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DateOriginal Topic
By s p mann
In the Knight book "Zulu War- Then & Now" are photos of dead officers from Isandhl.
A second lieutenant from 2/24 whose name is one or both of the above appears to be mixed race. Does anyone know anything about this chap? Were there any other mixed-race mpreial officers in this war?
7th March 2005Peter Ewart
Sub-Lieutenant Thomas Llewelyn GRIFFITH. Looks pretty Anglo-Saxon to me, dark haired though he may have been. With which race did you think he looks mixed?

I suppose, to the purist, his very name suggests he was neither Anglo nor Saxon, probably hailing from somewhere just a little further west, but you know what I mean!


P.S. Don't forget Ian Castle.
8th March 2005s p mann
He looks Afro-Caribbean to me; perhaps some link with the west indies? I note he was the son of a reverend from norh wales- a lot of welsh are pretty dark but this chap's features do not look celtic to me.
8th March 2005Alan Critchley
For those who haven't seen an image of Lt. Griffith, I've just added one into the 'News' section for viewing.

8th March 2005Julian whybra
Griffith was not mixed race. his mother's family came from Deal in Kent and his father's from Denbighshire.
8th March 2005S P MANN
My family come from Lancashire- doesn't mean I'm not of mixed race.
8th March 2005s p mann
Thanks for posting griffith's picture- although it is interesting to compare this with the photo of him from which the line drawing derives: he's definitely beeen anglicised feature-wise in the sketch.
9th March 2005Phil Pearce
as we all know the post ice age inhabitance of the islands were the beaker people who were of iberian decent. These were followed by the celts who were apparently from central Europe then the Romans ,The Vikings, (saxons ) & then Normans. We are all a mix & match of backgrounds.
Also although born in monmouthshire prior to 1972 I consider mtself as Welsh & would like Mr. Mann to explain his statement made on the *8th March about us being somewhat dark . Might I ask are you somewhat thick ?
9th March 2005Peter Ewart

Someone mentioned recently that the Welsh are, on average, shorter than the English, which I hadn't realised before. I'd be very surprised if they weren't - on average - also darker than the English too.

Despite the mobility & upheavals of the 19th and 20th centuries, with the resultant dissipation of basic physical characteristics in the local populations, surely the influx and settlement of large numbers of Saxons, Jutes and Friesians, followed by the Vikings, all settling principally in large swathes of southern and eastern England (the furthest parts from Wales) would ensure that the average Englishman (or woman) over the following few hundred years would be lighter than the average Weshman and Cornishman? My explanation is not very scientifically put, but I'd be confounded if it were not true.

This would make the Welsh darker than the English - but not as dark as the Irish, of course. (How noticeable this would be today, who knows? And it doesn't rule out swarthy Englishmen or blond Welshmen!)

Perhaps the perennial arguments over the national make-up of the RD defenders should not follow historical records at all but should merely rely on hair colour!

10th March 2005S P Mann
Dear Phil

The Silures Celtic tribe in Wales are reputedly descended from Iberian immigrants, hence being darker than (eg) anglo-saxon people. Obviously not all Welsh are from that stock but the element means a higher proportion of darker people in Wales than England, or so I've read.
As to me being thick- well who knows? Are you?
10th March 2005Alan Critchley
No perrrrsonal comments, please!
There's good gentlemen!
10th March 2005Paul Cubbin
According to myth, the original inhabitants of Britain were giants, their leaders being Gog and Magog. Trojan survivors, fleeing the fall of their city, eventually found their way to Britain's shores (they had asylum seekers even then) and defeated the two giants and settled.

I myself am mixed race (English, Scots, Irish, Welsh, Manx and a dash of Spanish) but consider myself Welsh through residency grounds (that call-up from the squad could come at any time). As to being thick, yes, I definitely am. I would measure myself up against two short planks but I can't count that high....why else would I have supported Welsh rugby all these years? Let's hope its going to pay off now!
10th March 2005Julian whybra
I'm sorry, but this is getting silly. Griffith was not of mixed race. Making a comment like this based on a black and white reproduction of a sepia photo (I have an original) will not get a serious response.
10th March 2005stephen mann
Its a pretty damn clear reproduction and the guy looks mixed-race. Obviously though you have now done a DNA test on him ( to be so certain) so thanks for that. Don't forget that there was a very important mixed-race input to the colonial experience.
11th March 2005Michael Boyle
As a former professional photographer I can assure you that any judgement of an invidual's 'mixed race' from a monochrome source is purely subjective. The only reliable way to determine anyone's pedigree is through genealogical research ( given reliable sources).Perhaps someone knows if any of his descendants have worked on this?

Other than as a study in Victorian social more's I don't see that it matters much anyway, but in that vein perhaps there is room for discussion.

'Mixed' marriage during the Victorian era seems to have been pretty much viewed in a less than favourable light because it was thought to 'dilute' the positive aspects of the 'superior' race. A false assumption backed up by plenty of psuedo-science of the time.( We all know where that eventually led.)

Given that the British Army Officer Corps was reluctant to admit 'mixed class'( i.e.-other than the upper classes) canidates at that time because it was thought one had to share the 'public school' upbringing to make a good officer, I would be surprised if anyone of 'mixed race' would have fared better even if they shared that experience. Are there any examples of 'mixed marriages' (and their progeny) being accepted by 'society' at the time? (Other than Sir Randolph's! )

The ranks seem to be a different story though.I've seen references to West Africans and West Indians (as in....... never mind) and even a Zulu serving in the Royal Navy but I can't recall any similar reference for the Army. Would this be comparable to the U.S. services of the time? (Integrated Navy,segregated Army.) What of the Royal Marines?



