Chester Chronicle 14 November 1914

Report in the Chester Chronicle 14th November 1914 regarding the death of Hugh Handley Sandbach

The news of the week carries on its wing another of the sad stories of the war in Europe, and of its effects in the far distant African Continent, and incidentally adds another name to the local list of the glorious dead, who have given their lives in defence of British hearths and homes. Week after week during the last month a son of one or other of the best houses in the district has found peace in eternal rest, while the families are left to mourn those of their dear ones who have fallen fighting bravely in a just cause. This week we have with much regret to record the death of Capt. Hugh H. Sandbach, only son of Mr. and Mrs. S. H. Sandbach of Cherry Hill, Malpas, who was killed on Wednesday week in German East Africa after a brilliant career in the Army.

He was the commandant of a force of East African Mounted Rifles, which he organised in British East Africa, and it was apparently during an incursion into the enemy's country that he met his death. The enemy appears to have been in considerable force, for in a letter home dated the 5th October Capt. Sandbach says:- "We have been busy on the Border pushing the Germans out, and we have succeeded each time they tried. I have the mounted regiment of East African Rifles. One of my squadrons with only 30 men took on 200 of the enemy about a week ago. We lost 12 and they lost over 30. They retired over the border. Capt. Chapman, who was with me at Eton, was in command of the squadron. They were over 20 miles from us, and we did not hear of the fight until it was over, or I think we could have captured the lot." That it was the gallant little band's intention to assume the offensive is gathered from the concluding portion of the letter. "We hope," he adds, "to go into German East Africa, but we are waiting for Indian troops who are now arriving. The Germans were too strong for us to go in alone, but they have 5,000 regulars and a lot of native troops and guns," but in a cheery final, the writer says: "We have managed to keep them out!"

Subsequent events can only be conjectured, for the news of his death was conveyed in a telegram from Lord Kitchener received on Saturday morning, which ran: "Deeply regret to inform you that Capt. H. H. Sandbach, late Royal Dragoons, was killed in action in an engagement at Longido, in German East Africa, November 4th. Lord Kitchener expresses his sympathy." The King and Queen telegraphed to Mr, Sandbach on Sunday deeply regretting the loss both the Army and he had sustained in the death of his son in the service of the country, and expressed their sympathy.

Capt. Sandbach received his commission in the Royal Dragoons from Oxford at the beginning of the South African war, serving through the war with his regiment, and being subsequently drafted to India, where he remained for eight years, retiring some two years ago to join some friends in an estate in Londiani, British East Africa. The news of his death was received with deep regret on all hands in the district, and sympathy was expressed for his parents and relatives. Mr. S. H. Sandbach is a well-known country gentleman, and has taken a very active part in public matters in Cheshire, and both he and his family have closely identified themselves with any work having for its object the benefit of the town and neighbourhood. Not only in Malpas, but in Handley, Chester, the family are held in the highest esteem, and it is here especially that one hears recounted the stories exemplifying his excellence as a landlord and of his qualities as an English gentleman. Capt. Hugh H. Sandbach's early career as a soldier and his absence in India and Africa in that capacity prevented his close association with local affairs , but whenever he had been at home he had manifested a keen interest in the good work his parents and sisters had in hand in the district. "

Chester Chronicle 14th November 1914

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