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DCMs for the Boer War 1 year 1 week ago #73165

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DCM EdVII (5025 Pte M. Carney. Liverpool Regt.);
QSA (3) DoL, L Nek, Belf (5025 Pte M. Carney. Liverpool Regt);
KSA (2) (5025 Pte M. Carney. Liverpool Regt.)

Michael Carney was mentioned for “rendering special and meritorious service” in Lord Roberts’ Despatch which was published in the LG of 10/09/1901 (p5939) and his DCM was gazetted on 27/09/1901. Fortunately, the recommendation for the DCM is recorded in Rudolf, p85:
“Pte M Carney – During the attack on Helvetia, 29th December 1900, covered by his fire Colour-Sergeant Johnson while the latter was rebuilding a partially demolished sangar, and otherwise displaying great coolness and gallantry”

Carney attested in the Liverpool Regiment on 10 October 1895. He died on 10 Sept 1909, aged 31, of Paraplegia and Pulmonary Tuberculosis.
Dr David Biggins
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DCMs for the Boer War 1 year 6 days ago #73182

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From the next City Coins auction, November 2020

[ DCM ]
[ QSA (3) ]
KSA (2) (2983 Serjt W.T. Lintott, W. York. Regt.)

L/Cpl Lintott was Mentioned and Promoted Serjeant (LG 20 August 1901, p5491) “For marked gallantry during Boer attack on camp at Lake Chrissie, 6 February 1901”

Full details of what he did were subsequently given in the VC Citation for Sgt W.B. Traynor (LG 17 September 1901, p6101): “During the night attack on Bothwell Camp on 6 February 1901, Sergeant Traynor jumped out of a trench and ran out under extremely heavy fire to the assistance of a wounded man. While running out he was severely wounded and being unable to carry the man by himself he called for assistance. Lance-Corporal Lintott at once came to him and between them they carried the wounded soldier into shelter….”

Lintott was granted a DCM on the same LG page. He received a QSA with clasps OFS, Tvl & L Nek.
Dr David Biggins

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DCMs for the Boer War 1 year 6 days ago #73183

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DCM VR (Trpr Sopp, Imp.Yeo.)
QSA (4) CC, Rhod, OFS, SA01 (12040 Cpl. W. Sopp 65th Coy. 17th Impl. Yeo.);
1914-15 Trio (777 Pte. W. Sopp. Bucks. Yeo.);

Melton Mowbray Tribute Medal: Corporal W. Sopp 7th Com. IY
(Last without suspender as presented – Hibbard A16)

The award of Sopp’s DCM (Supplement to the LG, 25 March 1901, p2103) read “…for gallantry at Phillipstown, on same occasion as Captain Tivey”. Maj Gen Settle’s endorsement of Lt Col Crabbe’s recommendation for the award of the DCM provides more detail:

“Trooper Sopp displayed great courage in running the gauntlet under a very heavy fire, and getting his message through obviated the necessity of Captain Tivey leaving the town which he probably could not have done without heavy loss”.
However, a vivid account of Sopp’s heroic effort, written in a style reminiscent of a Victorian novel, was given by Sharrad H Gilbert (who also served in the 65th Company, I Y) in the chapter headed “The Defence of the Jail” of his book “Rhodesia – and After”.

“Those in the jail watch the hill eagerly. What will they do? What can they do? They are but sixty strong. But soon it is seen that some attempt is to be made from the hill. A party commence to make their way to the relief across the plain westward of the town. But this is madness. From the jail it can be seen that that side is seamed with dongas bristling with Boers, but evidently unknown to the Australian Captain. If they come that way they will be cut off to a man, but a short mile away, the men who have come to save them are riding to annihilation, all unwitting. And those upon the walls are forced to watch them, hand-tied, helpless. There seems no means. To ride through that zone of fire is suicide— is courting instant death; even was there the man to attempt it. But such a man is found. Trooper William Sopp volunteers to make the attempt, and the offer is accepted. No time is lost. Descending to the yard, Lieut. Munn’s own horse is saddled, with every ounce of useless weight discarded. Then — a cheery word or two, the gate flung wide, and urging his horse with voice and heel, Sopp takes Death by the hand, and makes his dash. For several moments the men above draw their breath, expecting instantly to see the fall of horse and rider. And the Boers themselves seem paralysed by his audacity, for twenty yards is gained before they fire.

But not for long.

