The Naval Brigades in the Indian Mutiny 
The Naval Brigades in the Indian Mutiny 

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W.L. Clowes on the Naval Brigades in the Indian Mutiny

It has been shown how, after their arrival at Hong Kong, in the summer of 1857, the Sanspareil, Shannon, and Pearl were hastily despatched. to Calcutta by Rear-Admiral Sir Michael Seymour, K.C.B., in order that they might assist in quelling the Mutiny in India.

The Sanspareil, 70, screw, Captain Astley Cooper Key, C.B., landed a brigade in August to garrison Fort William, Calcutta; but, after two or three months, returned, as has been seen, to Chinese waters, without having taken any active part in the suppression of the rebellion. The two other ships, however, sent their officers and men up country, and were able to render the most valuable assistance to the troops.

The Shannon, 51, screw, had been launched at Portsmouth in November, 1855, and, though other vessels exactly like her were launched in the years immediately following, she was for a time the largest steam frigate afloat. Her tonnage (B.M.) was 2667, or about one-fourth more than that of the Victory; and her nominal complement was 560 officers and men, though, on her arrival in India, she had more than that number on board.

The frigate had been commissioned at Portsmouth on September 13th, 1856, by Captain William Peel, C.B., V.C., who has been already mentioned many times in these pages. On August 6th, 1857, she arrived in the mouth of the Ganges, and Peel at once offered the services of himself and his people to proceed to the front, and co-operate with the army. On the 14th, the Captain, several officers, and about 390 seamen and Marines, embarked in a flat, and were towed up the Hoogly to join the Lucknow relief force; and on the 18th they were followed by another party of 5 officers and 120 men (some of these were recruited from merchant vessels at Calcutta), the frigate then being left with 140 people in her, under the command of Master George A. Waters.

The officers with the Brigade were: -
Captain William Peel, C.B.; Lieutenants James William Vaughan, Thomas James Young, William Charles Fahie Wilson, Edward Hay, Henry Rushworth Wratislaw, and Nowell Salmon; Brevet-Lieutenant Colonel Henry H. Maxwell (attached); Captain Thomas Carstairs Grey, R.M.; Second Lieutenant William Stirling, R.M.; Mates Henry P. Garvey, and Edward Hope Verney; Midshipmen or Naval Cadets Edmund John Church, William Henry Richards, Martin Abbot Daniel, John Lewis Way, Edward St. John Daniel, Lord Walter Talbot Kerr, Lord Arthur Pelham Clinton, Edward S. Watson, and H. A. Lascelles; Chaplain Edward Lawson Bowman; Assist. Surgeon James Flanagan (actg.); Assist.-Paymaster William Thomas Comerford; Assist.-Clerk James Edward Stanton; Assist.-Engineers John W. Bone, Frederick William Brown, and Henry A. Henri; Gunner Robert Thompson; and Carpenter Henry Brice. Lieut. Lind af Hazeby, Swedish navy, was also attached to the Brigade; and Captain Oliver John Jones, R.N. (half-pay), joined it as a volunteer.

As the Brigade took with it both guns and howitzers, as the towing vessels were of but small power and shallow draught, and as the current was strong, progress was slow; and Peel did not reach Allahabad, near the junction of the Jumna with the Ganges, until the second half of October. By the 20th the strength of the brigade assembled there was 516 of all ranks. Of these about 240, under Lieutenants Wilson, Wratislaw, and af Hazeby, were left in garrison at Allahabad. On October 23rd 100 more, under Lieutenants Vaughan and Salmon, with four siege-train 24-prs., went to Cawnpur, and thence joined the army before Lucknow; and on the 27th and 28th the rest of the brigade, with four 24-prs. and two 8-in. howitzers, followed, and was presently amalgamated with a small force which, under Lieutenant-Colonel Powell, of the 53rd regiment, was marching in the same direction. Late on October 31st the column camped near Fatehpur, and, on the following day, marched twenty-four miles and defeated 4000 of the enemy at Kudjwa, capturing two guns. Powell fell, and Peel took command, and completed the rout of the mutineers, ultimately securing a third gun. The British lost 95 in killed and wounded, among the latter being Lieutenants Hay, R.N., and Stirling, R.M.; but the rebels lost 300 in killed alone. Peel then pressed on for Cawnpur. Writing to Sir Michael Seymour on November 6th, from a camp between Cawnpur and Lucknow, he said: -

"Since that battle was fought, with the exception of one day's rest for the footsore men who had marched seventy-two miles in three days, besides fighting a severe engagement, we have made daily marches.... At Cawnpur I was obliged to leave Lieutenant Hay with fifty men to serve as artillerymen for that important position.... I am much gratified with the conduct of all the Brigade; and there is no departure whatever from the ordinary rules and customs of the service."

