Lieutenant Henry Harward


Lieutenant Henry Hollingworth Harward was an officer in Captain Moriarty's H Company, 80th Staffordshire Regiment when it was attacked with disastrous consequences at Intombi River on 12th March 1879. Harward's detachment was on the other side of the river from the rest of the company and saw the attack. They opened fire but some Zulus crossed the river and advanced on them. Harward told Colour Sergeant Booth to fall back on a farmhouse 3,000 yards away while he, Harward, rode for help. He managed to alert Major Tucker at Luneburg who mounted some men to rescue Booth and his party. They succeeded in finding them but were too late to help Moriarty's company.

When Lord Chelmsford heard the news he was extremely angry with Harward for deserting his men, and ordered him to be court-martialled. He was tried in Feb 1880, and he said, in his defence, that he was the only one with a horse so it had to be him that rode off to get help. He was acquitted, but Sir Garnet Wolseley took a dim view of Harward's apparent cowardice. He stated that; "The more helpless a position in which an officer finds his men, the more it is his bounden duty to stay and share their fortune, whether for good or ill." The Duke of Cambridge endorsed this comment and ordered it to be read out to every regiment in the army.


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by Stephen Luscombe