Front Page
Whats New
Search the Site!!
For Sale
Guest Book
The Kaisers Cross
Fake Documents.
Which Unit?
Uniforms + Militaria
The Raiders
In the Trenches
Mobile warfare
The Casualties
The Battles
Verdun
The German Army
Alpenkorps
The Weapons
Photo Corner
The Croix de Guerre
The Men
Letters
German DSWA
South Africa: WW1 in Africa
Harry's Africa
Harry's Sideshows...
Aden Hinterland 1901-04
The Perak War 1875-76
Kachin Hills 1915
Ramadi 1917
Tochi Valley 1914-15
Hilla, Mesopotamia 1920
The 1st Chinese Regiment
Jordan Crossings, 1918
Anatolian Incident
MGC Mesopotamia 1920
Relieving Rumaithah 1920
The Iraq Levies
Mekran 1898-1902
Muscat Operations 1914-15
58th Vaughan's Rifles
Taking Salif, Yemen 1917
Tekrit 1917
Baluchistan 1918
Gurkhas at Tor
Two Mutinies
Sikhs at Tsingtao
Stars and Hearts
Freikorps Documents
French Colonial Awards
GSWA History 1914-15
The Boer war
British Groups
neu
Forum
Research Links
texts
Diary
Links
Assorted maps
Whats New to end mar
GMIC Newsletters
OOBs
Sigs
The EK1
 


  The Boxer Rebellion

Introduction

In 1898 Britain occupied the Chinese locality of Wei-hai-wei on the Shantung Peninsula.  China agreed to lease this 285 square miles of its territory which comprised a ten-mile strip of land around a bay containing several islands.  The Royal Navy wished to use the largest island of Liu Kung Tau as a base and initially the territory was administered by the Admiralty.  The navy realized that a local defence force was needed and Army Order No 2 of 1899 approved the raising of a Chinese regiment of 1,000 men.

Major Hamilton Bower of the Indian Staff Corps was given the local rank of Lieutenant Colonel and appointed Commandant of the new regiment.  British officers started to arrive in late 1898 and the regiment first appeared in the Army List, preceded by the Hong Kong Regiment, in January 1899.  Recruiting and training commenced, the men being enrolled for a 3-year enlistment for service anywhere in the world.  By the beginning of 1900 the regiment had a strength of 420 Non-Commissioned Officers and men.  Four rifle companies were formed, and good stone barrack blocks were constructed for the regiment at Matou, about a mile from Wei-hai-wei town and directly opposite the British naval base across the bay.  


On operations the soldiers wore khaki drill trousers and shirt, black boots, long dark blue or black puttees, a red sash around the waist, leather equipment and a naval-style straw hat for protection from the sun.  On parade a small dark blue turban was worn, with a knee-length dark grey-blue blouse with brass buttons, dark breeches and puttees, black boots and the red sash.  Interpreters were recruited to assist the British officers and the selected British Colour Sergeants that were posted in to the regiment.  The unit was commonly referred to as the Wei-hai-wei Regiment.   Training concentrated on foot, bayonet and tactical drills and on shooting with the .303-inch Martini-Enfield Rifle. The Chinese soldiers proved that they could shoot well at ranges up to 600 yards (549 metres). 

Wei-hei-way enjoyed a more pleasant climate than Shanghai and Hong Kong and this led to the territory becoming popular as a leave resort for British military personnel and civilians stationed in other China posts.

To open a map showing the area of operations please click HERE

Above: The Victory Parade in the Imperial City.

Active Service

Meanwhile in northern China an anti-foreigner movement was developing and its supporters were members of The Society of Righteous and Harmonious Fists, known by the British as Boxers.  The Boxers resented foreign intervention in China and they persecuted Chinese who worked for foreigners or who were Christians.  Much of the population in northern China supported the Boxers, as did many members of the Imperial Chinese Army and some members of the Chinese Royal Family.  However some Chinese Government officials and military officers opposed the Boxer movement and acted to block its spread out of northern China.  


