Mr R.T. Manning joined the 16th Queen’s Lancers in 1876, and after being dismissed from recruits & drills went into the riding school & became a rough - rider. When the Zulu War called for the services of the 17th Lancers, volunteers were necessary to bring that regiment up to strength & Manning was one of the first to transfer.
Two days later with fifty others he marched from Aldershot to Hounslow & embarked the following week.
Mr Manning was one of the party detailed to bury the dead of the 24th at Isandlhwana.
When the news of the death of the Prince Imperial we brought to camp Col. Drury Lowe went out with his Lancers to try & recover the body. Mr Manning was with the party who discovered the dead Prince in a heep with about sixteen assegai wounds.
Proof that he had not perished without a close & deadly struggle: all the ground around where he lay was trampled & torn & tracks of blood showed the way his slayers had fled.
The men of the 17th Lancers formed a bier of their lances, these were covered with rushes, the dead body was placed thereon & covered by a cavalry cloak & was carried to the camp.
Mr Manning was one of these employed to carry the bier of the body of the dead Prince.
The losses sustained by the 17th in their skirmishes with the Zulus were numerous but says Mr Manning “we made them pay the reckoning with interest when we got among them with the lance & sabre at Ulundi”.
In India Mr Manning again was appointed rough - rider & on arrival home in 1890 he was promoted troop - sergeant major. When the Duke of Cambridge came to present the colours to a regiment at Shorncliff Mr Manning was sergeant of his escort. He was also in the Lords Mator escort in 1892.
The same year the 17th Lancers furnished the musical ride at the royal military tournament & Mr Manning was one of the leaders. Later he was again promoted to squadron - sergeant major & some time after was appointed instructor to the Shropshire Yeomanry which position he retained until he completed his 21 years’s service.
Mr Manning had a comfortable billet in London, when the Boer War broke out, one morning he got a telegram from Col St. Ledger Moore, asking him to go out as sergeant major of the Irish Imperial Yeomenry. On arrival in Africa this force was detailed to join the Rhodesian Horse under Sir Robert Carrington. They rode all through the country to Bulawayo, then on to Mafeking & had encounters with the Boers in Rhodesia, Transvaal, Orange Free State & Cape Colony.
On arrival home, Mr Manning who had been mentioned in dispatches was awarded the distinguished conduct medal. He was also presented with a special gold medal by the Corporation of Dublin. He has in addition the Zulu War Medal, Africa Medal & Good Conduct Medal.