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YORK MINSTER, KINGS OWN YORKSHOIRE LIGHT INFANTRY
- TIRAH NORTH-WEST FRONTIER 29 JANUARY 1898 WAR MEMORIAL

Compiled and Copyright © Martin Edwards 2022

The memorial is to be found within York Minster, Deangate, York. It commemorates the men from the 2nd Battalion, Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry who gave their lives at Tirah on the North West Frontier. It takes the form of a rectangular, headed, brass plaque set within an ornate white marble surround with the inscription in relief and a wreath, with a bugle within it and crown at the top; there are also two angels carved on the flanks of the surround of the plaque with a foliate design around the top of the border. The memorial was unveiled 13 October 1899 by Major-General Sir Richard Westmacott, K.C.B., D.S.O. There are 32 names listed. Service Numbers and wound details where available can be found in The London Gazette

Extract from Taunton Courier, and Western Advertiser - Wednesday 2 February 1898, page 8:

BRITISH REVERSE. TROOPS
ENTANGLED IN THE KHYBER PASS.
HEAVY CASUALTIES : FIVE OFFICERS KILLED.
ANOTHER TERRIBLE BLUNDER.

Despatches received at Calcutta on Sunday from the Kbyber show that the operations against the Zakka- Khels have involved fighting of a very serious description, in which our troops sustained heavy loss. It appears that Colonel Hart's column was marching to its allotted position in connection witha combined movement of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Brigades of the Tirah expeditionary field force. The brigades advanced from Ali Musjid, Jamrud, Bara, and Mamani respectively, their object being to clear the plain of Kajurai of the cattle belonging to the still resisting tribe. Hart's column, when attacked, was advancing through a gorge near Shintamr, where the troops—shut in by the peaks on either side—could neither deploy nor attack their assailants, who were enabled to inflict severe losses from behind cover.

Full lists of killed and wounded are not yet to hand, but it is known that five British officers are killed. The summary of the casualties is as follow:—Killed : 36th Sikhs, Colonel Haughton, Lieutenant A. H. Turing, and three men ; Yorkshire Light Infantry, Lieutenants T. P. Dowdall, E. St. George Hughes, and M. R. Walker, and five men. Wounded: Yorkshire Light Infantry, Major Earle (severely), Lieuteuant Hall (slightly), unspecified.

The movements of troops which led to the losses on Saturday were carefully planned, the idea being to cut off the retreat of Afridis who had been driving their cattle to graze in the Kajurai Plain, which lies due west of Bara Fort. Columns from Ali Musjid and Jamrud were intended to block the way the north, while a column from Bara moved westwards over the plain towards the low hills ; a column from apparently marching northwards over the range of hills so as get in the rear of the grazers and prevent their escaping towards the Bazar Valley. It was the last-named column which suffered. The losses occurred at Shintamr, a few miles north-west of Mamani. The news has caused a sensation at Calcutta.

EXPLANATION OF THE DISASTER.

General Westmacott reports that the 2nd Battalion Yorkshire Light Infantry and four Companies of the Sikhs and two guns, under the command of Lieut.- Colonel Seppings, left Mamani early on Saturday morning. The leading troops reached Shiu Kamar Kotal half-past ten. opposition was offered to their advance. Colonel Haughton, with the Sikhs, proceeded about a mile to search the caves. On the arrival of the main body at the kotal it was discovered tha ta Company of Sikhs had somehow been withdrawn from a high ridge on the west, which was the key to the position. The enemy had at once occupied this ridge, and its re-capture involved heavy losses. Lieutenant Dowdall, of the Yorkshire Light Infantry, was killed whilst charging at the head of his men.

About mid-day the troops began the return to camp. The enemy harassed the rearguard and left, causing many casualties. The rear of the column cleared the pass about five o'clock, with the assistance of General Westmacott, who arrived with two guns and 400 rifles, having received a message from Colonel Seppings that the force was entangled. The following is statement of the losses among the rank and file: —Fifteen of the Yorkshire Light Infantry killed ; two Sikhs and thirty-one Yorkshires wounded, and twelve of the latter missing, including one man wounded who is in the hands of the enemy.

