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Halliday was 30 years old, and a captain in the Royal Marine Light Infantry, during the Boxer Rebellion in China when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.
On 24 June 1900 at Peking, China, an attack was made on the British Legation by the Boxers who set fire to the stables and occupied some of the other buildings. It being imperative to drive the enemy out, a hole was knocked in the Legation wall and 20 men of the RMLI went in.
Captain Halliday, leading a party of twenty Royal Marines, was involved in desperate fighting and was severely wounded but despite his injuries, he killed four of the enemy. Finally, unable to carry on any further, he ordered his men to go on without him, after which he returned to the legation alone, telling his men 'carry on and not mind him', so as not to diminish the number of men engaged in the sortie. He walked 100 yards unaided to the hospital although his shoulder was half blown out and his left lung punctured.
His citation reads:
Captain (now Brevet Major) Lewis Stratford Tollemache Halliday, Royal Marine Light Infantry On the 24th June, 1900, the enemy, consisting of Boxers and Imperial troops, made a fierce attack on the west wall of the British Legation, setting fire to the West Gate of the south stable quarters, and taking cover in the buildings which adjoined the wall. The fire, which spread to part of the stables, and through which and the smoke a galling fire was kept up by the Imperial troops, was with difficulty extinguished, and as the presence of the enemy in the adjoining buildings was a grave danger to the Legation, a sortie was organised to drive them out.
A hole was made in the Legation Wall, and Captain Halliday, in command of twenty Marines, led the way into the buildings and almost immediately engaged a party of the enemy. Before he could use his revolver, however, he was shot through the left shoulder, at point blank range, the bullet fracturing the shoulder and carrying away part of the lung.
Notwithstanding the extremely severe nature of his wound, Captain Halliday killed three of his assailants, and telling his men to "carry on and not mind him," walked back unaided to the hospital, refusing escort and aid so as not to diminish the number of men engaged in the sortie.
— London Gazette, 1 January 1901.
He was promoted to brevet major for his part in the legation's defence, and returned to the United Kingdom to receive the VC from King Edward VII during an investiture at Marlborough House on 25 July 1901.
The capture of St. Christopher's in the West Indies, by a 400 strong Battalion of Marines, formed from the detachments of a number of frigates in the area.
During this action 130 men were killed and wounded, including Captain Keigwin a sea Commander, who was appointed Colonel of the Marines Regiment consisting of about 230 seamen was shot through the thigh, of which he died before he could be carried on board.
Captain Brisbane who acted as 1st Captain of the Marines also received a shot through the body and died the next morning on board HMS Bristol.
In late June 1840 the first part of the expeditionary force arrived in China aboard 15 barracks ships, four steam-powered gunboats and 25 smaller boats.
The flotilla was under the command of Commodore Bremer. The British issued an ultimatum demanding the Qing Government pay compensation for losses suffered from interrupted trade and the destruction of opium, but were rebuffed by the Qing authorities in Canton.
With the British expeditionary force now in place, a combined naval and ground assault was launched on the Chusan Archipelago. Zhoushan Island, the largest and best defended of the islands was the primary target for the attack, as was its vital port of Dinghai. When the British fleet arrived off of Zhoushan, Elliot demanded the city surrender.
The commander of the Chinese garrison refused the command, stating that he could not surrender and questioning what reason the British had for harassing Dinghai, as they had been driven out of Canton. Fighting began, a fleet of 12 small junks were destroyed by the Royal navy, and British marines captured the hills to the south of the Dinghai.
The British captured the city itself after an intense naval bombardment on 5 July forced the surviving Chinese defenders to withdraw.
The British occupied Dinghai harbor and prepared to use it as a staging point for operations in China. In the fall of 1840 disease broke out in the Dinghai garrison, forcing the British to evacuate soldiers to Manila and Calcutta.
By the beginning of 1841 only 1900 of the 3300 men who had originally occupied Dinghai were left, with many of those remaining incapable of fighting. An estimated 500 British soldiers died from disease, with the Cameron and Bengali volunteers suffering the most deaths, while the Royal Marines were relatively unscathed.
Read More/ Web Link: Wikipedia
Unit/ Formation: Marine Regiments
Period/ Conflict: The Franco Dutch War
Date/s: Saturday 16th June 1674
Battle of Sinzheim in France, assisting the French Viscount of Turenne against the Imperialists. The enemy’s cavalry had driven Turenne’s first line back upon his second, the British Infantry poured in such a furious fire on the enemy that they were unable to stand against it, and begun to retire.
