He served as A. A. G. (Assistant Adjutant General) to Pearson's Column, he was present at the battle of Inyezane and the occupation of Eshowe during its two months investment. (Mentioned in Despatches.) Served subsequently, as Commandant of the Lower Tugela. (C. B.) (Companion of the Bath).
On the 11th of December 1878, at the Lower Drift, 3 principal Indunas, 11 subordinate Chieftans, 40 retainers and John Dunn arrived at the drift to be informed of the Boundary Commission's decision. The drought had broken and all the rivers were full, and the men were brought across in boats. Two large fig trees stand on a small ledge below the bluff, by the road that leads out of the drift, and here the Indunas met the party from Natal. John Wesley Shepstone, Charles Brownlee, Henry Francis Fynn (who had succeeded his father as the Umsinga Magistrate) and Colonel Forestier Walker of the Scots Guards, Frere's Assistant Military Secretary, had been camped there for two days. A large tent fly had been hoisted into the trees and spread to provide shade, because the sun was broiling. The Naval Brigade and a score of volunteers from the Stanger Mounted Rifles were dismissed, because it made the Indunas very uneasy.
Date of Birth - 17th April 1844
First Appointment - Ensign & Lieutenant - Scots Foot Guards - 5th September 1862
Captain - Scots Foot Guards - 11th July 1865
Adjutant - Scots Foot Guards - 22nd July 1869 to 31st January 1873
Captain & Lieutenant-Colonel - Scots Foot Guards - 1st February 1873
Lieutenant (Regimental Major) Scots Guards - 1st July 1881
Brevet Colonel - Scots Guards (2nd Battalion stationed at Dublin) - 15th October 1878
Aide-de-camp to Major-General, Mauritius - 18th June 1866 to 22nd May 1867
Military Secretary, Cape of Good Hope - 5th November 1873 to 4th March 1878
Military Secretary (Acting) to Governor, Cape of Good Hope - 5th March 1878 to 23rd November 1878
Special Service, Cape of Good Hope - 24th November 1878 to 2nd October 1879
A. A. & Q. M. G., Home District - 1st August 1882 to 14th November 1882
Date of Nomination for his CB was 11th November 1878
South African War - 1878-9 - Kaffir Campaign - Zulu Campaign. Battle of Inyezane, occupation of Etshowe. Despatches, London Gazette 5th March and 16th May 1879. Medal with Clasp; CB.
Source '1884 Army List' (p 112, 795, 1178 & 1393)
In late May, in order to draw Zulu forces who might fall on the right flank of the 2nd Division when it advanced, Chelmsford ordered all the border forces to raid Zululand once more. One of the required raids was mounted by Major Twentyman on 20th May at Middle Drift. A Natal volunteer, who was a member of the raiding party, 'favoured' the' Natal Colonist' with a detailed account of the operations and their likely consequences:
We started from Potspruit Camp (new ground) after breakfast, on Monday May 19th, with orders to proceed to Fort Cherry for further instructions. We met Mr Fannin there, who took us on to Kranskop, all in the meantime wondering at the meaning of such a mystery. At Kranskop we were told Major Twentyman purposed making a raid into Zululand, and that he wanted some volunteers to cross over with him, the others remaining behind to guard the drift in case of a retreat. We then proceeded down the steep sides of the Tugela Valley leading our horses the greater part of the way, over boulders and under thorns it was dark before our camping ground for the night was reached about a mile from the drift, in a sheltered valley with any amount of beastly thorns and knobby stones. We were ordered to off-saddle, tie our horses up, and turn ourselves in with as little noise as possible, and glad we were to do so, for all were well tired. Shortly afterwards Captain Cherry's Natal Native Contingent joined us, also a company of Pioneers and about 100 of Walker's mounted men (Ixopo Native Contingent). By morning star we moved down to the river, arriving there shortly before daybreak, where there was a short delay waiting for Commandant Wheelwright's men [Border Guards] who also had orders to form a drift guard. Just as the sun rose, an advance into the river was made by about thirty volunteers under Sergeant Duckham, of the Natal Hussars, Major Twentyman crossing with them. When the party got to the island in the middle of the drift, there was some difficulty in tracing the ford across to Zululand. Whilst this was being seen about, a volley was fired by about a dozen Zulus. Immediately after firing they shouted the war cry 'Usutu,' and disappeared over the brow of the hill. Major Twentyman's horse was wounded, and another bullet whizzed close past his face. Fortunately, the shooting generally was wide. The same may be said of the Natal Native Contingent, who fired about one hundred shots in return. mostly in the air. Our army of invasion, mustering 1,000 men, now followed the Mounted Volunteers. who had found the missing ford. The party then advanced three or four miles into Zululand. burning kraals and a large quantity of mealies and corn. They also captured sixteen goats and two chickens; the dozen Zulus already mentioned, firing as they advanced and we returning fire, but without effect upon either side. A well-ordered retreat enabled the invading army to safely return to Natal without losing the sixteen goats and two chickens, the result of this raid.
In the meantime, Commander Crabb, at a drift higher up the river. was not idle. He also had orders to 'raid' the Zulus. and crossed the river accordingly; but after advancing some distance into the enemy's country. he was met by about four hundred Zulus. who speedily taught him he was a trespasser. and drove him and his followers [Border Guard levies] back into Natal. Fortunately without any loss of life. The Zulus encamped at the river bank that evening, and called over that they would return the visit next morning, and burn a few kraals. Our force had got to a nice camping ground, and preparing for a good night's rest, when a messenger from Crabb aroused us with this news. Vedettes were at once posted, and Major Twentyman proceeded to the river to ascertain further particulars. Shortly after he had left a second messenger came and stated that an impi had crossed the drift. we had just left, and was burning huts and capturing cattle. A pretty fix we were in, an impi on each side of us. Fires were put out, guards doubled. horses saddled. the men lying down close to them. It was a sharp cold night, and we were pretty well starved before morning .
At seven a.m. (Wednesday) [21st May], to our great relief. a messenger arrived with news that Crabb's impi had not crossed and with orders for a general return to camp. . . . When near a mission station [eMakhabeleni] deep in the valley, some of Wheelwright's men passed. They told us the enemy had burned some huts during the night, and were hiding now on the opposite side of the river...After consulting it was resolved to send three volunteers up to the camp to tell the officer there what detained us, whilst the remainder stayed to bring up the missionary [Reverend H. Blomeier] his wife and children. Seven of us went to the station and soon came back; four troopers, each with a child on the front of his saddle, two others walking, they having given up their horse to the old gentleman and lady. . . . Next morning Wheelwright's men brought in a Zulu scout. He was very chatty. and amongst other items of news. said Ketshwayo intended keeping clear of the big columns, but would sweep through the whole of the Tugela Valley; this is the certain result of these foolish raids. They can do no good, but will probably cost many innocent lives, even if the impis are not tempted further into the colony. . . . On the same day, Captain Walker crossed at a drift still further up the river. and captured 150 head of cattle. only seeing one old Zulu. who was herding them. They lost no time in beating a speedy retreat far into Natal with their booty.
The question naturally arises. who is to pay for the damage that the Zulus will inevitably commit in retaliation for these Outrages. The Contingents and Volunteers who are ordered to commit them are stationed miles away from the Border. and afford no protection to the unfortunate residents along the river side, yet are rewarded with the cattle, goats, and fowls stolen. Who can wonder if, after this, our Natal Kafirs waver in their loyalty? See 'Natal Colonist' 31st May 1879.
He died from heart failure at Tenby on 30th August 1910 and was buried at Bushey, Hertfordshire, in the Family Vault.
I will post a photo of his grave for you aswell.