The retirement was conducted admirably, and the officers speak in the highest terms of the gallantry of the troops. The bodies of Colonel and one private have been brought in, and search parties have gone out to look fcr the remainder. The troops have been reinforced by 725 men from Bara. Colonel Sturt, of the 2nd Punjab Infantry, with 500 infantry, two guns, and one squadron of cavalry, is moving from Bara to the north of the Pass. The loss of the enemy was severe, as they charged within thirty yards of the troops.

THE SLAIN OFFICERS.

Lieutenint-Colonel J. Haughton, of the Indian Staff Corps, was formerly in the 72nd Foot, and was appointed to the command the 36th Sikhs in 1894.

Lieutenant A. H. Turing was attached to the Sikhs in 1891 as wing officer. He was previously in the Royal Fusiliers.

Lieutenant Malcolm Reginald Walker was the senior lieutenant of his Regiment, having entered the service in 1883.

Lieutenant Thomas Percy Dowdall served in the Zhob Field Force under Sir George White in 1890, during the Zhob and Kiderzai expeditions, and the march to Vihowa. He joined the Yorkshire Light Infantry in 1889.

Second-Lieutenaut Ernest St. George Hughes entered the regiment in 1895.

THE SPLENDID COURAGE OF THE AFRTDIS.

Discussing the Mamani reverse the Englishman (Calcutta) says that all hope of a settlement of the Afridi question without a spring campaign is impossible. It expresses regret that a change is now imminent in the chief command of the Army, and urges that the scheme of warfare should be re-cast in order to meet the modern armament and splendid courage of the Afridis.

Photographs Copyright © Martin Edwards 2022

TO THE GLORY OF GOD AND SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF
THE OFFICERS, NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICERS AND PRIVATES
2 BATT, KINGS OWN YORKSHIRE LIGHT INFANTRY WHO
WERE KILLED IN ACTION ON SHIN AMAD PASS
TIRAH, NORTH-WEST FRONTIER 29TH JANAURY 1898

AMERY J
Private 3046, 2nd Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Killed in action on Shin Amad Pass, Tirah, North West Frontier 29 January 1898.
ASHBY A H
Private 3462, 2nd Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Killed in action on Shin Amad Pass, Tirah, North West Frontier 29 January 1898.
AXLEBY W E
Lance Sergeant 3463, 2nd Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Killed in action on Shin Amad Pass, Tirah, North West Frontier 29 January 1898.
BAILEY J
Private 3719, 2nd Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Killed in action on Shin Amad Pass, Tirah, North West Frontier 29 January 1898.
BEATTIE D
Private 4339, 2nd Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Killed in action on Shin Amad Pass, Tirah, North West Frontier 29 January 1898.
BEELEY A
Private 4211, 2nd Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Killed in action on Shin Amad Pass, Tirah, North West Frontier 29 January 1898.
BEND S
Private, 2nd Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Died of wounds on Shin Amad Pass, Tirah, North West Frontier 30 January 1898.
BEND S
2nd Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Killed in action on Shin Amad Pass, Tirah, North West Frontier 29 January 1898.
CANTRILL R
Lance Corporal 3966, 2nd Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Killed in action on Shin Amad Pass, Tirah, North West Frontier 29 January 1898.
CORBIDGE H
Private 3118, 2nd Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Killed in action on Shin Amad Pass, Tirah, North West Frontier 29 January 1898.
CORRIGAN W
Private 4520, 2nd Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Killed in action on Shin Amad Pass, Tirah, North West Frontier 29 January 1898.
DAWES G
Corporal 3504, 2nd Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Killed in action on Shin Amad Pass, Tirah, North West Frontier 29 January 1898.
DEAKIN W
[Listed a G DEAKIN in London Gazeete] Private 3492, 2nd Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Killed in action on Shin Amad Pass, Tirah, North West Frontier 29 January 1898.
DIXON W
Private 4815, 2nd Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Killed in action on Shin Amad Pass, Tirah, North West Frontier 29 January 1898.
DOLOPHIN J
Private 3747, 2nd Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Killed in action on Shin Amad Pass, Tirah, North West Frontier 29 January 1898.
DOWDALL Thomas Percy

Lieutenant, 2nd Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Killed in action by gunshot on Shin Amad Pass, Tirah, North West Frontier 29 January 1898. Born 4 January 1866 in Liverpool. Baptised 24 August 1866 in Liverpool, Princes Park, St Paul. son of Thomas and Grace Dowdall,of Devonshire Roasd, Liverpool. Cadet at Royal Military College 1888. Spoke French, German and Russian. Joined Yorkshire Light Infantry 1889.

