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DCMs for the Boer War 2 months 4 weeks ago #69269

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DCM Ed VII (19016 Q-Mr:-Serjt: W. H. Lavis. 8th Coy. R.E.);
Sudan (19016 Srgt. H. Lavis, R.E.);
QSA (3) Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal (19016 Sjt. W. H. Lavis. R.E.);
KSA (2) (19016 Serjt:-Maj: W. H. Lavis. R.E.);
Army LS&GC Ed VII (19016 Co. Sjt; Maj; W. H. Lavis. R.E.);
Khedive’s Sudan (1) Hafir (19016 Sergt. W. H. Lavis. Royal Engineers)

DCM London Gazette 31 October 1902 (Details can be found in PRO WO 108/158).

MID Kitchener 23 June 1902.
Dr David Biggins
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DCMs for the Boer War 1 month 2 weeks ago #70124

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DCM EdVII (48148 S: Sjt: Far: C. McPhail. 79th Bty: R.F.A.);
QSA (3) Cape Colony, Transvaal, Wittebergen (48148 S: S: Fr: C. McPhail, 79th Bty: R.F.A.);
KSA (2) (48148 S. Serjt: - Far: C. McPhail. R.F.A.);
1914-15 Star (Q.M. & Lieut. C. McPhail. D.C.M. A.V.C.);
British War and Victory Medals, with M.I.D. oak leaves (Q.M. & Capt. C. McPhail.);
Army LS&GC EdVII (48148 Far. Q.M. Sjt. C. McPhail. R.F.A.)

Provenance: Spink April 2012.

DCM London Gazette 27 September 1901: ‘In recognition of services during the operations in South Africa’

MID London Gazettes 10 September 1901 (South Africa); 16 January 1918 (Egyptian Expeditionary Force)

Charles McPhail was born in Edinburgh in 1871. He enlisted in the Royal Artillery in Liverpool as a Boy in March 1885 and joined the 52nd Field Battery, Royal Artillery on 15 August 1889. Posted Sergeant Farrier, 79th Battery, Royal Field Artillery in July 1895, he served with the latter in South Africa from 13 November 1899 until 21 October 1902 where he was in charge of Veterinary Hospitals, and was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal in the rank Staff Sergeant Farrier, the recommendation bearing the date 29 November 1900.

Proceeding to India, McPhail was posted to 24th Battery on 1 October 1904 and promoted Quarter-Master Sergeant later the same month, before returning to England in April 1905 and receiving his Long Service and Good Conduct Medal with gratuity the same year. He was discharged on 21 October 1906 after 21 years and 232 days’ service, finding civil employment as Head Traveller with Carr & Co., Biscuit Manufacturers in Leeds.

With the outbreak of the Great War McPhail was asked to report for duty on 9 August 1914 to serve with the Army Veterinary Corps, Northumbrian Division. Commissioned Temporary Quartermaster and Lieutenant, Royal Army Veterinary Corps on 21 February 1915, he served in the Egyptian Theatre from 3 March 1915 and was the officer in charge of the Base Depot of Veterinary Stores for the supply of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force from November 1915 to July 1919. Promoted Honorary Captain on 21 February 1918, he relinquished his commission on 8 January 1920, retaining the rank of Quartermaster & Captain, and subsequently lived in Headingly, Leeds.
Dr David Biggins
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DCMs for the Boer War 1 month 4 days ago #70420

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DCM VR (2764 L.Corpl: G.T.Atkinson. 1st Yorkshire Regt);
IGS 1854 (1) Burma 1885-7 (2180. Dr. G.T.Atkinson. K.O.Y.L.I.);
IGS 1895 (2) Punjab Frontier 1897-98, Tirah 1897-98 (2764. Pte. G.T.Atkinson. 2nd Yorkshire Regt);
QSA (7) Relief of Mafeking, Paardeberg, Driefontein, Johannesburg, Diamond Hill, Belfast, South Africa 1901 (2764. Cpl. G.T.Atkinson. 1st Yorkshire Regt);
KSA (2) (2764. Cpl. G.T.Atkinson. 1st Yorkshire Regt)

DCM: LG 27/9/1901, p6321, to Lance-Corporal G.T.Atkinson, the Princess of Wales's Own (Yorkshire Regiment) in recognition of services during the operations in South Africa.

