Richard Guyon

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Richard Debaufre Guyon
Guyon Richárd Barabás.jpg
Born 1813
Walcot, Somerset, England
Died 12 October 1856(1856-10-12)
Scutari, Constantinople, Turkey
Allegiance Hungary
Rank General
Battles Battle of Pákozd
Battle of Schwechat
Battle of Kapolna
Battle of Szőreg
Battle of Temesvár
Other work Governor of Damascus

Richard Debaufre Guyon (1813 – 12 October 1856), British soldier, general in the Hungarian revolutionary army and Turkish pasha (Kurshid Pasha), was born at Walcot, near Bath, Somerset.[1][2]

After receiving a military education in England, Guyon fought against Dom Miguel in the Liberal Wars in Portugal. In 1832 Guyon entered the Austrian service joining the Hungarian Hussars; and on being attached as aide-de-camp to Baron Splényi, married the daughter of that general in 1838.

From that time till the outbreak of the revolution, Guyon led the life of a country gentleman on his estates near Komárom, but was one among the first to offer his services to the national government as an officer of the Royal Hungarian Army, and played a prominent part in the struggle for independence during the Hungarian Revolution of 1848.

During the retreat of Artúr Görgey's army, Guyon carried the mountain-pass of Branyiszko, and by that daring feat of his re-established the communication with the government at Debrecen, as also with the several other Hungarian army corps.

He won great distinction in the Battle of Pákozd (29 September 1848) and the Battle of Schwechat (30 October) and after the Battle of Kapolna (26 and 27 February 1849) was made a general.[1][3]

When, in April 1849, the garrison of the besieged Fortress of Komárom was to be apprised of the victorious approach of the national army, Guyon, with a detachment of hussars, cut his way through the enemy's lines, and announced the approaching relief.

The bloody Battle of Szőreg (5 August 1849) allowed General Henryk Dembiński, protected by the self-sacrificing ten battalions of Guyon, to retire to Temesvár, where the Battle of Temesvár, the last in the campaign, was fought and lost on 9 August. Guyon escaped to Turkey.[1][3][4]

In 1852 Guyon entered the service of the Sultan without being required to change his faith.

Under the name of Kourshid Pasha, he, as a general of division, was Governor of Damascus, and at the beginning of the Crimean war, did much to organise the army of Kars. Guyon died of cholera at Scutari in 1856.[1][3] According to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography he was "the first Christian to obtain the rank of pasha and a Turkish military command without being obliged to change his religion".[citation needed]

Grave of Richard Guyon at the Haydarpaşa Cemetery in Istanbul, Turkey

The 1863 Chambers Encyclopaedia states "Indomitable courage, and an incessant care for the comfort of the troops under his command, were the chief features in Guyon's character".[3]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition
  2. ^ Genealogy of the Guyon de Geis Family
  3. ^ a b c d "GUYON, RICHARD DEBAUFRE", Chambers's Encyclopaedia, Appleton, 1863, pp. 167, 168 
  4. ^ William Henry Stiles, Austria in 1848-49: Being a History of the Late Political Movements in Vienna, Milan, Venice, and Prague with Details of the Campaigns of Lombardy and Novara a Full Account of the Revolution in Hungary and Historical Sketches of the Austrian Government, Adamant Media Corporation, pp. 179, 296, ISBN 0-543-94386-0 

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