DavidB wrote:rwmillar wrote: My reading of the article was that it was not John who died in the incident. Bob
Reading it again, I accept it's an ambiguous statement. I think what led me to my interpretation was where you said earlier that one of the ways you were trying to pursue him was via war graves.
The Regimental museum echoed your thoughts re shortness of service but there were two things which might explain it. a) If my guess is correct, John was 29 at the time and therefore not an inexperienced person and b) if there were considerable casualties in the months leading up to this incident, promotion might well be rapid. Do you know if this was the case?
He was certainly inexperienced as a soldier and that's what counts surely?
Most of the 92nd's casualties came after May 1880 (the date in the article), there were only a dozen or so other ranks KIA before that date.
The more general point I'd make though is that even if one suspicious statement in the article can be explained away or considered an error, when there are 3 (at least) then their combined weight is much harder to explain.
- very short length of service to be a senior NCO
- apparently awarded the VC, yet no evidence of any gallantry award for him, let alone the VC
- apparently a senior NCO, but Jim confirmed a few posts ago that the 4 men of the right name in the regiment were 3 privates and 1 lance-cpl. And that's from the medal roll of the same campaign. A far cry from a senior NCO.
- apparently an officer was killed in the incident (by our now reading) yet the only officer of the 92nd KIA in the campaign was Lieut Forbes in Dec 1879.
In short, nothing as yet in the article has been independently confirmed. My inclination is to dismiss the whole thing.
Thanks for your thoughts. I have done a bit more digging about this and your mention of Lieut Forbes makes me think that the incident referred to took place during the siege at Sherpur ( near Kabul ) 24th Dec1879 and was not transmitted till the next May. The 92nd seemed to be involved in some of the most desperate fighting here. The reference to trenches would add weight to this explanation. By the way I stumbled across General Roberts account of his campaigns ( see 'Project Gutenberg - 41 years in India' ) which contains some fascinating information. I also discovered that in those days, if a man died before his VC was presented, it was withheld. I have also looked in vain for casualty lists for subsequent actions. Any suggestions?