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Boer War DSOs 1 month 1 week ago #72396

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Pictures courtesy of DNW

DSO VR., silver-gilt and enamel, with integral top ribbon bar;
IGS 1895 (1) Punjab Frontier 1897-98 (Captn. K. McLaren. 13th Hussars.);
QSA (3) Rhodesia, Relief of Mafeking, Transvaal (Maj: K. McLaren. 13/Hussars;
1914 Star, with clasp (Major K. McLaren. DSO 13/Hrs.);
BWM and VM (Major K. McLaren.)

DSO LG 27 September 1901. The insignia were presented by the King on 29 October 1901.

MID LG 11 January 1898 (North West Frontier, Mohmand) and 19 October 1901 (South Africa).

Kenneth McLaren was born on 18 October 1860. He was educated at Harrow, thereafter passing through Sandhurst to join the 13th Hussars on 11 August 1880. He was promoted to Lieutenant on 1 July 1881, was Adjutant of the 13th Hussars from 19 May to 31 August, 1886, and was promoted to Captain on 3 August 1887. McLaren first met Baden-Powell when both were serving with the 13th Hussars in Afghanistan in 1881. Struck by McLaren’s youthful appearance, Baden-Powell thereafter called him ‘the boy McLaren’. Whilst sharing various postings around India they struck up a close friendship and when the 13th returned home in 1886, Baden-Powell travelled to Argyllshire in Scotland with McLaren on leave.

McLaren served on the North West Frontier of India, as Orderly Officer to Major-General Sir E. R. Elles, KCB, Commanding the Mohmand Field Force, was mentioned in despatches, and received the medal with clasp). He served in the South African war on ‘Special Service’ with the Rhodesian Protectorate Regiment, whose job it was to try to relieve Mafeking from the North, in the relief column under Lieutenant-Colonel Plumer. This force of approximately 1500 men had been operating on the borders of the Western Transvaal since the commencement of hostilities, and by 31st March 1900, was within 6 miles of Mafeking. It was, however, numerically inferior to the Boer Commandos besieging Mafeking and it was forced back with quite severe casualties, including Captain McLaren severely wounded and taken prisoner. Subsequently released, it seems that his wounds put paid to any further service in South Africa. He was promoted to Major on 1 July 1901, mentioned in despatches, received the Queen’s medal with three clasps, and was created a companion of the Distinguished Service Order. Major McLaren retired on 8 November 1905.

McLaren married firstly Leila Evelyn Landon (died 1904), in 1898, and had a daughter to whom Baden-Powell stood as godfather. After returning from South Africa, McLaren worked for Baden-Powell as his London-based recruitment officer for the South African Constabulary. After the death of his wife in 1904, aged 29, it was Baden-Powell who stepped up to support him, and when Baden-Powell planned his great experimental camp on Brownsea Island in 1907, he invited his life-long friend ‘The Boy’ McLaren to help him with the venture. The camp was planned for nine days starting on 1 August 1907, but both Baden-Powell and McLaren were on Brownsea for some time before that, preparing for the boys arrival. In December of that year McLaren became the first Secretary of the Boy Scouts but his appointment lasted only three months as he was unable to get on with Baden-Powell’s publisher and backer at the time, Sir Arthur Pearson. His relationship with Baden-Powell at this time became distanced. McLaren had been developing a relationship with his late wife’s former nurse, Ethel Mary Wilson, who he eventually married in 1910. Baden-Powell, who did not approve, did not attend the wedding and when he, himself, married Olave Soames in 1912, McLaren was not invited.

In 1914 McLaren volunteered for a staff appointment in France (1914 Star - clasp not confirmed on Medal Index Card). Major McLaren died on 20 September 1924, and is buried beside his mother at the family home Dunmar, Tighnabruaich, Argyllshire.

Dr David Biggins
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Boer War DSOs 1 month 5 days ago #72509

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Picture courtesy of Dominic Winter Auctioneers

DSO VR
QSA (4) Cape Colony, Johannesburg, Diamond Hill, Witterbergen (Lieut: C. Wilson. D.S.O. I.Y.)
KSA (2) (Lt. C.H.A. Wilson. D.S.O. Damants Hrs.)

Presented in a sloping mahogany and glass display case with Holderness Hunt buttons applied to the red cloth lining which is presumably made from his red hunting tunic

DSO London Gazette 27 September 1901: 'In recognition of services during the operations in South Africa'

MID London Gazette 10 September 1901 and 25 April 1902

Lieutenant Clive Henry Adolphus Wilson was born in 1876, he served in the Boer War with the Imperial Yeomanry and Damant's Horse from 1900-02 where he was severely wounded. He was twice mentioned in despatches and retired from the East Riding of Yorkshire Yeomanry on 6 December 1902 and given the honorary rank of Captain.