Inhabitants of the Chinese territory surrounding Wei-hai-wei developed strong anti-foreigner feelings and on 26 March 1900 Colonel Bower paraded his regiment without warning, issued ten rounds of ball ammunition per man, and marched it towards Chefoo where disturbances were reported.  After about seven miles a crowd of 700 to 800 men was met which the regiment marched through and surrounded.  As parts of the crowd started to move towards the soldiers the order “Fix Bayonets” was given and complied with, resulting in the surrender of four rusty cannon plus some matchlock rifles and pitchforks.  Three ringleaders were seized and marched back to Matou.  This small confrontation was important as it proved the willingness of the soldiers to follow the commands of their British officers and act against their fellow countrymen.  Colonel Bower also used several of his men, dressed in civilian clothes, to attend rallies and meetings organized by the Boxers.  This resulted in a very useful flow of information that could be processed into items for intelligence reports.  

The following month a Boundary Commission commenced pegging-out the boundary between the leased territory and Chinese-controlled territory.  This activity provoked more dangerous Boxer disturbances and detachments of the 1st Chinese Regiment had to open fire on and bayonet attackers.  The creed of the Boxers had convinced most of them that they were immune to foreign bullets, but many Boxers had to modify that view after being fired upon.  Nevertheless the Boxers maintained their patriotic and often violent stance, and the security situation in northern China deteriorated rapidly.

Left: An Imperial Chinese Artillery Man.

The Boxer Rebellion

In late May 1900 two British Missionaries were murdered at Yung Ching, 40 miles (64 kilometres) from Peking.  Meanwhile foreign property and railway lines were being destroyed and Chinese Christians killed.  The foreign diplomats in Peking gave the Chinese government 24 hours to suppress the Boxers, and when no action was taken 407 foreign sailors and marines moved to Peking from the coast to defend the legation area.  

The British Admiral Sir Edward Seymour was requested by Sir Claude M. MacDonald, the British leader of the defence of the foreign legations in Peking, to provide support.  Seymour prepared to advance on the city with an international force.  The Chinese government agreed to this move if the force numbered no more than 1,200 men.  On 10 June 1900 Seymour and 2,200 men moved up the railway line from Taku at the mouth of the Peiho River.  Four trains were used but just north of the bridge over the Peiho River around 1,500 Boxers attacked the trains.  Seymour’s Maxim guns beat off this attack and killed 60 or more attackers.  A little further on the railway track had been so torn up that Seymour’s force had to de-train and march up the Peiho River.  Seymour and his men then won the engagements they had with the Boxers, but as by now it had taken nearly 300 casualties the force was not strong enough to proceed towards Peking. At first the Boxers had been armed mainly with swords and spears but after a few fights they had appeared with late-pattern rifles, showing the support that they were receiving from sections of the Chinese Imperial Army.

On 17 June Seymour withdrew to Hsi-ku which was speedily surrounded by Boxers.  Seymour was rescued from there on 25th June by a relief force commanded by a Russian Colonel which came from the international settlement at Tientsin.  Tientsin was besieged by the Boxers and would have fallen if 1,700 Russian troops had not arrived in time to defend the International Concession area.  Seymour then moved all his men back towards Tientsin.  

Right: The German Concession Area.

The Boxers had attacked the foreign Concession Area in Tientsin in response to an international naval attack on 16th June that seized, after over six hours of fighting, the Taku Forts that controlled the entrance to the Peiho River. This open attack by foreign troops on the Chinese Imperial garrison of the forts was a massive and public blow to Chinese prestige.  Seymour’s force arrived in the Tientsin Concession Area on 26 June where it was now besieged.  Private J. Watts, a member of the Tientsin Volunteer Force, made a heroic ride of over 30 miles (48 Kilometres) from Tientsin to Taku with three Russian Cossacks to request relief for Seymour and his men.  

At Peking the seizure of the Taku Forts provoked violence from the Boxers and gained them the overt support of the Chinese government.  On 19th June the Chinese Foreign Minister ordered all foreigners to leave Peking.  The next day the German Ambassador was killed in the street by Boxers.  The foreigners in Peking now defended themselves in two separate locations, the Legation area and the Cathedral area which lay within the grounds of the inner Imperial City.  Chinese Christians took refuge in both locations and contributed towards the defences.  Meanwhile outside Peking Chinese Christians and foreign Missionaries were being killed out of hand, often very brutally. 

