General Alexander Anderson

zLa2xcCOSwaynG8xNtzR1A

It is a great shame that one of the balls has been lost from the memorial, but the conservation management plan for the cemetery suggests the memorial originally had a pyramid of canon balls. Hopefully there are restoration plans to reconstruct the monument.

The dates of Anderson, and the surviving locations recorded on the monument, Beyrout, Gaza and Syria, suggest involvement in the 1840 Egyptian – Ottoman War. Without other balls the extent of other campaigning is presently unknown. Reference to the Royal Marines Light Infantry means a career lasting beyond 1855, when the force was renamed.

Following the defeat to Napoleon, during the years of relative peace, other than imperial wars, the containment of Russia, and defence of imperial acquisitions became a British priority. The Ottoman Empire, Persia and various central Asian states were viewed by Britain as buffers to be maintained between the British and Russian empires. Efforts to obtain Afghanistan increased the tensions between Britain and Russia.

The crisis of 1840 started in the 1830s with efforts by the Pasha of Egypt, a client state of the Ottoman Empire, to extend the area of influence into Palestine and Syria. The Sultan conceded these provinces in 1832. In 1839 the Ottomans struck back, however the army was defeated and the navy deserted at Alexandria. In 1840 Britain, Russia, Austria and Prussia agreed to back the Ottomans, and the British Mediterranean Fleet began operations against Egypt.

Landings by the Royal Marines are listed on the monument and, photographs on the internet suggest one of the lost balls recorded, what looks to be D’Jebail, a castle occupied by Egyptian forces, or D’Jounie Bay, the main base used by the British during the campaign.

By November of 1840 following various landings by marines, pitched battles and naval engagements, negotiates led to the establishment of a hereditary Egyptian rule and the return of the Ottoman fleet. Whilst this limited campaign involved Britain working with Russia it was only in the next decade that the two powers were at war.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s