11th March 2005stephen mann
What about Jahleel Carey? Sounds like a basketball player. Sha-mon!
11th March 2005stephen mann
Sorry to stray off the point but I note Llewelyn Griffith was a sub-lieutenant. I think I also read he a was subaltern. I have also seen a reference to a second lieutenant. How did this work? Was a sub-lieutenant someone being trained up to be a lieutenant? In that case what is a second lt.? Is this a confusion of terms by me based on someone (probably Morris again) using US ranks? And a subaltern Is that an officer below lieutenant generally? Was there a standard period for graduating from sub lieut. to full lieut. or was it a case of only a certain number of lieuts. per battalion so you stepped up when someone died/ retired?
11th March 2005Paul Cubbin
Ensign, 2nd Lt, Subaltern, Sub Lt - all the same thing. It's the lowest ranking commissioned officer in the British Army. Those who are of this rank are all assumed to be in training to take up the position of Lt and are so inexperienced as to be relatively useless until such time as this higher rank is attained. In practice, a senior sergeant often plays babysitter to a 'greenhorn' 2nd Lt until such time as he/she is deemed capable of making his/her own decisions; deviations from the Sgt's 'advice' often leads to disaster and, as is the way of such things, an extremely steep learning curve. As such there is no specific time limit to serve in this rank although if you haven't been promoted after 18 months or so there's something you're doing wrong. Exceptions to this rule did obviously apply, most notably being the rarer case where a man was promoted from the 'ranks' and often stagnated at 2nd Lt due to class prejudice.

Going back to different races in the British Army - I assume we're talking about Europeans and non-Europeans? The Royal Navy, due to the nature of its service, the manner of how ships crews were topped up in foreign ports and the sheer mileage put in by individual vessels, led the way in regards to multiracial service. There was seen as no distinction between an African, a Norwegian, an Arab, an American, an Oriental, an Asian etc.. crew member since men tended to be judged by their performance aboard ship and the existing crew members were used to interacting with different races. A non-European officer would have been something remarkable, however, although many held private Marques and served as British privateers for the Crown. With the Army, recruitment for home regiments tended to occur in Britain and thus, with relatively few African or Asian residents living in the UK, these were mostly European. There were several 'native' regiments of course but they tended not to be used outside of their home country, since the main reason for their raising was the defence of that particular part of the Empire. The exception to this was the Indian Army whose excellent regiments travelled as widely as their sometimes strict religious teachings would allow. It is with some pride that I regard Britain as having led the way in this manner, having supported a ban on slavery before many other nations seriously considered it and showing the first glimmers of mutual racial respect that, although not fully evolved, led the way towards multiracial societies. Ignorance survives, regrettably, but most intelligent people realise that an alloy is stronger than a base element.
12th March 2005Peter Ewart

As Michael says, only genealogical research is likely to reveal the possibility of someone from another race in the family, but even so there is no certainty that such examples will be revealed even then. One would also have to trace every single line (the number obviously doubling with each generation backwards!) Crudely speaking, don't "throwbacks" sometimes emerge after several generations?

I did a little digging earlier in the week and there is certainly every indication that Griffith was from English/Welsh stock only, at least for a couple of generations. "Mac & Shad" give Pen y Nant near Ruabon, N Wales, as the origins of his clerical father. Following this man through "Crockford", we find he obtained his BA from Univ Coll, Oxford. "Alumni Oxonienses" says he was the eldest son of Thomas Taylor Llewelyn Griffith from near Wrexham, Denbighshire and of an armigerous family. Further consultation of the usual authorities on armigerous families suggests his line was connected to the Griffiths of Trevalyn Hall nr Wrexham.

On the mother's side, it is claimed she came from a family "long well known in the army" although that doesn't preclude mixed parentage for some obscure ancestor somewhere, but seems highly unlikely. His maternal grandfather, according to the Army List, became a 1st Lieut, RE, in 1825. (That still leaves two of his four grandparents lines unknown and four lines of eight from the previous generation, all sixteen of the previous, etc etc ...) But it seems highly unlikely.

I have only a modern version of the Mac & Shad portrait, clearly only a photocopy, and this has made it look very dark. The lips may raise an eyebrow but they're really no different to plenty of other English lips!

Stephen - Jahleel was a family name which appeared in a number of generations of the Carey family, the Brenton family, the Carey-Brentons and the Brenton-Careys - all of the Channel Islands and the W Country. Incidentally, one of the court-martialled Carey's kinsmen (a Carey-Brenton, also with a long line of Jahleels in his family) became a missionary at Isandlwana in the 1890s and eventually Archdeacon of Swaziland.

13th March 2005Stephen Mann
Peter- Thanks for your time and trouble. I tried out the missus on the photo (in "The Zulu War- Then and Now") and she (without being led-honest) went for mixed-race. So hope it wasn't an entirely stupid question chaps! Wonder if there are any descendants around; altho' I guess unmarried. Have you had any info from any officers' descendants from Isand/ RD on this site?
2nd April 2005Julian whybra
I have contacted the 'Griffith' family descendants - according to them there is no mixed race element in their background. They thought it strange that anyone should think there was.