"WILLIAM IRVINE D’ARCY
2ND LIEUTENANT, 99 TH
REGIMENT (DUKE OD EDINBURGH’S).
Second Lieutenant William Irvine D’Arcy, who died in the Military Hospital at Durban on 23 September
1879, was the eldest son of William D’Arcy, Esquire, late Captain, 67th Regiment, of Castle Irvine, Fermanagh,Ireland, by his marriage with Louisa, daughter of John Cockburn, Esquire, Royal Horse Artillery. He was born on 24th April 1859, at Dover, and was educated at Mr. R.H. Hammond’s, at Ewell, near Dover. On 9th February
1877, he was appointed Sib-Lieutenant in the Fermanagh Light Infantry Militia, and in the first training acquitted himself so creditably as to cause him being recommended for a line commission. “He is a very zealous and intelligent officer,” wrote his Colonel, “and has conducted himself in a manner highly commendable.” He was gazetted to the 99th Regiment on 4 December 1878, and receiving orders to sail for the Cape, embarked, a month later, on board the “Nyanza” at Southampton. Arriving at Durban at the end of January 1879, he was at once sent to the front to join the portion of his regiment that was stationed on the Lower Thukela – the headquarters being at that time shut up in Eshowe. Lieutenant D’Arcy served for two months on the Natal frontier. On the formation of the Eshowe relieving column, he was attached with the five companies of the
99th to its 1st Brigade, and took part in its advance, in the last days of May into Zululand. He was present at the battle of Gingindlovu on 3 April (within four months of his being gazetted), and subsequently accompanied the regiment in its march back to the frontier. A few weeks afterwards his health became slightly impaired, apparently from the violent alternations of temperature to which he had been exposed in so short a period, and in the last week in June he went into hospital at Fort Pearson. There he contracted typhoid fever, from which, however, under skilful treatment and tender nursing, he recovered sufficiently to enable his being removed to Durban. His letters from that town, written to his family, were of the most cheerful description, telling of his hopes, amongst others, of returning home on six months’ leave. “I feel all right in my health, but cannot walk much,” he wrote in a letter dated 15 September and borne home in the very packet which brought tidings of his death. Four days after penning the above words, in
consequence of a sudden fall in the temperature, he contracted a slight cold, and within a week passed quietly away. Sprung from a branch of the old family of the D’Arcy Irvines, of Castle Irvine, Fermanagh, Lieutenant D’Arcy was not the first of his name who has rendered up his life in the service of his country. By his comrades
of the 99th– to whom, notwithstanding the shortness of his sojourn with them, he had greatly endeared himself –a monument to his memory has been erected over his grave in the military cemetery at Durban."