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Trooper_D

British officers in the Imperial Austro-Hungarian forces

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I am starting this thread as a place to post information about officers of British (including Irish) extraction who served in the Imperial Austro-Hungarian forces (including those who served with the Hungarian forces during the 1848 Hungarian Revolution). I hope that this is the appropriate forum.

I would welcome contributions from other GMICers.

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Ludwig Nollan - 10 Husaren-Regiment, also know as ...

... Captain (Lewis Edward) Nolan of Charge of the Light Brigade fame. I will start by posting the first two paragraphs from his entry in the Oxford National Dictionary of Biography,

Nolan, Lewis Edward [Louis, Ludwig] (1818–1854), army officer and writer on cavalry, was born on 4 January 1818 in York county, Upper Canada, the second son of John Babington Nolan (1786?–1850), captain 70th foot, and his second wife, Elizabeth (1779–1870), daughter of George Harland Hartley and already twice widowed. Lewis had two stepbrothers and two brothers, all of whom held commissions in either the Austrian or British armies. His grandfather, Babington Nolan, died in 1796 on the West Indian island of St Domingo, serving with the 13th light dragoons.

Shortly after Nolan's birth, the family moved to Scotland and subsequently to Italy, where on half pay his father became British vice-consul in Milan, then Austrian-ruled. Educated at the military college in Milan, on 15 March 1832 Nolan joined the 10th Imperial and Royal Hussars, a Hungarian unit of the Austrian army. Tutored by the famous riding instructor Colonel Haas and later serving with his regiment in Austria's Hungarian and Polish provinces, Nolan's ‘great zeal and application’ and his skills as a daring horseman and expert swordsman were officially praised. Visiting England in 1838, Lieutenant Nolan attended a royal levée and saw Queen Victoria crowned. Pleading ill health the following year, Nolan returned to his family in Scotland. While nominally in the Austrian army until October, on 15 March 1839 Nolan's name appeared as a cornet through purchase in the 15th (the King's) light dragoons, and he sailed with the regiment to Madras.

Wikipedia expands a bit on his early military training and career: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Nolan#Early_life_and_education

In any event, it seems to me that he was, effectively, a deserter from the Austro-Hungarian army :(

The first mention that I can find of him in the Militär-Schematismus is that for the year 1833 (see link below and attached images).
https://archive.org/stream/militrschematis03austgoog#page/n351/mode/1up

Interestingly, a fellow cadet is 'Achilles Nollan', who, I would suggest, was Lewis/Ludwig's eldest brother Archibald. Archibald, along with some details of their father, is mentioned here
http://www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/person/view/420034346

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Thomas Crewe-Preston (aka Creve Preston), an Oberlieutenant in Kurassier Regiment Nr.4 in the 1840s.

Crewe-Preston is said to be an Englishman, allegedly born in London on 10 February 1816, but is of uncertain origins. Iver brought this officer to our attention in his interesting thread on Crewe-Preston's grave, which is located in Slovakia. The thread, which includes further discussion about Crewe-Preston can be found here,

http://gmic.co.uk/index.php/topic/61969-thomas-crewe-preston-creve-preston/?p=583975

Edited by Trooper_D

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Richard Debaufre Guyon, started his career in 2 Huraren-Regiment in the early 1830s. After retiring in the late 1830s, he took up arms in the Hungarian cause in the 1848 revolt. On its failure, he went into exile and further military service in Turkey.

Although he was born in England, he appears to have been of French and supposedly noble heritage. I reproduce below the first paragraph from his entry in the Oxford National Dictionary of Biography (ONDB),

Guyon, Richard Debaufre (1813–1856), army officer, was third son of John Guyon, of the Royal Navy, who, after much service, retired with the rank of commander on 28 July 1829, and died at Richmond, Surrey, on 15 January 1844, and his wife, Elizabeth. Richard Guyon was born at Walcot, Bath, on 31 March 1813, and being intended for the army at an early age held a commission in the Surrey militia. He afterwards studied in the military academy in Vienna, and aged eighteen received an appointment in Prince Joseph's 2nd regiment of Hungarian hussars, where he attained the rank of captain. In November 1838 he married a daughter of Field Marshal Baron Spleny, commander of the Hungarian life guards. Soon after his marriage he left the Austrian service, and retired to an estate belonging to his wife near Pest, where he occupied himself in cultivating farms.

His Wikipedia entry is here,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Guyon

The ONDB entry suggests that he entered the Hussars at the age of 18, i.e. 1831 or early 1832. However, he seems first to appear in the Militär-Schematismus for the year 1835 as an Unterlieutenant under the name Gayon!
https://archive.org/stream/militrschematis11kriegoog#page/n337/mode/1up

He would have been a contemporary of Ludwig Nollan in the Hussars albeit in a different regiment. Thanks to Markgraf for introducing Guyon to us in another thread.

Edited by Trooper_D

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Ludwig Nollan - 10 Husaren-Regiment, also know as ...

