The Pembrokeshire Boer War Memorial is to be found at the western end of the High Street, Haverfordwest and immediately below St Mary the Virgin Church. It commemorates the names of 44 Pembrokeshire men who fell in the Second Boer War (1899-1902). The present day memorial is a 1986 replacement for the original unveiled on 21st October 1904. The photograph below shows the unveiling ceremony of the original Memorial.
As you can see it was a typical Welsh day weatherwise. The numerous dignitaries are obviously aware a photograph was being taken but not by the photographer who took this one. One can’t help wondering if the ladies looking down on the event are a mix of the wives of dignitaries and grieving wives and mothers. The Memorial was unveiled by the 3rd Earl of Cawdor and he can be seen on the left of the photograph in the regalia of Lord Lieutenant of Pembrokeshire, to his left is the Bishop of St. David’s who led the prayers. I have to pass on the rest but if you want to know more about those present and the ceremony itself visit:
The Memorial in the form of a Celtic Cross was made of Cornish Granite and suffered from erosion problems. It was refurbished several times before being totally replaced in 1986 and and this is what one finds today:
Yes, the sun does shine in Pembrokeshire, although it was a bit fitful yesterday but glorious as I write. Unfortunately, the gate into the enclosure was locked but I was able to get reasonable photographs of the four panels. This is the eastern panel facing away from the church:
The wording replicates that on the original memorial. The three other panels list the 44 Pembrokeshire men who “gave their lives for the Empire”. Those who read my post yesterday about Civil Surgeon Stanley Whicher will realise I have started my analysis of the 44 but the link above tells me I have many miles of travelling to other churches in Pembrokeshire to complete the set of necessary photographs. It also tells me that the only link with Pembrokeshire for some was that they served in the Pembrokeshire Company of the Imperial Yeomanry. Finally, a view from where the ladies were sitting back in October 1904.
The following user(s) said Thank You: azyeoman, Moranthorse1
Originally unveiled in Victoria Park on 15th April 1904 but now moved to a site near the Rugby Ground and overlooking Mumbles Bay. The two figures on the top are a soldier standing guard over a wounded bugler. It has suffered from vandalism and the bayonet was broken off and is now an aluminium replacement.
There are four panels – the one visible in the photograph telling you what it is also gives details of the unveiling and tells you it was paid for by a “shilling fund” and cost £500 (£20 more than the Pembrokeshire one in Haverfordwest). The far panel carries this inscription:
“THAT FAIR MOTHERLAND WHICH GAVE
NOBLY TO DARE, NOBLY TO DIE”
Whilst the first line is centred, strangely the second and third are not, giving a rather amateurish appearance.
The possible unique feature are the two side panels bearing 53 names. One side is headed “KILLED IN ACTION” with 25 names underneath and the other side “DIED OF DISEASE” with 28 names underneath. The nearly even split of the 53 names is also surprising and I wonder if the 25 were all really killed in action as accidents did happen. The names are hard to read – from other photos I have found they appear difficult to photograph successfully.
However, I have managed to detect seven (2 KiA & 5 DoD) served in the Pembrokeshire Company of the Imperial Yeomanry and are common to the Pembrokeshire Boer War Memorial
The following user(s) said Thank You: azyeoman, Moranthorse1
ST. MATTHEW'S CHURCH,
OS GRID REFERENCE: SO046518
St. Matthew's Church is situated on the right (Radnorshire) bank of the RIver Wye, immediately north of the town of Builth Wells. The village is the site of the Royal Welsh Showground. The church is a fine example of a medieval house of worship.
Within the church is to be found a plaque of remembrance to a man who served in the first Boer War.
Unfortunately, the church has been closed on the dozen or so visits that I have made! So no photographs at the moment!
However, I do feel able to impart some biographical information on the gentleman commemorated thereon as follows:
LIEUTENANT HERBERT AUGUSTINE CHRISTOPHER HARRISON OF THE 9TH Regiment was not a Welshman by birth, being born at Peldon Rectory, Essex on 21st March 1856, the son of Reverend Christopher Robert Harrison and Mrs. Jessie Harrison (nee Mundell) who were married at St. Matthew's.
Herbert was originally commissioned into the 89th Regiment of Foot, then posted to the 9th Regiment but became Adjutant to the 94th Regiment under Colonel Anstruther. Herbert embarked with his regiment for South Africa in the spring of 1879 and saw action at the Battle of Ulundi against the Zulus in July 1879.
The regiment also took part in the successful attack on Sekekuni's stronghold in the Transvaal on 28th November 1879 during the Basuto Gun War.
