The Naval Brigade in Egypt and the Soudan
James Anderson
Anderson returned to Excellent where he qualified as a Gunnery Instructor &  Gunners Mate on 3 Dec ’86.  For the rest of his career
he was to be a Gunnery Instructor.
Anderson was initially awarded his Naval LS medal on 10 May ’86 but was deprived of it whilst serving as Gunner’s Mate on HMS
Melpomene on 31 Dec ‘90 for a conduct infraction.  He also lost one G.C.B. but it was restored one yr later. He returned to Excellent  
where  he was promoted to Chief PO on 28 Feb ’95.  He was awarded his LSGC medal again on 9 March ’96, &  was Chief Gunnery
Instructor at HMS Excellent until 7 July ’97, when he was drafted to HMS Herald as Gunnery Instructor.   He returned to Excellent &
was permitted to sign on for an additional 5 yrs, & continued in his former appointment as Chief Gunnery instructor.

Anderson continued to serve as a Gunnery Instructor until pensioned on 17 Feb ’01 at 43 yrs of age.  He was too old for WWI call
up & died in Alverstoke in 1932.

Anderson had previously qualified for appointment to Warrant Gunner during ’89 & ’90, & his two original Certificates for this
qualification are shown in this display. Also shown are excerpts from  his magnificent hand written Gunnery  Journal  for the same
period Anderson’s Journal is signed by him as well as  by his two Examiners & HMS Excellent’s Commanding Officer, Capt. Compton

The badges shown in the display were worn by Anderson during his career & represent his Gunnery Instructor’s rate as a PO1 & his
Gunner’s Mate rate badges as a CPO.  Also shown is his Victorian CPO cap badge. These Victorian Naval gold wire badges are very
very rare.
Anderson was born on 13 Feb 1858 In Alverstoke & entered the RN as a Boy on 3 Jan ’74. His initial service was on HMS St Vincent,
Royal Adelaide, Excellent, & Serapis.  He was promoted to AB whilst on HMS Warrior & attended HMS Excellent, qualifying as a
Seaman Gunner 1 Dec ’79.

He served on HMS Malabar & Northumberland, being promoted to Leading Seaman on 8 Oct ’81 & was drafted to HMS Sultan on 20
Apl ’82.  He was promoted to Petty Officer 2nd cl & saw action at the Bombardment of Alexandria on 11 July ’82.  He returned to
Excellent to re-qualify as a SG 1st cl, & was drafted to HMS Carysfort where he was appointed Gun Captain on 8 Apl ’84, then PO 1st
cl & Captain of the Forcastle 30 July ’84.  Members of Carysfort formed part of the Gardner’s Gun crew & saw action at the Battle of
Tofrek on 22 Mar ’85. There were 22 members of the Royal Naval Bde at Tofrek, thus making it one of the rarest clasps awarded to
the Naval Bde. Anderson was one of 4 of this Egypt medal three clasp combination for the RN.  
Chief Petty Officer James William Anderson, RN
HMS Sultan was, at the time of her
commissioning in Oct 1871, the largest of the
central battery ships afloat.  She carried eight
10” & four 9” MLR (Muzzle Loading Rifled
{barrels})  guns in a two tiered battery fitted
with embrasures & an overhang to improve
the rate of fire.  She was rigged for full sail as
well as being  steam driven.  Sultan was
present at the bombardment of Alexandria on
11 July 1882, & suffered some hit damage
from the shore batteries during the

On 6 Mar ’89  she struck an uncharted rock in
South Camino Channel just north of the main
island of Malta.  Efforts to remove her were
unsuccessful & she sank in the subsequent
gale.  She was successfully salvaged o&
entered Malta dockyard for repairs &
subsequently was able to make her way back
to UK, & underwent a full modernization refit.  
She served in the Channel Fleet until being
relegated to an Artificer’s  training ship in
1906.   She was finally broken up in ’46.
HMS Carysfort, pictured right,  was a
Corvette (later rated as a 3rd cl Cruiser) &
commissioned in Sep 1878.  She  carried  
two 7” MLR guns & twelve 64 pound deck
guns.  She was rigged for full sail as well as
steam,   although she was a slow steamer,
only able to reach 13 knots when her
contemporaries were capable of 18 knots.  
Her sailing qualities under sail were excellent
though.  She was the first of the steel hulls
for the smaller ships in the RN.

In ’80 she undertook a round the world
cruise with both sons of the Prince of Wales
(later Edward VII) .  On the way home she
was detached to join the Mediterranean fleet
for the 1884-85 Soudan campaign.  Some
of her crew participated in the battles of El-
Teb,  Tamaai,  Tofrek, & the operations in
and around the Port of Suakin in both ’84 & ’
85.  In ’86 she was the Rear Admiral’s
flagship at Alexandria.  Spending most of
her career in the Med,  she was finally sold in
1899 for breaking up.

The second picture is other the gun deck of
HMS Carysfort - this was Anderson's ship in
the Soudan. Anderson would have been
very familiar with this deck I am certain.
Pictured below, are more extracts from this wonderful Journal: