Fonds BC676 - Maj.-Gen. Sir HT Lukin Papers

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Maj.-Gen. Sir HT Lukin Papers


  • 1881-1930 (Creation)

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130 items

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Biographical history

Major-General Sir Henry Timson Lukin was born at Fulham in England in 1860 and died at Kenilworth in December 1925. He was educated at Merchant Taylors' School from 1869 to 1875. He wished to become a soldier but failed to enter the Royal Military College. At the prospect of war with the Zulus he came to South Africa in 1879, and obtained a commission in Bengough's Horse. He was wounded at Ulundi in 1879. In 1881 he became a lieutenant in the Cape Mounted Riflemen and served in the Basuto War in 1881 and in the Langeberg Campaign of 1896 to 1897. In the South African War, 1899-1902, he distinguished himself, receiving the D.S.O. for his defense of Wepener in the O.F.S. in April 1900. He was given Command of a mounted column and in 1901 of a Cape Colonial division. After the war he was awarded the C.M.G. and was appointed Commandant-General of the Cape Colonial Forces. In 1912 he was made Inspector-General of the Union Defense Force. In the First World War he fought in South West Africa, Egypt and France. He had command of a mixed force in the operations in German S.W.A. from March to July 1915. After that campaign, he organized and trained the South African Infantry Brigade, taking them to Egypt in January 1916. They achieved great success in a campaign against the Senussi in Libya. In April 1916 the Brigade went to France where they formed part of the 9th Division. They distinguished themselves in the Battle of the Somme in their gallant capture of Delville Wood in July 1916, where they suffered extremely heavy casualties. In December 1916 Lukin was appointed major-general and put in command of the 9th Division. He led the Division in actions at Arras, Ypres and Cambrai in 1917. In 1918 Lukin was made a K.C.B. In February 1918 he went to England because of his wife’s ill-health, where he had charge of the 64th Division until the end of the war. He retired in November 1918. He returned to South Africa in 1920 and until his death took an active part in ex-service affairs. He was a chairman of the Defense Commission of Enquiry in 1924. He married in 1891 Lily Quinn of Fort Hare.

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The Maj.-Gen. Sir H T Lukin Papers were donated to the University of Cape Town Libraries in 1979 by Mr A B C Ryan, and number 130 items. The papers include letters from several well-known figures, many of them military men. Amongst the correspondents are General D Haig, General Sir H P Gough, Viscount Gladstone and W P Schreiner. There are also letters of condolence to Lady Lukin after the death of her husband. There are documents of his commission as Lieutenant in the Cape Mounted Riflemen in 1881 and of other military appointments, and of his decorations, including the C.M.G., C.B., and K.C.B. Two copies of Supplements to the London Gazette mention some of Lukin's activities in the 1st World War. There are copies of two of the many speeches made by Lukin after his return to South Africa, when unveiling memorials to the fallen in the 1st World War. Roughly a third of the Collection consists of newspaper clippings covering Lukin's exploits in the South African War, his activities after his return to S.A. in April 1920 till his death, obituaries, and reports of his funeral, and the erection of memorials to him in various centres in S.A.


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  • English

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  • English



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