Royal Marines

Historical Time Line

1875 - 1899

1875. August - September. Expedition against Congo pirates.

1875. Tuesday 2nd - 15th November. Enemy defeated at passir Sala, Perak.

1875. November - December. Brigade from Thistle in Sunghie and Lakut rivers.

1875. Sunday 13th December. Brigade from Modeste, in Laroot river.

1875. Monday 17th - 17th December. Capture of Kinta, brigade from Modeste and Ringdove.

1875. Operations at and capture of Mombasa.

1875.-.1987. Historical Profile of Private John Stephen Bushell RMA Register No 4960
John Bushnell was born at Portsea on the 29th April 1875, of his early life we know - nothing not even who or what his father was, what we do know is that at the time of his enlistment aged 18 years he was 5'9 3/4" tall, with brown hair and eyes and of fresh complexion, that he lived with his mother Emma at 15 Florence Terrace, Southsea and was employed as a Porter.
He was enlisted in the Corps at Eastney Barracks by the Acting Adjutant Lt J.R. Collingham on the 14th September 1893, and was allocated to H Coy to await training. On the 19th he passed his 3rd Class School 'Certificate, and for the next few weeks was employed as a coalman.
On the 21st October he was detailed to the RMA and transferred to Q Coy for basic infantry training which-he completed on the 22nd February 1894. On the 23rd he passed his 2nd Class School Certificate and on the 27th was passed to L Coy for Gunnery School. He was rated Gunner 2nd Class on the 20th April, and having completed Sea Service training was passed as Gunner on the 3rd August, three weeks later on the 24th he was embarked in HMS St George, being numbered 11/81 on the ships books, and sailed for the Cape to join the West Africa Station.
In late January 1895, King Koko raided the River Niger Trading Company post at Akassa, mutilating, butchering and eating. 43 native captives.
Rear Admiral Sir Frederick Bedford, O.0 of the Cape & West Africa Station set out with four ships, HMS Barossa, St George, Thrush & Widgeon to mount a punitive expedition, landing on the 7th February the party which included John Bushnell, were ashore until the 26th. All those that took, part in the expedition were awarded the East & West Africa Medal with the clasp "Brass River' for their part in the action. On the 14th April, he was awarded his 1st GCB. Within months he was again ashore as part of punitive expeditions, first from' the 22nd to 26th July and again from the 12th to the 20th August against the rebel leader Mbaruk and his - stronghold at M'wel'e, the capture of which saw the end of Arab domination of the Kenyan coast.
The following year 1896-saw Bushnell being recorded as present at the bombardment of the Sultan of Zanzibar's Palace on the 27th August.
In 1897 once again Bushnell landed as part of a punitive expedition, this time against Chief Overiami at Benim, where the Chief had been indulging in slave trading and human sacrifice.
During his nearly 5 years of service his record shows his conduct was always VG, and Ability as Good, but on the 15th December 1897 at Simonstown, John Stephen Bushnell,' Private' RMA 4960 was marked 'RUN'.
Only 71 'Brass River clasps were issued, 69 to the landing party from the Squadron:
Barossa (19), St George (23), Thrush (22), & Widgeon (5) and to Major A.G Leonard C & T Corps and Major Leisman of the Border Regt who were present. The bar 'Brass River' is one of the rarer bars issued.
John Bushnell Record of Service under Medals & Awards is marked;
21st May 96 Ashanti Medal with Brass River Clasp. (The Ashanti Medal 1874 & the latest East & West Africa Medal are identical even to the ribbon, the E & W Africa was issue for actions between 1887 and 1900).
No clasp or bar was issued for the action at M'wele, instead the E & W Africa Medal was issued with the word M'wele impressed to the left of the claw and the date 1895 or 1895-6 ta the right, E & W Medal issued for earlier campaigns were to be returned for the word M'wele to he impressed on the rim. Bushnell's ':edal is not so marked possibly due to his desertion be for the instructions were promulgated.
The landing party was provided by 6 ships; HMS Barossa,", St George, Thrush, -Widgeon', Pedbé &Racoon. Land forces -present-were the Uganda Rifles, Bombay Rifles, 24th & 26th Bombay Infantry & the 1st Punjabis.1st Punjabis.
For his part in the capture of Benin, Bushnell should have the bar Benin 1897 to his medal but was marked 'RUN' before its issue.
9 Ships provided men for the landing party; HMS Barossa, St George, Widgeon, Peobe, Alecto, Forte, Magpie, Philomel & Teleseus. The land contingent was the 500 men of the Niger Coast Constabulary under Lt Col Bruce Hamilton & 6 British officers. All present including those that remained aboard ship awarded the medal including 3 Naval Nurses & 2 Naval Officers that were aboard the SS Malacca. (This is one of the very few. occasions where naval personnel that did not land were entitled to-the medal. The medal with bar "Brass River" of John Bushnell is now in the authors collection, but what happened to its owner is not known, for he was never heard of again. (Sic) (from A.N.C.)

1876. Tuesday 4th January. Malays defeated at Kotolama, Philomel's brigade.

1876. Tuesday 4th - 6th January. Naval brigade at Blanga.

1876. Thursday 21st January. The operations at Rathalma, Perak.

1876. Wednesday 5th July. The "Headdress Badge of the Portsmouth Division Royal Marine Light Infantry Band, bandmaster Mr J. F. C. Kreyer, to be adorned with the Price of Wales Plumes". This honour was granted by Queen Victoria for their musical support during the Royal Tour to India by HRH the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) on board HMS Serpis. This was the first recorded instance of a Royal Marines Band going to sea for an extended period of time.

1876. Operations against Niger pirates, etc.

1877. Tuesday 29th May. Shah and Amethyst engaged Huascar off Ilo.

1877. Operations against Dahomey.

1878. Thursday 7th February. Battle of Guintana, Active's brigade.

1878. Tuesday 19th November. Naval Brigade landed at Durban.

1878. Wednesday 11th December. Britain declared war against the Zulus in South Africa and launched what became known as the 'Anglo-Zulu War' after an ultimatum was rejected.

1878. Sunday 22nd December. The Zulus wiped out the British forces during the Battle of Isandlwana.

1878. Monday 23rd December. The British prevailed against a Zulu attack in the Battle of Rorkes Drift.

1879. The War in Zululand. The Royal Marines detachments of HMS Shah, HMS Boadicea and HMS Tenedos were present at the British of Gingelovo and the relief of Ekowe, with Captains Philips and Dowding RMLI. A battalion of Royal Marines was sent out from England to South Africa and landed under the Command of Lieutenant Colonel Bland Hunt RMLI. However, upon arrival on the 7th July, it was too late to take part in the war and they returned home on Tuesday 24th July.

1879. Wednesday 22nd January. Zulus defeated at Ineyzane.

1879. Friday 24th January - 24th April. Brigade from Active confined in Ekowe.

1879. Friday 7th March. More British troops that included Marines, arrived in Durban from all over the Empire.

1879. Wednesday 12th March. A force of 2,000 Zulus attacked a British camp at the Ntombi River in South Africa. Of the 60 men in the camp, only 15 escaped.

1879. Saturday 29th March. In the Northern Zululand in South Africa some 2,000 British troops and natives fought against over 20,000 Zulus. The Zulu warriors were formed in regiments by age, their standard equipment the shield and the stabbing spear. The formation for the attack, described as the “horns of the beast”, was said to have been devised by Shaka, the Zulu King who established Zulu hegemony in Southern Africa. The main body of the army delivered a frontal assault, called the “chest”, while the “horns” spread out behind each of the enemy’s flanks and delivered the secondary and often fatal attack in the enemy’s rear. Cetshwayo, the Zulu King, fearing British aggression took pains to purchase firearms wherever they could be bought. By the outbreak of war the Zulus had tens of thousands of muskets and rifles, but of a poor standard, and the Zulus were ill-trained in their use.

1879. Wednesday 3rd April. Relief of Ekowe, brigade from Boadicea and consort.

1879. Friday 4th July. The Zulus were eventually defeated at Ulundi and the war came to an end.

1879. Thursday 28th August. Zulu King Cetshwayo was eventually captured.

1879. 19th November. Operations against South Sea Islanders.

1880 - 1882. Royal Marine Battalion sent to Ireland. Lieutenant Colonel Maskery RMLI, and later Colonel H. S. Jones RMLI in command.

1880 - 1900. The Marines uniform of the day. (taken from 'Britain's Sea Soldiers: Vol 1 by Cyril Field RMLI). 

1880. The last execution by hanging was carried out on board ship. Up to then execution by hanging at the yardarm was the normal punishment for mutiny in the fleet. As a capital punishment it was by no means instantaneous as is said to be with the case with a more modern practice. The prisoner's hands and feet were tied, and with the noose about his neck a dozen or so men, usually boats' bowmen (the worst scoundrels in the ship) manned the whip and hoisted him to the block of an upper yard, to die there by slow strangulation.

1881. Friday 28th January. British repulsed at Laing's Nek, Flora's brigade.

1881. Sunday 27th February. British defeated at Majuba Hill, Naval brigade ashore.

1881. Monday 5th December. Attack on slave dhow by boats of London at Pemba.

1881. Flogging was abolished as a punishment in the British forces in response to strong public opinion of the day. Another form of punishment was flogging around the fleet. The offender was secured to an upright timber in a ship's boat, and when it pulled alongside each gangway a boatswain's mate entered the boat and inflicted a certain number of lashes. For added effect the boat was accompanied on its rounds of the fleet by other boats, each with a drummer in the bows beating a roll on his drum.

1881. The numbers were 12,400. Great changes were made in the Corps and with very far reaching results. Warrant Rank, as in the Army, was for the first time introduced into the Marines70. It was granted to Sergeant-Majors, Superintending Clerks, Bandmasters, and Schoolmasters. Commandants were now only to hold the appointment for 3 years and Staff Officers for 5; Lieutenants to be promoted to Captain after 12 years' service; special rates of pay for QMS and First Sergeants Instructors of Gunnery, Musketry, Infantry, etc. were granted (promotion to QMSI came many years later). The pay of all NCOs was revised and raised, in consequence of which deductions for rations when on shore continued and the ld a day Beer Money was abolished for them but not for men. Re-engaged pay was discontinued, also Good Conduct pay for Corporals and Bombardiers (restored in 1919) and Lodging Money for Married Men was fixed at 8d a day instead of 4d and 2d. Naval Savings Banks, which had been authorised for Marine Divisions by Order-in-Council Friday 10th March 1882, were later assimilated to the Naval Regulations. Chevrons - It was ordered that NCOs were to wear their chevrons on the right arm only.

1882. During the early part of Queen Victoria’s reign, it was decided that all Regiments should have their own regulated ‘March Past’.  Prior to this nothing official had been laid down. The usual ‘Quick March’ for the Royal Marines was “The British Grenadiers”, possibly on account of the Marines having been generally considered Fusiliers in all but name and the Fusiliers having a certain affinity with the Grenadiers this was the customary march past tune.

The Royal Marine Artillery used to march past to 'The Soldiers Chorus' from Faust.  According to Mr. Arrol, a former Bandmaster for the Portsmouth Division who joined the Corps in 1824, the march from 'Le Prophete' was generally used for the March Past at that Division at the beginning of the reign of Queen Victoria.  The reason being that this was a favourite air of the Prince Consorts.

When it was decided to have a regulation march past for the whole Corps it was proposed to adopt 'Rule Britannia'.  However, the officers of the 9th Norfolk Regiment protested so strongly; pointing out that ever since Queen Anne had granted them the figure of Britannia as their Regimental Badge, they had always marched past to 'Rule Britannia'.  Thus, the Corps gave up on this idea and adopted 'A Life on the Ocean Wave'.  For some time after however one of the Divisions ignored this and always used 'The Dark Blue Sea' as their March Past.  Of course, today there are no exceptions and the whole Corps marches to the same beat.  Long live 'A Life on the Ocean Wave'.

'A Life on the Ocean Wave' is a poem turned song by Epes Sargent and was published in 1838 and later set to music by Henry Russell.

One day Sargent was walking on the Battery in New York City watching the ships enter the harbour. The scene inspired Sargent to write a poem, which Russell later put to music. The song soon became popular in both the United Kingdom and the United States.

In 1882, the Deputy Adjutant General of the Royal Marines requested that the Bandmaster of each Royal Marine Division (Portsmouth, Plymouth, Chatham) submit an arrangement for a new regimental march for the Corps, if possible based on a naval song. Kappey, the Bandmaster of the Chatham Division, submitted an arrangement of 'A Life on the Ocean Wave', with an eight-bar trio from 'The Sea' by Sigismund Neukomm, which was authorised for use as the Regimental quick march of the Corps of Royal Marines in 1882.

In the United States, it is the official march of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

In Portugal, it was adopted as the march of the Armed Forces Movement (MFA) that overthrew the dictatorship on 25th April 1974.

The tune, played by the Band of the Royal Marines, is played over the opening credits of the 1992 BBC television film 'An Ungentlemanly Act', about the first days of the invasion of the Falkland Islands in 1982.

1882. Tuesday 11th July. The bombardment of Alexandria.

1882. Friday 13th - 17th July. Ras-el-Teen occupied, Naval brigade ashore.

1882. Wednesday 2nd August. Occupation of Suez by a Naval brigade.

1882. Saturday 5th August. Engagement at Malaha Junction.

1882. Sunday 6th August. The action at Mallaha Junction. Lieutenant Colonel Tuson and the 1st battalion Royal Marines and the RMA.

1882. Saturday 12th - 13th August. Occupation of Mex Lines by a Naval brigade.

1882. Sunday 20th August. Suez Canal occupied by a Naval brigade.

1882. Sunday 20th August. Occupation of Port Said by a Naval brigade.

1882. Sunday 20th August. Occupation of Kantara by a Naval brigade.

1882. Sunday 20th August. Occupation of Chalouf by a Naval brigade.

1882. Monday 21st August. Occupation of Ismailia and Nefiche.

1882. Thursday 24th August. Action at Tel-el-Mahuta, party from Orion and consorts.

1882. Friday 25th August. The action at Tel-Elmahuta. Lieutenant Colonel H.B. Tuson and a battalion RMA and Lieutenant Colonel H. S. Jones and a battalion RMLI.

1882. Monday 28th August. The first battle of Kassassin. Lieutenant Colonel H.B. Tuson and a battalion of RMA, and Lieutenant Colonel H. S. Jones and a battalion of RMLI.

1882. Saturday 9th September. The second battle of Kassassin. Lieutenant Colonel H. B. Tuson and battalion RMA and Lieutenant Colonel H.S. Jones and battalion RMLI.

1882. Wednesday 13th September. The battle of Tel-el-Kebir. Lieutenant Colonel H. B. Tuson and a battalion of RMA and Lieutenant Colonel H.S. Jones and a battalion of RMLI were present during the battle.

1882. Monday 21st September. Mouths of the Nile blockaded.

1882 - 1983. Major Noble RMA Captain H.H. Morgan and C.P. Boyd Hamilton RMLI, and 200 selected Royal Marines dressed in plain clothes, made up a detachment on special services in Dublin.

1882. Wednesday 13th September. Prime Minister, Gladstone, sent an expeditionary force to Egypt to restore order and install a new administration in the country. Between Thursday 13th July and Wednesday 6th September 1882, the two armies, one (24,000 strong) from Britain and the other (7,000 strong) from India, converged on Egypt under the command of Lieutenant General Sir Garnet Wolseley. Over 40 Royal Navy warships were involved in securing the Suez Canal from both the Red Sea in the south and the Mediterranean in the north.

At about 05.00am on Wednesday 13th September, the Highland Brigade approached the Egyptian positions in north western Egypt and there was a blaze of gunfire. The bagpipe players struck up and the Scots regiments charged the Egyptian defence. The British army had approached the lines at Tel-el-Kebir in a staggered formation and so attacked in waves from left to right.

The fighting was intense, but after just over an hour, the Egyptians fled. Once Tel-el-Kebir was in British hands, a number of infantry and cavalry divisions moved off to secure other positions. These included a triumphant march on Cairo on Thursday 1882 14th September. The Royal Marine Light Infantry lost two Officers and three NCO / Men. While one Officer and 52 NCO / Men were wounded.

