Researching Lt Col Hastings Ross-Johnson, King's (L'pool R)

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Researching Lt Col Hastings Ross-Johnson, King's (L'pool R)

Postby nomis$60 » 28 Feb 2017 22:31

Lt Col Hastings Ross-Johnson, The King's (Liverpool Regiment)

Ross-Johnson was born in Meerut, India, in 1864; commissioned into King's (L'pool R) in 1885 and joined 2nd Bn. in India.
Served in Burma campaign 1885-7 and on Staff (transport duties) for Chin Lushai.
I have researched his background in the British Army (both Victorian and WW1).

I would be grateful if anyone could assist on his secondment to the Egyptian Army.

What I know...
In March 1899 he was seconded to Egyptian Army and served in command of a Sudanese battalion.
Awarded Khedive's Sudan medal, clasp "1899" for this service
Remained with the Egyptian Army until 1903 (rank of Bimbashi) when he returned to UK

Three questions (as suggested in the new members forum)
Which Sudanese Battalion did Hastings Ross-Johnson command?
Is there a war diary of the battalion movements and actions?
Is there an Egyptian Army List that details his other appointments?

I would be grateful for any information or a pointer on how to conduct further research of the Egyptian Army at this time.
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Re: Researching Lt Col Hastings Ross-Johnson, King's (L'pool

Postby Frogsmile » 01 Mar 2017 01:00

nomis$60 wrote:Lt Col Hastings Ross-Johnson, The King's (Liverpool Regiment)

Ross-Johnson was born in Meerut, India, in 1864; commissioned into King's (L'pool R) in 1885 and joined 2nd Bn. in India.
Served in Burma campaign 1885-7 and on Staff (transport duties) for Chin Lushai.
I have researched his background in the British Army (both Victorian and WW1).

I would be grateful if anyone could assist on his secondment to the Egyptian Army.

What I know...
In March 1899 he was seconded to Egyptian Army and served in command of a Sudanese battalion.
Awarded Khedive's Sudan medal, clasp "1899" for this service
Remained with the Egyptian Army until 1903 (rank of Bimbashi) when he returned to UK

Three questions (as suggested in the new members forum)
Which Sudanese Battalion did Hastings Ross-Johnson command?
Is there a war diary of the battalion movements and actions?
Is there an Egyptian Army List that details his other appointments?

I would be grateful for any information or a pointer on how to conduct further research of the Egyptian Army at this time.


Welcome to the forum. Our member Mark A Reid is the resident and highly knowledgeable expert on matters connected with the Egyptian Army at that time. I suggest you send him a PM to draw his attention: memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=5148
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Re: Researching Lt Col Hastings Ross-Johnson, King's (L'pool

Postby Mark A. Reid » 01 Mar 2017 16:54

Hello nomis$60;

Welcome to the Forum, and a humble Thank You to Frogsmile for his kind words. Let's see if I can live up to them;

- Your man joined the Egyptian Army on 14 March 1899 and left on 28 March 1903. This was the standard three-year contract between an individual and " ... the Government of His Highness The Khedive of Egypt " which provided the Egyptian Army with just over a thousand keen, generally younger, officers. In exchange, British officers were generously compensated and never served below the rank of Bimbashi ( Major ) generally receiving at least one promotion on joining the Egyptian Army. They were almost guaranteed active service and the opportunity to distinguish themselves and garner a few medals as well.

- I don't know which Sudanese infantry bn. he commanded but, based on this one clasp to his Khedive's Sudan Medal I would suggest that it was the XVth Bn. This unit was raised in 1896 from Egyptian Reservists and fought at Omdurman in 1898 where it captured the Khalifa's Black Flag. It was later converted to a Sudanese Bn. in about 1900.

- I am not aware of any Egyptian Army war diaries available in English, although the Egyptian War Office did order each unit to submit a unit history in around 1912. So far as I am aware, only a couple of these survive in English and that for the XVth is not amongst them.

- Yes, there are Egyptian Army Lists in extant but they are few and far between. To establish Ross-Johnson's employment I would suggest contacting the Sudan Archives at the University of Durham. ( pg.library@durham.ac.uk ) They have about 4-5 of these publications from this period and I have always found the staff to be most helpful. These lists are not as informative as the British versions, for example there is no War Services section, but they will establish where he served during a particular period. Unlike their British counterparts, however, there is a fascinating section entitled List of Officers En Disponibilite which lists old officers still receiving a pension. Herein can be found some real old war horses who sported medals for campaigns in Crete, the Balkans, against the Russians & Greeks and several incarnations of the Mahdi. Stirring stuff!

Good luck with your research and please feel free to contact me if you think I might be able to assist.

Cheers,

Mark
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Re: Researching Lt Col Hastings Ross-Johnson, King's (L'pool

Postby nomis$60 » 01 Mar 2017 18:06

Mark

Very many thanks for the information. I shall contact Durham University and provide an update.

Best Regards

Simon
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