United Kingdom
19th Hussars


Cabinet Card, studio Thomas Annan, Glasgow and Hamilton
Captain Kendal Coghill, 19th Hussars


Kendal Josiah William Coghill was born on June 21st, 1832, the...12th child of Vice-Admiral Josiah Cramer Coghill.

He joined the Bengal Army in 1851 - his seniority as an Ensign being recorded on February 26th 1851. He was attached to the 2nd Bengal European Fusiliers, a regiment he'll stay with for ten years.
He sailed to India on board the Essex. The "Essex (belonging to Messrs. Wigram, of Blackwall), 850 Tons, Thomas William Pixley, Commander", was advertised as having "excellent accomodation for passengers" and "a surgeon on board".
She left Gravesend on February 25th 1851, calling at Portsmouth for passengers.
She sailed hence on March 2nd, for Madras and Calcutta.

In 1855 kendal Coghill was stationed in Burma. On October1st 1855, he was promoted to Lieutenant.

From his letters home, we learn that he had captured a tiger cub, that he sent back with instructions for its care. In 1856 he was stationed in Subathoo. He spent the monsoon season in the hill-station of Simla, resting after having been very ill.


The Indian Mutiny.

On learning of the outbreak of the Mutiny, in May 1857, Colonel Showers had Kendal Coghill (by now the Adjutant of the regiment)  put the 2nd Bengal European Fusiliers at once on the road south from Subathoo. The War Service of Kendal Coghill in the Mutiny is thus summarized in hart's List :
"(...) Coghill served asAdjutant of the 2nd European Bengal Fusiliers throughout the Indian campaign of 1857-58, and was present at the battle of Budleekeserai, storming the Heights in front of Delhi, throughout the siege of Delhi, including the actions in front, storming of the breach Cashmere Bastion, and final capture of the city. Served in General Showers' Force in the taking of the Forts of Rewarrie, Jujjhur, Ranaude, Furrucknuggur, and Bullumghur. Also present at the capture of the Heights of Sonah (Medal with Clasp)".

A little light can be shed on some of these actions (from "The history of the royal and Indian Artillery in the Mutiny of 1857") :

Budleekeserai (June 8th 1857) :
The 2nd Bengal European Fusiliers was under the orders of Brigadier Graves.
"As dawn broke,the enemy's camp-fires were visible ; but when Showers deployed his brigade into line, Grant's column was not yet in sight,and the rebels opened a heavy cannonade on our advancing troops. Barnard's guns at once came into action, Kaye in the centre, Money and Scott on his right and left, but they were unable to silence the enemy's well-sheltered artillery. Men began to fall ; Kaye's bullock-drivers ran away and one of his waggons wasblown up. Barnard then ordered a bayonet charge, and the 75th Foot, supported by the 1st Europeans, stormed the sandbag battery. then Graves' Brigade, which had had to march round a jheel, threatened the rebel right and Tomb's Troop came into action on their left flank. The enemy then fled, leaving their guns and their camp in our possession ; but the most important work of the day was yet to be done.
SEIZURE OF THE RIDGE.- pressing on his pursuit, Barnard reached a point four miles from Delhi where a road, branching to the left from the Grand Trunk Road, led direct to the Delhi Cantonments ; following this road himself with Graves' Brigade, a squadron of the 9th Lancers, and 2/3 Ben.H.A., he sent Brigadier Wilson with Showers' Brigade and the rest of the cavalry and artillery along the Grand Trunk Road to the Subzi Mundi, while the Sirmur Battalion kept up connection between the two columns. On reaching the Najafghur Canal Barnard found the bridge only partially destroyed, but when the guns crossed they came under the accurate fire of three of the enemy's guns posted at the Flagstaff Tower. Money, however, galloping forward quickly silenced them and they were forthwith taken by the 60th Rifles and the 2nd Europeans.(...)
"

