Henry Reynolds Luard


"A Captain especially adapted for the strictly military part of the Work"

 Photo courtesy of BC Archives
Call Number I-80359

 Henry Reynolds Luard was born into a family of landed Gentry.  The Luard Family ancestral home had been in place at Blyborough Hall, Lincolnshire, since the 1740's.

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Blyborough map courtesy of

"I find that Captain Luard knows the Amcotts well, his family lives near Hackthorne Hall." 

-- 14 March 1861, Sophia Cracroft

Hackthorne Hall
Photograph courtesy of the Craycroft Family Album

The Luard's are monied gentry, having investments in sugar plantations in Grenada and St.Kitts.

"Captain Luard is nephew to Major Luard who married Mrs. Charles Biggs and he knows all the Biggs.

-- 18 April 1859
Mary S. Moody

In the late 1820's, his father, Dr. Peter Francis Luard, had a thriving practice on Bath St., Leamington and the family lived in a modest home on Northgate St., Warwick.

"The Engineers are a set of real good fellows.  Of them all I like Parsons and Luard the best, the latter is a son of an old Leamington physician, whom I dare say Mamma remembers." 

-- 13 October 1859
Robert Burnaby

H. R. Luard was born in Warwick, Warwickshire on the 30th June 1828.

Luard was one of a large immediate family of 7 children.  His brothers take careers in the Army or the Anglican Clergy.  Luard learns to play the flute in his youth and continues to play it, with some skill, throughout his life.

"We had some pleasant music; Dr. Seddall sent down his harmonium and was accompanied by Captain Luard on the Flute"

-- 14 March 1861,
Sophia Cracroft.

In 1845, young Luard's address was listed as Tillington Cottage, Petworth, Sussex.  Though we are not certain why he was there, the small village of Petworth does contain a "Luard Road" and "Luard Close".

In 1845, Luard attended the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, as a "Gentleman Cadet".  Cadets, who completed their studies and finished in the top half of their class became Royal Engineers and the rest became Royal Artillery.  One of Luard's classmates was Robert Mann Parsons who would later serve with him in British Columbia.  Another cadet was the brother of Arthur Reid Lempriere, the young Lieutenant of the Columbia Detachment.

On the 1st of October 1847, Luard completed his studies at "The Shop" and took leave till 31 October.  During that time he received word that he had been given a commission in the Royal Engineers with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant.

From the 1st November 1847 until the 15th of November 1850 (3 years, 15 days), 2nd Lieutenant Luard was posted in the Garrison Town of Chatham.  It was here that the Royal School of Military Engineering  was based at Brompton barracks.  These were heady days, as the Chartist were gathering in Kennington Common and the Duke of Wellington, Commander of the British Army, had called up troops in case of Riots.  Garrison towns such as Chatham regularly paraded the troops as a show of force.

On the 16th November 1850, 2nd Lieutenant Luard was posted back to familiar grounds at Woolwich.  Though unknown what responsibilities he had there, Woolwich was home to numerous Engineering training groups and the Royal Arsenal.  It was during this time that he received a promotion to Lieutenant on the 24th November 1851.  Lt. Luard was to spend 2 years and 130 days at Woolwich.

On the the 26th March 1853, as the threat of war with the Russians mounted, Lt. Luard received word of his first overseas posting.  He soon boarded a troopship and set sail for the British Colonies of the  West Indies.  Luard was to spend nearly 4 years on Station there (3 years, 362 days).  While serving there, Lt. Luard was again promoted, this time to the rank of 2nd Captain, on the 14th of June 1856.

Returning to England on the 23rd of March 1857, 2nd Captain Luard asked for and received Leave for 131 days.  Either due a poor right eye or as a fashion accent, Luard begins to sport a monocle.

"Hughie, do you remember Captain Luard, the commanding officer, always with his monocle in his right eye..."

Wednesday, October 13th, 1909

Returning to duty, Luard was once more posted back to Chatham on the 1st of August 1857.  It is most likely that Luard served as a Company Commander there.

Entry in an Army Register Book of Births and Baptisms

No. - 3282
Date of the Child's Birth - 16 July, 1857
Place of Baptism - Brompton barracks
Date of Baptism - 10 October, 1857
Christian Name of Child - Agnes Elizabeth
Parents - David S. and Agnes Osment
Rank of Father - Serjeant
Name of Chaplain - The Reverend D. Cook, Protestant
Signature of the Adjutant that the Registry is Correct - HRLuard, Captain RE

He was stationed there for 1 year and 69 days when he volunteered for another Foreign Service posting -- the newly formed Colony of British Columbia.  Colonel Richard Moody RE, who was to command the "Columbia Detachment" of Royal Engineers, offered a civil post to Luard --that of Executive Officer of the Department of Lands and Works-- which Luard accepted.

Captain Luard, R.E., circa Summer 1858



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Our thanks to Ed Garcia of Soldiers of the Queen
for sharing the above image of Luard.

On the 9th of October 1858, 2nd Captain Luard takes command of the bulk of the RE and their families, who sail for British Columbia on the "Thames City".  The preparations of loading the vessel with Supplies and Sappers with their attendant wives and children is not a simple matter.


I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of 5th Instant enclosing one from the office of the Comptroller of Transport Services in which I am desired to report the circumstances under which 20 tons of hay and Oats were landed from the "Thames City" at Gravesend and also whether I consider the "Brokers of the Ship are entitled to be paid freight for the same" in reply to which I have the honor to state as follows, viz.

After the arrival of the "Thames City" at Gravesend on the completion of her loading with Stores for Vancouver's Island, Colonel Moody visited the Military Store Office Tower and expressed his wish that the quantity of oats and hay that had, by his directions, been previously shipped should be taken out of the Vessel at Gravesend in order to afford additional accommodations for the families of the Detachment of Sappers on board her, as well as for other reasons assigned by him.

I accordingly proceeded to Gravesend by directions from Mr. Eaton, then principal Military Storekeeper in the Tower, and on my arrival on board the Vessel was told by the owner that no portion of the Cargo should be removed unless a quarrantee was given him that full freight should be paid for the quantity of Stores taken out.