1882.'The Egyptian Campaign'. Taken from Lieutenant W. H. Palmer's RMLI Journal.
Part 1. Preface:
The reader of the following journal must bear with the writer in all mistakes, as it is the intention of the latter merely to give a simple account of the late Egyptian campaign as he himself saw it The ensuing pages will treat mostly the doings of the Royal Marines Battalion in which Battalion the writer served in the capacity of a Lieutenant throughout the campaign.
I shall say nothing of the events that led to the late war - as in all probability my readers are better acquainted with them than I am myself, but shall content myself by informing the reader that he may imagine war already declared.
Almost immediately on the outbreak of hostilities, a Battalion numbering 500 rank and file Royal Marines Light Infantry and rank and file Royal Marine Artillery had been ordered to embark for foreign service and I had been ordered to proceed with them. Great therefore was my disappointment when the Medical Officer refused to pass me for the Battalion on account of an injury done to my knee whilst serving in Ireland.
It was needless to relate my feelings when I saw the Battalion depart in HMS Orontes early in June and my readers can imagine how I felt. My sorrow was not very long lived however, as on 21st July a 2nd Battalion, numbering 400 RMLI and 100 RMA received orders to prepare for Active Service and this time, having successfully passed the medical examination, I found myself actually under orders to proceed with the Battalion. (Up to this date the only events in the war had been the bombardment of Alexandria by the Fleet and the occupation of Alexandria by the Blue Jackets and Marines, the 46th Regiment and 60th Rifles. The rebels had taken up a strong position at Ramleh about 4 miles outside the City and the little garrison of our soldiers and sailors were anxiously awaiting reinforcements.
We were not to sail until the 27th July, so I spent the intervening days in bidding farewell to my relations and friends, and purchasing the many articles necessary for an officer's kit on Active Service. Our Battalion was composed as follows:
150 men from Portsmouth
150 men from Chatham
100 men from Plymouth
making a total of 400 Rank and File - together with 100 Rank and File from the RMA at
Eastney. The names of the officers were as follows:
Lieutenant Colonel Jones - Commanding Battalion
Lieutenant Colonel Graham - 2nd in Command (Left service in 1887)
Major Scott
Captain coffin - F Company
Lieutenant Money
Lieutenant Cotteri
Captain Eden - G company (afterwards Transport Officer RKLI)
Lieutenant Mecausland
Lieutenant Kennedy
Captain Wardell - H Company
Lieutenant Parkinson
Lieutenant Luke
Captain Mccheane - K Company
Lieutenant Colvin
Lieutenant Palmer
The Plymouth men arrived at our Barracks at Forton on the evening of the 26th as the
transport did not intend to call at any station before Gibraltar. (Sic)

Part 2. We suffered greatly from thirst this day as we remained in the burning sand from lOam to 4pm - when we again marched on. The men now began to fail out in great numbers and three officers, Major Norton, Colonel Graham and Captain McCleave were left behind. Since our departure from Ismailia we had had nothing to eat save the biscuits we brought with us, so we pressed on as quickly as possible to Mahsaunch only to find our hopes of food rudely dashed to the ground. For about two miles the ground was simply littered with pots and pans, arms and clothing; but no food except a little very salt rice and some onions. I was so hungry, that when a sergeant offered me a piece of water melon which a horse had partially eaten, I eagerly devoured it. All of us were fearfully knocked up that night and some of the men could scarcely drag themselves into Mahsaunch, so we lay down where we halted and were all soon in the arms of Morpheus.
At 4am the next morning (26 August) we were all again under arms, and as we were told that we were likely to remain at Mahsaunch some time, we endeavoured to make ourselves as comfortable as possible - accordingly after breakfast of onions and rice boiled together, we foraged about and managed to rig up a shelter with some pieces of tent, which protected us somewhat from the sun. All that day we were employed in burying the dead Egyptian horses and camels, a most revolting duty, whilst other parties were destroying some excess ammunition, etc.
Meanwhile the Artillery • and Cavalry had followed up the enemy and after a sharp but decisive fight had captured a large camp of theirs at Mahsaunch; so hasty was the flight of the Egyptians that they left behind them several tents, many hundred stands of arms, a vast quantity of ammunition and clothing and forage - the artillery made excellent practise and succeeded in smashing up a large train of 100 carriages, which together with several prisoners, afterwards fell into our hands - unfortunately the train contained only arms and clothing.
Most of the dead had been thrown into the fresh water canal, which was thick with mud and filth of every description - and this was all we had to drink. Certainly we were all provided with pocket filters, but our thirst was so insatiable that we could not wait long enough to use them. Whilst bathing in the canal that day I came into contact with a dead Egyptian and it was by no means • an embrace I enjoyed.
The Life Guards, some batteries of Artillery and ourselves and the 84th Regiment and 46th and RHG marched on to Kassassin Lock, our most advanced station. The enemy after being defeated at Mahsaunch retreated to Tel-el-Kebir, removing their camp at Kassassin as they retreated; so that our troops encamped at the Lock within seven miles of the lines of Tel-el-Kebir without resistance.
After working hard all day with but little food, I hoped to get a good night's rest, but it was willed otherwise for at 6pm my company and another one were ordered on outpost duty. Outpost duty in the enemy's country is at all times nasty work and here it was more than usually so, as with only 200 men we had to protect the whole camp from surprise and keep a look out for nearly two miles around. We remained out until 6am the next morning, the officers not having a wink of sleep. The men, however, were better off as each man got four hours sleep. We returned into the camp dead beat and very hungry to partake of a breakfast of biscuit and a little weak tea.
This (27th) being a Sunday we had a tolerably quiet time although fatigue parties were at work all day. Some Dragoons and RHG arrived from Ismailia and from them we begged some salt meat which we thoroughly enjoyed. What with the stink from the dead bodies, bad food and water and the heat, a great number of men went down; the poor horses suffered greatly from sunstroke.
At a distance of about two miles from Mahsaunch there ran almost round in a circle a high ridge - which by day was used by our vedettes as a look out, and by night was the advance line of our outpost. As far as you could see, therefore, from our camp there was nothing but desert, except on the opposite side of the Fresh Water Canal. (Sic)

Part 3.
It was now pretty well certain that a. general movement would soon take place, and many were the surmises as to what we were going to do. Some said we should pass Tel-el-Kebir without attacking it, others said that we should attack it openly, etc, so no-one really knew (except a chosen few) what was to be our next movement.
We were greatly afraid that we should be left to guard the camp when the advance should take place as we had been in every action and so we shouldn't grumble. I am glad to say that this annoying work fell not to us but the 50th Regiment.
The camp presented a very gay scene now, all day long Generals and their staffs were hurrying about, and more activity than usual was displayed, convincing everyone that soon the decisive battle would take place. Every evening when off duty, I remember, we all used to assemble and talk over affairs, only to arrive at no ultimate conclusion. It is wonderful how welcome news from home is at a time like this, the mails were always anxiously looked forward to and as the Post Officer Corps was attached to us we got our letters before any other regiment.
On Tuesday 12th September we rose as usual and went on with the ordinary routine of the camp. Rumours were afloat all day that there was to be a general advance in the evening, but it was not until late in the afternoon that we received the actual order for the advance. Really, I believe we were all glad, as we were heartly sick of the long weary days of waiting at Kassassin, but at the same time we knew that there was hard work before us.
Every sick man was sent down to Ismailia in the morning amongst them being Raitt and Colvin of ours.
As soon as it was dusk the whole of the Regiments in camp, with the exception of the guard remaining behind, struck tents and piled them by the railroad. We all then fell in and each officer and man had some biscuit served out to him and also a full bottle of water.
As soon as everything was ready we all marched from our private parades to our brigade parades. We marched off and joined the 18th and 87th Regiments which formed our Brigade and as K Company was leading I was the leading guide and had to direct. I was pointed out a star as a mark to march on and had to keep my eyes on it the whole time, which was very trying work.
On our left were the Highland Brigade, the 46th and 60th Regiments and the Royal Marine Artillery, besides artillery and cavalry on both flanks, but we saw nothing of them during the march except now and then a solitary orderly going from one brigade to another. The guards were in reserve behind us. We marched until about 1 am, I should think, and then the command to halt was given, and at once the order was carried out in whispers and the whole Brigade was halted. Several Companies were thrown out as outposts K being one of them, so while most men got an hour's sleep we in the outposts had none. When we rose again at 2am then, and only then, did we know for certain what was the task before us. I remember well all the Commanding Officers of Regiments were called up by the General and told of the plan for the attack., and then they came back and told us that "We were to advance silently, if possible without firing a shot and take the enemy at the point of the bayonet."
I caught a glimpse of Sir Garnet, his staff and several other Generals as they rode past me to the next Brigade.
Silently once more we advanced and had an Egyptian vedette been there he would have been startled - for a few minutes before there was not a sign of this moving mass. (Sic)

1882. A Battalion was sent to Ireland where the Fenians and others were again causing trouble. It was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel H S Jones and was on duty in the west and south parts of the country. In addition 200 of the Corps were employed on duties far outside the scope of their ordinary duties. Those were specially picked men who, dressed in plain clothes, were used to reinforce the police in Dublin and rendered invaluable service. HRH Admiral the Duke of Edinburgh was created Honorary Colonel of the Royal Marine Forces.

1882 - 1952. A Family Affair: The Flory Family and their Royal Marine Service.
The medals of eight members of the Flory family are on display in the Royal Marines museum medal room, spanning the Victorian campaigns in the 1880's to the Korean War in the 1950's.The oldest group belongs to Lance Corporal Arthur Flory who served for twenty two years, including in the Egyptian campaign in 1882-1889. He was discharged in 1901 and spent 11 years in the reserve. He was recalled to duty at the age of 56 during the First World War and died in service in 1919.
Five of Arthur Flory's sons served in the Royal Marines during the First World War. Two of the sons were killed; Frederick Cornelius from wounds sustained in the Dardanelles in 1915 and Albert Edward was killed at the Battle of Jutland 1916.
The next of kin of each Commonwealth fatality of the First World War received a commemorative plaque. The plaques commemorating the three members of the Flory Family who died in the War are on display in our special exhibition, 'Why Stay Silent?' which runs until 2nd October 2011.

The Flory Family.

1883. Mounted Royal Marines served as the Mounted Police (Mountie’s) in Canada on the North West Frontier.

1884. February - March. Alexandria and Ramleh garrisoned by Navy.

1884. February - March. Troops, seamen, and Marines at Suakin and Trinkitat.

1884. Wednesday 28th February. Battle of El-Teb, Naval brigade present.

1884. Tuesday 11th March. Advance to Tamanieb.

1884. February. The battle of El-Teb.

1884. Thursday 13th March. The Battle of Tamail. Lieutenant Colonel Ozzard and Royal Marine Battalion  on Police duty in Skye, Lieutenant Colonel Munro RMLI in command.

1884 - 1885. The Sudan Campaign. After a lot of public pressure the British government finally authorised a relief force to rescue General Charles Gordon, who was besieged in Khartoum Soudan. The expedition was to be commanded by Britain's only General at that time, Sir Garnet Wolseley. A plan was devised that included a long trip up the River Nile in whaler boats and to raise a Camel Corps that would take them across the desert.

The expeditions arrived in Egypt, and were joined by a company of Royal Marines totalling 101 men, under the command of Major W.H. Poe, along with Captain A.C. Pearson, Lieutenants C.V. Townshend and H.N. White. This detachment was included as the 4th Company Guards Camel Regiment. All of the Corps with the exception of the Royal Sussex Regiment was mounted on camels, with the camels only being used for transport. All fighting carried out by the infantry was on foot.

The Royal Marines wore a grey / khaki tunic with brass buttons and blue shoulders straps together with silver badges, trousers without puttees, and a light brown helmet with pagri, a buff waist cartridge belt, white haversack, black boots and a black bayonet scabbard. However, Major Poe continued to wear his red Marine Officers tunic.

Finally on the Wednesday 28th January 1885 they reached Khartoum, after having run a gauntlet of attacks and ambushes, only to find the enemy's flag flying over the town. Khartoum had fallen two days earlier on Monday 26th and Gordon was dead. Of the Royal Marines six men had been killed and Captain Poe together with thirteen men had been wounded. Colour Sergeant Drew was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for his actions during the campaign. For their services with the Camel Corps the Marines also received the Egypt Medal with the clasps Abu Klea and the Nile 1884-8, and the Khedives Bronze Star dated 1884-85.

For the first part of the 20th Century, the Royal Marines' role was the traditional one of providing shipboard Infantry for security, boarding parties and small-scale landings.

