WO 32/7377 - Awards for the Ashantee War

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

WO 32/7377 - Awards for the Ashantee War

Postby zac » 18 Jul 2013 04:02

Hi,

I have been reading "Medals, the Researchers Guide" by William Spencer and therein he mentions that WO 32/7377 contains information relating to "Victoria Cross: Awards to Lt Lord Gifford 24th Regiment and L/Sgt S. McGraw 42nd Regiment for actions during Ashanti War; Recommendations in respect of other Officers and Men". I am researching my ancestor (Private William Nicol aka Nicoll aka Nicholl) 42nd Highlanders who recieved the DCM for Ashantee (Amoaful on 31 Jan 1874) and have seen the other references on the site including the address by Sir John McLeod and also a report in the Hampshire Telegraph from 20 May 1874 about 18 soldiers from the 42nd, 23rd, RE, Rifle Brigade Army Hospital Corps and Army Service Corps who recieved their DCM's from Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle on Sunday 17 May 1874.

What I have not been able to find is any more detail (which I am assuming would be in the recommendation) and I am assuming this might be captured in the War Office file above.

Question: - Does anyone have a copy of this file and if so could you post the recommendation for 1882 Private William Nicol - or alternatively does anyone know how to obtain a copy from Australia?

Thanks in anticipation.

Bruce
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Re: WO 32/7377 - Awards for the Ashantee War

Postby Waggoner » 18 Jul 2013 12:07

Bruce,

Plse let me know if you receive a reply. I am writing a history of the campaign from a logistics perspective and would be interested in any of the citations for the ASC.

All the best,

Gary
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Re: WO 32/7377 - Awards for the Ashantee War

Postby zac » 23 Jul 2013 10:28

Hi Gary,

Will do - apparently I can request a copy from the Records Office - just need to work out how and how much!!.

I am assuming you would have the information contained in the newspaper article I mentioned, but if not, Private W. Cotton. Army Hospital Corps AND Army Service Corps is named (as is Staff-Sergeant Brookhouse - Army Hospital Corps only - just in case that does relate to ASC). It states that Cotton came up from Aldershot for the ceremony. This took place at a 1/4 past 12 - following which the men "were entertained at a substantial dinner in the band room of the palace where the health of the Queen and Royal Family were drunk" - they then left for barracks at 1/2 past 1 (not exactly my idea of a big lunch - maybe more drinking to Royal Health than actual eating took place?).

Anyway - if and when I get the information I will let you know. I also look forward to reading the history - as I only recently (thanks to this web site) found the link for my ancestor to Ashantee I am keen to find out more.

Regards

Bruce.
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Re: WO 32/7377 - Awards for the Ashantee War

Postby Les Waring » 24 Jul 2013 17:34

Bruce

Nothing related directly to the Ashanti wars but perhaps my experience with the WO32/ files relating to VC awards might help a bit. Of course, I have used the slightly earlier and probably much more numerous files relating to the 'Mutiny'/Rebellion, but I believe that things hadn't changed that much.

1. If at all possible get to the NA and consult the files themselves, they were written before the era of typewriting and many have barely legible script in an array of handwriting styles. Copies, as I've found with photos I took there for later consultation at home (thank goodness they allow you to do that), can be extra difficult to read, the originals are bad enough.

2. Access to the originals can present you with surprises and unexpected information or clues for further searching, which might be missed by someone copying strictly from an order sent by you. For instance, looking for someone else, I came across the recommendation for Gunpat Rao, the first Indian recommended. He was refused a VC not, as is usually assumed/stated, on any racist grounds or because of War Office resistance to rewarding 'natives' but because the War Office felt it necessary to defer to an objection from the Governor General's Office in Calcutta, apparently on the spurious (as London pointed out) grounds that there was no reason for him to get a VC as the EIC's 'native' troops' already had their own medal for gallantry, the IOM.

3. The file titles don't always tell you the full story of who is mentioned. It took me a number of visits and searches before I found the WO32/ file relating to the VC process for Henry George (Gore)-Browne. His name does not occur on the file title in the catalogue. I'm still looking for the WO32/file for Jacob Thomas V.C.. There may well be mention of those initially recommended for a V.C. who were not considered quite worthy of it but were recommended for a 'lesser award'.

4. Most files cover the whole process, which can be very short or quite extensive - initial recommendation or claim, witness reports, boards of officers recommendations,War Office memos and recommendations, Horse Guards final 'yeas' and 'nays', comments/objections/interventions and the final 'royal assent' document signed, if you're lucky, by 'Victoria'. Occasionally an unexpected snippet of information appears or a signature of 'your man', a comment in his own words and then, if you are like me, you have to stifle a tear. He actually touched, wrote or signed this, and it's the original ! In research terms I know of nothing that comes near those moments.

Hope that helps inspire you. As you live on the other side of the world from London and can perhaps only dream of spending time at the NA, welcome to the club. Fortunately they are putting more and more stuff on-line so it's a matter of holding out till the 'ammunition' gets up to the front line.

Good luck and good hunting.

Les Waring
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Re: WO 32/7377 - Awards for the Ashantee War

Postby Sue1 » 22 Oct 2013 16:55

This post caught my attention as the Ashanti Medal was mentioned. I have a great grandfather who took part in this and was awarded the Bar (this was only awarded to RMLI men if they left the ship and took part in the Battle). I also found somewhere on line a description, albeit brief, of one of the somewhat bloody battles. GGFs medal has only recently - last year- been found - it has been polished up and I got a picture of it a few hours ago - would post it if I was clever enough at technology!
I was amused at the story of HMS Minataur - my GGF also served on that ............in Ireland at some time I believe. Can't blame him for crash though as he wouldn't have been senior enough to be in driving seat.
I did get his record from TNA but not online - it was on Microfilm - were not online then - I used to live closer and a trip to Kew was not too bad. I have to be honest and say I do not actually like the National Archives at all and got the distinct impression that I was not alone in that feeling whilst there but took husband with me who has a logical mind about these matters and found not only RMLI record but also a Grandfather's 2ndAB War record.

If you want the description (brief report from Sir Evelyn Woods to London) I can pm it to you and if you haven't seen the medal, can do the same.

Sue
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Re: WO 32/7377 - Awards for the Ashantee War

Postby Banker » 26 Oct 2013 00:33

Bruce, Here are his entries in the 42nd Medal Roll if you don't have them.

Regards Steve (Also in Australia)
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