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Commanding Officers of the Somersetshire Light Infantry from 1825 to 1900

Extracted from "Records and Badges of the British Army, 1900" by Henry M Chichester and George Burges-Short

1825    Sir Robert Henry Sale, G.C.B.

A name for ever associated with the highest records of the regiment in which he was known as "Fighting Bob." His distinguished career, which commenced as a subaltern at the storming of Seringapatam, extends over campaigns in India in the early part of the 19th Century, and the first Burmese War, when he succeeded Sir Michael Creagh in command of the 13th, and was twice severely wounded. He had joined the regiment as a major in 1821. In October, 1838, he was given command of the 1st Bengal brigade of the Army of the Indus, which formed the advance in Afghanistan; Sale's Brigade passing into the history of the campaign. He commanded the storming party at Ghuznee, when he was wounded, commanded the brigade which stormed the Khoord Cabul force, and finally commanded the "Illustrious Garrison" of Jellalabad. In the last scenes of the war he commanded his Brigade at the recapture of Cabul. He was made a G.C.B. and without being promoted a general officer was appointed hon. colonel of the regiment in 1843 - a case without precedent in the service. Sir Robert Sale's career ended on the field of Moodkee, where he was mortally wounded. He was quarter-master-general of Lord Gough's Army.

            William Henry Deunie, C.B., Aide-de-Camp to the Queen

Appointed 2nd Lieutenant-Colonel of the regiment in 1832. He was greatly distinguished in the first Burmese War, when he gained his C.B. and a brevet lieutenant-colonelcy. Led the storming party at Ghuznee, and was the first man within its walls. Killed at Jellalabad, April, 1842, in the 43rd year of his service. "A soldier as brave as any the British Army ever possessed." (Dict. of Nat. Biography.)

            Horatio Nelson Vigors

Served with the battalion in Afghanistan, and was promoted 2nd Lieutenant-Colonel of the regiment in 1843, when Sale was made Hon. Colonel. Reduced to half-pay on return home of the regiment. He was with the Forlorn Hope under Colonel Deunie, at the Assault of Ghuznee, and was also present at the capture of Cabul. He afterwards commanded the St. Helena Regiment from 1851 to 1859, when he was promoted Major-General, and died in June, 1864, in Paris, aged 57. He is buried in Pére-la-Chaise.

1842    Tristram Charnley Squire

Served with 7th Fusiliers in the Peninsula, and, joining the 13th, was with the regiment in the first Burmese War, and a Brigade-Major at the storming of Ghuznee. He became 2nd Lieutenant-Colonel by the death of Colonel Deunie in 1842, and, succeeding to the command of the regiment, remained with it until 1846, when he retired by sale, after 37 years' service.

1846    Arthur Augustus Thurlow Cunynghame

Exchanged to the regiment as Major in August, 1846, purchased the command November, 1846, and exchanged to Grenadier Guards December 1st, 1846.

1846    Charles Stuart

Exchanged to the command from Grenadier Guards, December, 1846, and commanded the regiment until December, 1854, when he went of half-pay. Died September, 1892, General and Colonel 46th Foot.

1854    Lord Mark Kerr

Came in to command the regiment. 22nd December. 1804. from half-pay. took bead-quarters to the Crimea, and commanded the regiment at the Tchernaya, and siege and fall of Sebastopol. Taking the regiment to India. he commanded a field force in the Mutiny. was given a brigade on September. 18t>2, and finally left the regiment in December. 1860. In February. 1880. he succeeded General Stanhope as Hon. Colonel of the regiment

Alexander Essex F. Holcombe

Served with 13th throughout the Afghan War, accompanied it to the Crimea, and was appointed 2nd Lieutenant-Colonel of the Regiment, 26th June, 1855. Went on half-pay, November, 1856, on reduction, subsequently commanded 2nd Battalion 1st Royals. Served in the Mutiny and in China, and died on the march from Bombay to Nuseerabad, February, 1867.

George King

With 13th all through the Afghan War. Accompanied regiment to Crimea, gaining a brevet lieutenant-colonelcy, with the regiment in the Mutiny. Promoted 2nd Lieutenant-Colonel, November, 1857. Retired pay, 1863. Died Hon. Major-General in 1868.

1858    Arthur Horne
Served with 12th Regiment in the Kaffir War, gaining a brevet lieutenant-colonelcy. Promoted to the command of the 2nd Battalion 13th, on its being raised, 8th January, 1858, took it to South Africa in February, 1859. Commanded it at the Cape and the Mauritius, and died in 1865.
1865    John William Cox

Joined regiment in 1838, and served with it in Afghanistan, Cabul, and Jellalabad, and in the Crimea. On the Staff in the Mutiny, brevet Lieutenant-Colonel, C.B. Succeeded to command of 2nd Battalion, January, 1865 and went on half-pay July following on appointment as Assistant Adjutant-General at Shorncliffe. Retired General.

1865    William Forbes MacBean

Many years connected with the St. Helena Regiment, in which he served from 1842, and commanded from 1859 to 1863, when it was made into the 5th West India Regiment. O n the break up of the latter he was provided for by being appointed to the command of the 2nd Battalion 13th, 1st July, 1865. He exchanged to the 1st Battalion, and remained with the regiment until April, 1873, when he was given a depot. Died February, 1890. Retired Lieutenant-General.

