed, showed great vigilance in preventing the landing of munitions of war within the limits of the blockade.
Captain Alfred John Chatfield, in Her Majesty's ship " Amethyst," at all times showed great zeal and activity in carrying out the service he was detailed for. For some time he was employed in guarding our position at Addah-Foah, at the entrance of the River Volta, and had charge of a station extending from Accra to Elmina-Chica. I regret that my multifarious duties gave me no opportunity to make an inspection of the "Amethyst," as, from what I have seen of the ship, I feel convinced my report could not have been other than satisfactory.
I must now bring to the notice of their Lordships the valuable services, of Acting Commander John Hext, who, when Lieutenant in Command of the "Decoy," was constantly employed in active service, which he always conducted with much intelligence and zeal; and I readily endorse the high enconiums which have been passed upon him by the various senior Officers whom he has served under during the many months he has been stationed on the Gold Coast. The appointment this Officer at present holds was given to him as a mark of my appreciation of his good services.
I wish to bring to the favourable notice of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty the services of Mr. Thomas Cowd, Gunner Second Class, of this ship ; this Officer landed at the commencement of the operations, and had charge of the carriers who transported the first supplies of stores and provisions sent to the front.
Fever, brought on by exposure and hard work, obliged Mr. Cowd to return to the coast soon after the Naval Brigade was landed; he soon, however, resumed his ordinary duties on board the ship, and his conduct at all times deserves my praise. I cannot pass by the manner in which Mr. Harry S. F. Niblett, Sub-Lieutenant of this ship, has throughout performed his onerous duties. This young officer has had charge of the steam pinnace during the operations, and I cannot speak too highly of the way in which he executed his orders—I would point out that the services he performed were not merely those ordinarily assigned to an Officer of his standing—and on many occasions he has, attracted my attention by the cheerful, active, creditable way in which ho carried out whatever was required of him.
Their Lordships would observe that good conduct, zeal, and activity has characterised the services of the whole squadron, and in concluding my Despatch I have only to add that the aid rendered by those artificers of the squadron who were landed to construct huts, &c., along the road to the Prah, and who are reported to me for their good services in the enclosed letter from Major Home, R.E. (under whose directions they worked), was most valuable. I have, &c.