Royal Navy obituary in the Times newspaper
Royal Navy obituary in the Times newspaper

Royal NavyObituaries

The following obituary for Henry Frederick McKillop appeared in the Times newspaper.

Obituary in the Times newspaper
19 June 1879Admiral Mackillop, C.B., died at his residence at Ramleh, near Alexandria, on the morning of Thursday, the 5th of June. It is only a month ago that I reported his retirement on account of failing health [see below], but at that time we all hoped to keep him for some years. But his malady was too strong for us. He only enjoyed his pension, which fortunately extends to his heirs, for the space of one short month, dying at the comparatively early age of 56. His was a place in Egyptian society no other man will fill. His singular simplicity and kindliness, his bluntness and straightforward speaking, his talent and administrative capacity, each of these qualities and all combined gave him a special position in the life of the country. His funeral was a very striking ceremony. Military honours were rendered him by Egypt, as he was not only a Pasha, who ranks as a general, but also a Feruk, a much higher title, while naval honours were given him as an English Admiral by Her Majesty's ship Rupert, now in Alexandria harbour. The Governor of Alexandria, with the minor officials, walked on one side of the coffin, the Consul-General of England, the agent for the Government of India, and the captain of the Rupert walked on the other. A military band played the weird funeral airs of Egypt, and the Rupert in the distant harbour fired minute guns. Four Egyptian soldiers and four English sailors bore the coffin. Egyptian soldiers and British blue-jackets lined the long dusty path through the desert to the English cemetery. The crackle of Egyptian musketry mingled itself with the voice of the chaplain as the Admiral was lowered to his last resting place under the shade of the acacias and tamarisks which now flourish in our cemetery, where England nearly 80 years ago won the victory which led to the surrender of Alexandria by the French and their evacuation of Egypt. More touching than all the pomp was the vast crowd of friends who had assembled to do honour to him who had gone. The local papers counted them at 3,000. They were there, not in remembrance of the gallant Englishman, who in China, in New Zealand, in the Crimea, had served his country so nobly, nor yet in honour of the Egyptian who had so ably and zealously served his adopted country, but they had come to bid goodbye to a man who never did an ill turn, and did many a good one, whose purse was always open, whose voice never grudged praise where praise was due, and preferred to keep silence when only blame could be given. "We have lost," said the Viceroy and the Prime Minister, in separate telegrams to the widow, "not only a devoted servant of the State, but also a valued personal friend." Those words expressed the feelings of every member of the vast crowd that filled the desert last Thursday evening.
[The Times, 7 May 1879] Egypt has suffered a great loss in the recent retirement on account of failing health of Admiral Mackillop, C.B. For 11 years he has held the post of Controller-General of Ports and Lighthouses in Egypt, whither he came on the recommendation of the Admiralty after 30 years' service in the British Navy. He found Alexandria harbour a port where order was not known; he has made it one of the best-managed harbours in the world. Every ship knows its moorings; at the most crowded times there is room for the largest craft to move freely, and a disorderly water population has learnt to respect law and order. He found the lights in Egyptian waters almost a snare to mariners from the confusion of native control. He has made them, in the Red Sea as in the Mediterranean, as useful and trustworthy as any system of lights in the world. In his various special duties, whether connected with the slave trade or with the Suez Canal, he has invariably given satisfaction. He is as popular with the Khedive as he is with his own countrymen, and his Highness has shown his appreciation by a very handsome good-service pension, which is to endure for the family. This liberality will be welcome to all naval circles in England. Admiral Mackillop passed through all the ranks of the English service from midshipman to admiral. He was in the China war of 1842; he captured with a single boat's crew the rebel chief in New Zealand in 1846; as commander of the Snake during the Crimean war he and all his officers received promotion for distinguished zeal and gallantry in the Black Sea, and especially at the capture of Kertch and Yeni-kale. His career throughout was that of a brave and able officer.

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