British officers in Italy (Major General William Earle?)

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British officers in Italy (Major General William Earle?)

Postby valdinocis » 10 Oct 2016 16:31

Good afternoon to all!
My name is Sonny and I’m a collector of old photographs from Italy. Some days ago I bought a cabinet-size photograph of four British officers. On reverse there is an inscription written in French which tells us the names of the officers depicted:

“Pour Major Sanguinetti avec les compliments de
Major General W. Earle (the same who died in the Battle of Kirbekan?)
Colonel Lord Ralph Kerr (Lord Ralph Drury Kerr [1837-1916]?)
Lt Col A. Crookshank (Arthur Chichester William Crookshank [1841 – 1888]?)
Lieut Hon. A. Henniker (Lieutenant Honourable Arthur Henry Henniker [1855 -1912]?)”

This photograph seems to date back to 1880s but I haven’t found nothing about Major Sanguinetti or the reason why these officers were in Italy.
Someone could help me in the identification of these officers? Do you have any idea of the reason why they were in Italy? Is it related to the Anglo-Egyptian War of 1882?
I will be grateful for any help you can provide!

Sonny

Image

Image
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Re: British officers in Italy (Major General William Earle?)

Postby researchingreg » 11 Oct 2016 19:41

Here is a photo of Major General William Earle - see if you can match it up with your photo. I have had to reduce it in size to upload it.
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Re: British officers in Italy (Major General William Earle?)

Postby BingandNelsonFan » 11 Oct 2016 19:50

I think that you can be pretty positive that the officer seated on the right is Major-General Earle. :)
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Re: British officers in Italy (Major General William Earle?)

Postby valdinocis » 11 Oct 2016 21:29

Hi!
Thanks to both of you! :) I’m very happy to find out that he is Major General Earle! :)
Image

I made a research and I found these images. In my opinion they match with the officers in my photograph. What do you think?

Colonel Kerr:
Image

Lt. Colonel Crookshank:
Image

I haven't found any photograph of Lt. Henniker and unfortunately I still haven't found the reason why they were in Italy.


Sonny
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Re: British officers in Italy (Major General William Earle?)

Postby BingandNelsonFan » 11 Oct 2016 22:04

I would say that you've absolutely got it right on the other two officers there! If I can turn up anything about why they are in Italy, I'll post. Let me go have a look. :)

Sarah
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Re: British officers in Italy (Major General William Earle?)

Postby BingandNelsonFan » 11 Oct 2016 22:11

Hi, again!

No clues on Italy yet, but here is a picture of Maj.-General Arthur Henry Henniker. He's older here, but I'd say that it's definitely the same man!
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Re: British officers in Italy (Major General William Earle?)

Postby BingandNelsonFan » 11 Oct 2016 22:20

Do you have any idea of the reason why they were in Italy? Is it related to the Anglo-Egyptian War of 1882?


It could very well be for this reason. The obituary for Major-General Earle in the "Illustrated London News" (21 Feb 1885) mentions that "On the commencement of the present operations [being the action during which Earle died], Major-General Earls, who was commanding the garrison at Alexandria, was the first designated for the supreme command, Lord Wolseley, however, being ultimately selected for this post."

Similarly, the obituary in "Jersey Independent and Daily Telegraph" (14 Feb 1885) said:
"At the conclusion of that campaign he was appointed to the command of the English garrison at Alexandria, which post he held until the advance up the Nile under Lord Wolseley, when he was chosen to head the force proceeding towards Berber."

That probably means that it wouldn't have been hard to end up in Venice --- even if they were just there on leave.

Sarah
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Re: British officers in Italy (Major General William Earle?)

Postby Frogsmile » 12 Oct 2016 11:53

valdinocis wrote:Good afternoon to all!
My name is Sonny and I’m a collector of old photographs from Italy. Some days ago I bought a cabinet-size photograph of four British officers. On reverse there is an inscription written in French which tells us the names of the officers depicted:

“Pour Major Sanguinetti avec les compliments de
Major General W. Earle (the same who died in the Battle of Kirbekan?)
Colonel Lord Ralph Kerr (Lord Ralph Drury Kerr [1837-1916]?)
Lt Col A. Crookshank (Arthur Chichester William Crookshank [1841 – 1888]?)
Lieut Hon. A. Henniker (Lieutenant Honourable Arthur Henry Henniker [1855 -1912]?)”

This photograph seems to date back to 1880s but I haven’t found nothing about Major Sanguinetti or the reason why these officers were in Italy.
Someone could help me in the identification of these officers? Do you have any idea of the reason why they were in Italy? Is it related to the Anglo-Egyptian War of 1882?
I will be grateful for any help you can provide!

