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The 2nd Anglo-Burmese War (1852-1853)

The Royal Navy  

W.L. Clowes on the 2nd Anglo-Burmese War


The provisions of the treaty of YandabooExternal linkhave already been summarised in this volume. It will be recollected that in that instrument Burmah engaged, in 1826, to receive a British resident at the court of AvaExternal link. No resident was actually sent until 1830. For seven years after that date the Burmese Government behaved in a more or less unsatisfactory manner; and, on April 16th, 1837, Tharrawaddy, having seized the crown, repudiated the treaty, and obliged the resident, who was not properly supported by the Indian Government, to withdraw, leaving an assistant in charge. A new resident was appointed in 1838; but he was not received; and, in 1840, the establishment at Ava was broken up, the only British representative remaining in Burmah being a Rangoon merchant, who took charge of letters, etc. The long-suffering of the British emboldened the Burmese, who presently began to commit various tyrannical acts. Two, perpetrated in 1851, brought matters to a crisis. A master of a British ship was illegally detained at Rangoon on a wholly baseless charge of having drowned his pilot, and was obliged to purchase his freedom; and another master was similarly detained on a charge of having murdered one of his crew, who had, in fact, died at sea. These masters, naturally and properly indignant, forced the Indian government to take action; and in November, 1851, H.M.S. Fox, 42, screw, Commodore George Robert Lambert, Commander John Walter Tarleton, with the H.E.I. Co.’s steamer Tenasserim, sailed from Calcutta to inquire into the situation. Ere they anchored off Rangoon on November 25th, they were joined by H.M.S. Serpent, 12, Commander William Garnham Luard, and by the H.E.I. Co.’s steamer Proserpine.
Lambert, on his arrival, was informed of numerous additional acts of oppression which had been committed by the governor of Rangoon. The Commodore sent to India for additional instructions, and, in the meantime, demanded the dismissal of the governor, who, on his part, assembled large forces, and armed a Burmese warship, the Yathunah-gee-mhon, the property of the king. Outrages continued in the town; but on January 1st, 1852, the King sent a pacific message to the Commodore, and promised that the governor should be superseded. During this period the force in the river was strengthened by the arrival of H.M.S. Hermes, 6, paddle, Commander Edmund Gardiner Fishbourne, and of the H.E.I. Co.'s steamer Phlegethon. The Burmese promises were not carried out. Fishbourne, who was sent ashore with some officers to deliver a letter, was insulted; and, it being evident that hostilities were intended, all British subjects in Rangoon were embarked, all British merchantmen in the river were towed to positions of safety, and the Yathunah-gee-mhon was taken possession of. Interview followed interview, and threat followed threat. On January 8th, Lambert was told that he would be attacked if any of his ships attempted to move down the river; and on the 9th, in consequence, he sent a number of merchantmen to sea under escort, ordered the Proserpine to Calcutta with dispatches, and declared a blockade of Rangoon, Bassein, and Martaban. Below the town was the Dunnoo stockade. On January 10th, the Fox was towed into position abreast of it, and a little later the frigate was fired at from the work. The fire was, of course, returned; the stockade was twice silenced; and several war boats were destroyed. That day the Hermes also was fired at from another stockade. By the morning of the 12th, Lambert had withdrawn his force to the mouth of the river, and despatched the Phlegethon to Martaban. He received a letter full of fresh promises contingent upon the restoration of the Yathunah-gee-mhon; but by that time, as he felt, the matter had passed out of his hands, and, on the following day, he himself departed in the Hermes to take counsel with the Indian government.