By 30 June around 14,000 Russian, Japanese, British, American, French, German, Italian and Austrian troops had been landed at Taku.  The great majority of these troops were Russian and Japanese.  Few people believed that Peking could be relieved in time to prevent the massacre of the besieged foreigners and Chinese Christians.  A strong British force was on its way from India, and Wei-hai-wei was to become the British base for operations in North China.


The 1st Chinese Regiment deploys to Tientsin


By now the regiment had 600 Non-Commissioned Officers and Privates on its strength and on 20 May orders were received to dispatch 200 men to Taku.  Numbers 2, 4, 5 and 6 Companies each nominated 50 men.   Lieutenant Colonel Bower commanded the detachment supported by nine other British officers and three British Colour Sergeants. (Five more officers, five more British Colour Sergeants and 163 more Non-Commissioned Officers and men followed later).   The detachment arrived at Taku on 22 June aboard HMS Orlando.  

Left: Early British cigarette card depiction of the 1st Chinese Regiment

Later that day Lieutenant Colonel Bower and his men entrained along with eleven Royal Engineers and a 12-pounder gun, the gun detachment and ammunition.  The gun and its party had been landed from HMS Terrible.  They arrived at the railhead ten miles from Tientsin that evening and joined an international force of Russians, British, Americans and Italians that was already there.  This force marched to Tsientin on 23 June but without Colonel Bower and his men who unloaded the train during that day.  On 24 June the gun and its escort of 100 of Colonel Bower’s men (No 2 and No 4 Companies) commenced marching, the other 100 men (No 5 and No 6 Companies) having been left to secure the railhead.  During a very arduous march the Chinese soldiers showed their worth by pulling the 12-pounder and its ammunition over difficult patches of terrain, arriving in Tientsin around 1900 hours on 25 June.  

The 1st Chinese Regiment now began to fight and work alongside two British units that had been sent from their permanent base in Hong Kong.  Both these units recruited their men from India.  They were titled the Hong Kong Regiment, composed of Punjabi and Pathan Muslim infantrymen, and the Hong Kong and Singapore Artillery Battalion, Royal Artillery, composed of Punjabi Sikh mountain gunners.  Strong ties were forged on the battlefield  between the Chinese soldiers from Wei-hai-wei and the Indian soldiers from Hong Kong .

The fighting at Tsientin

The Europeans living in the Concession Area in Tsientsin had developed the area using western architectural styles, with spacious streets and solid buildings.  Not all these Europeans were happy to see the 1st Chinese Regiment there, as prejudice against the Chinese generally was strong.  However Colonel Bower’s men came through their baptism of fire successfully on 26 June by clearing Boxer snipers from an area of huts.  Also that day No 5 Company 1st Chinese Regiment arrived in Tientsin from the railhead, as did Admiral Seymour’s party from the route to Peking.  Although now the Tientsin Concession Area was not besieged, Boxers still occupied surrounding areas, in particular the old city and the large Chinese Eastern Arsenal which lay a mile and a half (2.4 kilometres) to the northeast of the railway station.

Left: 1st Chinese Regiment at Tientsin

On 27 June a Russian force attacked the arsenal but heavy and accurate enemy rifle fire drove the Russians back, and they requested assistance.  The British Naval Brigade and the 1st Chinese Regiment were sent forward in support.  HMS Terrible’s 12-pounder gun put a shell into an ammunition store in the arsenal, causing a dramatic explosion.  This allowed the Russians to charge and capture the arsenal, whilst Colonel Bower’s men engaged a large Boxer group hurrying to take on the Russians.  The British commander General Dorward later referred to this action in a despatch, stating that the 1st Chinese Regiment “repulsed a flank attack of Boxers, inflicting considerable loss on the enemy”.  During the withdrawal from this action a wounded Royal Marine who was over-run by the Boxers was killed and decapitated.  