The Officer of Royal Engineers who was on board in command of the Sappers (Luard) stated he could give no such quarantee, and I also expressed my incompetancy to afford the security required, altho' I felt no hesitation in saying that I considered under the circumstances of the case, that there was a just claim for its being so paid, upon which the owner of the Vessel told me that if I would give him my opinion in writing he would immediately withdraw his opposition and allow the Oats and hay to be removed and which was done on the terms for which he stipulated and I conclude he is in possession of the memo with which I furnished him on the occasion.

It will be seen what my views on the case were at that time and which subsequent consideration has not in any respect induced me to alter.

I have, etc.

Brighton, 7th August, 1861

 The voyage, the longest of any British soldier, is made all the more bearable by the addition of a Shipboard newspaper, which the manuscript forms etc. were supplied by a Captain W. D. Marsh, RE.

As a Captain, Luard's Regimental Pay would have been 202 Pounds per Annum plus a Colonial Allowance of 350 Pounds per Annum.

From this newspaper come an account of a ball held on board the ship. The on-board paper described it as follows (The brackets are the editor's placing real names to the fictitious ones).


On Thursday evening last, a grand ball was given in the "City", which was very numerously attended. Among the company we noticed the General Commanding-in-Chief (Captain Luard), with his two Aides-de-Camp (Lt.'s Palmer and Lempriere), Sir George Can't, the inspector of Infantry and lady (Acting Serjeant-Major Cann and wife), the Gold Sticks in waiting to the Commander-in-Chief and his Aides-de-Camp , with their ladies (?) and many other distinguished personages.  The Chief Commissioner of Scales, Weights and Measures (Acting Quarter-Master Serjeant Osment) officiated as Master of the Ceremonies.  The star of the evening, however, was Miss Matilda Wide-a-Wake (Hospital Orderly Hazel), the beautiful and accomplished daughter of old Wide-a-Wake (?), commonly known as the King of the Cannibal Islands.  We believe a matrimonial alliance between this distinguished heiress and Sir John Woodbine (Sapper James Wood), one of Her Majesty's Inspectors of Machinery, is in contemplation.  Amongst those who had the honor of being invites, but were unable from various causes to attend, were the Admiral Commanding-in-Chief and his lady (Captain Glover of the Thames City and his wife), the Archbishop of our "City" and his lady (?), the Inspector General of Hospitals (Dr. Seddall), Her Majesty's Collector of Customs for the Colony of British Columbia (?), and the Chief Commissioner of Stores and Clothing and his lady (?).  The band of the Royal Engineers, which was in attendance, played the most favorite selections in their usual masterly style, and the entertainment was protracted to an early hour.

--13th November, 1858,
From the Emigrant Soldier's Gazette and Cape Horn Chronicle.

Luard appears to have also assisted in making the voyage more interesting by providing the ability for the RE to create the "Theatre Royal" on board.

"..But on this occasion, as a second instance of the kind interest shown in our behalf, we cannot refrain from eulogizing the thoughtful kindness of our Commanding Officer, who, as a means of contributing to our amusements, has, amongst other things, not forgotten to provide us with the means of establishing a series of theatrical entertainments.  The consequence of this kind forethought is that we were enabled to publish in our last number a communication from the distinguished manager of the new theatrical company, in which, after announcing his plans, "he hopes that, supported as his is by a company of performers of rare and well known abilities, he will be able to give universal satisfaction".  Let us hope that such will be the case.

--20th November, 1858
From the Emigrant Soldier's Gazette and Cape Horn Chronicle

Luard and two other officers performed the farce, "Box and Cox", Luard playing Mr. Box.  It during this Voyage that Luard acquires the nick-name, "Old Scrooge" by the Troops.

'Old Scrooge' the men called him-- how he had the men paraded every morning in bare feet, so that the pudgy little Doctor Seddall could inspect them?  What for I don't know, unless it was to see that they had not got the foot-rot."

"Oh, yes, I remember that, Johnny, and although the men did call the Captain 'Old Scrooge,' I think they all liked him, for didn't he often read to them out of Dickens's and other works, and didn't he furnish them with all kinds of games to amuse them during the long voyage, and wasn't he a good-hearted, considerate man?"

"Oh, yes, Johnny, and didn't they all like to hear him read the 'Emigrant Soldiers' Gazette' every Saturday night, that was edited by a fellow named Charlie Sinnett?"

Wednesday, October 13th, 1909

As the ship reached the Equator, the age old Sea Custom of the arrival of Neptune occurred, in which all those who had not crossed the equator, were to suffer through "Doctoring, shaving and ducking".  The officers were not excluded.

"...Such were the faces of Neptune's victims who had similar objections to the taste of tar and grease, or even a nice little pill about the size of a pickled onion...  In conclusion, we are happy to state that nearly all who were called upon, from the Commanding Officer (Luard) downwards, came to their fate like men, and we will be bound to say that say, although precious glad it is all over, are equally glad they have gone through the ordeal, and will take as much pleasure on some future occasion in serving others the same trick as did those on Monday last conducted so ably the operation that invariably takes place on the occasion of "Crossing the Line".

--27th November, 1858
From the Emigrant Soldier's Gazette and Cape Horn Chronicle.

The voyage dragged on.  Near its termination, the Captain of the Thames City, Glover, fell ill.

"April 3rd Sunday – Strong head wind.  Glover states he was too unwell unable to read Service, so Luard did it." 

--Lt. Lempriere, RE, 1859

Finally, on the 12th of April 1859, the Thames City sailed into Esquimalt.

"We came to anchor in Esquimalt Harbour about 3 p.m.  I and Luard immediately went on shore to pay our respects to Col. Hawkins at the barracks, called the Pilgrim’s Rest: wrote a few lines while there to my mother telling her of my safe arrival and then I and Luard rode over to Victoria where we met Wilson of our Corps and Haig of the Artillery: We dined with them at a restaurant and then went over to see Col. Moody who told us all the news: We did not leave him till about 9 p.m. and after some trouble we got our horses and started on our way back to the Barracks: it being dark we lost our way and thought we should stand a good chance of having to sleep in the woods, but we gave our horses their lead and to our great astonishment suddenly found ourselves back at the Pilgrim’s Rest, where they were beginning to think we had lost ourselves.  We had a cigar there and then went back to the old “Thames City”.  

--12 April 1859
Lt. Lempriere RE


"We were highly amused with the officers on the "Thames City" the day after they arrived.  I fancied they would be here about one o' clock so I ordered a nice luncheon.  Haunch of Venison, Cranberry Pie etc.  You should have seen how they enjoyed themselves - "What a nice cheery Tablecloth"  "What very light bread" "I must have some more pie" Etc, Etc.  We like them all very much, they are so gentlemanly." 

--15 April 1859
Mary S. Moody

While getting ready to sail upriver to New Westminster, Luard had an opportunity to spend more time with Colonel Moody and his family.

"Everybody is so kind to the Children, it is most fortunate Zeffie is not some 10 years older.  When I came home from Church yesterday I found her entertaining Captain Luard!" 

--18 April 1859
Mary S. Moody

In April of 1859, upon arriving in the Colony, Luard set to work preparing the Camp for occupation and creating the procedures for the Lands and Works Department to operate within.

British Columbia
Department of Lands and Works
Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works correspondence inward
Originals    1859    6 cm
File Folio Item Date
1 9 Re future capital of British Columbia  1 Feb 1859
2 11 Re the construction of storehouses for Royal Engineers 3 Feb 1859
3 12 Douglas - Moody, authority for erection of buildings at Queensborough 17 Feb 1859
4 107 Notice that until accounts are rendered no further advances will be made 16 Aug 1859
5 108 Re grading of streets of New Westminster 27 Aug 1859
6 109 Requesting further particulars of W.H. Franklin;  sale of New Westminster town lots 18 Aug 1859
7 110 Not advisable to renew reserved town lots at New Westminster 18 Aug 1859
8 114 Requesting documents for preparation of title deeds 25 Aug 1859
9 116 Approval of trails - short route to Burrard Inlet 30 Aug 1859
10 117 Re applications for land near New Westminster 31 Aug 1859
11 118 Respecting the grading of streets of New Westminster 3 Sep 1859
12 119 Approves Government House as residence for Col. Moody 10 Sep 1859
13 122 Sanctions of 1000 Pound Sterling for improvement of New Westminster generally 12 Sep 1859
14 123 Enclosing opinion of A.G. re Kells and Jackson 13 Sep 1859
15 124 Re transfer Langley town lots for New Westminster lots 14 Sep 1859
16 125 Respecting Harrison Road, formation of pack trail 15 Sep 1859
17 126 Re Lt. Lempriere report on Road from Yale to Little Canyon 16 Sep 1859
18 127 Sanction of 80 Pound Sterling for bricks & lime for public offices and married quarters for Royal Engineers 17 Sep 1859
19 128 Sanctions 14 mile trail to Burrard Inlet 17 Sep 1859
20 131 Upset price of suburban lots fixed at 20 Pound Sterling 19 Sep 1859
21 133 Harrison road 20 Sep 1859
22 134 Applications for land at Hope and Yale 20 Sep 1859
23 135 Enclosing letters from Admiral Baynes  22 Sep 1859
24 Bertha Koch requests payment for Queensborough lots 29 Apr 1859
25 Pastoral leases

Luard, as the Officer responsible directly for the state of the Men and the Camp, involved himself in much of their day to day activities. 

From The British Colonist, 30 May 1859

The Celebration of the Anniversary of Her Majesty’s Birthday at Queenborough

"...The following is the programme of the sports and amusements as drawn up by Captain Luard, R.E., Lieutenant Sparshott, R.M.L.I., and Dr. Seddall, R.E., : - Foot and hurdle-races, putting shot, throwing the hammer, high and long jumps, tossing the caber, bobbing for treacle rolls, bobbing for “bubs” in water, wrestling and boxing, boat races, etc., etc.  Concluding with a sack race and greasy pole: a Blue Jacket having succeeded in attaining the envied grease crowned crest with little less difficulty than the Argonauts of ancient lore, received a like reward.  The soldier’s wives and children were entertained with tea and cake, kindly provided by Mrs. Moody and the hilarity of the day was much enhanced by a scratch band from the Engineers, Marines and Plumpers.  In the evening the Royal Engineers entertained the garrison and the officers of H.M.S. Plumper at dinner.

As the months passed, and Summer became Autumn, Luard was still out of doors.

"It (the Moody Home) is a most comfortable house, plenty of space to move in. Richard contemplates giving it up to the officers, as a Barrack, (they are still in Tents) and building a smaller one for ourselves..."

--22nd September, 1859
The Letters of Mary S. Moody

Mrs. Moody wrote to her family about life in the new Colony.

Yesterday we dined out!!! in the Town, at the Custom House with Mr. Hamley and the Spauldings, The Governor, Richard, Captains Parsons and Luard and Dr. Seddall, we all went down in the Boat, and really as we told Captain Parsons, he ought to be very glad to have such a good dinner only 9 months after having lived, on the same spot, and having had nothing but salt pork and Blue Jays!

--11 October 1859
Mary S. Moody

Robert Burnaby, Colonel Moody's private secretary, wrote to his mother from New Westminster about life in the RE Camp.

"The Engineers are a set of real good fellows.  Of them all I like Parsons and Luard the best, the latter is a son of an old Leamington physician, whom I dare say Mamma remembers." 

--13 October 1859,
Robert Burnaby

Among the many duties of the Columbia Detachment was that of policing the Colony.  Luard, as the Officer whose responsibilities were primarily military in nature, was on a number of occasions called upon to maintain law and order in the Lower Mainland.

" – 3 white men were found murdered some miles below New Westminster – Spalding, the magistrate, came up and requested that an armed party might be sent in search of the murderers supported by the Indians living some miles above the Camp.  I and Luard each went in command of a boat with armed men and started up the River.  There was also a party of Yankees all armed, one man had no less than 3 revolvers on his waist belt.  When we arrived at the Indian ranch we took 3 Indians whom we had some suspicion of.  The Yankees wanted to hang one of them right off the bat and requested Captain Luard, the magistrate and myself to go away a short distance saying “That it would be all over by the time we got back and that no one would be any wiser” – however Captain Luard told them, that that was not the way we did business, and they then said they would put it to vote, endeavoring to get our men to join them.  We immediately made our men fall in, put the prisoners in my boat and returned to our Camp" 

--27 October 1859
Lt. Lempriere RE

The events did not end there.  Two days later Luard found himself back in a Whaler with an armed detachment of RE.

