Samstag, 24. Januar 2015

Wolseley, Garnet Joseph

Field Marshal Garnet Joseph Wolseley, 1st Viscount Wolseley, KP, GCB, OM, GCMG, VD, PC (4 June 1833 – 25 March 1913) was an Anglo-Irish officer in the British Army. He served in Burma, the Crimean War, the Indian Mutiny, China, Canada, and widely throughout Africa — including his Ashanti campaign (1873–1874) and the Nile Expedition against Mahdist Sudan in 1884–85. He served as Commander-in-Chief of the Forces from 1895 to 1900. His reputation for efficiency led to the late 19th-century English phrase "everything's all Sir Garnet", meaning "all is in order."

Education and the Second Burmese War

Born the eldest son of Major Garnet Joseph Wolseley of "the King's Own Scottish Borderers" (25th Foot) and Frances Anne Wolseley (née Smith), Wolseley was educated in Dublin and first worked in a surveyor’s office. He obtained a commission as an ensign in the 12th Foot on 12 March 1852 without purchase, in recognition of his father's service. He then transferred to the 80th Foot on 13 April 1852, with which he served in the Second Anglo-Burmese War. He was severely wounded in the thigh on 19 March 1853 in the attack on Donabyu, was mentioned in despatches, and received the war medal. Promoted to lieutenant on 16 May 1853 and invalided home, Wolseley transferred to the 84th Regiment of Foot on 27 January 1854 and then to the 90th Light Infantry, at that time stationed in Dublin, on 24 February 1854. He was promoted to captain on 29 December 1854.

The Crimea

He accompanied the regiment to the Crimea, and landed at Balaklava in December 1854. He was selected to be an assistant engineer, and attached to the Royal Engineers during the Siege of Sevastopol. Wolseley served throughout the siege, where he was wounded at "the Quarries" on 7 June 1855, and again in the trenches on 30 August 1855, losing an eye.
After the fall of Sevastopol, Wolseley was employed on the quartermaster-general's staff, assisting in the embarkation of the troops and supplies, and was one of the last British soldiers to leave the Crimea in July 1856. For his services he was twice mentioned in dispatches, received the war medal with clasp, the 5th class of the French Légion d'honneur and the 5th class of the Turkish Order of the Medjidie.
Six months after joining the 90th Foot at Aldershot, he went with it in March 1857 to join the troops being despatched for the Second Opium War. Wolseley was embarked in the transport Transit which was wrecked in the Strait of Banka – the troops were all saved, but with only their personal arms and minimal ammunition. They were taken to Singapore, and from there were dispatched to Calcutta on account of the Indian Mutiny.

The Indian Mutiny 1857

Wolseley distinguished himself at the relief of Lucknow under Sir Colin Campbell in November 1857, and in the defence of the Alambagh position under Outram, taking part in the actions of 22 December 1857, of 12 January 1858 and 16 January 1858, and also in the repulse of the grand attack of 21 February 1858. That March, he served at the final siege and capture of Lucknow. He was then appointed deputy-assistant quartermaster-general on the staff of Sir Hope Grant's Oudh division, and was engaged in all of the operations of the campaign, including the actions of Bari, Sarsi, Nawabganj, the capture of Faizabad, the passage of the Gumti and the action of Sultanpur. In the autumn and winter of 1858 he took part in the Baiswara, trans-Gogra and trans-Rapti campaigns ending with the complete suppression of the rebellion. For his services he was frequently mentioned in dispatches, and having received the Mutiny medal and clasp, he was promoted to brevet major on 24 March 1858 and to brevet lieutenant-colonel on 26 April 1859.
Wolseley continued to serve on Sir Hope Grant's staff in Oudh, and when Grant was nominated to the command of the British troops in the Anglo-French expedition to China of 1860, accompanied him as the deputy-assistant quartermaster-general. He was present at the action at Sin-ho, the capture of Tang-ku, the storming of the Taku Forts, the Occupation of Tientsin, the Battle of Pa-to-cheau and the entry into Beijing (during which the destruction of the Chinese Imperial Old Summer Palace was begun). He assisted in the re-embarkation of the troops before the winter set in. He was mentioned, yet again, in dispatches, and for his services received the medal and two clasps. On his return home he published the Narrative of the War with China in 1860. He was given the substantive rank of major on 15 February 1861.