Extract from Liverpool Echo - 31 January 1898, page 3:

THE BRITISH CASUALTIES

With reference to the death of Lieut. Thomas Percy Dowdall, of the The King's Own (Yorkshire Light Infantry), Mr. Harold Chaloner Dowdall, a brother of the deceased officer, Alexandra-drive, Sefton Park, Liverpool, has received the following telegram from General Westmacott:—

Mamani, India, January 29th, 1898—Your brother was killed whilst gallantly leading his men to attack a position to-day. He died as a soldier should, deeply regretted by us all.

Lieutenant Dowdall joined the Army in May, 1889, and served with the Zhob Field Force in 1890, under Sir George White, during the Zhob and Zideryai expeditions and in the march to Zihowa. He became a lieutenant in 1891.

Extract from England & Wales Government Probate Death Index 1898:

DOWDALL Thomas Percy of Alexandra-drive Liverpool lieutenent in Her Majesty's King's-own-regiment of light-infantry died 29 January 1898 at Shin Kamar Afghanistan Probate Liverpool 16 November to Harold Chaloner Dowdall esquire barrister-at-law Effects £239 1s. 1d. Resworn February 1899 £324 13s. 7d. Resworn £9,644 16s. 1d.

DUTTON W
Private 3752, 2nd Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Killed in action on Shin Amad Pass, Tirah, North West Frontier 29 January 1898.
GUEST W
Colour Sergeant 472, 2nd Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Killed in action on Shin Amad Pass, Tirah, North West Frontier 29 January 1898.
HARRIS W
Private, 2nd Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Killed in action on Shin Amad Pass, Tirah, North West Frontier 29 January 1898.
HILL W
Private 4061, 2nd Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Killed in action on Shin Amad Pass, Tirah, North West Frontier 29 January 1898. Entered service regiment 189 49285.
HUGHES Ernest St George
Lieutenant, 2nd Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Killed in action by gunshot on Shin Amad Pass, Tirah, North West Frontier 29 January 1898.
JOHNSON S W
Corporal 2754, 2nd Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Killed in action on Shin Amad Pass, Tirah, North West Frontier 29 January 1898.
MORAN J
Private 3947, 2nd Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Killed in action on Shin Amad Pass, Tirah, North West Frontier by gunshot wound to the abdomen 29 January 1898.
KERINS J
Private 4145, 2nd Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Killed in action on Shin Amad Pass, Tirah, North West Frontier 29 January 1898.
MADDISON I
Private 4274, 2nd Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Killed in action on Shin Amad Pass, Tirah, North West Frontier 29 January 1898.
RIVETT A
[Listed as H RIVETT in London Gazette] Colour-Sergeant 1895, 2nd Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Killed in action from severe gunshoty wound to right leg on Shin Amad Pass, Tirah, North West Frontier 10 February 1898.
SAWYER J
Lance Corporal 4064, 2nd Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Killed in action on Shin Amad Pass, Tirah, North West Frontier 29 January 1898.
TITE G H
Private 3968, 2nd Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Killed in action on Shin Amad Pass, Tirah, North West Frontier 29 January 1898.
TURNER J G J
Private 3039, 2nd Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Killed in action on Shin Amad Pass, Tirah, North West Frontier 29 January 1898.
WALKER Malcolm Reginald
Lieutenant, 2nd Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Killed in action by gunshot on Shin Amad Pass, Tirah, North West Frontier 29 January 1898. Entered service 1883, joined Yorkshire Light Infantry as second Lieutenant 1888 being promoted lieutenant 1891,
WARNER A
Private 4882, 2nd Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Killed in action on Shin Amad Pass, Tirah, North West Frontier 29 January 1898.
WHITELEY A
Lance Corporal 3612, 2nd Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Killed in action on Shin Amad Pass, Tirah, North West Frontier 29 January 1898.

ERECTED BY THE OFFICERS, NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICERS
AND PRIVATE, PAST AND PRESENT OF THE 1ST AND 2ND BATTALIONS

Last updated 13 December, 2022

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