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Boer War Chaplains in India at Soldiers' Home in Belgaum 4 months 1 week ago #84481

  • Croweater
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My great grandfather, Charles Crisp was reportedly a saddler/stretcher bearer/chaplain in the Boer War but I cannot find him on any list. He was born in South Australia, possibly Willunga or Bethany in the Barossa Valley.
According to my mother, her grandfather, Charles, left for Boer War from W.A., worked in Coolgardie & Kalgoorlie goldmines. After the War, he sent for his fiance, Mabel Ley and they were married in Durban on the 6th July, 1903 he worked on the railway to the Kimberley diamond mines. At the Zulu uprising wives and children, by this time they had two daughters, were sent home.
Recently I found an amazing photograph and I am sure he is in this photo. It was in a beautifully bound book titled Picturesque Natal and obviously brought back by my great grandparents. It appears to be a group of chaplains in front of a building in India - the Soldiers' Home Belgaum. There is one older woman seated in the middle and chaplains from various regiments sitting/standing with her. Does anyone have information on why these men were in India? I figured they were chaplains as they were holding open bibles.

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Boer War Chaplains in India at Soldiers' Home in Belgaum 4 months 1 week ago #84490

  • Trev
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Hi Croweater,
Welcome to the ABW forum. I have had a look at the Military Campaign Medal and Award Rolls on Ancestry for any links to a Charles Crisp and found a number of C. Crisps', but I'm not convinced that they are the correct person that you are seeking.

Having travelled from Australia to South Africa, I would have imagined that he would have enlisted in a South African Unit rather than an Imperial one, unless you count the one entry that I found for 995 Trooper C. C. Crisp of A Division South African Constabulary. Unfortunately, the medal roll does not give up any further information other than the clasps awarded for the Queens South Africa Medal.

Even though I was unsuccessful in finding any related military service, I was able to locate several news articles for the district of Coolgardie of entries that mentioned a Charles Crisp from Western Australia with links to the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Kunanalling, which is now an abandoned town. See below -

(Coolgardie Miner, WA., Saturday 31 Mar, 1900)

(Herald, Coolgardie, WA., Saturday 31 Mar, 1900)

What is coincidental about the above article, is that it mentions part of the service is talking about the Indian Famine Fund and that you also spoke about your Great Grandfather spending time in India. I was not able to find any other relevant topics after the dates which are shown above.

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