An somehow sobering incident took place during that fight, and was recorded by Major-General James Thomas Harris in "'China Jim', incidents and adventures in the life of an Indian mutiny veteran" :
"Before we went into action I had been extremely nervous as to what my behaviour would be in this my first fight. Let me say, then, that I found it most delightful, and I think I may add that, as long as one is advancing in line against anything in the world, as long as one can advance, fighting is a pleasure to the majority of soldiers. 
I felt very much relieved at my total lack of "nerves", and looked forward to more fighting. The man next to me in my company, a private of the name of Alpin, got a round shot which took off his leg. It did not upset me at all. 
My pay-sergeant, Donovan, got another round shot which took off his right arm high up at the shoulder, and the arm caught the adjutant, Coghill, right in the face.
This incident, which, when remembered in cold blood, is sufficiently horrible, seemed to me at the moment to be very amusing. 
The place where we had been fighting was called Bad-li-ke-serai."

Coghill wrote home from Delhi on September 27th 1857,  describing the attitude of Gurkhas and Sikhs to fighting, the storming of the gate and the fighting once inside,and telling he was  ordered to hold the Kabul Gate. He describes following days' fighting, and says they were guarding the 'King of Hindoostan' as a prisoner.

Rewarrie and Jujjhur (Oct. 1857) :
"(...) Brigadier Showers. This officer with amixed force, (...) first cleared the suburbs of Delhi of all insurgents and then set out westwards to Dadri, where he captured 6 guns and punished some marauders. He then marched through the territories of two rebels, the petty chiefs of Jajjhar and Rewari, and returned to Delhi on November 10 with 14 captured guns and 5 lakhs of rupees."
In his letters home, he wrote he was to attack a "Rajah Fooleram" at "Kewarry" - hoping for loot.

It seems that he was something of a forbidding character, both in his functions as an Adjutant :
"While the 1st Fusiliers disregarded dress regulations, becoming known, with perverse pride as the 'dirty shirts', the 2nd maintained Shower's standards of regularity even in the chaos of the ridge ... when an officer appeared wearing a forage cap instead of a sun helmet, Coghill sent him to change, reminding him that officers should set an example."
(from "White Mutiny" by Peter Stanley)
But certainly more so on his attitude towards the mutineers, and he is infamously quoted as recording :
We burnt every village and hanged all the villagers who had treated our fugitives badly until every tree was covered with scoundrels hanging
from every branch. One huge banyan tree was decorated with 150 corpses.

After the capture of Delhi, the 2nd Bengal European Fusiliers was quartered in the Palace within the Red Fort, at Delhi.


Transfers - towards the command of the 19th hussars.

On November 27th, 1862, "Lieutenant Kendal Josiah William Coghill, of the late 2nd European Regiment", was appointed to the Bengal Staff Corps, on its formation, "in accordance with the provisions of the Royal Warrant, dated 16th january, 1861". The appointment was dated 1st october 1855.
He will be gazetted Captain on May 18th, 1863 (dated 26th February).

On May 16th, 1865, the London Gazette publishes :
"19th Hussars, Captain Kendal Josiah William Coghill, from the Bengal Staff Corps, to be Captain, vice Brevet-Major Hugh Henry Gough, who exchanges".

In April 1871 he was on the Staff of Lieutenant-General the Hon. Sir J.Lindsay, K.C.M.G., inspector-General of Reserve Forces for the Brighton annual Volunteer Review.

Hart's List from 1875 indicate that Captain Coghill was by then appointed Adjutant to the Lanarkshire Yeomanry.
He was
interviewed by the Yeomanry Committee at the War Office on May 25th, 1875.
Captain Coghill will be granted a Brevet of Major on July 11th 1877.
On January 22d, 1879, his nephew, Lieutenant Nevill Josiah Aylmer Coghill died at Islandhlwana. He was killed attempting to defend a comrade who was caarying the Queen's Colour from the battlefield. They would posthumously be awarded the Victoria Cross, but only in Januray 1907.