... Captain (Lewis Edward) Nolan of Charge of the Light Brigade fame. I will start by posting the first two paragraphs from his entry in the Oxford National Dictionary of Biography,

Wikipedia expands a bit on his early military training and career: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Nolan#Early_life_and_education

In any event, it seems to me that he was, effectively, a deserter from the Austro-Hungarian army :(

The first mention that I can find of him in the Militär-Schematismus is that for the year 1833 (see link below and attached images).

https://archive.org/stream/militrschematis03austgoog#page/n351/mode/1up

Interestingly, a fellow cadet is 'Achilles Nollan', who, I would suggest, was Lewis/Ludwig's eldest brother Archibald. Archibald, along with some details of their father, is mentioned here

http://www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/person/view/420034346

Hello Trooper_D!

It seems like Louis Nolan quit Austro-Hungarian service more in "bad standing" than as a deserter but I agree, his actions could have been smoother, and yes, "Achilles" was his older brother Archibald. Archibald Nolan resigned from his commission in the 7th Hussars within a year. Source; "Messenger of Death" by David Buttery.

/Jonas

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It seems like Louis Nolan quit Austro-Hungarian service more in "bad standing" than as a deserter but I agree, his actions could have been smoother, and yes, "Achilles" was his older brother Archibald. Archibald Nolan resigned from his commission in the 7th Hussars within a year. Source; "Messenger of Death" by David Buttery.

Thanks for this additional information, Jonas (7th or 10th Hussars btw?). It prompted me to look at the Militär-Schematismus for 1839 to see if I could find Achilles. I couldn't but did find an entry, again in the 10 HR - as a cadet, for their youngest brother, Edmund! Interestingly, that very British term 'Esq' is used as an indicator of rank.

https://archive.org/stream/militrschematis07kriegoog#page/n350/mode/1up

He appears not to last long as he doesn't appear in the Militär-Schematismus for 1840 :( (although his brother Ludwid is, surprisingly). I wonder if all three brothers 'jumped ship' at about the same time?

Edited by Trooper_D

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Robert O'Hara Burke. Born in Ireland in 1820 or 1821, having failed his exams at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, he entered the 7 Husaren-Regiment in 1841. Burke left Austro-Hungarian service due to ill-health in 1848 and, on returning to Ireland, joined the Irish Constabulary. He resigned in 1853 and emigrated to Australia.He died, in 1861, during the course of the Burke and Wills expedition (of which he was joint leader), the first crossing of Australia from south to north.

His Wikipedia entry, on which the above summary is based, is here,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_O%27Hara_Burke

Here is Burke's entry in the Militär-Schematismus for 1841
https://archive.org/stream/militrschematis05kriegoog#page/n343/mode/1up

(I came across his name in the 1841 Militär-Schematismus by chance when researching one of other entries in this thread!)

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Thanks for this additional information, Jonas (7th or 10th Hussars btw?). It prompted me to look at the Militär-Schematismus for 1839 to see if I could find Achilles. I couldn't but did find an entry, again in the 10 HR - as a cadet, for their youngest brother, Edmund! Interestingly, that very British term 'Esq' is used as an indicator of rank.

https://archive.org/stream/militrschematis07kriegoog#page/n350/mode/1up

He appears not to last long as he doesn't appear in the Militär-Schematismus for 1840 :( (although his brother Ludwid is, surprisingly). I wonder if all three brothers 'jumped ship' at about the same time?

It seems like "Achilles" was tied to the 10th as a cadet, but confirmed as a subaltern in the 7th. Edmond Nolan entered the 10th Hussars even though Nolan Sr originally bought him a place in the 5th Hussars. Louis Nolan served at the time of the coronation of Queen Victoria. As both Archibald and Louis were confirmed in May 1835 and the former resigned within a year, he has to have been out in the spring of 1836 while Louis certainly served two years after. Louis was commissioned in the 15th Light Dragoons in the spring of 1839.

/Jonas

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It seems like "Achilles" was tied to the 10th as a cadet, but confirmed as a subaltern in the 7th. Edmond Nolan entered the 10th Hussars even though Nolan Sr originally bought him a place in the 5th Hussars. Louis Nolan served at the time of the coronation of Queen Victoria. As both Archibald and Louis were confirmed in May 1835 and the former resigned within a year, he has to have been out in the spring of 1836 while Louis certainly served two years after. Louis was commissioned in the 15th Light Dragoons in the spring of 1839.

/Jonas

Thank you again, Jonas. Was this all from Buttery? If so, his seems like a good book to get hold of. You raise the interesting issue of buying a place in a regiment. I wonder if this was the same kind of system as appertained in the British army before the reforms. To answer my own question, I need to have another read of Istvan Deak's Beyond Nationalism, which seems the definitive work on all matters relating to the Austro-Hungarian officer corps.