In November 1861, Wolseley was one of the special service officers sent to Canada in connection with the Trent incident.
In 1862, shortly after the battle of
Antietam, Wolseley took leave from his military duties and went to investigate the American Civil War. He befriended Southern sympathizers in Maryland, who found him passage into Virginia with a blockade runner across the Potomac River. He met the Generals Robert E. Lee, James Longstreet, and Stonewall Jackson. He also provided an analysis on Lieutenant-General Nathan Bedford Forrest. The New Orleans Picayune (10 April 1892) published Wolseley's ten-page portrayal of Lieutenant-General Nathan Bedford Forrest, which condensed much of what was written about Forrest by biographers of the time. This work appeared in the Journal of the Southern Historical Society in the same year, and is commonly cited today. Wolseley addressed Forrest's role at the Battle of Fort Pillow near Memphis, Tennessee in April, 1864 in which African-American USCT troops and white officers were alleged by some to have been slaughtered after Fort Pillow had been conquered. Wolseley wrote, "I do not think that the fact that one-half of the small garrison of a place taken by assault was either killed or wounded evinced any very unusual bloodthirstiness on the part of the assailants."
He returned to Canada where he became a brevet
colonel on 5 June 1865 and Assistant Quartermaster-General in Canada with effect from the same date. He was actively employed the following year in the defence of Canada from Fenian raids launched from the United States. He was appointed Deputy Quartermaster-General in Canada on 1 October 1867. In 1869 his Soldiers' Pocket Book for Field Service was published, and has since run through many editions. In 1870, he successfully commanded the Red River Expedition to establish Canadian sovereignty over the Northwest Territories and Manitoba. Manitoba had entered Canadian Confederation when the Hudson's Bay Company transferred its control of western Canada to the government of the Dominion of Canada. British and Canadian authorities ignored the pre-existing Government of Assiniobia and botched negotiations with its replacement, the Métis's rebel Provisional Government headed by Louis Riel. The campaign to put down the rebellion was made difficult by the poor communications at the time. Fort Garry (now Winnipeg), the capital of Manitoba was a small centre separated from Ontario by the rocks and forests of the Canadain Shield region. The easiest route to Fort Garry did not pass through the United States and was through a network of rivers and lakes extending for six-hundred miles from Lake Superior, infrequently traversed by non-aboriginals, and where no supplies were obtainable. The admirable arrangements made and the careful organization of the transport reflected great credit to the commander (Wolseley), who upon his return home was made a KCMG on 22 December 1870 and a CB on 13 March 1871.
Appointed assistant
adjutant-general at the War Office in 1871 he furthered the Cardwell schemes of army reform.


In 1873, he commanded the expedition to Ashanti, and, having made all his arrangements at the Gold Coast before the arrival of the troops in January 1874, was able to complete the campaign in two months, and re-embark them for home before the unhealthy season began. This was the campaign which made him a household name in England. He fought the Battle of Amoaful on 31 January of that year, and, after five days' fighting, ending with the Battle of Ordashu, entered Kumasi, which he burned. He received the thanks of both houses of Parliament and a grant of £25,000 was promoted to brevet major-general for distinguished service in the field on 1 April 1874, received the medal and clasp and was made GCMG on 31 March 1874 and KCB. The freedom of the city of London was conferred upon him with a sword of honour, and he was made honorary DCL of Oxford and LL.D of Cambridge universities. On his return home he was appointed inspector-general of auxiliary forces with effect from 1 April 1874; however, in consequence of the indigenous unrest in Natal, he was sent to that colony as governor and general-commanding on 24 February 1875.
He accepted a seat on the council of India in November 1876 and was promoted to the substantive rank of major-general on 1 October 1877. Having been promoted to brevet lieutenant-general on 25 March 1878, he went as high-commissioner to the newly acquired possession of Cyprus on 12 July 1878, and in the following year to South Africa to supersede Lord Chelmsford in command of the forces in the Zulu War, and as governor of Natal and the Transvaal and the High Commissioner of Southern Africa. But, upon his arrival at Durban in July, he found that the war in Zululand was practically over, and, after effecting a temporary settlement, he went on to the Transvaal. He was promoted to brevet general while serving in South Africa on 4 June 1879. Having reorganized the administration there and reduced the powerful King, Sekhukhune, to submission, he returned home in May 1880 and was appointed Quartermaster-General to the Forces on 1 July 1880. For his services in South Africa he received the South Africa Medal with clasp, and was advanced to GCB on 19 June 1880.

