Boer War DSOs 1 year 1 month ago #66318
There were 20 awarded to Canadians in Canadian units, and 7 to Canadians attached to Imperial units.....
Military Historical Society
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Boer War DSOs 1 year 2 weeks ago #66689
Picture courtesy of DNW
Queen’s Sudan (Capt. A. J. King. Cam. Cps. E.A.);
QSA (5) Relief of Mafeking, Defence of Ladysmith, Transvaal, Wittebergen, South Africa 1901 (Major. A. J. King. R. Lanc: Rgt.) top lugs neatly removed;
1914 Star (Lt: Col: A. J. King. D.S.O.);
British War and Victory Medals, M.I.D. Oak Leaves (Lt. Col. A. J. King.);
Turkey, Order of Medjidie, 4th Class breast badge, silver, gold and enamel;
Khedive’s Sudan (5) Firket, Hafir, Sudan 1897, The Atbara, Khartoum (Capt. King [sic] King’s Own.)
Provenance: Dix Noonan Webb, September 2010.
CMG London Gazette 1 January 1918.
DSO London Gazette 19 April 1901.
MID (9) London Gazette 3 November 1896; 24 May 1898; 3 September 1898; 2 December 1899; 23 March 1900; 8 February 1901; 21 June 1916; 25 September 1916; 21 January 1918.
Alexander James King was born on 15 July 1863, the only son of the Rev. Edward King, B.A., F.R.H.S., F.S.A. Scot. He was educated at Radley College and entered the British Army from the Militia on 12 November 1884, joining the King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment. His first overseas posting was to India, December 1888-May 1892, after which he returned to England, being promoted to Captain in July 1892.
His first taste of active service was with the Camel Corps of the Egyptian Army, which service he joined in October 1894, holding the local rank of Bimbashi. During his 4 years service with the Camel Corps, he participated in all of the major actions during the reconquest of the Sudan 1896-98, including the Dongola Expedition and the battles of Firket and Hafir (Despatches); the Nile Expedition of 1897 (Despatches); Omdurman Expedition including service with the flying column and cavalry reconnaissance 21 March 1898, and at the battles of Atbara and Omdurman (Despatches). In addition to his three mentions in despatches, Alexander King was awarded the 4th class Order of the Medijide, and given the brevet of Major (London Gazette 16 November 1898) in respect of his services in the Sudan.
Brevet Major King served in the United Kingdom from October 1898 to May 1899. On the 19th January 1899 a dinner was held in honour of Major-General Archibald Hunter, in recognition of his services in the Sudan, by the Officers of the 2nd Battalion (The Royal Lancaster Regiment) at Whittington Barracks, Lichfield, where the Regiment was then stationed.
‘The Mess was brilliantly illuminated and decorated with Egyptian Colours and the Menu cards on the table were held by miniature Dervishes. Brevet Major A. J. King who had recently returned from the Sudan lent a large number of Dervish Dresses, Lances, Spears, Shields and Drums which he had brought home with him.’
He was then posted to India again, where he remained until October 1899. During this time he was appointed ADC to Sir Archibald Hunter, KCB, DSO, With Hunter he was then posted to South Africa where Hunter was appointed Lieutenant-General White’s Chief of Staff at the siege of Ladysmith.
Following the lifting of the siege of Ladysmith, King was posted as DAAG, March-April 1900. He then rejoined Hunter in operations leading to the relief of Mafeking, being appointed 'Commandant' with the local rank of 'Lieutenant-Colonel' and placed in command of the Kimberley Mounted Corps in the Mafeking Relief Force, 27 April-7 June 1900. As Commandant of the Kimberly Mounted Corps, Major King rode 250 miles and fought in two actions en-route with the Mafeking Relief Column.
Between 1899-1901, Brevet-Major King participated in the following battles and actions in South Africa; engagement at Rietfontein and Lombard Kop, (horse shot under him); defence of Ladysmith including; the cavalry action, 3 November 1899; night sortie on Gun Hill, 8 November 1899 (Despatches); attack on Wagon Hill and Caesars Camp, 6 January 1900; relief of Mafeking (flying column), and action at Koodos Rand (Despatches). Operations in Transvaal and Orange River Colony including; Reteifs Nek, Wittebergen (Prinsloo’s Surrender); Ventersburg (horse shot under him and Despatches).
