Major General Sir Philip Mainwaring Carnegy KCB

 

Major General Sir Philip Carnegy  was in command of the Jullundur Brigade in India when it was ordered to France in 1914. He took it there and retained command until being succeeded by Brigadier Peter Strickland in 1915 who, at that time, was commanding Ist Manchesters within the Brigade. A short account of his life and service follows.

Philip Carnegy was born on 12 December 1858 the son of Major General PA Carnegy and the former Jessy Pyne Rawlins, the daughter of Major General JS Rawlins; there was no issue from this marriage. He was educated at Dollar Academy, Cheltenham from whence he proceeded to the Royal Military College at Sandhurst. In 1878 he was commissioned into the 67th(South Hampshire) Regiment of Foot. In 1878 he joined the Madras Staff Corps. Later he joined the 4th Gurkha Rifles, the 2nd Battalion of which he later commanded. He was appointed an AAG in India in May 1909 and joined the Jullundur Brigade in 1910. From 1910-1912 he was Commander of the Abbotabad Brigade before taking up command of the Jullundur Brigade on 12th April 1912.

Carnegy took part in many campaigns between 1878 and 1900. Over 1878,1879 and 1880 he saw active service in Afghanistan which included action over the Charasiah affair of Doaba and operations around Kabul for which he received a Mention in Despatches(MID) and the medal with 2 Clasps. For the action at Doaba*on 10th November 1879 the Chief of Staff Kabul Field Force wrote to the CO of the 67th Regiment to say "Captain Poole. Lieutenant Carnegy and and Colour Sergeant Wheeler behaved with great coolness and gallantry in action and the Lieutenant General proposes to bring their names to the notice of His Excellency the Commander-in-Chief."**.From 1885 to 1886 he took part in the 3rd Burma War during which he was severely wounded near Shwebo. He was present at the taking of Muhla and the occupation of Mandalay recieving a further MID and the Medal with Clasp.  From 1888 until 1890 he was present during the Chin-Lushai Expedition receiving the !989-90 Clasp. In 1891 he saw further active service in Manipur where at Bapam he was again severely wounded, receiving the Thetta Column Clasp. In 1895 he took part in the Relief of Chitral Expedition receiving the Medal with Clasp. From 1897 to 1898 he was a member of the Tirah Expedition where he again received a MID and 2 Clasps. In 1900 he accompanied the China Expedition and received the Medal.

Colonel (temporary Brigadier General) Carnegy was "appointed to be Brigade Commander and to retain his temporary rank (of Major General) while so employed" on 1st September 1912. He landed with the Jullundur Brigade under his command in 1914. During the 11th and 12th December 1914 "the Jullundur Brigade under General Carnegy relieved the French in their trenches at Givenchy and at Cuinchy across the La Bassee Canal embracing the Bethune-La Bassee Road.

It was observed that the French fire trenches were, as a rule, not so deep as the British. This was partly because their men generally were shorter than ours, and they use few loopholes, firing mostly over the parapet. The French communication and support trenches were considered to be superior, which was probably due to the fact that they employed more men per yard of front, and were thus able to do more work. In Givenchy itself the French had practically double as many men as we had." For full details of the later attack by the Jullundur Brigade under his command to restore the situation at Givenchy see Pages 183 onwards in "The Indian Corps in France during World W1 by Lt Col Merewether CIE and The Rt Hon Sir Frederick Smith, Bt"*** He was awarded a further MID.

In January 1915 General Carnegy was invalided and handed over command to Lt Col Strickland, CO 1 Manchesters. He was awarded the CB in 1911 and was created KCB in 1921. On 6th December 1918 he was granted a vacant Indian Good Service pension. He was formally retired on 12th April 1919.

Major General Sir Philip Mainwaring Carnegy KCB died on 8th December 1927 at Tenbury Wills, Worcestershire.

