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Isles of Scilly 2 months 3 days ago #77534

  • BereniceUK
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Not many people with a direct connection to Scilly saw active service in South Africa - two officers, one Reservist, and a very few others, presumably Regulars. The reservist was presented on his home-coming with an inscribed watch, which may be the only one of its kind.


....The Relief of Ladysmith was hailed by a good display of bunting, and many hearty congratulations at St. Mary's, Islands of Scilly ; but there was no public demonstration. It was pleasing to see that General Smith-Dorrien, brother of the lord-proprietor of the Islands, took a prominent part in Cronje's surrender. Mr. T. A. Dorrien-Smith also has a son in the Shropshire regiment, which also took part in enforcing capitulation.
The Cornishman, Thursday 15th March 1900


MAFEKING REJOICINGS.
....Even the placid inhabitants of the Isles of Scilly have not been without their anxious doubts and fears. It had been rumoured for two or three days that the relief had taken place, but nothing officially was reached till Saturday morning. In brief time the streets were filled with joyous life; bells were set ringing, horns blowing, shouts for the Queen were given and loud hurrahs lor Mafeking. Some of the juveniles dressed up one of their number to represent Kruger. and led him through tbe streets shouting "We've got Kruger!" The bell-man announced a request that all would decorate their houses with fiags, etc., and illuminate at night. Soon flags fluttered in the breeze from every house, flag-staff, and boat. Strings of flags also crossed the streets in every direction. The youngsters filled the streets, each bearing a flag of some description, with loud shouts of and cheers for Baden-Powell and the gallant defenders of Mafeking.
....At 7 p.m. a procession was formed on the Parade, and, headed by the bands of the town and I.O.R., marched to the church, where the vicar. Rev W. E Graves, read prayers, the lesson was read by Rev. G. Wright. M.A. (Wesleyan) and two verses of the hymn "All people that on earth do dwell" were sung.
....Then the procession, composed of men, women, and children, paraded the town, most of the juveniles bearing flags, and returned to the starting-point.
....Three cheers were given for Colonel Baden-Powell and the defenders of Mafeking and for the Queen, after which the whole assemblage joined heartily in singing tbe National anthem.
....In the evening the shops and many of the private bouses were beautifully illuminated in a manner never witnessed before, even by the oldest inhabitant. It would be invidious to attempt to particularise any house. Each one did according to his or her resources, and did it right loyally.
....The streets were thronged with sight seers to a late hour. Everything was done quietly and in the best of order, which earned tbe admiration of the many visitors who are now on tbe Island.
....Two French fishing-boats in the harbour decorated their craft in honour of the occasion, and marched through the streets singing "The Marseillaise." During the evening an effigy of Oom Paul was paraded through tbe streets in a donkey-cart, and caused much amusement.
....To show the anxiety as to the relief of Mafeking, an English steamer. the St. Euxck, from Antwerp for New York, hauled in close to the land and signalled to tbe signal-station "Is Mafeking relieved?" Receiving "Yes" she blew lustily her steam-whistle and fired guns.
The Cornishman, Thursday 24th May 1900