Egypt and Commander-in-Chief

On 1 April 1882, Wolseley was appointed Adjutant-General to the Forces, and, in August of that year, given command of the British forces in Egypt under Muhammad Ali and his successors to suppress the Urabi Revolt. Having seized the Suez Canal, he then disembarked his troops at Ismailia and, after a very short campaign, completely defeated Urabi Pasha at the Battle of Tel el-Kebir, thereby suppressing yet another rebellion. For his services, he received the thanks of Parliament and the medal with clasp, was raised to the peerage as Baron Wolseley, of Cairo and of Wolseley in the County of Stafford, received from the Khedive the 1st class of the Order of Osmanieh, and was promoted to the substantive rank of general on 18 November.
On 1 September 1884, Wolseley was again called away from his duties as adjutant-general, to command the
Nile Expedition for the relief of General Gordon and the besieged garrison at Khartoum. The expedition arrived too late; Khartoum had been taken, and Gordon was dead. In the spring of 1885, complications with Imperial Russia over the Panjdeh Incident occurred, and the withdrawal of that particular expedition followed. For his services there, he received two clasps to his Egyptian medal, the thanks of Parliament, and was created Viscount Wolseley, of Wolseley in the County of Stafford, and a Knight of St Patrick. At the invitation of the Queen, the Wolseley family moved from their former home at 6 Hill Street, London to the much grander Ranger's House in Greenwich in Autumn 1888.
Wolseley continued at the War Office as
Adjutant-General to the Forces until 1890, when he became Commander-in-Chief, Ireland. He was promoted to be a field marshal on 26 May 1894, and appointed by the Conservative government to succeed the Duke of Cambridge as Commander-in-Chief of the Forces on 1 November 1895. This was the position to which his great experience in the field and his previous signal success at the War Office itself had fully entitled him. Field Marshal Viscount Wolseley's powers in that office were, however, limited by a new Order in Council, and after holding the appointment for over five years, he handed over the command-in-chief to his fellow field marshal, Earl Roberts, on 3 January 1901. He had also suffered from a serious illness in 1897, from which he never fully recovered. The unexpectedly large force required for South Africa, was mainly furnished by means of the system of reserves which Wolseley had originated; but the new conditions at the War Office were not to his liking, and, upon being released from responsibilities he brought the whole subject before the House of Lords in a speech.
He was
Gold Stick in Waiting to Queen Victoria and took part in the funeral procession following the death of Queen Victoria in February 1901. Following her death, he was made Gold Stick in Waiting to King Edward VII.
In early 1901 Lord Wolseley was appointed by
King Edward to lead a special diplomatic mission to announce the King´s accession to the governments of Austria-Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Turkey, and Greece. During his visit to Constantinople, the Sultan presented him with the Order of Osmanieh set in brilliants.
He was admitted to the
Order of Merit on 9 August 1902., and awarded the Volunteer Officers' Decoration on 11 August 1903. He was also honorary colonel of the 23rd Middlesex Regiment from 12 May 1883, honorary colonel of the Queen's Rifle Volunteer Brigade, the Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment) from 24 April 1889, colonel of the Royal Horse Guards from 29 March 1895 and colonel-in-chief of the Royal Irish Regiment from 20 July 1898.
In retirement he was a member of the council of the
Union-Castle Steamship Company.
He died on 26 March 1913, at
Menton on the French Riviera and was buried in the crypt of St Paul's Cathedral, London.

Montag, 12. Januar 2015

Thomas Pitt

Thomas Pitt is Detective Chief Inspector in 1838 till end of the century.
Pitt is from a working-class background in Victorian London. His father was a gamekeeper on a landed estate and Pitt was permitted to share the lessons with the son of the house. He was prompted to enter the police force after his father was wrongly accused of poaching game and was transported to Australia.
At the beginning of the series, Pitt is a Police Inspector, but was promoted to Superintendent. Later he is removed from his job as a result of investigating the "wrong people", i.e. those with sufficient influence and power, and joins the Special Branch, in which he becomes an Inspector. Later he is promoted to commander as Head of Special Branch.
His wife, Charlotte, is from an upper-class family. Her sister Emily's first husband was a viscount and her second husband is a rising politician. Charlotte frequently uses Emily's connections to the landed gentry and aristocracy to assist Pitt in his investigations. Charlotte also relies on her maid of all work, Gracie, to care for her two children, Jemima and Daniel, when she is investigating a mystery. Charlotte's well-intentioned interference in his investigations gives Pitt access to information which often enables the couple to solve the case together.
Vespasia Cumming-Gould, the elderly aunt of Emily's first husband, becomes a friend to both Emily and Charlotte and eases their way into society.

Harry Paget Flashman

Sir Harry Paget Flashman VC KCB KCIE is a fictional character created by George MacDonald Fraser (1925–2008), but based on the character "Flashman" in Tom Brown's School Days (1857), a semi-autobiographical work by Thomas Hughes (1822–1896). The character appears in a series of twelve books, collectively known as The Flashman Papers. Flashman was played by Malcolm McDowell in the 1975 Richard Lester film Royal Flash.
In Hughes' book, Flashman (a relatively minor character) is portrayed as a notorious bully at Rugby School who persecutes Tom Brown, and who is finally expelled for drunkenness. Fraser decided to write Flashman's memoirs, in which the school bully would be identified with an "illustrious Victorian soldier" experiencing many 19th-century wars and adventures and rising to high rank in the British Army, acclaimed as a great soldier, while remaining "a scoundrel, a liar, a cheat, a thief, a coward—and oh yes, a toady."
Fraser's Flashman is an antihero who often runs from danger in the novels. Nevertheless, through a combination of luck and cunning, he usually ends each volume acclaimed as a hero.

Flashman's ooc

Fraser gave Flashman a lifespan from 1822 to 1915 and a birth-date of 5 May. Flashman's first and middle names were created for the character as Flashman's first name is not given in Hughes's novel. Fraser uses them to make an ironic allusion to Henry Paget, 1st Marquess of Anglesey, and one of the heroes of Waterloo, who cuckolded the Duke of Wellington's brother Henry Wellesley and later - in one of the period's more celebrated scandals - married Wellesley's ex-wife.
In Flashman, Flashman says that the family fortune was made by his great-grandfather, Jack Flashman, in America trading in rum, slaves and "piracy too, I shouldn't wonder." Despite their wealth, the Flashmans "were never the thing": Flashman quotes the diarist Henry Greville's comment that "the coarse streak showed through, generation after generation, like dung beneath a rosebush." His father, Henry Buckley Flashman, appears in Black Ajax (1997). Buckley, a bold young officer in the British cavalry, was wounded in action at Talavera in 1809. He then tried to get into "society" by sponsoring bare-knuckle boxer Tom Molineaux (the first black man to contend for a championship) and subsequently married Flashman's mother Lady Alicia Paget, a fictional relation of the real Marquess of Anglesey. Buckley also served as a Member of Parliament but was "sent to the knacker's yard at Reform". Beside politics, his interests were drinking, fox hunting (riding to hounds) and women.

