South Africa Medal, bar 1879, Egypt Medal, 1882, no bar, Khedive’s Star 1882, 1788 Pte Thomas Lavis, 3rd 60th Rifles, Veteran of Zulu War, 1st Boer War, and Egyptian War where he received a gunshot wound on 9th September 1882 to the Right Thigh at Kassassin.
Thomas Lavis was born in North Petherton, Bridgwater, Somerset.
Attested for service at Winchester on 25th August 1877.
Saw the following service:
Home, 22nd August 1877 – 18th February 1879
South Africa, 19th Feb 1879 – 21st Feb 1882
Malta, 22nd February 1882 – 17th July 1882
Egypt, 18th July 1882 – 23rd Nov 1882
Home, 24th Nov 1882 – 21st August 1889.
Notably upon arrival in South Africa to fight in the war in Zululand during 1879, the regiment as part of the 2nd Brigade of the Eshowe Relief Column fought at the Battle of Gingindlovu on 1st April 1879, during the action the Commanding Officer was killed in action, Lt Col Northey.
Following the Zulu War, he remained for a few more years in South Africa, throughout the First Anglo Boer War, during which time the 3rd 60th suffered many casualties at Ingogo River, with some men present at Laing’s Nek and Majuba Hill, however Lavis is not listed amongst the casualties.
During the Egyptian War that followed, the regiment fought in 2 actions at Kassassin, the 1st on 28th August 1882 and the 2nd, where Pte Lavis was wounded on 9th September 1882.
The London Gazette Dispatch for the battle where he was wounded:
DESPATCH, of which the following is a copy, has been received by the Secretary
of State for War from the General Officer Commanding in Egypt:—
SIR, September 10, 1882.
I HAVE the honour to acquaint you that the enemy made a combined attack, yesterday morning, upon this position,—one column advancing from the north from the Salahiyeh direction, the other from Tel-el-Kebir. Arabi Pasha was on the ground, but the attacking troops were commanded by Ali Fehmi Pasha, Rashid Pasha being, it is asserted by prisoners, in disgrace, for having lost his camp and guns in the fight of the 25th ultimo, at Mahsameh station.
The enemy's force was about 30 guns—of which we took 4—and 17 battalions of Infantry, several squadrons of
Cavalry, and a few thousand Bedouins. From the information I have obtained from, prisoners, it would seem that the enemy expected an easy victory, thinking the force here was only a weak advance guard.
The troops in camp, when the attack began, were, as below, under the command of Lieutenant General Willis, commanding 1st Division. With these, he immediately moved out, attacked, and drove back the enemy, who retreated with loss within their line of works at Tel-el-Kebir, from which they opened an angry but harmless fire upon our troops, which had been halted beyond the range of their guns.
Our troops moved with great steadiness, and Major-General Graham has especially brought to my notice the dashing manner in which two Krupp guns were taken by the battalion of Royal Marine Light Infantry, and the excellent manner in which
that battalion was handled by its Commanding Officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Jones.
Our casualties were three men killed, and two
officers, and 78 men wounded.
Lieutenant Purvis, of H.M.S. "Penelope," is amongst those who were severely wounded. He was in command of the naval detachment that was serving the 40-pr., which is mounted on a railway truck. He is a very good officer, and I have to regret very much the loss of his valuable services with this Army.
With the exception of five, who were too severely injured to be moved by railway, all the wounded were sent to Ismailia last night, and those five were sent there this evening by the freshwater canal.”
3rd Bn King’s Royal Rifles – 2 Non-Comissioned Officers and men killed, 28th Non-commissioned officers and men wounded.
Total, 30th non-commissioned officers and men killed and wounded.