Friday, January 9, 2015

British Expeditionary Force (Naval), Nanking

Updated January 12, 2015

The final stage of the campaign to invade Nanking began ten days after the fall of Shanghai. On June 29, 1842, a reconnaissance squadron of five ships, namely: HMS Starling, HMS Plover, HMS Modeste, HMS Clio and HCS[1]. Phlegethon, went up the river to look for deep water channel. On July 4, Phlegethon returned and reported a free passage; the expeditionary force started the advance two days later. The squadron was made up of 63 ships, comprising 15 vessels in the fighting-escorting contingent and 48 vessels in the transportation one. There were eight armed steamers; all but one were owned by the East India Company. Ching-Keang-Foo, the last fortress that guarded Nanking, was attacked on July 21 and fell to the British on the same day. On August 3, a part of the fleet got under weight and began its advance to Nanking. By the 9th the whole had arrived and the debarkation began. On the 11th all thing were in readiness for an attack. Peace talks got underway the following day and in less then three weeks the Treaty was concluded and signed. Not a single shot was fired since the arrival of the expeditionary force at Nanking, except for the gun salutes executed upon the boarding of the head of the Dai Ch'ing mission on HMS Cornwallis on August 29, for the signing of the Treaty.

Following the signing of the Treaty, the force began its withdrawal on September 14, 1842; by October 6 the expeditionary force had completely withdrawn from the Yangtze River.

Order of Sailing of the Squadron

Advanced Squadron - Surveying
StarlingHMS Lark Class cutter; 1829-44; 6 guns; normal 30 crew; CO: Cdr. Henry Kellett, RN [Final rank: VAdm. 1868].
ModesteHMS; 18 guns; CO: Cdr. R.B. Watson.
PhlegethonHCS armed steamer; CO: Lt. J. McCleverty.

HMS Plover, Illustrated London News 1848.
PloverHMS survey cutter; previously mercantile ship Bentinck; purchased 1842, sold 1854; 6 guns, CO: Cdr. Richard Collinson, RN [Ret.Adm. 1875].
ClioHMS; 16 guns; CO: Cdr. Edward Norwich Troubridge, RN [Capt. 1842].
MedusaHCS armed steamer; CO: Lt. Hewitt.
General Squadron
CornwallisHMS; 72 guns; CO: Capt. Peter Richards, RN [Ret.Adm. 1865]; flagship of RAdm. William Parker, C-in-C, naval forces.
First Division
Fighting Contingent / Escort Ships
CalliopeHMS armed steamer; 26 guns; CO: Capt. Augustus Leopold Kuper, RN [Adm. 1872].
VixenHCS armed steamer; CO: Capt. H. Boyes.
MarionLt. Gen. Hugh Gough, C-in-C, land forces, and general staff.
Atiet RahomanSappers and miners.
John FlemingSappers and miners.
John CooperCoals.
MarthaCoal and followers.
Second Division
Fighting Contingent / Escort Ships
BlondeHMS Apollo class frigate; 1819-1895; 42 guns; 1,130 tons; CO: Capt. Thomas Bouchier, RN; [renamed HMS Calypso in 1870].
AucklandHCS armed steamer; CO: Capt. R. Ethersay.
Transports – artillery brigade
SophiaRoyal Artillery.
Rustomjee CowasjeeHQ, Madras Artillery.
PalmysHQ, Madras Artillery.
GipseyPower and horses.
Lady FloraPower and horses.
City of LondonHorse artillery.
City of DefianceHorse artillery.
LivingstoneArtillery followers.
LysanderArtillery followers.
Third Division
Fighting Contingent / Escort Ships / Troop Ships
BelleisleHMS troop ship; CO: Capt. J. Kingcomb; carrying Maj Gen Saltoun, and 98th Regt.
JupiterHMS troop ship; CO: Lt. G.B. Hoffmeister; carrying 26th Regt.
QueenHCS armed steamer; CO: Master W. Warden.
Transports - 1st or Right Brigade
RobatesFlank companies, 41st Madras Native Infantry.
Surat MerchantFollowers.
Flower of UgieFollowers.
BurhampooterHQ, Bengal Volunteers.
MariaBengal Volunteers
TamerlaneBengal Volunteers
PercyBengal Volunteers
WarriorBengal Volunteers
City of PalacesBengal Volunteers
Fourth Division
Fighting Contingent / Escort Ships
EndymionHMS; 44 guns; CO: Capt. Frederick William Grey, RN [Adm. 1865].
SesostrisHCS armed steamer; CO: Capt. H.A. Ormsby.
Transports - 2nd or Center Brigade
OrientMaj. Gen. Schoedde and 55th Regt.
Coromandel55th Regt.
Worcester55th Regt.
William Turner6th Regt., Madras Native Infantry.
Walmer Castle6th Regt., Madras Native Infantry.
Runnymede6th Regt., Madras Native Infantry.
William Money2nd Regt., Madras Native Infantry.
Urgent2nd Regt., Madras Native Infantry.
Duke of Bedford2nd Regt., Madras Native Infantry.
Rohomany2nd Regt., Madras Native Infantry.
Fifth Division
Fighting Contingent / Escort Ships
DidoHMS; 20 guns; CO: Capt. Henry Keppel.
TenasserimHCS armed steamer; CO: Capt. P. Wall.
Transports - 3rd or Left Brigade
ApolloHMS troop ship; CO: Cdr. Frederick; carrying Maj. Gen. Bartley and 49th Regt.
Minerva49th Regt.
RattlesnakeHMS Atholl Class troop ship; 1822-60; 28 guns; carrying 18th Regt..
Ernaad18th Regt.
Belle Alliance18th Regt.
Ernaad18th Regt.
Mallaked Behar18th Regt.
Cusetjee Cowasjee11th Regt., Madras Native Infantry.
Pekin11th Regt., Madras Native Infantry.
Victoria11th Regt., Madras Native Infantry.
Faize Robanny11th Regt., Madras Native Infantry.

[1] HCS means Honorable Company's (East India Company) Ship. The ships were seconded [leased] to the expeditionary force. Total payments due to the East India Company by the British government for reimbursement of its cost in the First Opium War stood at £572,000 in the beginning of July 1842.


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