Flashman IC

Flashman is a large man, six feet two inches (1.88 m) tall and close to 13 stone (about 180 pounds or 82 kg). In Flashman and the Tiger, he mentions that one of his grandchildren has black hair and eyes, resembling him in his younger years. His dark colouring frequently enabled him to pass (in disguise) for a Pashtun. He claims only three natural talents: horsemanship, facility with foreign languages, and fornication. He becomes an expert cricket-bowler, but only through hard effort (he needed sporting credit at Rugby School, and feared to play rugby football). He can also display a winning personality when he wants to, and is very skilled at flattering those more important than himself without appearing servile.
As he admits in the Papers, Flashman is a coward, who will flee from danger if there was any way to do so, and on some occasions collapsed in funk. He has one great advantage in concealing this weakness: when he is frightened, his face turns red, rather than white, so that observers think he is excited, enraged, or exuberant - as a hero ought to be.
After his expulsion from Rugby School for drunkenness, the young Flashman looks for an easy life. He has his wealthy father buy him an officer's commission in the fashionable 11th Regiment of Light Dragoons. The 11th, commanded by Lord Cardigan, later involved in the Charge of the Light Brigade, has just returned from India and are not likely to be posted abroad soon. Flashman throws himself into the social life that the 11th offered and becomes a leading light of Canterbury society. In 1840 the regiment is converted to Hussars with an elegant blue and crimson uniform, which assists Flashman in attracting female attention for the remainder of his military career.
A duel with another officer over a French courtesan leads to his being temporarily stationed in Scotland. There he meets and deflowers Elspeth Morrison, daughter of a wealthy textile manufacturer, whom he has to marry in a "shotgun wedding" under threat of a horsewhipping by her uncle. But marriage to the daughter of a mere businessman forces his transferral from the snobbish 11th Hussars. He is sent to India to make a career in the army of the East India Company. Unfortunately, his language talent and his habit of flattery bring him to the attention of the Governor-General. The Governor does him the (very much unwanted) favour of assigning him as aide to General Elphinstone in Afghanistan. Flashman survives the ensuing debacle by a mixture of sheer luck and unstinting cowardice. He becomes an unwitting hero: the defender of Piper's Fort, where he is the only surviving white man, and is found by the relieving troops clutching the flag and surrounded by enemy dead. Of course, Flashman had arrived at the Fort by accident, collapsed in terror rather than fighting, been forced to stand and show fight by his subordinate, and is 'rumbled' for a complete coward. He had been trying to surrender the colours, not defend them. Happily for him, all inconvenient witnesses had been killed.
This incident sets the tone for Flashman's life. Over the following 60 years or so, he is involved in many of the major military conflicts of the 19th century — always in spite of his best efforts to evade his duty. He is often selected for especially dangerous jobs because of his heroic reputation. He meets many famous people, and survives some of the worst military disasters (the First Anglo-Afghan War, Charge of the Light Brigade, the Siege of Cawnpore, Battle of the Little Bighorn, Battle of Isandlwana), always coming out with more heroic laurels. The date of his last adventures seems to have been around 1900. He dies in 1915.
Despite his admitted cowardice, Flashman is a dab hand at fighting when he has to. Though he dodges danger as much as he can, and runs away when no one is watching, after the Piper's Fort incident, he usually controls his fear and often performs bravely. Almost every book contains one or more incidents where Flashman has to fight or perform some other daring action, and holds up long enough to complete it. For instance, he is ordered to accompany the Light Brigade on its famous charge, and rides all the way to the Russian guns. However most of these acts of 'bravery' are performed only when he has absolutely no choice, and to do anything else would result in his being exposed as a coward and losing his respected status in society, or being shot for desertion. When he can act like a coward with impunity, he invariably does.
Flashman surrenders to fear in front of witnesses only a few times, and is never caught out again. During the siege of Piper's Fort, in the first novel, Flashman cowers weeping in his bed at the start of the final assault; the only witness to this dies before relief comes. He breaks down while accompanying Rajah Brooke during a battle with pirates, but the noise drowns out his blubbering, and he recovers enough to command a storming party of sailors (placing himself right in the middle of the party, to avoid stray bullets). After the Charge of the Light Brigade, he flees in panic from the fighting in the battery - but mistakenly charges into an entire Russian regiment, adding to his heroic image.
In spite of his numerous character flaws, Flashman is represented as being a perceptive observer of his times ("I saw further than most in some ways"). In its obituary of George MacDonald Fraser, The Economist commented that realistic sharp-sightedness ("if not much else") was an attribute shared with his creation.

