Role of 15th Hussars in 2nd Afghan War

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Role of 15th Hussars in 2nd Afghan War

Postby DGoode32 » 31 Aug 2011 16:17

My grandfather Private John Goode went to Afghanistan with the 15th Hussars. The one thing that survives is a little red booklet giving 24 views of H M Indian Troop Ship's trip to India and back. Do any of you knowledgeable people know what role the Hussars played in the campaign and over what period?? I am writing an account of his life and times and would welcome any information which might throw light on what he was doing there.
David
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Re: Role of 15th Hussars role in 2nd Afghan War

Postby Maureene » 02 Sep 2011 03:13

Hi David

I don’t have any specific information, but for general information see the FIBIS Fibiwiki pages 2nd Afghan War and 15th (The King's) Hussars

http://wiki.fibis.org/index.php?title=2nd_Afghan_War

Unfortunately the link for the 15th Hussars will not copy properly (I don’t know why) but if you go the the FIBIS Fibiwiki Main page http://wiki.fibis.org/index.php?title=Main_Page and type 15th Hussars in the Search, the page will come up

You may find something investigating the various links

Cheers
Maureen
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Re: Role of 15th Hussars in 2nd Afghan War

Postby Frogsmile » 04 Sep 2011 16:18

DGoode32 wrote:My grandfather Private John Goode went to Afghanistan with the 15th Hussars. The one thing that survives is a little red booklet giving 24 views of H M Indian Troop Ship's trip to India and back. Do any of you knowledgeable people know what role the Hussars played in the campaign and over what period?? I am writing an account of his life and times and would welcome any information which might throw light on what he was doing there.
David


The following info is courtesy of member 'Garen' from this Forum who also runs an excellent website on the war concerned: http://www.garenewing.co.uk/angloafghan ... iments.php

"They marched on Kandahar in December 1878/January 1879, with two squadrons of the 15th seeing action en route at Takht-i-Pul and in the Ghlo Pass; they were at Kandahar for just a few days before they accompanied General Biddulph up to Khelat-i-Ghilzai, stayed there a fortnight, and then returned to Kandahar. Soon after they were sent back into the Pishin Valley, opening up a route through Yargistan and then returning to India (Mirat). They started for the Afghan border again in August 1880, pausing at Quetta and eventually reaching Kandahar after the campaign had been effectively ended by Roberts' victory at the city earlier on Sept 1st. They were back in India in October."

"Out of interest, the 15th Hussars suffered greatly from the cold at the Bolan Pass on their first advance to Kandahar, and greatly from the heat at the same location on their second advance in August 1880."
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Re: Role of 15th Hussars in 2nd Afghan War

Postby DGoode32 » 05 Sep 2011 16:08

Thanks so much Garen for a really enlightening answer. Thanks also to Frogsmile and Maureen.

Here's two supplementary questions, if you're happy to answer them. In a cavalry regiment at that time how would a Private move around - on horseback, on foot or on some kind of wheels? I'm interested to know how tough my grandfather was! Secondly,did they disembark in Bombay as my red booklet indicates which would have left them with a huge overland journey or perhaps Karachi to give them easier access to Quetta?

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Re: Role of 15th Hussars in 2nd Afghan War

Postby Garen » 05 Sep 2011 19:47

Hello David

He'd be on horseback - but don't think it meant he wasn't tough! Troopers had to get up an hour before breakfast to tend their horses and had to be skilled with a sword and a lance as well as a firearm. They had to be able to ford rivers and were often weighted down with a lot of kit - dangerous in the water.

I don't know when your grandfather enlisted with the Hussars, but the regiment itself went out to India aboard the Serapis, leaving Portsmouth 14 Nov 1869. At Suez they exchanged to the Malabar and arrived at Bombay 17 Dec 1869.

As far as the Afghan war goes, the 15th left Mirat in Oct 1878, moved by rail to Multan and then rode along the left bank of the Indus to Mithankote. They crossed the river and entered Marri territory, passed through Dera Bughti, and reached the Bolan Pass in Dec 1878. From there it was on to Quetta and Kandahar, as previously noted.