1884 - 1885. 'By Land By Sea By Camel'? The Royal Marine Detachment of the Camel Corps in Egypt. In an attempt to reach General Gordon at Khartoum a ”Flying Column” was formed from elite troops mounted on camels. The Guards Regiment of the camel corps was formed from the Royal Marine Light Infantry , the Grenadier, Coldstream and Scots Guards and the Mounted Infantry Regiment from line infantry regiments. They fought at the Battle of Abu Klea.
In 1884 the Gladstone Government, after bowing to public pressure, finally authorized a relief force to rescue General Charles Gordon, who was besieged in Khartoum. This expedition was to be commanded by 'Britain's Only General' Sir Garnet Wolseley. The plan Wolseley devised was to send the bulk of his force up the Nile in whalers and to raise a Camel Corps, which would be sent across the desert. This Corps was to be raised in two divisions, the first from the Cavalry Regiments stationed at home, and the second from the Brigade of Guards and the Infantry Regiments already in Egypt.
On the Corps arrival in Egypt, they were joined by a company of Royal Marines (101 men) under the command of Major W H Poe, along with Captain AC Pearson, and Lieutenants CV Townshend and HN White. This detachment was included as the 4th Company Guards Camel Regiment. All of the Corps with the exception of the Royal Sussex Regiment were mounted on camels, with the camels only being used for transport. All fighting carried out by the infantry was on foot.
The Cavalry division of the Camel Corps consisted of two elements the Heavies and the Lights. The Heavies were further broken down into ten detachments and the Lights into nine. Each detachment consisted of two officers, two sergeants, a bugler and thirty eight men.
The Guards Camel Regiment consisted of eight companies, including the one formed by the Marines. The companies were in turn broken down into detachments of a similar strength to the cavalry. The Mounted Infantry Camel Regiment comprised a staff and four companies; each company consisted of four platoons with an officer, five NCOs and twenty five men.
The Guards, Lights and Heavies, wore red serge jumpers (or loose tunics) yellow-ochre cord trousers, dark blue puttees, leather ankle boots and a white pith helmet with goggles. Each man had a rifle, a sword bayonet, a leather bandolier with fifty rounds, a leather belt, pouch, frog, and sling, haversack and water bottle. The officers wore a similar uniform but of superior quality.
The Royal Marines wore a grey/khaki tunic with brass buttons and blue shoulders straps together with silver badges, trousers without puttees, a light brown helmet with pagri, a buff waist cartridge belt, white haversack, black boots and a black bayonet scabbard. Major Poe continued to wear his red Marines Officers tunic.
The Camel Corps left Korti on the 26th December 1884 under the command of Maior General Sir Herbert Stewart, also included in the force was a naval brigade of four Officers and fifty five men under the command of Captain Lord Charles Beresford. Wolseley's plan was for Stewart to cut across the desert to Metemmeh a distance of about two hundred miles and establish a depot there. This would cut across a loop of the Nile, shortening the whaler's journey and avoiding two cataracts. The river column under Wolseley himself was to travel up the Nile and meet up with Stewart's force at Metemmeh.
Once at Metemmeh, it was planned that the combined force would rendezvous with Gordon's four steamers, which had been operating on the Nile. These could be used to send a token force to Khartoum. It was anticipated that the arrival of British troops dressed in scarlet tunics would cause the Mahdi's forces to give up the siege.
Part of Stewart's force, comprising one squadron of the 19tn Hussars, part of the Guards Camel Regiment, some of the Mounted Infantry, a detachment of Royal Engineers together a camel train and supplies initially advanced as far as the wells at Gakdul, without suffering any harassment. As the wells were secure Stewart brought up the remainder of his force consisting of, the naval brigade and a Gardiner Gun, the Heavies, the remainder of the 19th Hussars, Guards Camel Regiment, Mounted Infantry and Engineers. Together with the Royal Sussex Regiment, the Medical Staff Corps and the Commissariat Transport along with its native drivers.
On the 14th January the whole force left Gakdul heading for the wells at Abu Klea stopping for the night in the open desert with one more stop planned before reaching the wells on the 16th. At midday on the 16th, however, scouts from the 19th Hussars reported the enemy was in the hills ahead. Stewart's first thought was to attack immediately, but by the time arrangements had been made it was too late in the day. Consequently the force had to spend another night in the desert. This time a zareba was constructed from thorn bushes and stores carried by the camels. During an uncomfortable night, with little sleep or water, the force came under sporadic fire from Arab riflemen.
On the morning of the 17th, Stewart formed his force into a square with the baggage camels in its centre. He left behind in the zareba all non essential stores and the sick under a guard provided by the Royal Sussex Regiment. Once the force had formed into the square, Stewart was able to advance to the wells.
As the advance began however the enemy kept up a steady rifle fire and Stewart's force began to suffer casualties. Suddenly a large enemy force appeared and charged the front of the square, heavy fire drove the enemy to the left side towards the corner held by the Heavies. At this point Beresford pushed the Gardiner Gun, manned by the Naval Brigade crew, out through the gap that had opened up in the square in order to obtain a better field of fire. This reckless move enlarged the hole in the square and was in vain as the gun almost immediately jammed, the enemy swarmed over the gun killing two of the crew and forcing the remainder back into the square.
Meanwhile Colonel Burnaby, the highly individualistic officer of the Royal Horse Guards had wheeled his Dragoon Guards out to the right making the hole in the square even larger. His men were soon overwhelmed by the charging Arabs and also forced back into the square after suffering heavy casualties. Burnaby himself was mortally wounded by a spear thrust in the throat.
The Arabs who had managed to enter the square now found their way blocked by the baggage camels and the middle of the square became a confused mass of fighting men using sword, spear, bayonet, rifle and fist. All of the Arabs in the square were killed and the discipline and marksmanship of the infantry and marines drove off the attack.
During the attack the British suffered nine officers and sixty five men killed and nine officers and eighty five men wounded, unfortunately many of the wounded subsequently died of their wounds. The Arabs lost at least a thousand killed and an unknown number wounded. The entire action lasted only ten minutes.
Stewart was now able to finally advance to the wells at Abu Klea, as his men were now desperate for water, the Arabs meanwhile kept up their sniping and succeeded in causing further casualties. On reaching the wells, the force stopped for the night and the following day the dead were buried and the stores were brought up from the zareba, thus reuniting the force.
On the 19th the advance to Metemmeh was resumed, the wounded however were left at the wells once again guarded by the Royal Sussex. After some twenty hours marching the force came under long range enemy fire from the enemy, four miles from the village of Metemmeh which was held by the enemy. In consequence a zareba was constructed with the intention of repulsing the anticipated attack. It was at this point that Stewart was wounded in the groin and the command of the force passed to Sir Charles Wilson of the Royal Engineer, Wilson although a skilled engineer had no infantry training and had not seen active service before. After discussing the situation with Stewart, it was decided a square comprising the Guards, Marines and Mounted Infantry under the command of Colonel Boscowen of the Coldstream Guards would advance to Metemmeh.
The square was immediately attacked, but this time the square held its shape and the well timed volley fire ensured that the Arabs were mown down and not one managed to get within eighty yards of it. The square then resumed the march and as night fell they arrived at the Nile, where having slaked their thirst, most of the men lay down and slept till morning. The next day the remainder of Stewart's Force advanced to the Nile and contact was made with Gordon's four steamers, which had also arrived off Metemmeh.
Lord Beresford was given command of them and after a discussion by Wilson and Stewart two of the steamers, together with Wilson and a hand picked detachment from the Royal Sussex under Lieutenant Todd-Thornton, were sent on to Khartoum. For no apparent reason the steamers waited for three days before finally leaving on the 23rd.
The following day the Steamer Bordein struck a rock and was stuck fast for six hours until refloated after much hard work by the crews. Finally on the 28tn January 1885 both steamers reached Khartoum, after having run the gauntlet of shore batteries, only to find the Mahdi's flag flying over the town. Khartoum had fallen two days previously on the 26tn and Gordon was dead. The delay before the steamers set off probably cost Gordon his last chance of being saved.
On the return journey the steamer Telanaweih struck a rock and sank, the crew though were able to transfer to the Bordein, however two days later the Bordein in turn had to be beached after striking another submerged rock. Wilson and his men managed to reach a small island where they entrenched themselves. Meanwhile Captain Stuart Wortley, together with two men from the Royal Sussex, volunteered to go for help and the three men succeeded in reaching Metemmeh by using a small native boat .
On their arrival Lord Beresford promptly went to Wilson's rescue in the steamer Safieh, he too came under fire from shore batteries and a shell holed the boiler forcing Beresford to anchor in mid stream. The Safieh came under sustained fire from the banks of the river, but Chief Engineer Henry Benbow managed to patch the boiler. Beresford was therefore able to carry on and rescue Wilson's party, which had been under constant attack on the island.
While Beresford was rescuing Wilson a column had returned to Gakdul for reinforcements and stores. It returned with the Royal Irish Regiment and General Sir Revers Buller who was to take over command from Wilson. His orders were to retire to Korti via Abu Klea and the retreat started on the 14th February. On the 17th at Abu Klea a further engagement was fought. By this time the men's uniforms and boots were in tatters, and the column had to walk as two thirds of the camels had died. Eventually on the 9th March the column arrived back at Korti having travelled some four hundred miles through the desert. The Camel Corps finally reached Wadi Haifa on the 1st June 1885 and was disbanded.
Of the Royal Marines six men had been killed and Captain Poe together with thirteen men wounded. Colour Sargent Drew was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for his actions during the campaign. For their services with the Camel Corps the marines received the Egypt Medal with the clasps Abu Klea and the Nile 1884-88, and the Khedives Bronze Star dated 1884-85.
C/Sgt Drew DCM. The recommendation for the DCM was passed to the Queen on the 7th November 1885 and he was presented with his award by the Queen at Windsor Castle on the 25th November. The details of the award were published in The Times of London on the 26th November, which stated that C/Sgt John Drew Royal Marine Light Infantry and Sgt G Symons 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards. Had "on the occasion of the attack on the sick convoy on the 13th of February 1885, being with the advance guard, and ordered to fall back at once under fire, these two non-commissioned officers showed the greatest coolness in assisting to get camels back to the column, and it was mainly owing to their exertions that they were brought in safely".
Captain William H Poe, with reference to his wound the following is an extract from 'With The Camel Corps up the Nile' by Count Gleichen.
"A company of the Guards Camel Regiment was ordered to support the guns at the two huts aforesaid to reply to the enemy's fire, which had been concentrated on them. And just there Major Poe of the Marines was hit by a bullet, which smashed his thigh. He would persist in wearing a red coat, saying his grey one was not fit to be seen, and this naturally attracted the Arab marksman."
Poe had his leg amputated on the 19th January and was subsequently Mentioned in Despatches and awarded a CB for his part in the campaign.
Sergeant Henry Eagle wrote a song about the campaign titled "The Song of the Camel Corps"
Lt Townshend transferred to the Indian Army and took part in the defence of Chitral on 1895. During the First World War he found fame or infamy, when he surrendered the garrison of Kut to the Turks.
Abbot PE, Recipients of the Distinguished Conduct Medal 1855-1900, Hayward Press (1975)
Gleichen Count, With the Camel Corps up the Nile, Chapman and Hall (1888)
Keown-Boyd Henry, A Good Dusting, The Sudan Campaigns 1883-89 ,Leo Cooper (1986)
Webb Jack, The Abu-Klea Medal Rolls, The Author (1981)
Reproduced from ‘Soldiers of the Queen, issue 104
" When years ago I 'listed, lads,
To serve our Gracious Queen.
The sergeant made me understand.
I was a ' Royal Marine.'
He said we sometimes served in ships,
And sometimes on the shore.
But did not say I should wear spurs,
Or be in the Camel Corps."
Songs of the Camel Corps (Sgt. H. EAGLE, R.M.C.C.)
Written by Cliff Fuller

1884. The Mounted Royal Marines fought in the Sudan.

1885. Tuesday 17th January. Engagement at Abu Klea Wells.

1885. Thursday 19th January. Battle of Abu Klea.

1885. Saturday 21st January. Reconnaissance of Matemnch.

1885. Sunday 22nd January. Bombardment of Shendy.

1885. Tuesday 3rd - 4th February. Lord Charles Beresford at Wad Habeshi.

1885. Tuesday 10th February. Action at Kirbekan.

1885. Friday 20th March. The battle of Hasheen.

1885. Sunday 22nd March. The battle of Tofrek and McNeills Zareeba.

1885. Sunday 22nd March. ‘The Battle of Tofrek’ by Major F. Myatt, MC.
1879 the wild extravagance of Ismail Pasha, who then ruled Egypt, had brought the country to the verge of complete financial collapse. This was a serious matter for Great Britain, whose government was naturally deeply concerned for the safety of the new Suez Canal, and it was decided that it was necessary to take over the complete administration of the country. The French, who were also involved initially, soon pulled out leaving the British to put things right, and at first things went well. A rather half-hearted rising by the Egyptian Army under a fervent nationalist, Colonel Arabi Pasha, was soon put down in 1882, but it then became clear that much more serious trouble was brewing further south. The Sudan, which was then a province of Egypt, had been hideously misgoverned for years, and this eventually led to a largescale rising under a fanatical Muslim leader known as the Mandi. The situation was soon out of hand; the Egyptian troops, many of whom were little more than bandits, were progressively destroyed, and the British, reluctant to involve themselves too deeply in a remote and largely barren area, decided to abandon the whole province to its inhabitants. In 1884, Major General Gordon, who had had much experience there as the agent of the Egyptian Government, was therefore despatched to arrange the rapid and orderly withdrawal of the Egyptian garrisons. However, Gordon had no great regard for orders when they clashed with his own opinions and appears to have had ideas that the Sudan might yet have been saved by his personal exertions. He was soon beseiged by the rebels in Khartoum, which he defended gallantly with a somewhat scratch garrison, but the British government was still reluctant to get involved until public opinion, which had begun to regard Gordon as a wronged hero, compelled the despatch of a large and costly expedition under Sir Garnett Wolseley. It left too late, and in spite of gallant efforts under fearful conditions, Khartoum fell on 26 January 1885, Gordon being killed by the Mandi's forces. The situation regarding relief had been made worse by a new outbreak in the Eastern Sudan, led by one of the Mandi's lieutenants, an erstwhile slave-trader named Osman Digna, and as the Red Sea formed a vital part of Britain's communications with her Far Eastern possessions, action also became necessary there. In 1884 an expedition had done something to suppress an earlier rising, but in the next year trouble flared again. The Suakin Field Force was therefore re-constituted under its original commander, Lieutenant General Sir G. Graham, VC, KCB, and sent back to Suakin, one of its units being the 1st Battalion the Berkshire Regiment, which until 1881 had been the 49th Foot. The first requirement was to re-establish a proper base at Suakin, from which the Force could be administered and supplied. The surrounding country was mostly stony desert, considerable areas of which were covered with dense thorn and mimosa, and as it was almost waterless the need for a regular supply of that vital commodity necessarily dominated the whole planning of operations. The actual provision of it was solved by the large-scale condensing of sea water, but the real difficulty, came in distributing it. The transport available consisted almost entirely of baggage camels, mainly under civilian drivers, and the problems of controlling and protecting the necessarily large and unwieldy convoys were never really overcome. The preparatory work went well, although it was constantly interrupted by night raids. Many of Osman Digna's men were Hadendowas, who were brave and fanatical almost beyond belief, and their constant attacks soon had an adverse effect on the efficiency of the troops who worked hard by day and needed rest by night. Finally, a reconnaissance in force attacked their base at Hashin, after which the situation improved. Information was then obtained that the bulk of Osman Digna's forces were some fifteen miles to the south-west of Suakin, and Graham then decided to launch a strong attack with the hopes of crushing them by a single stroke. Inevitably of course, local circumstances made it necessary first to establish an intermediate post where large supplies of water and other stores could be pre-positioned under adequate protection, and early on 22 March 1885 a considerable force left Suakin to carry out this preliminary operation. It was commanded by Major-General Sir J. McNeill, VC, KCB, KCMG and consisted of the Berkshire Regiment, a composite battalion of Marines from the Red Sea Fleet, three battalions of Indian infantry, and a small force of cavalry, together with a detachment of the Royal Engineers and various supporting troops, and a vast convoy of some fifteen hundred animals, mainly camels. One comparatively modern innovation was the presence of a telegraph detachment, which was to lay a wire from Suakin so that Graham could keep in touch with developments. The whole affair soon became something of a shambles; the two British units, marching in advance in loose hollow square, had no real problems but the unfortunate Indian brigade, to whom fell the task of escorting the convoy, were soon in trouble. Neither drivers nor camels had had any training and the loads, often badly put on, were frequently dragged off by the thornbushes. Straggling became worse and worse, and after six miles, which had taken the same number of hours to cover, McNeill decided to halt and establish the post some two miles short of the point originally selected. The intention was that once the place was established the baggage animals should be escorted back to Suakin by the Indians, and it was clearly vital that this operation should be completed before dark, which fell early. The location finally chosen was a small clearing in otherwise thick scrub; it appears to have been a fairly regular staging post for local caravans and was known as Tofrek. The enemy had few firearms so that their only method of fighting was to charge to close quarters with swords and spears, which they did with an almost total disregard for casualties. As long fields of fire were hard to find in the scrub, some sort of defensive obstatles were essential, their object being to check the impetus of an attack until modern firepower could take effect, this being particularly important at night. The usual method was to make a broad barrier of cut thorn-bush about four feet high, such defences being known locally as zaribas. It should be said here that the firepower of McNeill's force was considerable; the British troops had the comparatively new, purpose-built breechloading rifle known as the Martini-Henry, which although a single-loader was still capable of a fairly high rate of fire, while the Indians had the Snider. The latter was a breech-loading conversion of the original Enfield percussion rifle, and although technically obsolescent, was nevertheless an arm of great power and accuracy. The force had no artillery, but was accompanied by four Gardner guns, an early type of hand-cranked machine gun, these being manned by sailors from the Fleet. The plan on this occasion was to make one large zariba, 120 yards square, for the stores and administrative troops, with two smaller flanking ones, each 65 yards square at the south-west and north-east corners. They were to be held by the Berkshires and Marines respectively, each with two Gardner guns, and were so sited that they could bring flanking fire onto all four sides of the main zariba The line of the works was soon marked out by the Engineers and construction began immediately, while simultaneously the Commissariat troops began unloading the water and other stores; once the animals had had their loads removed they Were sent to a collecting area just to the east of the main zariba in preparation for their return to Suakin. The Royal Marines dispersed to cut thornbush for their zariba, as did the right half of the Berkshires, while the left remained to protect the baggage animals and act as a general reserve. The main zariba was to be built by prrties from the three Indian battalions, the remainder of which provided local protection to the north, west, and south; this in general consisted of the units in line with picquets in front of them. In addition, the cavalry furnished a line of vedette posts on the southern side, but as their pennants could be seen above the scrub by an observer five feet eight inches high it is clear that they were not very far in advance of the main line. The general disposition of the force is shown on the sketch map. At about 2.00pm the Arabs, who had been concentrating in the scrub to the south and west, decided to strike. It seems likely that they had had prior warning of the original plans and had concentrated initially near the point originally selected for the post, only to find that they had to move a couple of miles eastwards to find the new position. The attack, when it came, was sudden and violent; the cavalry vedettes were completely surprised and came galloping back in confusion, yelling that the Arabs were coming, and the whole force stood to. The initial rush seems to have come from the west and came close to destroying the right half of the Berkshires who were cutting thornbush in the area; they were completely unarmed, having left their rifles piled in the unfinished zariba, and all they could do was to run back there as quickly as they could. Fortunately, the Sikh outposts kept their heads and retired steadily and in good order, which just gave the Berkshires time to reach their rifles. Even so, a few of the slower ones would have been overtaken, had not a very gallant subedar turned back single-handed and killed several of their pursuers with his sword. The Indian battalion on the south face had unfortunately been thrown into confusion by the cavalry vedettes which galloped back through its line and were quite unable to face the Arabs. It fired one desperate volley then broke and ran, its commanding officer being killed as he tried to rally it. The panting Berkshires had in the meanwhile reached and unpiled their arms and flung themselves into rallying squares just in time to see hundreds of Hadendowas come swarming over the unfinished south and west walls of the zariba. The Gardner guns, which were just being got into position in an emplacement at the south-west angle, were over-run and their detachments killed or wounded in a brief, desperate struggle, and then the yelling mass flung itself onto the four isolated companies. The next twenty minutes were a period of such fearful confusion that it is almost impossible to give a coherent account of the battle which followed. The whole area was covered in the great pall of dust churned up by thousands of running feet and made a great deal worse by the clouds of acrid black-powder smoke from the rifles. The fire was continuous, and initially quite uncontrolled as the troops blazed away at the enemy only a few yards from them, but presently the worst pressure slackened, and the officers were able to revert to more disciplined volley firing. The Arabs were so close that many casualties were inflicted by sword and spear, yet in spite of their almost superhuman gallantry they never succeeded in breaking in. After a while even, they became sick of the slaughter and veered off eastwards to make for the stores zariba, and it was here that Lieutenant Ford, the battalion's quartermaster, had a narrow escape. Seeing what was coming, and quite alone, he sensibly made for the Marine zariba with a number of Arabs in hot pursuit. The Marines, rifles levelled, were unable to fire for fear of hitting him, and were watching anxiously as his pursuers rapidly overhauled him, when very fortunately he stumbled and fell flat on his face, upon which they fired a volley over his prostrate form and killed every one of the Arabs behind him. The location of two of the four companies of the left-half battalion is still open to doubt after a hundred years; it is certain that B and H were together, roughly as shown on the sketch map, but F and G are more difficult to place. F Company had been in support close behind the 17th Native Infantry on the south face but had been relieved just before the battle started and were actually queuing at the watercart when the rush came. There are indications that they were located as shown, but it is by no means certain. When the battle started, they formed rallying squares and may have been joined by a detached party of Engineers which fought with them. B and H Companies were fallen out and having their midday meal when the attack came; they seized their rifles and formed a single rallying square round the second-incommand, who in true drill book fashion stood with sword raised to indicate his position. At first, they were in a mass so that only a proportion of the men could fire, but after the first confusion they shook out into line and began firing volleys. G Company was probably somewhere between them and the Marine zariba, and probably close to the latter since the company commander later recorded that he could hear their volleys coming past his left flank. In general, the attack on the left battalion was less severe than the one on the right; their main danger was from the hundreds of stampeding baggage animals, many wounded and all crazed with fear, as they fled north-east in the general direction of Suakin, the Arabs amongst them, hacking and stabbing furiously. The companies only saved themselves from being trampled down by firing volleys into them, which caused them to swerve away to left and right. The position of the commanding officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Huyshe is by no means clear. The Regimental History puts him with the left half battalion, but the second in-command was clearly in command of E and H and neither of the other companies mention him. It is probable that he was riding from one half battalion to the other when the battle started, and at least one account states that he was attacked while on his own by several Hadendowas, all of whom he killed with his revolver. After about twenty minutes the enemy withdrew, and as the wind cleared the dust and smoke, the participants were at last able to see the battlefield, which was a fearful sight. Twenty-one men of the right half battalion were dead and many more wounded, mostly by sword and spear, although in the literal 'fog of battle' it was inevitable that some had been hit by wild firing from their own side. The whole area, which was a bare twenty-five acres in extent, was littered, and in places literally heaped, with dead and dying Arabs, intermixed with them being British and Indian soldiers, sailors, camp-followers and drivers. There were also hundreds of baggage animals, mostly dead or wounded, many shot by the left half Berkshires but many more stabbed or hamstrung by the enemy who well knew their value. The horror of the scene was not lessened by the flocks of vultures and kites which had been quickly attracted to the area and were busy gorging themselves on the bodies. The first need was to clear the battlefield, for a wounded Hadendowa, seeking only Paradise by killing an infidel, was a very dangerous customer (it was by the hand of one of these that Lieutenant Swinton died, stabbed between the shoulder blades by a spear). This task was soon completed by the Berkshires and the Marines, while the force's own casualties were collected and dealt with. General Graham, who had heard the firing at Suakin and was preparing a relief force, was informed by telephone that all was well, and postponed his move until next day. The reorganisation was largely finished by dusk, when the force settled down for the night, the Berkshire battalion all together in its zariba for the first time. Although everyone was exhausted it is probable that few slept well after the traumas of the day. There were frequent false alarms, and on one occasion a loose mule gave rise to a good deal of wild firing which was only stopped with some difficulty. The company commander chiefly concerned was the recipient of some harsh words from his commanding officer next morning, which perhaps understandably hurt his feelings. Work continued throughout the following day, the main task being the removal to leeward of the hundreds of dead men and animals who were already beginning to become offensive, a task which proved so arduous that it was soon decided that it would be easier to rebuild the zariba a suitable distance upwind. A rough count revealed some sixteen hundred dead Arabs, which allowing for those who crawled or were dragged away indicates a probable death roll of some two thousand, a fearful loss which seems to have discouraged even the most fanatically brave of the survivors and imposed an uncharacteristic caution on them thereafter. Most of them were reported as being men in the prime of life, with only a few boys and old men amongst them, and one noticeable feature was that they had all shaved their hair, having been assured by Osman Digna that this was an infallible charm against bullets. Surprisingly, there were a number of women, too, who had apparently fought with the same wild courage as their men. The British lost seventy-eight dead, and the Indians sixty-three, with wounded in proportion, together with a great many native drivers and camp-followers. Inevitably a fair number of the casualties fell on the Engineers and Commissariat personnel, who by virtue of their work tended to be spread about. The suddenness of the transition from quiet routine to bloody war is well illustrated by an officer of F Company, who later related that a minute or two before the attack two mounted officers of the Royal Engineers stopped by his post to enquire the way to Battalion Headquarters where they had been invited to lunch. After the battle was over, he found their bodies only a few yards away from his position. General Graham arrived with a British brigade early on 23 March. The track which he had followed was littered with dead animals, and not a few dead soldiers, and showed all the apparent signs of disaster which did not please him. He was at hest an irascible officer and used some harsh words in public to McNeill when he met him. He was perhaps justified, for although the latter had behaved with great gallantry during the battle, there does seem to have been a somewhat lax attitude in the force as a whole before the attack. The position chosen was in thick scrub, which while it certainly facilitated the construction of the zariba also made it easy for Osman Digna's men to approach unseen and achieve virtually a complete surprise. It so happened that the Berkshire Regiment was in a position where it received the full brunt of the attack and it was only their desperate resistance which saved the day. Had they broken, the Sikhs, attacked in line from front and flank, must have broken too, good soldiers though they were, and although the Marines would have fought to the end, they would have been annihilated by the fire of the hundreds of rifles which would by then have fallen into Arab hands. As it was, a disaster on the scale of Isandiwana or Maiwand (then both of recent occurence) was narrowly averted. The battle was initially known as 'McNeill's Zariba' but was soon changed to Tofrek, the title by which it has been known ever since. The part played by the Berkshire Regiment was recognised by their appointment as a 'Royal' regiment. There is little to be said about the campaign, which had really collapsed with Gordon's death. There had been a somewhat ambitious scheme to re-establish a new route to the Nile by building a railway across the desert from Suakin, but a new threat of trouble in Afghanistan soon caused the British Government (perhaps thankfully) to abandon the Sudan to bloody misery until Kitchener finally conquered it thirteen years later.
The actions in which Battalions of Marines were engaged in the neighbourhood of Suakim in 1885 are now generally forgotten. Now over one hundred years later it may be well to bring back to mind the scenes through which these Battalions passed in the Soudan in the early months of the year 1885. The following account of the engagement at Tofrek, and the proceedings of the following days are taken from two letters written on the spot.
On March 21st, the Battalion at Suakim, under Lieut.-Colonel Ozzard, received orders to strike camp and return into store everything except such equipment as was absolutely necessary. Accordingly, every officer and man had plenty of work to get through; we were encamped about 1'/~ miles from the Caravanserai in the town, to which place all our stores and the tents, baggage etc., had to be conveyed on camels, and a camel is an animal not given to hurrying himself for anybody or anything.
However, by I 1 p.m. everything was in readiness for the next day's move, and all except the men required for guard, lay down where they could on the sand to get a few hours sleep.
On the 22nd, at 4.30am, the Battalion fell in and by 5 we were on the march to the rendezvous, on the south of the Water Forts. We now found that in addition to our Battalion the force consisted of the 49th Regiment, 2 guns, RN, a Telegraph Section, and other details, R.E., and a few A.S.0 and O.S.D. The scene as the force assembled, was most impressive in the dull grey light of day-break.
At first all the British Troops were formed in one Brigade with their Regimental Transport. The Indian Troops forming a second Brigade with the convoy of camels, etc., but we had not gone far before bodies of the enemy were seen in front. So, all camels were sent to the Indian Brigade to enable the other Brigade to move quicker, unhampered by transport animals. I, therefore, being Regimental Transport Officer, had to leave the Battalion with my forty camels and 30 mules.
The two Brigades now advanced at about one mile apart, a small force of Cavalry, Mounted Infantry, and R.1 i.A. being in front and on the flanks. Sir Gerald Graham also being with the Cavalry. For some distance the road was fairly good, as the bush had been cleared, but as we got amongst the thick bush, we soon had a taste of what was before us. The camels which were fastened together in fours, head and tail, by a light cord from the tail of one through the nose of the next in rear, kept getting hopelessly mixed and entangled; then loads which had been put on in the dark by inexperienced hands would come off; next a camel would consider he had had enough of it and lie down, and no persuasion of any kind will ever induce a laden camel to get up again.
Consequently, the rear face of the square was seldom intact, and had it not been that the officer commanding 28th Sikhs ordered his men to assist the camel drivers, few of the Regimental Transport animals would ever have got to the Zereba at all. However, we got along somehow, and at about 12 noon came up with the other Brigade which was halted in a clear space in the thick bush about seven miles from Suakim. The R.E. immediately began laying out a Zereba, half the troops resting or on guard, and the remainder cutting bush. Rations and water were served out, and at about 2 p.m. the troops were marched into their several stations. We had just unloaded our animals and I was serving out water, when a shout arose "They are on us. " I got on my horse and rode to a part of the Zereba where a lot of the 17th Native Infantry were rushing in. These fellows were coming in a regular mob, and behind them hosts of the enemy. It was a most awful scene of confusion for about a quarter of an hour.
The enemy got well inside the Zereba, but not one got out again. For some time, we were in a state of great anxiety regarding a mixed working party of ours, R.E.'s and Sikhs, who were cutting bush when the fight began, so we were much relieved when we heard a shout in the rear, and saw them coming in. They had been attacked but had driven the enemy off. Half the 49th were outside on the east of the Zereba and did good service there. Our fire was terribly hampered by the large number of camels. (by Major F. Myatt, MC.)