Charles George Gordon

Major-General Charles George Gordon, CB (28 January 1833 – 26 January 1885), also known as Chinese Gordon, Gordon Pasha, and Gordon of Khartoum, was a British army officer and administrator.
He saw action in the Crimean War as an officer in the British Army. For this service he was appointed a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour by the Government of France on 16 July 1856.
But he made his military reputation in China, where he was placed in command of the "Ever Victorious Army," a force of Chinese soldiers led by European officers. In the early 1860s, Gordon and his men were instrumental in putting down the Taiping Rebellion, regularly defeating much larger forces. For these accomplishments, he was given the nickname "Chinese" Gordon and honours from both the Emperor of China and the British.
He entered the service of the Khedive in 1873 (with British government approval) and later became the Governor-General of the Sudan, where he did much to suppress revolts and the slave trade. Exhausted, he resigned and returned to Europe in 1880.
A serious revolt then broke out in the Sudan, led by a Muslim reformer and self-proclaimed Mahdi, Muhammad Ahmad. Gordon was sent to Khartoum with instructions to secure the evacuation of loyal soldiers and civilians, and depart with them. After evacuating about 2,500 British civilians he retained a smaller group of soldiers and non-military men. In the buildup to battle, the two leaders corresponded, each attempting to convert the other to his faith, but neither would accede. Besieged by the Mahdi's forces, Gordon organized a city-wide defence lasting almost a year that gained him the admiration of the British public, but not the government, which had not wished to become entrenched (as Gordon was instructed before setting out). Only when public pressure to act had become too great did the government reluctantly send a relief force. It arrived two days after the city had fallen and Gordon had been killed.

Early life

Gordon was born in Woolwich, London, a son of Major-General Henry William Gordon (1786–1865) and Elizabeth (Enderby) Gordon (1792–1873). He was educated at Fullands School in Taunton, Somerset, Taunton School, and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. He was commissioned in 1852 as a second lieutenant in the Royal Engineers, completing his training at Chatham. He was promoted to full lieutenant in 1854.
Gordon was first assigned to construct fortifications at Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire, Wales. When the Crimean War began, he was sent to the Russian Empire, arriving at Balaklava in January 1855. He was put to work in the Siege of Sevastopol and took part in the assault of the Redan from 18 June to 8 September. Gordon took part in the expedition to Kinburn, and returned to Sevastopol at the war's end. For his services in the Crimea, he received the Crimean war medal and clasp. Following the peace, he was attached to an international commission to mark the new border between the Russian Empire and the Ottoman Empire in Bessarabia. He continued surveying, marking off the boundary into Asia Minor. Gordon returned to Britain in late 1858, and was appointed as an instructor at Chatham. He was promoted to captain in April 1859.


In 1860 Gordon volunteered to serve in China (see the Second Opium War and the Taiping Rebellion). He arrived at Tianjin in September of that year. He was present at the occupation of Beijing and destruction of the Summer Palace. The British forces occupied northern China until April 1862, then under General Charles William Dunbar Staveley, withdrew to Shanghai to protect the European settlement from the rebel Taiping army.
Following the successes in the 1850s in the provinces of Guangxi, Hunan and Hubei, and the capture of Nanjing in 1853 the rebel advance had slowed. For some years, the Taipings gradually advanced eastwards, but eventually they came close enough to Shanghai to alarm the European inhabitants. A militia of Europeans and Asians was raised for the defense of the city and placed under the command of an American, Frederick Townsend Ward, and occupied the country to the west of Shanghai.
The British arrived at a crucial time. Staveley decided to clear the rebels within 30 miles (48 km) of Shanghai in cooperation with Ward and a small French force. Gordon was attached to his staff as engineer officer. Jiading, northwest suburb of present Shanghai, Qingpu and other towns were occupied, and the area was fairly cleared of rebels by the end of 1862.
Ward was killed in the Battle of Cixi and his successor H. A. Burgevine, an American was disliked by the Imperial Chinese authorities. Li Hongzhang, the governor of the Jiangsu province, requested Staveley to appoint a British officer to command the contingent. Staveley selected Gordon, who had been made a brevet major in December 1862 and the nomination was approved by the British government. In March 1863 Gordon took command of the force at Songjiang, which had received the name of "Ever Victorious Army." Without waiting to reorganize his troops, Gordon led them at once to the relief of Chansu, a town 40 miles north-west of Shanghai. The relief was successfully accomplished and Gordon quickly won the respect of his troops. His task was made easier by innovative military ideas Ward had implemented in the Ever Victorious Army.
He then reorganized his force and advanced against Kunshan, which was captured at considerable loss. Gordon then took his force through the country, seizing towns until, with the aid of Imperial troops, the city of Suzhou was captured in November. Following a dispute with Li Hongzhang over the execution of rebel leaders, Gordon withdrew his force from Suzhou and remained inactive at Kunshan until February 1864. Gordon then made a rapprochement with Li and visited him in order to arrange for further operations. The "Ever-Victorious Army" resumed its high tempo advance, culminating in the capture of Changzhou Fu (see also Battle of Changzhou) in May, the principal military base of the Taipings in the region. Gordon then returned to Kunshan and disbanded his army.
The Emperor promoted Gordon to the rank of tidu (提督: "Chief commander of Jiangsu province"), decorated him with the imperial yellow jacket, and raised him to Qing's Viscount first class. The British Army promoted Gordon to Lieutenant-Colonel and he was made a Companion of the Bath. He also gained the popular nickname "Chinese Gordon."