Sonny



This almost certainly relates to the Italian military expedition to Massowa in 1885. Both Britain and Italy became involved in the Sudan at that time and there was an agreement between the two Nations. As the British Army was the more experienced of the two in operations of the type undertaken it seems to me that the officers pictured were probably sent as advisers to the Italian military. At that time French ('lingua Franca) was the common language taught to educated military men and so useful for communications between officers of the two Nations. The following is a brief extract regarding what occurred in the mid-1880s:

Just twenty-four years after the achievement of national unity and still beset by the many and grave problems pertaining to the amalgamation under one government of the territories of as many as six pre-1861 independent states, the young Kingdom of Italy deliberated that it had to have a part in the "Scramble for Africa".

Motivations of international prestige lay behind this decision: the colonial party feared that the exclusion of Italy from the partition of African territories would have fatally lessened her standing in the Concert of European Powers. The direction of the first serious colonial committment is likewise incidental: the presence of an embrional colonial possession in the bay of Assab at the southern end of the Red Sea. First acquired in 1870 by the shipowner Rubattino for the Italian Government and abandoned soon after for economic and politacal reasons, the bay and its immediate surroundings were revived in 1882, when the De Pretis government decides to took over administration from Rubattino and officially styles them as colony under Italian sovereignty.

This consolidation of the Italian position is preceded and fostered by a diplomatic agreement with the European Power which holds the most conspicuous interests in the area: Great Britain. Worried by the rising of Urabi Pasha in Cairo and fearing that a power vacuum in the lower Red Sea would be exploited by France, Britain encouraged the local ambitions of a traditionally friendly nation like Italy. This would show more clearly with the following decisive step of Italian colonialism: the occupation in January 1885 of the island and port of Massowa (Massaua in the Italian sources), a former Egyptian possession.

In 1884 the growing power of the Mahdist revolt in the Sudan pushes Gladstone to suggest to the Khedive of Egypt to withdraw his garrisons from outlying Sudanese provinces; France quickly grabs at the opportunity and reinforces her hold around Obock and occupies several localities on the Gulf of Tajura, the future territories of French Somaliland. Italy and Britain, equally worried by the French moves, reached an agreement by which the Italians could occupy the Red Sea ports of Beilul and Massowa.

On February 5th 1885 Col. Tancredi Saletta lands at Massowa with 807 men, quickly reinforced with artillery, engineer and more infantry soldiers.


You can read further here: http://www.victorianmilitarysociety.org ... onial-wars
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Re: British officers in Italy (Major General William Earle?)

Postby Mark A. Reid » 12 Oct 2016 15:10

What a marvellous Forum! I've been away for only a few days but returned to find that the collective, specialised knowledge of several members has already positively confirmed the identity of the sitters. Maybe Scotland Yard should send a recruiting party?

We may never learn the real reason why these four officers sat for their portrait in Venice but I wonder if it might have had more to do with Egypt than the Sudan? Before the British intervention in Egypt in 1882, the greatest European influence in the country was Italian. Italy had been invited to form the first national police force and the Khedive's civil service was riddled with Italian nationals. A quick look at Parliamentary Paper No. 6 ( 1882 ) lists literally dozens of Italians in key government appointments. Amongst them is an Oscar Sanguinetti, a Commissioner in the Controller-General's department of the Ministry of Finance. This may not be the man but it would make some sense that local knowledge on a particular subject might be gleaned from a foreign-born expert.

As Frogsmile mentioned, Italy continued to play an important part in the unfolding story of the Sudan, to the extent that an Italian liaison officer, Captain Gioppi, was attached to General Graham's staff in 1885. Only a captain, you might ask? Well, yes but to give him his proper title;
Captain, later Major-General, Count Antonio Maria Gioppi di Turkheim, Honourary Artillery Officer to HM King Umberto I, Knight of the Order of the Crown of Italy, Knight of the Order of St. Anne of Russia, Knight of the Order of the Red Eagle of Prussia ... and so on. I think we can take it that this was more than an " ordinary " captain.

I attach a well-known image, used with permission of the University of Durham, depicting General Graham and his staff at Suakin in early 1885. The officer standing second to the Viewer's Right of the tall General Graham, and sporting a white helmet and cross belts, is Captain Gioppi. He later wrote a series of articles about the handling, and occasionally mishandling, of artillery and transport animals in the campaign and also later served in Abyssinia with the Italian Army. A most fascinating character.

Cheers,

Mark
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Re: British officers in Italy (Major General William Earle?)

Postby valdinocis » 12 Oct 2016 21:08

Thanks Sarah, Frogsmile and Mark for your precious help and for the information you gave me!!! :)
I think that if we could find something more about Major Sanguinetti we will know the answer to the question. I spent a lot of time searching for Sanguinetti on the internet but unfortunately I haven’t found nothing. A member of another forum told me that on 26 October 1882 there was only an officer called Sanguinetti, that is to say Lt. Colonel Ippolito Sanguinetti. If he were the same officer mentioned in the inscription, the portrait would be taken before October 1882. As a result the presence of the four officers in Venice should be more related to Egypt than the Sudan as Mark said.