1885. Thursday 2nd - 3rd April. Advance to Tamai, Naval Brigade present.

1885. Wednesday 1st July. Registered Numbers. The practice of allocating a number on the Divisional register to RM ranks came into use. The Admiralty ordered that every person belonging to the Royal Marines, except Commissioned Officers, shall be described by a Register Number in conjunction with letters indicating the Division to which he belongs, instead of his Company and Division. Until the registering System was introduced a man was known by the number of his company and his name. The new numbering system was introduced retrospectively and allocated based on the date of his enlistment.

The letters indicating the Division to which a rank belonged are ‘CH’ indicating Chatham Division Royal Marine Light Infantry, ‘PO’ Indicating Portsmouth Division Royal Marine Light Infantry, ‘PLY’ indicating Plymouth Division Royal Marine Light infantry, and ‘RMA’ indicating Royal Marine Artillery.

1885. Saturday 14th November. Boats of Turquoise captured a Burmese warship.

1885. Monday 23rd November. Naval Brigade captured Mayaugyan.

1886. Saturday 8th May - 7th June. Blockade of Greek Ports.

1886. A Battalion on Police duty in Tiree commanded by Colonel Heriot RMLI.

1887. Monday 30th May. Pinnace of the Turquoise captured slave-dhow.

1888. The magazine rifle Mark 1 was the first British rifle to incorporate a bolt action and a box magazine.

1889. The Regulations for enlistment of Buglers was laid down.

1889. Blockade of the Zanzibar coast.

1890. Friday 21st March. A Small Band under a Sergeant was formed at the Royal Marine Depot. This band was only utilised for recruit training purposes.

1892. Sunday 1st May. The Inaugural Edition of the 'Globe and Laurel' magazine. Major General CB (then Captain RMLI) Published the first magazine. Initially the magazine was published on the first day of each month and was printed by the Chatham Division Printer before being taken on by Ive and Lowe printers Chatham. The first two editions proved to be so popular that the June publication had a second print to keep up with demand. The 'Globe & Laurel' will be published on the first of each month, price1d, and can be obtained at all the canteens and messes of the Corps. it will be forwarded post free to all countries in the postal Union for an annual subscription of 1/6, which should be sent to the Editors, R.M. Barracks, Chatham. The Editors have communicated with all Commanding Officers ashore, also with all officers afloat, recruiting, serving with other Corps, and with as many retired officers as has been practicable, and hope that the Journal will be well supported. They invite articles or items of news on any subject of interest to the Corps: paragraphs of general interest will be very welcome. it is almost needless to state that no letters or articles of controversial or complaining nature will not find a place in the Journal.

1892. Divisional Band strength set at one Bandmaster, two Sergeants, two Corporals, twenty five musicians and ten Supernumeraries (six Buglers and four Gunners or Privates). Supernumaries to be trained to fit vacancies due to retirement. or other causes. The depot Band strength was to be one Sergeant for duty as Bandmaster, one Sergeant, one Corporal, seventeen Musicians and five Supernumaries (three Buglers and two Gunners or Privates).

1892. A new drill book was published this year which simplified some of the drill, and introduced physical drill with arms for the old backboard and pole drill.

1893. Thursday 22nd June. HMS Victoria - during manoeuvres off the Coast of Syria, the flagship, HMS Victoria, was rammed by HMS Camperdown and lost with nearly all hands; after doing what was possible to close watertight doors etc. the detachment under Major A C Smythe and Lieutenant H G Farquharson RMLI fell in on the quarterdeck where they remained until the ship heeled over and sank; 68 out of 98 NCOs and men were drowned, those saved clambering over the side and bottom as she heeled over. Lieutenant Farquharson was awarded the Royal Humane Society's silver medal for saving the Fleet Paymaster. As Kipling says of this incident in his poem on the Marines: "To stand and be still to the Birkenhead drill Is a damn tough bullet to chew." Swimming - After this disaster great attention was paid to swimming instruction; baths were built at the Depot and all recruits had to qualify, and on 2nd July a paid staff was allowed of a Superintendent at 2/6d a day, 1 Swimming Instructor 1st Class at 3/7d, Sergeant Instructors etc.

1893. The enlistment of twenty six boys, in excess of the regular establishment of Buglers, to be enlisted with a view to training then as Buglers.

1894. "In matters referring to the Portsmouth Division RMLI, the division to be refered to by that name and not as is frequently the case at this time as the 'Gosport Division' ".

1894. February - March. Operations on the Gambia. Early in the year an expedition organised by Captain Gamble RN of HMS Raleigh against a chieftain named Fodi Sillah who had made himself troublesome to the British settlements on the Gambia River, was ambushed and cut up. Lieutenant Hervey of RMLI, 2 Naval Officers and 10 men were killed and 40 wounded. On the 22nd February a punitive force of 50 Royal Marines, 50 men of the West India Regiment and 1 gun under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Corbert RMLI attacked and destroyed a stockade at Suktta, after which a position was taken and entrench at Subaji to protect the frontier of British Kombo. Here on the 26th Coronal Corbert was attacked by 1,522 Mandigoes, who he defeated and drove back across the border. On the 1st march having been reinforced by 50 more Royal marines and 10 West Indians he took up another entrenched passion at Isswang and on the 5th having been further reinforced by seamen and others to a total strength of 500 men, marched to relieve Major Madden R.A. who with 200 men of the West India Regiment was entrenched at Busumbula. The following day Colonel Corbert returned to Sabaji with the greater portion of his command. Having re-embarked with the Royal Marines he went round with the squadron consisting of HMS Alecto, HMS Satelite, HMS Magpie and HMS Widgeon to the town of Gunjur, and after it had been subjected to a two days bombardment, landed with his men and with 270 seamen and a portion of the 1st West Indian Regiment destroyed the place. This operation brought the fighting to a close.

Captain Maynard


This information and life time achievements were found by chance during a house sale and are an astonishing testimony to the 50-year ­military career of dashing moustachioed Royal Marine, Captain James Maynard. Who signed up during Queen Victoria’s reign and later fought Hitler when he was 64 years old.

1894. He enlisted in the Royal ­Marine Artillery in 1894 aged 19, and spent many years attached to the Egyptian army fighting in the Sudan. Among the medals he won there was one from the Royal Humane ­Society for saving a ­native who had fallen into ­crocodile-infested waters.
He was also one of only 27 officers to be awarded the Queen’s Sudan medal, and earned the Khedive medal.
In 1909 Captain Maynard, who was born in Islington, London, was awarded the Long Service and Good Conduct ­Medal.
During the First World War he served on the Western Front.
He became an officer during 1916 and won the 1914 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.
In 1919, at age 44, he retired to Beccles in Suffolk, where he was thought to have a wife and at least two children.
It's evidently clear that James Maynard could not tolerate the lack of action and soon volunteered to serve with the Royal Irish Constabulary in Ireland. Serving for 18 months.
During the inter war years, he was appointed skipper of a private ocean-going yacht and in 1929 undertook and led a big game hunting party in central Africa.
At 63, he got involved in the Spanish Civil War, joining the Spanish non-intervention Organisation as a sea observation officer and helped escort ships into Spanish ports.
And when World War Two broke out in 1939, he volunteered for service, despite being 64 years of age, and was commissioned and made responsible to protect the Admiralty.
He won the Defence and War Medal, and in 1945 he resigned his commission just shy of 70 year birthday.
He died at his Suffolk home in 1968 aged 93.