Wilson was a Director of Thomas Wilson and Company, Hull and the United Shipping Company, London and the Smithson and Company, Hull. He was also Master of the Holderness Hounds.
Dr David Biggins
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Boer War DSOs 3 weeks 2 days ago #72672

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The DSO group to Captain M. A. Hilliard, New South Wales Mounted Infantry, sold this morning for a hammer price of £4,800. Totals (inc VAT on the commission for the UK only): £6,182. R122,000. Au$10,800. Can$10,200. US$7,900
Dr David Biggins

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Boer War DSOs 3 weeks 2 days ago #72673

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The group to Major Kenneth McLaren, 13th Hussars, sold for a hammer price of £10,000. Totals (inc VAT on the commission for the UK only): £12,880. R254,200. Au$22,400. Can$21,300. US$16,400.
Dr David Biggins

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Boer War DSOs 2 weeks 3 days ago #72900

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From the next City Coins auction, November 2020


Picture courtesy of City Coins

On 24 Dec 1899 Dordrecht, which had been in Cape Rebel hands for some time, was occupied by a British force under Col Dalgety.“But on the 29th Gatacre came to the conclusion that Dordrecht, forty miles from Sterkstroom, was too far out to be permanently tenable, and ordered Dalgety to draw in to Bird’s Siding, seventeen miles nearer and within supporting distance from Penhoek. Before retreating, however, Montmorency with the Dordrecht force successfully engaged some 500 Boers with a gun at Labuschagne’s Nek, north of Dordrecht, on the 30th, renewing the fight before daybreak next morning in order to rescue a party of 35 men who had been left behind in a donga” (Times History, Vol III, p119/120).

This note about the action is in contrast with the detailed descriptions in Cassell’s History of the Boer War (Vol 1, p 531-7) and in “With Seven Generals in the Boer War” by Major A W A Pollock (p99-107) of the gallant conduct of Lt Milford (FMR) and his party who retreated with the severely wounded Lt Warren (CMP) and refused to leave him although under attack.

Pollock stated, “The defence of their post in the donga by Milford and his thirty-five men against some 800 Boers with two guns was a fine performance, and contrasts somewhat sharply with many cases in which parties that had been “cut off’ have surrendered without much ado.”

DSO VR, complete with top riband bar;
QSA (1) CC (Lieut A Milford, D.S.O. Frontier M.R.)

Engraved naming and slight enamel damage on DSO.

Alfred Milford served as a Trooper in the Frontier Mounted Rifles in the early 1890’s and was commissioned as Second Lieutenant on 12 June 1894. In a Divisional After Order (2 January 1900), the General Officer Commanding 3rd Division placed on record his appreciation of the conduct of the party of 2 Cape Mounted Rifles, 22 Frontier Mounted Rifles and 13 Cape Mounted Police under Lt Milford. The Order concludes with: “Lieut.General Gatacre congratulates Lieutenant Milford, F.M.R. and his party on the courage displayed and the work done.”

Milford was Mentioned in Despatches in the London Gazette of 16 April 1901 and created a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order in the London Gazette of 19 April, 1901.
Dr David Biggins
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Boer War DSOs 2 weeks 7 hours ago #73032

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Picture courtesy of City Coins

DSO VR complete with top riband bar;
QSA (5) Paard, Drief, Jhburg, D Hill, Witt (Lieut. A.S. Way, Dur. L.I.)

Lieutenant Arthur Strachan Way was recommended by Brig-Gen Broadwood “for conspicuous gallantry at Sanna’s Post in assisting to withdraw the guns of ‘Q’ Battery, R.H.A., under heavy fire” (LG 7 February 1901, p890).

When Broadwood’s order came for the guns to be withdrawn, Major Hornby, Captain Humphreys and ten men of the battery alone remained on their feet. The fire from Korn Spruit was constantly increasing in vigour, and the guns were seventy yards from even the slight cover afforded by the station buildings. The Hornby and Humphreys set themselves to bring back the guns. Eight gunners responded and ran back two pieces forty yards. There these brave men lay down exhausted.

Hornby went to the mounted infantry escort and called for volunteers. Lieutenants Stirling, Way, Ainsworth, Grover and Ashburner of the Burma M.I., Captain Maxwell of Robert’s Horse, and about four or five men at once responded. These men gallantly faced the withering fire, and, with two gunners, ran back the first two guns to the shelter of the railway embankment; three yet remained and all the limber. As the men came out towards them, the storm of bullets was so violent that they pressed their helmets down on their heads and bent forward as if they were meeting a heavy wind; the horses that were brought out fared even worse than the men, for its burden. Yet, the men who did the work showed the coolness of a parade. Humphreys, for example, had his stick knocked out of his hand by a bullet; he quietly stooped down, picked it up, and walked on. Hornby was asked to take cover by Broadwood’s aide-de-camp, and replied, ‘Perhaps it would be as well, but I have been there for some hours now.’

At last, after many failures, guns and limbers were brought in. One gun and limber had to be left in the open for horses to bring them away, and finally five guns, including the one remaining of ‘U’, one wagon and one wagon limber were saved. As the mutilated remains of the two batteries of horse artillery trotted to the rear through the line of prone mounted infantrymen, though it was to court death to show a hand, the men, in a spontaneous outburst of admiration, rose to their feet and cheered the gallant survivors.

Lieutenant Way was appointed to the DSO in the LG of 27 September 1901 (p6318), having been mentioned in despatches by Roberts (LG 10 September 1901, p5953).

He had earlier been killed in action in a skirmish with De Wet at Tabaksberg, between Winburg and Brandfort, on 29 January 1901.
Dr David Biggins
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