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How Australians applied to fight in the Boer War? 4 months 3 weeks ago #84068

  • ElizabethRLove
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My great grandfather, Joseph William Elliott, migrated to Australia before 1880. Exact date unknown. He appears to have fought in the war from 1899 - 1900. He died on 7th May 1900. I have seen application forms filled in by men who wanted to fight in WW1. Would such paperwork be available for Australian choosing to join the Boer War? Is he likely to have been buried in a marked grave?
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How Australians applied to fight in the Boer War? 4 months 3 weeks ago #84069

  • Dave F
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Hello Elizabeth RLove
Welcome to the forum.
With ref to your Great Grandfathers marked grave.

www.findagrave.com/memorial/221650283/j-w-elliott


Dave......
You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.
Best regards,
Dave

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How Australians applied to fight in the Boer War? 4 months 3 weeks ago #84071

  • LinneyI
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Elizabeth RLove
Applicants for the various Colonial Australian contingents were usually required to pass medical and practical riding and shooting tests and attest to their willingness to serve. Applications for enlistment were highly competitive and often men were subject to balloting for a place. Unfortunately, application forms for those contingents do not seem to currently exist. Or if they do, they are buried in the mass of paperwork passed to the Commonwealth after 1902. Finding those papers would be the Holy Grail for local collectors.
Dave has posted a pic which relates to L/Cpl. J. Elliott of the Imperial Light Infantry who died on 7th May, 1900 from wounds suffered. The Imperial Light Infantry was a corps raised in South Africa in December of 1899. There were probably a number of Colonial Australians in that corps. I am unsure if enlistment papers for the ILI exist. However, your post appears to have it that your GGF J.W.Elliott was in a (colonial) Australian corps. I have checked the database and I cannot see a J.W.Elliott in any such contingent.
Regards
IL.

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How Australians applied to fight in the Boer War? 4 months 3 weeks ago #84073

  • Dave F
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I have located your G Grandfather's medal roll reference his time in the Imperial Light Infantry. He was awarded a Queens South Africa medal with 2 clasps, Tugela Heights and Relief of Ladysmith. Lance Corporal 517 J W Elliott.

Also, I found another medal roll to a Private J Elliot regimental number 517 serving in the 1st Battalion 24th Regiment of foot. The regimental number is the same as your G Grandfather's. However I cannot be certain they are the same man. You mentioned that your Great Grandfather emigrated earlier than 1880? to Australia.
Private 517 J Elliot was fighting in the 9th Cape Frontier wars during 1877-8 . If this is your Great Grandfather? He could have certainly made his way to Australia after he was discharged from his regiment. Interestingly, he seems to have travelled back to South Africa to join a South African regiment to fight in the Boer War conflict. Further investigations may help with shipping and transit from Australia to South Africa. He may be on a list somewhere? Do you know where your Great Grandfather was born? Any additional information may help provide clues to you request.

Dave........
You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.
Best regards,
Dave
The following user(s) said Thank You: BereniceUK

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How Australians applied to fight in the Boer War? 4 months 3 weeks ago #84089

  • ElizabethRLove
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Thank you so much for your response. Are you suggesting that he may have travelled back to England and enlisted there. I did find him listed by going into a NSW listing from AngloBoerWar.com web site so assumed he would have enlisted from Australia. He is my mystery man. I have no archival information about him although know plenty about his wife. I would love to see his application form to ensure he is my ggf and perhaps identify his family background. He would have been approximately 49 when he offered himself up to fight. Would they have taken someone of that age?

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How Australians applied to fight in the Boer War? 4 months 3 weeks ago #84090

  • ElizabethRLove
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Thank you for the research you have done. I guess I still have reservations about whether he is my ggf as I have never been able to find him on any immigration lists and I have poured over boat lists coming to Sydney. No doubt I need to go looking interstate. I figured he came to Australia before 1880 because he was married at St Barnabas's church Sydney in 1880. The fact that you have him serving in 1st Battalion 24th Regiment of foot.
is very intriguing. How have you been able to identify that he seems to have travelled back to South Africa to join a South African regiment to take part in the Boer War? I know this is outside our remit but it is interesting to wonder if marriage didn't altogether suit him and he went looking for more adventure, particularly if he had been a serving man previously.

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