Some 25 years ago this pair of medals was unknowingly allowed to escape! The pair was purchased by a well-known collector and he too subsequently allowed the pair to get away. When it came up for sale the third time I was prepared and brought the pair back home. It is a very good example of how the proliferation of information widely published by research scholars has added much to the story of the man behind the medal.
Pair - QSA two bars: CC, OFS Lieut. T.P. Dawson Prince Alf. Vol. Gds.; KSA two bars: SA’01, SA’02 Lieut. T.P. Dawson P.A.V.G.
The naming of the QSA medal is engraved as for officers whereas the KSA is impressed.
Lieutenant Thomas Percy Dawson served as a member of innumerable three-man Military Tribunals which were established to counter the operations of Cape Rebels in the Eastern Cape during 1901 and 1902. Based mostly at Graaf-Reinet it is recorded that he was involved in no less that 23 (out of 32 for which details are generally known) judgements of these Military Courts which resulted in the execution of Boer soldiers. In particular he played a role as the “Junior Colonial Officer” in the judgements given to both Commandant Johannes Lotter and Commandant Gideon Jacobus Scheepers these being the two highest profile Boer Leaders who were executed by the British during the Anglo Boer War.
Thomas Percy Dawson, described as a Native of London, was the son of John Thomas Dawson who was baptised at Saint John, Stamford, in Lincoln in England on 5 April 1846 and died in Camberwell London on 26 April 1900. John Thomas Dawson had married Georgiana Sarah Beckerson on 30 April 1874 in Kensington in Middlesex. Their son Thomas Percy Dawson was born on 6 January 1877 at Old Crompton Street in Middlesex.
Thomas was admitted to Heber Road School in the Borough of Southwark on 21 October 1884. He married Mary Violet Oertel by Private License in a ceremony held at a private house in Graaf Reinet on 15 March 1902. Their son, Lionel Frank, was born in Graaf Reinet on 28 October 1902 whereas their daughter Eileen was born in South Africa in about 1904.
The photograph shows Percy with his mother, Georgiana Dawson and sister Mabel.
In the photograph Percy is depicted wearing Sergeant’s stripes. I guess that this photograph was taken soon after his father’s death in April 1900 before he left to come to South Africa. I guess that he came out to South Africa with the Yeomanry or some other unit and that he was soon transferred to the PAG. He was commissioned as a Lieutenant on 3 January 1901.
Thomas Percy Dawson passed away in South Africa in 1934.
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