Lambert returned on January 26th, having been unsuccessful in seeing Lord Dalhousie, who was at Simla. In his absence a few troops had reached Moulmein in the Tenasserim and Proserpine, which had been sent for them; and most of the blockading vessels had been threatened. On January 31st, having received dispatches from Calcutta by the H.E.I. Co’s steamer Fire Queen, Lambert caused that vessel to tow the Fox up towards Rangoon. On the way the frigate was fired at from a stockade, and one of her people was wounded. The Fox retaliated, but did not stop, and, late in the afternoon, anchored off the Hastings shoal below the town. The Fire Queen, on her way back, was fired at from more than one point. The Tenasserim also, proceeding to join the Commodore, was similarly treated. Lambert then sent Lieutenant William Spratt (actg.) to the town with a letter enclosing the ultimatum of the Indian government. Getting no satisfactory reply, Lambert caused the Tenasserim to tow him back to the river's mouth, and reported to Calcutta what had happened. On his way down he was not fired at.

sketch map of the scene of operations, from p. 239

These preliminary movements and negotiations are recounted chiefly in order to show with how much patience both Lambert and the Indian government behaved in their dealings with authorities who were everywhere hostile (for a sketch map of the scene of operations, see p. 239). The Serpent, in the Bassein river, had been fired at on January 18th, and had not replied. On February 4th, on her way to Negrais island, she was again fired at, off Pagoda Point, from a stockade, which Luard thereupon. destroyed; and on the 5th, the Burmese at Negrais brought upon their stockade a similar fate. But in no case did the British commence action, and in no case did they interfere in any way with private property. At length, on February 20th, the Fire Queen brought dispatches which intimated that a large military force would be embarked in the following month for Burmah at Madras and Calcutta; that Rangoon, Martaban, and, in certain eventualities, Bassein, were to be seized and held as bases for the contemplated operations; and that, if the Burmese authorities should not speedily come to reason, their country must be conquered and annexed to India. Late, but not too late, the Indian government adopted a firm and dignified attitude. It afforded, however, a last chance to the King for saving his position. A subsidiary dispatch, received by Lambert on February 26th by the H.E.I. Co.'s steamer Enterprise, while imposing new and more arduous conditions, declared that if these were complied with by April 1st, Burmah would yet be spared. But the enemy continued to concentrate troops, and maintained an increasingly provocative attitude.
On April 1st, 1852, therefore, Rear-Admiral Charles John Austen, C.B., Commander-in-Chief in the East Indies, anchored off the mouth of the Rangoon river, the vessels of the Royal Navy then assembled there being the Rattler (temporary flag), Fox, Hermes, Salamander, Serpent, and a gunboat, in addition to a number of vessels of the Indian marine. On the following day arrived a contingent of transports from Bengal, bringing troops under Lieut.-General Godwin, C.B., military commander-in-chief; and on April 7th came the contingent from Madras. The total number of troops, European and Indian, thus collected was 5767, inclusive of the 18th, 51st, and a battalion of the 80th British regiments, with eight guns and eight howitzers.
Without waiting for the junction of the Madras contingent, Godwin at once despatched the H.E.I. Co.’s steamer Proserpine to Rangoon to ascertain whether any reply to the ultimatum had been received from Ava. She was fired at from stockades on both banks of the stream, and was only extricated by the excellent management of her commander, Mr. Brooking, who did not return until he had inflicted serious damage upon his assailants. The military commander-in-chief promptly took up the Burmese challenge. On April 3rd, the British left the Rangoon river, appearing next day before Martaban, which they attacked on the 5th. The place was held by 5000 men; but in an hour and a half, during which time it was bombarded by the ships, it was stormed by the troops, with a loss of only 50 men wounded. No one on the side of the attack was killed. H.M. ships engaged were the Rattler, Hermes, and Salamander. After the place had been garrisoned, the expedition returned to the Rangoon river, where, in the interim, Commodore Lambert, with H.M.S. Fox and Serpent, and the H.E.I. Co.'s steamers Tenasserim and Phlegethon, had been equally active. He had proceeded up the river on April 4th, and on the 5th, detailing the Serpent and Phlegethon, under Commander Luard, to attack the Da Sylva stockade, had devoted his own attention to two other works near Dunnoo. By the evening all three had been bombarded, and destroyed by landing parties of seamen and Marines, which were re-embarked without casualty.