The London Gazette will publish on March 14th 1879 :
"YEOMANRY CAVALRY
Lanarkshire (Queen's Own Royal Glasgow and  Lower Ward of Lanarkshire)
Captain Robert Stevenson, half-pay, late 3rd Dragoon Guards, to be Adjutant, in succession to Captain and Brevet Major K.J.W. Coghill, 19th Hussars, whose period of service as Adjutant has expired. Dated 27th February, 1879.
"

On April 11th, 1879, the War Office issued a memorandum :
"19th Hussars.- Major Charles Manners Sutton Fairbrother to be Lieutenant-Colonel, vice Brevet Col. H.C.Craigie, retired on half-pay ; Brevet-major Kendal Josiah William Coghill, from supernumerary Captain, to be Major, vice C.M.S.Fairbrother (...) Major Charles Manners Sutton Fairbrother to be Lieutenant-Colonel, vice Brevet Col. H.C.Craigie, retired on half-pay ; Brevet-major Kendal Josiah William Coghill, from supernumerary Captain, to be Major, vice C.M.S.Fairbrother (...)"

The 19th Hussars were then in Ireland. There was much trouble in November 1880, the local tenants having been infiuriated by the attitude and policies of one Captain Charles Boycott, the estate agent of Earle Erne in County Mayo - and having decided to ostracize him and not to deal with him anymore. Upon Captain Boycott's unability to have his lands farmed, some orangemen volunteered to harvest his crops - and had to be escorted by a large force of police and military.

Major Coghill was "in chief command of the forces prepared immediately for the road" to escort the "Boycott expedition" ;  The Times will though report on November 12th, 1880 :
"Major Coghill, 19th Hussars, is unfortunately unable to take the command to-day. His horse reared and fell back on him during the march yesterday, and it is feared that he has broken his leg. he is under the care of Surgeon-Major Reynolds, V.C., one of the heroes of Rorke's Drift. (...)"
A few days later, on November 16th :
"Major Coghill is not yet able to move from his bed - it is one of the small bones of his leg which is broken. But for such casualties as these the whole expedition is likely yo pass over without fighting or bloodshed".
One could note that Major Coghill's wound was somehow quite opportune, as he was himself born in Ireland.
On December 1st 1880, Captain Boycott resigned his post and left for England - with his name stuck for posterity.

On July 26th, 1881, Kendal Coghill will be promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel, "from half-pay, dated 1st july 1881, (...) under the provisions of the Royal Warrant of 25th June, 1881".

In March 1882 he was the recipient of prized relics from the past of the regiment (from "The Nineteenth and their time"):
"While at Belfast the regiment became possessed of some greatly prized relics of the old 19th Light Dragoons, through the generosity of a lady whose husband had served in the old regiment . As is well known, all cavalry regiments except Hussars and Lancers, at the beginning of the century, had a standard or guidon for each squadron. After their return from India, and shortly after the conferring of the Elephant and Assaye badges (1807) the I 9th Light Dragoons received a new set of guidons. On the regiment being equipped as Lancers (1817) the guidons could no longer be used, and, on the disbanding of the regiment they became the property of the Colonel, Sir John Vandeleur. At his death he bequeathed them to his relative Major William Armstrong of Farney Castle, Thurles, who had served in the 19th from 1809 to 1819. Major Armstrong's widow now made known her wish to restore the guidons to the regiment that bears the number and badges which the old regiment so worthily earned. On the 28th March 1882, the Belfast squadron paraded, under Lieutenant Colonel Coghill, and received the guidons with a royal salute. The Princess of Wales' Own Yorkshire Regiment (formerly the 19th Foot) lent the services of their band, and the guidons were marched in all honour, through the town, to barracks, where they were deposited in the Mess Room, after a royal salute and an address to the squadron from Colonel Coghill."

