Lynedoch Needham Moncrieff arrived in South Africa in May 1879 as a volunteer answering the call for reinforcements. He joined Major Bengough’s 2nd Battalion of the Natal Native Contingent as a Lieutenant and was with Lord Chelmsford’s forces at the Battle of Ulundi on 4 July 1879, where he was slightly wounded.
Moncrieff was born in Culfpan, Fife, Scotland on 14 April 1841, the son of Colonel George Moncrieff. In January 1856 he joined the Royal Navy where he was promoted to Sub-Lieutenant 0n 30 June 1863. In November that year he saved the life of a seaman who had fallen overboard, for which he was awarded the Royal Humane Society Bronze Medal. He was promoted to Lieutenant on 18 June 1865 and retired as Commander on 22 March 1873.
During his time in the navy he served on H.M.S. Mars and then H.M.S. Pelorus, on the China Station, where he was engaged with pirate junks at Tungoa Bay. He was Lieutenant and Commander on H.M.S. Weazel (China Station). From there he went to H.M.S. Excellent for gunnery training. He last served as Flag Lieutenant to Admiral Seymour on H.M.S. Narcissus before retiring.
In 1874 Moncrieff partnered with Lionel Gye, a former Royal Artillery Lieutenant to form the firm of Gye and Moncrieff at 60 St. James St., Picadilly. Gye and Moncrieff manufactured and sold guns and rifles. In December 1878 he married Marie Antoinette McKay. In March 1879 he dissolved his partnership with Gye and left for South Africa.
After the Zulu War Moncrieff accepted the position of Consul at Cayenne, New Guinea, in 1880. This was followed the next year by a posting as Acting Consul at Jeddah, and the following year as Consul for Eastern Sudan at Suakim. On 5 November 1883 he was killed at the Battle of Tokar in Sudan while accompanying Egyptian forces that were overrun and destroyed by the Mahdist. His body was later found and buried. There is a memorial plaque to Moncrieff in St. Andrews Episcopal Church, Fife, Scotland.
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