The general combined advance on Rangoon began on Saturday, April 10th, all the ships, by the evening of that day, being anchored below the Hastings shoal. On the following morning, the shoal was crossed; and fire was at once opened on the H.E.I. Co.'s steamers Feroze, Mozuffer, and Sesostris, which took up positions between series of stockades on each bank. They replied briskly, and, in about an hour, blew up the magazine of a work which mounted nine 18-prs., with the result of permanently silencing those guns. Ere that time the Fox also had both broadsides engaged; and her boats presently landed some seamen and Marines, and a company of the 18th Regiment. This party, covered by the frigate, gallantly stormed two stockades at Dalla, opposite Rangoon, and carried them with a loss of only one man wounded. The Serpent and Phlegethon then passed the captured works, and anchored above Kemmendine, to deal with the war-boats there assembled, and to prevent fire-rafts from being sent down stream; while parties from the Fox and Rattler stormed, carried, and burnt a third stockade on the Dalla side.
Early on April 12th, the troops were landed near Rangoon, without opposition from the enemy; and the Dagon Pagoda battery was shelled occasionally. Late in the day a magazine in it blew up. As the troops advanced they were attacked from the jungle, and suffered much loss ere they carried the White House stockade. On the 13th, desultory shelling of the town and stockades was continued, and several fires broke out in consequence; but the storming of the town had to be postponed, owing to the heavy guns not having reached the army; and, amid terrible heat, Godwin held his position until the morning of the 14th.
At 5 a.m. the whole force was put in motion. The guns were dragged into position by about 120 seamen, under Lieutenant John William Dorville, of the Fox, in spite of a heavy fire from the Great Pagoda, and the pieces on the city walls; and, at 11 a.m., after the eastern entrance of the Pagoda had been steadily battered, a storming party under Lieut.-Colonel Coote carried the position, the fugitives from which, as they fled by the southern and western gates, were mowed down by the guns of the ships. The success was complete, Rangoon falling, and the works at Kemmendine being abandoned and destroyed. Nor was it very costly; for the army lost only 17 killed and 132 wounded. As for the Navy, it suffered very little from the fire of the enemy, though it was terribly scourged by cholera. Among the officers specially mentioned in the dispatches were Commanders Fishbourne, and Luard, Lieutenants George William Rice, and Dorville, Chaplain Thomas Turner Baker, who died of cholera, Surgeon John Moolenburgh Minter, and Assistant-Surgeon Thomas Seccombe.
On the following day, April 15th, a determined attack was made by the enemy upon the little garrison at Martaban, but was easily repelled. Another attack was made on May 26th, when the boats of the Feroze rendered good service in driving back the foe. A less formidable attempt upon the post was made two nights later. The enemy did not, upon the whole, fight as well as in the campaign of 1826. In fact, there appears to have been a strong Burmese party which was quite ready to accept a British annexation of their country as the price of liberation from tyranny and evil government.
On May 17th General Godwin and Commodore Lambert, with a force which included the Royal Marines, and some seamen of the Fox, embarked at Rangoon in the Tenasserim, Sesostris, and Mozuffer, and proceeded to the entrance of the Bassein river, where they were joined by the Pluto. On the 19th they ascended the river, and, in the afternoon, anchored abreast of the town of the same name. On both sides of the stream there were large stockades; but a strong party was at once landed, the pagoda was carried, and a mud fort, in which the Burmese defended themselves with obstinacy, was attacked. It was at length stormed by a detachment, mainly military, which was accompanied by Lieutenant George William Rice, R.N. The chief stockade on the opposite side of the river was then carried by a party under Commander C.D. Campbell, I.N., after a hot struggle. Among the wounded were Lieutenant Rice, and Lieutenant John Elliott, R.M. The total British loss in the operations at Bassein was 3 killed and 31 wounded.
