RECORDS OF THE 65th (YORK AND LANCASTER) REGIMENT.
Such is the title of an article in the Folkestone Advertiser of May Bth, 1884, sent to us by an old 65th regiment man, with the request that we would use as much of it as we considered fit, for the purpose of telling many in Wanganui of the late doings of this fine regiment. The artie'e in question gives a detailed history of the corps 'from its foundation in 1757. It first saw service in the Wes'i Indies, in 1708 at Gaudaloupe, and was present at Martinique in 1761, and the taking of Havannah in 1762. After other small engagements, the 65th went to the Cape in 1800, and then to Madras, and in 1803, to Bombay. The battalion was engaged in much severe fighting for a number of years, and it returned to England after 22 years of real service, on the 19feh August 1822. In 1829 they went to the West Indies, then to Guiana, and Canada, returning home in 1841. Its next tour of foreign service was in Australia and New Zealand, in the wars of 186061 and 1863-65. After serving in these colonies for 21 years, the 65th retired to England in 1866, were quartered in Plymouth for a year, and then moved to Aldershot. They were ordered suddenly to Ireland in 1867 to assist in suppressing the Fenians, and remained in Ireland until 11th January 1871, when the Regiment embarked at Queenstown, in the Serapis, and sailed for India. They were stationed at Agra from February 1871 to January 1874, at; Lucknow until November 1877, at Dinapore in Bengal until October 1880, and Morar until July 1882, when they moved to Aden to be held in reserve during the Egyptian campaign. Having completed 18 months there in January last they commenced to make arrangements for sailing to England on the 24th February. On the 12th, however, orders came for them to proceed by H.M.S. Jumna to Huakim for service in the Soudan. To the intense disappointment of both men and officers, the orders were cancelled the next day. On the 22nd February, BrigadierGeneral J. Blair, V.C., inspected the regiment before leaving his command., He wasj he said, Borry to part with so fine a corpa. The conduct of the men had been all that he could possibly desire. There had been no' crime whatever, and he would make i^his duty to send in a very favorable report to H.R.H. the Commanderan-Chief. The troop shipped on the 23rd, and on the 26th the Serapis was informed by H.M.S. Carysfort that she was required at Trinkitat. On the 28th, as soon as they anchored, a signal was made from H.M.S. Sphinx from Admiral Hewett to land the 65th immediately with 'great-coats and blankets, only, without kits.. The vessel had anchored at 2.30, and by 3; p.m. the whole regiment had left the ship. On reaching the beach, each man took 100 rounds of ammunition, and proceeded at once to join the force under Major-General Sir G. Graham. They marched off at 6 p.m., and after crossing 2£ miles of swamp, bivouacked at Fort Baker at nine p.m. In consequence of the order for landing having been very inexplicit, neither officers nor men had made any preparation for a campaign. They had no changes, no towels, | soap, knifes,. forks, spoons, plates, or drinking vessels. But both officers and men were ! in high spirits, and being delighted with the I prospect of taking part in the expedition, | they did not mind roughing as long as they ! were at the front. Having slept in their great-coats, the next morning at 7, the 65th took their places, and at 8 a.m. the ad~ vance towards' T,okar was made in a westerlydirection, the 65th forming the left faoe of Sir G. Graham's square. About 11 the square passed a line of earthworks about eight hundred yards to the left, and at 11.30 when the square were opposite the centre a heavy fire from some Krupp guns, and Remington Rifles was opened. When the halt was sounded the 65th wheeled into line, and became the front of the square, and all were ordered to lie down. The guns of the Royal Artillery and Naval Brigade were brought into action, and in ten minutes they I had silenced those of the enemy. General Graham advanced the square straight up to the line of earthworks, and when within 100 yards of the entrenchments he ordered the65th to charge. Bayonets were fixed, and the men rushed forward with a cheer. The enemy rushed out spear in hand, and having dropped their rifies, a hand-to-hand fight took place ; in a few seconds the 65th were inside, and had captured two Krupp guns. The enemy were forced back, and now for .the first time the British troops opened fire on them, killing great numbers. The enemy being in retreat, the cavalry , charged them. The battle of El Teb occurred the same day, when the action lasted just four hours, the 65th lost seven men, and had 32 men and 3 officers wounded ; the enemy lost 2,312. The conduct of the 65th throughout the day was admirable, their shooting was excellent, and a spectator was heard to say that " the charge of the 65th on the guns was magnificent." From the Ist March to the 14th, some very heavy work was done, on the 13th and 14th a big fight occurred at Souakim, the 65th wint into action with 421 of all ranks, and ''at night on the 14th, they had lost 31 men, and had 23 men wounded. Captain Ford was killed, Major Dalgetty and Dr Prendergast wounded. They remained at Suakim till the 25th, when the campaign ended. On the 29th the 65th embarked on the Jumna, and landed at I Portsmouth on April the 21st, going to t Dover on the following day. I We should have liked to have given the whole 'of the article, as it contains some interesting particulars of the Egyptian campaign, and also of the early history of this gallant Regiment, but we cannot at present spare the space.
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The National Library would like to thank the Whanganui Regional Museum and Wanganui District Library for their assistance in the digitisation of this title.
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