The 1st Chinese Regiment was now employed on unloading supply junks and in bringing coal across the river, which had many bodies floating in it.  These duties did not last long as on 1 July Colonel Bower commanded a force of 100 of his own men, 200 other infantrymen including Japanese infantry and United Stated Marines, and two 2.5-pounder muzzle-loading guns of the Hong Kong and Singapore Artillery.  The mission was to kill or drive back troublesome enemy snipers, some of whom occupied a small fort.  Lieutenant W.T. Layard (Northamptonshire Regiment) bayoneted two Boxers as his 50 men of No 2 Company assaulted and captured the fort.  The fort and surrounding houses were set alight and Colonel Bower staged a disciplined withdrawal under fire into the International Force defensive perimeter, where he met his No 7 Company that had just arrived from Wei-hai-wei. 

On 3rd July the regiment was in action again helping to repulse a Boxer attack on the railway station.  Three men were wounded during the fighting but 50 Boxers lay dead on the ground.  Three days later Major C.D. Bruce (West Riding Regiment), the second-in-command of 1st Chinese Regiment, was tasked with silencing an enemy gun that was now becoming a serious problem.  The Chinese had invested in good Krupp guns from Germany and had gunners who were well trained in artillery procedures.  Luckily for the international troops many shells failed to explode, mainly due to corruption in the Chinese supply chain that resulted in sand being used as a filler instead of explosives.  Major Bruce took out Nos 2, 5 and 7 Companies, a naval detachment and around 100 US Marines.   The first foray failed when it was discovered that the enemy gun was positioned across the river.  Major Bruce fought a withdrawal into the perimeter and then came out again with a naval 9-pounder gun. 

Right: A Boxer Chief

However the Boxers were ready for the attack and when the British gun tried to come into action accurate enemy rifle fire hit several members of the gun detachment.  Eventually Major Bruce decided to withdraw again.  Whilst he was covering the dragging-back of the gun he was shot through the liver, two of his men were killed and five others were wounded.  Of the gun detachment one Midshipman was killed and four seamen were wounded.  Major Bruce was evacuated back to the United Kingdom.  

Japanese cavalry out on reconnaissance observed a large Boxer force to the south-west, so on 9th July a strong international attack was mounted against these Boxers and also against the Chinese Western Arsenal where new enemy guns had been mounted.   Nos 2 and 3 Companies took part as escort to the Hong Kong and Singapore Artillery’s four guns and this entailed the man-handling of the guns across very rough and flooded terrain.   Japanese cavalry killed about 200 Boxers and captured four small Krupp guns.  The Hong Kong and Shanghai gunners came into action against the Western Arsenal and damaged it causing the Boxers to withdraw.  Japanese engineers then constructed a bridge over a wide ditch in front of the arsenal which the international troops then quickly seized.  However the arsenal was too damaged to be occupied permanently and so all the international troops made a fighting withdrawal back into the Tientsin perimeter.  During this move Nos 2 and 3 Companies helped the Sikh gunners in  hauling the guns over a high mud wall whilst under fire.  US Marines provided effective covering fire and the 1st Chinese Regiment helped get the guns back into the perimeter successfully.  Only three men of the regiment were wounded.  The estimate of Boxer dead was 350.  General Dorward later reported: The most arduous work of the day was done by the Chinese regiment, who, as escort to the guns, worked indefatigably in getting them over broken and swampy country."

Three days later the Boxers mounted a determined attack against the railway station and the 1st Chinese Regiment was involved in very heavy fighting from defensive barricades.  Some Boxers managed to get into the station and occupy railway trucks until the Sepoys of the Hong Kong Regiment bayoneted them to death.  It was estimated that the Boxers lost 150 men in this attack.

The final action in Tientsin and the award of a Victoria Cross

Before an advance on Peking could start the Boxers in the adjacent Chinese old city of Tientsin had to be killed or evicted.   On 13th July, a Friday, the international force mounted a large attack in which the American, French, British and Japanese troops attacked the South Gate of the old city, whilst the Russians and Germans with a few French soldiers attacked the enemy artillery batteries on the north-east side.  

