The Gascoignes :: Part Six Continued
Colonel Frederick Richard Thomas Trench-Gascoigne Page Two
The header picture is by the artist, William Barnes Wollen [1857-1936], titled:
The Battle of Abu Klea. The Gascoigne Family, although no longer blood Gascoignes were to remain a major family in the Yorkshire region right up to the eventual handing over of Lotherton Hall to Leeds City in 1969. The following account about the heroics of the Sudan expedition provide some evidence of the goings on of the time.
The following account from a local newspaper, on the return by Captain Gascoigne from the Sudan, (referred to as Soudan in the article), highlights the times in the late nineteenth century. Captain Gascoigne, clearly still living at Parlington, by then retired from his military career in the Royal Horse Guards, in his thirty fourth year. He resumed his military activities in response to the need to save General Gordon in Khartoum in 1885. He was later to undertake further military activities by going to the Boer War in 1900, taking his own horses! Not to be dismissed was his energetic assistance in World War One setting up Lotherton as a military hospital and providing assistance on the western front with transport for the military, a true hero through and through. His exploits in the Sudan are explained in the article, and his return home must have been a major event. The address is encapsulated in a fine document which is held at Lotherton Hall, the deference in which the family was held takes some believing in our post modern world!
We can also get an insight into the last years of his mother who was clearly in failing health by 1885, some six years before her death, obviously such a momentous occasion would normally have brought all the relatives out, so Isabella must surely have been more than suffering from a mild affliction to have missed her only son's triumphal return, she was 75 by this time. As to his father who was unavoidably detained in London, we can only imagine what may have detained him, since travel at the time would almost certainly been by rail, it is possible Captain Gascoigne may have met his father in London before travelling north, to the reception. The old colonel continued his lively lifestyle right up to within a couple of months of his death at Parlington in June 1905.
The colonial period is well documented and accounts of the various battles that the young captain Gascoigne experienced can be found at the following links:
Parlington Entrance Hall
The above picture is a photogravure of the battle of El Gubat, produced from an Illustration by Stanley L Wood of a British
Square battle formation during the Nile Expedition at the Battle of Abu-Kru or El Gubat. Captain Gascoigne was heavily involved in the campaign and the following paragraphs set out some of the detail. Also of interest here is that the photogravure picture appears to have been one which adorned the Entrance Hall at Parlington, for in the Valuation document of 1905 following the death of the
Old Colonel, is a reference to a signed photogravure Battle of El Gubat on page three of the manuscript produced for probate purposes. The same picture does not appear in the auction document, from later in the July of that year. What became of the picture is another mystery; whilst not of any great value, being a copy of the original illustration, it shows the admiration for the young Captain Gascoigne by his parents Frederick and Isabella, to have such a striking scene on the wall in the entrance area!
Nile Expedition 1884-1885
For those interested in a more detailed account of the Khartoum Campaign, this book seems to have a comprehensive record of the events: Khartoum 1885: General Gordon's last stand by Donald Featherstone. The book includes a map of the campaign operations between 1883-1885.
Colonel Frederick Gustavus Burnaby
Further, the exploits of Colonel Burnaby (killed during the expedition) and Captain Gascoigne are to feature I believe in a book being written by military historian Martin Forster. Colonel Burnaby was a larger than life character, right out of the pages of,
Boys Own, one example of his exploits is a hot air ballon crossing of the Channel in 1882, it seems he and Gascoigne (who may have known each other through the Royal Horse Guards Regiment), were considering an attack by driving camels into Khartoum to distract the Mahdi's! Sadly Burnaby was killed during hand to hand fighting at the battle of Abu Klea, with a spear through his neck!
An account of some of the exploits by Burnaby is available in Adobe Acrobat PDF form here: Download the document The paper is by John W Hawkins, MA, MBA, MSc and is his copyright ©, and appears here with his permission.
RETURN OF CAPTAIN GASCOIGNE FROM THE SOUDAN [Sudan]
Click on the link to get a full recording of my voice over of the article below, from my latest talk on Parlington and the Military! OK... I know I'm not the BBC... I have a lot to learn! [The file is about 10MB in size]
The Leeds Mercury (Leeds, England),Friday, June 5, 1885;
The reception which Captain Gascoigne had at Garforth yesterday on his return from the Soudan [Sudan] was very enthusiastic. Captain Gascoigne, who was formerly an officer in the Horse Guards, is the son of Colonel Gascoigne of Parlington Park. He went to the Sudan in a civil capacity, but on his arrival became attached to the staff of Colonel Burnaby (An interesting character in his own right, see the notes to this article), and afterwards was one of the four officers who accompanied Sir Charles Wilson to the walls of Khartoum. The credit which his services in the desert expedition gained for him was highly appreciated by his Yorkshire friends, who yesterday assembled to give him a public reception. From Aberford to Parlington Hall and from Parlington to Garforth were many symbols of welcome in the shape of flags, and mottoes, and arches. In Garforth especially great preparations had been made. When Captain Gascoigne alighted on the platform at a quarter-past six, he found himself surrounded by many enthusiastic friends, while a still larger crowd stood ready to receive him outside. Among the welcomers were Lady Clanmorris, Mrs. Wheeler (Ledston Hall), the Rev C. A. Hope, J Hepher, J. O. Smith, W. Wood; Messrs. W. S. Atkinson, Brady Nicholson, John Wilson, J. Holmes, R. Routledge, Mark Landon, and F. Gray. A procession was formed from the station. Headed by the Garforth Band, which played
See the conquering hero comes, the company walked to a neighbouring field, where a platform had been erected. Here in the presence of a great assemblage of people - for the occasion was recognised as a holiday - was presented an address of congratulations on behalf of the tenants and workmen of the Parlington estate. This duty had been deputed to Mr Atkinson, as the oldest tenant of Colonel Gascoigne. He expressed the pleasure which it gave every one to have again in their midst, safe and in good health, one who had done much in the service of his country. He then read the address.
