Biography

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Brigadier-General Thomas Fox Strangeways, Royal Artillery

Thomas Fox Strangeways was born in 1790. He was the son of Charles Strangeways and Jane Haines and was a nephew of Henry, second Earl of Ilchester. Strangways married Sophia Harene, who was described by the Duke of Newcastle as "flighty". Strangways served as a young subaltern with the Rocket Troop of the Royal Horse Artillery and became a Second Lieutenant on 18 December 1806; he was promoted to First Lieutenant on 1 February 1808.

He was sent to Germany and placed under the orders of the Crown Prince of Sweden in 1813 and was engaged in the battle of Goerde on 15 September. He was also involved in the actions around Leipzig on 16-19 October 1813, during which he succeeded to the command of the troop, his immediate commander, Major Bogue having been killed. For his services he received the Order of St Anne from the Emperor of Russia, and the order of the Sword and a gold medal for 'bravery and good conduct' from the Crown Prince of Sweden, both of whom were eye witnesses of his gallantry during that short but eventful campaign. Strangways went on to serve in the campaign of 1815 in Belgium. He was severely wounded at the Battle of Waterloo and had not been expected to live.

On 12 December 1826 he became a Captain. He was subsequently promoted to Brevet-Major on 23 November 1841. On 1 April 1846 he was made Lieutenant-Colonel and became a full Colonel on 20 June 1854. On the outbreak of the Crimean War, he embarked with the army as a Lieut-Colonel of Horse Artillery, succeeding to the command of the whole of the artillery with the rank of Brigadier-General, on General Cator's resignation through sickness.

He landed with the army in the Crimea, and and commanded the RA at the battles of the Alma and Balaklava and at the first bombardment of Sebastopol. On the morning of the 5th November 1854, at the battle of Inkerman, General Strangways was on horseback at Lord Raglan's right hand when a shell from the enemy burst among the staff, and carried away his left leg. The shock was so great that he died about an hour afterwards. Lieut-Colonel Adye, the Assistant Adjutant-General to the Artillery, was with him when he fell.

He was buried the following day on Cathcart's Hill, deeply lamented as a brave, chivalrous officer and a kind friend. His memorial reads: "To the memory of Brigadier General Fox Strangeways Killed in action 5th Novr 1854." There is also a plaque to his memory in the Royal Garrison Church, Portsmouth - "Mj. Gen. Thomas Fox Strangways, killed at Battle in Inkerman Nov 5 1855. DD: Friends.

Strangways was 64 years old when he died and, ironically, was said to have been wearing the Russian Order of St. Anne when he was killed by an exploding shell fired by the Russian army. Posthumously, he was awarded the Crimea Medal with four clasps and the Turkish Crimea Medal.


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Last modified 12 January, 2016

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