Drafts to the 72nd Highlanders prior to 2nd Afghan War

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Drafts to the 72nd Highlanders prior to 2nd Afghan War

Postby zac » 18 Jul 2013 03:49

Just wondering if anyone has any ideas about how I might check to see if the 72nd (Seaforth) Highlanders recieved a draft from the 42nd Highlanders (Blackwatch) prior to embarking for the 2nd Afghan War. I am interested to see if I can find any trace of my ancestor (see related post on Private William Nichol if your interested) transferring out of the 42nd and into the 72nd (he then seems to have transferred back from the 72nd to the 42nd in time for the Egypt 1882 campaign). Given that William was a short service man it does not appear that his service record was kept so I have to go the long way about trying to piece his service together. Doing this via the internet from Australia may also be a challenge it seems!!

Also - if anyone has any information around vessels used and embarkation points/dates that might give me a clue as to embarkation rolls that would be great as well (the 42nd appear to have been in Malta at this time - although some may have been doing something around Crete at this time as well.

Any hints would be greatly appreciated.

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Re: Drafts to the 72nd Highlanders prior to 2nd Afghan War

Postby Garen » 10 Sep 2013 01:01

Hello Bruce,

A draft of about 190 new 72nd Highlanders, fresh from Stirling, left Portsmouth in Dec 1879 - while the regiment was serving at Kabul. I don't know if they came from a particular regiment or were 'brand new' men. They went aboard the Euphrates and arrived in Bombay on 21 Jan 1880.

At the end of 1879 the 42nd were stationed on the Isle of Wight, at Parkhurst - so it doesn't seem that they provided a draft at this point.

At the beginning of Dec 1878, just after the Afghan war commenced, the Jumna arrived at Portsmouth, bringing mostly time-expired men back from Bombay. En route it also picked up the 42nd Highlanders from Cyprus and took them to Gibraltar (swapping them for the 69th Foot). At the end of the month the same ship took drafts of several regiments (including the 72d) from Portsmouth to Bombay.

I haven't been able to find anything concrete (with a surface scan) to link men of the 42nd with drafts for the 72nd.

Best - Garen
The Second Anglo-Afghan War 1878-80 www.angloafghanwar.info
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Re: Drafts to the 72nd Highlanders prior to 2nd Afghan War

Postby jf42 » 10 Sep 2013 14:38

So, I guess for Malta and Crete, read Gibraltar & Cyprus? Is this still to do with the two soldiers named Nicol in the 42nd and the 72nd?

The 42nd- and the 79th, too, to some extent, seem to have had a special relationship with the those islands in the C19th.

The 42nd spent 12 years in the Med between 1825-1847 (Gib., Malta, Ionian Islands), 3 years between 1874-1878 (Malta, Cyprus, Gib.) and 11 years between 1882-93 ( Malta, Gib. & Egypt -following a little excursion to Suez, oh, and Sudan).

It wasn't all tulwars and zarebas.
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