WELL-MERITED WELCOME.
....A meeting of the councillors of the Isles of Scilly, and the members of the Select Vestry of St. Mary's, was held on Wednesday evening, at which it was decided to present an address of welcome to Captain A. A. Dorien-Smith, D.S.O, on his return from South Africa. It is expected that Capt. Dorrien-Smith will arrive at Southampton, on Saturday, August 2nd, and, in all probability, reach Scilly the following Wednesday.
....The councillors, overseers, and vestrymen intend meeting Capt. Dorrien-Smith and his father, Mr. Dorrien-Smith, the next day, when the address will be presented as they land on the pier. The band will be asked to be in attendance, and it is hoped a large number of the Islanders will assemble to witness the event.
....Mr. Dorrien-Smith will also be invited to a luncheon given by the councillors and others, and committees have been appointed to make all the arrangements necessary and to keep in view the possibility of the return of other Scillonians from the front.
....Captain A. Dorrien-Smith was a lieutenant in the Rifle-brigade, and, as soon as the war broke out, he volunteered for the front. It was not long before his services were accepted and he left England on special service under Sir Frederick Carrington.
....Landing in Africa at Beira he was attached to the Australian Bushmen, and saw some hard fighting in various parts ot our newly acquired territories. At Eland's river he displayed conspicuous heroism and ability, and for this has been enrolled a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order.
....The shortness of time before the Captain's arrival prevents the address being properly illuminated, but this will be carried out subsequently, and compiled in book-form, with ample space allowed for the signature of any person resident in the islands.
....Mr. Dorrien-Smith's second son, Mr. Eddie Dorrien- Smith, is also expected to get home for a furlough before re-joining his regiment for further foreign service. He, too. has been in South Africa during almost the whole of the campaign. Holding a lieutenancy in the Shropshire light infantry he was early ordered to the seat of war. His regiment will shortly be relieved and transported to India, but it is believed that he will enjoy a brief holiday in England previous to his resuming regimental duties. The D.S.O. has also been awarded him for his meritorious services and abilities during the war.
....The son of Mr. Robert Pender, of St. Mary's. who was formerly in the South Wales Borderers, is also supposed to be on his way home. He belonged to the Army Reserve when the war broke out and, at the call to rejoin the colours, quietly walked down the quay and went away in the steamer. This was in the winter of 1899, and he has been in Africa the whole time since. It is a matter for much thankfulness that not one of the several persons belonging to the Islands, who have been amongst the fighting, has been seriously injured or killed.
The Cornishman, Thursday 7th August 1902


HOME FROM THE WAR.
....St. Mary's, Scilly, was again en fete on Saturday last to welcome home Pioneer W. H. Pender, of tbe South Wales Borderers. Flags were flying everywhere and quite a large number of people assembled on the pier, to witness the arrival, As the steamer came in the band struck up "See the conquering hero comes" and when Pender walked ashore he was greeted with three hearty cheers. He was then taken charge of by the committee appointed to carry out the details of the welcome, and placed in a waggonnette with his father and sisters and other relatives. The horse was taken out of the carriage and two good ropes attached and "manned" by about a score of stalwart hands, and headed by tbe band, Pioneer Pender and his frends Were drawn round the town. On arriving at the town hall, the gallant soldier was invited to come inside, where a crowded house awaited to give him another ovation.
....Mr. W. M. Gluyas, J.P., chairman of the committee, rose and said how pleased everyone was to welcome home another hero from the war, and that in proof of the sincerity of their pleasure at his return, safe and sound, the Islanders had decided to give him a small present, which he would call on Mr. Dorrien-Smith, the lord-proprietor of the Islands, to present.
....Mr. Dorrien-Smith, addressing Mr. Pender, and shaking his band, said he welcomed him home most sincerely, and congratulated him, too, on bis fortunate escape from shot and shell and from any serious injury. Everyone was thankful that, though be had been in South Africa for over two years and a half, and had been mixed up a great deal in the actual fighting which took place, he had never been wounded nor suffered any illness. He (Mr. Dorrien-Smith) was proud, too, to give him a hearty welcome, because he was the only man who had actually left Scilly, during the war, to join the rank and file of the regular army (cheers) and he hoped the enthusiasm displayed that afternoon would induce others to enter upon, and take up, the duties of a soldier's life. He was sure that Pioneer William Pender had faithfully performed his duty at all times, and he had the very greatest pleasure in handing him a silver watch and chain, together with a large parcel ot tobacco, cigarettes, and pipes, which had been provided for him on his return by the inhabitants generally.
....Mr. Pender said he felt very thankful to every one for the handsome present they had made him, and he thanked them, too, for the very hearty welcome they had given him.
....Mr. Dorrien-Smith then called for three cheers for the returned soldier, which were lustily given.—The young soldier and his friends on leaving tbe town-hall again took their seats in the waggonette and were drawn to their home, the band leading the procession.
....The watch was one of Benson's best Ludgate keyless hunters, and the chain was of solid silver. Inside the front cover of the watch was inscribed, "Presented to Pioneer W. H. Pender, South Wales Borderers, on his return from the South African campaign, September, 1902, by the inhabitants of the Isles of Scilly."
....Mr. Pender, who was a reservist, left home a few days before Christmas in 1899, and joined the South Wales Borderers, which was then the old 24th, and known as the 2nd Warwicks, a battalion that suffered heavily at Isandula and Rorke's Drift in the Zulu war. During the last campaign the regiment was stationed for some time at De Aar, afterwards at Bloemfontein, and finally was engaged in the operations around Klerksdorp.
The Cornishman, Thursday 11th September 1902


