- Name: Mark Sever BELL
- D.O.B: 14th May, 1843
- D.O.A: 4th Feb, 1874
- D.O.D: 26th Jun, 1906
- Award: Victoria Cross
- Occupation at time of action: Lieutenant, Corps of Royal Engineers, attached to Ashanti Expeditionary Force
- Book: The Complete History - Volume 1
Ordashu, Gold Coast 4 February 1874
4 February 1874
THE ASHANTI WAR
The British pushed north from Amoaful on 2 February 1874. On the 4th they crossed the River Ordah and defeated an Ashanti force at Ordahsu beyond. Late that afternoon the British entered Kumasi itself and found the city largely deserted. Two days later, the troops began the march back to the coast. Wolseley halted at Fomena, just north of the Adansi Hills. A message was sent to the Ashanti King that if by 12 February he paid 5,000 ounces of gold, a tenth of the total indemnity demanded, Wolseley would make peace. Kofi Karikari’s mind was concentrated by the arrival at Fomena of Captain R W Sartorius VC, presaging the arrival of Captain Glover’s column. The result was the Treaty of Fomena, which confirmed the payment of the indemnity and surrendered Ashanti claims to the coastal lands and other territories. In fact, the treaty gave both sides an opportunity to consolidate their position. British influence south of the Ashanti kingdom was strengthened and that same year the Gold Coast and Lagos, which had been governed from Sierra Leone, were made a separate Crown Colony. Meanwhile, Kofi Karikari was deposed by the Ashanti and replaced by his brother Mensa, who rebuilt Kumasi and ignored most of the clauses of the Treaty. The seeds of future conflict had been sown.
For his distinguished bravery, and zealous, resolute, and self-devoted conduct at the battle of Ordahsu, on the 4th February, 1874, whilst serving under the immediate orders of Colonel Sir John Chetham McLeod, K.C.B., of the 42nd Regiment, who commanded the Advanced Guard. Sir John McLeod was an eye witness of his gallant and distinguished conduct on the occasion, and considers that this Officer’s fearless and resolute bearing, being always in the front, urging on and encouraging an unarmed working party of Fantee labourers, who were exposed not only to the fire of the Enemy, but to the wild and irregular fire of the Native Troops in the rear, contributed very materially to the success of the day. By his example, he made these men do what no European party was ever required to do in warfare, namely, to work under fire in the face of the Enemy without a covering party.