Hello - this is such a knowledgeable group! I've learned a lot reading through some of the forum posts. I'm hoping I can gain some insight into a question I have below about service dates.
I'm researching the experience of a relative who served with the 2nd Battalion, Black Watch in South Africa after being posted from the 3rd Battalion (Black Watch militia) in February 1900 and I'm trying to piece together a timeline for him. So far, I have established the details as outlined below, but I'm keen to try to work out which transport ships he would have been on going out and back.
So my question is - what deems the start and end of service dates? His service dates are '12 Feb 1900 to 25 August 1902', so I'm wondering if that means that he was likely to have been on The Cheshire (which departed Southampton on 12 Feb with a draft for the 2d Black Watch on board) and The Maplemore (which departed Capetown 7 Aug, and arrived in Southampton on 29 August - with Lieut. R.A. Bullock and 100 reservists, Black Watch on board). But this would mean his disembodiment date is four days before he arrived back in England...which doesn't seem to make sense to me. I'd really appreciate any insight anyone could offer to this!
Donald Roy, born 1880 in Dundee, lived at 41 Rosebank Street, Dundee
Regimental Number: 6302
Attested at Dundee on 26 April 1897, 3rd Battalion Royal Highlanders
Embodied 12 Feb 1900 - appointed to the 2/RHs under Section 14 (2) Reserve Forces Act on being called up for permanent duty with the Regular Forces
Service record: South Africa from 12 Feb 1900 to 25 August 1902
G Company, 2nd Battalion
Medals : Queen's South Africa Medal, King's South Africa Medal; South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902, Wittebergen, Cape Colony and Orange Free State clasps (& Transvaal?)
Disembodied - rejoined 3d Battalion from South Africa 25 August 1902
Discharged - Termination of Engagement 25 April 1903
Hello Alison D
Welcome to the forum.
Looking at his papers Private Roy was in the Militia Reserve 6/7/1899 Embodied on the 14/12/1899 until the 25/8/1902. He was posted on the 12/2/1900 as a reservist called up for permeant duty with the regular forces. So, the ship Cheshire is certainly possible. But looking at his record I think his disembodied date reads 1903. So, he could have come back on the Maplemore and disembodied during 1903. Looks like he stayed in the reserves as he was discharged IMHO in 1913. I do hope I have interpreted those squiggly dates correctly?
PS After the end of the war, about 730 officers and men left Point Natal for British India on the SS Ionian in October 1902, where after arrival in Bombay it was stationed in Sialkot in Umballa in Punjab.
Interestingly Private Roy's medal roll for his KSA is dated 28th February 1903 Umballa.
Could it be possible he could have gone to India before returning to England? However, on checking the remarks column, it states that Pte Roy "Home for Demobilisation "
You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.
The following user(s) said Thank You: djb, AlisonD
Dave and Volunteer - Thank you both for your input! I really appreciate it. The handwriting on the militia attestation is atrocious! It took me ages to work out the dates by cross-referencing other details. I'm still puzzling over what his tattoos were...but I think I have no chance of working those out...
Returning on The Templemore fits perfectly with the details I have...as the Black Watch Museum has provided me with a page from the 1902 2nd Battalion order book which shows Pte Roy on a a list of men 'proceeding home on July 31st' and accordingly struck off the strength of the battalion. If it arrived on 24 August, a demobilisation date of 25 August makes a lot more sense. I'll now look for details of The Templemore in the newspapers.
My next newbie follow-up question...was there a specific reason why some departed from Port Natal and some Capetown? My apologies if I'm asking a naive question!