Career of James Eckford

This details the military career of James Eckford.

War Services of Officers of the Bengal Army 1863

Name:J. Eckford
Regiment:late 56th Native Infantry.
Ensign,1 Jan. 04
Lieut.,17 Sept. 06
Bt.-Captain,1 Jan. 19
Captain,20 July 23
Major,18 July 31
Lieut.-Colonel,11 March 37
Colonel,27 Oct. 48
Major-General,28 Nov. 54
Lieut.-General,29 April 61.
Service: Lieutenant-General Eckford, C.B., served with Sir Home Popham's expedition.
Present at the bombardment of Boulogne and Havre de Grace,
   and subsequent destruction of the French flotilla (as Midshipman of H. M.'s Frigate Greyhound).
Present at the capture of Chamur and neighboring parts in Bundlecund, '06 '07 :
   taking of Java, '11:
   battle of Cornelis,
   and assault of Djokjucurta,'12.
Siege and capture of Bhurtpore.
Served in Afghanistan with the Force under General Pollock:
   during the campaign on the Sutlej
   and in Command of a Brigade with the Army of the Punjab at the passage of the Chenab
   and action of Sadoolapore.
   Medal and C. B.


The Honours C.B. is Companion of the Bath, or rather "Extra member of the Military Division of the Third Class, or Companions of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath".

"Sir Home Popham's expedition": Wikipedia mentions two. From the dates, the first seems more likely. "The British expedition to Ostend on 18 May 1798 was launched to destroy gun-boats harboured in Ostend and destined to take part in the planned invasion of Britain, and to destroy the infrastructure of the port including the locks, basin-gates, and sluices of the Bruges-Ostend Canal. "

James Eckford seems to have started in the British Navy, but switched at some point to 56th Native Infantry in service of the the East India Company. The Wikipedia article on HMS Greyhound says "HMS Greyhound was a modified Royal Navy Mermaid-class sixth-rate frigate. She was first commissioned in October 1775 under Captain Archibald Dickson." I do not know if this was the same ship, as the relevant date would be a bit later.

General Pollock was involved in the First Anglo-Afghan War. From Wikipedia: "In August 1842 General Nott advanced from Kandahar, pillaging the countryside and seizing Ghazni, whose fortifications he demolished. Meanwhile, General Pollock, who had taken command of a demoralized force in Peshawar used it to clear the Khyber Pass to arrive at Jalalabad, where General Sales had already lifted the siege. From Jalalabad, General Pollock inflicted a further crushing defeat on Akbar Khan. The combined British forces defeated all opposition before taking Kabul in September."

A lot of the Indian names look as if they have been rather mangled, as usual. "Bhurtpore" is Bharatpur, Rajasthan. It's a bit confusing which "siege and capture" is referred to.

The Indian Mutiny occured in 1857. After this, the British Government took over control of India from the East Indian Company. James Eckford presumably thought it a good moment to retire.

Gazette of James Eckford's C.B.