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Noor   

Hi all,

I rarely find time to post here something so I decided to do it now. Please find one nice China War medal below that I picked up yesterday. Finished initial research today and I am delighted about the amount of information was available of him:

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James Henry Gordon Casserly (25th July 1869 – 7th April 1947)
Lieutenant Colonel
120th Rajputana Infantry / 20th Regiment, Bombay Infantry
Honorary Commander of the United Arts Rifles
 
James was born 25th August 1869 as a son of James Henry Casserly and Maria Rourke. At that time they lived in 1 Chatham Street, Dublin. This property was owned by Casserly family at least from 1853. Up to 1887 there was a pub called “Casserly Travern”. The pub called “Neary’s pub” can be traced back to 1887 when Thomas Neary was the proprietor and the name has stayed with the bar ever since. Even today there are some old belongings from that period in this old pub in Dublin city centre.

Young age James studied in the Trinity College. He passed his final exams on 1889 based on the Daily Express, 15th November 1889 list.

Then he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant into the 4th Battalion, Royal Dublin Fusiliers. He was promoted on the 23rd April 1890 to the rank Lieutenant serving in the 4th Battalion, Royal Dublin Fusiliers 23 April 1890.
4th Battalion, Royal Dublin Fusiliers was a City of Dublin Militia unit and from that, on the 10th October 1891 he was commissioned into the Northamptonshire Regiment as a Second Lieutenant for regular service. Shortly after that transfer he travelled to India with the unit.

Two years later he was transferred to the Indian Army on the 5th June 1893 as a Lieutenant.

Lieutenant Casserly was appointed to the 20th Regiment of Bombay Infantry on the 27th February 1897.

During that time he was two years a Commandant of outpost near Himalayas called Buxa Duar which guards the pass into India from Bhutan. Based on his experience there he wrote later on one of his well-known books “Life in an Indian Outpost”. He describes the daily incidents of social and political life in an isolated station, varied by sporting expeditions and visits to Darjeeling.

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Forest Lodge the Second, which was built after a destructive elephant had ruined the first house in the trees. From “Life in an Indian Outpost” by Major Gordon Casserly

Few years later he became a double company commander with 20th Regiment of Bombay Infantry on the 4th August 1900.

He was attached to the 22nd Regiment of Bombay Infantry 2nd July 1900 and is noted as being employed as a Company Officer but also in charge of the depot of the Hong Kong Regiment according to the January 1901 Indian Army List. The 22nd Regiment served on the China 1900 campaign – it was their first battle honour.

Within the China Expeditionary Force the 22nd Bombay (Native ) Infantry was listed as comprising 13 British Officers,17 Native Officers and Hospital Assistants, 721 NCOs and men, 59 Public followers, 35 Private followers, with 13 officers chargers and 8 ponies. In their attached transport detail they had 108 pack mules with 2 Jemadars and 4 Daffudars and 36 Drivers.
The bulk of the Regiment were at Hong Kong as Garrison Troops but on the 9th June 1900 the HQ Wing embarked at Calcutta on the m.v.Patiala arriving on the 24th July 1900.

It would appear that they did not deploy to North China and remained in Hong Kong as Garrison troops.

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After tour in China during the Boxer Rebellion he was promoted to the rank of Captain on the 10th July 1901.

In 1903 the regiment name had changed to 120th Rajputana Infantry. After six years of service he was promoted once again to the rank of Major on the 10th October 1909.

In the January & April 1915 Indian Army List he is noted as being on leave, outside of India on a medical certificate from 28 November 1913 and this had been extended 6 months.

The 120th Rajputana Infantry went to Mesopotamia in November 1914 as part of the original expeditionary force and ultimately forced to surrender at the fall of Kut in April 1916. However it does not look like he was with them.

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Instead Belfast News from 13th April 1914 shows that at that time he published one of his first books;

“Mr. Werner Laurie is just publishing “Life in an Indian Outpost” by Major Casserly. This is a thrilling account of the life of an Indian officer in command of a native garrison in a small post on the frontier. The outpost is called Buxa Duar, and is on the face of the Himalayas, guarding one of the Gates of India. The book gives a wonderfully vivid idea of the peculiarity and loneliness and risks of such a life. 

Major Casserly tells his story in a manly, straightforward, and direct way, and the book will appeal to all lovers of sport and daring.”

In the July 1915 Army List is noted as being on leave, outside of India on a medical certificate 1 year 8 months.

Probably due to his age and ill-health he was transferred to the Half-Pay List on the 28th November 1915 (LG 4 Feb 1916)

In the January 1916 Army List is still noted as being on leave, outside of India on a medical certificate.

On 10th January 1916 he received a Special Appointment, graded as a Staff Captain (LG 27th January 1916) but in the same year he retired as a Major due to ill-health on 11th October 1916 (LG 1 Dec 1916).
In the Indian Army List he was classed as Major retired but liable to be recalled to active service until 1919 (Jan 1919 IAL).

Major Casserly was promoted to the rank Lieutenant Colonel on 14th November 1919 on the retired list in accordance with, the provisions of A.C.I. 644 .and 1213 of 1918 the London Gazette 17th February 1920. In the same date he became a Battalion Commander of 14th County of London Volunteers Regiment. Also he became a Honorary Commander of the United Arts Rifles.

In the Great War Major Casserly didn’t take actively part of the war overseas, therefore 1900 China Campaign medal is his sole entitlement.

Colonel Gordon Casserly, how people know him, was a life member of the Société de Géographie d'Alger. Also he was a British Consul St.Moritz 1916-1917.

He published following books:

Novels

“The Elephant God”
“The Jungle Girl”             (1922) 
“The Red Marshal”         (1920) 
“The Desert Lovers”
“The Sands of Death”
“The Monkey God”        (1929)
“Tiger Girl”
“Love’s Lottery”             (1938) 

Short stories

“Daughter of Eve” 

Travel

“The Land of the Boxers”
“Algeria To-day”                     (1928) 
“Tripolitania”                 (1925) 
“Life in an Indian Outpost”        (1914) 

Nature

“Dwellers in the Jungle”         (1925) 
“In the Green Jungle”            (1927) 

Play

“Bubbies and the Don”

One-act plays

“The Idol”
“The Test”
“Lady Hamilton”
“The Fatal Empress”
“The Lunatic”

Military

“Jungle and River Warfare”        (1914)
“Training of the Volunteers for War”
“Tactics for Beginners”
“Company Training”
“Trench Warfare”

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922F   

Wonderful story & well preserved medal!  Read Casserly's Monkey God years ago--a ripping yarn!!! 

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