naval division member

For all discussions relating to the Second, Third, Fourth & Fifth Ashantee Wars fought between 1863 and 1900.

naval division member

Postby dodo8888 » 30 Jan 2009 14:22

Some years ago bought a medal at auction. Awarded to R EADY CARPS CREW HMS TAMAR 73 74 ASHANTI.
Anyone have naval history of the ship and its involvement in the Campaign please?
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Re: naval division member

Postby DavidB » 30 Jan 2009 22:29

Hi,
First off, do you have his service record?
This is the only possibility that I can see:
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/docu ... ultcount=9

As to what the ship did during the campaign, the short answer is....nothing really! :(
Like the Zulu War and Boer War for example, the Ashantee War was exclusively a land war. The naval ships of the West Africa squadron were purely a convenient source of manpower for service ashore, and a sizeable naval brigade did serve ashore. In fact though the majority of the naval personnel never left the ships at all.

The problem comes when trying to work out whether a particular sailor served ashore. Some of those who served in the Naval Brigade qualified for the Coomassie clasp to the medal (served in Ashantee territory north of the River Prah, inland in other words). As far as I know, these men are the only ones that we can demonstrate as being in the Naval Brigade. Captain Grubbe of HMS Tamar is an example, the only man of the Tamar who did get the clasp by the way.

Now then, when we come to recipients of no-clasp medals, there's nothing about the medals to distinguish those who landed with the naval brigade and those who never left the ships. There may just be something in the original medal rolls that marks them out, but I've never looked at the original RN rolls sadly.

So in summary then, unless there's some clue on his service papers the probability is that he was aboard Tamar the whole time. There is a small chance though that he saw some action ashore.
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Re: naval division member

Postby Valentine » 02 Feb 2009 14:35

Having looked more closely at the very faded service record I can now see that the medal my great great grandfather was awarded the Ashantee Medal on 14th Sept 1875.HMS Rattlesnake. It isn't clear if he saw action on land. Do you know how many of these medals were awarded ?
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Re: naval division member

Postby DavidB » 02 Feb 2009 20:23

Ah, I just replied to your other post Valentine. :D
As you say, it's the Ashantee medal.
I don't have a precise number of medals awarded to HMS Rattlesnake, but it was a screw corvette with a crew of roughly 240.
So that's the ballpark figure for the number of medals to the ship.
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Re: naval division member

Postby Valentine » 02 Feb 2009 23:22

Thanks again. I guess a number of ships were issued the medal. What would the ship have done during this war ?
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Re: naval division member

Postby Ashantee73 » 09 Sep 2009 17:12

Hi,

Rattlesnake had 288 medals issued, none with clasp, 6 of these later returned giving a total of 282. There has also been 3 duplicates issued.

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Re: naval division member

Postby Smiffy » 18 Nov 2010 16:26

Hi newby here. I found your site via a google search, and I'm really glad I did. Do you mind if I piggyback on this thread please. I have just discovered my gg grandfather was awarded an Ashantee medal (not sure of the correct spelling). The Family Research DB I use has just put up a list of UK, Naval and Award Rolls, and there he was.

I have his service record and so I can tie him to the medal by his ship number. He was in the third campaign and he was on the Encounter. According to the roll list he was awarded a clasp, can you please help me to figure out what that means exactly. What did he do, did he go ashore?

I was interested in your post above which says the navy didn't do a whole lot in this campaign, I must admit I did wonder how a sailor would be involved. Any info you have on the naval participation would be gratefully received.

Many thanks

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Re: naval division member

Postby maiwander » 27 Nov 2010 10:40

For once I am asking for assistance instead of giving it!

Has anyone got a list of the ships that were involved in the last Ashantee War?

I enquire because there is a chance that one of my Great Uncles may have been involved in the campaign, according to a relative's search on Ancestry, and I would like to follow this up.

I am completely ignorant on this campaign, so any help would be appreciated.

