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Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire 2 weeks 2 days ago #83782

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The plaque is in St Mary's Church, Ross; I was unable to take better photos as there are display boards standing in front of it.
Private Eustace Edmund Hamp Adams, 1st (King's) Shropshire Light Infantry. Died of dysentery at Bloemfontein, on 6th May 1900, aged 20
Private James Parker Smith, 1st (King's) Shropshire Light Infantry. Died at Netley Hospital, on 20th June 1902, aged 23


....Among the deaths at Bloemfontein announced on Thursday was one: Shropshire Light Infantry, Pte. E. H. Adams, 7,315, dysentery, May 6th.
....Private Eustace Hamp Adams was a son of the late Mr. Francis Hamp Adams, solicitor, of Ross and Upton Bishop, and a brother to Mr. F. H. Adams, who is a Lieutenant of B Company (Ross), 1st H.R.V. He was educated at Hereford Cathedral School, where he gained his colours for cricket and football. Private Adams was 20 years of age, and was a private in B. Company. He was very keen on volunteering, and was still more keen on active service when the call for volunteers was made. After passing all tests he longed only for the time when he would meet the Boers within rifle range—a time that appears not to have come. Physically, Pte. Adams was among the finest of the Ross detachment, and he seemed to enjoy perfect health. He was a good footballer, having played left half-back for Ross Town up to the time he left for Shrewsbury. He also played cricket in the second eleven of the Ross Club. He was well known in Ross, Upton Bishop, and the neighbourhood, and had a large number of personal "chums," who learnt of his death with inexpressible sorrow. The deepest regret is felt on all hands for Mrs. Adams and the family in their unexpected bereavement. Private Adams is the first of the Herefordshire men in South Africa to fall, and death could not have laid its hand upon one more popular, or one whose death would be more genuinely regretted. On Sunday last, Chopin's "Marche Funebre" was played on the organ at Ross Parish Church, by Mr. W. W. Trotman, in memory of the sad occurence.
The Ross Gazette, Thursday 17th May 1900

