DCM VR (Sgt. J. H. Jefferies, Thorneycroft’s M.I.) ‘J.H. Jeoffreys’ privately engraved after unit);
QSA (5) Tug H, OFS, RoL, Tyl, L Nek (7139 Serjt., J.H Jeoffreys. Th’croft’s M.I.);
1914-15 Star (Capt. J.G. Jeoffreys S.A. Irish Regt.);
BWM & AVM (Capt J.H Jeoffreys)
Minor contact wear and edge bruising. BWM and AVM impressed with small lettering. (Late issues)
According to the South African Who’s Who (1908) Joseph Horace Jeoffreys was born on 14 April 1874 in Brooklyn, New York, USA. However, according to an obituary published in “The Star”, he was born in County Cork in 1873. He came to South Africa in 1896 and was employed on railway construction work in the Orange Free State. He enlisted in in “A” Company, Thorneycroft’s Mounted Infantry on 27 October 1899 and was recommended as Sergeant J H Jeffries for the grant of the DCM for “Conspicuous gallantry: Colenso 15 December 1899 and Spion Kop: 24 January 1900” in Buller’s Despatch of 30 March 1900 (LG of 8 February 1901, p938 & 940). Jeoffreys’ detailed account of the difficult climb up Spion Kop and the subsequent fight can be found in W. Baring Pemberton’s Battles of the Boer War (p172, 181-2).
He took his discharge from TMI in Pretoria on 15 Nov 1900 and joined the Transvaal Civil Service as Deputy Clerk of Customs in Boksburg on 1 May 1901. The award of his DCM was published 11 days earlier in the LG of 19 April 1901, p2709. Following the promulgation in the Transvaal of the “Volunteer Ordinance, 1904”, Jeoffreys was appointed as Lieutenant in the Volunteer Force on 1 April 1905 and subsequently as Captain on 20 August 1909. In this rank he was posted to the Reserve of Officers on 1 July 1913. On his initiative the S.A. Irish Regiment was formed five days after WWI broke out and he was appointed O/C of “C” Company. After serving in German South-West Africa he went to Europe at his own expense and joined the Middlesex Regiment as Captain, serving until the end of the War.
He came back to South Africa after a severe gassing and a bad bout of trench fever and returned to his position as Inspector of Customs and Excise with the Union Government. The outbreak of WWII again sparked his Irish sentiment. The formation of the 1st South African Irish Regiment in 1940 followed representations by Jeoffreys to General Sir Pierre van Ryneveld that “Irishmen and South Africans of Irish descent be encouraged to form a special unit for services anywhere in Africa or overseas, according to the decision of the Union Government”. (Shamrock & Springbok refers).
Captain Jeoffreys died in Johannesburg on 5 January 1940.
DCM VR (29492 Gnr.G.H. Fox. R.A.)
QSA (3) RoK, Paard, Drief (29492 Gnr. C.H. Fox, 76th Bty. R.F.A.)
Official correction to 2nd initial on QSA.
Gunner Fox was recommended to Lord Roberts by Major-General Clements:
“I desire to bring to your Lordship’s notice the very gallant and cool behaviour of a young soldier of the 76th Battery R.F.A.: No. 29492 Gunner C H Fox and to express a hope that you may recommend this man to receive the medal for Distinguished Conduct in the Field. On Feb. 18th the Battery was in action against the Boer laager.
About 4pm the Battery was fired into from behind by Boers who had occupied Kitchener’s Kopje; two sections were thereupon ordered to come into action in that direction. As the order was given a volley from a 1 pounder Vickers Maxim Q.F. [Quick firing] gun was poured on the Battery. One shell burst on the gun to which Gunner Fox belonged, knocking the detachment out of time.
Gunner Fox sprang to his feet and entirely by himself turned the gun around, loaded and laid it in the new direction. Gunner Fox had several marks from the effect of the shell. One man was killed and five wounded at the same time. Gunner Fox, I may add, has only 15 months service.”
