Lieutenant Henry Faithful Kirkham confirmed on nominal roll of Steinaecker's Horse. Enlisted 09Nov1900 and to Lt and Q'Master 12Dec1901, Discharged on disbandment of regiment 07Feb1903.
Information from the book titled Steinaecker's Horsemen by William (Bill) Woolmore, pp228-9, 'Kirkham Henry A. Faithful, Regimental Quartermaster-Sergeant/Lieutenant & Quartermaster (AO515 15:3:02): He served as Trooper No.1764 in the Bechuanaland Border Police during the Matabele War of 1893. His regiment was with Forbes' column and was engaged in the pursuit of the Matabele King, Lobengula. It was from this column that the 35 man 'Shanghai Patrol' under Captain Alan Wilson set out over the Shangani River in pursuit of the King. The river flooded behind them, cutting them off from the column. Their gallant last stand against an overwhelming Matabele force is an epic tale. During the native rebellion in Rhodesia in 1896 Kirkham served as a Trooper in the Salisbury Field Force. He was Quartermaster-Sergeant in the Garrison Volunteer Corps during the campaign in Mashonaland during 1897. Previous Anglo-Boer War service as Quartermaster-Sergeant at the Imperial Irregular Corps Depot. Enlisted in SH (Steinaecker's Horse) on 9 November 1900. He was in charge of the Steinaecker's Horse Depot in Pietermaritzburg and was promoted to Lieutenant & Quartermaster on 12 December 1901. He resigned when the regiment was disbanded on 7 February 1903. He qualified for the QSA medal with clasp Transvaal and his KSA was issued from the SH roll. He had previously earned the British South Africa Company's Medal 1893 with clasps 'Rhodesia 1896 & Mashonaland 1897'. (his medal group is illustrated at Fig 84, p228 of above book)
BSACM reverse Mashonaland 1897 (3844 Pte. W. Mears. 7th Huss.);
QSA (5) Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Johannesburg, Diamond Hill, Belfast (223, Pte. W. Mears, 14/Hrs.)
Provenance: Gordon Everson Collection, Dix Noonan Webb, March 2002.
William Mears was born at Hackney, London, and enlisted for the 15th Hussars at London on 27 February 1891. He transferred to the 7th Hussars in August 1892, and served with them during the Mashonaland operations of 1897, being one of only 16 men of the regiment to get the medal with this reverse. He was transferred to the Army Reserve in December 1898, but was recalled for service in the Boer War and posted to the 14th Hussars in January 1900. Private Mears was dangerously wounded in the fierce action at Geluk, between Machadodorp and Heidelberg, on 13 October 1900. Interestingly, the regimental history lists Mears as having been mortally wounded, and in two places on his discharge papers the words “Killed in action” have been crossed out. Major E. D. Brown was awarded the Victoria Cross at this action for rescuing, one after another, an officer, a sergeant, and a corporal. Private Mears was sent home in January 1901, and was discharged as medically unfit for further service on 6 August 1901. He died in 1934.
BSACM for Matabeleland 1893 (Troopr., Victoria Column);
QSA (2) Cape Colony, Wittebergen (Lieut., 53 Co. Impl. Yeo.);
1914 Star, with clasp (Temp. Lieut., R.M. Brigade);
BWM and VM with oak leaf MID (Lt. Col.)
DSO LG 1 January 1917: ‘Temporary Major, Machine Gun Corps.’
DSC LG 1 January 1916: ‘Temporary Captain, Royal Marines. For services with the Royal Naval Division Motor Transport Company in France.’
MID LG 1 January 1916 and 4 January 1917.
Frank Summers served as a Trooper in the BSA Company’s Police during the Matabele Rebellion of 1893, and also acted as a Correspondent for Reuters whilst attached to the Victoria Column. He served during the Boer War as a Lieutenant in the Royal East Kent Yeomanry and was mentioned in despatches. In 1914 Summers volunteered himself and his motor car for service with the Royal Naval Division in Belgium and France, there being a chronic shortage of transport at this time. He was Adjutant of the Royal Marine Motor Transport Company which was formed in September 1914 and disbanded in August 1915. They were employed in transporting troops in every direction as the great move to cover the Channel ports was taking place, and they were very active during the 1st and 2nd battles of Ypres, at Aubers Ridge and at Festubert. Two of its officers were decorated, Captain H. M. Leaf, R.M., with the DSO, and Captain Frank Summers with the DSC.
After serving in France, Summers went to the Dardanelles with the Royal Naval Air Service, probably in armoured cars. His Royal Marine commission was terminated on 27 March 1916, when he transferred to the Army as a Major in the Heavy Branch of the Machine Gun Corps, cover name for the first tank unit, and which later became known as the Tank Corps. He trained and led the original “D” Company of tanks in the attack on Flers-Courcelette on the Somme, 15 September 1916, the first ‘official’ occasion on which tanks were used in the War. However, one of Summers’ “D” Tanks had carried out a lone reconnaissance on the day before, so there can be no doubt that it was one of his tanks that was the first ever to go into action. On 19 November he was in command of three tank companies in the attack on Cambrai. Although the award of his DSO in January 1917 does not carry a citation, there can be little doubt that it was made ion recognition of his services on the Somme. He was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel in the Tank Corps in November 1916 and commanded the 6th Tank Battalion from January to December 1917. Later in the War he served with the British Military Mission in Washington and lecturing at the War College on tank tactics. Whilst in Washington he met with the young Dwight D. Eisenhower, also a tank specialist and destined to become 34th President of the USA.