Herbert was a seasoned African war campaigner when two companies of the regiment were attacked by the Boers at Bronkhorstspruit on 29th December 1880. This was the first clash of arms between the Boers and the imperial forces in the first Anglo Boer War.
Herbert was just 24 years old when he was killed in action along with three other officers and 71 other ranks who were killed during the battle.
ROYAL WELSH FUSILIERS BOER WAR MEMORIAL,
ST. GILES CHURCH,
With reference to the above (photographs and more information on page 1 of this thread), I quote from: Cary & McCance, (1923), "Regimental Records of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers", vol. Ii:
pp. 300-303, 1st Battalion,1903
"On the 8th of May the battalion proceeded to Wrexham by special train (strength, 24 officers, 607 other ranks), on the occasion of H.R.H. the Prince of Wales unveiling a Memorial in Wrexham Church to the officers, non-commisssioned officers, and men of the regiment who fell in China during the war of 1900, and in South Africa during the War of 1899-1902.
The battalion formed a guard of honour to H.R.H. the Prince of Wales on this occasion. The Memorial, designed and sculptured by Mr. Thomas Rudd of Clapham Common, S.W., measures 10 feet by 7 feet, and is of pure English alabaster: the side niches contain white marble statues, representing an officer and private of the regiment, in a mourning attitude. The centre marble panel contains the names of 204 officers, and privates who laid down their lives in South Africa during the years 1899 to 1992, and in the Expedition to Pekin in 1900.
After the ceremony of unveiling the Memorial in Wrexham Parish Church had concluded the battalion marched to the Barracks, Wrexham, where H.R.H. the Prince of Wales presented the Queen's and King's South African and China Medals , to officers, warrant officers, non-commisssioned officers, and men entitled thereto. A number of Distinguished Conduct Medals were also presented, also a Medal for Long Service and Good Conduct (to Colour-Sergeant W.G.King).
The Prince addressed the regiment in the following terms:
"Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Robert Collection, Officers, and non-commisssioned officers, and men of the 1st Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers,-It is a great satisfaction to me that my first duty as Colonel-inChief of your regiment should have been to assist in doing honour to the memory of your comrades who laid down their lives for their Sovereign and Country, and I am very proud to have been able to present you with the medals two-day which you have so well earned during your long and arduous campaign in South Africa. I don't propose to recapitulate the deeds which have added fresh fame to the glorious records of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Lord Roberts, Lord Kitchener, General Barton, and General Babington have testified in no uncertain language to the splendid work achieved by the battalion from the time it landed in Natal in November 1899 until the close of the War, and we must not forget that upwards of 350 of your Militia Battalion and three Volunteer Companies also took part in the War. I congratulate you all on your safe return home. I am very glad to meet you here to-day at the Headquarters of our Regimental District, and I trust that such gatherings as these may stimulate the military instinct and draw to the ranks the best of her son's, keen to emulate the example of those whose brave deeds have added to it's laurels, and help to maintain the proud traditions of the Regiment."
MEMORIAL PLAQUE TO LT. COL. C.C.H. THOROLD,
1ST BATTALION ROYAL WELSH FUSILIERS,
LOCATED IN THE TOWER,
ST. GILES CHURCH,
View of the left hand wall of The Tower.
The memorial plaque
I have missed this on previous visits, only finding it once I had checked each of the plaques mounted on this wall in turn!
The rectangular plaque is of brass with engraved script in black with red highlights.
The inscription as follows:
"ALSO TO THE MEMORY OF
CHARLES CECIL HAYFORD THOROLD
WHO WAS KILLED IN ACTION AT COLENSO
SOUTH AFRICA ON 24TH FEBRUARY 1909
WHILST COMMANDING THE
1ST BATTALION ROYAL WELSH FUSILIERS
BORN 1852----DIED 1900"
Following his death he was mentioned in the dispatches of General Sir Redvers Bullet V.C. on 8th February 1901( London Gazette no. 27282, p. 948).
Lt. Col Thorold is also commemorated on the Welsh National South Africa War Memorial at Cathay's Park, Cardiff and in a strained glass window at St. Mary the Virgin, Syston, Lincolnshire.
Also, as an Old Etonian, he is remembered at the Eton College Chapel, Luptons' Chantry, Eton, Berkshire.
For more information about Lt. Col Thorold, including press reports, grave marker and other memorials please take a look at the excellent thread by Berenice on this forum entitled:
"Lieutenant -Colonel C.C.H.Thorold 1st Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers"