A group of three awarded to Major Hon. St Leger Jervis, King’s Royal Rifle Corps, who was severely wounded at Colenso when acting as A.D.C. to Major-General Arthur Fitzroy ‘No-Bobs’ Hart
QSA (4) CC OFS RoL Tr (Maj: Hon: St Ledger H. Jervis, D.S.O, K.R.R.C.);
KSA (2) (Capt. Hon. St. L. H. Jervis, D.S.O. K.R.R.C.)
Picture courtesy of DNW
DSO London Gazette 19 April, 1901: "’The Honourable Henry St Leger Jervis, Captain, King's Royal Rifle Corps. In recognition of services during the operations in South Africa.’
The Hon. St Leger Henry Jervis was born on 7 September 1863, at Godmersham Park, Canterbury, Kent, fifth son of the 3rd Viscount St Vincent and Lucy, daughter of Baskervyle Glegg, of Withington Hall, Chester. He was commissioned in the King's Royal Rifle Corps on 6 May 1885, and became Captain in 1893. He served in South Africa, 1899-1902, on the Staff, as A.D.C. to Major General Arthur Fitzroy Hart, 5th Infantry Brigade, to 15 December 1899, and 9 July to 17 November 1900; Brigade Major 18 November 1900 to 7 November 1901; D.A.A.G. from 8 November 1901. He was present at the Relief of Ladysmith, including action at Colenso (severely wounded). He was twice mentioned in Despatches, 8 February 1901, and 29 July 1902; received the Queen's Medal with four clasps, the King's Medal with two clasps, and was created a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order. The Insignia were sent to the Commander-in-Chief in South Africa and presented there. He was promoted to Major 21 February 1903; was made D.A.A.G., South Africa, 1901-4; retired from the King's Royal Rifle Corps, 12 October 1904. On the outbreak of the war he became Temporary Lieutenant-Colonel, 3rd Battalion Norfolk Regiment. He married, in 1905, Hilda Maud, daughter of Thomas Collin, and they had two daughters.
His elder brother, the 4th Viscount St Vincent (b. 1850) died of wounds received at the battle of Abu Klea whilst serving with the 16th Lancers. At Colenso his Brigade Commander, Major-General Arthur Fitzroy Hart, was known as “General No-Bobs” because he never ducked when shells passed overhead, and he deliberately exposed himself to rifle fire.
Jubilee 1897, silver;
QSA (1) CC (Capt. & Adjt. M. A. Foster, D.S.O., Som. L.I.), 'D.S.O.' and unit officially corrected;
KSA (2) (Maj. & Adjt. M. A. Foster. D.S.O., Som. L.I.),
DSO London Gazette 27 September 1901: 'In recognition of services during the operations in South Africa.'
Montagu Amos Foster was born on 19 March 1861, the son of William Foster of Wilbury Road, Brighton, Sussex. Gazetted to the Somerset Light Infantry in January 1882, he was promoted Captain in September 1887 and served as an Adjutant in the Militia from May 1899 until February 1904.
More specifically, he served as Adjutant to the 4th (Militia) Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry in the Boer War, in which period he was present in operations in Cape Colony from April 1900 until April 1902, initially serving south of the Orange River (April-November 1900). Garrison duties aside, he would have been employed in mobile columns and it was likely just such work that resulted in the award of his D.S.O. He was also twice mentioned in despatches (London Gazettes 10 September 1901 and 29 July 1902, refer).
A large contingent of officers and men of the 4th Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry returned to the U.K. aboard the S.S. Sicilia in April 1902 and Foster was probably among them. He had, however, previously returned home to receive his D.S.O. from the King at an investiture held on the 29 October 1901.
Foster, who was advanced to Major in April 1902, was placed on the Retired List in March 1909. He married, in 1898, Ida Frances, daughter of Brigadier-General W. G. Thompson, CMG DSO.
Sudan (Lt. R. F. Meiklejohn, 1/R. War. R.);
QSA (2) RoL CC (Capt. R. F. Meiklejohn, D.S.O., Devon. R.)
1914 Star, with clasp (Major R. F. Meiklejohn. D.S.O. R. War. R.);
British War and Victory Medals (Lt. Col. R. F. Meiklejohn.) the British War Medal officially re-impressed;
Russia, Order of St Vladimir, 4th Class, with swords, gold and enamels, 1908-17 kokoshnik mark and maker’s mark to hilts of swords, maker’s mark on suspension ring;
Khedive's Sudan (2) The Atbara, Khartoum (Lieut. R. F. Meiklejohn. The Royal Warwickshire Regt.)
Ronald Forbes Meiklejohn was born at Rawal Pindi, India, on 9 October 1876, son of Captain John F. Meiklejohn, Royal Horse Artillery. He was educated at Rugby, and joined the Royal Warwickshire Regiment on 5 September 1896, becoming Lieutenant on 8 April 1898. He served in the Nile Expedition in 1898, taking part in the battles of the Atbara and Khartoum (Medal and Egyptian Medal with 2 clasps). He served in the South African War 1899-1900, taking part in the Relief of Ladysmith, including the actions of Colenso and Spion Kop, and operations in Cape Colony in 1899. Promoted to Captain in April 1900, he was mentioned in despatches (London Gazette 8 February and 10 September 1901); received the Queen’s Medal with 2 clasps, and was created a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (London Gazette 27 September 1901) ‘in recognition of services during the operations in South Africa.’ The Insignia were presented by the King on 24 October 1902.
