1899 - British Agent leaves Pretoria. Boers enter Natal by Botha's Pass and cross western Transvaal border. Armoured train captured by Boers at Kraaipan.
1900 - French commences his march from Machadodorp to Heidelberg. Indemnity and Special Tribunals Act, 1900, promulgated in Cape Colony.
1899 - From the diary of Trooper A J Crosby, Natal Carbineers
Obtained leave to stay in town, so put up at the Royal Hotel. Great excitement on receipt of news that the Z.A. Republic had declared war. During the evening met Green (Reuter’s correspondent) Stuart (Morning Post) Burliegh (D.T.) Lord Ava, who was with Col. Rhodes, and several other war correspondents. Spent an enjoyable evening. The change of diet seems to have put me right. Poor Sheney not expected to recover. Dr. Anderson came in during the evening for a chat.
Whilst Trooper Crosby was enjoying the comforts of the Royal Hotel, a recently promoted subaltern was very keen upon joining his battalion, Captain Donald Paton, having concluded his affairs in Great Britain and eager to see action reported to his Colonel and joined his men on this day in Ladysmith, he had obtained his Captaincy on the 26th of July after being gazetted into the Manchester Regiment in 1893.
The action he craved for would present itself before him in a mere nine days.
1900 - ....Sergeant Walter Lawrence, who is discharged from the 1st Border Regiment, had some exciting experiences at the front, and is now recuperating at Southend. He was in three engagements before the memorable affair at Spion Kop, where a bullet passed through his head, the sequel to his miraculous escape with his life being a partial attack of paralysis. Our representative called upon him the other day, and ex-Sergt. Lawrence, reclining in an easy chair, from which he was unable to rise without assistance, was pondering over a document just received, informing him that his pension would be "2s. 6d. a day for twelve months, conditional." His young wife remarked that she did not care to show him the paper when she opened and read it; his sturdy little boy, toddling round his knees, was unconscious of its import, and had to be cheerfully amused. Half-a-crown a day only for one who would probably be unable to work again, was regarded as serious news enough; but what did the word "conditional" mean? In speaking of the engagement in which he was struck, ex-Sergt. Lawrence entered upon a thrilling story of a reality which has been frequently described. When he came to the time when he had to give up, he remarked that, while the bullets came like hail, he had the impression that he had been struck upon the nose. He worked on, and when he moved up the hill, and was lying down again in the trenches, some blood trickled down his face. Putting his hand under his helmet he discovered what was wrong. Next day he was picked up and taken to the hospital. When the operation was performed he was for many days unconscious, and later he was brought back to the Netley Hospital. There, he says, the staff was deplorably small. He was treated far better at the front. He gave evidence before the Commission as to the hospital provision, and when he wished to refer to Netley he was told they did not want to hear anything other than of the accommodation in Africa. Essex County Chronicle, Friday 12th October 1900
1901 - ....The King received General Baden-Powell at Balmoral on Saturday, and invested him with the third class of the military division of the Order of the Bath. He also presented the General with a South African medal. Edinburgh Evening News, Monday 14th October 1901
....The Earl of Jersey on Saturday presented South African war medals to 25 members of the 2d Volunteer Battalion Oxford regiment. The ceremony took place in St. Giles', Oxford, in presence of a great assemblage. The recipients of medals were accorded an enthusiastic reception. Edinburgh Evening News, Monday 14th October 1901
Lance Sergeant 3343 Walter Henry Lawrence 1st Battalion Border Regiment.
Born circca 1873 Birmingham Warwickshire. Engineer by trade.
Joined the Border Regiment on the 24th January 1892 in Carlisle aged 19. Private to Corporal 1894 /96, Lance Sergeant 1899. He married Louisa May Anne Whitworth in July 1898 at Plumstead London.
He served 139 days in South Africa before his wounding which lead to his discharge being medically unfit on the 18th September 1900.
His medal roll WO100 / 186 entitles Sergeant Lawrence to his QSA with clasps for Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal and Relief of Ladysmith.
You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.
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