The Times, Tuesday, November 24, 1896
Sir C. W. D. Staveley
Sir Charles William Dunbar Staveley, G.C.B., died yesterday morning at Dublin. He wintered last year in Egypt, but, in spite of that, had since been in declining health.
Sir Charles Staveley was a son of Lieutenant-General William Staveley, C.B., who was commander-in-chief at Madras and a Peninsular and Waterloo officer, by Sarah, daughter of the late Mr. Thomas Mather. He was born at Boulogne in 1817, and was educated at the then Scottish Military and Naval Academy in Edinburgh. Here he distinguished himself as an admirable draughtsman. Subsequently, at the time of the Oregon difficulty with the United States, his sketches were considered most valuable from a military point of view. He entered the Army on March 6, 1835, and received his lieutenant's commission on October 4, 1839. He was promoted to be captain on September 6, 1844, and major on December 7, 1850. He served at first in Canada, Mauritius, and Hong Kong. He also served in the Eastern Campaign of 1854-1855, including the battles of the Alma and Balaclava (volunteered his services as aide-de-camp to the Duke of Cambridge), the siege of Sevastopol, and the attack and occupation of the cemetery and suburbs on June 18, when he succeeded to the command of the 44th Regiment, and commanded it at the fall of Sevastopol (medal with three clasps, C.B., Sardinian and Turkish medals, and 5th class of the Medjidie). It is a curious fact that when the 44th finally embarked for the Crimea he was to have been left behind on account of illness, but he concealed himself on board, and when he appeared on deck Sir Augustus Spencer, commanding the regiment, said, laughing, "Why, Staveley, there you are, and so you must remain!" He was promoted to be lieutenant-colonel on December 12, 1854, and colonel on March 9, 1858. He commanded a brigade in the campaign of 1860 in North China (mentioned in despatches, medal with clasp). He was brigadier-general and commander in China in 1862, commanding the force employed against the Taipings in the vicinity of Shanghai n that year, resulting in the attack and capture of the intrenched camp of Onkatz, of the walled cities of Kadin, Tsin-pu, and Cholin, and of the fortified towns of Na-ju and Tser-pu. For these services he received from her Majesty's Government an expression of their "great satisfaction at his success." Being left in command of the Chinese army of occupation, Staveley was called upon to name an officer to commande the Chinese army instead of the American Burgovine, and without hesitation he selected "Chinese" Gordon, who was a connexion of his by marriage. He was made a K.C.B. in 1864. Sir Charles Staveley was appointed to the temporary command of a division of the Bombay army in 1865. He was brevet colonel with the rank of brigadier-general (being second in command) in the expedition to Abyssinia, 1867-68, and commanded the first division in the action of Arroge and the capture of Magdala (received the thanks of Parliament for his services, and was promoted to be major-general for "distinguished services in the field": medal). The late Lord Napier of Magdala accepted the Abyssinian command subject to Staveley's being his second in command. Sir Charles Staveley was in command of the Western District from January, 1869, to 1874, when he was granted the local rank of lieutenant-general while commanding forces in Bombay, and was appointed a member of council of the Governor of Bombay. On April 29, 1875, he was promoted to the full rank of lieutenant-general, and to the rank of general on October 1, 1877. He was appointed colonel of the 36th Foot in February, 1876, and was placed on the retired list in 1883. He was appointed colonel of the 1st Battalion Essex Regiment on July 25, 1883. In the following year he received the G.C.B.
Sir Charles Staveley married in 1864, Susan Millicent, daughter of Mr. Charles William Minet, of Baldoyns, Kent.
A correspondent gives the following instance of the cool courage for which Sir Charles Staveley was distinguished:-"I recall that when in the 87th Regiment, in Glasgow barracks, he suffered, and as an adult suffered severely, from confluent measles. In early convalescence, all muffled up, he was walking on Glasgow green, when suddenly a cry arose, 'A boy drowning in the Clyde!' Staveley called out to the gathered crowd, 'It will be death to me; will no one go in?' Receiving no response, he instantly plunged into the river, and, swimming to mid-stream, saved the lad."