 

Notes:

* From the Regimental Journal of the 2nd Battalion (The Sixty-Seventh Foot)

The party was approaching a village, Doaba, some miles up-stream of Nagalo, expecting to obtain supplies but met the inhabitants retiring in confusion and alarm. Pushing on nevertheless, Captain Poole ran into several hundreds of tribesmen. Sending half his party back with his baggage animals, he and the rest took post to cover them and by effective shooting kept the Afghans at bay for over an hour. By then the enemy, taking advantage of good cover, were getting round his flanks and threatened his retreat. He therefore fell back through a narrow defile along the river, so closely pressed that he had to leave his dead behind and had much difficulty in getting his wounded away. He was hit himself, but Lt Carnegy took over and carried on. Corporal Wooley, whose markmanship was notable, making a gallant but unsuccessful attempt to rescue a wounded man who fell into the river. Meanwhile a sowar had carried the news back to camp and Major Baker was hurrying to the rescue with two companies of the Sixty-Seventh, four guns and other troops. These arrived in the nick of time, the guns opening fire and checking an outflanking movement on the verge of success. Lt Atkinson's company of the Sixty-Seventh now pushed forward up the defile, the other troops advancing parallel on its right. The pursuing tribesmen now found the tables turned; crowded in the defile they gave the guns and the Sixty-Seventh's Martinis good targets and were pressed back beyond Doaba, suffering severely, but the Sixty-Seventh had four killed and several wounded. Corporal Wooley was promoted to Lance Sergeant, while Major Baker, Capatin Poole, Lts Atkinson and Carnegy and Sergeant Wheeler were all 'mentioned' for good services."

** Also from the same Regimental Journal:

"Charasia, Kabul and Afghanistan 1879-1880, the honours awarded for this campaign, represent no inconsiderable achievment. If in the Martini the British troops had a weapon greatly superior to those of their enemies, which had been denied the forces in the First Afghan War, weapons do not win wars by themselves, they must be well and properly handled and the good shooting and fire discipline, so conspicuois in this campaign, were not automatically acquired. The small force under General Robers had to face a numerous and determined enemy in difficult country and tactical skill, endurance and discipline had been severely tested. The Commander-in-Chief in Madras, when welcoming the Regiment back to the Presidency, was well justified in declaring that its conduct throughout the campaign had been ' exemplary both in the field and in camp' and that its 'high reputation' had been 'fully sustained'. While all ranks received a medal, Colonel Knowles was given a CB, Major Kinsley and Captains Poole and Jarvis getting Brevets, while Colour Sergeant Wheeler and Lance-Sergeants Heath and Wooley received medals for distinguished gallantry. Major Baker, Captain Blundell and Lts Atkinson and Carnegy were 'mentioned' in dispatches."

*** Givenchy from the Supplement to the London Gazette of 16 February 1915:

"At about 10 am (20th December 1914)the enemy succeeded in driving back the Sirhind Brigade, and capturing a considerable part of Givenchy, but the 57th Rifles and 9th Bhopals, north of of the canal, and the Connaught Rangers, south of it, stood firm.

The 15th Sikhs of the Divisional reserve were already supporting the Sirhind Brigade. On the news of the retirement of the latter being received, the 47th Sikhs were also sent up to reinforce General Brunker. The Ist Manchester Regiment, 4th Suffolk Regiment, and two battalions of  French Territorials under General Carnegy were ordered to launch a vigorous counter attack from Pont Fixe through Givenchy to retake by flank attack the trenches lost by the Sirhind Brigade.

Orders were sent to General Carnegy to divert his attack on Gvenchy Village, and to re-establish the situation there. A battalion of the 58th French Division was sent to Annequin in support.

About 5 pm a gallant attack led by the Ist Manchester Regimentand one company of the 4th Suffolk Regiment had captured Givenchy and cleared the enemy out of the two lines of trenches to the North-East. To the East of the village the 9th Bhopal Infantry and the 57th Rifles had maintained their positions, but the enemy were still in possession of our trenches to the North of the village.".

 

The President wishes to acknowledge the help he has received from The Manchester Regiment Museum (Captain Robert Bonner and Staff), The Royal Hampshire Regiment Museum and Colonel Paul Davis, late the Royal Hampshire Regiment, in researching this article. Any necessary corrections or amendments should be forwarded to the President for consideration.