1900 - News from the front shows that General De Wet, after being forced by General Mahon to evacuate the Roode Kopies, on the western bank of the Crocodile River, about 30 miles west of Protoria, pushed eastward. His command had previously been broken up into small bodies, in order the better to evade pursuit, but after leaving the Crocodile River General De Wet brought all the scattered detachments together again. Subsequently he passed Hebron, 15 miles north west of Pretoria, traveling in an easterly direction. There were indications that before reaching Hebron General De Wet had joined forces with General De La Rey, who until recently was operating in the Rustenburg district with a number of strong commandos. General Baden Powell was ordered by Lord Roberts to reinforce General Paget, who held Waterval, to the north of Pretoria, with the 20th Brigade the object being to prevent Generals De Wet and De La Rey getting too near Pretoria on the northern side. The arrival of General Baden Powell enabled General Paget to operate with greater freedom, and on Monday he engaged General De Wet's rearguard. Details of this actions have not yet been obtained.
1901 - "Pretoria, August 22.—A summary of the Boer position to date shows that of the old Transvaal Government Executive only Messrs. Schalk Burger and Reitz remain in the field. Joubert died, Cronje is a prisoner, and De Koch was killed. Thirteen of the twenty-seven members of the first Volksraad have been accounted for. Barnard, Labuschagne, and Malan were killed, Tosen died, Wolmarans is a prisoner, and eight others have surrendered. Sergeant Merrite, of the Bedfordshire Regiment, has received the distinguished conduct medal for killing Malan, who was sniping in the Magaliesburg Mountains in June. Merrite stalked his man for four miles before he succeeded in shooting him. Of the second Volksraad about half the members have been disposed of. The whereabouts of all the heads of the State Departments, with the exception of Smuts, is known. Three are in Europe, two are prisoners, and fourteen have surrendered. About 75 per cent, of the sub-heads and all the judges have been accounted for." Worcestershire Chronicle, Friday 31st August 1901
1903 - Hawick war memorial was unveiled by Earl Roberts on this day.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Moranthorse1
"Recipients of the Distinguished Conduct Medal" shows "3778 Sgt. MERRITT, F, Bedford Regt." as SK, 25/7/01, LG 27/9/01, Army Order 15/02, Rooival, 8/6/01; details LG 20/8/01". On p.5495 shows that Sgt.Merritt gave good service during capture of a Boer convoy near the stated place on indicated date and also for pursuing a sniper four miles alone and eventually killed him.
The following user(s) said Thank You: BereniceUK, Moranthorse1
I think Francis deserved a little more credit for his gallantry and his well earned DCM.
Sergeant / Colour Sergeant 3876 Francis Merritt 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment.
Born 1871 / 74 ? Almondsbury Gloucestershire
Father George and Mother Eliza Merrit.
He attested at St Albans on the 17th October 1891. Aged 18 years and 6 months.
5 foot 5 ¼ tall, fresh complexion, dark grey eyes and brown hair. Trade of calling Labourer.
Service with the Bedfordshire regiment, 20 years and 141 days.
3 years and 167 days in South Africa. 24/10/1899 to 8/4/1903
QSA Medal roll WO 100/176 Dated September 1901 Sanna’s Post (2nd Company Mounted Infantry)
Paarderberg, Driefontein, Johannesburg, Diamond Hill, Wittebergen and Relief of Kimberley.
KSA medal roll dated 1903.
Francis was discharged on March 5th 1912 aged 38. He was married to Annie Kelly and had a daughter Mary Dorothy. On leaving the army he became a Clerk.
Medal group Distinguished Conduct Medal, QSA, KSA & Long Service Good Conduct Medal.
You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.
The following user(s) said Thank You: BereniceUK, MK TNR