Volunteers of Herne Bay, Kent 2 weeks 2 days ago #74992
Herne Bay is situated on the south coast of the Thames Estuary; the ABW roll of honour for the district's volunteers was added to the already-existing historic clock tower in 1907. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clock_Tower,_Herne_Bay
Wikipedia incorrectly states that the names on the tablet are all of men who died, whereas it commemorates men who volunteered for active service in South Africa.
The tablet was fixed to the north face of the clock tower, and has suffered some wearing to the inscription - "South Africa 1899-1902" is barely visible now. Some names appear to post-date the initial inscribing. Deveson, H. Ells, Mills, and H. H. Holness were additions, as was 'Royal,' above East Kent Mounted Rifles, hopefully all added before the unveiling.
My sincere thanks go to Mike Bundock, of Herne Bay, for going out into the cold to take the photos for us, and for supplying the press report of the unveiling.
Can anyone identify any of the emblems below?
1899 - 1902
THIS TABLET WAS ERECTED
BY PUBLIC SUBSCRIPTION TO
COMMEMORATE THE SERVICES OF
THOSE WHO VOLUNTEERED FROM THIS
DISTRICT FOR THE ABOVE WAR
EAST KENT MOUNTED RIFLES
C. H. BOWERS
G. CHALMERS - Grahame Chalmers
E. B. CHALMERS
J . R. COTTEW - James Robert Cotten
T. M. DEVESON - Thomas Morgan Deveson
H. ELLS - Harry Ells
H. J. POUT - Henry John Pout
J. H. SMITH
H. STROUD - Harry Stroud
1 ST V.B. "THE BUFFS" E.K.R.E. BEAL
C. W. J. FENDOM
J. H. FENDOM
B. E. LEFEVRE
C. B. NEAVES
W. E. PACKMAN
P. MOORE..............IMPERIAL LIGHT HORSE
E. G. MOORE........SHARPSHOOTERS
H. E. RIDOUT.........SOUTH RHODESIAN VOLUNTEERS - Harry Edward Ridout
E. M. RIDOUT......... ....."..............."........................"............- Ernest Marsh Ridout
H. H. HOLNESS..... _______.......S.A.C.
ST. JOHN AMBULANCE BRIGADE
F. R. EVANS
C. N. HOLNESS.....THE PIONEER REGIMENT 1ST BATTN. - Charles Holness, Railway Pioneer Regiment
C. GIPSON.............THE EASTERN PROVINCE HORSE - Charles Frederick Gipson
WAR MEMORIAL UNVEILED AT HERNE BAY.
CEREMONY PERFORMED BY LORD HARRIS.
....At the conclusion of the regatta at Herne Bay on Monday, Lord Harris unveiled a tablet, erected on the Clock Tower, commemorative of those from Herne Bay who served in the South African war. The ceremony took place at six o'clock, and amongst those present were Mr. P. E. Iggulden, J.P. (chairman of the Urban District Council), Major Brine, "The Buffs," Captain Wastall, Messrs. Gedye, A. W. Woolf, J. L. Moone, J. M. Moss, F. Wood, F. W. J. Palmer, J. Mackett, T. B. Cornford, etc. There were on parade a contingent of the Royal East Kent Mounted Rifles, under Regiment Sergeant-Major Mudford, the local company of the 1st V.B. The Buffs, under Lieutenant E. W. Pearson, the Fire Brigade, under Chief Officer J. S. White, the Ambulance Corps, under Superintendent J. S. Shelley, and twelve service veterans, whose combined ages totalled 904 years, and who between them had passed 243 years in the service of their country.
....Mr. Iggulden, in calling upon Lord Harris to perform the unveiling ceremony, remarked that it was perhaps somewhat late after the war to unveil the tablet, but circumstances had necessitated its being postponed in consequence of their not being able to hold the ceremony until that day. Owing to the length of time that had elapsed since the conclusion of the war, there might be one or two names of those who had served left off the tablet, but the Committee had made every effort in the proper quarter in order to get the list as complete as possible.