The 19th Hussars were soon to see action in Egypt.
The Times, when discussing the "Military preparations", thus qualified the Regiment, on July 4th, 1882 :
"(...) The 19th Hussars are, thanks to the zeal and ability of Major Barrow, a former Adjutant, about the best cavalry corps in the service in the matter of reconnasissance and outpost duty. But the regiment has been somewhat heavily handicapped in the matter of senior officers, and it was passed over last year when a cavalry contingent as sent out to Natal. (...)"
On the very same day, the London Gazette interestingly published :
"19th Hussars.- Lieut.-Col. K.J.W.Coghill has been appointed to command the regiment : Major Arthur George Webster to be Lieutenant-Colonel, vice C.M.S.Fairbrother, retired. (...) C.M.S.Fairbrother, retired. (...)".


Egypt 1882.

Lieutenant-Colonel Coghill would command the 19th Hussar in the 1882 Egypt campaign.
Let's read again "The Nineteenth and their times - being an account of the four cavalry regiments in the British Army that have borne the number nineteen and of the campaigns in which they served" (Col. John Biddulph, London, 1899) :

"The force sent from England and the Mediterranean stations amounted to 25,450 men, of whom 2400 were cavalry : the whole being commanded by Lieutenant General Sir Garnet Wolseley. There being no fear of their being attacked at sea, they were sent without convoy, as soon as the ships could be got ready. By the 11th August, the last transport had sailed from England for Alexandria. The 19th Hussars were among the last to go. On the 10th August, they embarked at Southampton, in the Assyrian Monarch and the Montreal, with a total strength of 33 officers, 553 non-commissioned officers and privates, and 464 horses, under command of Lieutenant Colonel K. J. W Coghill.
(...)
The 19th Hussars, in the Assyrian Monarch and the Montreal, did not reach Alexandria in time to take part in (the early) operations. They reached Ismailia on the 24th, and completed their disembarkation by the evening of the 26th. The duty assigned to them was to act as Divisional troops ; the Right Wing, consisting of two squadrons under Lieutenant Colonel Coghill, formed part of the 1st Division under Lieutenant General Willis; the remaining two squadrons, under Lieutenant Colonel A. G. Webster, formed part of the 2nd Division under Lieutenant General Sir E. Hamley. One troop was detailed as escort to Sir Garnet Wolseley throughout the campaign. The Right Wing joined the Head Quarters of the 1st Division at Tel-el-Mahuta, on the evening of the 27th. 

On the 28th, a demonstration was made by the enemy against Graham's force at Kassassin. The Right Wing of the 19th was ordered in support to Mahsamah ; but, on its being ascertained that no serious attack was intended they returned to Tel-el-Mahuta. Graham, having been reinforced, and expecting the Heavy Cavalry Brigade to join him, made a general advance after sunset. The orders for the heavy cavalry had, however, miscarried, and did not reach Major General Lowe for several hours. Making a wide sweep into the desert, Lowe fell upon the left of the enemy in the dark, and charged, rolling up their infantry ; the darkness made pursuit impossible. The sound of the heavy firing, caused the Division at Tel-el-Mahuta to turn out again, but after a brief advance they returned to camp, with the exception of the 19th Hussars, who pushed on to Kassassin, which they reached at daybreak. It was not till noon, after visiting the scene of the previous night's encounter, that they were able to off-saddle and rest.

The following twelve days were spent in preparing for the advance on Tel-el-Kebir, 13 miles from Kassassin, where Arabi's army had constructed a formidable line of entrenched works. During these days, the 19th Hussars and the Indian Native Cavalry were employed in continual outpost and reconnoissance duties. On the 5th, Lieutenant Holland was badly wounded.

By the 8th, all was ready for massing the whole force at Kassassin preparatory to the advance on Tel-el-Kebir. Early on the 9th, Arabi advanced in force on Kassassin, attacking in two separate bodies simultaneously, one in front from Tel-el-Kebir, and the other in flank from Es Salihiyeh. Willis repelled the double attack with ease, and pushed the enemy back to within cannon shot of Tel-el-Kebir, capturing four guns. 