Mark: the photograph you posted is very interesting! I have never heard about Captain Gioppi before. It makes me curious to learn more about him!
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Re: British officers in Italy (Major General William Earle?)

Postby BingandNelsonFan » 13 Oct 2016 13:49

Here are two small newspaper reports that look pretty relevant and may cast light on the identity of Sanguinetti. Although, the name is not the most uncommon, and this could be someone else.

This appeared in the "Leeds Mercury" on 7 Mar 1883 (page 5):
ITALY.
Rome, Tuesday.--- The debate . . . continued today in the Chamber of Deputies . . . Signors Sanguinetti and Luzzati gave notice of two interpellations inquiring in what proportion the Minister of Marine would avail himself of the national inudstries in providing for the requirements of the fleet.



This appeared in the "Sheffield Daily Telegraph" on 21 Jun 1883 (page 5):
THE ITALIAN TARIFF.
Rome, June 20.--- The Chamber of Deputies today finished the discussion of the tarrif. Signor Sanguinetti in the course of the debate proposed that after 1885 the duty on salt should be reduced, bu Signor Magliani, Minister of Finance, opposed the proposal on the ground that he could not consent to the equilibrium of the Budget being endangered. Signor Solimbergo warmly insisted upon provision being made for the merchant marine, the situation of which is becoming worse and worse.



If you find out anything else, be sure to post! :)
Sarah
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Re: British officers in Italy (Major General William Earle?)

Postby valdinocis » 13 Oct 2016 21:17

BingandNelsonFan wrote:Here are two small newspaper reports that look pretty relevant and may cast light on the identity of Sanguinetti. Although, the name is not the most uncommon, and this could be someone else.

This appeared in the "Leeds Mercury" on 7 Mar 1883 (page 5):
ITALY.
Rome, Tuesday.--- The debate . . . continued today in the Chamber of Deputies . . . Signors Sanguinetti and Luzzati gave notice of two interpellations inquiring in what proportion the Minister of Marine would avail himself of the national inudstries in providing for the requirements of the fleet.



This appeared in the "Sheffield Daily Telegraph" on 21 Jun 1883 (page 5):
THE ITALIAN TARIFF.
Rome, June 20.--- The Chamber of Deputies today finished the discussion of the tarrif. Signor Sanguinetti in the course of the debate proposed that after 1885 the duty on salt should be reduced, bu Signor Magliani, Minister of Finance, opposed the proposal on the ground that he could not consent to the equilibrium of the Budget being endangered. Signor Solimbergo warmly insisted upon provision being made for the merchant marine, the situation of which is becoming worse and worse.



If you find out anything else, be sure to post! :)
Sarah


Hi Sarah!
You’re right! Unfortunately this name is not uncommon but I ‘m more and more convinced that “our” Sanguinetti could be Lt. Colonel Sanguinetti who appears on the Italian army list of 1882.
However, if I find something more about him I will certainly post! :)
Thank you! :D
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Re: British officers in Italy (Major General William Earle?)

Postby BingandNelsonFan » 13 Oct 2016 22:04

Hi, again! Been trying to have a look for Sanguinetti. Translating from Italian, there is a mention of him in "Nuova Antologia" (Volume 181, 1902, page 296):
"Lieutenant General Ippolito Sanguinetti, Commander of the Military Division of Cuneo"

Also, there are several results about him here, which could be typed into Google Translate and may offer some more clues.

Regards,
Sarah
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Re: British officers in Italy (Major General William Earle?)

Postby valdinocis » 14 Oct 2016 09:28

BingandNelsonFan wrote:Hi, again! Been trying to have a look for Sanguinetti. Translating from Italian, there is a mention of him in "Nuova Antologia" (Volume 181, 1902, page 296):
"Lieutenant General Ippolito Sanguinetti, Commander of the Military Division of Cuneo"

Also, there are several results about him here, which could be typed into Google Translate and may offer some more clues.

Regards,
Sarah


Hi Sarah! :)
He is "our" Sanguinetti! Could you please send me the link to the volume 181 of "Nuova Antologia"? I'm very curious to read it!

Regards,

Sonny
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Re: British officers in Italy (Major General William Earle?)

Postby Frogsmile » 14 Oct 2016 11:28

I am very intrigued by this and especially the possible connection with Egypt, it is interesting to know of the Italian connection there, which I had not heard of before.

One aspect that seems worth pursuing is what possible role, what seems to be a formal military mission (given the uniforms) by the British to Italy, might have had in connection with Egypt. I imagine that such a mission, if that is what it is, would be well recorded in the British press. Britain surely did not need advice about Egypt at that time and, given the involvement of Italy mentioned by Mark, nor it seems did they. So why Egypt?

Might it be an advisory mission to Italy in connection with the Sudan, about which Italy would have known little, but where Britain had been involved for a few years by that stage. Again, one assumes that there ought to be a record of such a trip by a group of distinguished and experienced British officers.
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