Peel and Vaughan rejoined one another on November 12th before Lucknow, which had been relieved by Havelock and Outram, who, however, were so weak in force that they had been soon afterwards themselves besieged with the original defenders. On the 14th, when the Brigade's guns were in action, one of them burst, killing Francis Cassidey, captain of the main-top, and wounding several other men. On November 16th, during the successful attack on Secunderabagh, Midshipman Martin Abbot Daniel was killed by a round-shot, and Lieutenant Salmon was severely wounded. Salmon, however, won the Victoria Cross for that day climbing up a tree touching the angle of the Shah Nujjif, to reply to the fire of the enemy, for which dangerous service Peel had called for volunteers. Boatswain's Mate John Harrison displayed similar gallantry, and was similarly rewarded. The total loss of the Brigade on that occasion was 4 killed and 18 wounded. Fighting went on almost continuously until the 25th, when the relief was fully accomplished and the town evacuated. It was quickly occupied by the rebels, strongly fortified and heavily garrisoned.

Sir Colin Campbell, accompanied by the Naval Brigade, repaired to Cawnpur. On November 28th, on the way thither, a party of 36 bluejackets, with two 24-prs., under Lieutenant Hay, Mate Garvey, and Naval Cadet Lascelles, who was then acting as A.-d.-C. to Captain Peel, was engaged, in company with the 88th regiment, and did distinguished service. It was at about that time that Captain Oliver John Jones joined as a volunteer.

In the fighting near Cawnpur, between December 6th and December 9th, the Brigade had a share; and on January 2nd, 1858, it behaved with great gallantry at the action at Kallee-Nuddee. Lieutenant Vaughan was attacked while repairing a bridge across the river, which he then promptly crossed with three guns. On the further side he held in check a body of cavalry, and, himself aiming and firing one of his guns, made such good practice at the rebel gun which had originally annoyed him, that in five shots he dismounted the piece, destroyed its carriage, and blew up its ammunition waggon. Towards the end of the day Captains Peel and Jones, with three men of the 53rd regiment, while passing through a captured battery, were unexpectedly attacked by five sepoys who had lain in ambush. All the assailants were killed, the last falling to Jones's revolver.

During the subsequent marching, the Brigade excited the admiration of the army by the manner in which it moved its guns. If a weapon drawn by bullocks stuck in heavy ground, the seamen never failed to extricate it, manning both wheels and drag-ropes, and, if necessary, getting an elephant to push behind. The cheerfulness, too, of the Brigade was much remarked on; and, doubtless, it contributed to the keeping up of the spirits of all engaged throughout a terribly trying time.

In the fighting previous to the final capture of Lucknow in March, 1858, Peel and his men took a very active part, being present on the 3rd at the action at the Dilkoosha. On the 9th, while looking out for a suitable spot on which to post some guns for breaching the Martinière, the leader of the Brigade was severely wounded in the thigh by a musket-ball. His six 8-in. guns and two 24-prs. were chiefly employed in battering the Begum's palace; and it was while riding to them with a message on March 12th that Mr. Garvey was killed by a shell from one of the rebel coehorns. Captain Jones, on the same day, most devotedly exposed himself on the parapet of a battery in order to direct the fire of the guns behind it. On the 13th, when the guns had been placed in a somewhat more advanced battery, a coloured Canadian seaman named Edward Robinson betrayed extraordinary coolness in extinguishing a fire which had caught hold of some sandbags forming the face of the work. Under a storm of bullets from loopholes not forty yards away from him, he leapt out, and either quenched or tore away the burning canvas, being, however, severely wounded. He was awarded the Victoria Cross.

On the 14th, the Brigade, and especially a detachment under Commander Vaughan, Lieutenant Hay, Mate Verney, and Midshipman Lord Walter Kerr, took part in the blowing open of a gate leading to one of the courts of the Kaisarbagh; on the 16th the guns were advanced to the Residency; on the 22nd the rebels evacuated the town; and on March 29th the Brigade handed over the six 8-in. guns which it had brought up from the Shannon, and which were put into park in the small Imaumbarah, with the word "Shannon" deeply cut into each carriage.