"I and Luard left about 5am in charge of the Whaler and cutter with an armed force and went down the river.  When near the mouth we saw a canoe with 3 Indians, all of whom we made prisoners.  I was ordered to land on an island in search of another Indian shooting the other side, while Luard went round in his boat.  He [?] him and called out to him to stop but as he would not he fired at him, and sounded for us to do the same.  I got my men back into the Whaler as soon as possible and gave the rascal chase, but he managed in his small canoe to give us the slip and ran up a very narrow creek, quite impossible for our boat to get up.  So I took the canoe we had captured and went up in pursuit.  We found the other canoe with several bullet holes through it.  We could not find the Indians who were in it.  We then went on the bank of the river where we examined the Indian’s ranch.  On quitting there to go round the other ranch, it came on very thick fog and unfortunately Luard got aground with his boat for about an hour.  I managed to keep mine afloat and when he got off.  The fog was so thick that we were pulling about for a couple of hours at sea, not knowing which way the land lay.  At last fortunately it cleared up and we pulled for the river and after visiting the Indian ranch we were in search of, started home again with our prisoners.  We did not get back till about 9 pm." 

--29 October 1859,
Lt. Lempriere RE

It all culminated the following February.

New Westminster Times
25th February, 1860

On Friday last a special court was held by His Honor Judge Begbie, to try some Indians who had been committed as accessories in murdering 3 Italians, which created so much stir at the time.  His Honor briefly addressed the Grand Jury in appropriate words, when they retired and found a true bill against one Indian known by the name of "John Chinaman", who has as yet escaped justice, and orders, against whom there was scarcely any evidence, were liberated. It may perhaps, be hardly credited, but the cost of keeping these Indians at Langley is computed to be over 200 Pounds.  Justice is evidently an expensive article here.

As the first Christmas in the Colony neared for the Detachment, the Camp buzzed with preparations.


We have had a gay time during Christmas here.  Our Lt. Gov. Col. Moody, gave a dinner on Friday last, to which a large party were invited.  On Saturday, many private parties were given in camp, and the Men employed in cutting various trails came into the city; these, joined the Men employed on the wharves, formed themselves into a band, each armed with a candle, and gave a serenade at nearly every home.  A Christmas Carol in a noisy way.  All the inhabitants received them well, with scarcely any exception, and were only too glad to see the bones and sinew of the country enjoying themselves, and received the honor that was done them in the best of spirit, paying all largesse required.  Christmas Day being Sunday, was of course devoted to its proper use, without festivities.  On Monday, the Non-commissioned officers gave a Ball at the theatre, that they have erected by private subscription amongst themselves, which went off very well, to which most of the inhabitants received an invitation, and on Tuesday the festivities were ended by the Officers giving a grand dinner at their Mess-room, to which several ladies received invitations, and every thing passed off pleasantly.

--7th January, 1860
The Weekly British Colonist

One of the arrangements that had been made while the RE were still in England was that the Colonial Government of British Columbia would pay "Colonial Pay" to all of the Officer's and Men of the Columbia Detachment.  This arrangement was not honored by the Colonial Government as the Treasury was bankrupt. 

Luard was to receive 202 Pounds per annum as Regimental Pay as well as Colonial Pay of 350 Pounds per annum.

"It is very lucky that we are all under the Foreign Office , as our officers who are under Colonel Moody being in the pay of the Colony can't get any, as the colony has no money at present.  They are all very uncomfortable and heartily wish to go home" 

--7th February 1860
Lt. Anderson RE

As the Officer responsible for the Troops in the Camp, Luard's duties manifested themselves in odd ways occasionally.  It appears that Luard was sometimes used as a peacekeeper as well as enforcer of the Regulations.

"– Had another row with the Colonel about signing certificates.  He sent Luard to me ordering me to sign them, and I distinctly refused." 

--22 March 1860
Lt. Lempriere RE

Coincidentally, Lt. Lempriere, now a newly promoted 2nd Captain, was recalled to England less than 2 weeks later and left the Colony.

Since the Detachment arrived, it appears that all of the Officers AND the Moody Family had been living communally together in the Moody home. This was about to change.

"The Officer's Quarters are begun so we hope soon to have the house to ourselves, we really require more rooms as we sleep 5 in our bedroom.  It is a large house but when you come to pack 20 people as we do now, there is not much spare room, as you may fancy." 

-- 12 March 1860
Mary S. Moo

Officers' Quarters, where Captain Luard and Dr. Seddall lived.
Photograph courtesy BC Archives Call Number A-03371

During the time in British Columbia, Luard followed the established practice in the British Army of the era and took one of the Sappers under his command as his orderly.  This man, Sapper James Tribute appears to have served as Luard's Orderly from at least 1860 and may have served Luard prior to this time.  It was common for an orderly to serve alongside his Officer for years.

New Westminster

15th May 1860


In answer to your communication of the 8th Instant, having reference to a charge in my Military Requisition W1 of Twelve Pounds, Thirteen Shillings and Three pence for the Board and Lodging at Victoria of one Non-commissioned Officer and two Sappers belonging to the Detachment of Royal Engineers between the 10th and 25th February last, I have the honour to inform you that the former, Corporal Wolfenden, as Clerk in my Office, was on duty there in connection with the Accounts of this Detachment at the Treasury.  The latter named Men Sappers Yates and Tribute, accompanied myself and Captain Luard as our Servants on our proceeding matter on duty at that time. 

I might mention that I took no orderly with me on that occasion and that Captain Luard's servant, Sapper Tribute, acted also in that capacity returning with me on the 21st February, from the Barracks occupied by the Detachment of Royal Marines being crowded, the expense recorded was unavoidable.

I have the Honor to be
Your most obedient,
Humble Servant,

Colonel Commanding

"I have at last found a Man who can cut the boy's hair decently at any rate, I have tried 5 or 6 of the Men, but now I find Captain Luard's Servant is the best hand at it.  The boys look quite nice." 

-- 26 February 1863, Mary S. Moody

Tribute does not take his free land grant, nor does he remain in the Colony but returns to England with the Officers of the Detachment in November 1863.

In October of 1860, Luard pre-empts 178 acres of land in the Similkameen, 1 1/2 miles below Vermillion Falls.  He later sells this land to John Alison.  

The Camp was also host to a large ball in the Moody home, organized by Dr. Seddall. It took place partially in Luard's old quarters there.