Scores of rifles are swiftly emptied on horse and man. For many hundred yards they ride through showers of lead. The fire on the jail perceptibly slackens, for every rifle seems turned on that flying horseman, who moment by moment grows less as the distance widens. He leaves the road and striking across the veldt, shapes a beeline for the Bushmen’s hill. A horse with outstretched head and straining limbs, the rider sitting tight but still, riding to win. A horse and rider, faint seen through rising dust. A little dark patch scudding o’er an ocean of veldt. On, smaller, till a speck crawling up the far rise, and then – “Hurrah! He’s got through,” — broke from the men. And with a better heart, into the baffled Boers they pour their hail of lead, for they know the Bushmen are saved. And shortly from the hill a black speck comes, and reaching the plain, makes townwards. It is a horseman riding easily, for he has not yet been noticed by the Boers. What is it? — men ask. Surely no one man is so mad. Ah! The Boers have seen him and he is riding under fire, for there is now no lagging in his pace. Nearer, till through the glasses he takes shape, and one says with a gasp — “’Tis Sopp coming back!’

Nearer the flying horseman. This is a different task. To ride into the fire of a hundred rifles is not the same as flying from them. “Pour in your fire! Draw their attention! “shouts Lieut. Munn. And the men strive their best. Nearer the horseman. In the still moments ‘tween the firing the beat of the hoofs can be heard. “Keep up the fire into that donga. There’s where the mischief lies “And for the next few seconds the donga becomes a warm corner indeed for its sheltering occupants. 300 yards away, and the horse still on its feet. The crackle of shots is like fresh thorns on a fierce campfire.”

“To the gate!” ‘Tis the last order given. Two hundred yards, —one hundred, and from the road fly little spurts of sand, thick as the first coming of big raindrops on still water. Back fly the gates. There is a sound of splintering glass, as every unbroken pane in the windows of the jail falls shivered by the storm of bullets. And with a clatter and a cheer from the men Trooper Sopp gallops into the yard — without a scratch on horse or man. ‘Trooper’ for that day only. For from that date henceforward he is ‘Corporal’ Sopp — promoted by the Commander- in-Chief for his deed. And, recommended by the Australian Captain, his name appears in ‘orders’.

As mentioned by Gilbert Sopp was promoted to Corporal as additional reward for his gallantry. Sopp was in a group of almost 50 “north-country” soldiers whose DCM’s were presented in April 1902 by Maj Gen Thynne at the Cavalry Barracks in York. His address, as given in a newspaper report was ‘The Stables, Newport Lodge, Melton Mowbray’.

He died from pneumonia in January 1928.
Dr David Biggins
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DCMs for the Boer War 1 year 6 days ago #73189

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DCM VR (2828 Sqdn. Sgt. Major A.E. Hurst 5/Drgn. Gds.);
QSA (5) RoM, Elandsl, DoL, Tvl, SA01 (2828 Sq: S. Major A. Hurst, 5th Dragoon Guards)

Arthur Hurst was in South Africa with his parent unit when the war broke out and saw action at Elandslaagte and during the Defence of Ladysmith. He was one of 3 Sergeants “imported” from the 5th Dragoon Guards by Major B R M Glossop when Adjutant of the 1st Imperial Light Horse and he earned his Relief of Mafeking, Transvaal and SA1901 clasps with his adopted unit. In “The Story of the Imperial Light Horse” by Lt G F Gibson it is related that during the action at Cyferfontein on 5 Jan 1901, when Colonel Woolls-Sampson was trying to get his men to retire from heavy fire, RSM Hurst was seen to ride down the whole Imperial Light Horse line, waving the men away and yelling “Retire! Retire!”

Miraculously neither Colonel Wools-Sampson, Major Briggs, Captain Normand nor RSM Hurst, although remaining mounted were touched, but their chargers were wounded in many places and their saddlery and clothing were pierced by many bullets.

Hurst displayed much coolness under fire that day, but, as the history of the ILH informs us, he reacted a lot more hotly to a visiting member of the Army Service Corps that evening:

Hurst was yarning to the members of his mess, including a visiting Sergeant-Major of the A.S.C., about the day’s experiences; he was particularly sore about the damage to his hat, which had received more than its arithmetical quota of attention from the enemy that morning, no less than three bullets having torn through it and shot it to rags. His miraculous escape from death concerned him less, knowing the workings of the supply side, than the prospect of having to replace the hat at his own expense. Sourly regarding his wrecked headgear, he commented fluently upon the parentage, upbringing and morals of the “New Hat Department.” The Sergeant-Major from the A.S.C., his branch of the Service involved, imprudently intervened: “What would happen if every soldier wanting a new hat merely fired three bullets through his old one and then claimed a new one?” At this interjection (and possible innuendo) Hurst warmed to his work in real earnestness. Expurgated of his Rabelaisian ornamentation and the choicer cuts and thrusts of army lingo and shafts of pious wit (this out of consideration for our more gently nurtured readers) his homily on the scale of values, rank and precedence in the army, but nothing about ‘hats’ ran:- “Look here, my lad (glaring maliciously). You are talking to the R.S.M. of the I.L.H., and a S.M. of the 5th Dragoon Guards, two fighting regiments, FIGHTING regiments. My Colonel, who is a just bloke, would choke me off like Hades if he saw me talking with one of your sort. It would break his precious heart if he heard that I had talked with a Creator Condemned Grocer, and as for arguing – if he knew that I, a cavalry soldier, had condescended to argue with one, do you know what he’d do? Of course, you don’t – pity the ignorant! He’d have me on the peg and reduced to the ranks in a brace of shakes. Now, no more ruddy talk from YOU about my hat.”

