A very interesting post Gentlemen
I think the cold dark nights may well get a little more bearable researching that excellent list Mike.
The 2 chaps who had an altercation with a lion and a lioness would make an intriguing project.
1043 Trooper Samuel Smart Steinackers Horse
915 Trooper T C Fenton BSAP
I look forward to Trev and Steve's future posts on the subject.
You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.
As a collector of QSA medal casualties, this forum thread had my full attention. Mike's excellent list he shared with us is invaluable. So I am going to try and provide details where possible of the one off occurrences of the most unusual casualties. Hopefully Trev & Steve maybe able to add to the list when time permits?
Anyway, here goes, my 1st post pertaining to :-
Corporal Thomas Wilkinson Illingworth.
523 / 3rd Battalion Imperial Yeomanry/ 9th Company Yorkshire (Doncaster) Death - Accidental Poisoning by Morphine.
Thomas Wilkinson Illingworth was born circca 1865/6 Kensington Middlesex. In 1871 he was living with his family in Leek Staffordshire.
His father Eli was a Methodist minister in the parish of St Luke's. He had 2 younger brothers and 2 younger sisters.
1891 Thomas was a boarder with James and Mary Robb and lived and studied in Great Marsden Lancashire.
It seems that Thomas later married a 21 year old lady called Elinora Wood on September 22nd 1894. However, his service record states he was unmarried, possible divorce or bereavement may have occurred. Sometime before he joined the I Y he was in Zanzibar West Africa,( time frame to be confirmed).
Thomas attested in Sheffield in 1900. He joined the Imperial Yeomanry aged 34 years and 8 months. He had a fair complexion, he was 5ft 9 inches tall with brown eyes and dark brown hair, he weighed 11 stone 6 pounds and was C of E. Thomas was posted on the 8th of January 1900 and served only 120 days in South Africa (28th Jan to 7th May 1900)
His medal roll states in the remarks column that he died of enteric fever. Now, here comes my humble assumption, You may be wondering why I never mentioned his profession at the beginning?
Thomas Wilkinson Illingworth M.D. Yep, Thomas was a Doctor. My hunch is that he probably knew his enteric was bad and quite possibly he self administered his fatal dose of Morphine to end his misery. He would have certainly known what was the correct dose and what was too much. I know it's only my opinion, but it may have been the case.
Tragically his younger brother Private C Illingworth 522 who served in the same regiment as Thomas would have to deal with the loss of his elder brother. Clapton Illingworth survived his time in South Africa and became a Schoolmaster.
Thomas left his estate £180 pounds to his younger sister Emily Florence Illingworth who lived at Trafalgar Square Scarborough.
Find a Grave info.
You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.
The following user(s) said Thank You: BereniceUK, Moranthorse1, Mickster
1110 TROOPER GEORGE GAINES: STEINAECKERS HORSE
KILLED BY A CROCODILE
As far as I am aware, only one man was killed by a crocodile during the Anglo Boer War. His name was Trooper George Gaines who was born in Pietermaritzburg, Natal on 4th April 1880. His parents were Richard and Sarah Gaines and he had an illegitimate brother by the name of Joseph Richard Gaines.
George attested to Steinaeckers Horse at Pietermaritzburg on 10th November 1900 receiving service number 1110. He was a 20 year old railway cleaner with no previous military experience.
He was 5' 8" in height, grey eyes, fair haired and had no distinguishing marks.
His next of kin is given as Mrs. Band who was residing at the railway station, Free State Line, Brackwell. Band was his mother's surname taken from her second marriage. George's father had died previously. George gave his own address as loco depot, Durban.
Much of Steinaeckers Horse's activities were in the wild country of Swaziland, where the dangers of getting killed or eaten by predatory animals would have been a very real possibility if you were careless, negligent in making campsites secure or just plain unlucky!
Trooper Gaines met with his fate on 30th November 1901 when he was killed by a crocodile in the Usutu River at Usutu Poort in Swaziland.
Two of his comrades showed incredible bravery in attempting to rescue him from the jaws of the fearsome reptile. Troopers 1288 Frank Hennessy and 1230 Douglas Egbert Wilson could not save him, but at least recovered his body.
For their selfless act they were recognised in Lord Kitchener's despatch of 8th March 1902. The citation read as follows:
"Tprs D. E. Wilson and F. Hennessy , for most plucky rescue of the body of a comrade which had been carried off by a crocodile whilst bathing in the Usutu River. 30th November 1901."
From 'The Probate Records From the Master of the Supreme Court' the estate of George Gaines was valued at 63 pounds 6 shillings and 11 pence. As George was unmarried his mother and brother were legally able to deal with his affairs, as George had left no will.
His occupation was detailed on the document as Trooper Steinaeckers Horse.
But the biggest surprise comes where the cause of death is stated as 'drowning'. No mention of the crocodile attack!
Perhaps this may have been a kindnes to the bereaved?
When we look at the entry for George Gaines in Watt (2000) we find that there are no details for where his remains were interred. Presumably he was buried near to where he died by the Usutu River.
George qualified for the Queens South Africa medal with the clasp Transvaal and South Africa 1901.
Trooper Gaines attestation information taken from William (Bill) Woolmore's excellent book "Steinaeckers Horsemen: South Africa 1899-1902". I highly recommend this book if you can find a copy.
The following user(s) said Thank You: jim51, Dave F, Mickster
Whilst searching through the casualty records for men killed by wild or domestic animals during the Anglo Boer War, I have been surprised not to find anybody that died of being bitten by a venomous snake. Without antivenom serums that we have today, surely a bite from an adder or boomslang could have proved fatal.
I have read many diaries written by officers and other ranks where snakes have been encountered inside tents etc.
Does anybody have any anecdotes of soldiers encounters with snakes on the veldt.