(War Office records refer, as per Spink Boer War Sale Catalogue, 1999).
Fox died of enteric fever at Brandfort on 9.5.1900. He was posthumously Mentioned in Despatches by Lord Roberts. (Loudon Gazettes 8.2.1901, p847 and 10.9.1901, p5934).
DCM VR (9520 Pte. W.T. Adams, 2nd Rifle Brigade 23-2-00.)
Officially impressed naming: This is one of only about a dozen known dated Boer War DCM’s.
Pte Adams was recommended by Buller for the award of the DCM in the LG of 8 February 1901, p940: “9893 Private J Brown and 9520 Pte T Adams, 23rd February: Gallantry in repeatedly carrying wounded to dressing station under very heavy fire”.
The award of the Distinguished Conduct Medal was announced in the LG of 19 April 1901, p2708.
Adams received a QSA medal with clasps Tug H, RoL, L Nek, Belf in 1903: this has unfortunately become separated from his DCM.
QSA (2) Tug H, RoL (5676 Cpl. R. Parris, 2nd E. Surrey Regt.)
A few small e/k’s.
Reuben Parris was awarded the DCM (LG 19 April 1901, p2708). However, this medal has unfortunately become separated from his QSA medal. It would seem that this medal has never been noted on the collector market. The report on his gallantry was worded as follows:
“February 23rd. No 5676 Lce. Corpl. Parris, R. Carried a letter from Major Pearse to LtCol Harris under very heavy fire, when told that it was next to impossible to cross over; and was severely wounded”.
Memo from Major H.W. Pearse to Brigade Major, 2nd Brigade (WO132/16).
Parris was posted home in September 1900, probably as a result of the severity of his wound and took his discharge on 4 October 1902 when he was paid a gratuity of £20/-/- for the DCM.
According to an article by Abbott in the OMRS Journal of December 2003 it is highly likely that Parris’ DCM, which was presented by Lord Roberts at Woolwich on 13 January 1902, was dated (23-2-00).
Pte O’Keefe was recommended by General Redvers Buller for the award of the DCM in the LG of 8 February 1901, p938: “6830 Lance-Corporal W Bell, 5802 Pte W O’Keefe and 5708 Private A Benton, 24th to 27th February. Great gallantry as stretcher bearers in removing wounded”.
The award of the DCM was announced in the LG of 19 April 1901, p2707.
Sgt Miller was recommended by General Redvers Buller for the award of the DCM in the LG of 8 February 1901, p939: 1453 Serjeant J. Millar, 27th February:
Colonel Kitchener, Commanding Brigade, reports that “he did excellent work under my personal observation. His gun was under heavy fire and he never slacked off or made a mistake, its coming into action on our right rendered advance possible.”
The award of the DCM was announced in the LG of 19 April 1901, p2707. An eyewitness account of the day’s action was given by Pte A. Long in his handwritten “Rough Diary of York & Lanc Regt in South Africa”:
“The order came ‘Maxim gun up quick’. Quick as a flash one of the gunners had his rifle slung on his back (Pte Koerner by name) and getting on top of the cutting had the gun handed up to him by 3 or 4 men standing about 2 feet above each other. Shouldering the gun, he carried it to the top of the hill although burning his neck both sides as the barrel was full of boiling water…
One of the W Yorks carrying the tripod whilst the Sergt carried two boxes containing two loaded belts.
Through a very heavy shower of bullets they carried them to a suitable place behind one of the enemy’s trenches which proved to be too high for it but he soon removed the top stones which a bullet struck whilst he was in the act of removing, but there was no time for hesitation, the Maxim being set it soon started its deadly work pouring a rapid fire into a donga, 830 yards off which soon cleared the enemy.”
James John Miller enlisted in the York & Lancaster Regiment on 23 August 1886 and slowly but surely moved up the ranks with his final promotion to Colour Sergeant on 19 February 1901. He was discharged on 13 April 1906 after serving 19 years and 234 days.