1894. Tuesday 27th March. James E Preston joined the Royal Marines. According to his  service records, he was born on the Thursday 20th June 1872, but his son Lt Col A J Preston USE of the 9th/12th Lancers, who for 23 years staged the Royal Tournament in London, claims that the date was the Sunday 18th December 1870 and the place was the south London suburb of Bromley. He became a clerk in the West India Docks, on the north bank of the Thames near the Blackwall tunnel, before attesting as a Marine on the Tuesday 27th March 1894 and then underwent initial training at Deal before joining the Portsmouth Division of the RMLI at Forton Barracks (Gosport) on the Sunday 11th November that same year, with the allotted official number P0 7358.
On the Monday 12th November the following year he joined the Royal Marines detachment onboard HMS Cordelia, a 2,380 ton corvette, which consisted of 2 Corporals, 1 Lance Corporal, a Bugler, and 28 Privates under the command of Lieutenant Reginald H Morgan RMLI and Sergeant John Hardy. Two years and 352 days later Preston returned to Forton on the Monday 28th November 1898, as a JNCO. During the cruise he had been promoted Lance Corporal on Monday 14th February and then Corporal on the Wednesday 20th July 1898.
He was soon back to sea again when on the following Thursday 16th February he joined HMS Orlando, an armoured cruiser of 5,600 tons, one of seven of that class, launched in 1 886 as a result of the mounting crisis created by Russian involvement with Afghanistan. Prime Minister William Gladstone was voted six million pounds by Parliament to strengthen the Royal Navy. Due to the heavy armament, Orlando could barely maintain a speed of 18 knots, which was about 4 knots below normal at that time and carried two 9.2 inch and ten 6 inch guns, plus ten 3 pounders. With a two to three inch protective steel decking she was built like a tank compared with modern ships and having just returned to the UK from being the Flagship on the Australian Station was now undergoing a refit. This took place in Portsmouth Dockyard, prior to sailing for the China Station under the command of Captain James H T Burke RN. The total 500 complement included 30 officers, and a Royal Marines detachment of 66 Consisting of Sergeants R J Carpenter and J Harkins, Corporals T G Hicks, J Johnson and J E Preston, plus 58 Privates and 2 Buglers. The OCRM was Captain L S T Halliday RMLI. On joining this ship Preston was paid as a Lance Sergeant and promoted to Acting Sergeant on Sunday 20th May the following year, 1990.
Within two months of sailing they arrived in Hong Kong, but due to unrest in the Peking area their stay there was curtailed, and they sailed on to the mouth of the Peiho River where they anchored off Taku, accompanied by another cruiser HMS Endymion and several warships of other nations; they were later joined by the battleship HMS Centurion, flying the flag of Admiral Sir Edward Seymour the Senior Naval Officer of the station. The Hong Kong that they had briefly experienced was then just a sparsely populated fishing port frequented by pirates.
With their country being plagued with unwanted foreigners such as the Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, French and Americans, as well as the British, it is small wonder that the natives were beginning to murmur and revolt. A force known as 'The Fists of Righteous Harmony' or 'The Big Knife Society' (because of the huge swords they carried) became active; this was later abbreviated to 'The Boxers', though who coined this title, American or British, is obscure. Encouraged by their Dowager Empress and led by Prince Tuan whose son was the heir apparent to the Chinese throne, they targeted all 'foreign devils', especially Christians.
The British were the leading contenders for Chinese territory and in addition to Hong Kong they had taken also Wei-Hei-Wei further north, on the Shantung province peninsular, as a naval port and coaling station, which was held until 1930. The Portuguese similarly 'squatted' in Macau and the Germans in Kiau Chau.
The Orlando sailed for Amoy (Hsia-Men) about 300 miles northwards in the Formosa Strait, arriving off Wei-Hei-Wei about lOam on Monday 28th May (1900) only to be ordered to 'up anchor' again by the SNO and sail on to the mouth of the Pei Ho River where the Taku Forts guard the access to Tientsin, about 20 miles upriver. Some 70 miles further on lay the Imperial city of Peking. The ship anchored at 1 3Opm next day, and Sergeant Preston, who had been planning a drill exercise ashore, now became involved in organising an operational landing party which disembarked into a tugboat at 4pm in marching order with their hammocks and bags. Crammed below deck out of sight they passed the forts without trouble and entered the river; then about 10pm they transferred into a filthy flat bottomed 'lighter', towed by a smaller tug, which took them on to Tientsin. The estimated time of arrival there of2am was thwarted by their running aground and having to wait for high tide to release them; so it was 7.30am before they made it. Taking refuge (and a cold breakfast) in a local theatre made available to them, they were surprised to see a party of seamen from their ship arrive just as they finished eating, for they had left the ship much later! Joining them too were men from the Aurora, Barfleur and Centurior
When later that afternoon they boarded a train, 25 men were left behind, including the naval officer Lieutenant Wright RN; the remainder (including the 'Blue Jackets' with their 9 pounder ML gun) set off for Peking. Other train loads were to leave later bearing troops of American, Austrian, Italian, Russian, French and Japanese reinforcements, for all these countries had established Legations in Peking. The summer heat was at its fiercest and rail progress was slow due to the line being damaged in several places by the rebels, and although they hovered in the distance, they made no attempt to attack whilst the men made temporary line repairs, assisted by Chinese workers.
Captain L S T Halliday RMLI and his detachment from HMS Orlando eventually arrived at their destination at 7pm on the 31 May and, after a five mile march from the station through crowded streets, they reached the British Legation compound at 9pm, having left most of their baggage under guard at the station for later collection. The next day German and Austrian guards arrived, and eventually a total of 464 defensive allied troops faced the rioting mob. Mindful of the fact that the British Legation was the largest, had a 10 ft high wall, and five good water wells, it was chosen as the last line of defence if all the others fell. The RMLI contingent was made up of Captain B M Strouts and his 25 men of the 'Winter Guard' already in Peking, plus Captain Halliday's 50 men from the Orlando and Captain E Wray's 25 men from the Alger; however because 25 men had been left behind at Tientsin the British force was just 79 marines and the three officers. The Americans had 48 marines and 3 sailors under Captain John Myers USMC, also 51 German and 24 Japanese marines; 72 Russian, 45 French and 30 Austrian seamen were included in the total strength. (These figures alter slightly according to which report you study!)
Early on the morning of Sunday the 17 June the Taku Forts were taken and this news quickly reached Peking to inflame the situation there, and at 4pm on the 19th all European Ambassadors were ordered by the Chinese Government to vacate their Legations within 24 hours. The Chinese attacked Tientsin station area and Private Robinson, one of the Orlando men left behind there, was killed in the assault on the Military College from where Chinese were firing.
Admiral Seymour's expedition following on became trapped at Yang-Tsun, outnumbered by the Chinese and cut off by the destruction of a rail bridge, and his Flag Captain (later Admiral of the Fleet, Viscount Jellicoe) was badly injured. Now there were troops battling all along the line from the Taku Forts to Peking. News that Admiral Seymour's reinforcements were trapped at Tientsin coincided with the murder of a Japanese secretary on the 10 June, then followed an attack by 300 Boxers on Wednesday the 13th. As much has already been written about the actual episode at the Legation, I will confine myself to the role of our subject, Sergeant Preston. When at 10.30pm next day the Boxers rushed down the dusty lane to the north of the compound screaming "Shasha" (kill kill), one bearing a large pike leapt up onto a bridge where Captain Halliday stood, and Sergeant Preston shot the intruder at just four feet distance. Five more were killed and two wounded to be left there as a warning to other Boxers.
Next day a party of marines was sent out to rescue Christians, but for many it was too late; mutilated bodies of men, women and children lay about. At 9am on the 20th Baron von Ketteler, the German Ambassador, set off for the Tsungli Yamen (Foreign Ministry) in his official chair with only his secretary and two liveried Chinese servants. They were escorted by three Imperial Guard escorts, one of whom shot the Ambassador through the heart. No further attempt was made to leave from any Legation, and as the ultimatum had been ignored by the other Ambassadors, the Boxers were now augmented by the Imperial Guard.
The siege began about 4pm that day, and by 8am on the 22nd, all the Legation guards, except the Japanese, had congregated in the British building. Private Scadding of the RMLI was the first Briton to lose his life here, as a bullet struck him while he kept guard on the stable roof. On Sunday the 24th, Captain Halliday was shot in his left shoulder, damaging his lung, having killed 4 assailants himself. Sergeant Preston's moment of glory came on the 14 July when the Chinese had been driven off a 12 ft high barricade near the West Hanlin, and he climbed onto the barricade to capture the enemy's banner. Unable to reach it, he called for his rifle to be passed up to him, subsequently keeping some 50 Chinese at bay whilst an American gunner called Mitchell retrieved the flag after a struggle with the rebels who were grasping the other end. Preston jumped down to assist him. It was an action of bravery which although making no gains, proved a morale booster for the marines, and deflation for the Chinese. The sergeant's only injury was temporary stunning from a brick aimed at his head. It was for this action that he was awarded the CGM.
This large black silk flag with a Chinese 'Artillery' emblem eventually came to the Corps Museum, but it is interesting to note that a few years ago there was a claim that another one had come to light in the USMC Museum in Washington! We naturally assume ours to be the real one! The British flag which flew over the Legation was later presented to Queen Victoria.
Four days later came news that the relieving force was nearing Peking, but the beleaguered garrison had to wait until the 14th August before they arrived, and this included about 250 men from a battalion of Royal Marines under Major Luke RMLI, and soon it was all over. Casualties were:- Killed - Captain B M Strouts; Privates A Scadding, C W Philips and G Sawyer (died. Of wounds later); Wounded - Captains L S I Halliday & E Wray, Sergeant J E Preston, Corporals W Gregory, and D J Gowney, Lance Corporals A Sparkes and T R Allen, and 15 privates of RMLI. Tributes came from many, but I quote (abridged) that of Sir Claude McDonald the British Minister as follows:- "They were exposed day and night for two months to the most arduous, irksome and responsible duties, which they fulfilled with cheerful alacrity and with a courage and endurance which excited the admiration of everybody. This high state of excellence was undoubtably in a great measure due to the officers and NCOs".
Britain and other foreign powers continued to exercise influence in China until WW2 when these extra-territorial rights were abolished, leaving only Hong Kong as the British foothold until 1997.
sergeant Preston returned with the detachment to HMS Orlando and on the 16 January 1901, whilst at Wei-Hei-Wei, on the recommendation of Captain Wray, was presented with the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal on behalf of Queen Victoria, who was to die just eight days later. This entitled him to a £10 Annuity. Confirmation to the rank of Sergeant had come on the 21 December 1900, just after the siege. In addition, Corporal Preston was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for his actions during the siege, as were Sergeant T Murphy, Corporals D J Gowney and F Johnson, and Private T A Myers, while Captain Halliday was awarded his VC.
The ship returned to England, and after 3 years and 160 days aboard her Sergeant Preston disembarked to return to Forton Barracks. He received the China Medal and Defence of Legation clasp on the 4 July 1902, and Long Service and Good Conduct Medal on the 11 November 19085 by which time he had been promoted to Colour Sergeant on 1 1 April 1907. Although no courses or special qualifications are recorded on his service certificate, one report claims that he "Holds a 1st class certificate of education and has every prospect of  brilliant career before him ".
He was to serve in two more ships, the Powerful and Hermione, but for 45 and 62 days only respectively, and on the 9 June 1909,  he married Cissie, who was to bear him two sons. Promotion to SM Sergeant came on 5 February 1911, then Sergeant Major on 20 September 1914 as WW1 started. During this he was to earn the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, and Victory Medal to add to his collection. Winston Churchill, as First Lord of the Admiralty, drew up a plan known as 'The Mate System' to raise men from the ranks to commissioned status for the first time (Order In Council 08/10/14), and Preston was thus commissioned on the 5th May 1915 as a Lieutenant RMLI (Quartermaster), and joined the RM Brigade at HMS Victory, naval barracks at Portsmouth on the 25 May 1915, returning to the Portsmouth Division (Forton) on the 1 November 1917.  His next move was to HMS Egmont, a shore base ship moored alongside Fort St Angelo at Malta, commissioned in 1904 until 1933, where he served from the 1 May 1919 until the 8 June 1922 when he went back to the Portsmouth Division again at Forton. During his time at Malta he was made Captain RMLI on the 6 January 1921. He retired from the service, at his own request, on the 30 September 1922, and settled with his wife at Haslemere, in Hampshire, where he died on the 8 July 1944.
James Edward Preston had served exactly 20 years and 177 days in the Corps of which 13 years and 288 days were spent ashore. A short obituary to him appeared in 'The Globe & Laurel' of September 1944 (p 236) and his medals are in the Royal Marines Museum collection. There is a memorial monument to the men of HMS Orlando in Victoria Park at Portsmouth. The Battle for Gavrelle Windmill on Saturday 28th April 1917. 335 Royal Marines killed on the one day. by Kyle Tallett (RMHS)

The result of the action on 28th April was mixed one, the northern attack was a complete failure, the southern attack was a success in the sense that the Windmill the main objective was gained, but was a failure from the point of view that the other gains were lost through running out of men. The casualty figures are ones that : I have deduced from a few sources and relate to the 28th April only. I suggest that at the start of the action both RM battalions had a strength of about 750 all ranks maybe less as the Division had been in the line and probably lost some of its strength through normal wastage.
The following is calculated casualty figures for the action:
5 officers and 161 other ranks Killed.
150 Wounded and about 150 prisoners of war.
5 officers and 164 other ranks killed 72 Wounded.
4 officers and 208 other ranks prisoners of war.
The casualties didn't stop there, over the next couple of days the figures grew higher as badly wounded men died of wounds, amongst them was Lt Col F 3 W Cartwright DSO of 1 RMLI who died on 30th April.
Total honours for the Royal Marines for this action was 3 Military Crosses (Lt G A Newling, Capt. E 3 Huskissori and 2nd Lt E A Godfrey) 2 DCMS (Pte G Davies, L/Cpl T Salt) and 19 MM'S. It can be argued that Lt Newling could feel hard done by with an MC when a DSO would have seemed more appropriate.
It can be concluded then that the Northern attack was a failure for the following reasons. The barbed wire in front was untouched by the artillery preparation so the tendency to head for the gaps occurred. The gaps were to the north, so the attack swerved northwards which exposed the marines to the strongpoint on the railway and they got caught from behind and the flank by heavy machine gun fire. Having got into the Germans trenches there were more Germans than anticipated; it was as though large reserves were set aside to counter-attack. So, having taken the front line the marines were faced with a counter-attack of huge numbers and came off worse despite resisting strongly. As stated before there were no survivors of those who penetrated the front line, so the exact events are still unclear. The 2 RMLI attack was a success in that its main objective was taken. They were caught by heavy machine gun fire on the south where some 500 yards of flank was exposed. The official history from the German records states that they saw large bodies of British troops in echelon along the Gavrelle-Fresnes road and they cut many down with machine guns. These troops were obviously 2 RMLI. Other accounts, particularly one by Able Seaman Downe of Anson battalion who witnessed masses of troops surrendering to the north behind enemy lines. These were obviously 2 RMLI who had been trapped in the pincer. The enemy artillery was exceptionally heavy and ranged in so that heavy casualties were sustained. Lastly reading war diaries and other contemporary material the first thing which strikes me is the communications difficulties. In this day and age, a commander can be in touch by radio with all units and maintain some overall cohesion. At Gavrelie the war diaries contained many sentences along the lines of "nothing heard from 1 RML.” etc. It was apparent that Brigade HQ was totally in the dark to most events as absolutely no information was coming back; news was obtained from the wounded which was out of date obviously by the time the wounded had made it back. Also observation by eye was used and the HAC were particularly good at this and their war diary account of the total action is most enlightening - all 30 pages of it!
The cost though was severe to the Royal Marines. The Corps by its nature, like the rest of the RND, was a close knit family and big losses were sorely felt. As was the case with the Marines, regulars rotated through the battalions to add some strength to the short service men, and about a quarter of the losses were to these regulars. The casualties from this battle were the worst the Royal Marines have suffered in its history. It saw the death of the few remaining Gallipoli and Ancre veterans (Horace Bruckshaw of the Bruckshaw diaries fame was amongst them). Most of the casualties are listed on the Arras memorial as they have no known grave, although some are buried in local cemeteries. There is a good possibility that a large portion of those on the Arras memorial are buried in the many graves that contain an unidentified soldier. In 1990 a memorial was built at Gavrelle for the men of the Royal Naval Division, it contains a large anchor donated by the Navy which is surrounded by a brick wall symbolising the village that was fought for. The memorial was built by the Marines of a later era.
The Marines had to rebuild their shattered remnants', but the spirit of the Marine corps did not die at the Windmill , the torch was handed on to the replacements and was carried until 11th November 1918 when the Marines found themselves near Mons where it had all began four years previously.

Citations for Military Crosses awarded for Gavrelle 28-4-17_!ridon Gazette 18 July 1917
Temp 2nd Lt Ernest Allan Godfrey Royal Marines
For conspicuous gallantry and resource during operations when he worked his guns with great skill and endurance for 60 hours without rest, and under a heavy enemy barrage, against a strong point which eventually surrendered.
Capt. Edward John Huskisson RMLI
For conspicuous gallantry when reconnoitring, under a heavy shell fire, a position and organising guides prior to an assault. it was mainly owing to his coolness and courage that the battalion was successfully placed in alignment in the face of the greatest difficulties.
Temp 2nd Lt George Arthur Newling R.M.
For conspicuous gallantry in an attack, when he led his platoon with great courage and skill, and held the objective, when captured, against numerous counter-attacks.
Citations for Distinguish Conduct Medal awarded for Gayrelle 28-4-17 London Gazette 18 July 1917
Pte (L/Cpl) Thomas Salt RMLI
For conspicuous gallantry in operations when he crawled backwards and forwards for three hours through heavy H.E. barrages in order to signal the effect of the Stokes mortar fire. He was wounded.
Pte Glyndwr Davies RMLI.
For conspicuous gallantry. He advanced alone to an enemy strong point, demanded it's surrender and single handed he bought in fifty prisoners.

