Thomas Reed (British Army officer)

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General Sir
Thomas Reed
20th General Officer Commanding, Ceylon
In office
13 September 1854 1856
Preceded by Philip Bainbrigge
Succeeded by Henry Frederick Lockyer
Military service
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Rank General
Commands General Officer Commanding, Ceylon

General Sir Thomas Reed, GCB (1796 – 24 July 1883) was a British Army officer and the 20th General Officer Commanding, Ceylon.

General Officer Commanding, Ceylon was the designation of the General Officer appointed to command all British Army units stationed in the island of Ceylon during the British colonial administration of the island. The post was succeeded by the Commander of the Ceylon Defence Force.

He was born in Dublin, the son of Thomas Reed of Dublin, by Eliza, daughter of Colonel Sir F. J. Buchanan.

He entered the army as a cornet in the 12th Light Dragoons in 1813, was promoted lieutenant in 1815, and was with the regiment at the Battle of Waterloo. In 1834 he was made lieutenant-colonel of the 62nd Foot, a position he held for eighteen years. He was made brevet-colonel in 1841 and the following year aide-de-camp to the queen. Two years afterwards he was made a CB

Battle of Waterloo Battle of the Napoleonic Wars in which Napoleon was defeated

The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday, 18 June 1815 near Waterloo in Belgium, part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands at the time. A French army under the command of Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated by two of the armies of the Seventh Coalition: a British-led allied army under the command of the Duke of Wellington, and a Prussian army under the command of Field Marshal Blücher. The battle marked the end of the Napoleonic Wars.

During the First Sikh War his regiment formed part of the force which held Ferozepore under Sir John Hunter Littler. At the Battle of Ferozeshah in 1845 Reed commanded a brigade (including his own regiment) of Littler's division and was ordered to attack the strongest part of the Sikh entrenchments where there was a large number of heavy guns served with grape and canister. The attack was unsuccessful, with heavy losses, and Reed himself was slightly wounded.

Battle of Ferozeshah battle

The Battle of Ferozeshah was fought on 21 December and 22 December 1845 between the British and the Sikhs, at the village of Ferozeshah in Punjab. The British were led by Sir Hugh Gough and Governor-General Sir Henry Hardinge, while the Sikhs were led by Lal Singh. The British emerged victorious.

In 1852 he gave up the command of the 62nd and went on half-pay, employed as colonel on the staff at Birmingham. Promoted major-general in 1854, he went out the following year as General Officer Commanding the troops in Ceylon until 1856, when he was transferred to a division of the Madras army and soon afterwards to the command of the troops in the Punjab.

When the Indian Mutiny broke out in 1857 he became provisional commander-in-chief on the death of General Anson from cholera, as the senior officer in the Bengal presidency, until Sir Patrick Grant arrived. On the death of Sir Henry Barnard, Reed assumed command of the field force but the exertions and anxieties of that position were too much for him. He was obliged to give up the responsibility and thereafter saw no further service in the field.

Major-General George Anson CB was a British military officer and Whig politician from the Anson family.

Patrick Grant British Army officer

Field Marshal Sir Patrick Grant, was a senior Indian Army officer. He fought at the Battle of Maharajpore during the Gwalior Campaign, at the Battle of Mudki, the Battle of Ferozeshah and the Battle of Sobraon during the First Anglo-Sikh War and at the Battle of Chillianwala and the Battle of Gujrat during the Second Anglo-Sikh War. During the Indian Mutiny, as acting Commander-in-Chief, India, he directed the operations against the mutineers, sending forces under Henry Havelock and James Outram for the relief of Cawnpore and Lucknow. He later became Governor of Malta.

In 1858 he was made colonel of the 44th (East Essex) Regiment of Foot, transferring in 1881 to be Colonel of the 1st Battalion, Essex Regiment, which was formed when the 44th Regiment was amalgamated in that year with the 56th Foot. He was promoted Lieutenant-General in 1860 and General in 1868.

44th (East Essex) Regiment of Foot

The 44th Regiment of Foot was an infantry regiment in the British Army, raised in 1741. Under the Childers Reforms it amalgamated with the 56th Regiment of Foot to form the Essex Regiment in 1881.

Essex Regiment

The Essex Regiment was a line infantry regiment of the British Army in existence from 1881 to 1958. The regiment served in many conflicts such as the Second Boer War and both World War I and World War II, serving with distinction in all three. It was formed in 1881 under the Childers Reforms by the amalgamation of the 44th Regiment of Foot and the 56th Regiment of Foot.

In 1877 he was placed on the retired list, having had been made K.C.B. in 1865 and G.C.B. in 1875. He died at Romsey, Hampshire on 24 July 1883. In 1835 he had married Elizabeth Jane, daughter of John Clayton of Enfield Old Park, Middlesex.

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    Military offices
    Preceded by
    Philip Bainbrigge
    General Officer Commanding, Ceylon
    Succeeded by
    Henry Frederick Lockyer