George Thomas Atkinson, born 10Nov1867 at Knaresborough, Borough of Harrowgate, North Yorkshire, England; worked as a farm hand from age 8 until enlistment in Green Howards - Prince of Wales Own Yorkshire Regiment, as mounted infantry (scout); Emb.1885 from Aldershot to Bangalore with service including Burma, Tirah, Punjab Frontier, patrolling areas of Lucknow, Mount Everest, Cawnpore, Katha, Ranchi, Shwebo, Thayet-Myo with his tour of service ending 1898; recalled to duty for Boer War with service including campaigns as per clasps awarded and involved in first ever known case of 'Trench Warfare' and awarded Distinguished Conduct Medal for action in the field and wounded (GSW to leg); WWI: enlisted as a volunteer and posted into Brighouse Volunteers as Corporal Military Policeman. Honored as a Chelsea Pensioner.

His QSA needs to be verified. NN say 'First medal appears to be impressed, all other medals officially engraved'
Dr David Biggins
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DCMs for the Boer War 1 month 2 days ago #70511

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DCM Ed VII (22864 Serjt. S. Grist, R.E.);
QSA (5) CC, TugH, RoL, Tvl, LN (22864 Serjt. S. Grist, R.E.) (engraved naming);
KSA (2) SA01, SA02 (22864 T. Qr. Mr. Serjt.S. Grist, R.E.) (impressed naming);
Army LS&GC Ed VII (22864 C.Sjt.Mjr. S. Grist)

Samuel Grist was born in Portsmouth in about 1867. He enlisted with the Royal Engineers on the 7 July 1888 and was discharged after a second term of engagement as a Troop Sergeant Major on the 6 July 1909.
The award of the DCM is recorded together with three other similar awards to NCO’s of the Royal Engineers as follows: “22123 Troop-Quarter-Master-Sergeant J. Newnham, 22864 Sergeant S. Grist, and 22442 Corporal J. Wilson, “A” Pontoon Troop. – Conspicuous bravery and coolness when laying and working at pontoon bridge under fire on several occasions, specially at Munger’s Drift on 5th February (1900)”.

The reference to Munger’s Drift relates the pontoon crossing of the Tugela River opposite the Doorn Kloof Ridge and the Boer artillery emplacements at Vaal Krantz. After an initial period of quiet the Boers began to pour a “hot and terrible fire from their rifles and a machine gun” onto the British troops. The Royal Engineers, from the very nature of their work, could take no cover.

City Coins September 2003

TQMS Newnham is discussed here.
Dr David Biggins

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DCMs for the Boer War 4 weeks 9 hours ago #70619

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DCM VR (1028 Serjt: P. S. Taylor. C.I.V.);
QSA (3) Cape Colony, Transvaal, Wittebergen (1028 Sgt. P. S. Taylor, C.I.V.)

Provenance: Sotheby’s, June 1984.

DCM London Gazette 27 September 1901
MID London Gazette 10 September 1901 - erroneously gazetted as Sergeant H.P.B. Taylor

One of only 14 Distinguished Conduct Medals awarded to the City Imperial Volunteers during the Boer War.

Percy Schall Taylor was born in 1870 and was a clerk by occupation. He joined the Honourable Artillery Company in 1894 and served as Sergeant of B Sub-division of the City Imperial Volunteers Battery in South Africa during the Boer War, commanding a gun. He was awarded the DCM, almost certainly for the action at Barkin Kop on 3 July 1900, where he and Sergeant Dixon of the C.I.V. Battery fought their guns back to back and drove off a Boer Commando. Three guns of the 38th Battery, which the Boers had taken, were then recaptured. By turning trail to trail to defend themselves, a previously unheard of procedure, they fought an action that was probably unique in Royal Artillery history.

‘The H.A.C. guns on the left, hidden by their fold of ground, were not actually affected by the sudden raid we have described; but until the Australians returned, they were also left without a single protecting rifle, while they had at the same time to meet an emergency of their own, an attack on the left flank in support of the frontal raid. and to meet it without assistance too, for the detachment on their left, unlike the Australians, were very slow in returning. At one time, accordingly, the two guns were firing trail to trail, one at the Boers on their left, and one towards the right, over the heads of the disabled 38th. Under these difficult and perilous circumstances perfect steadiness prevailed.’ (The H.A.C. in South Africa edited by Basil Williams and Erskine Childers)

The H.A.C. in South Africa clearly states on more than one occasion that the three sergeants of the H.A.C. with the C.I.V. to receive the D.C.M., namely Sergeants Dixon, Taylor and Wood, were also all mentioned in despatches in the London Gazette 10 September 1901. While the mentions for Dixon and Wood’s are correctly gazetted, a clerical error led to P.S. Taylor’s mention being erroneously credited to H.P.B. Taylor, also of the H.A.C.

Taylor rejoined the Reserve Battery of the H.A.C. for Home Service in September 1914, and was commissioned Lieutenant in the H.A.C. on 7 November 1914, and advanced Captain on 5 February 1915. He did not qualify for any Great War medals.
Dr David Biggins
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DCMs for the Boer War 3 weeks 1 day ago #70727

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DCM V.R. (Serjt: F. C. Stevens. R.G.A.);
QSA (4) Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Johannesburg, Diamond Hill (76033 Sgt. F. C. Stevens, R.F.A.);
BWM and VM (Capt. F. C. Stevens.);
Coronation 1911, silver;
Army LS&GC EdVII (76033 B.S. Mjr: F. C. Stevens. R.F.A.);
Memorial Plaque (Frederick Charles Stevens)

DCM LG 27 September 1901.

Frederick Charles Stevens was born in London in 1872 and joined the Royal Artillery on 12 December 1889 claiming an age of exactly 18 years. A regular soldier, he served in South Africa during the Boer War attached to the City Imperial Volunteers as the senior NCO of the Machine-Gun Section. He was Mentioned in Despatches (LG 29 November 1900) and awarded the DCM, at least in part for his gallantry at Diamond Hill on 12 June 1900:

‘The remainder of the battalion stayed in the gully by which we had ascended the hill, and were under heavy dropping fire from guns and musketry. Our Maxim soon arrived on the top, being man-hauled with great difficulty by Sergeant Stevens and a fatigue party, and it was gallantly served till it was compelled to cease fire, owing to its drawing so much of the enemy’s shell fire on the advance companies.’ (Journal of the CIV in South Africa by Major-General W. H. Mackinnon, CB)

A pen and ink sketch by Charles Edwin Fripp entitled ‘The City’s Own in action near Pretoria: how a detachment of the CIV brought its Maxim into play at Diamond Hill’ appeared in the Daily Graphic on 26 July 1900. The picture was drawn from notes provided by Captain Edis who had been present at the action. Fripp wrote, ‘They brought their Maxim over the roughest ground - almost carrying it - and managed to keep it in action for about a quarter of an hour, to the great discomfort of the enemy, notwhithstanding a cross-fire of ‘pom poms’ and field guns. As usual the Boers got into a nest of rocks, but in spite of the impregnable position which they held, the discretion of valour compelled them to retire with a couple of wagon loads of dead.’

Stevens was attached to the CIV but not transferred, keeping his former number and unit. His DCM is shown in the LG among the CIV list - with Royal Artillery in parentheses.

Promoted Battery Sergeant-Major in May 1903, Stevens was discharged from the 134th Battery, Royal Field Artillery on 11 December 1910, retiring to a pension after 21 years of service and worked in the office of the Regimental Agency, 1910-14.

During the Great War, he re-enlisted on 4 January 1915, serving as Battery Sergeant-Major, and was commissioned Second Lieutenant on 11 February. Promoted Captain on 23 December 1915, he served on the Western Front from 31 January 1916 and was killed in action on 31 July 1916, with 158 Brigade, R.A., while trying to rescue two wounded drivers in a bombed trench. A report on the manner of his death was submitted by Lieutenant-Colonel Fawcett, commanding 158 Brigade.
Dr David Biggins
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