1895. August. Major Denny and a detachment of the West African Regiment landed on Sacrifice island on the Bass River.

1895. Friday 1st November. A Glimpse From The Past taken from the Globe & Laurel of bygone years. No 1, Vol III.
In the operations on the East Coast of Africa against the chief Muburak-bin-Rashid, in June of this year, Colour-Sergt. Batton RMLI of HMS Swallow had command of the Marines, 50 in number. The Senior Naval Officer in charge of the operation reports very favourably on him as being a thoroughly capable non-commissioned officer.
Our former comrades who have left us to join the Indian Staff Corps are constantly making themselves known to the world by their deeds in the wars, big and little, which take place so frequently on the Indian frontiers. Only recently Major Townsend's name was in the mouth of everyone; now we have news of Lieut. E. LeMesurier, late RMLI, who joined the Corps 1st sept. 1885, and left us for the I.S.C., in October 1888. We append a cutting of 15th August last, giving an account of Lieut. LeMesurier's deeds in Kelat:
"Sardar Gowher Khan, the famous rebel and scourge of Kelat, was killed on the 11th instant, together with his eldest son, Yoosaf Kahn, in a fight which took place between his men and 50 men of the new infantry lately raised by Lieut. LeMesurier, of Jacob's Horse, whose services were lent to Kelat last year, and who is now acting Political Agent in Kelat. According to authentic accounts received, the Khan of Kelat, with advice from Lieut. LeMesurier, despatched 50 of his troops under Mir Pasand Khan, a newly appointed Chief of the Jhalawan tribes, to effect Gowher Khan s apprehension. The outlaw had hidden himself with a number of his men in the hills about 70 miles beyond Kelat. The Khan's troops, reaching the spot after a week's search, surrounded Gowher Kahn, who had fortified himself in Gharmup, and who at first made a stand. On the 11th a fight ensued between the parties resulting in Gowher Khan and his son being killed. Thus an outlaw who has been devastating the country and causing anxiety to the Khan of Kelat and the Government for 25 years, had his career brought to an end."
First Lieutenant - "How do you like the horse you brought from me last week?'
Second Lieutenant - "Very much. He might hold his head a little higher though."
First Lieutenant - " Oh! he'll do that alright - as soon as he's paid for!"

1895. Sunday 15th December. A Glimpses of the past from the Globe & Laurel of bygone years. No Z, Vol III -15th December 1895.
The small force destined to effect the submission of King Prempeh and teach that sable and very foolish monarch wisdom and manners, is now well on its way to the Gold Coast. The force is small, but judging from the care with which those comprising it have been selected, with regard to physique, capabilities of marching. and proficiency in shooting, it should be thoroughly sufficient for the purpose.
The war clouds in other parts of the globe seem to have cleared off for the present; the outlook being very different to what it was a few weeks ago. H.M. the Sultan appears to be doing his utmost to keep peace and administer reforms in his dominions, instigated to this by the united action of all the great powers. In the far East absence of war rumours seem to point to a more peaceful solution of difficulties without recourse to arms. The "Great War" which we so often hear of as being imminent, is therefore not likely to commence in 189. Under these circumstances we feel safe in wishing all our readers a ``Mercy Xmas and Happy New Year," and we feel sure they in return will wish a prosperous new year to the Globe and Laurel and Corps Gazette.
Apropos of the Ashanti War now about to take place, probably one of the oldest surviving officers of the corps who was in action in those regions is Quarter-Master and Hon. Major George Maggs, late RMA, who took part in the attack upon Lagos, 26th December 1 85 1. The operations were directed against some slave dealers. and very dangerous «warfare it proved to be. In a softie. Major Maggs was one of those who. in the ['ace of a heavy tire, attacked the enemy's guns, and spiked them. In the action he received a severe wound. For this sere ice he obtained the meritorious medal and a gratuity of,L'100. Major Maggs we are pleased to hear is still living in excellent health at Southsea.
The senior naval officer, East Coast of Africa, has reported (4th November), that Ch. Private C.H.W. Chowne, HMS "Pcebe, " was killed at night by the firing on the camp of the Naval Brigade, when returning from a three days expedition to a place between Mombassa and Jakamya.
At the Stanley Cycle Show, at the Agricultural Hall, Islington, there is on exhibition a new tandem tricycle -- carrying two Maxim guns. The following description of the machine appeared in the "N & M Record. "
The machine is an ordinary tandem tricycle (Rudge-Whitworth) with steering wheel in front, and about half as wide again as the ordinary pattern. The two guns are fired one on each side of the rear rider, between the hind wheels, and with their muzzles pointing to the rear. To come into action the machine is, of course, turned around, and the "hind legs" of the guns are unstrapped, so as to fall down and fix firmly in the ground as a support. The men then dismount and seat themselves in the small saddles which are fixed to the "hind legs." The ammunition is carried in ten leather cases, five to each gun, which are carried under the hind legs. After firing, the latter are drawn up and strapped. and the men ride away. As an alternative to this procedure, the guns can be detached altogether from the tricycle and fired in the ordinary way upon a tripod stand, which when not in use, is strapped between the rear wheels. Each gun weighs 271bs, the tripod stand weighs 91bs, and the total weight. including ammunition, is 2001bs. It is claimed that a particularly good target can be made from the tricycle owing to the slight give of the pneumatic tyres.
(Editor - the mind boggles at this one!)
The D.A. General has approved of the promotion to Sergeant of the Plymouth Division. Corporal John Charles Clui'f RMI,I of HMS "Bury" for special service on the East Coast of Africa. Corporal Guff was left in charge of the settlement of Ribc, at a time when it was threatened by the rebels during the late disturbances on that coast. He directed the natives, and with their assistance threw up an earthwork 776 feet in length, and, by the time a party could be detached for the defence of that place, he had completed the fortifications. He is reported by the captain of the "Barrow, " to be a most capable N.C. officer and deserving of promotion. Corporal Cluff had passed an examination in Field Works and Building.
Among those who lost their lives in the terrible disaster to the launch of HMS "Edgar," on the 13th November, at Chemulpo, was Bugler George F. Warren, Plymouth Division, RMLI, Bugler Warren's photograph appeared in our last issue, in the group of members of the Legation Guard at Peking. (See photograph in June issue of Sea & Land)
Five thousand stand of arms have been sent from Portsmouth Gunwharf to Malta, for distribution among the Mediterranean Fleet. The magazine rifles and bayonets were so packed that each ship on station can promptly receive her own consignment, and the same rule was observed at Woolwich, whence the ammunition was sent. The Channel and the Mediterranean Squadrons have now been supplied with the magazine rifle, and the China Squadron will next be supplied.
The Pall Mall Gazette are keeping up a crusade against cordite. The P. Al. G. of 27th November contains the following - The military correspondent of an Indian paper has been asking a pertinent question or two about cordite. He is quite ready to admit that its behaviour was satisfactory during the late Chitral campaign. but he points out that the thermometer may have had a good deal to do with this. Only', the behaviour of the thermometer in the Malakand Pass is one thing, and its behaviour at .facobabad, say, is another. The regulations provide that when a thermometer and cordite get together, the first must always mind what it is about. and by no means exceed the sate limits of the century. In Malakand it didn't. At Jacobabad and elsewhere it does; and this is not only out of doors, and what is humorously called the "shade," but also in the privacy of the magazine, and even of the limber-box. And, in consequence of this, the cordite becomes discomposed, and even decomposed, and will either fizzle feebly out at the muzzle, or burst forth explosively at the breech-block. The correspondent wants to know how the Ordnance committee propose to reconcile this conduct on the part of the thermometer with the emergencies of' the service? And, further, how the committee is going to deal with the even more marked indications of being above its business which this misguided instrument affords in the magazine of a battle-ship? It is quite clear to the interrogator that either thermometers or cordite will have to go, and he would like to have an authoritative decision as to which of them it is to be. For the matter of that - So should we.
On November 21st, at the Portland Hall, Southsea, Professor Boys gave a lecture on photographs of bullets in flight . The lecture was illustrated by the magic lantern, and was interesting mainly from a photographic point of view. By a simple invention of his own, Professor Boys succeeded in obtaining photos of bullets, allowing an exposure of only one thirteen millionth part of a second. The air waves were most distinctly defined, the wave in front of the bullet much resembling the bow wave of a steamer. The photo was taken when the bullet had only left the muzzle a few feet. In the course of his lecture, Professor Boys mentioned one or two points which may not be generally known. (1) Gunpowder will not burn in vacua. (2) It burns much quicker when subject to great pressure. This accounts for some time fuzes not giving the same results when in the head of a shell in flight as they did when tested in a laboratory. Perhaps the most interesting part of' the lecture was a series of 'photographs of the Lee-Metford bullet as it passed through a 1/2inch sheet of glass. Just before the bullet touched the sheet, the air wave cut a disc of glass about -half the diameter of the bullet clean out. At the same time the glass around the hole made was crushed into powder, and driven backwards at the rate of 10,000 feet per second. The glass stuck to the bullet for a short time after it had passed through, the disc being driven on in front of the "bow wave." In this experiment the waves, caused by the vibrations of the glass, were very clearly seen. A photograph of the bullet after it had cleared the glass by nine inches, skewed the remainder of the glass intact. When the bullet had proceeded another 16 inches the sheet of glass was seen to break and fall to pieces.
Major-General J. Phillips C.B., who retired on November 20th, on the expiration of three years in command of the Portsmouth Division, entered the service as 2nd Lieutenant 24th December. 1856; was promoted Captain 19th June 1.872; Brevet-Major for War Service 29th June, 1879: Brevet-Lieut.-Col. For War Service 11th July 1882; Colonel-Comdt. 20th November] 892; Hon. Major-General on retirement. Major-General Phillips saw a considerable amount of war service, more than any other officer of his standard. As O.C. detachment of HMS "Shah," he was present at the only purely ship engagement that has taken place in the British service in modern times. viz,: in action with the Peruvian rebel turret-ship. "Huascar" off the Coast of Peru, on 29th May. 1877. While the "Shah "was on her way home to pay off, she was ordered to proceed to the "Cape." the Zulu War having broken out. Captain Phillips commanded the Marines of the Squadron landed for service with the land forces during the campaign, forming part of the Flying Column which relieved Ekhowe present at the Battle of Gingihlovo, April 2nd, 1879; Relief of Ekhowe, April 3rd; and destruction of Dabulamanzi's great Military Kraal, April 4th. afterwards accompanying General Crealock's Column. (Mentioned in despatches, brevet of Major. C.B.,(Zulu medal and clasp).

1895. "Bandmasters will, invariably, be in uniform when leading their Bands". The Bandmasts of the time usually wore civilian cloths whilst conducting the bands.

1896. Tuesday 7th January. The Globe and Laurel No 3 Vol. III. Information has been received from the Edgar, that a Lieutenant R.M.L.I., and 15 men, have been landed in Korea, to act as a Legation Guard, under almost the similar conditions to the Guard there last winter. The men composing this Guard left England last year.
Mr William Marriott, who has been promoted to Quartermaster with the honorary rank of Lieutenant, joined the Royal Marines in 1869, and by successive stages reached the rank of Staff-Sergt.
In 1880. He was Sergt-Major of the Royal Marine battalion stationed in Ireland in 1881, and 1882.
In 1884 and 1885 he served as Sergt.-Major with the Royal Marine battalion in the Soudan and took an active part in the defence of Suakim. He also accompanied General Graham's expeditionary force. He was engaged in reconnaissance work at Hasheen, March 20th, the battle of Tofrek, March 22nd (McNeill's Zareba) and the capture and burning of Tamai. (Note: An article on McNeill’s Zereba is in preparation.)
He was engaged on convoy duty on March 24th, and again on the 26th, the convoy being heavily attacked on. Each occasion.
In June 1888, Mr Marriott was appointed Sergt.-Major of the Portsmouth Division of Royal Marines, which post he continued to hold up to the time of his selection for a Quartermaster ship in the Chatham Division, where he takes up his new duties on Friday. Lieut. Marriott wears the Egyptian War medal with two bars, the Kedive Star and the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.
The United States Navy Department has decided to reduce the number of Marines carried by men-of-war in the U.S. Navy.
This is taken as an indication of its intention ultimately, to dispense with the services of the Marines Corps afloat and is meeting with strong opposition from the officers of the Corps, who maintain that Marines are as much needed on board war vessels now, as ever they were, though their functions may be somewhat altered.
In large ships the numbers carried will be limited to thirty men, a proportionate reduction being made in smaller vessels.
ec~001 'Zrectt
The children of the Divisional Schools at Plymouth had their Annual Christmas entertainment in the Divisional Theatre, on Thursday, 19th December 1895. Each of the children were given a packet of sweets and an orange, which they all seemed to fully appreciate. The band under the direction of Corporal Ockland, enlivened the evening by several selections of popular airs. Songs were very ably rendered by Privates Anderson and Smith. A stump oration by Private Foster brought forth roars of laughter. Private T. Smith in his bird imitations was excellent. Sergeant G.A. Parsons gave a capital song and dance. The banjo solo of Sergeant Moore was very nicely rendered. Bugler Ryan as a clown was very good. Bugle-Major Jas. Howe simply kept his audience in convulsions for half­ an hour with his ventriloquism, which by the way, would do credit to any professional stage. At the conclusion, Mr Westaway, Schoolmaster, proposed a hearty vote of thanks to Major C.B.G. Dick R.M.L.I.; for his great kindness in providing such an excellent entertainment, and called for three cheers from the children, to which they heartily responded.
The following extract is from a private letter received from Buluwayo: ‑
"I arrived up here last week, after a most awful journey by coach form Mafeking. I don't think I shall go down again till the railway arrives here, it is a journey of over 600 miles over the most awful roads and is supposed to take five days and a half, but the coach I was in took seven days and a half, as we broke down twice, both times in the night, and we had to wait till morning to patch up and go very slowly till we arrived at a mule station. The coach is drawn by ten mules, which are changed every fifteen or twenty miles, and you travel night and day, so you can imagine one doesn't get much rest, especially when the coach is full as it was. Nine inside is all they hold, and then you are packed in to one another like sardines. The heat was awful, and the dust too. The fare is £25; quite enough for the shaking you get, and then you have to pay for your food on the way. There are only ten wayside 'stores on the road, and they are very rough shanties. Well, I came up here to start a branch business, as I heard things were so good. This is truly a marvellous place when you consider that it is only two years ago to-day that the troops marched into Bulawayo. The town is not exactly on the site of Lobengula's old kraal, which is about a mile and a half away.
I suppose this is the most wonderful town that has ever sprung up in any country.
It covers an area of about six square miles, the population is about 10,000 white, and people are coming in daily from all parts. There are sixteen hotels, all of which are full, and it is very hard to get a bed anywhere. They charge you from

12 to £17 a month. The buildings are very fine, all a great deal better than Mafeking, and they are still hard at work building. The Post Office and Stock Exchange are wonderful buildings for this outlandish part - 600 miles from any rail. There is a staff of twenty men in the Post Office. There are three banks, none of the staffs of which are under ten in number, so you can gather what business is going on. There are two breweries, a steam laundry, mineral water factories galore, and skating rink; huge waterworks in course of erection. They are also putting up the electric light, and three recreation grounds, a race course, and a park are being constructed. I was thunderstruck when I arrived, as I couldn't imagine a place like this in the wild of Matabeleland. Where two or three years before only a few white men had ever been seen. Just to give you some idea of the prices of some things here, eggs are from 12s to 17s per dozen, butter 16s to I7s per lb., little new potatoes you pay 6d a piece for, and so on; but the place is chock full of money. I only hope some will stick to me. I have not started business yet as. I am waiting. For my stock to arrive, it takes at least ten weeks by wagon from Mafeking now, as the `Veldt' is very bad, and there is no water - rain is wanted very badly all over the country. In Johannesburg, I hear, there is a water famine; water is selling at 3s per two gallons. My partner is still carrying on in business in Mafeking, but after the railway passes, I think we shall sell out unless the Malmain gold-fields go ahead. Quite 75 per cent. Of the population here are gentlemen, which is very nice. I am sending you the Bulinvayo Chronicle this week. I will send you all of them next week, there are six a week published, though we haven't got a daily yet."
The Commanding Officer of a regiment was much troubled by the persistent untidiness of one of his men. Reprimand and punishment were unavailing. The man remain as dirty as ever. At last a brilliant idea struck the Colonel. "Why not march him down the whole line of the regiment and shame him into decency`.'' So, it was done. The untidy soldier was marched along the line by the Colonel, who, when he came to an end.
Having marched along the entire line. Paddy marched up to the Colonel, saluted, and said in the hearing of the whole regiment, with the utmost cangfinid, "I hir-tiest Regimint I hiver hinspected, Sor" (Sic)

1896. January - June. The Island of Crete being in a very unsettled state on account of the insurrection against the Turkish Government, an International Gendarmerie was formed and Major Bor RMA was appointed to organise and command it in January 1897. He resigned his position in March, and took command of the European troops holding the fort of Izzedin during the insurrection. During the insurrection Major C.C. Britain RMLI with Lieutenants P. Molloy and F.A. Nelson landed with 1,400 N.C.O’s and men from HMS Rodney, HMS Revenge and HMS Balfleur to assist in the occupation of Canea by the European Powers and remained there for five weeks.

