Bromyard is an old market town in the North of Herefordshire, England. It is very much an agricultural area known for its beef cattle, apple and pear orchards and also hops for the brewing industry.
A town with a small population until development in the 1950s and 60s increased the population to around 4500 in the present day.
Latterly known for it's renowned folk festival in September when much singing, dancing and drinking goes on (I have known many a lost weekend at this event over the years!)
It is hardly surprising, due to Bromyard's close proximity to the counties of Worcestershire and Shropshire, that men from Bromyard might serve these county regiments and also the Imperial Yeomanry.
Memorial type: framed brass plaque with black and red lettering.
Location: interior wall of :
ST. PETER'S CHURCH,
THIS TABLET WAS ERECTED
TO THE MEMORY OF
CORPORAL F. R. OAKLEY
CORPORAL A. JAMES
TROOPER H. BAYLISS
CORPORAL J. TILLSON
PRIVATE E. RICKETTS
ALL OF WHOM LAID DOWN
IN THE SOUTH AFRICAN WAR
Following numerous searches of the medal rolls, In Memoriam (Watt 2000), SAFF Casualty Roll, The Register, FMP and Ancestry, I am able to add a little back story to the men listed above.
7347 LANCE CORPORAL F. OAKLEY. 1st Battalion Volunteer Company Shropshire Light Infantry.
Died of disease at Brandfort on 25/03/1901.
Interred at Brandfort. Monument u2.
QSA(4). CAPE COLONY /ORANGE FREE STATE /JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA 1901.
1881 Census finds him as a 6 year old living in Sherford Street, Bromyard with his father Frederick Warburton Oakley, mother Emma, sisters Emma and Olive, brother John and servant Elizabeth Mann. He attended Bromyard School in 1883.
UK Army Register of Soldiers Effects 1901-29 details his profession as an auctioneer and place of enlistment as Bromyard.
His father received the full amount of £13 1s 0d which included money and War Gratuity owed to Corporal Oakley.
Corporal Oakley is commemorated on the plaque at St. Peter's and the Shropshire Light Infantry monument in Shrewsbury.
From Berrow's Journal (a Worcester newspaper publication):
"We regret to announce the death of Lance Corporal Fred Oakley from enteric fever (typhoid). He was the first man from Bromyard to volunteer for South Africa and had a thoroughly hearty send off, he and his parents being highly respected."
7589 CORPORAL A. JAMES. 2ND BATTALION VOLUNTEER COMPANY SHROPSHIRE LIGHT INFANTRY.
Died at Middelburg MP on 26/12/1901.
Interred at Middelburg. Monument 2.
QSA(4)-CAPE COLONY /ORANGE FREE STATE /TRANSVAAL /SOUTH AFRICA 1901.
Soldier's Effects details his birthplace of Hereford, and his occupation as a Bricklayer.
His father G. James received his effects to the sum of £16 4s 11d.
Corporal James is commemorated on the plaque at St. Peters and the Shropshire Light Infantry memorial in Shrewsbury.
25777 TROOPER J. BAYLISS. 5TH IMPERIAL YEOMANRY.
Died of wounds at Witrand, near Kimberley.
Interred at Kimberley West End. Monument 2.
QSA(5)-CAPE COLONY /ORANGE FREE STATE /TRANSVAAL /SOUTH AFRICA 1901/SOUTH AFRICA 1902.
Soldier's Effects states Trooper Bayliss was born in Bromyard and enlisted to the IY on 11/02/1901 and gave his trade as a Labourer.
His father John received a sum of money from his account. Difficult to be sure of the amount as it appears that extra payments may have been made to volunteers for the Imperial Yeomanry.
4609 PRIVATE W. TILLSON (W on medal rolls, J on plaque). 1st BATTALION WORCESTERSHIRE REGIMENT.
Taken prisoner at Dewetsdorp on 02/04/1900.
Died at Howick on 04/02/1902.
Interred at Howick Gr. Monument 1.
Watts(2000) comments that Tilson, Tillson, Gillson all referenced to as this soldiers surname.
QSA(3)-CAPE COLONY /ORANGE FREE STATE.
Soldiers Effects gives very scant details for Tillson. His father Joseph received a total of just 10 shillings.
Tillson is commemorated on the plaque at St. Peters, Bromyard and the memorial to the 1st. Battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment inside Worcester Cathedral.
4579 PRIVATE G. RICKETTS. 2nd BATTALION WORCESTERSHIRE REGIMENT.
Died at Cape Town /Woodstock in 12/01/1900.
Interred at Cape Town Maitland. Monument 1W.
Private Ricketts died before the action at Slingersfontein in which the 2nd Battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment played a major part.
He is commemorated on the plaque at St. Peter's.
Having family history in the Bromyard area, I would very much welcome any Boer War related stories of local men who served in South Africa whatever their regiment.