Fortunately, when I bought the group in 1993 Burges' Boer War awards had already been re-united with his later medals.
MAJOR E T BURGES, DCM
* DCM (Edw VII) : SERJT-MAJ, BORDER HORSE
* QSA. Bars Witteb. Tvl . CC : Lieut. Cape M R
* KSA. Bars SA '01 & 02 : CAPT. CAPE COLONIAL FORCES
* 1914/15 Star : CAPT, 5th M R
* BWM : MAJ
* AVM (Bil) with MiD Emblem : MAJ
* German SWA Commemorative Medal 1904-06, with Bar KALAHARI 1907
Edward Travers Burges joined the Cape Mounted Rifles at the age of 19 in Feb 1897. During the Boer War he was seconded to the Border Horse when that Regiment was formed in Feb 1900. He quickly rose to RSM and was awarded a DCM, probably for his part in the skirmishes with Gen de la Rey at Doornhoek on 26 Aug 1900,
where he was reported as “Missing – Rejoined” and Quaggafontein (31 Aug 1900).
He subsequently held commissioned rank as Lieutenant in the Cape Mounted Rifles and then as Captain in No 2 Division, Cape Colonial Forces up to the end of the war (“L” Squadron was known as Burges’ Squadron).
Towards the end of Aug 1902 Burges joined the Cape Mounted Police with the rank of Sub-Inspector.
In October 1907 he commanded No 3 Troop of the Cape Mounted Police Squadron under Maj Elliot that finally
cornered and killed Jacob Marengo, thereby ending the reign of terror of the guerilla band. This earned him his
German SWA Medal with the Kalahari 1907 bar (This bar was only awarded to 92 men of the Cape Mounted Police and Cape Mounted Riflemen who took part in this skirmish outside German territory: no German soldier received it)
At the outbreak of WWI, and at that stage holding a commission in the 5th SAMR, he proceeded to German SWA and served under Col Davies (ILH) and Col Royston. He was MiD for his "excellent work as Brigade Major to the 9th Mounted Brigade".
In Aug 1915 he was posted to the 1st SA Infantry, the intention being that he, as SAMR officer, would only be involved with training. However, he managed to embark with his comrades in Sept 1915 and, despite furious correspondence, successfully evaded being recalled to the Union.
Burges was promoted to Major in Dec 1915, and after a period of training in England, he served as second in command with the 1st SAI in Egypt and France.
He was killed in action on 18 July 1916 at a critical stage of the Battle of Dellville Wood. For his bravery in the face of overwhelming odds, Lt Col Tanner recommended him for the immediate award of the DSO:
"This officer re-occupied the Strand Street flank with his Company (D Company 1st Regiment S.A.I.) after the Company originally holding this line had been practically destroyed (B Company 2nd Regiment S.A.I.). Major Burges, who was eventually killed, performed yeoman service in protecting this flank and was untiring in his efforts to keep connection along his line and with the troops on the edge of the wood".
As he did not survive the battle, no award was made.
Edward Burges has no known grave. His name, however, is inscribed on the Thiepval Memorial, together with those of some 73 000 British and South African soldiers who shared a similar fate.
DCM VR (64 Serjt:-Maj: W. Smith. 3rd. K.O. Scot: Bord:);
IGS 1854 (1) Chin-Lushai 1889-90 (64 Sergt. W. Smith. 1st Bn. K.O. Sco. Bord.);
QSA (3) CC OFS Tr (64 Serjt:-Major W. Smith. K.O. Scot: Bord:);
KSA (2) (64 Serjt:-Maj: W. Smith. K.O. Scot: Bord:)
DCM London Gazette 27 September 1901. MID London Gazette 10 September 1901.
William Smith was born in Duns, Berwickshire. A Saddler by occupation and a member of the 1st Battalion Berwick Volunteers, he attested for the King’s Own Scottish Borderers at Berwick on 3 January 1882, aged 19 years, 4 months. He served overseas in Gibraltar, February-June 1886 and India and Burma, February 1889-February 1991. In the East Indies he took part in the Chin-Lushai Expedition of 1889-90, serving with the Gangaw Column.
He then served in the Second Boer War, March 1900-May 1902. As a Sergeant-Major with the regiment he was mentioned in Lord Robert’s despatches and awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal. On his discharge in 1903 he settled in Edinburgh and was again employed as a Saddler. With the onset of the Great War he attested for the Army Reserve (Special Reserve) at Leeds in September 1914 - then aged 51 years. He served as a Sergeant-Major with the West Yorkshire Regiment based in England, September 1914-April 1916.
Sergeant-Major Smith died at Calstock, Cornwall on 6 August 1928.
DCM VR copy
QSA (6) Cape Colony, Paardeberg, Driefontein, Johannesburg, Diamond Hill, Wittebergen and with unofficial MID emblem (81 Pte C.F.Selmes, N.S.W., A.M.C.)
DCM: LG 27/9/1901, p6329 to Pte G.F.Selmes, NSW Bearer Coy.
MID: LG 16/4/1901, p2607 to Pte G.F.Selmes, NSW Bearer Coy.
George Francis Selmes, 1st Contingent Army Medical Corps; Emb.28 Oct 1899; RTA 13 Dec1 900 arriving on 08 Jan 1901.
George Selmes had been a Constable for 3 years in the NSW Police Force attached to No.3 police station before his departure to South Africa as a member of the bearer section of the A.M.C. After his return, Constable Selmes continued on with his police service, was promoted to Constable First Class and transferred to Traffic Police. In July 1902 he resigned and moved to settle in Johannesburg, South Africa. His mother was a resident of Kogarah in Sydney, NSW.