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 Surname   Forename   No   Rank   Notes   Unit 
GatacreWilliam ForbesLieutenant ColonelGATACRE, WILLIAM FORBES, Colonel, was born 3 December 1843, at Herbertshire Castle, Stirlingshire, the residence of his grandmother.  He was the third son of Edward Lloyd Gatacre, JP of Gatacre in Shropshire, and of Jessie, daughter of William Forbes, of Callendar, Stirlingshire.  It is shown in Doomsday Book that the family were King's Tenants of Iands of this name before the Conquest; John de Gatacre was High Sheriff in 1409, and Sir William's father held the same office in 1856.  Young Gatacre entered the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, in August 1860, and in February 1862, was gazetted an Ensign in the 77th Foot, which he joined in India.  In 1873, he passed into the Staff College, and from 1875 to 1879 was Instructor in Surveying at the Royal Military College.  Later he officiated for a year as DAA and QMG at Aldershot.  In 1880 he returned to India with his regiment, succeeding to the command in 1884 at Secunderabad.  In 1885 he was appointed DQMG at Headquarters by Sir Frederick Roberts, Commander-in-Chief in India.  It was while holding this post in 1888 that he had his first taste of active service, being appointed Chief Staff Officer to Sir John McQueen, commanding a small punitive force sent against the tribes of the Black Mountain.  The battle force of 8,000 men was divided into three columns; one day, in order to get in touch with Galbraith's Column in the Indus Valley, Gatacre volunteered to make his way across the mountains on foot.  The mission was successfully accomplished in twenty-four hours, and as Gatacre was the only man to complete the double journey, the feat attracted considerable notice at the time.  He was mentioned in Despatches, awarded the Frontier Medal with Hazara clasp, and created a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order [London Gazette, 12 April 18S9]: "For services during the operations of Hazara.  William Forbes Gatacre, Lieutenant Colonel and Colonel, Half-Pay".  In 1889 Gatacre was sent to Mandalay as Brigadier General Acting for Sir George Wolseley, and there earned another bar to his Frontier Medal.  In 1893 he was given the substantive appointment of Adjutant-General, Bombay Army, with the rank of Brigadier General, a post which he held for nearly four years under three successive Commanders-in-Chief.  In January 1894, he was appointed to the command of the Bombay District.  The following year he was commanding the 3rd Brigade of the Chitral Relief Force under Sir Robert Low.  The object of this expedition was the relief of Surgeon Major Robertson, who, with a small garrison, was reported to be shut up in the Fort at Chitral.  Gatacre's Brigade was in reserve during the first action at the Malakand Pass; but after crossing the Panjkora River the 3rd Brigade was pushed forward, encountering some opposition at Mamugai.  Shortly after this Gatacre got permission to advance rapidly up the valley with a lightly-equipped force of 500 men.  The Lowari Pass was under snow, but good progress had been made when the news came through that the siege had been raised on 22 April on the approach of Colonel Kelly's Force moving southward from Gilgit.  Sir R Low's troops made their way on to the Fort, establishing such good lines of communication, as they traversed passes and valleys hitherto unknown to Englishmen, that the route then cut has become the roadway for the annual reliefs.  For his part in this campaign, Gatacre received the CB, the thanks of the Government of India, and the new Frontier Medal with clasp.  Gatacre's last few months in his substantive post at Bombay were marked by a severe outbreak of bubonic plague.  He presided over the commission set up to provide hospitals and to carry out precautionary measures, and before the hot weather of 1897 the situation was well in hand for that season.  In August that year Gatacre came home to take up the command of an Infantry Brigade at Aldershot, but had only held the post five months when he was sent to Egypt to take command of the British Brigade which was to form part of Sir Herbert Kitchener's Expedition for the recovery of Khartoum.  Soon after his arrival at Railhead, Gatacre was summoned by the Sirdar to bring his troops by forced marches to Berber.  On Good Friday, 8 April 1898, a fierce and effective-action took place with the Dervish Army on the banks of the Atbara, in which the British Brigade took a prominent part.  The advance on Omdurman was planned for the early autumn, but before the move began, the arrival of another brigade of British troops had raised Gatacre's command to a division, and he was given the permanent rank of Major-General.  