Private John Moyse

A legendary figure in the history of the Buffs. During the 2nd China War (or Opium War) he was captured by the Chinese on 13th Aug 1860 along with a sergeant of the 44th Regiment. They were taken before a mandarin and ordered to kow-tow but Moyse refused and was brutally beaten and beheaded. He was the only casualty of the Buffs during that campaign. A well-known poem called the Private of the Buffs was written about the incident by Francis Hastings Doyle which mistakenly refers to him as a young recruit from Kent. But Moyse was in fact a middle-aged Irish veteran.

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by Stephen Luscombe