Richard
They should have died in their own loved land.
With friends and kinsmen near them.
Not withered thus on a foreign strand,
With no thought, save heaven to cheer them.
Private H. Cooper 1st Batt. 5th Northumberland Fusiliers 1880
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Re: naval division member

Postby ann hook » 25 Nov 2011 23:46

My Great, Great Grandfather SGT Timothy Waters R.M.L.I, 8 Company, Portsmouth Div. was on H.M.S. 'Active' in the Ashanti War 1873-74. He was awarded the conspicuous gallentry medal for 31st Jan 1874 - The Action at Amoaful in the battle of Kumasi (Coomassie) and a service medal.

His citation states:
Waters Sergeant Timothy
H.M.S. Active, 8th Company, Royal Marine Light Infantry Ashantee 1873-1874: For distinguished conduct generally throughout the campaign and especially at Amoaful 31st January, 1874, where, although very severely wounded himself, he volunteered to remain in the bush to take charge of and assist others who were also wounded.
Navy List 1874

I have copied all his naval records and researched papers relating to the Ashanti war.
It would appear that the Navy played a most important part. A Naval Brigade, 400 strong was comprised of men from H.M. ships:- Active, Amethyst, Argus, Barracouta, Beacon, Bittern, Coquette, Decoy, Dromedary, Druid, Encounter, Himalaya, Merlin, Rattler, Rattlesnake, Seagull, Simoon, Tamar, Victor Emmanuel.

My Great, Great Grandfather was pensioned out of the navy due to the severe wounding of his left leg.

A letter received by the Admiralty, March 5, 1874 from Commodore W. N. Hewett, V.C. detailing aspects of the Ashantee War and a nominal list of killed and wounded, Officers, Petty Officers, Seamen and Marines belonging to the Royal Naval Brigade, at Borumassie, on 29th of January, 1874; at Amoaful, on 31st of January and Becquah, on 1st of February can be viewed on the internet in The London Gazette, March 6, 1874.

Timothy served on the Hannibal, Resistance & Peocris and Minotaur prior to the Active. Does anyone know where they were based?
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Re: naval division member

Postby siegebatteries » 30 Nov 2011 18:58

Hi Ann

You asked about where the ships were that your GGGrandfather Timothy served on prior to Active. Try Wikipedkia. Not the most reliable, of course, but at start. For example, it has

HMS Minotaur was originally ordered on 2 September 1861 as HMS Elephant, in honour of the ship once commanded by Nelson seventy years before, but her name was changed to Minotaur during construction. She was laid down on 12 September 1861 by the Thames Ironworks in Blackwall, London. She was launched on 12 December 1863, commissioned in April 1867 and completed on 1 June 1867. The lengthy delay in completion was due to frequent changes in design details, and experiments with her armament and with her sailing rig.The ship cost a total of £478,855.

Minotaur finally commissioned in Portsmouth as the flagship of the Channel Fleet, a position which she retained until 1873. In 1868 the ship nearly rammed the ironclad HMS Bellerophon as they were leaving Belfast Lough. Minotaur lost her bowsprit and fore topgallant mast, but Bellerophon only suffered some minor flooding. She paid off for a long refit in 1873 and resumed her position in 1875 when she rejoined the Channel Fleet


So, if from his service records you know when he was with Minotaur, you can surmise if he was aboard when she had her contretemps with Bellerophon or if the reason he left her and went to Active was because she was paid off for the refit just before the Ashantee campaign.

Ditto the other ships - and if you want confirmation of the Wikipedia data, try the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich

Cheers Peter
20th Foot in SA and Mauritius 1868-1872 / Ashantee War 1873-1874 /Imperial Yeomanry 1899-1902 / Royal Marine LI 1900/1908 / Royal Navy and the China Station 1908-1914
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Re: naval division member

Postby Sue1 » 29 Jul 2012 14:37

I have taken the liberty of replying to this without a great deal of knowledge of this War (Ashanti).

I understand that certainly, RMLI may have remained on board to guard the ship but many also fought on land in the War. If they did so, the Coomassie Bar is added to the medal I am told.

This is from recent research into a Great Grandfather who fought in this war whose medal was thought to have been lost but has "re-appeared". His ship at the time was HMS Argus I understand and he was a Colour Sergeant. He was MID.

There is quite a good write-up about the Ashanti War, mentioning some of the ships involved and some of the men on
http.northeastmedals.co.uk/britishguide/ashanti/15_october_1873.htm

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