"As a birthday "treat" I must try and give you a full line and particular account of the rise, progress and termination of the ball at the Camp.  I told you that we were intending to have a little party.  Dr. Seddall took the entire management and arranged everything.  We now have the whole house to ourselves, so we have plenty of room, the Drawing Room, Library and Dining Room are all down-stairs, the Library is the only one we have furnished and we use it as a Drawing Room.  The Dining Room was the Doctor's,  the Drawing Room was Captain Luard's .  The Doctor fixed to have the Dancing in the empty drawing room, and he had it all decorated for the occasion, the large recess of the bow window was fitted as an orchestra, the windows curtained with Scarlet blankets, relieved with golden Chinese banners.  The Ceiling was festooned with evergreens and faded leaves, the walls decorated with bayonets festooned, lamps and garlands, Scarlet, blue and white bunting plaited in hanging loops all 'round the ceiling, a J.B. over the mantle piece.  You have no idea how nice the room looked, how I wish you could have seen it!  The library drawing room was used as a Tea room, the dining room decorated as a supper room, flags and banners etc.  We mustered 10 ladies all dressed in ball costume, Mrs. Grant in pink beige with flowers, Mrs. Bacon pink Moire Antique, Mrs. Homer in white, Mrs. Spalding in blue Moire, Mrs. Pritchard in black net, Mrs. Moody in black net decorated with pink ribbons.  I apprise you I felt quite respectable, once more!

They all came at 8, soon after dancing began which was kept up till 3 A.M!  Richard allowed me to dance all night and I assure you I thouroughly enjoyed myself.

We sat down 26 to supper, and about 8 were left without seats.  I took very little trouble in the party, the Doctor did it all his own way.  He laid the Supper, cut the sandwiches etc.  Mr. Sheepshanks cut the bread and butter for tea, and superintended the final arrangements for supper.  Everybody in the Camp helped.  3 of the Men performed the music, the officer's Servants helped to wait, we borrowed the Mess table, tablecloth, Napkins, Candle-sticks, Cups, Plates, etc. glasses and candlesticks from Mrs. Grant.  Tea tray from one of the women.  You have no idea how well it all went off, everybody enjoyed themselves.  Certainly the Doctor deserves great credit for all his trouble.  We thought you would all have enjoyed to have taken a peep at our new mode of "roughing it in the bush".  I really was not very very tired after so much dancing.  I feared I should be as stiff as an old horse the next day, however, tho' I was obliged to get up at 6 the next morning I did not feel too tired.  I had not danced since I married before.  Captain Parsons and the Doctor wanted to persuade me to allow Zeffie and Dick to sit up, however I would not listed to that and packed them all off to bed before I went to dress."

-- 15th October, 1860,
from The Letters of Mary S. Moody

Luard also appears to have had some of the prejudices of his time.

"We amused ourselves on the passage up the river, variously: playing "poker", a Yankee edition of Brag, and the elder Glennie inebriated himself by slow degrees on bad sherry, I can not better describe this worthy than in the words of Luard of the Engineers that he looks like a "retired Jew". 

-- 9 November 1860,
Robert Burnaby

Gossip and Rumour, ever a part of any Military organization, is no stranger to the Camp. Luard seems to have been guilty of indulging in it.

"I am getting very cross that both the Governor and the Bishop Continue to come to us whenever they visit the Colony, the Governor calls this "Government House" which it really is not, and comes here as a matter of course which is a nuisance.

I had quite a fright this morning.  Walking out with Baby I met Captain Luard who said, "You know the Gun-boat is up and the Governor on board".  Soon I met Captain Parsons and I said "The Governor has come up on board the Gun-boat", he said "I am very sorry for you.".  Presently he came after me to try and persuade me that if the Governor were on board the Vessel would have come up to the camp.  And you can fancy what a reprieve it was when he sent to say it was not the Gunboat nor the Governor.  However the evil day must come sooner or later, I fear."

--12th February, 1861,
from The Letters of Mary S. Moody

In March of 1861, Lady Franklin, wife of the famous Arctic explorer, came to the Camp. Her niece, Miss Cracroft, made the following observation:

All ladies here taking it for granted that they must do without servants or at least may have to do so.  Mrs. Moody and Mrs. Grant each has her baby to carry, but are often relieved by a stray Gentlemen; and the babies are quite used to this.  It is quite common to see gentlemen carrying the children, out of natural pity for the mothers!" 

-- 6 March 1861
Sophia Cracroft

 After being feted in New Westminster, Lady Franklin came to stay with the Moody's.

"Last night the "Mess" came in to spend the evening, Captain Luard and the Doctor gave us some music, flute and harmonium."

--15th March, 1861,
from The Letters of Mary S. Moody

With the loss of Lempriere from the Detachment, the post of Commissary appears to have been taken up by Luard.



The officer commanding the troops will receive sealed tenders until 12 o'clock noon, on Thursday the 21st march next, for the supply of the following articles of food, for the use of the Royal Engineers from the first of April, 1861 to the 31st March, 1862, in such quantities and at such times and places as may be required, viz;

1 - Good fat wholesome Beef and Mutton of prime quality, in the proportions of five sevenths of Beef and two-sevenths of Mutton. The Meat to be killed on the spot; to this end the contractor will be required to bona fide establish a Butcher's Shop at New Westminster no later than the 30th of April next.

2 - Good sound Vegetables of the best description, viz; Potatoes and Onions in the proportion of seven-eighths, Potatoes to one-eighth Onions, or the vegetables in season may be substituted occasionally for onions in the same proportions.

3 - White Bread of the best quality, to be not more than 24 hours old when supplied by the contractor.

The prices to be stated in English currency, and English weights to be adopted throughout.

Tenders to be addressed to the officer commanding the troops, and endorsed "Tenders for Meat, or Vegetables, or Bread," or any of them combined.

The lowest or any tender not necessarily accepted.

By order,
HRLuard, Captain RE

--9th March, 1861
The British Columbian

RE Camp
8th July, 1861


I have the honor to inform you that subsequent to my inspecting in company with Corporal Bowden the roads beyond Douglas Street in course of construction, Mr. Hodgkinson represented to me that he had done a considerable amount of work on the 3 miles contracted for by him making as he considered the nature of the work agree with the terms of the Specifications and pressed that

[remainder of letter missing]

Occasionally, when Colonel Moody would leave the Camp, some vital questions were not all answered.

Lands and Works Department, New Westminster
16th August, 1861.


May respectfully to request that I am informed whether ( in the absence of yourself at Victoria which I do not anticipate) I am to receive Scrip as cash at the coming sale.
2. If so, for what Lots - Town? Suburban? or Country lands?
3. At what rate?
4. I take this opportunity of, with deference commenting, that is Scrip, which was issued?


