Thank you, Rob. Shaw's account brings the events of Spion Kop for the ILI to life.
It reminded me of a conversation reported on p267 of Griffith's Thank God we kept the flag flying:
'A lot of chaps got killed putting their heads over the top of the rocks. I expect I would have done the same, only this Natal fellow, in the Imperial Light Infantry, told me 'Don't put your head over the top - I know these buggers - fire round the rock, never over the top!"
His attestation paper for the ILI gave his age as 27. He was 5'9" and weighed 140 lb. He had a fresh complexion, grey eyes and light brown hair. His head measured 6 7/8 and foot was size 8. His maximum chest expansion was 35 inches.
His attestation took place in Durban on 11 November 1899.
Thanks SO much for this and apologies for my belated response. This information is incredible! I've been totally blown away by the details on this site and have just spent some fascinated time reading through the "On this day" pages. So interesting!
Two questions...I have some letters written by my great uncle, that my mother typed up during lockdown as they are wearing thin. Would the detail from those letters be useful for this site, and if so where should I send them?
Secondly, he obviously had to leave his job in Joburg and ended up on Umgababa beach with a group of lads before enlisting in the ILI. How would he have been recruited for that? I believe he was under Nash, but have no idea what the process would have been. David, where would you have found the info about his attestation and what would have lead up to that in the process?
Thanks so much