Meiklejohn was attached to the Devonshire Regiment at the battles of Colenso and Spion Kop, and is mentioned in a despatch for his gallantry at Colenso, as related in The Bloody Eleventh, by W. J. P. Aggett, Volume 2:
‘... I desire to bring especially to your notice the behaviour of Lieut. Meiklejohn (R. Warwickshire attached) who, together with Captain Radcliffe carried a board from a farmhouse under heavy fire to bring in a wounded man. The man was reached when Capt. Radcliffe was shot down whereupon Lieut. Meiklejohn dragged him and the man into cover and returned to his post...’ According to his obituary it was this act that resulted in the award of the D.S.O. ‘for conspicuous gallantry at the battle of Colenso.’
Captain Meiklejon passed the Staff College and was appointed Staff Captain, Naval Base, Cape Colony District, from June 1904 to May 1906. He was Staff Captain, Coastal Defence, Eastern Command, May 1906 to June 1908; D.A.A. and Q.M.G., Coastal Defence, Scottish Command, April 1910 to April 1914; was promoted Major on 6 April 1914.
Major Meiklejohn went to Flanders with the 1st Warwicks as second-in-command but was wounded on 26 August 1914, just outside the village of Haucourt (battle of Le Cateau) by a shrapnel bullet, which passed through the front of his foot, breaking three bones. He was taken to the village church, which was full of wounded, but, unknown to these men, our troops evacuated the village during the night, and soon after dawn the Germans occupied it. Meiklejohn was captured along with the other wounded, and was sent by train to Germany, arriving at Brunswick on 6 September. His subsequent travails at the hands of the Germans until his eventual internment in Switzerland in May 1916 are told in his own words in his highly detailed debriefing account given at Rossinieres on 19 September 1916 (copy sold with Lot, 10 pp).
Repatriated after the war, Meiklejohn was employed under the Admiralty, 5 April 1918 to 20 January 1919. He was appointed as G.S.O. 2nd Grade, with the Northern Russia Expeditionary Force from 21 January 1919 (St Anne, 2nd Class with swords, and St Vladimir, 3rd Class with swords - both awards confirmed in War Office list, 16 July 1921). After being attached to the Finnish Military Mission in 1921, he was employed for the next six years in the Foreign Service in the Baltic States as an intelligence officer. He died at Cley, Norfolk, on 4 November 1949.
Meklejohn’s diaries from the Sudan Campaign and from the Boer War are held by the National Army Museum Templer Study Centre, Chelsea (Meiklejohn Papers, Ref. 7404/36). See also ‘Our Man in Reval’ by C. G. McKay, Intelligence and National Security, Vol. 9 (1994), No. 1, pp. 88-111. Utilising materials from the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the author of this piece examines Meiklejohn’s supply of information to London and Stockholm in 1921 regarding events in Soviet Russia and regarding the alleged Bolshevik subversion and intrigue directed against British imperial interests.
East and West Africa, 1887 (1) Sierra Leone 1898-99 (Capt. W. C. N. Hastings. Manch: R.);
QSA (3) CC Tr Witt (Lieut: W. C. N. Hastings, Manch: Regt);
KSA (2) (Lt. W. C. N. Hastings. Manc. Rgt.);
1914 Star (Capt: W. C. N. Hastings. D.S.O., Manch: R.);
BWM & VM (Lt. Col. W. C. N. Hastings.);
DSO LG 31 October 1902 - ‘In recognition of services during the operations in South Africa.’
MID LG 29 July 1902
LIEUTENANT-COLONEL WILFRED CHARLES NORRINGTON HASTINGS (1873-1825) was born 24 December 1873 at Devonport, Devon, the son of the Reverend Francis Henry Hastings, retired Captain, R.N. After receiving his education at Trinity College School, Stratford-upon-Avon, he initially joined the South Wales Borderers in 1892, before being seconded from the 4th Bn S.W.B. to the Sierra Leone Frontier Police as Captain in February 1898. During this time he took part in the Karene War of 1898-99 in Sierra Leone, in which campaign British forces defeated an uprising led by the local leader and Chief Bai Bureh and his supporters, who aimed to resist the Governor’s new ‘Hut Tax’. Captain Hastings was slightly wounded during this campaign, and the next year was transferred as Second Lieutenant to the Manchester Regiment – being awarded his East and West Africa Medal with clasp (this believed to be unique to the Manchester Regiment).
He then served with the 2nd Battalion Manchester Regiment during the Boer War, being promoted to Lieutenant (1 December 1899) and then to Captain (25 December 1901). He was present at the actions of Biddulphsberg and Wittebergen in Cape Colony, and was rewarded with a mention in despatches and the award of a D.S.O. (one of just 7 to the 2nd Battalion). He was soon after employed with the West African Frontier Force, 28 March 1903 to 3 August 1909, and served with the 1st Battalion Northern Nigerian Regiment 1903; taking part in the punitive Munshi Expedition of 1906 while commanding Gambia Company. He also reputedly took part in the Delhi Durbar celebrations at Kamthi, despite not receiving a medal.
He initially served on the Staff of the Manchester Regiment as Assistant Provost Marshall in the first year of the Great War in France during 1914, but then returned again to Africa to become Temporary Lieutenant Colonel 17 April 1915 in command of the Sierra Leone Battalion, West African Frontier Force. In this role as Commanding Officer (only the second in its history) he took part in the Cameroon Campaign, 1915-16. Serving post-war with the West African Regiment, he was placed on half-pay owing to ill health on 1 November 1922, retiring the following year. His chief pastimes were shooting, fishing and boxing (“The V.C. and D.S.O.” Creagh & Humphris, refers), and he died on 19 January 1925 at Osborne, Isle of Wight, and was buried at Whippingham.