Elliott, William Henry (DNB00)

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ELLIOTT, Sir WILLIAM HENRY (1792–1874), general, son of Captain John Elliott, R.N., one of the comrades of Captain Cook in his second and third voyages, was born in 1792. He entered the army as an ensign in the 51st King's Own light infantry on 6 Dec. 1809. In January 1811 the 5lst joined Lord Wellington's army while encamped within the lines of Torres Vedras, and Elliott's first battle was Fuentes de Onoro. He was present at the capture of Ciudad Rodrigo and of Badajoz, and at the battle of Salamanca, and was promoted lieutenant on 13 Aug. 1812. During the retreat from Burgos he acted as aide-de-camp to Colonel Mitchell, commanding the first brigade of the seventh division, and was wounded in conveying despatches under fire. In June 1813 he was appointed acting aide-de-camp to Major-general Inglis, and served with him at the battles of the Pyrenees, when he was again wounded, and at the Nivelle and Orthes. He was then appointed brigade-major to the first brigade, seventh division, in which capacity he served until the end of the war. Elliott was next present with the 51st at the battle of Waterloo, and he had charge of the scaling-ladders at the siege of Cambrai. He was pro-noted captain on 9 Nov. 1820. From 1821 to 1834 the 51st was stationed in the Ionian Islands, and Elliott, who never left his regiment, was promoted major on 12 July 1831. On 27 June 1838 he was promoted lieutenant-colonel, and he commanded the 51st in Australia, Van Diemen's Land, New Zealand, and at Bangalore, until 1852. In that year his regiment was ordered for service in the second Burmese war, and Elliott was detailed to command the Madras brigade in the first campaign. Under the superintendence of General Godwin, Elliott's brigade led the way in the fierce fighting of 10, 11, and 12 April 1852, in which Rangoon was captured, and in the storm of the Shwe-Dagon pagoda on 14 April. In the second campaign, which began in September 1852, Elliott again had command of a brigade, consisting of his own regiment and two battalions of Madras native infantry, and he co-operated successfully in the capture of Donabyú, the stronghold of the outlaw Myat-toon, who had but a short time before defeated Captain Loch. For these services he received a medal and clasp, was made a C.B., and made commandant at Rangoon. While there he discovered and suppressed on 20 Nov. 1853 a plot which had for its aim the destruction of all the English in Rangoon, and thus saved the city. In 1855 he gave up the colonelcy of the regiment which he had so long commanded, and on 20 Jan. 1857 he was promoted major-general. He never again went on active service, but he was made a K.C.B. in 1862, and appointed colonel of the 51st on 1 June in that year; he was promoted lieutenant-general on 27 July 1863, made a G.C.B. in 1870, and promoted general on 25 Oct. 1871. He died at his house, 20 Cambridge Square, London, on 27 Feb. 1874.

[Wheater's Record of the Services of the 5lst Regiment; Laurie's Burmese Wars; Annual Register and London Gazettes for 1852-3; Times, 3 March 1874.]

H. M. S.