Captain G. Seton-Burn, Pietersburg Light Horse, late Damant's Horse.
QSA 8 Belmont, Modder River, Relief of Kimberley, Paardeberg, Driefontein, Johannesburg, Diamond Hill, Wittebergen (Cpt. G. S. Burn, Damant's Horse), edge bruise;
KSA (2) (Capt. G. Seron-Burn, P.L.H.).
Ernest Octavius Goatley. As is the case in so many of the biographies on this site, the recorded history of Ernest Octavius Goatley is one filled more with gaps than substance. He is likely to have been the eighth child born to parents David Grafton Goatley and Sarah Oliver Treffy. His father was a wealthy purser, secretary and mine owner in Cornwall and Devon.
We first meet E.O. Goatley, aged 26 years, in South Africa in 1880 for his name appears on The Cape of Good Hope General Service Medal Roll as having participated in the Transkei Campaign (1880-1881). He is one of four members of Usher’s Contingent or Rangers who applied for and was granted the medal, in his case with one bar. Ernest Octavius Goatley together with his brother Edward Belcher Treffy Goatley appear to have migrated eastward to Natal circa 1883. The latter worked in the customs department of the civil service of the colony from 1888 to 1905 when he was suspended, a dispute ensuing which lasted for some five years. Nothing is known of what Ernest Octavius Goatley did between 1883 and 1899.
The Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) was declared on 11th October 1899. Aged 45 years, Ernest Goatley enrolled voluntarily for service within two months, first as a bearer with the Natal Volunteer Ambulance Corps, then as a section leader with the Imperial Bearer Corps and lastly, and in my view most extraordinarily, as No. 560 Squadron Quartermaster Sergeant with the Pietersburg Light Horse, his name appearing on the nominal roll of the The Bushveldt Carbineers. He also had a KSA issued to him off the roll of the Pietersburg Light Horse.
He was discharged after the amnesty in July 1902.
How Ernest Goatley earned an income after his discharge is unclear. An E. Goatley went farming, concurrent with his doing duty with the Umvoti Mounted Rifles but there is no evidence of whether this was our subject or his brother. One suspects the latter.
The final documentation of Ernest Goatley’s whereabouts is his death notice. Therein we read that he had remained a bachelor, having settled in Philippolis in the western Orange Free State where he was a bookkeeper.
He died in the Jagersfontein Hospital (district Fauresmith) on 28 September 1926 aged 72 years.
It would be interesting to know how Angus qualified for the C.C. and O.F.S. clasps without any previous service in other units. Seeing that Pietersburg is in northern Transvaal the unit could have hardly operated in the states in question.
I don't have Bill Woolmore's book at hand at present but I remember reading he questioned some of the clasp combinations.