Sir William Montagu Scott McMurdo, G.C.B.

"The Times", Saturday, 3 March, 1894.

"Sir William McMurdo.

"We have to announce that Sir William Montagu Scott McMurdo died at Nice yesterday.

"Sir William McMurdo, Son of Lieutenant-Colonel Archibald McMurdo, of Lotus, N.B., was born in 1819. He was educated at Sandhurst, entered the army as Ensign in 1837, was promoted to Lieutenant in 1841, Captain in 1843, Brevet-Major 1848, Brevet-Lieutenant-Colonel 1853, Colonel 1854, Major-General 1868, Lieutenant-General 1876, General 1878. He married, in 1844, Susan Sarah, daughter of General Sir Charles J. Napier.

"He served as Assistant Quartermaster-General of the Army under Sir Charles Napier during the campaign in Scinde in 1843, and was present at the battle of Meeanee, in which his horse was shot under him; at an affair with the enemy while conducting Major Stack’s Brigade from Mutaree to form a junction with Sir Charles Napier’s force at Hyderabad; and at the battle of Hyderabad; where he received a sabre wound in the right breast. For these services he was granted the medal with two clasps.

"He again served as Assistant Quartermaster-General to Sir Charles Napier during the campaign against the mountain and desert tribes on the right bank of the Indus early in 1845. In 1851-2 he served as Assistant Adjutant-General of the Queen’s troops under Sir Charles Napier in the expedition against the Afridis, including the forcing of the Kohat Pass, for which he received the Medal with Clasp.

"At an early period of the campaign in the Crimea, when the inadequate means of land conveyance had become apparent, he was entrusted with the formation and command of the Land Transport Corps - since designated the military train - and for this service he received the C.B. He also received for his services in the Crimea the medal with clasp for Sebastopol, the ribband of the Legion of Honour, the Medjidie of the Fourth Class, and the Turkish Medal.

"Not long after the volunteer movement of 1859 assumed a permanent character, Colonel McMurdo was selected as the fittest Officer for the responsible post of Inspector-General of Volunteer Forces for the term of five years: and on his retirement the most influential promoters of the movement raised a subscription in testimonial in recognition of his services.

"In February, 1865, the honorary colonelcies of the Inns of Court Volunteers and of the Engineers and Railway Volunteer Staff Corps who were accepted by him. He retired from active service in the army in 1881, and after serving as Hon. Colonel of the East Yorkshire Regiment he was appointed, in June, 1888, Hon. Colonel of the Cheshire Regiment .

"According to ‘Men Of The Time’, Sir Charles Napier on many occasions expressed in very emphatic terms the high opinion he entertained of Sir William McMurdo’s conduct and services."

"The Times", Monday, 12 March, 1894.

"The late General Sir Montagu McMurdo.

"Our correspondent adds the following details of the life of the late General Sir W.M.S. McMurdo, an obituary notice of whom appeared in the Times a few days ago: -

"After his horse was shot under him at the conflict of Meeanee he went down on foot into the thick of the fight and slew Jan Mohomed, a warlike Chief, in single combat.

"At the battle of Hyderabad, shortly after, Lieutenant McMurdo was again engaged in single combat, and again slew his man, but here he was himself wounded.

"He accompanied Sir Charles Napier through all his remaining campaigns in Scinde, and during the latter’s short tenure of office as Commander-in-Chief in India, from 1849 to 1851.

"When Colonel McMurdo retired from the post of Inspector-General of Volunteers the Volunteers with one voice acknowledged their debt of gratitude to him, and as a practical proof of their feeling towards him they rebuilt, at their own expense, his residence, Rose Bank , on the banks of the Thames at Fulham which was destroyed by fire. At the entrance still stand two figures of volunteers in full uniform. During late years Sir W. Montagu McMurdo chiefly lived at a villa which he had built on the olive slopes of the Italian Riviera, above Alassio, paying summer visits to England.

"Sir Montagu McMurdo received the Grand Cross of the Bath last year.

"He was married in 1844 to the eldest daughter of his old chief, Sir Charles Napier, and by her, who survives him, leaves several children. One, Captain Arthur McMurdo, is A.D.C. to Sir H. Kitchener, the Sirdar of the Egyptian army, and has received the Distinguished Service Order. He was wounded in one of the engagements with the Dervishes. Lady McMurdo and two of his daughters, the Hon. Mrs William Bruce and Mrs Rawlins, were with Sir Montagu McMurdo at his death."

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These pages are published by a ggg-grandson, Robert McMurdo, of Brisbane, Australia
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