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16th May 2005Col. Francis Younghusband - Related to Reginald ?
By Coll
Earlier today one of my family watched a programme about antiques, when a sword belonging to one of the men who accompanied Younghusband to Tibet appeared.

On looking through the internet I found the above Col. Francis Younghusband was part of a british expedition to invade Tibet 1903-4.

He later became an explorer and went on several expeditions of his own elsewhere.

I know there are probably many people with the surname of Younghusband, but I wondered if there was a chance he did have a family connection to Captain Reginald Younghusband killed at Isandlwana.

I introduced this as a topic, because if they are related, it may make an interesting subject.

I'm sorry it is a bit vague, but I didn't actually see the programme myself, so other details evade me, regarding the sword, etc.

I'm not sure how much it would have been worth.

16th May 2005Martin Everett
Dear Coll,

I have always been interested in a link between the two. But the Army Lists in ther late 19th century shows at least six officers by the name of Younghusband. There is even a Younghusband link with Tasmania. So I am afraid you will just have to build the Younghusband family tree yourself - could be quite complex.

What is more interesting is that Reginald's son Harold who was born in Iowa, USA joined the South Wales Borderers as a Private soldier in 1893.
17th May 2005Michael Boyle

That's interesting, assuming Reginald was there as well would he have been on 'observer' duty to the U.S. Army? I know many British officers observed during the Civil War (with both sides) but I'd be curious to know if any observed during the 'Indian' campaigns?(Or perhaps being there just for the sporting opportunities?)


17th May 2005Ian Woodason

As you say, far more interesting that his son Harold joined as a private soldier in 1893 - what is the source for this? According to Mackinnon and Shadbolt (and subsequently Holme) Younghusband married in February 1878, so how old was Harold when he enlisted? How was Harold born in the USA given that time frame? (The marriage being in London, Reginald's widow living in Devon in 1881). Was there an earlier marriage for Reginald that is not recorded in Mack and Shad or Holme? His widow's census entry for 1881 only gives children from her previous marriage living with her (May born 1870 and Edythe born 1873). Or is this an explanation of why Harold joined as a private soldier? There is no mention of Reginald going to the USA in Mack and Shad or Holme, though that does not mean he didn't go in a private capacity, of course, or that a child could be born there.
Looking forward to the Anglo-Zulu War weekend ‘Supreme Courage',
All the best,
17th May 2005Coll

Thanks for your reply.

Yes. Francis Younghusband seems to be famous for his expeditions and was/is known as 'the last great imperial adventurer'.

There was a book mentioned, although I imagine there are a few about him, but as above it is called ' Younghusband, The Last Great Imperial Adventurer ' by Patrick French.

I didn't know anything about him at all, until I had a look around the internet last night.

It certainly would be good to know if they were related.

I'm surprised that Reginald's son was born in the U.S.A., but I think any questions I might have asked are mentioned above.

18th May 2005Julian Whybra
The research I have done into the family background of Reginald Younghusband shows no connection with the family of Francis Younghusband. Although the surname is unusual it is not uncommon.
18th May 2005Coll


29th June 2005Alexia Younghusband
Can I say that I am the great granddaughter of Reginald Younghusband. No he wasn't related to Francis Younghusband (even though my surname is now Younghusband-Francis) and Reginald did not have a son in the USA called Harold (unless it's been the greatest family secret for many years!). His son (my grandfather) was a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy and his son (my father) is now a military artist.

Younghusband as a surname is quite common and comes from Cumbria and especially Northumberland - where there is a family vault.

I am interested to hear your comments as I'm currently looking at the possiblity of getting out to Isandlwana to visit the site.
30th June 2005Martin Everett
Dear Alexia,
There is a little known memorial to RY in the old Cathedral (St James's? - its Bishop Colenso's church) in Pietermartizburg - not normally open to the public. You need to seek the key form the diocesan offices nearby.
1st July 2005Sean Sweeney
The old church in Maritzburg, where Colenso is buried in, is St Peter's,
adjacent to the new Cathedral.
1st July 2005Alexia Younghusband
Thanks Martin, your info is much appreciated.
1st July 2005Coll
Where did the story of Reginald having a son called Harold born in Iowa come from, if Alexia is right about there being no such son ?

Can anyone please clarify this matter ?

I'm a bit confused. (as usual)