Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Sterling, Anthony Coningham

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STERLING, Sir ANTHONY CONINGHAM (1805–1871), author of ‘The Highland Brigade in the Crimea,’ eldest son of Captain Edward Sterling, by Hester, daughter of John Coningham of Londonderry, was born at Dundalk in 1805. John Sterling [q. v.] was a younger brother. After keeping some terms at Trinity College, Cambridge, he was on 18 Feb. 1826 gazetted an ensign in the 24th foot. From 21 March 1834 to 5 Dec. 1843 he was a captain in the 73rd foot, and was then placed on half-pay. He was on active service during the Crimean campaign of 1854–5, first as brigade major and afterwards as assistant adjutant-general to the Highland division, including the battles of the Alma, Balaklava, and Inkerman, and the siege of Sebastopol. He received the medal with four clasps, the order of the Legion of Honour, the Turkish medal, and the fourth class of the Medjidie. On 17 Oct. 1857 he sold his commission, retiring with the rank of colonel; but during 1858–9 he was again employed as military secretary to Colin Campbell, lord Clyde [q. v.], in the suppression of the Indian mutiny, and received a medal with clasp. In 1861 Lord Clyde accused Sterling of wilfully neglecting to insert the name of Colonel Pakenham in a list of persons recommended for reward by the bestowal of the K.C.B. at the close of the mutiny. This led to many letters, which are given in ‘Correspondence concerning Charges made by Lord Clyde against Sir Anthony Sterling,’ March 1861 (privately printed 1863). He was gazetted C.B. on 5 July 1855, and K.C.B. on 21 July 1860. He died at 3 South Place, Knightsbridge, London, on 1 March 1871, having married in 1829 Charlotte, daughter of Major-general Joseph Baird; she died on 10 April 1863.

Sterling was the author of ‘Russia under Nicholas I,’ a translation, 1841; ‘Letters from the Army in the Crimea, written by a Staff Officer,’ 1857; ‘The Story of the Highland Brigade in the Crimea, founded on Letters written during 1854, 1855, and 1856 by Lieut.-Col. A. Sterling, a Staff Officer who was there,’ 1895.

[Hart's Annual Army List, 1870, pp. 96, 106; Dodd's Peerage, 1871, p. 585; Ann. Reg. 1871, p. 147; Illustrated London News, 1871, lviii. 267, 315; Carlyle's Life of John Sterling.]

G. C. B.