Hello I'm new to this site. I found an old photograph of a memorial grave stone erected to a relation of mine in Standerton, the inscription reads 'In memory of George Prime, Killed in action, 3rd February 1902, erected by his comrades of the 37th Battery R.F.A''. In his war record I later read that he was 'accidentally shot'. I would like to know more about this 'incident', how/why he was killed? I am trying to build a profile of my relative's 2nd Boer War experience. Royal Field Artillery, Bombadier, 37th Batallion. Regimental number 8718. George Prime. His name is also inscribed on the War Memorial at Vrystaat South Africa. I wonder if the memorial in Standerton still stands? Does anyone know about this date? what might have happened? Thank you.
The Palmer Casualty roll shows "8718 A/Bdr. H. Prime of 37th Bty, RFA" as Killed at Standerton on 3/2/1902; Accidentally shot. Stirling (Our Regiments in South Africa) tells us that in 1902, the Battery was part of a Bn of Mounted Infantry; at that time, the need for artillery batteries was very much lessening and many batteries were converted to Royal Artillery Mounted Rifles.
The medal roll for that Battery shows his initial as "G" and his QSA medal carried the clasps "Cape Colony", "Orange Free State" and "Transvaal". There is a marginal note on the roll which comments that he was from Royal Artillery details, Pretoria. It looks like he also received the Kings Medal with Clasps 1901 and 1902.
As a matter of interest, the battery suffered no other casualties on 3/2/1902; so it might have been purely an accident.
Hope this helps a bit.
Thank you so much for the information. I don't know if the Medals were ever sent to his family, I can't find any. One more question: the places mentioned in the clasps, does that mean he was in action/stationed at all of those places? Cape Colony etc... to make my reading and research more focused on where he actually was. It sounds as if it was an accident, what a tragic end, he was probably looking forward to going back home at that time...Thank you again for replying with this information. I'm also finding it fascinating how these young men were recruited, he came from a small hamlet in Hertfordshire, I wonder how he managed to get signed up?! His brothers remained local and worked as agricultural workers. Such an interesting time in history. Thank you again for your research.
During the latter stages of the campaign, units/men who served in the various areas received the appropriate clasps on their medals. Rather than clasps for specific actions as was the case earlier. For example, his "Cape Colony" clasp means that he saw service in that Colony. As he served with the Mounted Infantry, young Prime would have seen much riding about the OFS and the Transvaal and doubtless skirmishing with the Boers; all as a matter of course. For more generalized background, I suggest you do some research as to what the M.I. (and especially the R.A.M.R) actually did in hunting down the Boer hold outs
Why does anybody enlist? To escape the drudgery of farm work? To see the world? BTW, the medal roll says his QSA was issued in 1903 - doubtless to his nominated NofK.