The naval contingent from the Shannon saw no more fighting in India. The gallant Peel, slowly recovering from his wound, was to have been carried down from Lucknow in one of the King of Oude's carriages which had been specially prepared for him by the Shannon's Carpenter. When he saw the gorgeous equipage, he declared that he preferred to travel in a doolie, like an ordinary bluejacket. Unfortunately, the doolie selected for him must have been an infected one; for, soon afterwards, he was attacked with small-pox, to which, being already weakened by his wound, he succumbed at Cawnpur on April 27th, aged only thirty-four. He was, perhaps, the most brilliant naval officer of his day (a monument to Peel and the officers and men of the Shannon's Brigade stands on Clarence Esplanade, Southsea).

Sir Edward Lugard, with whose division the Brigade served in the advance to Lucknow, and during the operations there, bore the following high testimony to the behaviour of Peel and his men: -

"The men were daily - I may say hourly - under my sight; and I considered their conduct in every respect an example to the troops. During the whole period I was associated with the Shannon's Brigade, I never once saw an irregularity among the men. They were sober, quiet, and respectful; and I often remarked to my staff the high state of discipline Sir W. Peel got them into. From the cessation of active operations until I was detached to Azimghur, I commanded all the troops in the city; and all measures for the repression of plundering were carried out through me, and, of course, every irregularity committed was reported to me. During that period not one irregularity was reported to me. Indeed, in the whole course of my life I never saw so well conducted a body of men.... Many a time I expressed to Peel the high opinion I had of his men, and my admiration of their cheerfulness and happy contented looks, under all circumstances of fatigue and difficulty."

The Brigade returned slowly to Calcutta, and on August 12th and the following days, rejoined the ship, which, on September 15th, sailed for England.

On her way from China to Calcutta, the Pearl called at Singapore, and there picked up two companies of the 90th Regiment, which, on July 10th, 1857, had been wrecked in the Strait of Banca in the iron trooper Transit. Proceeding, the Pearl disembarked those troops at Calcutta on August 12th. Captain Sotheby, like Captain Peel, offered his services to the Government, and, on September 12th, be embarked some of the officers and part of the crew of his corvette in the paddle-steamer Chunar. This detachment, of 158 men, with one 12-pr. howitzer, one 24-pr. howitzer, and 24-pr. rockets, reached Dinapur on October 7th, There it was found that no carriage suitable for the 24-pr. howitzer could be procured. The weapon was therefore left to be sent back to the ship. In lieu of it a 12-pr. howitzer and two 12-pr. mountain guns were supplied, and with them Sotheby landed at Buxar on October 10th, and took up his quarters in the fort. On the 23rd the detachment was summoned to Chupra, and the whole of it was in quarter there by the afternoon of the 26th. Thence it moved successively to Sewan and Myrwa. By that time another detachment, under Lieutenant Radcliffe, had joined from Calcutta, bringing up the force of the Pearl's Brigade to about 250 in all. A. few had been raised from among volunteers from the merchant vessels at Calcutta; but the vast majority were seamen and Marines belonging to the corvette.

The officers of the Brigade were: -
Captain Edward Southwell Sotheby; Lieutenants Nicholas Edward Brook Turnour, Seymour Walter Delmé Radcliffe, Henry Duncan Grant, and Hawkesworth Fawkes; Mates Alexander Wighton Ingles, and Thomas Moore Maquay; Midshipmen Lord Charles Thomas Montagu Douglas Scott, Hon. Victor Alexander Montagu, Henry Frederick Stephenson, Charles Edward Foot, and Herbert Holden Edwards; Lieutenant (R.M.) Frederick George Pym; Second-Master (actg.) John Fowler; Chaplain and Naval Instructor, Rev. Edward Adams Williams, M.A.; Assistant-Surgeon William James Shone; Assistant-Engineer John George Shearman; Master's-Assistant T. R. Merewether; Clerk Thomas Henry Lovelace Bowling; Gunner Parkin; Boatswain Charles Band; and Carpenter John Burton.

The Brigade was attached to the Sarun Field Force, of which, on November 27th, Colonel Rowcroft took command at Myrwa. It first came into action with the mutineers on December 20th at Sohunpore, where an entrenched position was taken, and the enemy was dispersed. No one belonging to the Brigade was hurt.

