8th (King's Royal Irish) Hussars
|Lady Julia Inglis, whose husband commanded the 32nd Foot, mentions Samuel Hill Lawrence in her diaries of The Siege of Lucknow :|
|July 7th.—A sally was made this morning by the light company 32nd and some Sikhs, under Captain Lawrence and Captain Mansfield, Mr. Green, 13th N.I., and Mr. Studdy, the latter leading the sortie. The object was to search ahouse outside our position, called Johannes House, where the enemy was supposed to be mining. A hole was made in the wall large enough to admit of one man getting out at a time, and we kept up heavy cannonading during the process to hide the sound and to divert the enemy’s attention. The party started at twelve o’clock, after the men had had some dinner, and John had said a few words to them. I felt very sad as they passed through our courtyard, for I thought perhaps few would return. However, in a quarter of an hour, or less, their work was done. They rushed into Johannes House. Ensign Studdy being the first to go through the wall, bayoneted some thirty men they found there, and then, reckless as soldiers are, were running down the Cawnpore road, when John called them back. We had one Sikh and one 32nd man slightly wounded, and poor Cuney, of the band, severely so in two places. He was a fine fellow, and had once before made a sortie on his own account and spiked a gun. He sat down on our doorstep, and John gave him some brandy and praised him for his bravery. Captain Lawrence had one of the legs of his trousers blown to pieces, but was not touched. This little affair raised all our spirits, as it had been so thoroughly successful, and showed what we could do. As we were at dinner this evening an officer was carried by on a litter, and on inquiry we heard it was Major Francis, of the 13th N.I., who had just had both his legs nearly taken off by a round shot, when sitting on a chair at the top of the brigade mess-house. Death ensued very shortly.|
|Sunday, 26th.(July)— (...) Captain Birch says: ‘The vigilance of the enemy had at this time a little relaxed, though they still surrounded us in great numbers. We managed to make several sorties to examine their ground. I was engaged in one in command of the Sikhs of my regiment. We cut a large hole in the wall of Mr. Gubbins’ garden, and rushed out into the houses opposite to us; we were thankful to find no traces of mining, and only lost one man. A laughable incident occurred on one of these sorties. One of my Sikhs, Alla Singh, a man of great muscular strength but small heart, hid himself when we started, and on our return dropped down from the wall amongst the party, hoping to escape notice; he was discovered, and his cowardice lost him his promotion. One day we entered a fresh earthwork about forty yards outside the Redan battery. Lieutenant George Hutchinson, of the engineers, gave it as his opinion that it was merely a covered way to enable the enemy to pass to and fro at a corner much exposed to our fire. Sam Lawrence, of the 32nd, commanding at the Redan, who was always cheery and jolly, assured the brigadier that he and his men expected very shortly to be up amongst the little birds, as he was convinced it was a mine. George Hutchinson maintained his opinion, on which the brigadier acted, and would not allow of a sortie. At night Lieutenant Hutchinson determined to verify his opinion, and stole out under cover of the darkness; he asked me to accompany him, and we certainly went round a very ticklish corner. Hutchinson was right; it was only a covered way or trench. (...)|
|26th. (September) —A sortie was made by our garrison to-day, and four guns taken. (...)|
|We left on the morning of February 10.
(...) Suddenly we were startled by a loud grating sound something like the letting down of an anchor, and just then saw a large rock close to us. I said, ‘We must have touched that.’ Several men rushed to the wheel, and then again we heard the same sound, only louder, and a quivering of the whole ship. She then remained stationary, only heaving backwards and forwards.
We ran below and found the saloon filled with ladies and children, evidently just out of bed. Meeting Captain Lawrence, of the 32nd, he seized my hand and said, ‘Don’t be afraid, Mrs. Inglis.’ This decided me that there was some cause for fear, but I thought we had run ashore. I begged him to ascertain what was to be done, and, going into my cabin, roused up my nurse, Mrs. Campbell, and told her to be prepared to leave the steamer. My cabin was forward; I was getting something for the children to put on, when Captain Lawrence rushed in and said, ‘Don’t wait a minute! Come on deck at once!’ Mrs. Case, Miss Dickson, and self, communicated our determination to keep together under all circumstances. On going on deck we found the boats were being lowered. The captain, Kirton by name, a young man of twenty-eight, was giving his orders in a quiet, calm manner; the greatest order prevailed, no one appeared to have lost his presence of mind, and not even a child cried. The first boat was launched in about twenty minutes, and Captain Lawrence and Captain Foster came and said that I was to go in it. I objected at first, not liking to be the first to leave the scene of danger; but they pressed me and said all would follow immediately, so I made no further remonstrance. As I left the steamer, the captain said, ‘This is only a precautionary measure. Captain Lawrence had run down into my cabin, and brought me up my cash-box, containing £50, and my writing-desk. (...)
|For a website on the Relief of Lucknow, the Inglis Family and Lady Julia's complete diaries :|