Brevet-Major King returned to the United Kingdom in May 1901, as ADC to Lieutenant-General Sir Archibald Hunter who was then General Officer Commanding Scotland District. Major King was decorated with the DSO by Edward VII at St, James’s Place on 3 June 1901, and later from the same royal hands he received his Queens South Africa Medal with five clasps at a presentation held at Horse Guards Parade on 12 June 1901.
In June 1903, Brevet-Major King took up the appointment as Assistant Commandant Mounted Infantry, 2nd Army Corps. Promoted Major in January 1904, he retired from the British Army in 1906 (appointed to the Reserve of Officers), on inheriting the family estate at Kinellar, Aberdeenshire. He continued however to take an interest in military matters being appointed an Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel in the Fife and Forfar Yeomanry in August 1907.
During the Great War, Lieutenant-Colonel King served in several theatres of war with the Remounts Service, including France/Flanders, 1 November 1914-15 September 1915, where he was in command of the remount depot at Rouen, Egypt and Palestine, 16 September 1915-5 September 1918. Additionally he held the appointment of Commandant Remount Depot, Abassia, and at some time while serving with the Egyptian Expeditionary Force saw service in Cyprus, where he had been recognised as an authority on horse-breeding - having himself been an expert horseman since early in his life. For his wartime services he was three times mentioned in despatches and awarded the CMG.
Lieutenant-Colonel King, CMG, DSO, JP, DL, died on the family estate at Tertowie House, Kinellar Estate, Aberdeenshire, Scotland on 12 July 1943.
Dr David Biggins
Boer War DSOs 9 months 2 weeks ago #67927
Dr David Biggins
Boer War DSOs 7 months 3 weeks ago #68484
Picture courtesy of DNW
QSA (6) Cape Colony, Tugela Heights, Orange Free State, Relief of Ladysmith, Transvaal, Laing’s Nek (Capt. W. J. Venour. D.S.O., R. Dub: Fus:) top lugs neatly removed to facilitate mounting;
AGS 1902 (2) Aro 1901-1902, S. Nigeria 1902 (Major W. J. Venour. D.S.O. R. Dub: Fus:);
Khedive’s Sudan 1896-1908, 1 clasp, Sudan 1899, unnamed as issued
DSO London Gazette 27 September 1901: ‘In recognition of services during the operations in South Africa’
MID London Gazette 8 February 1901 (South Africa); 10 September 1901 (South Africa); 12 September 1902 (Aro Expedition)
Wilfred John Venour was born on 2 May 1870, son of Lieutenant-General E. Venour, Indian Staff Corps, late Commandant of the 5th Bengal Native Infantry and severely wounded during the Indian Mutiny (whose medals were sold in these rooms as part of the Brian Ritchie Collection in June 2005). He was educated at Weymouth College and commissioned Second Lieutenant in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers on 29 October 1890, being promoted to the rank of Lieutenant, 16 December 1893; and Captain, 9 October 1899.
He was employed with the Egyptian Army from 28 December 1898 to 13 October 1899, seeing active service with the Nile Expedition, and in South Africa during the Boer War, 1899-1900. Joining the 2nd Battalion, Royal Dublin Fusiliers on 30 January 1900, he was present at the Relief of Ladysmith, including operations of 5-7 February 1900, and action at Vallkrantz; operations on Tugela Heights (14-27 February 1900) and action at Pieter’s Hill; operations in the Transvaal in June 1900; operations in Natal, March to June 1900, including action at Laing’s Nek (6 to 9 June 1900); operations in Orange River Colony, June 1900. (Queen’s medal with six clasps, twice mentioned in despatches and D.S.O.)
At Pieter’s Hill on 27 February 1900, Venour’s gallant conduct in leading three companies of the 2nd Battalion, Royal Dublin Fusiliers in an assault on a kopje is noted by Majors C. F. Romer & A. F. Mainwaring in The Second Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers in the South African War:
‘The greater part of Pieter’s Hill fell into our hands, but the Boers still held a kopje to the north of the hill, and maintained a heavy fire. General Barton, anxious to complete his victory, directed three companies of the battalion and one company of the Scots Fusiliers to advance against the kopje. ‘B’, ‘C’, and ‘H’ were the three companies selected ... the detachment advanced about 2.30pm and came at once under a heavy rifle and pompom fire. The companies pushed forward , however, by successive rushes until they reached a donga some three hundred yards from the kopje. Here further progress was checked for a time, and General Barton ordered forward three companies of the Royal Irish Hussars. The latter came up at about 5.30pm and supported by the covering fire of ‘B’, ‘C’ and ‘H’ companies, rushed the left of the hill, when the above-mentioned companies of the battalion, led by Captain Venour, assaulted the right. The attack was successful. During the advance Lieutenants Haskard and Bradford, in command of ‘C’ and ‘H’ companies, were wounded, and the engagement cost the regiment nine killed and forty-three wounded.
