Captain Charles Stanyforth Greenwood

Captain Charles Stanyforth Greenwood
Captain Charles Stanyforth Greenwood

Captain Greenwood was gazetted to the Tenth, from the 19th Foot, as a Sub Lieutenant, on the 17th January 1877, obtained his troop on the 27th August 1884, and retired on the 16th March 1889, having completed a total service of 13 years and 33 days.

It was his good fortune to see active service in the field during a very early phase of his soldiering, for on the 28th October, 1878, we find him marching out from Rawal Pindi with the Headquarters of the Regiment, bound for Muthra Thana, to join the Cavalry Brigade of the First Division of the Peshawar Valley Field Force, commanded by Lieut. General Sir Samuel Browne, for service against the Afghan Army of the Amir, Shere Ali.

The Cavalry Brigade consisted of the Tenth, The Guides Cavalry and the Eleventh Bengal Lancers under the command of Brigadier General C Gough, V. C.

On the 14th November the force advanced on Muthra Thana, and encamped. On the 21st, hostilities having commenced, an advance was made into the Khyber Pass, for the purpose of storming Fort Ali Masjid. The Cavalry Brigade marched at 7 a.m. entered the pass, and arrived at Shajai Ridge, opposite Ali Masjid about 1 p.m. The Tenth was formed up in line, in rear of rising ground for cover. The enemy opened fire about noon, and the officer i/c R.H.A. was first to reply, and within an hour the whole of the Artillery was inaction. At 2.25 p.m., when it was thought that the First and Second Infantry Brigades — sent to work their way in rear of the fort – should have reached their position, a general advance was ordered. The Battery Commander, escorted by the Tenth, descended towards the Khyber stream, and took up the most suitable position for silencing the enemy’s guns. At 3.30 p.m. the fighting was general, and continued so until dark. The Troops held their positions until the following morning; at day break it was noticed that the enemy’s fire was not resumed, and from other indications it became apparent that the Amir’s troops had abandoned Ali Masjid during the night. The Cavalry was moved forward, and bivouacked on the right bank of the Khyber, near Ali Masjid.

On the 23rd November the Brigade was moved forward to Lundi Kotal where no opposition was offered. On 16th December the Brigade commenced its advance on Jellalabad, where it arrived on the 20th, found it evacuated, marched through the city and encamped.

On the 12th March 1879 Lieutenant Greenwood accompanied the Troop under Captain St. Quentin which escorted Major Tanner on survey duty. The Troop was away from Jellalabad five days.

On the 31st March Lieut. Greenwood accompanied the Squadron that “fatal fording of the Kabul River” the details of which are familiar to all Tenth Hussars. It was on this occasion that he performed conspicuous bravery, described in the late Colonel Liddell’s Memoirs of the Tenth, in the following terms:-

“Several instances of gallantry worth recording took place in this terrible calamity and none more so that the conduct of Lieutenant Greenwood, who, although most exhausted by his efforts had extricated himself from the quicksand, and found himself on an island. Hearing cries for help he again entered the water, and found a man thirty yards out, unable to move in the deep gravel, and almost drowning. Lieutenant Greenwood failed in getting the man out, when Lieutenant Grenfell, hearing the shouts, came to his assistance, and together they brought the man in safely to the shore. This was Private Goddard, afterwards a Farrier Sergeant. Lieutenant Greenwood received the Humane Society’s Medal for his conduct on this occasion.”

When it is borne in mind that Lieutenant Greenwood had been engaged, in the cold, dark night, struggling for his life in the cataract-like waters of the treacherous river, when it is realized to what a state of exhaustion his struggles must have reduced him, it will be admitted that his heroic conduct, in again plunging into the river to succour a comrade, cannot be too highly eulogised.

He participated in all the affairs with the enemy in which his troop was engaged until the cessation of the first phase of the War, and accompanied the Regiment on the famous (or infamous) “Death March” back to Rawal Pindi.

Quitting India with the Regiment in 1884, he took part in the brief campaign in the Eastern Soudan, being present at the Battle of El Teb, and Tamaai, the Relief of Tokar, and the Reconnaissance of Tamanieb.

He is in possession of the medal, and clasp Ali Masjid for Afghanistan, the Sudan Medal with clasp El Teb and Tamaai, and the Khedivial Bronze Star.

In 1885, at Hurlingham, the final has been described as the most exciting and closest games on record. The teams engaged were those of the Tenth and Seventh Hussars. The Seventh had held the cup since 1883. Two minutes before the conclusion of the game Mr. (now General Sir Douglas) Haig scored the second and winning goal for his side.

In 1886, when we entered two teams, the first, in which Captain Greenwood was, had to acknowledge the superiority of the Seventh Hussars, who again won the cup.

In 1888, when we won the English Cup for the first time, defeating the 9th Lancers.

Entering the Matrimonial Stakes, the bonds of Hymen, as they so frequently do, counteracted against those of Mars, and Captain Greenwood, to the regret of all, decided to retire and lead the pastoral life of a Yorkshire squire. A reference to the “Hereditary Tenth Hussars” is convincing that the regiment is not all together “a loser” by the cause of his retirement, which at the time of it was not exactly considered and un-mixed blessing.

We hope that he will be spared to continue for many years the life which has enriched the pages of the history of his Old Regiment.

And our best wishes are also expressed for Mrs Greenwood, who we likewise consider a Tenth Hussar.