It was determined next to attack Pegu; and with that object, Commander Tarleton, with the Phlegethon, her boats, and those of the Fox, conveying 230 troops, left Rangoon on June 3rd, and moved up the river, accompanied on the banks by a small contingent of friendly natives. On the 4th, as the expedition advanced, it was greeted with musketry fire from the Pegu side, whereupon Tarleton landed with the Fox's people, and, being joined by Commander G.T. Niblett, I.N., with men from the Phlegethon, obliged the enemy to retire from point to point. When, however, he was returning to his boats, he was galled by a smart fire from gingals and muskets; and, as he was loath to leave the Burmese in the belief that he was retreating, he obtained the services of a guide, led his people over a causeway which crossed the ditch, entered the city of Pegu, and forced the enemy to take refuge in the pagoda. While he was thus employed, Mate Henry Robert Douglas M'Murdo, who had been left in charge of the boats, was attacked, but, succoured by the troops, succeeded in getting all his craft to the other side of the river. The whole expedition was resting, in preparation for a further advance, when the Burmese from the pagoda moved out in force as if to assault. Making no longer delay, the British rushed at them, and carried the pagoda without further casualty. The day's work was accomplished with a loss of but 1 killed and 3 wounded. As soon as the defensive works had been destroyed, the expedition returned to Rangoon.
By that time certain military critics on the spot had begun to look askance on these raids into the enemy's country, believing, as they did, that such movements prevented the Burmese from concentrating their forces, and so tended to deprive the army of an opportunity, when it should be ready to do so, of striking a crushing and decisive blow. Commodore Lambert, however, seems to have considered that, under guise of making a reconnaissance along the Irawadi, the naval force might still find opportunities of doing useful service. He therefore ordered Commander Tarleton to take under his orders the Medusa, Proserpine, Phlegethon, Pluto, and Mahanuddy, and to ascertain the numbers and position of the enemy up the river. The flotilla proceeded on July 6th. At Konnoughee, twenty-five miles below Prome, it fired at an armed party on the banks, and was heavily fired at in return, two people being wounded. On the night of the 7th the command anchored off Meaoung.
Early on the following morning it weighed again, and moved on until within sight of a strongly fortified position near Akouktoung, which was held by about ten thousand Burmese under Bundoola, in order to block the approach to Prome and the capital. Tarleton was then entering what was known as the left or western channel of the river, the channel which alone is usually navigable except at the rainy season; but, discovering from his native pilots that the eastern or shallower channel was then possible, he turned off as soon as the enemy fired at him, and was delighted to find that he had two fathoms of water where he had expected to get little more than as many feet. There he despatched ahead the Proserpine, instructing Commander Brooking, I.N., to do his best to overtake a small Burmese steamer which, he heard, had passed up only the day before (she was not caught); and, upon surveying his position, he realised that the entire Burmese army, concentrated in the place which he had turned, was in his rear, and that nothing lay between him and Prome. The temptation was too great to be resisted. He pushed on, and by daylight on July 9th was off the city.
There being no troops in the place, Tarleton disabled and sank the iron guns belonging to the works, and embarked the brass ones. In the afternoon the Medusa reconnoitred ten miles further up; and it became practically certain that there were no obstacles of any sort between the expedition and the capital, Ava, which could have been reached within four days. Being, however, without orders to capture the metropolis, and, perhaps, being influenced by the talk of the military critics already alluded to, Tarleton contented himself with remaining for twenty-four hours at Prome, and then returning.
As he re-entered the main stream, Bundoola was observed to be in motion, as if intending to follow the steamers. The British opened fire on the Burmese troops and boats, between forty and fifty of the latter being taken or destroyed, and several valuable trophies captured. After nine days' absence, the flotilla rejoined without further adventure. Its casualties were insignificant. Lieutenant John Elliott, R.M., was wounded severely, and two other people, including Assistant Surgeon Frederick Morgan, were slightly hit.
