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Name: THRUSTON, Arthur Blyford (Major)

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Birth Date: 1.1.1865 Cirencester

Death Date: 19.10.1897 Luba's, Uganda, shot by Sudanese mutineers

First Date: 1893

Last Date: 1897

Profession: Oxford Light Inf. - Arrived Kampala with Col. H. Colvile 1893 - Fought in the 1897 Sudanese uprising in Uganda and was murdered by the rebels. Shot by Bilal Effendi at Luba's after being made prisoner with N. Wilson and Scott.

Area: Uganda

Author: 'African Incidents' 1900

Book Reference: Gillett, Permanent Way, Moyse, Tucker, North, Ansorge, UJ, North, Barnes, Chandler

War Service: Oxfordshire LI

General Information:

Moyse - 1897 - Major Thruston handed over to Lieut. W.R. Dugmore (N. Staffs Regt.) and took command of the Uganda Rifles. ........... 1897 - Mutineers Bilal and Rehan shot Thruston, Norman Wilson and Scott with their own hands and sank their remains in a basket in the lake.
Tucker - Major Thruston was full of confidence in the loyalty of the Sudanese at Luba's and, with great courage started off at once to join Mr N.A. Wilson, who was in charge at Luba's ........ butchered by mutineers on Oct. 18th .......... buried at Namirembe
North - attached to Sudanese troops in Uganda Nov 1893; Hoima 28/8/1894; Kampala at Dec 1894; dep. on leave 27/4/1895; ill, resigned; Major; dep. Mombasa for Uganda 12/2/1897, arr. Port Alice 14/4/1897; Appt. Officer Commanding troops in Uganda Oct 1897; d. 19/10/1897, murdered by Sudanese mutineers at Luba's; "There's not a man in the world that I hate more than Thruston ... a brute" (Moffat, RH)
Ansorge - It was at Luba's, where the Soudanese mutineers made their first stand and where they murdered three Europeans. Poor Major Thruston had lately succeeded to the highest military post, viz. that of Commandant of the Uganda Rifles, a force composed at that time entirely of Soudanese. He spoke Arabic fluently, and, as I thought, knew the Soudanese thoroughly. But his openly expressed affection for them led him to trust these blacks too much. He was in hopes that his mere unarmed presence would restore confidence, whereas the mutineers immediately placed hands on him and on Mr N. Wilson, the civilian in charge of Luba's I can only speak of this from hearsay, as I was stationed at the time in Unyoro.
The mutineers had already placed Major Thruston and Mr Wilson in irons, when Mr Scott, in charge of a Government dhow put in at Luba's. If what I heard is true, Mr Scott was warned by his own men not to land, but he either could not understand them or refused to be guided. The moment he landed, he was seized by the mutineers and led to the fort. According to one story, he tore himself free and made a rush for his dhow, but, though a burly and strong man, he was caught, overpowered, and placed in irons; and the villains, it is said, threw him on the ground and inflicted a number of lashes with a hippo-thong.
Next day the mutineers made their unsuccessful assault on the small party of Europeans stationed on the adjoining hill. Exasperated by their defeat and in revenge, they, on returning to the fort, murdered the three unfortunate captive Europeans in cold blood. According to some, ghastly suffering was inflicted; according to others, Bilal Effendi, the ringleader, murdered all three by blowing out their brains.
Uganda Journal - Vol. 22 - The Mutiny Memorial at Bukaleba by H.B. Thomas - ….. Major Thruston is also commemorated in London, in the crypt of St. Pauls Cathedral, by a white marble mural tablet framed by red marble columns. This was erected by the officers of his old regiment, the Oxfordshire Light Infantry. Inscription on east side of Memorial - Near this spot on the evening of Oct. 19 or 20, 1897, was shot by the mutinous native officers from the Macdonald Expedition having previously (Oct 17, 4.30 am) been treacherously captured by them - Arthur Blyford Thruston - Son of C.A. and C.S.M. Thruston, Pennal Tower, Wales, Bt. Maj. Oxf. L.I., Appt. command Uganda Rifles Sept 1897 who deliberately risked and lost his life in the endeavour to save the English from the great peril and recall the mutineers to do their duty, Aetat 32, (Line of Arabic writing which translates) - Blessed Lord, This servant of God was a just ruler.
Barnes - St Paul's Namirembe Cemetery - Arthur Blyford Thruston, 1 Jan 1865 - 19 Oct 1897 Luba's
Name on memorial in Bonn Square, Oxford

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