....FUNERAL OF A SERVICE VOLUNTEER. - It is with regret that we have to record the death of Private James Parker Smith, a member of the Ross second service contingent of Volunteers, and son of Mr. James Smith, painter, the Nursery, Ross. On landing in England with the other members of the contingent, he was stricken with illness, and was accordingly detained at Netley Hospital, where death occurred early on Friday morning. The body was conveyed to Ross on Saturday morning by train, and was borne on the shoulders of his late comrades to Mr. Smith's residence. The interment took place on Tuesday afternoon in Ross Churchyard, military honours being accorded, though at the request of the sorrowing relatives the band was dispensed with. The firing party, with arms reversed, headed the procession. Then came Mr. H. M. Purchas (Chairman of the Urban Council) and the following members of B Company Reception Committee: - Mr. T. Matthews, J.P. (Chairman), Mr. H. J. Pike and Mr. W. A. Barrass (hon. secs.), Mr. H. L. Shaw, Mr. F. Brendon, Mr. F. Cooper, Mr. W. Little, Mr. R. Drew, and Mr. G. D. Kemp. The coffin was covered with a Union Jack, and was borne by deceased's late comrades. The mourners came next, amongst whom were the undermentioned: - Mr. W. J. Barter, Mr. H. T. Blake, Mr. J. G. Johns, Mr. T. Bliss, Mr. I. Workman, and Mr. W. Wilkes. Members of B and L (Cyclist) Companies brought up the rear, under the command of Capt. T. P. Brome Giles. Lieut. Anthony, with a contingent of the Hereford service men, also took part. At the entrance to the church, the firing party opened out, and, resting on their arms, the cortège passed between them, after which they brought up the rear. The Rector (the Rev. Preb. Winnington Ingram) officiated. At the graveside, the firing party, under the command of Sergt. L. N. Morgan, fired three volleys. Between the first two, Bugler Andrews sounded a G on his cornet, and at the conclusion, he rendered the "Last Post." A large number of wreaths was contributed by sorrowing relatives and sympathising friends, among them being a beautiful one from the officers, N.C.O.'s and men of B and L Companies. The inscription on the coffin was "James Parker Smith, aged 23. Died June 20th, 1902." Messrs. Southall and Sons were the undertakers.
The Ross Gazette, Thursday 26th June 1902
....The annual church parade of the Ross Volunteers on Sunday evening was attended with more than usual significance, as at the conclusion of the service a handsome brass tablet to the memory of Pte. E. H. Adams and Pte. J. P. Smith, local volunteers who lost their lives in the South African War, was unveiled in the church by Mrs. Winnington Ingram. The cost of the tablet was defrayed by the officers, non-commissioned officers, and men of B Company, and it is erected on the north wall, beneath that to the memory of Lieut. Thirkill, of the 88th Connaught Rangers, who met with his death in the Zululand campaign. The brass plate is mounted on a ground of black marble, 2 ft. 9 in. by 3 ft. 6 in., and contains a design in the early decorative architectural style. A hedgehog, the crest of John Kyrle, surmounts the inscription, which is as follows:—
To the Glory of God.
This Monument was erected
By the Officers, N.C.O.s, and Men
Of B Co., 1st H.R.V., in memory of
Men of B Co. who lost their lives in the South
African War, 1901.
Pte. E. H. Adams | Pte. J. P. Smith
The tablet was the work of Mr. London, of Ross; and Mr. A. W. Ursell, sculptor, Ross, supplied the marble, and did the fixing in the church.
....About 120 volunteers fell in at the Drillhall at 6 o'clock, under the command of Lieut.-Col. Scobie (commanding the 1st Herefordshire Volunteer Corps), Capt. T. P. Brome Giles, Lieut. E. W. Caddick, Lieut. Ll. H. Green (B Co.), and Lieut. Dickinson (H Co.), and marched to church, headed by the Ross Town Volunteer Band, under the conductorship of Mr. Johnson. The men wore khaki and also their new badges of a lion rampant holding a dagger, denoting their attachment to the 30th field army brigade. There was a crowded congregation. The officiating clergymen were the Rev. Preb. Winnington Ingram (Rector) and the Rev. F. E. S. Jacomb-Hood.
....An interesting and applicable discourse was delivered by the Rector, who based his remarks upon St. Luke xvii., 10, "We have done that which was our duty to do." The rev. gentleman expatiated upon the very high conception of duty which Englishmen possessed, and illustrated his remarks by showing how dangerous duties were accepted as mere matters of course, and as the danger became greater, in cases of accident or moments of crisis, duty then became a privilege which was eagerly sought for. Continuing, he said it was due to this characteristic—to this strong sense of duty—to this power of taking responsibility when it comes—more than to anything else, that we owed England's power of what we called "muddling through" anything we undertook, in spite of mistakes and disasters, to a successful issue. They all knew how some three years ago the call came, and England's need at that time became the opportunity of her sons. They knew how this sense of duty led her children to rise to the emergency, and he need not recall the answer that was given through the length and breadth of the land. Neither need he recall the answer that was given by Ross. They were proud of their record, and of the numbers they sent out as volunteers in the emergency of their country. And they remembered that every one of those who went took their lives in their hands, for they did not know whether they would come back or not. And two of them God called to lay down their lives, not in the great stress of conflict, not in the excitement it may be of battle, but just in the ordinary course of duty—just in the ordinary course of duty to lay down their lives. The rest might have been called just the same. It was fitting, therefore, that their comrades should wish to mark their memory. They would have been the last themselves, no doubt, either to think they deserved or to seek public honour, but we loved to honour duty, and because we cherished a high conception of duty, because we knew that those who were taken from us fell in the performance of their duty, we naturally wanted to have some record of that fact, even in the House of God, to inspire people to do their duty. Proceeding, he said the thought he wished to leave with them that night was that they should cherish, not only for themselves and their country, but for their characters, for which they were responsible to God, the highest conception they could form of the obligations of duty, not only in great emergencies, but in all relations of life—their duty in the home; their duty to those among whom they lived; and their duty to themselves, for their bodies were the temples of the Holy Ghost, and they could not misuse them without failing in their duty to Him who gave their bodies to them. Above all, should they remember their duty to their great Captain—their loyalty to their Master, Christ—the duty that every man had to stand up for the cause of the great Master, and to see that that cause was not trampled under foot through any treachery or failure in the time of need. "When duty calls or danger, be never wanting there."
....After the Blessing, hymn 603, "God of the living, in whose eyes," was sung, during which Mrs. Winnington Ingram unveiled the tablet, which up to then had been covered with a large Union Jack. The choir and clergy, instead of leaving the church by the centre aisle as usual, passed in front of the tablet, and they were followed by the volunteers, who afterwards left the church by the south door.
The volunteers again fell in in the Old Maid's Walk, and were played by the band to the Drillhall, where "God save the King" was rendered. Capt. Giles, before dismissing the men, expressed his intention, as long as he commanded the company, of seeing that the tablet they had just erected was kept bright and clean, and he hoped whoever followed him would also take a pride in this memorial of what the men of Ross had done when called upon by their country.
The Ross Gazette, Thursday 23rd July 1903

I didn't spot James Parker Smith's grave in the churchyard/cemetery when I was in Ross last weekend, although the undergrowth made it virtually impossible to read inscriptions on kerbstone graves, and there were some headstones now lying flat and face down. I've read that in 1920 some gravestones were removed, but I think it's unlikely that an 18 year-old gravestone would be got rid of.
Can't find a mention online of Eustace Hamp Adams' grave in Bloemfontein, but there was a memorial stone with the grave.
...."Lieut. Cutler writes from Capetown to a gentleman in Ross, desiring him to convey to the good people of Ross the best wishes of himself and the Ross lads out there for "A Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year." He expresses regret and disappointment at not having been able to bring his men home, as anticipated, at Christmas. He observes that matters are very unsettled at the Cape, just at present; but hopes in the near future to be in our midst again, and promises to paint the town red for one more night, in celebration of the events the Shropshires have experienced in distant Africa. He sends the photo negative of Eustace Adams' memorial stone and grave, at Bloemfontein, so that anyone desiring a copy may be able to have one, and suggests that Mr. Casson would, with his usual kindness and patriotism, reproduce some copies of the photo."
The Ross Gazette, Thursday 3rd January 1901
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