Single - QSA one clasp: Defence of Mafeking (222 Tpr. A.H. Turner. Protect. Regt. F.F.)
Alexander Henry Turner was Killed in Action during Captain Fitzclarence’s “D” Squadron night attack on the advanced Boer trench near Malmani Road on 27 October 1899. His death certificate records that he was “shot in action” and that his death was “instantaneous”. The Boer trench was taken at the point of bayonets and nearly 40 of their number were killed while “D” Squadron suffered 6 killed, 9 wounded and 2 missing. Fitzclarence was subsequently awarded the Victoria Cross for this action.
Alexander Henry Turner was born in the Eastern Cape in 1872. He is recorded as having been a carpenter resident in East London and was the eldest son of Alexander Turner who was born in Tisbury in Wiltshire in December 1838. His father was a farmer and died in Komga on 26 April 1873 when his daughter and two sons were very young. Alexander Henry’s mother’s name was Mary Ann McGrath and she died on 8 March 1911.
I know that there is, or atleast there used to be, a Boer War Protectorate Regiment Memorial situated outside the Town Hall in East London. As Turner was a resident of East London it would seem to be probable that his name is/was recorded on this memorial. Does anyone perhaps have photographs?
Years ago the military graves at Mafeking were well marked (and well maintained) and I also wonder if there is a photograph of his grave recorded anywhere.
I hope somebody can pull a rabbit out of the proverbial hat!
As I said in my WhatsApp message last night I felt that a more detailed response rather than a simple ”Thank You” was appropriate.
Initials, names and dates etc on South African War Memorials have all too often been found to be incorrect. Clearly this East London memorial is one such example. The published ABW Casualty Roll also contains all too many errors and omissions.
The QSA medal rolls for the Protectorate Regiment seem to have most details correct and record when medal recipients were killed. I suspect that the published editions of the Mafeking Mail are also largely correct.
I would suggest however that the details which are recorded on the official Death Notices and Probate Records which are freely available on the very useful “familysearch.org” genealogical Web site are the most accurate.
To highlight this, while I was watching rugby last night, I extracted various records (some but not all) of Mafeking casualties of the Protectorate Regiment and prepared a table to illustrate this point. I have photographed my simple word Document showing the Monument details on the left and Death Notice details on the right. The differences between the two are shown in RED. You will see that numerous dates inscribed on the East London Memorial are incorrect. Death Notices sometimes also record additional details which are useful. The action of the 27th October has been widely recorded – perhaps the most succinct is the reference and details which are recorded in Captain Charles FitzClarence’s Victoria Cross recommendation citation.