Numbers 4 and 5 Companies of the 1st Chinese Regiment took part in the attack on the South Gate.  Boxer resistance was fierce and by dusk the international troops had reached the old city wall, where they took cover.  The foreign troops had taken many casualties and No 7 Company of the 1st Chinese Regiment under Major G.E. Pereira (Grenadier Guards) came forward with stretchers to assist in the evacuation of casualties. Major Pereira was himself wounded whilst evacuating American soldiers.   Colour Sergeant R. Purdon (Coldstream Guards) of No 4 Company had been shot in the leg during the advance and was evacuated.  The Americans (9th US Infantry) ran short of ammunition so Major L.A.E. Ollivant (Royal Fusiliers) came out with No 7 Company to bring ammunition forward.   A mule-handler was shot dead and Major Ollivant led the mule forward until it was shot.  Major Ollivant then carried ammunition forward himself until a Boxer bullet struck him in the head fatally.   

During the night most of the Boxers in the old city withdrew but a number of fanatics remained to fight until the death. Japanese engineers bridged the moat protecting the city walls during the hours of darkness, and then blew in the South Gate.  The international troops charged in and after an hour or so of street fighting the Boxer defenders were killed.  The attack had been successful but it had cost the international force 879 casualties.  The 1st Chinese Regiment  lost one officer killed and another wounded, one British Colour Sergeant wounded, five men killed and 13 others wounded.  For displaying gallant conduct during the advance Sergeant Gi-Dien-Kwee was later mentioned in despatches and awarded a Distinguished Conduct Medal.  Colour Sergeant Purdon and Quartermaster Sergeant E. Brooke (West Riding Regiment) were also awarded similar medals.  Only 13 Distinguished Conduct Medals were awarded during the campaign and the 1st Chinese Regiment received three of them.  

During the advance on the 13th July Midshipman Basil John Douglas of the Royal Navy performed an act of gallantry for which he was later awarded the Victoria Cross.  His citation read:

During the attack on Tientsin, he went to the assistance of the wounded Able Seaman McCarthy, 50 yards from cover.  Whilst he bound McCarthy’s wounds the entire enemy fire from the city walls was concentrated on the pair.  He ran to fetch stretcher bearers but McCarthy was hit again and killed before he could be brought to safety.

The advance on Peking

The various nationalities in the international force were now each given a sector of the old city to control.  Fires were burning down many buildings.  The 1st Chinese Regiment, located at the North Gate, was tasked with recovering and burning the Boxer corpses that were littering the streets, and with preventing looting which was widespread.  

The British reinforcements from India arrived on 19th July and this resulted in two adverse consequences for the regiment.  Firstly the newly-arrived Indian units had no idea about how tough the fighting in Tientsin had been and they did not wish to acknowledge British Chinese troops as equals, and secondly the 1st Chinese Regiment was now relegated to minor roles whilst the officers in the Indian units vied for glory. 



The British Lieutenant General Sir A. Gaselee was appointed commander of the international troops and on 4th August the force advanced. The contribution of the 1st Chinese Regiment to the advance on Peking was restricted to 100 men under Captain A.A.S. Barnes (Wiltshire Regiment). Numbers 2 and 3 Companies were selected for the advance with 20 men from No 4 Company being attached to No 3 Company to make up the numbers to 100 men.  Captain A.J. Hill (East Surrey Regiment) and a party of Non-Commissioned Officers and men were tasked with organizing a local labour force to support the move forward.  Colonel Bower returned to Wei-hai-wei to take over the duties of British Commissioner.  The senior captain, Captain W.M. Watson (West Riding Regiment), remained in Tientsin commanding the bulk of the regiment which was now tasked with duties on the line of communications.  

