At Walmsley Unitarian Chapel, Egerton, north of Bolton.
Also of ALFRED MILLINGTON KNOWLES, THEIR SON
LIEUTENANT SOUTH NOTTS IMPERIAL
BORN 23RD MAY 1871
KILLED IN ACTION BUFFLESHOEK
SOUTH AFRICA AUGUST 9TH 1900,
AGED 29 YEARS.
The inscription on the first of the three plaques is for Ellen, wife of R. M. Knowles, died at Ventnor, Isle of Wight, on 24th November 1872, aged 29. The next plaque is for John Haslam Knowles, eldest son of R. Millington Knowles, of Colston Bassett Hall, Notts., who was drowned while fishing in the River Liddle, Cumberland, on 15th August 1890, aged 21, and was buried at Colston Bassett.
The chapel was built in 1713, with some 19th century additions. A Grade II listed building.
...."In the latest list of casualties reported to the War Office by the General Commanding the lines of Communication at Cape Town, under date August 11th, we regret to find the announcement of the death at Rietfontein of Lieut. A. M. Knowles, of the 3rd Battalion Imperial Yeomanry. He was killed in action on the 9th inst. Lieut. Alfred Millington Knowles, of Colston Bassett Hall, Notts. He married in 1899 Lady Margaret Waldegrave, second daughter of Earl Waldegrave. Lieut. Knowles held a commission in the Guards at one time, and became a captain in the South Notts. Hussars on March 29th, 1899, going out to South Africa with the contingent of South Notts. on January 28th. As is generally known, the 3rd Battalion Imperial Yeomanry forms part of Lord Methuen's force, which is engaged with Lord Kitchener and General Smith-Dorrien in the pursuit of De Wet. Losses are reported from Lindique on the same day, and Talbosch on the 10th inst., and as these places are located near the Vaal, almost the east of Potchefstroom, and to the west of the railway line, it seems probable that Lieutenant Knowles lost his life in the operations against the fugitive Boer force. Lord Roberts, in his despatch of the 10th inst., makes the following statement: - "Kitchener was engaged with De Wet's rearguard yesterday afternoon near Lindique, and at the same time he heard the sound of Methuen's guns about six miles to the north-west." Amplifying his message on Saturday night the Commander-in-Chief adds: - "Kitchener is on the Gatsrand range, south of the Krugersdorp-Potchefstroom Railway, and in communication with Methuen, who was at Paaibosch Spruit, a few miles south-west of Kitchener. The enemy are fleeing in front of Kitchener's and Methuen's forces, and early this morning were trying to cross the railway at Wolverdien Station, where they were engaged by Smith-Dorrien. On the 9th Methuen fought a rearguard action near Buffelshack. He captured six waggons and two ambulances." This apparently fixes the occasion on which Lieutenant Knowles was killed. Rietfontein is a station on the railway a few miles north of Potchefstroom." Nottingham Evening Post, Tuesday 14th August 1900
3444 Private Fred Simons was Lieutenant Knowles' servant. - ...."The Battalion to which Trooper Simons belonged left Nottingham on January 28th, 1900, and proceeded from Liverpool by the Winifredian, arriving at Capetown on the 20th of February. For some time after leaving, the Yeomanry were in camp at Maitland, afterwards proceeding via Paarl to Stellenbosch, whence they marched to Wellington, and there entrained for Kimberley. Here they remained in camp at Carter's Bridge for some days. They were then sent with a convoy of eighty bullock waggons and one thousand one hundred head of cattle through the Orange Free State, afterwards marching to Boshof, where they were attached to Lord Methuen's division, and there received their baptism of fire, which led to a second fight at Swartskopjefontein on the following day. They then made a forced march to Hoopstad and rushed the town without opposition, arriving on the Queen's birthday at Bothaville. Thence they proceeded to Kroonstad, to relieve Colonel Spragge, but arrived too late, and later on received an order to retire on Lindley, which difficult feat was safely executed. After the Lindley fight, which took place on June 1st and 2nd, the Yeomanry stayed until the 5th inst., and then marched to Heilbron, and on the way were shelled with a 45-pounder. On the 11th, came the Rhenoster River engagement, which was a distinctly hot affair, resulting in six of the men being wounded. For some time after this the South Notts. were trekking about the country after De Wet. Going back to Kroonstad, they entrained for Krugersdorp, and had a very rough time on entering the Transvaal, encountering fighting nearly every day on their march through the extremely mountainous district on the way to Oliphant's Nek. Potchefstroom was reached on 30th July. On August 6th, there was a general engagement at Tigersfontein. Ten days later, at Buffel's Run, they had a most exciting experience, the day being marred by the regrettable death of Lieut. A. M. Knowles and the wounding of Colonel Younghusband. Trooper Simons, who acted in the capacity of servant to Lieut. A. M. Knowles, was only a few yards away from his master when he was killed, and afterwards assisted in his burial." The Grantham Journal, Saturday 15th June 1901
Alfred Knowles is also named on the South Notts. Hussars memorial plaque in St Mary's Church, Nottingham, and he should also be on Charterhouse's memorial.
A couple more pieces about him, including another memorial.
….THE LATE LIEUTENANT A. M. KNOWLES. - The executor of the will, which bears date October 13, 1899, of Lieutenant Alfred Millington Knowles, of Colston Bassett Hall, Notts., and of the Imperial Yeomanry, who died at Rietfontein on August 9th last, aged twenty-nine years, son of Mr. Robert Millington Knowles, of Andrew Knowles and Sons (Limited), of Pendlebury, colliery owners, is Mr. Robert Winder, of Bolton, Lancashire, solicitor, probate having been renounced by the testator's uncle, Mr. William Haslam. The late Lieutenant Knowles' estate has been valued £43,017 14s. 10d. gross, including personalty of the net value of £42,704 18s. 2d. The Grantham Journal, Saturday 13th October 1900
DEDICATION OF CHURCH BELLS AT COLSTON BASSETT.
….A most interesting event in the history of Colston Bassett was that which took place on Saturday afternoon last, when the Lord Bishop of Southwell dedicated the three new bells which have been presented to the Parish Church of St. John the Divine, by R. Millington Knowles, Esq., and were supplied by Messrs. Taylor and Sons, the well-known bell-founders, of Loughborough. When the present beautiful edifice was built, in 1892, by Mr. R. M. Knowles, to supersede the old Parish Church, situate some distance away, and which had been pronounced by the architects of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners to be incapable of restoration, the five bells which the Church possessed were removed to the new sanctuary, the tenor bell being re-cast before it was re-hung. They bore the following dates: - 1st, 1606; 2nd, 1755; 3rd, an older bell, with no date on it; 4th, 1608; 5th (re-cast), 1902. Thomas Hedderly founded the second. The majority were cast by Oldfield, of Nottingham, a famous founder in his day. The new bells, which are inscribed respectively to the memory of Queen Victoria, the Coronation of King Edward VII, and the death of Captain A.M. Knowles, who was killed during the South African campaign, form the treble, or upper triplet, in what is now a complete octave of E flat. There was a large congregation at e dedicatory service, and the Church was tastefully decorated, in anticipation of the harvest festival, which was observed on the following day. The service throughout was well rendered. The Grantham Journal, Saturday 18th October 1902