Undercover of this fire the French Cavalry rallied and were able to advance against the enemy. Later the French first line was again broken in several places, but the British fire was so effective as to prevent the enemy’s Cuirassiers from passing through the gaps which had been made.
It’s believed that John Churchill 1st Duke of Marlborough was present during the battle. Although Charles II's anti-French Parliament had forced England to withdraw from the Franco-Dutch War in 1674, some English Regiments remained in French service.
In April Churchill was appointed the colonelcy of one such Regiment, thereafter serving with, and learning from, the great Marshal Turenne. Churchill was present at the hard fought battles of Sinsheim in June 1674, and Enzheim in October; Turckheim in January 1675. He was also present at Sasbach in July 1675, where Turenne was killed.
Read More/ Web Link: Wikipedia
45 Cdo's yomp from San Carlos Water via Teal Inlet ended to the west of Mount Kent on Friday 4th, and the next week was spent patrolling towards Two Sisters, leading to a number of bloody clashes with the Argentines.
On their second patrol, Lt Fox's Recce Troop reached the end of Two Sisters, and when discovered, fought their way out killing up to thirteen of the enemy without loss. Later, Lt Stewart of X Coy broke out in a similar action, and by around Tuesday 8th, 45 Cdo had reconnoitered the main Argentine positions towards the western end. Then over the next two days, Sgt Wassell and other men of the M & AW Cadre completed the picture by covering the eastern end and the ground between Two Sisters, Mount Harriet and Tumbledown Mountain, including Goat Ridge.
Sadly these successes did not come without loss. Over Thursday night a Y Coy patrol accidentally fired on a supporting mortar group killing four men.
45 Cdo's night attack would also be silent without any preliminary artillery fire. Lt Col Whitehead's plan was for X Coy to leave their start line at 9.00 pm, and having taken the south west peak ('Long Toenail') around two hours later, to set up a fire support base that included 40 Cdo's Milan Troop. Z Coy would then assault the western part of the north east peak ('Summer Days'), and Y Coy the eastern part.
On Friday 11th, 45 Cdo less X Coy left their positions behind Mount Kent and moving around the north side, reached the main start line ('Pub Garden') as planned. Meanwhile X Coy, marching down between Mount's Kent and Challenger and heavily weighed down, especially by the Milans, arrived at the start line over two hours late. After a short rest, they began their move towards 'Long Toenail' at 11.00 pm.
Battle for Two Sisters - X Coy headed across the open ground towards 'Long Toenail' led by 1 Troop, and less than a mile short of the peak, 3 Troop took over the lead, but half way up was stopped by heavy machine gun fire and temporarily pulled back. The enemy positions were hit by Milans and some mortar fire, and now 2 Troop pushed on to the summit under artillery fire. Reaching there, they were forced back by more shellfire, but shortly returned driving off the Argentine machine gunners. Soon after midnight as X Coy continued its fight for 'Long Toenail', Z Coy followed by Y Coy to their right, moved off from 'Pub Garden' on their silent uphill approach. As the Argentines were still distracted by X Coy's attack, the other two companies went to ground until a flare near Z Coy led to the right hand 8 Troop opening fire. The return enemy fire including artillery and mortars was so heavy, killing four men, that Lt Dytor led his men of 8 Troop forward in a charge towards the summit, followed by 7 Troop in a firefight that still left them short of their objective.
On their right, Y Coy swung further right to come up alongside them, managing to knock out some of the machine guns holding up Z Coy. 8 Troop was then able to advance towards the top covered by 7 Troop, and went on to clear the enemy positions on the southern side of their objective, while 7 Troop went on to do the same on the northern side. Two and a half hours after crossing the start line, Z Coy had taken the western part of 'Summer Days'. During this time, 9 Troop stayed back in reserve after suffering casualties from the mortars and artillery. Y Coy now moved between the Two Sisters peaks and below Z Coy's 8 Troop, and headed for the eastern part of the north east summit under heavy fire. Pushing on, and again using anti-armour weapons against enemy positions, all of Two Sisters was in 45 Cdo's hands before dawn. As they reorganized and dug in, heavy Argentine shelling started. Lt Col Whitehead prepared to move ahead towards Tumbledown Mountain, but was stopped by Brigadier Thompson. 45 Cdo had now taken one of the main Argentine defenses for the loss of the three Marines and a Sapper of the Royal Engineers killed by shellfire and mortars.