Of true fighting spirit, Arthur Hurst was killed in action at Hartebeestfontein. In the London Gazette of 9 July, 1901 (p4561) RSM Hurst with 2 other men (Pte Langham, 4th NZ Rgt and Cpl Moy, 6th Imp Bushmen) are “Brought to notice by General Babington for their conduct in capture of guns and convoy at Vaal Bank on March 23rd and 24th, 1901”. In the “Remarks Column” is stated “Awarded DC medal”. Langham and Moy were definitely mentioned and rewarded for this particular action, also known as Wildfontein. However, SSM Hurst’s name is out of place when coupled to Vaal Bank as he had been killed on 22 March! As the Hartbeesfontein rear-guard action led to General Babington’s success at Vaal Bank it seems that he commented on the 3 days’ combined operations (22 to 24 March) in his despatch to Kitchener. This is borne out by the particulars and dates in the LG mentions by Babington:

22nd and 23rd March 1901: Sixteen Officers are mentioned under the reference “General Babington’s despatch on capture of Boer guns and convoy at Vaal Bank”

24 March 1901: Fifteen men (including Hurst) are mentioned under the reference “General Babington’s despatch, dated 29th March, on capture of Boer guns and convoy at Vaal Bank.”

22 March 1901: Only three men are mentioned under the reference “General Babington’s despatch on action of Imperial Light Horse.”

Based on the above, it is concluded that Hurst’s DCM must have been awarded for the Hartbeesfontein action. It is hoped that Babington’s Despatch(es) will one day be traced to confirm this!
Dr David Biggins
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DCMs for the Boer War 1 year 5 days ago #73197

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DCM VR (Sjt. J.H. Evans Dist. Police);
QSA (2) Natal, Tvl (Sub.-Insptr. J.H. Evans. Natal Police);
1914-15 Star (Capt. J.H.T. Evans. Lan. Fus.);
BWM & AVM (Capt. J.H.T. Evans)

The DCM is one of the few known examples with the naming engraved and not impressed.

Sergeant James Herbert Thomas Evans was promoted to Sub-Inspector and was granted a DCM (LG 26 July 1901, p4950) for the part he played in the defence of the Magistracy. He was not mentioned in a despatch and, in addition, the Submission to the King incorrectly referred to his unit as “District Police”. Judging from entries in the NP Headquarter’s Order Book, Evans continued to serve in Zululand until at least the end of the war. He was awarded the QSA with the clasps ‘Natal’ and ‘Transvaal’, the latter indicating his service in those parts of the Vryheid district that bordered on Zululand.

Evans is one of many Natal Policemen who should have been awarded the KSA.

He retired from the NP in 1904 and evidently returned to Britain. When World War I broke out he attested as a Private in the 12th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers and the next day he was commissioned as Lieutenant, 13th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers. He served at Gallipoli till early August 1915, when he was wounded by a shell fragment (broken fibula) and returned home. After recovery he served in France, where he developed Neurasthenia: this resulted in two periods of hospitalisation in England, although he recovered sufficiently to serve in the trenches for the duration of the war. On completing his service, he stayed with his sister in Sussex where he eventually died after a long and painful illness.
Dr David Biggins
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DCMs for the Boer War 1 year 5 days ago #73220

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DCM EdVII (Pte J.M. Haines, Cape M. R.)
[ QSA ]
[ KSA ]

Haines was Mentioned in the LG of 3 Dec 1901 “For conspicuous gallantry in the capture of Lotter’s Commando near Petersburg, Cape Colony, on 5th September 1901”. The entry also stated that he was accordingly “awarded a DCM, War Office Telegram, No 9599, dated 9th October 1901”.

He served with the Cape Mounted Riflemen for the duration of the war (including Wepener) but unfortunately his QSA and KSA became separated from his DCM.
Dr David Biggins
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