To Captain Frederick Richard Thomas Trench Gascoigne
[Late Royal Horse Guards]
We, the tenants and workmen of the Parlington estate or residents in the townships in which the estates are situate, and others your neighbours and friends, desire to greet and welcome you on your safe return to your ancestral home after the zealous performance by you of eminent military services to your country in the Soudan. We desire to express our admiration of the patriotism which induced you after you had retired from the army, to volunteer your services in the hour of your country's need and peril, and to assure you that we have heard and read with interest, solicitude, and pride the narration of the arduous and daring expedition to Khartoum, in which you took part in the hope of rescuing the Great General Gordon - one of England's noblest sons. That expedition - though its object failed - will ever form in history a memorable instance of how English pluck can coolly and resolutely surmount the greatest obstacles; and though we must all lament that it was not politically resounded to the national honour or glory, it has nevertheless ???? again brought into display the unsurpassable gallantry and endurance of British soldiers, and no less a tribute should be paid to England's warriors, who have so well upheld the prestige of their country's military power, because their gallant services were rendered useless by the dilatory policy of the government. We offer you a hearty welcome home, after all the many hardships you and your gallant comrades have endured, and desire to congratulate Colonel and Mrs Gascoigne on your safe return, and to wish them and you every happiness this world can afford, - Signed on behalf of the tenantry and others,
W. S. Atkinson,
Parlington June 1885.
Captain Gascoigne, who received three hearty cheers, on rising to respond to these expressions of good-will, gave an interesting account of his experiences in the Soudan. The campaign, he said, was curious, inasmuch as it combined the river and the desert. He saw a good deal of both phases of the struggle. For three months he had good fortune to be a staff officer of Colonel Burnaby. (Cheers for
Burnaby.) He was a
grand man was Burnaby; and sadly did they want him when he was killed. (Cheers.) The work on the river was very hard, and was made specially difficult by the fact that none but native craft had been up that part. They had therefore to rely upon native pilots. The river was full of rocks, which they discovered for the most part by finding their vessels upon them. (Laughter.) Part of the cargo had then to be taken out, the vessel launched again, and the cargo restored. This process might have to be repeated a mile ahead, and so on, for a week together, the boats having to be mended with whatever material was at hand - an old coat serving sometimes to stop a seam. (A voice:
You ought to have stuffed Gladstone in. and laughter.) Some places could not be passed without removing the cargo, and carrying the heavy packages on the shoulders for for two or three miles over deep sand. This operation was very tiring to men unused to the climate, who had not the best food to eat and very little to drink. From Korti there were two expeditions, the one by desert the other by river. The river expedition had very hard work indeed, and its General, Earle - (Cheers) - was killed just in the hour of victory. The desert expedition, to which he was attached, had to travel 175 miles. They had to carry water to drink, and the wells, 50 miles from Korti, were so bad that there was not enough water to give each man a drink. A small garrison was left to improve the wells and to keep open the road, while the main body marched on. After a week's halt to rest the camels and to await a convoy of grain, they again pressed forward and fought the battle of Abu Klea, which cost us 100 men in killed and wounded. [See picture by William Barnes Wollen (1857-1936)] They reached the wells that night and spent the next day in attending to the wounded and burying the dead. A night's march brought the expedition to Metammeh. They then fought the battle of Abu Kru and got to the water. There was a danger of being cut off here, for the enemy was in force at Metammeh. Arriving opposite that town, they found the taking of it with their reduced forces was too hard a nut to crack. They could, of course, have taken it, but probably they would have lost half their small force. Two days after their arrival here four officers started up the river to Khartoum. He was lucky enough to be one of the four, and another Yorkshireman, Captain Stuart-Wortley, was also one. It was a bitter disappointment on reaching Khartoum to find the place had fallen, and that the rebels were everywhere in possession, and they did their very best to sink the two English vessels. All they could do now was return. They were about eight days in coming back. The difficulties they had to encounter were very great, and it was only owing to the plucky action fought by Lord Charles Beresford - (Cheers.) - that they got back at all. When Sir Edward Buller arrived at Metammeh and saw the situation he determined to retire, and retire they did. It was said that they just retired in time, for the rebels were coming down in large numbers from Khartoum. The march home across the desert was a very unpleasant one. There was a scarcity of camels. Those they had were engaged in carrying water, and they had the wounded to carry. The latter duty was performed by the black troops, and they jolted the wounded so very much that it was wonderful with what patience they bore their sufferings. But eventually they got back alright. It was said that there was to be an autumn campaign. But he never believed that, for he did not think that John Bull would allow further blood and money to be thrown away in that wretched country. (Cheers.) As to Gordon, he had left behind him a marvellous example - (Loud cheers) - to soldiers by his extraordinary courage in the face of immense difficulties and dangers, and to all by his unceasing efforts on behalf of charitable and other good works. (Cheers.)