Service with the Khedive

Gordon returned to Britain and commanded the Royal Engineers' efforts around Gravesend, Kent, the erection of forts for the defense of the River Thames. Following the death of his father he undertook extensive social work in the town including teaching at the local ragged school and donated the gardens of his official residence Fort House (now a museum) to the town. In October 1871, he was appointed British representative on the international commission to maintain the navigation of the mouth of the River Danube, with headquarters at Galatz. In 1872, Gordon was sent to inspect the British military cemeteries in the Crimea, and when passing through Constantinople he made the acquaintance of the Prime Minister of Egypt, who opened negotiations for Gordon to serve under the Khedive, Ismail Pasha. In 1873, Gordon received a definite offer from the Khedive, which he accepted with the consent of the British government, and proceeded to Egypt early in 1874. Gordon was made a colonel in the Egyptian army. The Egyptian authorities had been extending their control southwards since the 1820s. An expedition was sent up the White Nile, under Sir Samuel Baker, which reached Khartoum in February 1870 and Gondokoro in June 1871. Baker met with great difficulties and managed little beyond establishing a few posts along the Nile. The Khedive asked for Gordon to succeed Baker as governor of the region. After a short stay in Cairo, Gordon proceeded to Khartoum via Suakin and Berber. From Khartoum, he proceeded up the White Nile to Gondokoro.
Gordon remained in the Gondokoro provinces until October 1876. He had succeeded in establishing a line of way stations from the Sobat confluence on the White Nile to the frontier of Uganda, where he proposed to open a route from Mombasa. In 1874 he built the station at Dufile on the Albert Nile to reassemble steamers carried there past rapids for the exploration of Lake Albert. Considerable progress was made in the suppression of the slave trade. However, Gordon had come into conflict with the Egyptian governor of Khartoum and Sudan. The clash led to Gordon informing the Khedive that he did not wish to return to the Sudan and he left for London. Ismail Pasha wrote to him saying that he had promised to return, and that he expected him to keep his word. Gordon agreed to return to Cairo, and was asked to take the position of Governor-General of the entire Sudan, which he accepted. He thereafter received the honorific rank and title of a pasha in the local aristocracy.

Governor-General of the Sudan

As governor, Gordon faced a variety of challenges. During the 1870s, European initiatives against the slave trade caused an economic crisis in northern Sudan, precipitating increasing unrest. Relations between Egypt and Abyssinia (later renamed Ethiopia) had become strained due to a dispute over the district of Bogos, and war broke out in 1875. An Egyptian expedition was completely defeated near Gundet. A second and larger expedition, under Prince Hassan, was sent the following year and was routed at Gura. Matters then remained quiet until March 1877, when Gordon proceeded to Massawa, hoping to make peace with the Abyssinians. He went up to Bogos and wrote to the king proposing terms. However, he received no reply as the king had gone southwards to fight with the Shoa. Gordon, seeing that the Abyssinian difficulty could wait, proceeded to Khartoum.
An insurrection had broken out in Darfur and Gordon went to deal with it. The insurgents were numerous and he saw that diplomacy had a better chance of success. Gordon, accompanied only by an interpreter, rode into the enemy camp to discuss the situation. This bold move proved successful, as many of the insurgents joined him, though the remainder retreated to the south. Gordon visited the provinces of Berber and Dongola, and then returned to the Abyssinian frontier, before ending up back in Khartoum in January 1878. Gordon was summoned to Cairo, and arrived in March to be appointed president of a commission. The Khedive was deposed in 1879 in favor of his son.
Gordon returned south and proceeded to Harrar, south of Abyssinia, and, finding the administration in poor standing, dismissed the governor. He then returned to Khartoum, and went again into Darfur to suppress the slave traders. His subordinate, Gessi Pasha, fought with great success in the Bahr-el-Ghazal district in putting an end to the revolt there. Gordon then tried another peace mission to Abyssinia. The matter ended with Gordon's imprisonment and transfer to Massawa. Thence he returned to Cairo and resigned his Sudan appointment. He was exhausted by years of incessant work.
In March 1880, he recovered for a couple of weeks in the Hotel du Faucon in Lausanne, 3 Rue St Pierre, famous for its views on Lake Geneva and because celebrities such as Giuseppe Garibaldi (one of Gordon's heroes, possibly one of the reasons Gordon had chosen this hotel) had stayed there. In the hotel's restaurant (now a pub called Happy Days) he met another guest from England, the reverend R.H. Barnes, vicar of Heavitree near Exeter, who became a good friend. After Gordon's death Barnes co-authored Charles George Gordon: A Sketch (1885), which begins with the meeting at the hotel in Lausanne.
Other offers