The three companies which had made their attack on the kopje spent the night on the captured position. Captain Venour, who was the senior officer present, re-formed the men of the Irish and Dublin Fusiliers, and constructed sangars, with a view of warding off a Boer counter-attack.’
Just two days later, on 1 March 1900, with the Boers now in retreat and the path to Ladysmith open, Captain Venour and Major F. P. English also of the 2nd Royal Dublin Fusiliers entered Ladysmith, fully two days ahead of Redvers army:
‘After breakfast on March 1st, the 11th Brigade advanced along the railway towards Ladysmith. It was thought that the Boers would be holding Bulwana, and the brigade had orders to attack the hill. But it was soon learnt that the enemy had retired, and we eventually reached Nelthorpe Station about midday and bivouacked. Major English and Captain Venour took the opportunity of riding into Ladysmith.’ (Ibid)
Having taken part in all the severe fighting among the Tugela Heights, and particularly distinguishing themselves in the fierce engagement at Hart’s Hill on 23 February, the 2nd Battalion, Royal Dublin Fusiliers, nine hundred strong when they had disembarked in South Africa and now roughly half that number, received a measure of recognition:
‘On the 3rd, Sir Redvers Buller’s army entered Ladysmith, and the honour of leading the army fell to the 2nd Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers - an honour nobody begrudged them, on account of the constant fighting they had taken part in since the beginning of the war, and the heavy casualties they had suffered. The route was by the railway bridge, and the streets of the little town were lined by the garrison, who, emaciated but clean, presented a startling contrast to the war-stained relievers.
The entry into Ladysmith, with its enthusiasm and meeting of old friends, formed a fitting end to the battalion’s Natal campaign. Hardly any other unit in the army had suffered such casualties. Only five company officers marched through Ladysmith with it. The others had been killed, wounded or disabled.’ (Ibid)
In June 1900, while serving during operations in Orange River Colony, Venour was admitted to hospital and eventually invalided home.
He was employed by the West African Frontier Force from 1 May 1901 to 15 May 1904, serving in 1901-02 in Southern Nigeria, with the Aro Expedition, in command of a column; was slightly wounded and mentioned in despatches (clasp). A report on the operations of the Aro Field Force is given in the despatch of Commissioner R. Moor, published in the London Gazette of 12 September 1902, starting with with its goals:
‘The objects of the expedition were:
a) To abolish the slave trade which was actively carried on throughout the entire territories belonging to, and dominated by the Aro tribe.
b) To abolish the fetish of the Aros known as “Long Juju,” which, by superstition and fraud caused many evils amongst the Ibo tribes generally, and to all the outlying tribes of the entire protectorate, who continually appealed to it. While this Juju existed it was impossible to establish effective government in the territories.
c) To open up the whole of the Ibo country lying between the Cross River and the Niger to civilisation and trade of collecting the natural products of their country and developing it to the best advantage.
d) To introduce a currency in lieu of slaves, brass rods, and other forms of native currency that existed in the territories, and which from their nature and cumbersomenes were opposed to advance in any direction.
e) Finally, to establish throughout the territories a labour market to take the place of slavery.
A few days before the operations commenced a most deplorable massacre of some 400 men, women and children, mostly women and children, was carried out in the hinterland of the Opobo district, at a town called Obegu. The Aros had long threatened to attack the tribes friendly to the government, and though the people of Obegu had been warned to keep careful watch, they were unfortunately caught napping by a conglomerate force of the various sections of the Aro tribe, together with other Ibos unfriendly to them, and their town was destroyed with the slaughter of the people above mentioned. This gave another object and duty to the Field Force, viz., that of capturing and bringing to justice the natives responsible for this bloodthirsty massacre, in the carrying out of which one section of the Aro tribe alone, the Abams, who were great head hunters, are reported to have obtained 200 heads...’
And later continuing:
‘I am able to state with certainty that the objects of the expedition detailed in paragraph 2 of this despatch have been effectively carried out in so far as could be done by military operations. The slave trade has been abolished, the evil fetish of the Aro tribe has been broken, the entire colony has been opened up, and the natives are already beginning to engage in legitimate trade in place of the traffic in human beings, and a currency of British coinage has been introduced which the natives are now gladly accepting in lieu of slaves, brass rods, manillas etc.’