Soon after dark on the I2th, the whole force consisting of 17,000 men, with 61 guns, moved out of camp to some high ground in front of Kassassin, in preparation for an attack on Arabi Pasha's entrenched lines. At 1.30 in the morning, the troops moved silently forwards through the desert, their march directed by a naval officer steering by the stars. The four infantry brigades, in two lines, led the way, supported on the right by the heavy cavalry brigade and horse artillery, and on the left by the naval brigade. In rear of the naval brigade, followed the 19th Hussars under Lieutenant Colonel Coghill. One troop of the regiment remained at Mahsamah, and another at Tel el Mahuta, to guard those points. At five in the morning the attack was delivered ; after half an hour's severe fighting, the British infantry was in complete possession of the lines. While the heavy cavalry pushed on to Zagazig to cut off fugitives, the 19th, under Coghill, passed through an opening in the entrenchments, and seized the Tel el Kebir railway station and bridge, cutting off a great number of fugitives. Thence the pursuit was continued for three hours, when the 19th returned to the enemy's late camp. In the afternoon they started again in the track of the heavy cavalry, leaving a troop to protect burial parties, and reached Belbeis that evening. On the following evening Cairo was taken possession of, and Arabi surrendered himself. The only casualty in the regiment was Lieutenant Barclay who was struck by a fragment of shell from one of the first guns fired by the enemy at Tel-el-Kebir. 

The war was over. A medal, with clasp for Tel-el- Kebir, was given to all who took part in the campaign. The medals were presented to the regiment by Lady Dufferin, in Her Majesty's name, in the following February. H.H. the Khedive also gave a star."

One incident of note had caused some concern to Lieutenant-Colonel Coghill ; The Times' correspondant indeed wrote on September 5th : 
"The Colonel (of the 19th Hussars) said he had himself been fired at from behind a few days ago by some men dressed like peasants".

Coghill will be mentioned in despatches by General Wolseley, will receive the Egypt Medal , the 3rd Class of the Medjidie, the Khedive Star, and will be made a C.B. on November 17th, 1882.


The end of the road.

On July 24th 1883, the London Gazette published :
"19th Hussars, Lieutenant-Colonel K.J.W. Coghill, C.B., retires on a pension, with the honorary rank of Colonel."

His retirement certainly meant he could get time to put his social skills to use ; he is mentioned, for instance, as :
- A member of the Provisionnal Committee of the "American Club" in 1887 ;
- A subscriber to the fund for "The Wives and Families of Soldiers and Sailors" in 1899 ;
- A donator to the "Union Jack Club" in 1906 ;
- An organizer of the annual "Banquet of the Survivors of the Siege of Delhi" ;
- Attending the 1911 "19th Hussars Regimental Dinner" at the Trocadero restaurant ;
- Attending the 1912 annual dinner of the Royal Munster Fusiliers (heirs to the Bengal European Fusiliers) ;
- A contributor to the "Lord Wolseley Memorial Fund" in 1914 ;
- A member of the Committee of the "Soldiers' Club Association" in 1916 ;

He will die on July 16th, 1919, aged 87, at Cosheen, Castletownshend.


The photograph was certainly taken during his time in Scotland as Adjutant to the Lanarkshire Yeomanry.
He wears the uniform of a Captain in the 19th Hussars, hence the photo predates his Brevet of Major (July 11th 1877).
The photo offers a great view of the cuff braiding for captains. In 1880 the marks of rank will be shifted from the collar to shoulder-cords.
We can see the 19th Hussars pouch belt, of Light Dragoons pattern with a white central stripe, and the regimental busby, with a white busby-bag.
He is displaying his Indian Mutiny Medal, with Clasp for Delhi.