Lt. Gen Sir Charles Ashe WINDHAM
- Born: 10 Oct 1810
- Christened: 28 Oct 1810, Felbrigg, Norfolk, England
- Marriage (1): Marianne Catherine Emily BERESFORD on 1 Mar 1849 in Holy Trinity, Marylebone, London, England
- Marriage (2): Charlotte Jane DES VOEUX on 8 Nov 1866 in St. Mary's, Marylebone, London, England
- Died: 2 Feb 1870 aged 59
Extract from "The Times" dated 8 February 1870
Death of General Windham
We have to record today the death of another, and by no means the oldest, of the heroes of the Russian War and of the Indian Mutiny, - Major-General Sir Charles Ashe Windham, K.C.B., whose name was so familiar to our ears some fifteen years ago as the "Hero of the Redan."
The gallant Genera1 was the third son of the late Vice Admiral Windham, and brother of the late Mr. William Henry Windham, of Felbrigge, Norfolk (who was M.P. for East Norfolk in the first Reformed Parliament), by Anne, daughter of Mr. Peter Thelltusson, of Plaistow, Essex. His uncle, the Right Hon. William Windham, many years M.P. for Norwich, St. Mawes, New Romney, Higham Ferrers, & etc., will long be remembered as having been Secretary of State for the War and Colonial Departments in Lord Grenville's Ministry of "All the Tallents." The family name was Lukin, until it was exchanged about half a century ago for that of Windham; and the Windhams or Wynondhams have been seated in Norfolk, according to Sir Bernard Burke, since the twelfth century.
The future General was born in Norfolk in the year 1810, and received his early education at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. In December, 1826, we find him gazetted to a commission as Ensign and Lieutenant in the Coldstream Guards. He was promoted to Lieutenant and Captain in May, 1833, obtained his majority in November, 1846, and was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel the following month. He obtained these steps by purchase, as also his Colonelcy in June, 1854, a few weeks after the proclamation of the War against Russia.
In the same summer he accompanied the British Forces to the Crimea and during the earlier part of the Campaign he acted as Assistant-Quartermaster-Genera1 to the Fourth Division. A vacancy, however, occurring, General Simpson, who had lately succeeded Lord Raglan in the chief command, appointed Colonel Windham to a brigade in the Second Division. It will be within the memory of many of our reader that after the battle of the Alma, Lord Raglan resolved, following the advice of Sir John Burgoyne, to make a flank march on Balaklava, and to send Admirals Dundas and Lyons, requesting them to support that movement by bringing the fleet around to that point. Colonel Windham was the officer selected for the duty of carrying the despatch on that occasion. He was subsequently engaged at Inkerman, where he was public1y thanked by Sir George Cathcart for his gallant services; he was by the side of that General when he received his mortal wound; and on his death the command of a division devolved upon him.
It was not, however, till a subsequent date that his name came to be known far and wide in England. On the 8th of September, 1855- just a year after the battle of the Alma- the tricolor flag was waved from the Malakoff as the signal for the English to advance against the Redan. General Windham was the first to enter the stronghold, and amid the shower of bullets and cannon balls that flew around him he seemed to bear about him a charmed 1ife. At length, finding it hopeless to obtain support by sending messengers, he coolly wa1ked across the open space before the ramparts in the midst of a well-sustained fire, to demand assistance in person. The "Royals" were then placed at his disposal; but no sooner were they put in formation then the men in the Redan were obliged to abandon the work. The opportunity had been lost.
The correspondents of the press were not slow in recording the heroic bravery of Windham on this occasion, and on the arrival of General Codrington's despatches at the Horse Guards, the subject of this memoir was rewarded by promotion to the rank of Major-General, for his distinguished conduct in having, with the greatest intrepity and coolness, headed the column of attack which assaulted the enemy's defences on the 8th of September, 1855. For the same service he received the honour of the usual medal with clasps; and he was immediately appointed by the Commander-in-Chief to the command of Karabelnaia, the British portion of Sebastopol. On the retirement of Sir Henry Bentinck he was nominated to the permanent command of the Fourth Division.