An enclosure within the same despatch, given by Lieutenant-Colonel A. F. Montanaro, providing more of the military particulars of the expedition, brings to notice Captain Vernour:
‘The country becoming now fairly open, the enemy was slowly driven back on his final position. Here he made a determined stand, and our fire appeared to make no impression, Major Heneker decided to outflank him simultaneously on both flanks. This movement was carried out by Captain Venour, D.S.O., who, working his men round through the scrub thereby exposed a long line of deep trenches to enfilade fire. The ‘Cease Fire’ was then sounded and the whole line advancing, charged into the trenches and turned the enemy out at the point of the bayonet...
Captain W. J. Vernour, D.S.O., Royal Dublin Fusiliers. A hard working, reliable officer. He commanded the Advance Guard at the taking of Aro-Chuku, when he handled his men with such skill that that I selected him to command a column which did very good work.’
He received the Brevet of Major on 17 April 1902, and served later the same year in command of operations in the Nsit Country (clasp).
Completing his tour in Southern Nigeria, he served at the Regimental Depot, Naas, Ireland from 31 December 1904 and as Adjutant, Militia and Adjutant, Special Reserve from 13 January 1906, becoming Major on 17 August 1908 and was with the 1st Battalion, Royal Dublin Fusiliers in the Madras Presidency from 9 February 1913, in command of detachments.
He died on 6 April 1914. Sadly, too, his older brother, Lieutenant-Colonel W. E. Venour, 58th Vaughan’s Rifles, was killed in action at Givenchy-les-Labasse in October 1914, shot by Germans dressed in Gurkha uniforms taken from the dead.
Dr David Biggins
Boer War DSOs 7 months 2 weeks ago #68539
Picture courtesy of DNW
DSO VR with Second Award Bar;
QSA (6) Relief of Kimberley, Paardeberg, Driefontein, Johannesburg, Diamond Hill, Wittebergen (Lieut. T. E. P. Wickham, D.S.O., R.H.A.);
KSA (2) (Lieut. T. E. P. Wickham. D.S.O. R.H.A.);
1914 Star, with copy clasp (Capt. T. E. P. Wickham, D.S.O. R.F.A.);
British War and Victory Medals, with M.I.D. oak leaves (Lt. Col. T. E. P. Wickham)
Provenance: Christie’s, April 1992.
DSO London Gazette 27 September 1901:
‘In recognition of services during operations in South Africa.’
DSO Second Award Bar London Gazette 1 January 1918.
Thomas Edmund Palmer Wickham was born in 1879, the eldest son of R. W. Wickham, Esq., of Ebley Court, Stroud, and was educated at Marlborough College. He was commissioned Second Lieutenant in the Royal Horse Artillery on 23 June 1898, and served with the Artillery in South Africa during the Boer War from 1900-1902, being present at the Relief of Kimberley and operations in the Orange Free State, February to May 1900, including the operations at Paardeberg (18-26 February), and the actions at Poplar Grove, Driefontein (where he was wounded on 10 March 1900), Vet River, and Zand River. Promoted Lieutenant on 16 February 1901, for his services in South Africa he was Mentioned in Despatches (London Gazette 10 September 1901), and created a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order: the Insignia, Warrant and Statutes for the D.S.O. were sent to the Commander-in-Chief in India, and presented to the recipient at Meerut by the General Officer Commanding, Bengal, on 1 March 1903.
Advanced Major on 30 October 1914, Wickham served during the Great War on the Western Front from 10 November to 17 December 1914; from 17 January to 12 March 1915 (having been wounded on 11 March of that year); and again from 10 April 1916 to 14 November 1917. He commanded 14th Brigade Royal Horse Artillery on the Western Front from 1 December 1916, before proceeding to the Italian Front, serving there from 15 November 1917 to 23 March 1918. Promoted Lieutenant-Colonel on 2 October 1918, for his services during the Great War he was four times Mentioned in Despatches (London Gazettes 23 June 1915, 4 January 1917, 18 May 1917, and 14 December 1917), and was awarded a Second Award Bar to his Distinguished Service Order: he was invested with his Bar by H.M. the King at Buckingham Palace on 29 June 1918. Wickham relinquished his commission on 7 November 1925, and died suddenly at home in Sussex in July 1927.
Sold with copied research.
Note: During the Great War only 35 officers (including four in the Royal Artillery) received a Second Award Bar to a pre-War DSO.
Dr David Biggins
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