1896. Friday 7th February. No 4 Vol. III The Globe & Laurel. Hard indeed it is to shake the faith of' the ignorant African native in the wisdom and practices of his forefathers. Nywiliso, Chief of the Pondos, was recently greatly troubled by the long-continued drought and the appearance of locusts, and being quite convinced that these evils were due to the fact that the rain and locusts, doctors were not allowed to exercise their charms, he wrote to major Elliot, C.M.G., late R.M.L.I., to that effect, and requested permission for his "doctors" to be allowed to work their spells, to bring down rain, and to destroy the locusts. Fortunately, rain fell while the Magistrate was thinking what answer to make. Had the Major refused the Chief's request, and had the drought continues, there would possibly have been further trouble with the Pondo natives.
The Commander-in-Chief notified recently several alterations in the Queen's Regulations which affect the practice of route marching at home. Troops on home service are to be practised at least twice a week in route marching, between October 15th and March 15th. The marches are to be progressive, beginning with nine miles in October, with a gradual increase to sixteen miles in January. Marching order is to be worn, and with immature men the carrying of a full kit is also to be progressive. In doubtful cases medical opinion is to be taken. The marches are to be combined with some tactical operation, and where the march exceeds twelve miles, biscuits are to be carried in the haversack. At the close of the route marching season officers and men, in fair or foul weather, will march fifteen miles a day for six consecutive days. Halts are to be made every half an hour after a forced march, afterwards once an hour for five minutes each time, and when the march exceeds six hours, a halt is to be made for a meal. The fitting of the men's boots is to be specially attended to, and special care used in noting the condition of the men individually. This order is being carried out at our several Head-Quarters. combined with Tactical exercises, which add greatly to the interest of the marches.
Sergi.-Major Charles Wiltshire, of the Port Elizabeth Artillery, who is reported a prisoner for attempted participation in the recent rising in the Transvaal, is an old and well-known non-commissioned officer of the
Plymouth Division, R.M.L.I. For many years he was Gunnery Instructor at the Division, and relinquished his appointment to embark in the Raleigh on the Cape of Good Hope Station. A love of adventure and an offer of his present appointment induced him to obtain a free discharge by relinquishing his seventeen years' service in the Royal Marines, thus forfeiting all claim to pension.
It would appear from the following extract from the Annual Register of 17b 1, that Hannah Snell was not the only Hannah who served as a Marine:‑
"Leeds, October 20th (1761). A few days ago, a young woman about 20, dressed in a man's clothes, was impressed at Plymouth and sent to Corpl. Toby in this town. On her arrival she was committed to prison; but not liking confinement she discovered her sex and was discharged. She gives the following account of herself:- That her name is Hannah Whitney; that she was born in Ireland; had been a Marine on board different ships for upwards of five years, and would not have discovered her sex if she had been allowed her liberty."
From an article in the Standard on the Ashanti Campaign we extract the following:‑
"One element in the last Expedition is, we notice, with regret, absent. At that time the Seamen and Marines, artillery and infantry, played a very conspicuous part. It was they who, long before the coming of the Inf2r_try of the Line, drove back the Ashantis from Elmina, and, followed them, burned their villages. It was they who relieved Abracrampa, and under Colonel Festing, fought some severe engagements. Lastly, it was the Naval Brigade who, under the supervision of Major Home and his Engineers, built the bridge, and upon the whole of the upward march cheered the column by their fun and light-hearted gaiety. Why ships on the station are not represented, if only by a small contingent, is difficult to understand"
Another of the survivors of the Six Hundred who took part in the famous Balaclava charge has passed away in the person of William Henry Faulkner. whose death has occurred at Chatham. Born in Inverness. Faulkner, at the age of seventeen, joined the 4th Light Dragoons. I sent out to the Crimea. In charging the Russian guns at Balaclava he received a bullet in his neck, where it remained until the day Chis death, being deeply imbedded in the muscles. The young Dragoon attacked the Russian who fired the shot and cut him down. The horrors of war were too much for a young fellow of Faulkner's age, and he was invalided home, suffering from mental aberration. He was taken to Fort Pitt Hospital, Chatham, and was among the wounded visited by Queen Victoria and the Prince Consort.
Upon his recovery Faulkner was the recipient of an anonymous gift of a £5 note and a suit of clothes, and throughout his life he always held the conviction that his unknown benefactor was none other than her Majesty. Upon his restoration to health, Faulkner, joined the Royal Marines, and again saw active service in the Indian Mutiny.
He was present at both the Relief of Lucknow (Nov. 17th. 1857) and its recapture (March 21st, 1858). He also fought at Cawnpore in the battle of December 6th, 1857, and, after deadly work with his bayonet, was severely wounded by a heavy blow from a club wielded by a giant Sepoy.
Faulkner completed 21 years service in the Royal Marines, and retired on a small pension, afterwards getting employment as a labourer.
The naval authorities, in recognition of his gallant services to his country, admitted him to the Melville Hospital during his last illness, and a party of Royal Marines in uniform bore his body to the grave. The deceased was fifty-nine years of age.
Vanity Fair, of January l 6th, contained an interesting letter about the Lee-Metford rifle and its effects at Chitral. A Surgeon's evidence is quoted to show (1) That owing to the high initial velocity and extreme hardness of the bullet, it passes at short ranges through everything, except large bones, without giving any shock to the victim. (2) Although the wound may eventually prove fatal, it would hardly at the time impair his fighting power. It is kind not to quote the name of the Surgeon who reported these things - a bullet which passes through a man's heart or wind-pipe. without giving the victim any shock. would indeed and these arc i:t;l'liitllly not large bones. vUiics. I iii yi:ra argument in the letter is a very familiar one to military readers. A big bullet is advocated instead of a small one, because it is said to stop a man better. Education and musketry training has done so much for us all, that one wonders how so many people manage to miss the whole point of the question. A small bullet gives increased velocity, which means a flatter trajectory. With a flatter trajectory the danger zone is longer and the chance of hitting very much increased. Surely a small bullet that hits a man is more likely to stop him than a big one that misses him.
An interesting letter has been forwarded to us from Sergt. Boxwell, RMLI, late Sergeant in charge of the Marine Guard left behind at Pekin by Major Milne RMA. Sergeant Boxwell and his men appear to have found life rather dreary' after the withdrawal of the remainder of the Legation Guards; but we are glad to see that the little detachment worthily maintained the traditions of our Corps, always so remarkable whenever small bodies are detached on special service, by being quiet and orderly in their behaviour. The Guard was finally withdrawn from Pekin on August 18th. and after sundry delays, and being transferred from one ship to another, at length reached Edgarat Woosung, on October 11th, only, however, to find that they were at once to proceed to Seoul, again as a Legation Guard, under the command ufl, icuienanl Meister RMLI. The strength of the Guard is ! Sergeant (Sergt. Boxwell), l Corporal (Corpl. Kent) and l3 Privates. They have comfortable quarters, with a compound to themselves with apparently not much to do; plenty of healthy exercise being obtained by climbing the surrounding hills.
Quaint Orders (From an old Gibraltar Orders Book)
No Officer or soldier on duty to carry an umbrella.
A loose ball and a charge of powder is to be issued to each man on guard to save their cartridges. The loose ball is to be carried in the cock of their hats.
On account of the scarcity of flour, soldiers are not to have their hair powdered until further orders.
The skeleton of a soldier - supposed a deserter - was yesterday discovered at the foot of the Rock, so much broken and otherwise disfigured that there remain no marks to distinguish the Corps to which he belonged, except the letters J.Y. on his stockings.
Any Corps 'who have lost a man etc! The following incident is reported to have occurred during the early part of the Egyptian affair in 1882.-
The famous Regiment. arrived at Alexandria with its glorious colours inscribed with its victories of centuries, more or less, and having to leave them at the base, was ordered to place them in safe keeping on board
MSHellcon. Guarded by six kilted 1-lighlanders and two officers with drawn swords, the sacred banners were taken in state alongside.
With the hospitality that characterises UIcr Majesty's Navy, the officers were taken into the ward-room for refreshments, and the bosun was ordered to see to the precious charge.
Jack looked over the side. and. to the horror of the hearers. veiled.
`Ere, you marines. bring up the bloody flags!!’
From an article in the Standard on the Ashanti Campaign we extract the following:‑
"One element in the last Expedition is, we notice with regret, absent. At that time the Seamen and Marines, Artillery and Infantry, played a very conspicuous part. It was they who, long before the coning of the Infantry of the Line, drove back the Ashantis from Elmina, and, following them, burned their villages. It was they who relieved Abracrampa, and , under Colonel Festing fought some severe engagements. Lastly, it was the Naval Brigade who, under the supervision of Major Home and his Engineers, built the bridge, and upon the whole of the upward march cheered the column by their fun and light-hearted gaiety. Why the ships on the station are not represented, if only by a small contingent, is difficult to understand."
The recent Ashantee expedition. recalls to our minds the successful way in which the late Sir Francis Pest ng's advance was conducted in the former campaign. With a few additions to the present equipment and stores in charge of the Corps, it seems so easy to carry out a whole little war of this nature. By using a force of Marines alone. Plenty of able officers would be forthcoming to conduct such campaigns. but the question is whether the Admiralty could spare the men from their strictly naval duties. Probably! they could not.(Sic)

1896. Saturday 7th March. The Globe & Laurel of bygone years. No 5 Vol. III.
Information has been received from the S.N.O. , East Coast of Africa, that Ch.6230 Bugler W.C. Tinsdall of HMS Phoebe, who was dangerously wounded at Mioele, on 17th August last, by a shot through the chest, is now convalescent. He was for many weeks in a most critical condition, and was treated by Dr MacDonald, of the British East Africa Protectorate Government Hospital, at Mombasa, and it is owning to that gentleman's care and treatment that Bugler Tindall's recovery is due. A letter conveying the thanks of their Lordships for the careful treatment of this Bugler has been sent to Dr MacDonald.
BY Captain G.G. Aston R.M.A.
What sort of guns have they got in the Transvaal ? Judging by the evidence of one witness against the Johannesburg Committee they must be up to date enough to go in for field mortars or howitzers. This witness said he saw a gun only three feet long but gig enough to put his head in. Another said that the piece of ordnance in question might certainly have been used as a water pipe, but it was without doubt a gun. We have heard of men who did not know the difference between a gun and a pump, and they seem to be common in South Africa.
We all know the old nautical joke, by which our brothers of the sister Service try sometimes to draw us, in calling an empty bottle a dead Marine. In an old volume we find the following anecdote of the Sailor King:‑ William the Fourth seemed in a momentary dilemma one day, when at table with several other officers, he ordered one of the waiters to "Take away that Marine there," pointing to an empty bottle. "Your Majesty!" inquired a Colonel of Marines, "do you compare an empty bottle to a member of our branch of the Service ?" "Yes," replied the monarch, as if a sudden thought had struck him; " I mean to say it has done its duty once, and is ready to do it again."
The first of a series of monthly smoking concerts was held at the Wanderer's Club, Strada St, St Paulo, Valletta, by the non-commissioned officers of the Mediterranean Fleet, on Thursday the 6th February, and it proved to be a most enjoyable evening, everyone remarking "that a more enjoyable evening could not be spent " This success was mainly due to the very energetic chairman (Sgt. Major Blackman), who very soon found out those possessing vocal and elocutionary talents, and no fewer than thirteen turns were got through in the course of the evening.
The following N.C. officers and friends provided the different items in the programme:- Sergeant Major Blackman, Sgts. Morton, Champ, Latto, Ware, Corporals Lee, Whittier, Black Edge, Dansey and Greasley, Mr Burnard R.N., Mr Burke R.N., and Mr Marchant R.N. Corporal Black presided at the piano, and accompanied the various songs in his usual able manner. A most pleasant evening was brought to a conclusion by the singing of the National Anthem and "Auld Lang Syne."
Everyone regretting that the time had passed so quickly, but promising their support for the concerts on the future.
The Cuban revolutionists are said to have proved that a dynamite charge effectively employed will do more work in a fraction of a second than a rifled cannon can be expected to accomplish during its whole term of life. The problem as I see it however, is that you have to get your enemy to stand around your dynamite charge before he can come too much harm. Then too, there is a considerable chance of you blowing yourself up with it.
Charges against men for articles of arms or accoutrements lost or rendered unserviceable by neglect or culpable mismanagement, will be made for proportionable value of the unexpired period of wear; no charge will, however, be reduced below a quarter of the full value, and the unexpired period will be calculated in half years, any period of less than six months being charged as a full year.
There is undoubtedly demand in this country for a Corps of Marine Artillery Volunteers - men who are efficient gunners afloat but not necessarily "seamen". Such a Corps could be raised without difficulty and would cost very little. If any patriotic retires officer would undertake to "bell the cat" the advantage to the country could hardly be over­estimated. There is a great future for a movement of this kind if properly taken up. Those who joined would learn a great deal about the Navy, and spread their knowledge about the country in peace time. In war they would be invaluable. Besides a few more of the population would learn what the Royal Marines are and what they do, which would be an advantage. Which of us does not recognise the three sentences: "What a magnificent Barracks;" "What a splendid body of men;" "But what do you do?" We cannot always be explaining that the country would find it hard to get on without us!
(Editor: 60 years after this article was written I was standing at a bus stop outside Waterloo Station, in blues, when an old lady asked inc what number bus went to Cricklewood. When I said I didn't know, she demanded to know what type of London Transport bus inspector I was, if I couldn't answer a simple question like that.
Another flying machine is reported from the United States. It is of steel, and driven by a steam engine, and, bulk for balk, is considerably heavier than the air which it displaces. Owing to the scale on which it is built there is no condensing arrangement to use the water more than once, and enough can only be carried for a very brief flight. For this reason the actual flights taken during the experiments in May last do not appear to have exceeded half a mile, and on the last occasion the speed was about twenty miles per hour. The results appear to justify further experiments in the same direction, but it is to be hoped that these machines will never be made on a large enough scale to carry bodies of troops armed with high explosives. With melinite shell on land and torpedoes at sea there are quite enough unpleasant inventions to be met with in war as it is.
Wanted Man and Wife Man as a working butler, wife as cook and general servant. ` Pay ? 5shillins per week: board themselves.
Apply: Staff-Captain, Dockyard, Pembroke Dock.

1896.Tuesday 7th April. Taken from The Globe & Laurel of bygone years. No 6 Vol. III 7th April. 1896. The following extracts are of interest to the Corps having been gathered from the estimates of (£896-97. The total sum voted for the year, for the whole of the Naval Forces, amounts to £21,823,000, an increase of £3,122,000 on the preceding year. The increase in numbers amounts to 4,900, of which 500 are to the Royal Marines, viz, RMA - 200; RMLI -291 and 9 Staff Officers.
By Captain N G.G. Aston R.M.A.
New Zealand politicians are taking a move in the right direction when they talk about a contribution to the Navy. If within fifty years all our colonies contribute annually towards the fleet, either in men, money or material, or better still all three, then we shall indeed be strong as an empire.
So many people seem to be in favour of the proposal in last month's Notes about establishing a Royal Marine Volunteers, that there is a great temptation to extend the proposal to our colonies -especially those with a sea-coast population. The worst of it is that it is so very easy to sit down with a pen and propose these things, but so very difficult really to put them through. Even volunteers cannot be kept up without spending a little of the tax-pavers money, and we all know what a business it is to get hold of that. (Editors underlining)
When the Royal Naval Artillery Volunteers were abolished, rumour had it that they were given the chance of becoming Royal Marine Artillery Volunteers, but refused to be turned into "mere landsmen" as the newspapers put it. This was a little hard on the RMA, who spend most of their time at sea.
The French will soon be in a good position to make out penetration tables for the Lebel rifle. A drunken soldier, the other day, elected to let off his rifle in his barrack room. The bullet went through the ceiling, through the bed of a comrade in the room above, through his body and his hand ,which was on his chest, and then through the floor above. Truly, as the latest writers on tactics say, it is not an advantage nowadays to put men behind inadequate cover; better advance on the enemy as quickly as possible, and not let him get off too many rounds.
Twenty-four Maxim guns and three hundred cases of rifles seems a large supply to be got into three "small" oil-tanks. Evidence was given in a trial at Pretoria of the Johannesburg Reform Committee, that this amount of war material was produced out of the oil-tanks; so it must be presumed that it was got into them. Either imaginations or oil-tanks must be on a large scale in that country.
Somebody in Germany is reported to have invented a means of representing the cloud produced by the discharge of a field gun using smokeless powder, to be used at sham fights. It is described as a kind of air pump, emitting a cloud of dust - or more familiarly, perhaps we might call it a squirt. It would be rather useful to start a few of these dust-squirts for the enemy to shoot at, while one's guns were firing at him from somewhere else. When one reads of these things, one.does not trust even the statements in the Tactic book, that - one of the chief results of the use of smokeless powder will be the absence of smoke on the battlefield. Until recently it seemed a rather obvious truism.
The Prussian general staff is said to be enthusiastic over Count Zeppelin's steerable balloon, which can rise 1,200 yards, travel eleven miles per hour, carry two tons, stay up full a week -, and ascend and descend without throwing ballast or losing gas, but the principal novelty is a secret preparation, or sizing, making "silk entirely gas-tight. The cost of one will be $75,000.
A. and N. Journal, New York.
The fact is, that slowly and surely the seaman and marine are drifting togther. The former spends some time in barracks now, and the latter spends a larger proportion of his time afloat than he used to do. The change will be a slow one, and perhaps will not be brought about in our generation, but when it comes, the sea-soldier and the seamen will both be as perfect as is humanely possible.
(Editor's Comment: We are! Why am 't the Matelots ? )
We regret to record the death of Sergt. James Robertson, (late R.M.L.I..) The body of this N.C.O. was found completely cut in two on the railway near Woodside, by Aberdeen, on the 13`'' March, the unfortunate man having evidently been run over by one or more passing trains.         Sergt. Robertson was born at Fochaber, Elgin, N.Q., and enlisted in the R.M.L.I. at Liverpool on the 26'1 December 1866. He re-engaged on the 6't' October 1876, was promoted Corporal on the 1st January 1872, and to Sergeant on the 13th July l876. He had no war services, and for the latter part of his service was at the R.M. Depot.
He was awarded the Long Service & Good Conduct Medal on the 23rd February 1877 and was discharged to pension on the 30th December 1887. He was afterwards employed as night watchman at Kittybrewster Station. Being possessed of a good education he shortly obtained a post of Sacrist of Mareschal College, at Aberdeen, which appointment he held for seven years, gaining the esteem of all with whom he came in contact by his obliging and congenial manner.
We are indebted to Sgt. J Smith R.M.L.I. of HMS Melita, for the following account of a visit to Massowah. The Melita was at Massowah, on the 27th February last, and whilst there, Camel and Mule races took place, in which the R.M's distinguished themselves in one way or another, Pte W.J. Ricketts winning the 300 yards race. Great activity prevailed in the Italian garrison, large numbers of troops arriving in crowded transports. The general appearance of the Italians with their heavy packs, on which are slung small tenter d'abri , was very serviceable. These troops were armed with the magazine rifle, and, among them Were many youthful conscripts who had lately left their happy homes. The Italian Governor inspected the detachment of ours serving in HMS Melita, and highly complimented on the fine physique and smart appearance of the men.
HMS S Porpoise HBM Consulate, Seoul, Corea. Feb. 18th, 1896.
Dear Sir,
I hope you will find this of sufficient interest to insert in our valuable and well-read journal.
On Feb. llth, the Russians having landed over 100 men from the Admiral ivoehinoff, and despatched them to Seoul, the forenoon of the 12th brought an order for sixteen Royal Marines to proceed to Seoul at once. We ci Col.-Sgt., 2 Corpls., I Bugler. and 12 Privates) with Lieut. R.E.R. Benson, RN in charge, left the ship just after 5 p.m. with bags and bedding to march there.
A start was made from the landing place at Chemulo exactly at 6 p.m. Until clear of the town very slow progress was made, but once outside were able to march at a very decent pace. By this time it was completely dark; the ground very rough; and the first time of going over it, it soon became hard work.
A halt was made for ten minutes at the Gap, which is one of the hardest hills to climb on the road, and we continued on until we reached the Oricole Hostelry, where a stay was made till the morning - a distance of 15 miles being accomplished in four-and-quarter hours, over rough and unknown roads and with full marching order.
At 6 a.m. another start was made. Marpu was reached at 8-30 (where the river had to be crossed by means of a ferry) and Seoul at 09­30, a distance of 10 miles from the halting place; the baggage arriving at 1 l a.m. With the exception of two with blistered feet, all arrived in Al condition. The barracks are close to the Consulate gate and very comfortable.
Next day, a sentry was posted at the gate and each man told off to his station, should the Consulate be attacked. At 11 p.m. The alarm was sounded, and every man was at his station in eight minutes.