1865    Peter MacDonald

This officer had an exceptional career, having risen from a private soldier to quartermaster in the 2nd Battalion Rifle Brigade, of which he was made Adjutant in 1846. He became Captain unattached in 1854, served with the Turkish Contingent in the Russian War, was made Adjutant of the Winchester Depot Battalion in 1856, became its Major in 1861, and received £500 to exchange to the 2nd Battalion 13th (at the Cape) with Major Kerr. He, became Lieutenant-Colonel 2nd Battalion, December, 1865, and retired on half-pay in October, 1868, receiving a bonus of £2,300 in the regiment. He next sold his commission for £4,500, regulation value, and thus in 20 years he had realised £7,300. (Sir William Galbraith's evidence before the Royal Commission of 1873.)

1868    Thomas Maunsell

Served with 32nd in Punjaub Campaign, and with 28th in the Crimea, Alma, Inkerman, and Sebastopol. Severely wounded at Mooltan and in the trenches before Sebastopol. Brought in from half-pay to command 2nd Battalion 13th, in 0ctober, 1868, and remained with it to April, 1875, when he was given a Brigade Depot. Major-General, retired pay, C.B in 1900.

1873    Robert Blackall Montgomery

Joined in 1847, served with regiment as a captain in the Crimea. Commanded 1st Battalion for five years. Died in command of the Taunton District, August, 1884.

1875    Arthur Bainbrigge

Joined in 1850, served on his father's staff in Ceylon, and with the regiment in the Crimea. Commanded 2nd Battalion, March, 1875, to January, 1878, when he retired on pension.

1878    William Edward Brown

Served with 57th in the Crimea and New Zealand. Joined 13th as Major in 1873, and commanded 2nd Battalion from January, 1878, to May, 1880, Retired pay 1882.

1878    Philip Edward Victor Gilbert, C.B.

Joined in January, 1854, served with regiment in Crimea, and Indian Mutiny. Succeeded to command 1st Battalion, May, 1878, and commanded it during operations against Sekukuni, and in the Zulu War. C.B., exchanged to 2nd Battalion, December, 1880. Retired pay, Hon. Major-General and commuted pension in 1900.

1880    Edward Lutwyche England

Served with the regiment in the Indian Mutiny, and in the Transvaal and Zulu Wars. Succeeded to command of 2nd Battalion, May ,1880, and exchanged to 1st Battalion December, 1880, and commanded it to May, 1885. Retired pay, Hon. MajorGeneral in 1900.

1883    William Knox Leet, V.C.

Served in the Mutiny, Sekukuni and Zulu Campaigns, gaining the Victoria Cross in the last named. 2nd Lieutenant-Colonel 1st Battalion, July, 1881, and commanded it from May, 1883, until he exchanged to 2nd Battalion, which he commanded in the Burmese Campaign. Retired. July, 1887.

1885    Thomas Alphonso Cary

Served in the West India Regiment and went through the disastrous campaign on West Coast of Africa, 1863-64, exchanged as Captain to 13th, December, 1866. 2nd Lieutenant-Colonel 2nd Battalion, July, 1881. Commanded 1st Battalion, May, 1885 to 1887. Hon. Major-General, retired pay in 1900.

1887    Irwing Stening Allfrey

Served with 6th in Mutiny and with 13th in Zulu War. 2nd Lieutenant-Colonel, 1st Battalion, May, 1883, and commanded battalion, May, 1887 to 1889. Retired pay in 1900.

1887    William Cox

Served with regiment in South Africa, severely wounded in the Zulu War. 2nd Lieutenant-Colonel 2nd Battalion, May, 1885. Commanded a wing of the regiment detached from head-quarters for special service in Burmese Campaign. Succeeded to command of 2nd Battalion, July, 1887, and died in command at Belgaum. 13th June, 1890.

1889    George Herbert A. Kinloch

Served in the Sekukuni, Zulu and Burmese Campaigns. Commanded 1st Battalion, May, 1889 to 1890, when he took pension.

1890    William Charles Frederick Madden

Commanding 2nd Battalion, June, 1890 to 1894. Retired pay in 1900. Served in Burmese Campaign.

1890    Henry Hallam Parr, C.M.G., Aide-de-Camp to the Queen

Served in the South African War, 1877-81. Kaffir and Zulu campaigns -- C.M.G.; Egyptian campaign, 1882-84, commanded Mounted Infantry and severely wounded at action of Alahuta, brevet of Major; battle of Tamai, brevet of Lieutenant-Colonel. Commanded 1st Battalion, November, 1890 to 1894. Promoted Major-General, 1898.

1894    John Miller Elgee Waddy

Commanding 2nd Battalion, June, 1894 to August, 1898. Retired pay in 1900. Served in Sekukuni and Zulu Campaigns.

1894    Arthur CLose Borton

Commanded 1st Battalion, November, 1894 to 1898.

1898    Edmond Joseph Gallwey

Served in Kaffir, Sekukuni and Zulu Campaigns,  1878-79. Was Second-in-Command 1st Battalion in Campaign under Sir William Lockhart on North-West Frontier, 1897-98. In command 2nd Battalion, June. 1898.

1898    Henry Alfred Walsh

In Kaffir, Sekukuni and Zulu Campaigns, 1878-79, and Soudan Expedition, 1884-85. In command 1st Battalion,


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