In August and September reinforcements and fresh supplies were sent from India with a view to preparing for the general advance of what was styled the Army of Ava. In the interim, the Zenobia, and the schooner Pegu did some useful work above Martaban by dispersing a body of Burmese at Ketturhee, and destroying a stockade and village. The operations were completed on September 2nd. A few days earlier, Commander Charles Frederick Alexander Shadwell, of the Sphinx, had gone up in the Nemesis to relieve Commander Tarleton, who had previously been senior naval officer in the Irawadi; and a few days later, the Hastings, 72, bearing Rear-Admiral Austen's flag, was towed by the Rattler to the Hastings shoal, and anchored off Rangoon.
Towards the end of September, previous to which the Rear-Admiral had made a personal reconnaissance up the Irawadi in the Pluto, the forward movement began. Several of the steamers grounded, and there was much delay. On October 7th, off the island of Shouk Shay Khune, there occurred another misfortune, in the death of Rear-Admiral Austen, who, still in the Pluto, had been taken ill on the night of the 5th, and who, being seventy-three years of age, had not sufficient strength to resist the attack (his body was ultimately sent home in the Rattler).
From that island, which is not more than ten miles below Prome, the flotilla started again at daybreak on October 9th. Commodore George Robert Lambert, who had succeeded to the chief command, had his broad pennant in the Fire Queen; and the other vessels of war employed, all belonging to the H.E.I. Co., were the Enterprise, Mahanuddy, Sesostris, Medusa, Nemesis, Proserpine, and Phlegethon, accompanied by boats of H.M. ships Winchester, Hastings, Fox, and Sphinx, George Granville [should be Granville Gower] Loch, C.B., Commanders Charles Frederick Alexander Shadwell, and Edward Bridges Rice, and Lieutenants George William Rice, Henry Shank Hillyar, Richard Bulkeley Pearse, Charles Doyle Buckley Kennedy, William Brace Mason, and William Henry Edye.
As soon as the vessels neared the city, the enemy opened fire upon them from a couple of guns, supported by musketry. Returning the fire, the steamers anchored; and some of the boats, under Captain Loch, were sent closer in, to clear the banks with shell and canister. A native gun, which was brought into action abreast of the Fire Queen, was dismounted when it had fired but one shot; and, soon afterwards, some of the troops were landed without difficulty, the rest being put ashore on the next morning, when, with a detachment of seamen and two 24-pr. howitzers under Commander Edward Bridges Rice, they easily captured the city. In the squadron, but four people were wounded, two of them being natives of India. The army’s loss was almost equally trifling.
At about that time a valuable reinforcement of light river steamers belonging to the H.E.I. Co. reached the scene of operations. Of these, one, the Lord William Bentinck, was sent on a reconnaissance to Pegu, and the others the Nerbudda and Damooda, carried up additional troops to Prome. Soon afterwards, Bundoola, having been ordered to report himself in disgrace at Ava, preferred to take his chances as a prisoner with the British, and, upon surrendering himself, was put on board the Sesostris, which was acting as depot and guardship off Prome. Before any further movement of importance was attempted, Commander Shadwell, and the military post at Shouk Shay Khune, assisted by native allies, beat off a Burmese attack with great spirit; and other small bodies of the enemy were defeated at a place called the White Pagoda, at Akouktoung, and at a stockade opposite Prome.