1896. June. The following letter was published in the Globe & Laurel, in the June Edition of 1896, and is probably the earliest reference of an Australian serving in the Corps:
Being an Australian, Sydney, N.S. Wales being my place of birth, and residence of my parents, relatives and friends, proud of my native country and the grand decision arrived at by our Premier, which has been received by the Colonial secretary and published to the world at large, I, in my present position, cannot rest without bringing to your notice the following regarding my civil, volunteer, military and naval career during the past 36 years, with a view that you will be pleased to peruse the same and publish it, being ready at any moment to again rally round the Standard. In the year 1860, being then 17 years of age (born in 1843), 1 joined (as a member) of the volunteer Corps on its first formation in Sydney, N.S. Wales, and during the same year we were called upon to perform various duties, mounting guards, patrols, escorts Etc., during the absence of the military, who were suddenly called away to the gold fields for the purpose of suppressing the riots between the miners and the Chinese. In 1861, having had some experience at cricket, I had the distinguished honour of being selected as one of the team to represent the Colony of N.S. Wales, to play against the first All England Eleven that visited Australia under the captaincy of H.H. Stephenson (Surrey). In 1863, on the breaking out of the war in New Zealand, volunteers from the Australian Colonies were called for by the New Zealand Government, for active service with the Imperial troops, I obtained H.M. commission with the rank of ensign, and left Sydney on board a chartered ship the "Kate," in charge of the first detachment of men that left the shores of Australia for the seat of war.
In the month of April 1865, after the storming and capture of Orakan Pah, then being under the command of the late Major General Carey, H.M. 18th Royal Irish, I obtained special promotion to the rank of Lieutenant, for my conduct with the 'flying column' in the field and at this engagement (In possession of medal with commissioned rank on edge). In 1866, at the termination of hostilities and the withdrawal of the troops, I returned to Sydney, N.S. Wales. In 1867, a special Mounted Police force was about to be enrolled to scour the bush and put down bushranging in the interior of the Colony. I formed one of a party for this dangerous and hazardous duty, until their career was checked by the apprehension of the ringleaders, execution of the brothers Clarke, death and transportation for life of the remainder of the gang after their long reign of terror in the southern district of New South Wales. In the month of May 1868, I left Sydney for Melbourne, and assisted in the transport of horses, forage etc., purchased for the government of India, for conveyance to Bombay for commissariat work during the Abyssinian campaign, obtaining an appointment in the civil service. After the capture of Magdala and return of the troops to Bombay, I remained in the Bombay residency until 1872, and in the month of November of that year, I paid my first visit to England, arriving a complete stranger on the 19th December. In January 1873, being then 30 years of age, not tired of military life, I made application to join the Royal Marines, and obtained a special order of enlistment on account of my past service. During my time in that distinguished and respected corps for a period of 21 years (ashore and afloat), I did my duty, and was discharged to pension as a non-commissioned officer on the 15th January 1894, and since that time have been employed in the dockyard reserve, Chatham. In conclusion, I am ready (as an Australian should be), to again undertake (being in my 54th year of age), any military or naval duty on behalf of my queen and country, for the glory honour and welfare of the constitution. I beg to subscribe myself:  Robert John Coulter, Late Corporal R.M.L.I. New Brompton, Chatham, Tuesday 21st April 1896. (Sic)

1897. Wednesday 10th February – Saturday 20th February. The Benin Expedition.

1897. Friday 7th May.  Globe & Laurel: A correspondent writes from Bermuda:
In Bermuda the Marines shoot their fish from the ramparts surrounding the Commissioner's House. Sergeant Little, R.M.L.I., has shot two within the last week, the first weighing 42 lbs. and the second 60 lbs. They are called rock cod and lie usually about a foot below the surface of the water. Daybreak is the best time for sighting them. Sometimes the tide carries the dead fish away from the shore, then it is a case of swimming 300 or 400 yards to secure the prize.

1897. Friday 25th June. The Royal Marines. An extract from "Navy and Army Illustrated By Major A F Gatliff.
The Expansion of the Empire. - From the days of Elizabeth down to this Jubilee year of our Sovereign Lady Queen Victoria, the British Empire has never ceased to expand, and in the process of Empire building so markedly characteristic of this glorious reign, the Royal Marines have played a very considerable part.
Whenever the realm over sea has been a-making, that force whose proud motto is "Per Mare, Per Terram" has been represented, and except on the Indian frontier, wherever hard knocks were to be given or got in any quarter of the globe, "Er Majesty's Jollies" have been strenuously engaged, bearing themselves nobly as seasoned warriors. Small wars, big wars, have been all as one to those who are "Soldiers and sailors too".
Especially has it fallen to their lot to do and die manfully in the numerous un-news papered expeditions,
"Where Africa's sunny fountains
Roll down their golden sands"
expeditions now long forgotten, whose only record is in the musty archives of the past, and in lone graves by swamp and jungle. Constant experience of warfare in divers’ countries and sundry places, now part of the Queen's dominions, has given them a readiness and resource proverbial throughout our Sovereign's Service.
Some Fights and a Moral. - Merely to enumerate the warlike exploits of the great Sea Regiment would fill pages, and it will only be possible to briefly refer to a few of their achievements during the past sixty years. In 1837 a battalion of Royal Marines - clad in gorgeous, tight-waisted, high stocked coatees, white trousers, and lofty, outspreading shakoes - co-operated with the Spanish Forces under Sir De Lacey Evans and took part in the battles of Ametzagana and Eruani and Irun, on one occasion successfully withstanding an attack by the whole Carlist Army. The following extract from general orders proves that discipline was as conspicuous a Marine virtue at the beginning of the Queen's reign as now: -"The unshaken firmness of the British Royal Marines in repulsing, as they did, four times their number afforded a noble example of the irresistible force of military organisation and discipline which the Army should be proud to emulate." Two years later detachments of the corps took part in the operations about Bushire, in Persia, and helped to capture the Biblical sea-ports of Tyre and Sidon. More than half a century afterwards those historic cities which had experienced British prowess in war were witnesses of British sorrow in peace, for it was almost within sight of them that the "Victoria" sank for ever below the sun-lit waves of the Gulf of Tripoli. In that terrible disaster the splendid discipline of the Royal Marines was again manifested, and the 68 men of the corps who were drowned went to their doom like heroes. In 1842 a Marine detachment was the first to occupy the newly-acquired island of Hong Kong, which had come under British rule as a result of two years' empiring in China. Here a fight and there a fight, with operations in Burma and the taking of Prome and Pegu, filled in the time till the Russian War. In that struggle the Marines had a brigade at Balaclava and Sebastopol, and others of them took part on ship board in the Baltic and Black Sea bombardments. For their services generally during the war the Red Marines were made Light Infantry in 1855.
Work in Asia and Africa. - During the Indian Mutiny the Marine detachment of the "Pearl" acted valiantly in the bloody fights at Bhoolpoie and Fort Belawa, while their comrades serving in China performed prodigies of valour at the Peiho, at the White Cloud Mountain and at the taking of the Taku Forts, with a welcome and lucrative interlude spent in sacking the Summer Palace at Pekin. New Zealand and the Maoris at the Gate Pah, and Japan, where Simonosaki is not a pleasant memory, next occupied the attention of the corps, which in 1862 was definitely divided into two branches, the Royal Marine Artillery being established in that year and located at Eastney. Little was done in the way of fighting till 1873, when trouble arose on the West Coast of Africa. In the Ashanti War the gallant Sir Francis Festing prepared the way for the march to Coomassie and fought a battle on his own account before the chief arrived. King Koffee's sovereign red umbrella which was taken by the corps is now at Windsor Castle. Difficulties occurred at the end of the seventies with various headmen - black and white - in
Perak, Zululand, and the Transvaal, and it is a satisfaction to the Royal Marines to remember that while they were successfully engaged at Rathalma, Ekowe, and Ginginhlovo, the corps took no part in the disastrous operations against the Boers.
The Egyptian Campaign. - In 1882, during the stirring events in Egypt, the Royal Marines were very much to the fore in every way. Firstly, at the bombardment of Alexandria; secondly, in the rescue of that city from fire and pillage; thirdly, in every battle up to and including the crowning victory of Tel-el-Kebir, where alas many fell and finally in the reviews in Cairo and London. To mark Her Majesty's appreciation of the brilliant services of the corps in the campaign, HRH the Duke of Edinburgh was appointed its honorary colonel. Both in Egypt and in the military operations that took place three years later at Suakin and up the Nile, the Marine Force was attached to the Brigade of Guards, with whom also in peace manoeuvres a close intimacy has since been established. Teb and Tamaii, Abu-Klea and Abu-Krea, Gubat and Metemmeh, Hasheen and Tofrek, are all names well known to the corps from the experiences of the Guards' and Marines' Camel Regiment. In 1894 the brilliant little expedition against Fodi Silah on the Gambia was successfully carried through by the corps; and last year, when the advance to Dongola was decided upon, the Sirdar of the Egyptian Army confided the command of one of his brigades to a Red Marine, and the command of one of his gun-boats to a Blue Marine,
The Sea Regiment. - Finally, in this the sixtieth year of this famous epoch, the process of Empire making is still going on with unabated vigour, resource, skill, and heroism, and the recent little campaign in Benin has proved that the officers and men of the corps are just as ready and willing as ever to lay down their lives for Queen and country. In civil disturbances the Marines have rendered notable service and were specially thanked by the Viceroy for what they did in Dublin at the time of the Invincibles. Steadfast amidst turbulence at home, foremost in honour abroad, they have proved an inspiring source of confidence wherever employed. A great leader has said of them, "There never was an appeal made to them for honour, courage, or loyalty that they did not more than realise my highest expectations." The corps will never cease to be proud of the great honour of having received new colours from the Queen's own gracious hands, and it may confidently be affirmed that Her Majesty has no more loyal and devoted servants than her Royal Marine Forces. (Extract from "Navy and Army Illustrated" Friday 25th June 1897 (Submitted by Henry I Shaw Jr, Chief Historian USMC)

1897. Captain B S Green became Bandmaster of the Royal Marine Artillery band. Having become a musician at the age of 12 in the Hussars, and risen through the ranks. When he retired from the Royal Marine Artillery in 1919 he had fifty seven years of service in military bands.

The band, under Captain Green, played at many prominent events such as the funeral of Queen Victoria, King Edward VII's Coronation and on a Royal tour to India. Whilst Green was a Director of Music the band visited and played for those serving on the Western Front on several occasions during the First World War.

The energy, musical skills and leadership of Green raised the standard of the RMA Band, gaining both public and royal recognition. The Band of HM Royal Marines Portsmouth carried on this Royal legacy, playing on subsequent Royal Yachts, denoted by the badge 'Royal Yacht'. When the last Royal Yacht was decommissioned the Queen stated the badge 'Royal Band' should continue to be worn as a mark of the association.

1897. The Globe & Laurel:
A Marine belonging to one of her Majesty's gunboats lying in Hobson's Bay gave an amusing defence when charged at the Melbourne Police Court with disorderly conduct in a public-house. He said that he was singing the "Death of Nelson" when three foreigners, one of whom he thought, was a Frenchman, interfered with him. He fought the three and beat them. An excellent character reference was given for the accused by the Master-at- Arms of his ship, and the bench let him off with a fine of 5 Shillings.

1898. Captain Oldfield and N.C.Os of the Royal Marine Artillery, under took an Operation on the Nile.

1898. Tuesday 6th September. The Attack on British Forces at Candia.

1898. Wednesday 23rd November. Major Plumbe and 213 Royal Marines were in Belmont South Africa.

1898. Friday 25th November. During the Battle of Graspan Major Plumbe is killed. While Captain Marchant RMLI brings the Naval Brigade out of action.

1898 - 1901. The Boxer Rebellion was a violent anti foreign and anti Christian movement which took place in China towards the end of the Qing dynasty between 1898 and 1900. It was initiated by the Militia United in Righteousness (Yihetuan), known in English as the 'Boxers', and was motivated by proto-nationalist sentiments and opposition to foreign imperialism and Christianity trying to take over their country. The Eight Great Powers that were trying to dominate the eastern part of the world at that time consisted of Austria-Hungary, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States, and all had a military presence to protect their share of the country.

1899. Wednesday 11th October. The start of the Second Boer War, by the United Kingdom against the South African Republic (Transvaal Republic) and the Orange Free State. The British war effort was supported by troops from all over the British Empire. The war ended in victory for Britain and the annexation of both republics. Both would eventually be incorporated into the Union of South Africa in 1910. The Royal Marines were with the Naval Brigade with a Corps strength of 19,000.

1899. Saturday 25th November. The Battle of Graspan. The brigade played a supporting role in the Battle of Belmont, but a few days later on 25th November the Royal Marines were able to show their worth at the Battle of Graspan.
After bombardment from the Boer forces, the Royal Marines and seamen of the Naval Brigade advanced with the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry over a large veldt offering no cover towards the Boers hidden in the small hills, or kopjes, of the South African terrain.
Advancing over open ground made them a very easy target for the Boer sharpshooters and during the battle Boers managed to kill the brigade commander and wound his second in command, who were both Royal Naval officers.
The Boers also killed Captain Guy Senior RMA and Major Plumbe RMLI; leaving Captain Alfred E Marchant RMLI in command. Marchant was promoted Major whilst and assumed command of the naval brigade.
The Naval Brigade incurred high losses during the Battle of Graspan. There were 102 casualties, 86 of them being Royal Marines. This figure represented 45% of the strength of the brigade.
Below is a signal received by Major Marchant following the Battle of Graspan, November 1899. The telegram reads:
'Highest congratulations on the magnificent work done by Grand old Corps. Your heroic losses excite universal admiration; forty per cent can't be beat for bravery anywhere. Am immensely proud of your success.'
At the time the use of highly trained and skilled marines and seamen as an assault force likely to incur heavy losses was criticised. In September 1900 the men of the Naval Brigade returned to their ships and the remainder of the war saw little involvement from Royal Marine forces. (author unknown)

1899. Four RMLI Buglers were amongst the force that fought its way onto the Graspan heights during the South African War.