Eyre Crabbe

Photograph circa 1900

Brigadier General Eyre Macdonnell Stewart Crabbe, CB (1852 – 8 March 1905) was a Grenadier Guards officer who fought in the Sudan campaign to rescue General Gordon and in the Second Boer War.[1]


1 Background and early life
2 Military career
3 Family
4 References
5 External links

Background and early life[edit]
His father was Colonel Eyre John Crabbe of the 74th Regiment, himself the son of Colonel Joseph Crabbe of the East India Company’s army. His mother, Elmina Stewart, came from a Jamaica planter family. After education at Harrow School he joined the Grenadier Guards as a lieutenant on 18 October 1871 and was one of the first ensigns not to have to pay for a commission, following the Cardwell reforms. During service in Ireland as a young lieutenant he married in 1876 Emily Constance Jameson, a descendant of John Jameson, the founder of the Dublin distilling family.
Military career[edit]
Crabbe worked for several years as a musketry instructor, but in 1882 he helped organise the logistical operations for the British attack on Alexandria. He was promoted to captain the following year, on 24 November 1883. In 1884 he volunteered for the Sudan campaign as part of the Guards Camel Corps and took part in the battle of Abu Klea.[2] Promotion to major followed on 15 June 1885.[3]
On 6 July 1898 he was promoted to lieutenant-colonel and became commanding officer of the 3rd Battalion, the Grenadier Guards, and the following year he led the battalion to South Africa following the outbreak of the Second Boer War in October 1899. He was wounded at the Battle of Belmont in November 1899 and mentioned in despatches, but was back with his battalion in time for the Battle of Magersfontein in December. In March 1900 his battalion took part in the march on Bloemfontein and the pacification of the Orange Free State. He escorted Piet Cronjé into captivity, and commented in a letter home: “It is a curious idea taking one’s wife & family with one to the wars & must be inconvenient for many reasons but it is rather the fashion in these parts. Living in a river bed & being shot at every day seems an odd fancy for a lady.” [4] On 23 March he was badly wounded when a small foraging party, mainly of officers, which he was leading, including Colonel Codrington of the Coldstream Guards, was ambushed at Karee Siding; his adjutant was killed. This episode was generally regarded as “plucky” but widely reported round the worl