Captain Barnes and his men were detailed to escort two naval 12-pounder guns placed on mounts captured from a Boxer fort.  The guns were manned by old friends, the Sikhs from the Hong Kong and Singapore Artillery.  The guns were meant to be dragged the 80 miles (129 kilometres) to Peking by Japanese ponies, but as the first day’s march progressed the ponies faltered.  Dragging the guns soon became a primary task for Captain Barnes’ men.  The soldiers’ kits and rations for eight days were loaded onto a junk which followed behind up the Pei-ho River.

Left: Drummer 1st Chinese Regiment in parade dress

The two guns came into action on 5th August at the battle of Pei-tsang where over 800 Boxers were killed or wounded before they retreated.  On the next day it was decided to move the guns up the river by junk so that the ponies only pulled the mounts.  No 2 Company now travelled by water whilst No 3 Company escorted the guns’ mounts and ammunition limbers.  Once again this task involved a lot of dragging as the ponies faltered.  On the river one evening after dusk a man fell into the river.  Lieutenant Layard immediately jumped in and rescued him.  For this brave act Lieutenant Layard was later awarded the Bronze Medal of the Royal Humane Society with the citation:

On the 6th August 1900, Ah King, a Chinese, fell from a junk into the Peiho river, China. The night was dark and a strong tide running. At great risk, Layard jumped in, and after a struggle was able to rescue the man.

The relief of Peking

On 14th August Captain Barnes’ men escorted the two guns, now re-mounted on their carriages, forward for the final day’s advance on Peking.  Because of the waterlogged terrain the ponies were soon exhausted and so No 2 Company dragged the guns whilst No 3 Company dragged the ammunition and supply carts.   This day was the toughest test of endurance that the 1st Chinese Regiment had endured.  At around 1600 hours a large archway was seen ahead and this proved to be the Sha-huo Gate of the southern city of Peking.  The column took an hour to assemble and then a group of Imperial Chinese soldiers were seen walking along the city wall, unaware of the British presence.  Captain Barnes and his men opened fire and the Imperial troops rapidly withdrew.  The American infantry now came up in support and Captain Barnes consolidated his position at the gate.  Earlier that afternoon, at around 1400 hours, British troops had entered the city by the Sluice Gate and reached the beleaguered Legation area, raising the siege.  Now international troops entered the city from several directions and engaged the Boxer defenders who soon melted away.

The 1st Chinese Regiment was tasked with street clearance, body-burning and pioneering activities around Peking.  An international force victory parade was held on 28 August through the Forbidden City area.  Captain Barnes, Colour Sergeant C. Young (Royal Highlanders) and ten Privates represented the regiment.  Sadly ten days earlier Captain Hill, Sergeant Gi-Dien-Kwee DCM and eight men had been killed in an accidental gunpowder explosion.  Captain Barnes and his men were then tasked to leave Peking and guard key points eastwards along the Pei-ho River, which they did until 20th October.  The following day the 1st Chinese Regiment embarked on a steamer, got stuck on the sand bar across the mouth of the river at Taku for 24 hours, transferred to a passenger ship offshore and then sailed for Wei-hai-wei.  

Truculent Boxers were still making trouble around North China and minor international force forays were made to deal with them.  On one such expedition to Paoting-fu in October 1900 Captain G.C. Brooke (Border Regiment), an officer in the 1st Chinese Regiment, participated as the force signals officer.  Captain Brooke was later appointed Adjutant of the 1st Chinese Regiment.   

The international troops rounded up and killed Boxers and their leaders.  Some international troops used excessive violence and killed many civilians during this process.  Eventually the Chinese Government agreed to suppress the Boxers, and it was made to pay reparations to the foreign governments involved in the campaign.  In return the international troops left Peking during September 1901. 


Above: "Typical Chinese Boxers"

The final years of the 1st Chinese Regiment

The regiment now resumed its training and duties routine in Wei-hai-wei.  A regimental war memorial was erected outside the barracks to commemorate those who had died on the Boxer campaign.  A campaign medal and a unique badge were issued in recognition of the regiment’s operational service (see below).  Recruits flocked in and by the end of 1901 the unit strength had increased to 1,312 men formed into 12 companies.  A party of one British Senior Non-Commissioned Officer and 12 men travelled to London in 1902 to represent the regiment at the Coronation of King Edward VII.