By February 8th, 1858, the force arrived at Burhul, whence it moved up the Gogra in 150 boats, escorted by the small steamer Jumna,reaching Ghopalpur on the 10th; and on the 17th the strong fort of Chanderpur was captured by Captain Sotheby with 130 of the Brigade, 85 Sikhs, and 60 Gurkhas, acting in concert with the Jumna, which was under the orders of Second-Master John Fowler. Two guns were captured. The casualties on the side of the attack were insignificant, only about four people being wounded. On the evening of February 19th, Nourainie Ghat was reached. That night a fort on the Oudh side of the river was seized; and, on the afternoon of the following day, an attack was made upon a body of rebels at Phoolpur. After a gallant and well-sustained action, the enemy was driven from the field, with a loss of three guns. Two days afterwards, the Brigade recrossed the river by a bridge of boats which it had constructed. There had been some friction with the native allies; and it was deemed advisable to keep a British force to guard the rear of the advance, large numbers of rebels being reported in the vicinity of Fyzabad.

The Brigade marched to Amorha on March 2nd. Colonel Rowcroft was there informed that the fort of Belwa, seven miles further on, was occupied by the mutineers. In the afternoon, 168 men of the Brigade, with four guns, some 24-pr. rockets, 35 Sikhs, and a regiment of Gurkhas, moved to Belwa, and, being there joined by the Bengal Yeomanry Cavalry, 250 strong, opened fired on the fort at 5 p.m. The place, however, proved stronger than had been anticipated; and, when darkness came on, the whole force withdrew to the Yeomanry camp, and, on the day following, returned to Amorha. That night and the succeeding day the rebels received very large reinforcements, chiefly from Fyzabad, but also from Nawabgunge, Gondah, and elsewhere. The retirement from before Belwa had been interpreted as a British defeat; the Sarun Field Force, including the sick, was not then more than 1500 strong; and the mutineers, having collected many thousands of men and fourteen guns, were eager and confident. The little camp was, therefore, rendered as defensible as possible by means of an enclosing line of rifle-pits, and the clearing away of all jungle and houses which could shelter an advance.

On the morning of March 5th, it was reported that the rebels were about to attack. The force thereupon moved out, and took up a position about half a mile to the west of the village of Amorha, with the Naval Brigade and four guns under Captain Sotheby in the centre, astride of the road, a Gurkha regiment and the small detachment of Sikhs on the left, and another Gurkha regiment on the right. On each flank was a squadron of the Bengal Yeomanry Cavalry. The enemy was in such force as to overlap the British force by at least a mile in each direction; and he came on in excellent order in rear of a cloud of skirmishers. The naval guns, under Lieutenant Turnour, opened, and were replied to by ten pieces. After an artillery duel which lasted for some time, Colonel Rowcroft threw out his skirmishers, and began a steady forward movement, which never ceased until the mutineers were driven from the field; for the cavalry, supported by the Gurkhas, cleared the foe from the flanks of the advance. As soon as it was evident that the enemy had been checked, Rowcroft reinforced his Royal Marines, who were in the skirmishing line, with a detachment of seamen, and pressed the foe all along his front. One of the first guns abandoned by the rebels was turned upon them, and worked by Lieutenant Grant, Assistant-Engineer Shearman, Midshipman Lord Charles Scott, and a seaman named Jesse Ward; and, as there was no port-fire wherewith to fire it, a rifle was discharged into the vent, and the retreating foe was plied with his own grape. A brilliant cavalry charge threw the left wing of the mutineers into confusion; and soon the entire body fled, leaving behind it eight unspiked guns. The enemy was pursued for six miles, and, making a brief stand at one point, killed Second-Master John Fowler (actg.) and one Gurkha. Heat and fatigue at length put a stop to the action, which had lasted from 8.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. The rebels had attacked with about 14,000 men and ten guns, and had been completely defeated, with a loss of about 500, by 1261 men, with but four guns. The Naval Brigade had 1 officer killed and about 15 people wounded.