On the resignation of the late Sir Henry W. Barnard, in the November following, General Windham was appointed Chief of the Staff of the Army in the East, and in virtue of his office became the responsible head of the two departments of the Adjutant-Genera1 and the Quartermaster -General.
On his return to Eng1and at the conclusion of the war, General Windham was received in London with all appropriate honours, and in his own county he was presented with a handsome sword, a subscription for the purpose of a testimonial among the gentlemen and yeomen of Norfolk having in a few days reached 1,000 pounds.
At the General Election of April, l857, his native county again showed its appreciation of his public character, for the constituency of East Norfolk returned him to Parliament in the Liberal interest without a contest. On that occasion he professed himself an advocate of electoral, lega1, and military reform, and of the permanent embodiment and establishment of the militia. In Parliament he took part in several discussions relating to army commissions, and advocated the system of public competition instead of private patronage. For a fuller enunciation of his sentiments we must be content to refer our render to our columns of July 29 and 30, 1857.
In the following month of August General Windham left England for India a few days after Lord Clyde, in order to undertake the command of a column. His services in support of Lord Clyde at Cawnpore and at the Relief of Lucknow, when he defeated the Gwalior Contingent, and subsequently as Commander at Lahore in the Punjaub, must be fresh in the minds of our readers.
He was promoted in 1863 to the rank of Lieutenant-General, and nominated a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in 1865; Colonel of the 46th Foot in 1861, and in l861 was appointed to the command of the British Forces in North America.
Sir Charles Windham was twice married - firstly, in 1849 to Marianne Catharine Emily, youngest daughter of the late Vice-Admiral Sir John Poo Beresford, K.C.B., M.P., who died in 1865; and secondly, in 1866, to Charlotte Jane, daughter of the late Rev. Henry Des Voeux.
Extract from the "Cork Constitution" dated Friday, 16 November 1866
On the 8th inst., at St. Mary's, Marylebone, Lieut.-Gen. Sir Charles Ashe Windham, K.C.B., to Charlotte Jane, eldest daughter of the late Rev. Henry Des Voeux.
Extract from "Visitation of England and Wales: Vol 7" by Joseph Jackson Howard (1899)
Lieut.-General Sir Charles Ashe Windham, born 10 Oct. 1810, bapt. at Fellbrigge, co. Norfolk, 28 Oct 1810; educated at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, entered the Coldstream Guards 1826, served in Canadian Expedition 1838-42; Quarter-Master-General 4th Division of the British Army in the Crimea 1854, and was present at Alma, Balaclava and Inkerman, appointed to command and Brigade of the 2nd Division 18 July 1855, led the assault on the Great Redan 8 September 1855, in recognition of which service he was gazetted Major-General; appointed Governor of Sevastopol, and afterwards commanded the 4th Division, and was Chief of the Staff to the end of the war; in command at the defence of Cawnpore (when he defeated the Gwalior Contingent) in the Indian Mutiny 1857; M.P. for East Norfolk 1857-59, K.C.B. 28 November 1865; Commander-in-Chief in Canada 1867-70; died at Jacksonville, Florida, USA, 4 February 1870, buried in Hanwell Cemetery, co. Middlesex, 23 March 1870. Portrait at Felbrigge Hall.
Charles married Marianne Catherine Emily BERESFORD, daughter of Sir John de la Poer BERESFORD Admiral of the White and Harriet Elizabeth PEIRSE, on 1 Mar 1849 in Holy Trinity, Marylebone, London, England. (Marianne Catherine Emily BERESFORD was born on 1 Jan 1824 and died on 14 Apr 1865.)
Charles next married Charlotte Jane DES VOEUX on 8 Nov 1866 in St. Mary's, Marylebone, London, England. (Charlotte Jane DES VOEUX was born in 1815 and died on 13 Oct 1871 in Folkestone, Kent, England.)