|The Naval Brigade in Egypt and the Soudan
|PO Thomas Henry Redman, RN
Thomas Redman was born in Bristol on 6 Oct 1859, however when he signed on he gave his birth year as 1860.
Thomas had a brother, Charles(born 14 Feb ’58) who had previously joined the RN on 4 Feb ’74, perhaps this
influenced him to join as well.
He entered the RN as a 16 1/2 yr old Boy 2nd cl on 12 Apl 1876. He had no trade or occupation when he
entered, & was quite a short boy, 5 ft in height, light hair, & fair complexion. He completed his Boy’s training
on HMS Implacable & after a brief spell on the Depot ship Duke of Wellington, was drafted to HMS Endymion
(Frigate of 1866, now a CG ship) on 23 Aug ’78. On Endymion Redman was promoted to ORD on 6 Oct ’78.
After 2 months on Endymion he was next drafted to HMS Encounter(Corvette of ’73) on 9 Jan ’79. She was
destined for service on the China station. He was only one Encounter for a yr, 2months when he returned to Uk
via HMS Tyne(Troopship). He is then drafted to HMS Warrior (Ironclad B/S of ’60) on 6 Sep ‘80, & Hercules
(Ironclad B/S of ’68)on 1 May ’81. Hercules was then in the CG service.
His next major ship was HMS Hecla(Torpedo ship of ’78 part of the Mediterranean Fleet), which he joined on 22
Jun ’82. As it turned out his brother Charles had joined Hecla on 26 May ’82, perhaps Thomas had requested a
draft to Hecla to join his brother.
Whilst on Hecla he was to see service in the Egypt campaign of 1882 & was present for the Bombardment of
the forts at Alexandra on 11 July ’82. For some reason he left Hecla for a brief stint on Dk of Wellington (28
July-5 Aug ’83), then rejoined Hecla on 6 Aug.
Now his conduct up to mid ’83 had been assessed as Very Good, but on 15 Sept he got himself into some
trouble. On that date he was placed in the Second Class for Conduct, which was not good as he would have
had to follow a regular punishment program whilst he was in the Second Class. He was to remain in the 2nd
class until 16 Mar ’84. On 1 May he was promoted to AB.
During ’84 he was to see action ashore as part of the Naval Brigade & Gardner gun’s crew at the battles of El
Teb (29 Feb) & Tamaai(13Mar).
Charles had also landed at Suakin in ’84 but did not see action in either El Teb or Tamaai.*
Both Redmans left Hecla on decommissioning 30 Sep’85 & returned to Duke of Wellington. Thomas
subsequently receiving a draft to HMS Asia (Depot ship, Ports) on 4 Feb ’86.**
Thomas rec’d his first GCB(Good Conduct badge) on 19 Mar ’86, somewhat late due to his conduct troubles in’
83. He was never again to have conduct problems & his conduct for the rest of his career remained VG (Very
Thomas rec’d his 2nd GCB on 9 Mar ’88.
His next major sea draft was to be to HMS Assistance(Troopship of ’79), joining her on 25 Mar ’88. Whilst on
Assistance was to receive promotion to LS on 19 Jun ’88, & PO2cl on 1 Aug ’89.
His next draft was to HMS Mercury(2nd cl Cruiser of ’79),
recently commissioned at Portsmouth for the China Station, to relieve HMS Cordelia. Redman was to be
promoted to PO1st cl on 4 Oct ’90.
Remaining on Mercury until 6 Apl ’91 he returned to UK seeing service on depot ships HMS Dk of Well’n,
St. Vincent & Victory, receiving his 3rd GCB on 3 Oct ’91.
On 18 Dec ’91 he joined HMS
Research(Paddle wheel Survey vessel
of ’87), employed in a survey of the
west coast of UK.
He was to remain on Research for
almost 5 yrs, leaving her on 30 Oct ’
His last draft was to HMS Imogene
(Special Service vessel of ’87) in the
Returning to UK on 29 Nov ’96 he
was to finish up his time for pension
on 31 Mar ’99, completing 23 yrs
service in the RN.
As mentioned above, Thomas
Redman’s conduct was VG since his
infraction of ’83, altho he was never
awarded a Good Conduct medal.
He also never specialized in any
gunnery rate, remaining as a Seaman
for his entire career.
It is unknown if Thomas married or
had a family, however he passed
away in Portsmouth in Dec 1933 at
74 years of age.
*Charles Redman rec’d the Egypt
medal with clasps Alexandra &
** Charles was to leave the RN on 3
Mar ’86 upon completion of his initial
engagement. His conduct during his
career was not that great. He rec’d
two placements in the Second Class
for Conduct & his conduct was
assessed as Fair 4 times during