After the battle, in order to indicate to the enemy that the forces of the Government were confident of being able to take care of themselves, the line of rifle-pits was filled up, and the camp at Amorha was pitched in the open plain. A small fort, however, was built to contain the sick, and the spare ammunition and baggage. There were many alarms until the end of April; and, during that period, the force was joined by the left wing of Her Majesty's 13th Light Infantry, while one of the Gurkha regiments was withdrawn from it and sent to Goruckpur. On April 17th, a detachment went out and defeated a body of marauding rebels near the village of Tilga, capturing a gun; and, on April 25th, another body was met near Jamoulee. Owing to the intense heat, this affair was an unsatisfactory one, for the rebels would not stand and could not be followed far. On the next day, the force moved to Kuptangunge. The enemy was then all round it. With a view to freeing it somewhat, an attack was made on April 29th on the fort of Nuggur by a detachment which included 96 officers and men, two guns, and a rocket tube from the Naval Brigade. The place was taken with but very trifling loss; and in the evening the detachment returned to camp. For some time afterwards the Brigade remained at Bustee, where it went into huts on June 13th. From Bustee, several small expeditions were made against detached bodies of the enemy. One of these expeditions, on May 31st, turned a party of mutineers out of a position near Amorha; and on June 18th, another party of more formidable strength, was defeated at Hurreah, but withdrew in good order.

On August 29th, a section of the Brigade, 50 strong, under Lieutenant Fawkes, with two guns, took part in an engagement near Lumptee, and did good and steady service; and on the same day, another section,under Lieutenant Turnour, also with two guns, assisted in repelling an attack on an outpost at Hurreah, and, following the enemy, routed him on September 1st at Debreah. On the evening of September 6th, Commander Grant, with 73 seamen and Marines, two 12-pr. howitzers, a 24-pr. rocket-tube, and a detachment of the 13th Regiment, left Amorha, with a view to relieving a small garrison of Sikhs in the friendly town of Bansee. At Gondah, Grant was joined by Captain Mulcaster, who arrived with a squadron of cavalry, and took command. Bansee was reached on the 8th, after a splendid march of 50 miles in 39 hours, the men being often up to their knees in mud, and sometimes up to their waists in water. Bansee was relieved only just in time, for the gallant Sikhs holding it had but three percussion caps per man remaining. From Bansee, the expedition, which had been reinforced on the 10th by Brigadier Fischer, marched on the 12th, reaching Doomureahgunge on the 13th, and driving back a body of the rebels. The howitzers, under Lieutenant Ingles, were most excellently handled. On the 14th, an effort was made to catch a body of mutineers at Intwa; but the roads were so bad that the attempt had to be abandoned; and on the 17th, the expedition returned to Bustee. Another naval force, under Lieutenant Ingles, formed part of an expedition which left Bustee on September 27th for Bansee, and which, having crossed the Raptee, got up with, and dispersed, some mutineers at Mowee on September 30th, after most exhausting marches.

On October 1st, the outpost at Amorha, which included 50 of the Pearl's people, with two howitzers, under Lieutenant Fawkes, was attacked by about 1200 mutineers, with two guns. The enemy was repulsed, after Lieutenant Malay, who directed the howitzers, and four seamen, Lee, Williams, Rayfield, and Simmonds, had especially distinguished themselves.

On October 23rd, yet another expedition had to be despatched towards Bansee. On October 26th, when an insufficient British force was foiled in an attack on the jungle fort of Jugdespore, twenty-five miles north-west of Bustee, it was reported that the Brigade lost its guns in the retreat. There was no foundation for the story, which, however, gave rise to some amusing correspondence in the Indian papers.

In the middle of November, all the outlying parties were recalled, and the whole force left Bustee on the 24th for the northern jungle on the Nepal frontier, only a field hospital and guard remaining. A siege train had, in the meantime, arrived at Bustee, and had been handed over to the Pearl's people. On the 25th, Bhanpur was reached, and a Madras battery joined; and on the 25th, the force moved on to Doomureahgunge, where the rebels were very bloodily defeated, and a halt was made for some days, during which a bridge of boats was thrown across the Raptee, in face of a considerable army under Balla Rao, a near kinsman of Nana Sahib. On the evening of December 2nd, Brigadier Rowcroft learnt that another native force, under Nazim Mahomed Hossein, was six or eight miles up the river, intending to cross and join Balla Rao. On the 3rd, therefore, a detachment, which included 2 guns and 50 men of the Naval Brigade, under Captain Sotheby, went out to the attack, and found the rebels at Bururiah in a strong position. The enemy stood with unusual steadiness, until his flank was threatened; whereupon he retired and scattered, carrying off his guns. The detachment then returned to camp; and on December 5th, the Naval Brigade crossed the Raptee, the rest of the force soon following.

The movement was part of a concerted plan to encircle the shattered armies of the Begum, Lord Clyde being to the westward, Sir Hope Grant to the southward, and Brigadier Rowcroft drawing round from the eastward, while to the northward were the jungles of Nepal. A guard was left at the bridge at Doomureahgunge; and the remainder of the force marched to Intwa and camped there. The siege train, consisting of two 18-prs., one 8-in. howitzer, two 8-in. mortars, and two 5.5-in. mortars, arrived on the 18th and gave the Naval Brigade as much artillery as it could possibly manage. The mortars were entrusted to Lieutenant Pym, R.M. On the 20th, the force advanced from Intwa to Biskohur, in Oudh, and, on the 22nd, to Goolereah Ghat, five miles from Toolseepur, where the remnants of the enemy were collected in great force. On the 23rd, in concert with the army of Sir Hope Grant, the force crossed the Boora Raptee, and attacked. Near the centre were the four naval guns and two 24-pr. rocket tubes, under Commander Turnour, Lieutenant Maquay, and Midshipman Root. The rest of the Naval Brigade, and the siege train, under Captain Sotheby, was as close up as the nature of the ground would admit. In about an hour and a half, the rebels were completely routed, though they carried off most of their guns, and although the pursuit was somewhat ineffective, owing to lack of enough cavalry to undertake it properly. The mutineers numbered about 12,000; the attacking force, which had but 4 killed and about a dozen wounded, only 2500.

This was the last affair in which the Pearl's Brigade took part, and, indeed, the last general action of the Mutiny. The seamen and Marines hoped to enjoy a quiet Christmas at Toolseepur, but were ordered on almost immediately with Brigadier Rowcroft. After a useless pursuit, nearly as far as the Nepal frontier, the force returned. On the last day of the year, the Brigade lay at Puchpurwah; and on January 1st, 1859, it was ordered back to the ship at Calcutta. Brigadier Rowcroft, on taking leave of it on the 2nd, said:

"The successes we have gained are mainly due to your courage and gallantry. I have also observed the excellent discipline and conduct of your Brigade, which reflects great credit on Captain Sotheby, and the officers, as well as on yourselves. I therefore regret to lose your services; but I am glad that, upon your departure, you are homeward bound, which you all so much desire."

On the 3rd, the Brigade departed, and, having embarked on the 17th in the steamer Benares, reached Calcutta on February 2nd. A 'Gazette Extraordinary,' published at Allahabad on January 17th, when the Brigade passed through that city, expressed the high satisfaction of the Government of India with the great services of the Pearl's officers and men. The ship left Calcutta on February 13th, called at Madras, whence she sailed again on the 26th, and reached Spithead on June 6th, after having circumnavigated the globe, and been absent from home for three years and a week. She was paid off on June 16th, 1859; and a "paying-off" dinner on the evening of that day revived an old custom which had long been nearly extinct in the service, and brought officers and men all together for the last time.

The principal honours and promotions granted in respect of the services of the Pearl's Brigade were as follows: -
Captain E. S. Sotheby, to be C.B., June 29th, 1858. To be Commanders: Lieut. N. E. B. Turnour, May 21st; Lieut. S. W. D. Radcliffe, aud Lieut. H. D. Grant, June 18th, 1858. To be (actg.) Lieutenants: Mate A. W. Ingles, May 21st; Mate T. M. Maquay, June 18th, 1858.

As in South Africa, forty years later, so in India during the Mutiny, the landed guns of the Navy, and the indefatigable and resourceful manner in which they were moved and worked in difficult country, went far towards saving a very precarious situation. Yet it should not be forgotten that the Navy does not exist for such work as had to be done by it on those occasions; and that it would scarcely have been called upon to do it had the British Empire been properly prepared to bear its immense responsibilities. It was only because the military administration failed at the pinch that the Navy had to step in and adapt itself to duties which did not belong to it, and which, for the moment at least, diminished its efficiency for services more peculiarly its own.

This was one of a number of occasions during the 19th century sailors and marines spent long periods fighting ashore. Three of William Loneys fellow officers in HMS Emerald served in Naval Brigades: Edmund Hope Verney and Lord Walter Talbot Kerr with the brigade from HMS Shannon during the Indian Mutiny (1857-8), and William Robert Clutterbuck in the Burmese War of 1885.

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 7, 138 - 150. 

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