British Gallantry Awards
Approach to* and Battle for Two Sisters by 45 Cdo RM
Lt Col A F Whitehead (DSO) RM
Lt C I Dytor (MC) RM, Z Coy
Lt C Fox (MC) RM, Recon Troop *
Lt D J Stewart (MC) RM, X Coy *
Cpl J Burdett (DCM) RM, Z Coy
Cpl A R Bishop (MM) RM
Cpl D Hunt (MM) RM, Z Coy
Mne G W Marshall (MM) RM *
Cpl H Siddall (MM) RM, Y Coy
Bmdr E M Holt (MM) RA, FOO Party, 29 Cdo Regt RA
Sgt J D Wassel (MM) RM, M&AW Cadre * (citation includes other patrols)
Following K Coy's helicopter flight forward on to Mount Kent over the night of Sunday 30th May to join D Sqn SAS, the rest of 42 Cdo moved to Mount Challenger during that week, and were eventually joined by K Coy. From there, they pushed out a troop strength observation post to Wall Mountain, and planned for an attack on the heavily defended Mount Harriet.
An advance direct from Wall Mountain across minefields and into Argentine machine guns, was out of the question, and a left flanking move would risk overlapping 45 Cdo's assault on Two Sisters. Lt Col Vaux therefore decided on a right hook taking him well south of the more northerly Fitzroy/Stanley track to come up behind the Argentines from the south east. Finding an approach route through the extensive minefields and pinpointing enemy positions on this side of Mount Harriet called for careful patrolling, and for his part in this, Sgt Collins was decorated. And, as in the other battles and the approaches to them, men of the Royal Engineers played a key role in dealing with the minefields.
The final plan was to leave J Coy on Wall Mountain ('Tara') both as a reserve and to create a diversion, and for K and L Coys to march from the western end of Wall Mountain and across the Fitzroy/Stanley track before swinging east and then up to the start line behind Mount Harriet ('Zoya'). Moving off at 8.30 pm, K Coy was to attack the eastern end, and an hour later, L Coy the western end, after which 42 Cdo would move on to take Goat Ridge ('Katrina'). Unlike the other two attacks, this one was 'noisy' with Mount Harriet receiving a preliminary bombardment as part of the diversion plan.
On Friday 11th, as 42 Cdo prepared to move off, Argentine shellfire killed one of the Marines on Wall Mountain. Later, K and L Coys started off from Mount Challenger, with one of J Coy's Troops going ahead to mark the route and drop off Milan sections, including one on the Stanley track in case any of the Argentine Panhard armoured cars should appear. They were also due to meet up with a Welsh Guards patrol assigned to secure 42 Cdo's start line. But there was a delay and H-hour held up, although J Coy went ahead and opened fire from Wall Mountain to simulate a large scale clash.
Battle for Mount Harriet - K Coy crossed the start line at 10.00 pm, and almost reached the Argentine positions without being spotted. On the left, 1 Troop engaged the first enemy, and 2 Troop to the right went ahead to start clearing their part of K Coy's objective during which time 42 Cdo suffered its only fatal casualty of the night. 3 Troop now passed through 2 Troop on to the summit, and with 1 Troop below them to the south, started to work their way westwards bunker-by-bunker, but were held up by machine gun fire. It was at this time that three K Coy Corporals - Newland of 1 Troop and Eccles and Ward of 3 Troop - won the Military Medal for taking the enemy position.
While K Coy was fighting on the eastern end of the summit and coming under artillery fire, L Coy was making its way up towards the western end of Mount Harriet under heavy machine gun fire which opened up soon after they crossed the start line. Milans were successful in knocking out these and other enemy sniper positions, but it took a number of hours and casualties from artillery, before L Coy's half of the summit was taken, still in the dark. 5 Troop was then sent forward to the next objective just to the north of the summit, but was initially held up until the enemy resistance crumbled under mortar and artillery fire.
With dawn and L Coy still fighting forward, K Coy was ordered on to Goat Ridge, by which time J Coy had moved directly across from Wall Mountain to join in the final securing of Mount Harriet, running through a minefield on the way.