In 1901 the Colonial Office took over the administration of Wei-hai-wei from the Admiralty.  The following year the regiment was ordered to stop recruitment and to lose men by natural wastage.  The British government then decided not to proceed with the development of Wei-hai-wei as a first-class naval base, and the future of the regiment was debated.  In May 1906 it was decided that the local security threat was not significant, and the decision was published to disband the 1st Chinese Regiment on 1st June of that year.  The remaining 300 men in the regiment were mostly absorbed into a local police force.   

Thus ended the short life of a unique, robust and battle-tested British regiment.  But the military value of Wei-hai-wei did not end.  In 1914 the territory was used as a British base for the Anglo-Japanese invasion of nearby German-held Tsingtao.  Then, as the First World War developed and the demand for military labour dramatically escalated, the Chinese Labour Corps was established in Wei-hai-wei.  Eventually over 100,000 Chinese military workers were recruited to serve in France, Mesopotamia and East Africa.  The spirit of the 1st Chinese Regiment proudly lived on.


Right: 1st Chinese Regiment war memorial at Wei-hai-wei

DETAILS OF THE SERVICE OF THE 1st CHINESE REGIMENT DURING THE OPERATIONS IN NORTH CHINA IN 1900:  

Casualties The 1st Chinese Regiment lost 2 officers and 21 men killed between Taku and Peking.  Two other officers, 1 British Colour Sergeant and over 20 men were wounded.  

Brevet awards To be Lieutenant Colonel:  Major H. Bower (Indian Staff Corps) To be Major:  Captain W.M. Watson (West Riding Regiment)  

Awards of the Distinguished Conduct Medal to members of the 1st Chinese Regiment


94 Sergeant Gi-Dien-Kwee

9269 Colour Sergeant R. Purdon (Coldstream Guards)

396 Quartermaster Sergeant E. Brooke (West Riding Regiment)  

Mentions in Despatches


Brevet Lieutenant Colonel H. Bower (Indian Staff Corps)

Major C.D. Bruce (West Riding Regiment)

Captain W.M. Watson (West Riding Regiment)

Captain A.A.S. Barnes (Wiltshire Regiment)

94 Sergeant Gi-Dien-Kwee

British Campaign Medal

The silver China Medal 1900 was authorized to commemorate the Naval and Military operations in North China and the Yangtse Valley from 10 June to 31st December 1900.  Three clasps were approved: Taku Forts, Defence of Legations and Relief of Pekin.  Seventeen British officers, nine British Colour Sergeants and all the men of the 1st Chinese Regiment who were engaged in the operations on shore at or beyond Taku for the relief of Peking, between 10th June and 14th August 1900, received the medal with clasp Relief of Pekin.  

Other members of the regiment who served between Taku and Peking from 15th August until 31st December 1900 were eligible for the medal without a clasp.  One of the recipients of the medal without a clasp was the Quartermaster, Lieutenant (Local Captain) R.E. James (North Lancashire Regiment).  

Another officer in the regiment, Captain G.F. Menzies (South Lancashire Regiment), served as a staff officer on the line of communications and received the medal with clasp Relief of Pekin.  

Badge

As recognition of its services in the campaign the 1st Chinese Regiment was authorized to wear as its badge a representation of Tientsin city gate with the inscription “Tientsin”. (See Above)

Sources:

Official Account of the Military Operations in China 1900 – 1901 by Major E.W.M. Norie.

On Active Service With The Chinese Regiment
by Captain A.A.S. Barnes (free internet download from : http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924023151040).

British and Indian Armies on the China Coast 1840 – 1985 by A.J. Harfield.

Armies of the 19th Century: Asia; No 2: China by Ian Heath.

The Colonial Wars Source Book by Philip J. Haythornthwaite.

The VC & DSO Book re-printed by Naval & Military Press.

British Battles and Medals (7th Edition) by Hayward, Birch and Bishop.

The London Gazette.

Military Modelling, February 1981.

Records of the Royal Humane Society.

To Return to Harry's Sideshows please click HERE

 
Top