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Stewart, Sir Herbert

STEWART, SIR HERBERT (1843-1885), British soldier, eldest son of the Rev. Edward Stewart, was born on the 30th of June 1843 at Sparsholt, Hampshire. He was educated at Winchester and entered the army in 1863. After serving in India with his regiment (37th Foot) he returned to England in 1873, having exchanged into the 3rd Dragoon Guards. In 1877 he entered the staff college and also the Inner Temple. In 1878 he was sent out to South Africa, served in the Zulu War and against Sikukuni. As chief staff officer under Sir G. Pomeroy Colley he was present at Majuba (Feb. 27, 1881), where he was made prisoner by a Boer patrol and detained until the end of March. In August 1882 he was placed on the staff of the cavalry division in Egypt. After Tel-el-Kebir (Sept. 13, 1882) he headed a brilliant advance upon Cairo, and took possession of the town and citadel. He was three times mentioned in despatches, and made a brevet-colonel, C.B., and aide-de-camp to the queen. In January 1884 he was sent to Suakin in command of the cavalry under Sir Gerald Graham, and took part as brigadier in the actions from El Teb to the advance on Tamaneb. His services were recognized by the honour of K.C.B., and he was assistant adjutant and Q.M.G. in the southeastern district in England from April to September 1884. He then joined the expedition for the relief of Khartum, and in December, when news from Gordon decided Lord Wolseley to send a column across the desert of Metemma, Stewart was entrusted with the command. On the 16th of January 1885, he found the enemy in force near the wells of Abu Klea, and brilliantly repulsed their fierce charge on the following morning. Leaving the wounded under guard, the column moved forward on the 18th through bushy country towards Metemma, 23 m. off. Meanwhile the enemy continued their attacks, and on the morning of the i gth Stewart was wounded and obliged to hand over the command to Sir Charles Wilson. He lingered for nearly a month living long enough to hear of his promotion to the rank of major-general " for distinguished service in the field." He died on the way back from Khartum to Korti on the 16th of February, and was buried near the wells of Jakdul. In the telegram reporting his death Lord Wolseley summed up his character and career in the words: " No braver soldier or more brilliant leader of men ever wore the Queen's uniform."

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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