On 2 March 1880, on his way from London to Switzerland, Gordon had visited King Leopold II of Belgium in Brussels and was invited to take charge of the Congo Free State. In April, the government of the Cape Colony offered him the position of commandant of the Cape local forces. In May, the Marquess of Ripon, who had been given the post of Governor-General of India, asked Gordon to go with him as private secretary. Gordon accepted the offer, but shortly after arriving in India, he resigned.
Hardly had he resigned when he was invited by Sir Robert Hart, 1st Baronet, inspector-general of customs in China, to Beijing. He arrived in China in July and met Li Hongzhang, and learned that there was risk of war with Russia. Gordon proceeded to Beijing and used all his influence to ensure peace.
Gordon returned to Britain and rented an apartment on 8 Victoria Grove in London. But in April 1881 he left for Mauritius as Commanding Royal Engineer. He remained in Mauritius until March 1882, when he was promoted to major-general. He was sent to the Cape to aid in settling affairs in Basutoland. He returned to the United Kingdom after only a few months.
Being unemployed, Gordon decided to go to Palestine, a region he had long desired to visit; he would remain there for a year (1882–83). After his visit, Gordon suggested in his book Reflections in Palestine a different location for Golgotha, the site of Christ´s execution. The site lies north of the traditional site at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and is now known as "The Garden Tomb," or sometimes as "Gordon's Calvary." Gordon's interest was prompted by his religious beliefs, as he had become an evangelical Christian in 1854.
King Leopold II then asked him again to take charge of the Congo Free State. He accepted and returned to London to make preparations, but soon after his arrival the British requested that he proceed immediately to the Sudan, where the situation had deteriorated badly after his departure—another revolt had arisen, led by the self-proclaimed Mahdi, Mohammed Ahmed.

Mahdist revolt and death

The Egyptian forces in the Sudan were insufficient to cope with the rebels, and the northern government was occupied in the suppression of the Urabi Revolt. By September 1882, the Sudanese position had grown perilous. In December 1883, the British government ordered Egypt to abandon the Sudan, but that was difficult to carry out, as it involved the withdrawal of thousands of Egyptian soldiers, civilian employees, and their families. The British government asked Gordon to proceed to Khartoum to report on the best method of carrying out the evacuation.
Gordon started for Cairo in January 1884, accompanied by Lt. Col. J. D. H. Stewart. At Cairo, he received further instructions from Sir Evelyn Baring, and was appointed governor-general with executive powers. Traveling through Korosko and Berber, he arrived at Khartoum on 18 February, where he offered his earlier foe, the slaver-king Sebehr Rahma, release from prison in exchange for leading troops against Ahmed. Gordon commenced the task of sending the women and children and the sick and wounded to Egypt, and about 2,500 had been removed before the Mahdi's forces closed in. Gordon hoped to have the influential local leader Sebehr Rahma appointed to take control of Sudan, but the British government refused to support a former slaver.
The advance of the rebels against Khartoum was combined with a revolt in the eastern Sudan; the Egyptian troops at Suakin were repeatedly defeated. A British force was sent to Suakin under General Sir Gerald Graham, and forced the rebels away in several hard-fought actions. Gordon urged that the road from Suakin to Berber be opened, but his request was refused by the government in London, and in April Graham and his forces were withdrawn and Gordon and the Sudan were abandoned. The garrison at Berber surrendered in May, and Khartoum was completely isolated.
Gordon energetically organized the defense of Khartoum. A siege by the Mahdist forces started on 18 March 1884. The British had decided to abandon the Sudan, but it was clear that Gordon had other plans, and the public increasingly called for a relief expedition. It was not until August that the government decided to take steps to relieve Gordon, and only by November was the British relief force, called the Nile Expedition, or, more popularly, the Khartoum Relief Expedition or Gordon Relief Expedition (a title that Gordon strongly deprecated), under the command of Field Marshal Garnet Wolseley, ready.
The force consisted of two groups, a "flying column" of camel-borne troops from Wadi Halfa. The troops reached Korti towards the end of December, and arrived at Metemma on 20 January 1885. There they found four gunboats which had been sent north by Gordon four months earlier, and prepared them for the trip back up the Nile. On 24 January two of the steamers, carrying 20 soldiers of the Sussex Regiment wearing red tunics to clearly identify them as British, were sent on a reconnaissance mission to Khartoum, with orders from Wolseley not to attempt to rescue Gordon or bring him ammunition or food. On arriving at Khartoum on 28 January, they found that the city had been captured and Gordon had been killed two days previously (two days before his 52nd birthday). Under heavy fire from Dervish warriors on the bank the two steamers turned back up-river.
The British press criticized the relief force for arriving two days late but it was later argued that the Mahdi's forces had good intelligence and if the camel corps had advanced earlier, the final attack on Khartoum would also have come earlier. Finally, the boats sent were not there to relieve Gordon (who was not expected to agree to abandon the city) and the small force and limited supplies on board could have offered scant military support for the besieged.

