|The Naval Brigade in Egypt and the Soudan
|Chief Petty Officer William AGUS, RN
|William Agus was born on 3 Jan 1858 in St Giles, Parish of Norwich. He entered the RN as a Boy on board HMS Fisgard on 8 Dec ’73.
He was just under 16 yrs of age. He was able to read & write & signed his name quite legibly. His former occupation is noted as
“Groom”, presumably he worked with horses.
He saw considerable service onboard HMS Implacable, Revenge, Impregnable, Cambridge, Black Prince, & Royal Adelaide, prior to being
promoted to AB on board HMS Sealark on 15 Feb ’77. He then saw service on board HMS Agincourt where he was quickly promoted to
Leading Seaman on 24 July ’80 & then PO2nd class on 12 May ’82. He was drafted to HMS Hecla on 26 May as PO2 & 2nd Captain of
the Quarterdeck & saw action at the fleet bombardment of Alexandria on 11 July.
However, things went wrong for him on 22 Sep ’82, for on that date he must have committed some major infraction as he was
disrated to AB, losing his first GC badge, & being placed in the “2nd class for Conduct”. However he was not long in redeeming
himself as his GCB was restored, he was restored to the First class for conduct, & he was promoted to Leading Seaman on 28 Dec ’
He subsequently served in Hecla’s Naval Brigade, seeing action at the Battle of Tamaai on 13 March ’84. Agus is shown in HMS Hecla’s
Gardner Gun’s crew photo at the head of this article.
He was again promoted to PO2 on 1 Aug ’85 & left Hecla shortly afterwards, on the 25th, for HMS Defiance. HMS Defiance was the
Torpedo School ship at devonport. Upon joining Defiance he was promoted to PO1st class & Captain’s Coxswain on 26 Aug ’85. The
Captain of Defiance at the time was Commander Charles Norcock.
He subsequently served as Captain’s Coxswain on HMS Curlew, & Royal Adelaide.
Agus was then drafted to HMS Royalist on 22 Oct ’89 for service on the Australian Station. He was Captain’s Cox’n to Captain Edward
Davis & was to spend almost 4 years on Royalist before returning to UK. He was promoted to CPO at HMS Vivid on 26 Oct ’93. He
again gets drafted to Australia to serve in Royal Naval ships assigned to the Australian station, serving on board HMS Karrakatta &
HMS Katoomba from Oct ’94 to Apl ’00. He received his Naval Long Service medal whilst serving on HMS Karrakatta, 6 Oct ’99.
He then returns home by Apl 1900 & finishes out his time, being pensioned 15 Jan ’01.
On 4 Feb ’01 Agus signs on again as an AB Pensioner but is released at own request on 12 July ’01. He had 27 years service. He would
have been too old for call up in WWI.
William Agus was a Seaman branch CPO & never took any specialist, gunnery, torpedo, or trade courses during his career. He had a
few responsible rates & appointments during his long career & spent quite a bit of his time at sea.
His 3 clasp combination to his Egypt medal, with the single Tamaai clasp, is quite rare, with only 3 of this combination being awarded.
In the group photo of Hecla’s Gardner Gun’s crew Agus is on the right end of the second row from the back. When the photo was
taken he would have held the rank of Leading Seaman.
By the 1901 census William Agus was married to a younger woman (he was 43, she was 29) & had two children. He was now a
labourer. He died in the spring of 1932 at 74 yrs of age.