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 Brigadier-General Patrick Douglas Jeffreys, C.B., O.B.E.

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littlehand

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PostSubject: Brigadier-General Patrick Douglas Jeffreys, C.B., O.B.E.   Brigadier-General Patrick Douglas Jeffreys, C.B., O.B.E. EmptyMon Oct 25, 2010 10:17 pm

Brigadier-General Patrick Douglas Jeffreys, C.B., O.B.E.(1848-1922), educated Malborough College and Sandhurst; joined asSecond Lieutenant 88th Foot, 1866; Captain 1878, served throughout the Zulu War 1877; Major 1881; Brigade Major Burmese Expedition (1886-87) and commanded the column whichcaptured the Kemmendine Prince’s camp, ‘On New Year’s day,1887, a party commanded by Major Jeffreys, Connaught Rangers,attacked the Kemmendine Prince at Meiktela, killing him and forty of his followers’ (War Medals of the British Army 1650-1891 Carter & W.H. Long, refers); for this Jeffreys was Mentioned inDespatches and made Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel; Acting Adjutant General Sirhind District, 1887-88; Acting Adjutant General Quetta District, 1889-94; Acting Adjutant General Zhob Field Force, 1890 (Mentioned in Despatches; Brevet Colonel); Colonel 1894; Acting Adjutant General Headquarters in India, 1894-98; Officer Commanding 2nd Brigade Malakand and Bunar Field Forces on the North-West Frontier with Major-General Sir B. Blood’s expedition into Mohmand Country, 1897.The preparatory measures for the expedition were undertaken at the end of August, with Blood’s orders being to march two brigades (the 2nd being under Jeffreys), via the Panjkora Bridge and Nawagai to Shabkadr in the Peshawar Valley. On the 14th of September Jeffreys was ordered to encamp his force north of Markhanai, with the task of improving the Rambat Pass. Once this was achieved he was to join the 3rd Brigade at Nawagi.

On the 14th, ‘Brigadier-General Jeffreys with three battalions, a mountain battery and a squadron was on the right bank of the Chaharmung stream, north of Markhanai, having detached the Buffs and the 4th Comapany, Bengal Sappers and Miners, to the crest of the Rambat Pass, to prepare it for the passage of his special force next morning. At about 8pm on the 14th, while it was still quite dark before the moon rose, Brigadier-General Jeffreys’ camp was suddenly assailed by heavy musketry fire from the ravines close by. The attack was continued with little intermission for six hours.The enemy showed no inclination to come to close quarters and ultimately drew off about 2am, doubtless having in view the desirableness of getting beyond reach of cavalry before day-light. This, however, they did not succeed in doing, as they were overtaken in the Mamund Valley about 8am on the 15th b Captain E.H. Cole and his squadron of the 11th Bengal Lancers, who killed twenty-one of them and dispersed the rest.’ (Major- General Sir B. Blood’s Despatch, 27.10.1897, refers). The next day Jeffreys was ordered to punish the gathering of Mamunds, who had been re-inforced by some of Umra Khan’s followers from Zagai. At 6.30am he moved out of his camp at Inayat Kili, splitting his forces into three columns.

The right column under Lieutenant-Colonel Vivian advanced as far as Damadolah, however, the position proved to be too strong to be attacked without artillery support and as such the column was forced to return to camp. The central column under Colonel Goldney was directed against the villages of Munar, Hazarnao and Badalai. The left column under Major Campbell was directed along the right bank of the Watelai Ravine parallel to the central column. The column under Goldney spent most of the morning attempting to occupy and subsequently re-occupy a knoll near Shahi Tangi (nine miles from the camp), two companies had advanced too far from their support and as such suffered 1 British Officer and 1 Sepoy killed, 16 Non-Commissioned and Sepoys wounded.The left column dealt with numerous villages in and around the camp, until called up by Jeffreys, ‘as the enemy began to appear force on his left near Agrah, and it joined the centre column about noon.’ (Major-General Sir B. Blood’s Despatch, dated 27.10.1897,refers). Chingai and Shahi Tangi had been dismantled by 2.30pm, however, complications in attempting to withdraw were experienced by Captain Ryder on the high ridge above Chingai 2nd. Jeffreys sent six companies of the Guides Infantry to assist Ryder’s return to camp and this was achieved by 9pm, ‘Meanwhile,as soon as the safety of Captain Ryder’s detachment was certain, Brigadier-General Jeffreys continued his retirement towards camp. So long as daylight lasted the enemy kept at a respectful distance from him, but as it got dark they got bold, and the ground being broken and difficult, they were able to bring a hot fire to bear on the troops, while a heavy thunderstorm, which came on at dusk, greatly increased the difficulties of the situation. Ultimately, however, by about 8.30pm, all the troops had arrived in camp, except Brigadier-General Jeffreys, four guns of No. 8 (Bengal) Mountain Battery, a small party of sappers and a few men of the Buffs and 35th Sikhs, who got separated from the rest in the darkness. About dusk Brigadier-General Jeffreys, then about three miles and a half from camp, decided to occupy a neighbouring village, called Bilot, for the night, chiefly with a view to sheltering the battery mules with him from the enemy’s sharp-shooters; and while he was engaged in arranging this, the thunderstorm before referred to came on, causing sudden and complete darkness.

In the consequent confusion the troops got separated, and only the detachments above detailed remained with Brigadier-General Jeffreys. He proceeded to occupy and entrench a re-entering angle of the village, part of which was burning, while the rest was soon occupied by the enemy, who fired on the General and his detachment from behind walls at a few yards’ range, inflicting serious losses in men and animals. The state of things continued, in spite of several gallant attempts to clear the village, which were led by Lieutenant T.C. Watson and J.M.C. Colvin, R.E., until the arrival about midnight of Major J.F. Worlledge, 35th Sikhs with two companies of the Guides and two of his own regiment. After 58 this the enemy were easily driven off and gave no further annoyance during the night. Brigadier-General Jeffreys ultimately reached camp at 8am on the 17th.’ (Major-General Sir B. Blood’s Despatches, dated 27.10.1897, refers). The rest of the 17th was spent re-cuperating, before the resumption of punishing the Mamunds on the 18th September. The fortified village of Damadolah was destroyed with the enemy suffering heavy casualties and the loss of 300 loads of grain. On the 19th Jeffreys seized and destroyed the Hazarnao villages, followed the next day by the tougher obstacle of Umra Khan’s stronghold at Zagai. The latter at the cost 2 officers, 9 British other ranks and 2 sepoys wounded. Over the course of the next eight days Jeffreys took and raised to the ground a further four villages at a total cost of 61 casualties, with the enemy suffering considerably higher fatalities. This relentess pursual of the Mamunds led to a cessation of hostilites early in October, ultimately forcing the Mamund Jirga into making submission on the 11th October (C.B. 1897; twice Mentioned in Despatches). Jeffreys was posted Commanding Officer 2nd Class District of India, 1898-1903; Honorary Brigadier-General 1912; during the Great War Jeffreys Commanded East Group, Kent Volunteer Regiment, 1915-19 (O.B.E. 1919).
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