HOME COMING OF LIEUT. E. P.,DORRIEN-SMITH, D.S.O.
....Lieutenant E. P. Dorrien-Smith, D.S.O., second son of Mr. T. A Dorrien-Smith, of Tresco Abbey, arrived at Scilly by the Lady of the Isles on Tuesday. Flags were flying all over the Islands, and triumphal arches were erected over the road leading from the landing place at Cam-near, to the Abbey. A considerable number of the inhabitants of Tresco, and others, were present when the lieutenant came on shore. As Mr. Dorrien-Smith, and his friends, reached the bank, Mr Allen, the steward, read him the following address :—
...." We, the employees, and inhabitants of Tresco, and others here assembled, hereby give you a loyal and hearty greeting, on your safe return from the war in South Africa.
...."We have heard through your respected parent the battles in which you have been engaged ; and the distinguished honour you have gained.
...."In answer to earnest prayer, God Almighty has safely brought you home to those who are near and dear to you ; and for which we humbly thank Him.
...."We trust you will enjoy a well-earned rest, and that you may be spared for very many years in the enjoyment of perfect health and happiness."
....Hearty cheers were then given for the young officer, and three more for Mr. Dorrien-Smith.—The Lieutenant briefly thanked thern all for the very kind welcome they had given him. He was pleased with the way they had received him, and was also very glad to reach home and see them all again.
....As soon as he had taken his seat in the carriage the horses were taken out, and many strong and willing hands dragged the carriage and its honoured occupants to the Abbey.
....Lieut Dorrien-Smith's battalion, the Somerset Light Infantry, was one of the first ordered to the front, and the young officer has vtrtuallv been through the whole of the campaign, and seen much active service in many parts of South Africa. When Lord Roberts marshalled his forces to cross the Modder River, the lieutenant's uncle, then Colonel Smith-Dorrien, was appointed to the command of a brigade, which was comprised of the Cornwall Light Infantry, the Somerset Light Infantry, the Gordon Highlanders, and a detachment of Canadians. For the remainder of the war Lieutenant Dorrien-Smith served as a Staff-officer of the brigade, and so successfully carried out his duties with courage and ability, that it was not very long before he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order, and appointed to the local rank of captain.
....Lieut. Dorriern-Smith reached Southampton on Saturday last in charge of the reservists of the battalion, who were at once entrained for Shrewsbury to be disbanded.
The Cornishman, Thursday 23rd October 1902


W. H. Pender, South Wales Borderers - probably William Henry, born on the Isles of Scilly in 1869.
Captain Arthur Algernon Smith-Dorrien-Smith D.S.O., Rifle Brigade.
Lieutenant Edward Pendarves Smith-Dorrien-Smith, King's Shropshire Light Infantry.


As yet, I've not been able to find names of the other Scillonians who saw active service; if anyone can add to the very short list above, please do.
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Isles of Scilly 2 months 2 days ago #77544

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A very interesting article, Berenice.

Perhaps not unexpectedly, searching my whole database of names does not give any matches.

You have already identified WILLIAM GARRETT, South African Mounted Police, but he died in the Scilly Isles and may not have served in the Boer War.

There is one reference to the Scilly Isles in the Black and White Budget but this refers to the scope of the British Navy.

Lastly, in Navy and Army Illustrated, 12 Oct 1901, is mention of the Naval Base there:

Dr David Biggins
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