Pegu, after its capture in June, had been evacuated, as General Godwin did not consider that he had strength enough wherewith to hold it at that time. The next move was one for its recapture; and by the middle of November, a force was ready to proceed thither. This quitted Rangoon on the 19th in the Mahanuddy, Nerbudda, Damooda, and Lord William Bentinck, the army being under Brigadier Malcolm M'Neil, the naval arrangements being under Commander Shadwell, and the General himself accompanying the expedition. The neighbourhood of Pegu was reached on the evening of the 20th, and, upon the city being reconnoitred, it was found to be held by about four thousand men, with a stockade in their front. On the following morning, under fire from the steamers and boats, a landing was effected, Commander Rowley Lambert, of the Fox, superintending the operation so far as the guns were concerned, and Commander Frederick Beauchamp Paget Seymour, as a volunteer, placing himself at the disposal of the General. In the advance, the troops had to encounter a smart fire; but, having refreshed under cover of a wood, they presently charged across the moat, and drove the defenders into the pagoda, whence they were driven further with but slight resistance. The army lost in this affair 6 killed and 31 wounded; the Navy happily escaped without casualty. Besides the officers already mentioned, Lieutenants William Brace Mason, and John Hawley Glover, Mate Charles Ashwell Boteler Pocock, and Assistant Surgeon John Felix Johnson, besides several of the H.E.I. Co.'s naval officers, distinguished themselves. A garrison of 430 men was left at Pegu, and the rest of the expedition returned to Rangoon.
Scarcely had the General departed ere Pegu began to suffer serious annoyance from the enemy, who, early in December, invested it more or less closely, and cut up a convoy of supplies which had been sent thither. On the 8th, therefore, Commodore Lambert despatched from Rangoon seven boats from the Sphinx, Fox, and Mozujfer, under Commander Shadwell, with, in all, 133 officers and men, to endeavour to open communications with Major Hill, who commanded the beleaguered garrison. On the 9th, news of a somewhat more serious nature arrived at Rangoon, and decided General Godwin to forward in addition 200 European troops in the Nerbuddai with some armed boats under Commander Rowley Lambert. In the meantime, Shadwell, on approaching Pegu on December 10th, was met with a very heavy fire, and obliged to retreat, having lost in a short time 4 men killed, and 28 people wounded, including Mate Charles Ashwell Boteler Pocock, and Midshipman Edgar Cookson. Returning, Shadwell met the Nerbudda; and, not knowing what force of Burmese might be at Pegu, he brought her back with him to Rangoon. Godwin at once determined to go himself to the threatened point; and before 10 p.m. on the 11th, Captain Tarleton, with 1050 troops in boats of the Fox, Sphinx, Mozuffer, Berenice, and Fire Queen, started for Pegu, being followed next morning by the Mahanuddy and Nerbudda, with Godwin and 400 additional Europeans. Among the naval officers with the expedition were Commanders Lambert, and Shadwell, and Lieutenant William Brace Mason.
On the morning of December 13th, Godwin having in the meanwhile caught up Tarleton, a landing of part of the force was effected five miles below Pegu, and half a mile from the first stockade, and the rest of the troops were put ashore early on the 14th, an advance following immediately, and being accompanied by Shadwell, with two boat guns and 75 men to drag them. Later in the day, when the enemy threatened some straggling camp followers on the river bank, Tarleton landed his whole available force, and drove off the foe. He was also obliged to put the Nerbudda ashore to repair damages caused by her having grounded on a stake. His position, in short, was an anxious one, until, at 2 p.m., he learnt of the success of the advanced force. The Navy had one man mortally wounded.
General Godwin followed up the enemy, but without displaying great activity or persistence. By proclamation of December 30th, 1852, the province of Pegu was annexed to the Empire, and any immediate intention of effecting further conquests in Burmah was formally abandoned. The annexation was made public at Rangoon on January 20th.
It remained to expel from the new province such Burmese forces as were still in arms there. Much of that work was done by the land forces alone, but the Navy co-operated on several occasions. With the Martaban expedition, for example, which set out from Rangoon on January 4th, 1853, went Commodore George Robert Lambert, with his broad pennant in the Sphinx. A more exclusively naval adventure was undertaken by Shadwell, with the object of settling scores with a robber chieftain who oppressed the inhabitants of a district south of Bassein and westward of Rangoon; but this force, which was absent from Rangoon from December 24th, 1852, to the morning of January 1st, 1853, saw no fighting.
