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SIR HENRY WYLIE NORMAN (1826-1904)

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Originally appearing in Volume V19, Page 748 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SIR HENRY WYLIE NORMAN (1826-1904), field-marshal and colonial governor, was born on the 2nd of December 1826, and entered the Indian army at the age of seventeen. In 1840 his father, who had been for many years a merchant in Cuba, became a partner in a mercantile house in Calcutta, where he was joined by his son in 1842. In 1844 the latter obtained a cadetship. He went through the second Sikh campaign and having attracted the favourable notice of Sir Colin Campbell was selected by him to accompany an expedition against the Kohat Pass Afridis in 185o as officiating brigade-major. The subaltern of twenty-four was given a substantive appointment in this capacity for a splendid deed of gallantry, which is recorded by Sir Charles Napier in the following terms: " In the pass of Kohat a sepoy picket, descending a precipitous mountain under fire and the rolling of large stones, had some men killed andwounded. Four of the latter, dreadfully hurt, crept under some rocks for shelter. They were not missed until the picket reached the bottom, but were then discovered by our glasses, high up and helpless. Fortunately the enemy did not see them, and some sepoys volunteered a rescue, headed by Norman of the 31st Native Infantry and Ensign Murray of the loth Native Infantry. These brave men—would that the names of all were known to me for record!—ascended the rocks in defiance of the enemy, and brought the wounded men down." Norman served in numerous frontier expeditions between 185o and 1854, and in the suppression of the Sonthal rebellion of 1855–56. In the Mutiny campaign he was constantly engaged, being present at the siege of Delhi, the relief of Lucknow and a number of other affairs. As adjutant-general of the Delhi Field Force, he was one of the leading spirits of the siege, and afterwards became its chief chronicler. Altogether he was mentioned twenty-five times in despatches. He afterwards became assistant military secretary for Indian affairs at the Horse Guards, military secretary to the government of India, military member of the viceroy's council and member of the secretary of state for India's council. In 1883 Sir Henry began his colonial career as governor of Jamaica, an appointment from which he was transferred in 1888 to the governorship of Queensland. Here he remained until 1895, when he came home to act as agent-general for the colony in London. In 1893 he was offered the viceroyalty of India, but, after first accepting, declined it. In 1897 he was chairman of the royal commission of inquiry into the condition of the West Indies. In April 1901 he was appointed governor of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, in succession to Sir Donald Stewart. In 1902 he was made a field-marshal. He died on the 26th of October 1904. See Sir William Lee Warner, Memoirs of Field-marshal Sir Henry Wylie Norman (1908).
End of Article: SIR HENRY WYLIE NORMAN (1826-1904)
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