In the address they had so kindly presented to him reference was made to his father and mother. (Cheers.) Had his mother's health permitted, she would have been present, he knew; and for the absence of his father he must apologise as he was unavoidably detained in London. He again thanked them for their kindness, and said the presentation of that address and their reception of him on that occasion would always be amongst his pleasantest reminiscences. (Loud cheers.)
A guard of honour, consisting of twelve privates of the Yorkshire Hussars, under Sergeant Smith and Corporals Wheatley and Wells, awaited Captain Gascoigne. Under the escort, and followed by many cheers, the captain drove along the picturesque and well-wooded road to Parlington. His entry into the park was the signal for the firing of a Feu de joie, followed by a volley. Every arrangement was made and carried out with great care and success, much of the latter being due to Superintendent Stansfield, who had charge of the police.
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An extract from Ronald Addymans's site which recounts the details of Captain F.R.T. Trench-Gascoigne's war in South Africa, click on the link below to visit his site
In South Africa from October 1899 to May 1902 Britain was at war with the Boer republics of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State. At first the war went badly for Britain. For besides invading the British colonies of Cape Colony and Natal and laying siege to Kimberley, Mafeking and Ladysmith, the Boers inflicted a series of defeats on the British troops sent to relieve the besieged towns. The public at home were dismayed when reports of the army's reverses were published in Britain's national and regional press. All available Regular soldiers in Britain and elsewhere were quickly dispatched to South Africa to add to the British troops already there. With these and other reinforcements the war slowly turned in Britain's favour. [ Back ]
 A snippet of evidence, provided by David Teal, is an article in the Leeds paper The Skyrack Courier in 1910, Titled
Scouts at Parlington Park
A Merry Time at the Old Hall [ Back ]
[Click Note for Transcript]
Skyrack story reads as follows:
About a hundred members of the 7th Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment (Leeds Rifles) spent a busy couple of days in Parlington Park, Aberford. They were out for scouting instruction, which is a very wide term - as they found out to their cost on Monday afternoon when they were searching for hidden Boy Scouts under a sweltering sun. It is an ideal spot for teaching the citizen soldier something more than the rudiments of spying out the land - and if long working days count for anything the men should benefit materially by their brief visit to this historic place.
Cyclists and men on foot paraded at the Carlton Hill Barracks on Monday morning, the cyclist section proceeding to Parlington by road via Foundry Lane. The remainder entrained at Leeds for Garforth and marched thence to the park, where the day's work was begun in earnest. Two lines of skirmishers were formed, and operations against an imaginary enemy were begun. Practice in the judgement of distance was also indulged in - and then came the well earned adjournment. For the heat was tropical and to work over varied ground without meeting any opposing force that might have been there - but was not - a view of you is arduous enough at any time.
It was in the afternoon, however, that the most interesting task of the day was entered upon. The youthful enthusiasts of the countryside who have adopted the slouch hat and the staff of the Boy Scouts were stationed in force in Parlington Park, and they welcomed the opportunity of pitting their ingenuity against that of the older folk from Leeds. The lads were only too eager to be the outposts of the 'enemy' and play a sort of hide-and-seek game with the Territorials. It was a great success, too, and some of the boys showed a marked aptitude for eliminating themselves from the landscape until the hostile scouts had passed. Captures, indeed, were remarkably few; but both sides claimed the victory. Late in the afternoon the 'engagement' was suspended, and the wearied men returned to quarters for the night highly satisfied with themselves - that is, if their vocal efforts were any criterion.
Thanks to Colonel Gascoigne's generous interest in the welfare of his visitors, the men were housed with every comfort at the Old Hall; and on Monday night they had a really rollicking time. For although the work was hard, it was never uninteresting, and in the beautiful park the glorious evening was more than compensation for the rigours of military duty. The men returned to Leeds on Tuesday evening.
 The gardens at Lotherton were the subject of a research document by Mette Eggen in 1987, her findings point to the establishment of the Parlington Gardens in the early 1930's. Additional evidence on the demolition photographs taken by the National Monuments Record, suggest that the demolition was carried out in two stages, the 1930's and 1952.[ Back ]
Particularly interesting is that Colonel Gascoigne, [Richard, that is, living at Lotherton] was able to accommodate around 100 Territorials in the Old Hall, that's a lot of people, and no mention of whether the scouts stayed over as well!
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