In successfully taking its objective, 42 Cdo had lost just one man killed.
British Gallantry Awards
Approach to* and Battle for Mount Harriet by 42 Cdo RM
Lt Col N F Vaux (DSO) RM
Capt P M Babbington (MC) RM, K Coy
Sgt M Collins (MM) RM, K Coy *
Cpl M Eccles (MM) RM, K Coy
Cpl S C Newland (MM) RM, K Coy
Cpl C N H Ward (MM) RM, K Coy
10th June 1964, prompted by the Admiral of the Fleet Earl Mountbatten, the Royal Marines adopted the Preobrazhensky March in the arrangement of Francis Vivian Dunn as their Regimental slow march in place of the 'The Globe and Laurel.'
The new march was the ceremonial slow march of the Preobrazhensky Guards, one of the oldest and most elite guard regiments of the Imperial Russian Army. Commanded by the Grand Duke Sergius of Russia, Mountbatten's uncle and Prince Phillips great-uncle.
The first public performance was on Horseguards Parade in London on 10th June 1964 in the Royal Marines Tricentennial Year.
Image F4 conducting a work up excercise in English Bay Ascension Island
With the British Army’s 5 Brigade separated from their vital communications vehicles back at Goose Green, F4 under the command of C/Sgt Brian Johnston was been dispatched in poorly charted waters and under significant threat of air attack.
In a remarkable feat of pilotage, in darkness and without modern navigational aids, Brian Johnston reached Goose Green in good order and loaded the vehicles
At approximately 14:00 local time on the 8th June the ships RFA Sir Tristram and RFA Sir Galahad were badly damaged by a first wave of five A-4Bs Skyhawk aircraft.
At 16:50 a second wave, composed of four A-4Bs Skyhawks hit and sank F4 a Landing Craft Utility from HMS Fearless in Choiseul Sound.
The LCU was ferrying the vehicles of the 5th Brigade's headquarters from Darwin to Bluff Cove. Six Royal Marines went down with the vessel. However, the Sea Harrier combat air patrol was already on scene and responded; three Skyhawks were shot down and their pilots and a fourth damaged.
All but two of LCU F4’s crew were killed during this action;
Sergeant R J Rotherham,
Marine A J Rundle
Marine R D Griffin.
Mechanical Engineering Artificer (Propulsion) A S James,
The Marines played a major role in the capture of this island, from the first amphibious landing, and through all subsequent fighting.
The Capture of Belle Île was a British amphibious expedition to capture the French island of Belle Île off the Brittany coast in 1761, during the Seven Years' War.
After an initial British attack was repulsed, a second attempt under General Studholme Hodgson forced a beachhead. A second landing was made, and after a six-week siege the island's main citadel at Le Palais was stormed, consolidating British control of the island.
Two battalions of Marines, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel John McKenzie, served with great distinction at the siege of Belle Isle, an island off the north-west coast of France near St Nazaire in Quiberon Bay.
With the 19th Regiment, these two units effected their first successful seabourne landing in the face of stiff opposition. They took part in all subsequent fighting on the island.
The Marine battalions gained great fame at the final storming of the redoubts in June.
Of their conduct on this occasion the Annual Register for 1761 said: "No action of greater spirit and gallantry has been performed during the whole war". The laurel wreath borne on the Colours and appointments of the RM is believed to have been adopted in honour of the distinguished service of the Corps during this operation.
The British occupied the island for two years before returning it in 1763 following the Treaty of Paris.
Unit/ Formation: Royal Marines
Period/ Conflict: Anglo-Irish War
Date/s: 5th June 1920
During the Irish War of Independence IRA activists such as the group below, started attacking British institutions across Ireland. In particular the IRA targeted the Coast Guard Stations which had been built around the whole Irish coast in Victorian times.
These were often remote houses manned by retired sailors from the Royal Navy and therefore very vulnerable.
In June 1920 the 8th Battalion Royal Marines was formed to go to Ireland specifically to defend these Coast Guard Stations. On Thursday 27 May 1920 a conference had taken place in the First Sea Lord's room at the Admiralty in response to representations from the C-in-C Western Approaches "that armed revolutionaries were attacking and burning Coastguard Stations (in Ireland) and ... civil and military authorities were incapable of protecting those stations." Orders were consequently given for 800 Marines to be sent to Ireland.