The manner of his death is uncertain but it was romanticized in a popular painting by George William Joy - General Gordon's Last Stand (1885, currently in the Leeds City Art Gallery), and again in the film Khartoum (1966) with Charlton Heston as Gordon.
Gordon was apparently killed about an hour before dawn, at the Governor-General's palace. As recounted in Bernard M. Allen’s article "How Khartoum Fell" (1941), the Mahdi had given strict orders to his three Khalifas not to kill Gordon. However, the orders were not obeyed. Gordon died on the steps of a stairway in the northwestern corner of the palace, where he and his personal bodyguard, Agha Khalil Orphali, had been firing at the enemy. Orphali was knocked unconscious and did not see Gordon die. When he woke up again that afternoon, he found Gordon's body covered with flies and the head cut off. A merchant, Bordeini Bey, glimpsed Gordon standing on the palace steps in a white uniform looking into the darkness. Reference is made to an 1889 account of the General surrendering his sword to a senior Mahdist officer, then being struck and subsequently speared in the side as he rolled down the staircase. When Gordon's head was unwrapped at the Mahdi's feet, he ordered the head transfixed between the branches of a tree "…where all who passed it could look in disdain, children could throw stones at it and the hawks of the desert could sweep and circle above." His body was desecrated and thrown down a well. After the reconquest of the Sudan, in 1898, several attempts were made to locate Gordon's remains, but in vain.
In the hours following Gordon's death an estimated 10,000 civilians and members of the garrison were killed in Khartoum. The massacre was finally halted by orders of the Mahdi.
Many of Gordon's papers were saved and collected by two of his sisters, Helen Clark Gordon, who married Gordon's medical colleague in China, Dr. Moffit, and Mary, who married Gerald Henry Blunt. Gordon's papers, as well as some of his grandfather's (Samuel Enderby III), were accepted by the British Library around 1937.

Freitag, 9. Januar 2015

Frederick Gustavus Burnaby

Colonel Frederick Gustavus Burnaby (3 March 1842 – 17 January 1885) was an English traveller and British Army officer.

He was born in Bedford, the son of the Rev. Gustavus Andrew Burnaby of Somerby Hall, Leicestershire, and canon of Middleham in Yorkshire (died 15 July 1872), by Harriet, sister of Henry Villebois of Marham House, Norfolk (d. 1883). His sister Mary married John Manners-Sutton. He was educated at Bedford School, Harrow, Oswestry School (where he was a contemporary with William Archibald Spooner), and in Germany.

He entered the Royal Horse Guards in 1859. Finding no chance for active service, his spirit of adventure sought outlets in balloon ascents and in travels through Spain and Russia. In the summer of 1874 he accompanied the Carlist forces in Spain as correspondent of The Times, but before the end of the war he was transferred to Africa to report on Gordon's expedition to the Sudan. This took Burnaby as far as Khartoum.

Returning to England in March 1875, he matured his plans for a journey on horseback to the Khanate of Khiva through Russian Asia, which had just been closed to travellers. His accomplishment of this task, in the winter of 1875–1876, described in his book A Ride to Khiva, brought him immediate fame. His next leave of absence was spent in another adventurous journey on horseback, through Asia Minor, from Scutari to Erzerum, with the object of observing the Russian frontier, an account of which he afterwards published. In the Russo-Turkish War of 1877, Burnaby (who soon afterwards became lieutenant-colonel) acted as travelling agent to the Stafford House (Red Cross) Committee, but had to return to England before the campaign was over.

In 1879 he married Elizabeth Hawkins-Whitshed, who had inherited her father's lands at Greystones, Ireland. The previously-named Hawkins-Whitshed estate at Greystones is known as The Burnaby to this day. At this point began his active interest in politics, and in 1880 he unsuccessfully contested Birmingham in the Tory-Democrat interest.
In 1882 he crossed the English Channel in a hot air balloon. Having been disappointed in his hope of seeing active service in the Egyptian Campaign of 1882, he participated in the Suakin campaign of 1884 without official leave, and was wounded at El Teb when acting as an intelligence officer under General Valentine Baker. This did not deter him from a similar course when a fresh expedition started up the Nile. He was given a post by Lord Wolseley, and met his death in the hand-to-hand fighting of the Battle of Abu Klea.
Henry Newbolt's poem "Vitaï Lampada" is often quoted as referring to Burnaby's death at Abu Klea; "The Gatling's jammed and the Colonel's dead...", (although it was a Gardner machine gun which jammed). It was, perhaps, because of an impromptu order by Burnaby (who, as a supernumerary, had no official capacity in the battle) that the Dervishes managed to get inside the square.


  • A Ride to Khiva: Travels and Adventures in Central Asia
  • On Horseback Through Asia Minor
  • Practical Instruction of Staff Officers in Foreign Armies, published 1872
  • A Ride across the Channel, published 1882
  • Our Radicals: a tale of love and politics, published 1886
  • Regular contributions to The Times, Vanity Fair and Punch from 1872 onwards


What is The Victorian Century ?

This blog serves to support and create background for my blog
in which I present my model building work. But I imagine there also movies, books and any kind of background to the British Empire and other things concerning my hobby like everything about whiskey and good food or living in the past and present.

I therefore use this blog as an archive to which I can refer me. There I can also store information that would just overwhelm the main blog.

However, I will collect mainly information about people and places on earth in reality and the fiction. Thus, real people, such as Burnaby, Kitchener and Lord Curzon find just as fictional persons, as Flashman, Sherlock Holmes, or time travelers from HG Wells book The Time Machine.
Germany, January 2015
Gordon aka Andreas