Thomas Magin


Captain Magin served with the Baltic expedition of 1854 (Medal).  Served on the China expedition of 1857-5; was shipwrecked in H.M.S. Raleigh, afterwards present at the capture of Mandarin war junks in Escape and Fatshan Creeks, commanded the garrison of Macao fort during the blockade of the Canton river, present at the landing before and storming of Canton and in action with the Braves near the White Cloud Mountains (Medal and two Clasps).  Commanded the setachment at Vancouver's Island during 1858-60.

--from  "The New Army List and Militia List." by Colonel H. G. Hart, H.P. Depot Battalion
London: John Murray, Albemarle Street.  No. XCIX.  1st July 1863.

Supplement, April 10, 1858]         THE ILLUSTRATED LONDON NEWS             373


(Top picture caption: Officer's quarters, provisional battalion Royal Marines on the walls of Canton.  Bottom picture caption: The old landing place, Canton.)

The cozy quarters of the officers of the Provisional battalion of Royal Marines given above were perched on the walls of Canton.  It was here that our Artist spent a few days and nights, as he says, "very picturesquely."

The Old Landing-place, Canton, with its Babel-like confusion , is then described by the Times correspondent:--"The point is where a shallow streamlet or drain falls into the river, about a mile to the east of the south-eastern corner of the city wall.  Suburban water-side hovels once covered the area upon which the promiscuous crowd now raging, and shooting, and pushing, and struggling; but those hovels are now only heaps of rubbish.  Twenty or thirty ships' boats have their bows against the bard: the Commissariat lords, the General's chop-boat (which in the confusion was once seized upon by a French ship-of-war and taken down the river), several gun-boats, and the Commissariat lie off the river.  Packages innumerable, baggage and bales, barrels and cases, munitions of war and munitions for the stomach, are piled about in mountains . . . . Everybody wants and escort, and everybody wants a troop of coolies.  Oh those patient, lusty, enduring coolies!  It was a valuable legacy which Colonel Wetherall left us, that Coolie Corps.  They carried the ammunition on the day of the assault close up to the rear of our columns, and when a cannon shot took off the head of one of them the others only cried "Ey yaw!" and laughed, and worked away as merrily as ever . . . .

The French are already passing in strong bodies, carrying up their heavy baggage to the front.  Ever and anon some gaping Chinaman is urged by curiosity to approach the crowd.  Quick as lightning Johnny Frenchman seizes him by the ear, pops the end of a bamboo pole upon his shoulder, gives him a kick in the rear, and makes him trot off, a pressed porter, amid the jeers of our Commissariat coolies. When a long pile of baggage-carriers has been formed an escort is given and away they go through the dangerous débris of wrecked houses which intervene between the landing-place and the East-gate." A new landing has been made at the south-east point of the city by Capt. Hall, which, by way of compliment to that energetic officer, is called Hall's terrace.

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*The full title is "The New Army List and Militia List; exhibiting the rank, standing, and various services of every regimental officer in the army serving on full pay, including the Royal Marines and Indian staff corps; distinguishing those who have served in the peninsula, who were at waterloo, who have received medals and other distinctions, and who have been wounded, and in what actions; with the period of service both on full and half pay, giving also the dates of every officer's commissions and distinguishing those obtained by purchase." by Colonel H. G. Hart, H.P. Depot Battalion  London: John Murray, Albemarle Street.  1863.  No. XCIX.  1st July 1863.  Published Quarterly, Price 10s 6d.