Boer War Stuff

Discussion in 'Prewar' started by dbf, Mar 31, 2008.

  1. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Yes, please.
  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive


    Victoria Cross No.457

    Born: 26th February 1877 - 77 Barton Street, Blackburn, Lancashire.

    Died: 18 February 1955 aged 77, at Blackburn Infirmary, Blackburn.

    Buried: 22 February at Whalley New Road Cemetery, Blackburn. R.C. Section. Plot D, Grave 2524. Headstone erected in 1970.

    Citation: Already posted on a previous post in this thread.

    Commemoration: i) Headstone ii) Plaque in Blackburn Old Town Hall iii) Memorial in Manchester Cathedral iv) Name on Boer War Memorial in St. Anne's Square, Manchester v) Medals in Manchester Regiment Museum.

  3. Belville

    Belville Senior Member

    DBF, Have you been down to the Fusilier's Arch in St. Stephens Green in Dublin? It lists all the war dead from the 2nd Boer War suffered by the Royal Dublin Fusiliers.
    Hi GH,
    'fraid I haven't. Not been to Dublin in a long time. Furtherest I get south these days is the airport. Will make a mental note for next time I am in the city.

    Just found this thread. Photographs and transcriptions of the panels of names on the arch can be seen on my website, Irish War Memorials

  4. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Thank you very much for posting the link to your excellent site.
    All the best,
  5. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.

    Hello Di

    I was on St. Anns Square tonight and thought it most fitting to raise a glass or two to Robert Scott VC. The old boy still looks as splendid as ever...


    My own Great Great Uncle, Fred Bunn, is named on the memorial too...



    After an explanation to those present the toast was "Robert Scott and the Manchesters"


  6. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    What an unusual headstone JB? Any idea of the significance?
  7. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.

    What an unusual headstone JB? Any idea of the significance?

    It's at Fort Napier in Pietermaritzburg. Fred died of Enteric Fever.
  8. wtid45

    wtid45 Very Senior Member

  9. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.

    I received the photo after contacting the South African War Graves Project website. They are very good.

    South Africa War Graves Project

    Fort Napier cemetery..

  10. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Jonathan, that's another super photograph you've shared with me. Thanks very much once again.

    Excellent site that.

    Raising a glass now to Pte. Fred Bunn and the Manchesters!
  11. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I'm intrigued by those grave markers - I wonder if they are made from wire pickets
  12. gunbunnyB/3/75FA

    gunbunnyB/3/75FA Senior Member

    just saw this thread, i have always been interested in the boer war.
  13. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.


    Have you ever seen Robert Scott's VC?
  14. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Hi JB,
    No, we've never had the opportunity. I did correspond with museum and they sent me copies of articles one of which I transcribed in post 6. There might have been some photos in them, but it's been a while since I worked on that and the genealogy.
  15. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.

    No, we've never had the opportunity.

    Well i'm hoping to get over to the museum again during the Christmas break. I will give them a ring beforehand and ask if it's possible to get some photos of the medal, front and rear. I think it would be a fitting addition to the thread.
  16. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    That would be wonderful of you. Thanks for even suggesting it.
  17. Mike Barr

    Mike Barr Junior Member

    I spend a lot of time in SA & have visited most all the battlefield sites of the Boer & Zulu wars.
    To me the most poignant is Spioenkop, a hill a few miles from Ladysmith.
    The long line of a 275 yard white stoned trench marks the mass grave of those who died on that spot & were buried where they fell.
    It is the scene of one of most futile & bloodiest of battles in the relief of Ladysmith.



    The British men were mostly made up from various Lancastrian regiments & the name Spioenkop has became synonymous with Liverpool FC "Kop"

    An overly simple summary ..............
    23 January 1900 British commanders sent aprx 1,700 men to storm Spioenkop (Spy Hill) & seize it from aprx 700 Boer forces who were dispersed on Spioenkop & on 3 other nearby hills as part of the ongoing siege of nearby town of Ladysmith.

    The British easily drove out the 68 Boer stationed on the hill with just light casualties. The Boer had 1 dead & a few wounded. The time was early evening & the British set about digging defensive trenches on the hill summit. The extremely rocky ground meant effective deep trenches were next to impossible with the few sappers assigned the task with what is reported as only 20 picks & 20 shovels. The British force could do little but take up positions in not much more than shallow hollows.

    Next day the Boers retaliated & a day long battle inflicted horrendous casualties on the British , first by the field guns stationed on the other hills & later a 2 fronted advance & hand to hand battle on the hill top. That night the British withdrew, unaware that the Boer had also conceded defeat & withdrawn under darkness.

    From the 1,700 British contingent, 243 were killed & 1,250 wounded & captured.
    The Boers suffered 68 dead & 335 wounded.
    The British & Boer dead are all buried on the hill, with aprx 200 British buried where they fell in the 2 foot shallow trenches they had previously dug.

    Winston Churchill witnessed the battle as a war correspondent.
    Mahatma Gandhi was a stretcher bearer.
    dbf and Drew5233 like this.
  18. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.

    Hi Mike

    My Great Grandfather, Charles Bunn, the brother of Fred mentioned above was a Private in the Royal Lancaster Regiment in South Africa. It would appear that he was part of the replacement draft for those who died at Spion Kop.

    There was a third brother, George who was with the 6th Dragoon Guards and was mentioned in the despatches of Lord Roberts. We've never been able to pin down what the MID was actually for. He was also wounded in the hand during the Cavalry action at Klip Drift which I believe was the last time a British Cavalry Division charged en masse.
  19. Mike Barr

    Mike Barr Junior Member

    Jonathan, I found your relative George Bunn MID listing
    MID means just that, he is named in a commanding officers dispatch to his commander.
    Normally just the name that is mentioned, what he did is not listed unless it was an exceptional action.
    But you might have fun searching some 6th Dragoon records.

    See Mentions in despatches - Army

    Lord Roberts, in his despatch March 31, 1900, brings to notice the following:-

    Major General H Lord Kitchener of Khartoum, RE, has filled the important post of Chief of the Staff, and I am greatly indebted ...........................

    Cavalry Divisional Staff and Troops ........................

    6th Dragoon Guards Major A Sprot; 2nd Lieutenant W J S Rundle; Sergeants W J Bowman, A Crawshay; Corporal A Blackmail; Privates G Bunn, J Buckenham, H Cowley.
  20. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.


    Yes that's the one. We wrote to the Regimental Museum and they were kind enough to reply with extracts from a couple of histories that mentioned both Sprot and Rundle. Unfortunately, there was nothing that could specifically identify what happened. Other than that the Regimental archives contained nothing that could have helped.

    George had quite a career. 14 years later he was back with the Regiment on the retreat from Mons to the Marne but that's a tale for a different thread...



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