(Reply on same letter)

You are accept Scrip precisely as cash - valuing it 10.4 per acre or 4 Pounds 2 Shillings according with the nature of the Scrip that was issued from the Draft.


The Moody' and Grant's took Leave and returned from Victoria in the middle of September. Luard was there to greet them.

"When we arrived here (New Westminster) it was raining quite fast, and as we have about 1 1/2 miles to Come from the Town in open boats "against the stream" it was not a very cheering prospect.  The only alternative being a wet dark walk with 5 Children.  However our dear little Doctor (who had come down to Victoria to escort Mrs. Grant and myself home) assured us we should manage very well.  When we arrived we arrived we found Captain Luard waiting for us with the Men and boats, so we managed famously.  The Men carried the Children to and from the boat and we were only "dampish" when we reached the house.  Mrs. Rogerson, one of our Women, was waiting for us. She and I soon made up the beds and popped the Children into them before they had time to get chilled, we then gave them their supper and they were soon fast asleep.  The Doctor sent me a good tea from "The Mess" and we were none the worse for our uncomfortable voyage."

--12th September, 1861
from The Letters of Mary S. Moody

As Colonel Moody was away "up country", Luard tried to keep things moving steadily forward in the Camp.

New Westminster
10th October, 1861

Dear Captain Ball

To prevent any misunderstanding, I think it best to write you 3 lines to say that Corporal Howell is only to lay out and not in any way take steps towards the construction of new road from Lytton to Thompson River Ferry.  In giving Corp. H. his orders, Captain G. was under the impression, through a badly worded letter from Mr. Young, the Governor's new Private Secretary, to him, that the road was to be begun at once.  I saw the Governor on the subject especially this morning and he says that the work is to be done by contract and we shall call for tenders as soon as Howell forwards his report, about which I fear, poor fellow, he will have some difficulties as he is not much of a scribe much less a draughtsman.  If I can, I will get Turnbull sent up to give him a hand.

I was sorry to see that you had been unsuccessful at Yale with your Horse.  I had just returned from Victoria where I witnessed some very poor [?] and disputes and villany galore.  I should be sorry for a horse on that "track".

In case the Colonel should be with you, pray ask him to allow Turnbull to join Corporal Howell.

Believe me in haste,
Yours very truly,


Will you kindly see that Howell sends all his reports to this office instead of below, or else he will get himself into trouble.

Camp, N.W.
16th October, 1861.

Dear Captain Ball,

I send up to Sanders by this Steamer a letter for Turnbull instructing him to join Howell and help him in making the Report or Sketches of the line blazed from Lytton to Thompson's River Ferry.  I hope that Howell will not have commenced constructing the road before you received my last note.  As I said in it, such a thing was never meant by the Governor, but his Secretary's letter to Grant very naturally led him (Grant) to infer it.

The Colonel returned here on Saturday and the Gold Escort with only 5000 Pounds last evening.  I was sorry to find that the former had not paid Lytton a visit - Perhaps you are glad.  I myself do not generally care about aristocrats.

Yours ever truly,

I will send you an order for 12 Pounds next Steamer or perhaps more to cover the amount of H(owell) and T(urnbull) expenses.  I think you'll find that, after all, Watson will not undertake the BB and L Road and the Governor says he can't afford to give it out to a higher bidder.  Turnbull is to go over the Line with Watson before joining Howell.


Gentlemen become experienced Nurses here, for they are obliged to help in holding the Babies.  If you are out walking and meet a gentleman he frequently says "Can't I relieve you of the Baby for a short time?" or if you are very tired and he does not volunteer such aid, it is quite customary to say" Do carry baby for me please."

--4th November, 1861
From the letters of Mary S. Moody

The Royal Navy often visited the Camp as a Port of Call and invitations were often exchanged.

"HMS Plumper was here last week, and we all dined on board, we had a most elegant dinner, quite English, and a coal Fire which I most thoroughly enjoyed! They all laughed at me when they came down after dinner, Mr. Sheepshanks said "Now, Mrs. Moody, I am quite sure you have been asleep!!". It was a terribly wet night, and they all feared we would not go, however Mr. Sheepshanks and the Doctor both said, "I am sure Mrs. Moody will come."

--4th November, 1861
from The Letters of Mary S. Moody

The Winter of 1861-62 in the Lower mainland was so extreme that the Fraser River froze solid, right up to the Mouth.  The Royal Engineers were placed on half rations as all supplies ceased to arrive from Victoria.  During this winter, as Officer's such as young Lt. Palmer drove about on a red horse-drawn sleigh, others found themselves in dire straights.

"Some 3 or 4 days ago Richard heard that young Annandale was away from here and almost frozen to death with the intense cold.  He begged Captain Luard to see if any of our Men would volunteer to go to rescue him.  Six of them set out, accompanied by Dr. Oliver, the Assistant Surgeon.  They had to march nearly 12 miles along the ice and thro' the frost.  They went on thro' the night and the following afternoon returning to the Town with Annandale, his feet and hands are badly frost bitten." 

-- 3rd January 1862
Mary S. Moody

Sometime in that cold winter of 1861/62,  Luard meets a Miss Caroline Mary Leggatt of Victoria.

"Dearest Richard is still at Victoria, he and Captain Luard are both there, nor do they talk of returning, I am getting very tired of being alone."

--3rd April, 1862,
from The Letters of Mary S. Moody

On the 1st of April 1862, Luard is promoted to Captain.

As time passes, the meeting with Miss Leggatt blooms into romance.

"We fancy Captain Luard has left his heart in Victoria this winter for he has what Captain Grant terms 'a kind of foggy of late'.  I do not know the lady but it would have been wiser, I think, to have waited until his return to England."

--20th May 1862
Mary S. Moody

Caroline Leggatt was the eldest daughter of Fanny and George Leggatt.  George died prior to the Leggatt family arriving in Victoria and his wife re-married a Thomas Lett Wood, who was a practicing barrister and eventually Attorney General of the Colony of Vancouver's Island.

The home in the foreground is that of Thomas Lett Wood.

Photograph courtesy BC Archives Call Number F-01279

As the Capital of the Colony at New Westminster continued to flourish, some people who still had lands in the old Capital at Langley (Derby) transferred their holdings to New Westminster.

