Captain Francis Cochrane NNH

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Captain Francis Cochrane NNH

Postby keith A » 04 Jun 2015 20:12

This officer of 32nd Light Infantry fought in most of the major actions of the war, as staff officer, transport officer and commander of the Natal Native Horse. Can anyone give me details of his career before and after the Zulu War? He was born at Corsham in Wiltshire on 7 August 1847, the son of Colonel W. M. Cochrane and his wife Mary (née Hussey). He was commissioned Ensign into the 32nd from RMC Sandhurst ob 31 August 1866. I presume he served in Mauritius and South Africa with the regiment 1866-77. He became adjutant of the 32nd LI 1870.

Regards

Keith
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Re: Captain Francis Cochrane NNH

Postby keith A » 05 Jun 2015 08:37

Apologies. I found my answer (at least apart of it). He served in the "Gun War" 1880-81 with one of the colonial regiments but I don't know which one, he may have been a member of the gerneral staff(?), and then in the 1882 Egyptian War in the army commissariat. Several other staff posts followed. He commanded a Brigade in the Anglo-Egyptian Army in 1893 and was still there in 1896.

regards

Keith
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Re: Captain Francis Cochrane NNH

Postby Isandlwana » 05 Jun 2015 09:08

Keith,

Can I suggest search for him under his full name of William Francis Dundonald Cochrane.

Here's a brief resume of his career, some of which you have already managed to discover:

Born 7th August, 1847 in Corsham, Wiltshire.

Commissioned as an Ensign in the 32nd (Cornwall Light Infantry) Regiment, 31st August 1866

Lieutenant, by purchase, 2nd December, 1868.

Served Anglo-Zulu War - survived the debacle of Isandlwana at which he was the Staff Officer of Brevet Colonel Anthony William Durnford, R.E., the commander of No. 2 Coloumn. Served with distinction at the battles of Hlobane, Khambula & Ulundi where he commanded of the Natal Native Horse, holding the local rank of Captain.

Served subsequently in the BaSotho Gun War, 1880-81, during which he was the Principal Officer to the Cape Colonial Forces. Present at the capture of Lerothodi's Stronghold and several minor engagements.

Captain - Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry - 14th June 1881.

Served with the Commissariat & Transport Department, during the 1882 Egyptian Campaign against Arabi Pasha.
Returned to South Africa where he was appointed Assistant Military Secretary.

Brigade Major, China & Hong Kong - from 15th September 1883 - ?

In 1893 he was appointed to command a brigade in the Anglo-Egyptian Army, and was mentioned in despatches and appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath for his actions in the Dongola Expedition of 1896.

He retired holding the honorary rank of Major-General.

Died 23rd October 1927.

I hope that helps a little?

John Y.
Not theirs to save the day but where they stood, falling, to dye the earth
with brave men's blood for England's sake and duty...
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Re: Captain Francis Cochrane NNH

Postby keith A » 13 Jun 2015 17:13

Cheers chaps,

I am going to search the memoirs of the period to see if he crops up in letters etc. He seems to have gained all his early promotions through purchase which probably shows why, without the chance to distinguish himself in action, he was a lieutenant for so long. He seems to have been a personable chap winning mention for his fun-loving behaviour during the trip out to South Africa in 1878.

many thanks

Keith
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