O'Byrnes 1849 'Naval Biographical Dictionary'
O'Byrnes 1849 'Naval Biographical Dictionary'


The Royal NavyO'Byrne

The following is the entry for John Montagu Hayes in William O'Byrnes 1849 'Naval Biographical Dictionary'.

HAYES. (Commander, 1841. f-p., 13; h-p., 5.)

John Montagu Hayes, born 23 March, 1816, is brother of Capt. C.O. Hayes, R.N.
This officer entered the Navy, 20 March, 1829, as Fst.-cl. Vol., on board the Melville 74, Capt. Alex. Wilmot Schomberg, stationed in the Mediterranean; removed as Midshipman, in July, 1830, to the Dryad 42, commanded on the western coast of Africa by his father, Capt. John Hayes; and at the commencement of 1833 sailed for South America in the Spartiate 76, successive flag-ship of Sir Michael Seymour and Sir Graham Eden Hamond. Being lent in July, 1834, to the Sparrowhawk 16, Capt. Chas. Pearson, he made a voyage from Rio de Janeiro to Falkland Islands, and on 9 Aug. anchored in Berkeley Sound. On 6 Sept. he was thence sent with Lieut. Sam. Fielding Harmer and four men in a whale-boat for the purpose of endeavouring to save the crew of a merchant brig, which had been wrecked on the western point of the East Falkland Island, a distance of nearly a hundred miles along a most dangerous coast. Owing to contrary winds and stormy weather, sixteen days elapsed before the boat reached the point near which the wreck lay. At the end of that period, being unfortunately caught in a heavy snow-storm, she upset and was lost, together with 1 man and the whole of her provisions and arms, a misadventure which rendered it necessary for the survivors, now in a state of perfect destitution, to trace their way back to Berkeley Sound, as best they could, across a difficult and unknown country, and in the most inclement weather. The hardships and sufferings they underwent it is not easy to describe. The first two days were passed without food of any kind; on the third they contrived to catch a wild calf, whose raw flesh for ten days formed their scanty and only subsistence. Lieut. Harmer and two of the men by that time had become so weak that they were unable to proceed; and it was not until after a further lapse of six days that Mr. Hayes and his only remaining companion, supported en route by the carcass of a half-starved dog, were enabled in a death-like state to reach the settlement, and despatch assistance to their wretched associates, all of whom, as was subsequently the case with the crew of the merchantman, were found and happily preserved from what had long appeared inevitable destruction. In Nov. 1834 Mr. Hayes, whose health continued for many months in a very impaired state, rejoined the Spartiate, and on 12 of the following May he passed his examination. He was ultimately, after having further served for two years in the Mediterranean as Mate of the Rodney 92, Capt. Hyde Parker, promoted to the rank of Lieutenant by a commission bearing date 21 Oct. 1837. Being next appointed, 13 Feb. 1838, to the Cruizer 16, Capts. Rich. Henry King and Henry Wells Giffard, he sailed in that sloop for the East Indies, where, besides attending an expedition to the mouths of the Indus, he assisted at the capture of Aden. He afterwards, in 1840, accompanied the armament to China, and in the course of the same year was present at the capture of Chusan and the blockade of Ningpo. On the return of the Cruizer with Sir Hugh Gough to China, after having been sent in charge of despatches to Calcutta, Mr. Hayes, we find, was in the boats at the capture of several of the forts in the Canton river, and had charge of one of those forming the western division in the first attack on the outworks of that city. During the second series of operations against it, he was successively employed, in a manner that gained him the highest praise, on board the brig, then in the boats, and ultimately on shore at the capture of the French Folly. On 26 Aug. 1841 he was in acting-command of the Cruizer at the capture of Amoy, and in the course of the next Oct. he served in the boats and with the small-arm men at the recapture of Chusan, and was also present at the storming of Chinghae and the occupation of Ningpo. From 1 Nov. in the same year until 20 Jan. 1842, Mr. Hayes was again entrusted with the charge of the Cruizer. He then returned home, having been rewarded for his services by a Commander’s commission dated 8 Oct. 1841; and has since been on half-pay. Agents - Messrs. Ommanney.


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