Unfortunately, although the war was over, one of these subsequent expeditions ended in a most regrettable disaster, in which the naval service suffered severely. In the neighbourhood of Donnabew was a notorious robber named Nya Myat Toon, against whom it became advisable to adopt stern measures. His stronghold lay about twenty-five miles from Rangoon. At the beginning of February, 1853, Captain George Granville [should be Granville Gower] Loch, C.B., with 25 naval officers, 185 seamen, and 62 Marines, and Major Minchin, with 300 of the 67th Bengal Native Infantry, accompanied by two 3-prs. from the Phlegethon, were despatched from Rangoon against the freebooter, and landed near Donnabew on the 2nd.
On the 3rd the force marched along a jungle path, and encamped for the night in a deserted valley, where it was occasionally disturbed by distant shots. On the morning of February 4th, it proceeded about five miles further along the path, which terminated abruptly at a broad nullah, the lofty opposite side of which was entrenched and fortified. Suddenly, ere the people, who had been marching two or three abreast, could deploy, or bring up the guns which were in the rear, a most murderous fire was opened by the concealed enemy. Lieutenant Charles Doyle Buckley Kennedy, of the Fox, was among the first to be shot down. The gallant Loch led his men to the attack, and made two unsuccessful efforts to cross the nullah and storm the work. Heading a third attempt, he was mortally hit. Lieutenant Rowley Lambert, son of the Commodore, then assumed command, and led two more hopeless rushes, receiving four balls through his clothes, yet remaining unhurt. It quickly became apparent that the force must either retreat or be annihilated; and a retreat, therefore, was ordered along the narrow path by which the advance had been made. Most of the bearers and guides had fled, the dead could not be moved, the guns had to be spiked and abandoned; and, followed by an unrelenting fire, the party, its rear manfully covered by the grenadier company of the 67th, drew off as best it could, dragging with it its many wounded, and toiling under a broiling sun without water. It did not reach Donnabew, and the Phlegethon, until twelve hours had elapsed. Loch died on the 6th. The Navy lost in all 7 killed and 52 wounded, and the troops, 5 killed and 18 wounded. Among the officers wounded were Lieutenant James Henry Bushnell, and Mates Hugh Alan Hinde, and William Charles Fahie Wilson, of the Winchester, and Lieutenant John Hawley Glover, of the Sphinx. Lieutenant Horatio Nelson, of the Winchester, was mentioned by Lambert among the officers and men who were of special assistance in most trying circumstances.
The catastrophe was due to overweening confidence, and contempt for a desperate enemy, resulting in neglect of proper precautions. In the breaking up of Nya Myat Toon's followers, a work which was afterwards accomplished by Brigadier-General Sir John Cheape, the Navy had little share, although Captain Tarleton, with a small party, was present with the expedition.
The war ended without the conclusion of the usual treaty of peace between the nations which had been engaged; and not until 1862 were ordinary relations resumed between the courts of Ava and London.
The honours granted to the Navy for its services during the arduous campaign were few, and were delayed. On December 5th, 1853, Commodore George Robert Lambert was made a K.C.B., and Captains John Walter Tarleton, and Charles Frederick Alexander Shadwell were given the C.B. Rowley Lambert had been deservedly made a Commander on February 7th, 1853. On February 25th, Lieutenants John William Dorville, Henry Shank Hillyar, and George William Rice (who died on March 18th following); Mates Hugh Alan Hinde, and Charles Ashwell Boteler Pocock; Second Master Richard Sturgess; and Assistant Surgeons Thomas Seccombe, Henry Slade and John Felix Johnson, had also received promotion.
It has not been possible, in the course of this narrative, to devote much space to the work done during the war by the officers and men of the Indian Navy; but it should be added here that they rendered the most valuable services, and always willingly and loyally co-operated with the Royal Navy.


Source: Clowes, William Laird: "The Royal Navy: a history from the earliest times to the death of Queen Victoria", Sampson Low, Marston and Company, 1903, volume 6, 371 - 384 (1903).
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