Camp, N.W.
26th June, 1862

Dear Crease,

The Chief Commissioner has the Governor's sanction to remit to Miss Van Armbruster or any other Bruster (who transferred Langley Titles to New Westminster and has not purchased) the amount of such Titles in any purchase of Land in BC made by them.

Yours sincerely,

Part of Luard's work was to assist in the negotiations with the contractors for parts of the Public Roads they worked on.

New Westminster
1st Aug, 1862.

Dear Crease,

Oppenheimer has come down armed with Certificates for 2 Sections of Road 5 miles each way and Cook and Kimball's Ferry and wants money on account of those Sections as the whole distance of this road is not yet fixed, the amount of each Installment on those Sections is not known. What is to be done? Colonel does not like to give him any money on account without your opinion. He wants 200 Pounds on account only.

Yours sincerely,

Luard writes to Colonel Moody regarding the roads around the Camp.

Camp, New Westminster,
3rd August, 1862.


Learning from Sergeant McColl that your orders are that such men as are available, probably 4 or at the most 5 a day, be detached for continuing the construction of the Royal Avenue Road as far as Douglas Street: also for making a road from the corner of Mr. Calder's Lot to join the Royal Avenue road, I beg to represent to you the desirablity of placing in repair certain portions of the road (over which there is daily traffic) running below your and Captain Parsons' Quarters along the bank of the river.

So narrow is it in one place, from its having been washed away, that I daily expect to hear of an accident having happened to the Butcher's cart. It is also very defective in drainage, and is in its present state a disgrace to the Corps to which we have the honor to belong.

I beg also respectfully to draw your attention to certain portions of the North Road (near the Blacksmith's Shop and past the Archdeacon's Lot) which require repair.

I further submit for your consideration whether the completion of the road to the Brunette along the NE Line would not prove a greater boon to the Public than the work along the Royal Avenue contemplated by you.

A communication has recently been made by Teamsters along Mary Street to the Royal Avenue.

I have the honor to be,
Your most obedient Servant,

HRLuard, Captain RE
in charge of Works.

When the Prince of Wales reaches his Majority, the Empire as a whole celebrates it. The RE at the Camp are no exception.

"I have not written since the 9th when we had grand rejoicings in honour of the Prince of Wales.  It was a very stormy night however they sent a waggon round for the Company so we got there dry, we had a nice little party of our own I mean from the Camp, 3 young ladies, the Archdeacon's family, the Officers and ourselves, so we got on very nicely.  We intended to have left early, but we really enjoyed it very much, and were much surprised to find it 5 minutes past 4 when we reached home!

The ball was on the 11th, on the 10th the Officers dined with us and the Archdeacon and his daughter, so we were quite gay you see."

--24th November, 1862,
From the Letters of Mary S. Moody

"We have had a very quiet Christmas time. The Children spent one day at the Grant's , on New year's day we had the Officers, Grants and Mr. Sheepshanks to lunch - 16 in all."

--7th January, 1863
from The Letters of Mary S. Moody

Eventually Luard and Miss Leggatt are engaged and one of Luard's fellow officers, Dr. J. Vernon Seddall ALSO is engaged to Miss Leggatt's sister.

"We have been very gay lately.  Captain Luard and Doctor Seddall are engaged to two sisters, Miss Leggatts, and the ladies have just paid us a visit, nearly 3 weeks.  You can fancy that two such visitors have made the place quite gay -- a dinner party here and at the Mess, Concerts, Theatricals, Riding parties, and a Ball in the Mess Room -- Picnics,  &c &c &c  The Ball was quite a success -- five young ladies, four to engaged to be married -- I enjoyed it very much and danced until 5 am.  Richard got very tired but we were obliged to stay till the end. The RE Band played beautifully, the room was prettily decorated and the Supper first rate - Mrs. Bonson.

  The Ball did us all good, fancy there being want of gentlemen!!!  We were much vexed that Captain Luard would not send down to Victoria for some.  The Ladies were very nicely dressed.  The Miss Leggatts wore white silk plain, with cherry coloured sashes, broad rushings of the same at the top of the lace berthe, and one rose in their hair -- they looked so nice, we all felt quite proud of them, for now of course we feel that they belong to us (the Camp Family)."

--12 May 1863, Mary S Moody

The Royal Engineer Cricket Club, unlike clubs in England, was not segregated by class and Captain Luard played alongside the Enlisted men.  The popular sport was covered in the local papers of the time and Luard is mentioned as scoring two runs before being bowled out by Mr. Bacon of the New Westminster Cricket Club

Luard, b. Bacon.....2

-- The British Columbian, June 19th 1863

As time passed in the Colony, it appears that some of the land dealings were not as straightforward as they could have been. The person who would be "holding the bag" would be Luard.

Camp, New Westminster
14th August, 1863

My dear Crease,

You're about the last fellow I like to differ from, but, with due deference to you, the first I have heard of Dallas' Lot at Douglas was from the Colonel the other day who begs me to expedite his Title Deed for it and adds that he thinks "all the particulars have been settled by Atty. Gen."  Corp. H(owse) declares he has never heard of it before and swears he has not the certificates of payment for it.  What's to be done?

I suppose we shall have an " ? " (Franklyn's Mate's mode of expressing a sanguinary disturbance) about that.  I can't have the Deed made out without some blessed certificate, you know.  It's a go and no mistake.

It's shown in Gaggin's return as having been purchased for 105$ or 110$ and paid for.  Who's to know hereafter that Dallas had not transferred it before the Deed was granted?

With regard to the money you tell Howse you paid by Burnaby's check for land for your friend Ronaldson in Burrard Inlet in May 1860, no record can be found of any money having ever been received from Ronaldson for that land or any other.

On 31 may, 1860, Moberly paid Spaulding 2 pieces of Scrip 64 Pounds on 320 acres presented by Burnaby and yourself (160 acres each) on the Inlet [? ? ?], nothing is known.  So there's another go.  To whom was Burnaby's check paid and who holds the receipt for it?  There must be some mistake about this!!  I'll see you presently, by which time I hope you will have found Dallas' certificates.  What Particulars are they which the Colonel talks about as requiring to be settled before the Deed can be made out?