Each Division plus the RMA had to send 195 officers and men, with "as many Old Soldiers as possible ... to be included." HMS Valiant and HMS Warspite were detailed as troopships and the newly formed battalion was ordered to concentrate on Plymouth.
At 4.00 pm on 3 June, 843 officers and men embarked. They arrived at Queenstown the following morning. On 18 June the Adjutant-General of the Royal Marines warned that units arriving in Ireland should be prepared for their ship to be fired upon and their train to be ambushed.
Read More/ Web Link: Royal Marines Museum
Unit/ Formation: Marine Regiments
Location: Great Britain
Period/ Conflict: Second Anglo Dutch War
Date/s: 3rd June 1665
Defeat of Obdam van Wassenaer by the Duke of York.
The Admiral's Regiment first saw action at sea against the Dutch in the Battle of Lowestoft (Suffolk). Both fleets are reported to have been about 100 strong. However, the English claimed to have won a victory over the Dutch.
So fierce was the engagement that both fleets were incapable of further operations. Unlike some land Regiments equipped with pikes and matchlocks, the Admiral’s Regiment fought with better flintlock muskets.
The Dutch paid a heavy price in its large loss of ships, and of officers and men totalling 4000 killed and 2000 captured. While the British losses were 250 men killed, about 340 wounded, and about 200 taken prisoner.
Just after the Battle of Lowestoft the Dutch were so impressed by the performance of the British Marines that they formed their own Royal Netherlands Marine Corps
Regiment/Corps: Royal Marines
Born: Tuesday, December 1, 1953
Died : Wednesday, June 2, 1982
Killed in action
Cemetery: Dorset, St Michael's Parish Church Poole
Memorial: 51°37'22.3"S 58°09'01.0"W (Approx)
Local Roll of Honour: Falkland Islands (ROH)
Sergeant Ian 'Kiwi' Hunt, Special Boat Service, was killed during an exchange of fire with an SAS patrol near Teal, Falklands.
He was the only member of the SBS who died in the conflict.
A Plaque was dedicated in 2010, the article below byLisa Watson – SeAled PR – Stanley [MercoPress]
IN a freezing mountainside ceremony on East Falkland Islands today British Special Forces veterans and Falkland Islanders paid tribute to a Special Boat Service Sergeant killed on June 2, 1982.
Maurice Andrews MBE, a former Royal Marine Major attending the plaque dedication ceremony described Sergeant Hunt as “a thinking man’s warrior,” and “an enigmatic character,” with “a wry and wicked sense of humor.”
Reverend Richard Hinds conducted the service, and Willy Stocks, a former SBS and Corps Regimental Sergeant Major gave a bible reading.
Stocks became something of a legend in the Falklands during the1982 War, after he swam across the broad and strongly tidal stretch of water between Gun Hill and Chartres Settlement on West Falklands.
Islander Sharon Jaffray, who for the first time since 1982 was able to renew her acquaintance with Mr Stocks today, said, “The SBS had apparently been watching Chartres Settlement for a few days and then one night Will swam across and banged on Mum and Dad’s door. The boat then went across to get the other guys, we were so pleased we all got up and had a party.”
East Falkland Islanders were just as delighted to see the Special Boat Service, again including Stocks, on their surreptitious operations before and after the British Forces landed at San Carlos.
Neil Watson of Long Island Farm said, “We were all sitting around the kitchen one evening when we heard a knock at the door which was a bit of a shock, but it turned out to be a nice one when we realized the soldiers were British.”
The group spent two days at the farm, observing the surrounding area of Long Island Mountain and Berkeley Sound, before Mr. Watson drove them in the early hours of the morning, overland to an inlet near Green Patch Farm where they were picked up by a Royal Marine rigid raider.”
Men of the Special Boat Service were involved in operations in the Falklands War for a full three weeks before the main landings. They were also the first part of the small task force sent to re-take South Georgia.
The plaque for Kiwi Hunt is situated near the majestically long Prince’s Street stone-run between Estancia Farm and Green Patch Farm. Many of the Islanders attending the ceremony were the farmers and Stanley ‘refugees’ who acted as overland drivers and guides for the paratroopers moving forward towards Stanley in the final days of the War.