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All of the above comes from Buttery, I once bought it to learn more about Louis Nolan the man, but it certainly has some interesting information on the side too! One cannot help thinking what would have become of him had he survived the Crimean War, he was after all one of the most experienced officers of his age and rank in the British army at the time.

I'm not sure it was a case of direct purchase of a commission as in the British army. Money was certainly involved when obtaining a place at a cadet school ("school fees" etc?), but one had to be approved by regimental proprietor - the Inhaber - in order to be accepted as a cadet at all. Patronage would be closer to the truth than purchase.

/Jonas

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James Henry NORCOTT (c.1813-1870), youngest son of Major General Sir Amos Norcott (of 95th Rifles fame)[1], he was baptised in Reading in 1813 [2]. Norcott matriculated into Trinity College, Cambridge in 1834 but did not graduate [3]. He was a cadet in the 7 Husaren-regiment in 1839 (under the name 'Heinrich Norcott Esquire')[4] and an Unterlieutenant by 1841 (the 1888 marriage notice of his son, in the Melbourne Argus [5], suggests that he also served in the 8 HR) but had resigned by 1847. By 1850, he was in Australia, where he got married on 19 March [7].

The fact that Norcott did not manage to graduate suggests to me that service in the Austrian army wasn't the original career envisaged for him.

Sources
1. http://www.familiesunearthed.com/reilly/norcott/james-henry.htm
2. https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/NR5X-BZQ
3. http://brittlebooks.library.illinois.edu/brittlebooks_open/Books2009-06/trinco0001admtri/trinco0001admtriv00004/trinco0001admtriv00004_ocr.txt
4. https://archive.org/stream/militrschematis07kriegoog#page/n346/mode/2up
5. http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/6911794
6. There is no entry for him in the 1847 Schematismus
7. http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/4771931

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I have noted already that officers of British extraction were given the social rank of Esquire in the Militär-Schematismus that I have looked at, to date. It occured to me that one way of establishing the number of these British officers present in the Austrian army at any given time would be to search through a Militär-Schematismus for a chosen year for all instances of 'esq'.

I have now done this, using the text-based version on archive.org, for the year 1847. The results - 24 officers, in total - are shown in the attached table. Two points need to be made. First, I have listed the names as they appear in the Militär-Schematismus and, in a number of cases, the German version of an English name was used by the Austrians. Secondly, I spotted two officers (marked by an asterisk) who I am assuming are British (in one case, I know it for a fact) but who were not accorded the rank of Esquire. I am sure that there would have been others, had I looked more closely.

I don't know the size of the Austrian officer corps at the time but I imagine 24 would have been a tiny percentage of the total. However, I was surprised that the number was as high as this. I also note that the incidence of Scottish or Irish surnames is much higher than English (or Welsh) ones but I suppose this should be no surprise bearing in mind the tradition of service abroad of families from those two countries. I wonder, however, why representatives of the cavalry outnumber the infantry four to one?

Edited by Trooper_D

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A fine North East English name, the town near Sunderland has that name. So basically the first US president came from a family of Sunderland supporting immigrants who weren't adverse to a drop of broon ale.

Paul

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1884 Schematismus :D

attachicon.gifIMG_7234.JPG

Good find, Markgraf!

On 3 September, 1916, the New York Times ran a story about him, entitled "Baron George Washington Fighting for Austria; Collateral Descendant of the First President of U.S., an Officer of the Austrian Lancers", which explains his descent. It is available, as a .pdf, here,

http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9805E3D91439E233A25750C0A96F9C946796D6CF

Edited by Trooper_D

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Good find, Markgraf!

On 3 September, 1916, the New York Times ran a story about him, entitled "Baron George Washington Fighting for Austria; Collateral Descendant of the First President of U.S., an Officer of the Austrian Lancers", which explains his descent. It is available, as a .pdf, here,

http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9805E3D91439E233A25750C0A96F9C946796D6CF

Interesting article, thanks! I will search him in the 1916 Schematismus.

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Found this picture of Baron George von Washington (11 Uhlans) on the internet.

Edited by Ian

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Rittmeister Georg Freiherr von Washington (Ruhestands-Schematismus page 354), born in 1856 and ausser Dienst 1906.

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Reactivated officers for the war's duration below the rank of Generalmajor were not listed in the Ranglisten.

Regards

Glenn

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Patrick Mannock, Major,  7th Hussar Regiment

HR_07_1909.jpg

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Patrick Mannock, Major,  7th Hussar Regiment

Good spot, Markgraf - and he was still there in 1914, as senior Major! I wonder what happened next? :-(

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 I wonder what happened next? :-(

To answer my own question, it seems he was still going strong in 1916, as an Oberst. I have to conclude that he wasn't a British subject - by this point, if he ever was - as I would doubt that his employment would have been continued after 4 August 1914.

2015-06-29_17-35-16.jpg

Source: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=vi5VAAAAYAAJ&focus=searchwithinvolume&q=mannock

Edited by Trooper_D

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