Yours ever sincerely,

Dear Crease

I had the enclosed in my pocket last night, but had not the cheek to beard you with them in your own den.  Will you kindly let us have your written opinion across the certificates, so that in case of its not being favorable to the parties to whom it is alleged the lots have been transferred by the original purchasers, I may return them to Mister Gaggin.  I enclose for your private inspection an official document received from Gaggin yesterday.  Pray I criticize the certificate.  If Burnaby had said Mr. Blank's certificate instead of Mr. White's receipt, he would have been nearer the mark.  Please return it to-day if you find an opportunity.

Yours ever,


Carey writes down wishing to know what tax he is to impose on Lumber and what plan he is to adopt in taking the duty on it whether by measurement or otherwise.  I think 1/4 per foot or 1 Pound on every 1000 feet not out of the way for all parties.  What say you?

As the Disbandment of the Columbia Detachment has been announced and the Men begin to leave the Camp to make their fortunes in the Colony, Luard writes a letter to Colonel Moody.

Camp, New Westminster
19th August, 1863.


Forwarding the accompanying application to you from Corporal Wolfenden, RE, for employment as Printer to the Colonial Government after he has been discharged from Her majesty's Service, I have real pleasure in being able (he having been employed more insubordinately under me since the formation of the Columbia Detachment in England) to testify to his high proficiency at his Trade, to his unceasing energy and zeal for the Public Service and to the high character he has always borne for integrity and steadiness.

I have the honor to be,
Your most obedient Servant,

HRLuard, Captain RE

 Governor Douglas writes a confidential report to London regarding the Detachment and its officers.  Douglas had this to remark about Luard.

Captain Luard's intelligence, method, order and gentlemanly character I have also had personal experience of, and I think the Colony will be fortunate if Your Grace should see fit to adopt the recommendation I have already had the honor to make of placing Captain Luard in the position of Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.

--Governor Douglas to Duke of Newcastle

Oddly, Governor Douglas does not inform Colonel Moody or Captain Luard of this recommendation.

On the 8th of October 1863 Luard marries Miss Leggatt at her church, Christ's Church, Victoria.  The witnesses are Colonel Moody, Robert Burnaby, and Thomas Lett Wood.

"Marriage - On the 8th inst., at Christ Church, Victoria, V.I., by the Rev. W.S. Reece, M.A., Henry Reynolds Luard, Captain Royal Engineers, to Caroline Mary, eldest daughter of the late George Leggatt, Esq." 

--10 October 1863
The British Colonist

COLONEL MOODY, RE, CAPT. LUARD, RE, and his bride, came up by the Otter last evening. The RE Band met them at the wharf, playing several lively airs.

--10th October, 1863 - The British Columbian

As the RE arrive in Victoria, prior to taking the Royal navy vessel back to England, a small political storm is created when Governor Douglas proposes Captain Luard as the successor to Colonel Moody as the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.  In the end, Moody denies Luard permission to remain behind in the Colony.

W. Fisher, Arthur T Bushby (seated, right), Captain Ball, Captain Luard (standing, center), and a 5th unidentified man (possibly Captain Grant?).

Photo Courtesy of BC Online Archives Call Number B-03615

On the 30th of December 1863, Luard and his bride arrive in England after a Duty in British Columbia of 5 years and 82 days.  Captain Luard then asks for and receives Leave for 61 days.

On the 1st of March 1864, Captain Luard is posted to the British Fortress Garrison at Portsmouth.  It is during this time that the Luard's take over a small English cottage, "Rose Villa"  across the river's mouth at Gosport, Southampton.  It is here that Caroline gave birth to their son, Henry Arthur in December of 1865.

The Luard's stay in Portsmouth until the 15th of November 1866 (2 years, 260 days) when, Captain Luard is transferred to a posting at the British Garrison at Athlone, Roscommon, Ireland.

Luard and his young family take Leave for the move on the 16th of November 1866 and arrive at Athlone on the 2nd of January 1867.  The Luard's take up residence in the Town and a girl is born into the family, Eleanor Mary.

In October of 1869, George Leggatt, Captain Luard's brother-in-law, searched the Pitt Meadows area of the Colony for a suitable location for a cattle ranch.

October 29th – In camp all day waiting Maclure’s arrival who did not turn up till evening.  Was delighted at seeing me, having heard that Luard was my brother in law, who it appears was a great favorite of his, he having been in his company.  Promised to do anything he could for me.  Arranged to go out with him next Morning.  Day fine.

--From the 1869 Journal of George Leggatt

On the 26th Of February 1870, after service in Ireland of 3 years and 56 days, Henry Reynolds Luard died.

27th February, 1870.


I have the honor to report the Death of Captain H.R. Luard, Royal Engineers, at this Station at 11:45 pm on the 26th Instant of Enteritis.

I have the honor to be,
Your Obedient Servant,

H. Brohar, Major
Commanding, 51st Regiment and
Troops of Athlone

To ,
Adjutant General,
Royal Engineers,
Horse Guards,

Forwarded for the Information of R.M. Parsons, RE, and requested to be returned.
Signed (unreadable)

Returned with compliments and thanks.
RM Parsons
2nd March 1870

    "On the 26th Feb., at Athlone, after a few hours' illness.  HENRY REYNOLDS LUARD, Captain Royal Engineers, third son of the late Peter F. Luard, M.D., aged 41." 

--3 March 1870, The Times.


Caroline Luard
ca. 1880





Source: 1881 Census
 Institution "Bedford Villa"
 Census Place Cheltenham, Gloucester, England
Name Caroline M. LUARD Eleanor M. LUARD Elizabeth C. MILLS
Relation Head Daughter Servant
Marital Status W U U
Gender Female Female Female
Age 37 13 20
Birth Year 1844 1868 --
Birth Place Surrey, England Athlone, Ireland  Cheltenham, Gloucester, Eng
Occupation Widow Of Royal Engineer Officer Scholar Cook; Domestic

Capt. Henry Arthur Luard, 2nd Battalion. East Yorkshire Regt., died of enteric at Winburg, Orange River Colony, Feb. 5th, 1901, while serving on the Staff there.  He was the only son of the late Capt. H. R. Luard, Royal Engineers, was born Dec., 1865, and educated at Wellington College, where he was in the Blucher, 1877-84.  He entered the Northamptonshire Regiment from the Royal Military College in 1886, being promoted captain in the 2nd Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment in Feb., 1898.  Capt. Luard went to South Africa, Aug., 1900, and served in the Cape and Orange River Colonies up to the time of his death.