....Lord Harris said he did not think there was any occasion to offer an apology for that event having taken place some years after the conclusion of the war - for it was simply a right desire on their part to honour all those who voluntarily undertook arduous service for the sake of their King and country. A Commanding Officer of the Royal East Kent Mounted Rifles, and Honorary Colonel of the 1st V.B. The Buffs, he thanked them most sincerely for the kindly thought which animated them in asking him to unveil the tablet. He was glad to see that among the names on the tablet was that of Sergeant Deveson, who, with Sergeant-Major Mudford (whom they could that day see in charge of the contingent of the Royal East Kent Mounted Rifles), was one of those who went out in what they always liked to call the "first eleven." It was not, perhaps, quite usual to commemorate the names of those who had taken part in the war, as it was of those whose loss they had to deplore in the war, but that obviously was because in the case of great towns there would be so large a number that it woild be difficult to commemorate them. They in Herne Bay, however, were proud that so large a number of townsmen, in comparison to the size of the population, had gone out voluntarily to serve their King and country. Lord Harris went on to observe that a debt of gratitude was owing to those men, because England was not grumbling at those systems of compulsory service under which the nations on the Continent laboured.
....Lord Harris then unveiled the tablet and the National Anthem was sung.
....Major Brine proposed a vote of thanks to Lord Harris, which was seconded by Mr. J. M. Moss, and heartily accorded.
....Lord Harris briefly replied, and was subsequently entertained at dinner at the Connaught Hotel.
Canterbury Journal, Saturday 14th September 1907
The following user(s) said Thank You: Elmarie
Volunteers of Herne Bay, Kent 2 weeks 2 days ago #74995
I was able to find some information on Sergeant Thomas Morgan Deveson. He was born at Woodnesborough, near Sandwich, Kent, either on the 10th of December 1876 or early in 1877, and by December 1911, both he and a younger brother, Alfred George, were residing at Richardson Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada - Alfred was born at Drainless Drove, Woodnesborough, on the 8th of January 1883, and served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, being a resident of Sidney, B.C., when he enlisted; he died in 1969.
Thomas was living at Cloverdale Avenue, Saanich, B.C., in March 1915; he died in British Columbia, year unknown (although I did see a mention of 1986, which would mean he lived to the age of 110).
There was also a Harry Deveson (born 1866) who died at Vancouver, 10th August 1947). Related to Thomas and Alfred?
The Dover Express (1.12.1933) reported on the diamond wedding (60 years) celebrations of Thomas and Eleanor Maria Deveson, 208 Folkestone Road, Dover, who had been married at Woodnesborough Parish Church on 25.11.1873. They had had a family of eleven children, of whom four sons and four daughters were still living. Of those, three sons and one daughter were living in Canada. All his sons had "enrolled in the Royal East Kent Mounted Rifles. The eldest son was one of the first eleven of this unit to volunteer for service in the Boer War, receiving the Freedom of the City of Canterbury upon his return." This was clearly a reference to Thomas Morgan Deveson.
Mr Deveson senior had been a farmer and fruit grower, and had been at Beacon Lane Farm, Woodnesborough, for over 40 years. The farm site went up for sale in late 2020, with planning permission for four residences.
A contingent of the Royal East Kent Yeomanry went out to South Africa in October 1899, departing from Southampton on Saturday the 28th; of the 11 men, the only one who seems to have had a connection with Herne Bay was "Trooper T. Deveson, Woodnesborough."
FROM TROOPER DEVESON.
HE GETS HIS CHRISTMAS BOX FROM HOME.
....Trooper T. Deveson, in the course of a letter to his mother, dated from Potgieter's Camp, Natal, January 13th, says, -
....I received the box of things you forwarded on the 10th and was very pleased with them. There was a great shout when I brought the box into the tent, as I was about the first one to have a Christmas box. A squadron marched into Chieveley Camp on the 10th about six in the evening all looking well. The next morning we left Chieveley - that is B and D squadrons, C and A stayed on and F and G we picked up on our way here. It was a long march of about 30 miles or more. There were our four squadrons and the B.M.I. and several batteries of artillery. We took up a strong position in the evening and now we are waiting for the Infantry and big guns. We do not know where the main attack will be, but expect it will be here. Anyway we are going to reach Ladysmith soon, but we shall have some hard fighting before this letter reaches you. I sent on a letter and a Cape paper containing an account of our fight at Colenso. There was another part of the paper with a very flattering account by an eye witness, and what General Buller said about us, but one of my chums sent that home to Glasgow. We were all marched out on parade this morning, and the Colonel made a speech and told us not to take any notice of flags of truce unless the Boers threw down their arms first and put up their hands. There was great excitement in camp the day the Boers attacked Ladysmith. We had orders to saddle up and we were all mounted in seven minutes. The Infantry had to stand to arms and we marched to Colenso. The artillery opened fire on the Boers, but they would not reply. Our horses are small, but have plenty of pluck and very tough. The last day we were at Chieveley I and another fellow captured three horses and a foal when out scouting about six miles from camp and brought them in.
Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, Saturday 17th February 1900
The following user(s) said Thank You: Elmarie
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