Best - Garen
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Re: Role of 15th Hussars in 2nd Afghan War

Postby Frogsmile » 06 Sep 2011 21:16

This is a rather good image of a Hussar in Afghanistan at that time and shows a lot of the kit and kaboodle that Garen has mentioned.
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Re: Role of 15th Hussars in 2nd Afghan War

Postby DGoode32 » 31 Oct 2011 16:55

Hello Garen

I recently managed to get my grandfather's military records -which as he died 30 years before I showed up is quite a thrill. This leads me back to yours of the 5 Sept and its now clear that he sailed out with the 15th Hussars on the dates you gave me then. One very interesting point emerges namely that the Serapis left Portsmouth 3 days before the opening of the Suez Canal on 17 November. The question is was it therefore one of the first troopships to go through the canal or did it as you seem to imply proceed as all warships did prior to the canal opening with troops and horses disembarking at Port Said and reembarking at Suez?
In 1890 the 15th left India for S Africa, arriving just in time to be involved in the disastrous Battle of Majuba Hill. They apparently lost a lot of horses en route and had a generally tough time getting to the warzone though were fortunate not to be involved on Majuba itself. Do you have anything on this or can you point me to more detail.

Thanks

David
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Re: Role of 15th Hussars in 2nd Afghan War

Postby Garen » 10 Nov 2011 14:04

DGoode32 wrote:One very interesting point emerges namely that the Serapis left Portsmouth 3 days before the opening of the Suez Canal on 17 November. The question is was it therefore one of the first troopships to go through the canal or did it as you seem to imply proceed as all warships did prior to the canal opening with troops and horses disembarking at Port Said and reembarking at Suez?

At this time the overland route was still used for the transporting of troops from England to India. The Serapis arrived at Alexandria on 29 Nov and the Malabar departed from Suez on the evening of the 1 Dec 1869.

DGoode32 wrote:In 1890 the 15th left India for S Africa, arriving just in time to be involved in the disastrous Battle of Majuba Hill. They apparently lost a lot of horses en route and had a generally tough time getting to the warzone though were fortunate not to be involved on Majuba itself. Do you have anything on this or can you point me to more detail.

The 15th left Bombay aboard the Euphrates on 10 Jan 1881 and arrived at Durban on 25 Jan 1881. To complete the journey home, they departed Natal on 23 Nov 1881 aboard the Tamar for Portsmouth, where they arrived on 3 Jan 1882. Other than that, I'm afraid, as it leaves my narrow field of interest (Second Afghna War), I become quite useless - sorry :-)
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Re: Role of 15th Hussars in 2nd Afghan War

Postby terri » 23 Oct 2012 17:59

Hi have just found this site and link, having discovered my husbands great grandfathers service records and his dates seem to tie in with the Serapis and the transfer to South Africa -apparently he had medals for the Afghan Campaign and the Boer War, although we do not have them, but I know he was in hospital in Meerut 3rd August 1878 for six days and again on 26th April 1879 for 22 days with ague. I can't read all the writing,but it seems to suggest malaria and reading Garen's links, I wondered if this was a danger in the region? Also how many men were there on one ship eg Serapis? Have you written your book DGoode32 and if so have you included the views from the little red book? Would love to see them! Thanks for a great site Garen. I can't believe I have found so much detail in 24 hours. If it is of any interest my relatives name is Charles Ivory B/291 15th Hussars enlisted 30th June 1869 aged 18
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Re: Role of 15th Hussars in 2nd Afghan War

Postby bobmacc » 09 Aug 2014 23:59

Good Morning David from Australia. I note in your post of 22 August 2011 that you managed to obtain the Military History of your ancestor and I am wondering how you did that. My Great Grandfather served with the 15th The Kings Hussars in Afghanistan and then was killed at The Battle of Majuba Hill in South Africa. I have been unable to find his birth and ancestors and am hoping his Military History may shed some light in the regard.
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Re: Role of 15th Hussars in 2nd Afghan War

Postby Maureene » 10 Aug 2014 07:32

Bobmacc, as your ancestor died while still in the Army, his service records will not have survived. However, it is possible you may be able to trace him in the muster rolls of the 15th Hussars, which should give an indication of his age. The muster rolls are only available at the National Archives at Kew, so you would to employ a researcher if you are unable to visit yourself. The FIBIS Fibiwiki page British Army, section Records has details
http://wiki.fibis.org/index.php?title=B ... my#Records

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