The Battle of Omdurman was fought on 1 September, and Khartoum was occupied next day.  In recognition of his services Gatacre was gazetted KCB, and received from the Khedive the Order of the Medjidie, Second Class.  His name appears next to Lord Kitchener's in the Vote of Thanks-in both Houses of Parliament.  A new British Medal for Egypt was issued for all ranks, and an Egyptian one was received from the Khedive.  In October 1899, the British Government dispatched a force under Sir Redvers Buller, VC, as a reply to the invasion of Natal and Cape Colony by the Boers.  from the Transvaal and Orange River Free State.  Gatacre was gazetted to the 3rd Division, with the temporary rank of Lieutenant General.  The three Divisional Commanders sailed in the same ship, but at Cape Town, a new distribution of the troops was made, in order to meet pressure at certain points, by which Gatacre's command was reduced to two battalions, with Headquarters at Queenstown.  To this half-brigade were added certain hastily raised volunteers, but it must be remembered that Gatacre's force, while in theory a complete division, never at any time reached a fully-equipped brigade of infantry, and that he never had any regular artillery or cavalry.  All three columns were unfortunate in their first contact with the enemy.  At Magersfontein, on 11 December, the casualties were 948 out of 14,964 troops engaged; at Colenso the casualties were 1,139 out of a force of 19,378; at Stormberg, the loss in killed and wounded was 135 with 571 missing, out of a total of 3,035 engaged.  In none of these-engagements were the recently landed British troops able to gain their objective, but in no case was ground lost.  The Official History of the-War says: "Sir William Gatacre's decision to advance on Stormberg was fully justified by the strategical position.  General Buller's telegram, although it left him a free hand in time and opportunity, had suggested that operation.  The plan, though bold, was sound in its design, and would have succeeded had not exceptional misfortune attended its execution" (Vol I, page 301).  After the arrival of Lord Roberts in Bloemfontein in March 1900, with large reinforcements, Gatacre's troops were employed to distribute Peace Proclamations behind the front, line of defence at the express command of the Commander-in-Chief.  As a consequence of the unfortunate affair at Sauna's Post, in which the Boers got possession of the Bloemfontein Waterworks, Gatacre's peace patrols were exposed to attack.  One little group of colonials held on finely at Wepener until relieved; but in the process of withdrawal a small British force, about 190 rifles, was overtaken at Reddersburg, and surrendered an hour before assistance reached them.  After this incident Sir William Gatacre returned to England, but was reinstated in his command of the Eastern District.  Extraordinary demonstrations of affection greeted his return, notably at Colchester and Norwich.  His noble bearing, silence, and high sense of duty impressed those who came in contact with him, and his influence among all ranks was always for good.  In 1905 Sir William's love of adventure and of the East led him to join an expedition to report on the rubber fields of Abyssinia.  He died of fever near Gambela, 18 January 1903, aged 62.  Sir William Gatacre was twice married; two sons survived him, Major W E Gatacre, KOYLI, and Captain J K Gatacre, 11th Bengal Lancers, killed in action in France 12 October 1914.
Sir Ian Hamilton wrote: "General Gatacre was one of the hardest working men I e
Unknown
GatchellC M1st Battalion
Source: QSA and KSA medal rolls
Highland Light Infantry
GatchellGeorge A8683PrivateSource: QSA Medal Rolls18th Company, 6th Btn, IY
GatchellHorace ScotTrooperSource: Nominal roll in WO127Rimington's Guides
GatchellScott Horace100Trooper2nd Battalion
Source: Nominal roll in WO127
Imperial Light Horse
GatchellScott Horace2nd Battalion
Source: QSA and KSA rolls
Imperial Light Horse
GatchettHorace1162Attested: Apr 1903. Source: CMP 14Cape Police
GatcombJ 4260Private2nd Btn. Wounded at Pieter's Hill. 23 Feb 1900.
Source: Natal Field Force Casualty Roll, page 117 line 15
East Surrey Regiment
GatcumA4560PrivateQSA (4).
Source: QSA medal rolls
20th Hussars
GatcumJ2nd Battalion
Source: QSA and KSA medal rolls
East Surrey Regiment
GatcumJ42602nd Battalion
Source: QSA medal roll in WO100/185
East Surrey Regiment
GateHSource: Medal rollsDorsetshire Regiment
GateH R413Source: Medal rollsCanada, 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles
GateHerbert EdSource: QSA and KSA medal rollsSouthern Rhodesian Volunteers
GateJohn BoweySource: Attestation paper in WO126Brabant's Horse
Page 13411 of 41404
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