“The British entered Heidelberg on the morning of the 23rd (1900), the cavalry from the north and the infantry from the east. The cavalry continued beyond the town to pursue the retreating Boers. Kpl John Spruit had anticipated this by setting an ambush, which included his pom pom gun. Unknowingly Capt F.S. Whitaker led a detachment of Roberts’ Horse directly towards Spruit’s position. Spruit fired into the approaching horsemen at point-blank range. The three officers leading the detachment were severely wounded.
Captain Whitaker was to die of his wounds the next day. The Boer Corporal kept the troopers pinned down until British reinforcements arrived, then removed his gun and watched them head south for Villiers”.
Ian Uys “Heidelbergers of the Boer War”, p57.
QSA (6) RoK, Paard, Drief, Jhburg, D Hill, Witt (Capt. E.R. King, Roberts Horse);
KSA (2) (Capt. E.R. King, D.S.O, S.A.C.)
“In the next advance from Bloemfontein to Pretoria, the regiment was in the 5th Mounted Infantry Corps under Lieut.-Colonel Dawson, along with the 5th Mounted Infantry Regulars and Marshall’s Horse. Frequently during the advance Roberts’ Horse was heavily engaged and suffered sharp losses. The regiment had sharp fighting near Heidelberg on the north side of the Vaal on 23rd June. The day was a disastrous one for the officers of the corps. Captain Whitaker was mortally wounded, Captain M. Browne and Lieutenants C.L. Learmonth and Rix King were wounded, while there were about 20 casualties in other ranks.” The Colonials in South Africa, Roberts Horse, p165.
Edward Rex King was born on 13 November 1869. He was the son of Capt. William King, J.P. and was educated at Winchester. He was gazetted to the 3rd Battn. Royal Scots (1887-1891).
He went to America, engaged in business and returned to England in 1898. After the outbreak of the Boer War he re-entered military service and sailed for South Africa on 1 January 1900, where he enlisted in Roberts Horse. He was given a commission on 2 February 1900 and promoted to Captain on 24 June 1900. He served in Roberts Horse from 23 January 1900 to 3 April 1901 and was slightly wounded in the 23 June incident at Heidelberg.
He was mentioned in Roberts’ despatch, published in the London Gazette of 16 April 1901, p2611, and was created a Companion of the Distinguished Order (London Gazette, 19 April 1901): “Edward Rex King, Capt., Roberts Horse. In recognition of services during the recent operations in South Africa.”
On 3 April 1901 he was appointed to the South African Constabulary for a 3 year period with the rank of Captain. On 3 April 1904 his service was extended for a further 2 years until 2 April 1906 thereafter being extended indefinitely. He served in C Division (headquartered in Heidelberg) from 27 April 1901 to 6 October 1903, as Assistant Chief Secretary for Permits, Transvaal, and thereafter as ADC to the Lieut. Governor, Transvaal. He subsequently transferred to HQ division as O/C F Mobile unit and served until 6 December 1905. He then reverted to being ADC to the Lieut.-Governor, Transvaal.
He died at the age of 37 on 21 June 1906 at the S.A.C. hospital in Potchefstroom. He was not married: his estate of £64 was left equally to his father and to his brother William Henry King.
DSO VR, complete with top riband bar and 2nd award clasp;
QSA (5) CC, OFS, Jhburg, D Hill, Belf (Capt. E. Paterson, D.S.O., 6/Drgns);
1914-15 Star (Major E. Paterson. D.S.O. 6/Dns.);
BWM & AVM (Brig. Gen. E. Paterson.);
Coronation Medal 1902 (silver), unnamed as issued;
Order of the Crown of Romania, Commander: Neck Badge
O’Moore, Creagh and Humphris in “The Distinguished Service Order 1886-1923” devote almost a full page to Ewing Paterson, and they quote from the Yardley book:
In the fight at Tevreden, near Lake Chrissie, “Lieutenant Paterson behaved with great dash, being slightly wounded as he galloped, unfortunately unarmed, alongside Commandant Smuts himself”. After describing the gallantry of the Inniskillings, and the heroic death of Lieutenant Swanston, Colonel Yardley states: “Lieutenant Swanston and our other dead were buried at sunset at the foot of the Tevreden Hills, close by which I lay wounded, with Lieutenants Paterson and Harris. The sadness of it I shall never forget, with no feeling of victory to cheer the heart — only regret”. And later: “Lieutenant Paterson, shot through the thigh at Tevreden, pluckily returned to duty; but this inflamed his wound, and he was invalided home in consequence”.
Paterson was mentioned in despatches (LG 10 Sept. 1901, p5929) and was created a Companion of the Distin¬guished Service Order in the LG of 27 Sept. 1901, p 6304). The Insignia were presented by the King on 29 Oct. 1901. During WWI he commanded the Inniskilling Dragoons in France (1915-18) and the 6th Cavalry Brigade from 2 Sept. 1918 to the end of the War, being mentioned in despatches five times. In addition, he was awarded a Bar to the DSO (Supplement to the LG of 22 June 1918, p7394).
“For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. Owing to the neighbouring troops being driven back, his flank became exposed and a gap was made in the line. Though he had very few men, he at once extended his flank and maintained a most gallant and determined resistance for an hour against largely superior numbers, closing the gap at a most critical moment until other troops were able to advance and restore the line. His tactical handling of the brigade during successive withdrawals, often with one or both flanks exposed, was magnificent.”
Ewing Paterson was the second son of John Paterson of Kingburn and Langraw, St. Andrews, in Fife. He was born on 8 June 1873 and was educated at St. Andrews and in Germany and joined the 3rd Militia Battalion Manchester Regiment as a Lieutenant in 1889. He transferred to the 9th Dragoons on 9 September 1893 being promoted Lieutenant on 1 January 1895. During the fighting in March 1900 Lieutenant Paterson found himself somewhat cut off and alone with his troop, Colonel Yardley later recording: “Lieut. Paterson, who was in advance on the left front did good service” … “Lieut. Paterson, with his troops galloped on to a big hill and climbed the precipitous sides just in time to forestall the enemy and drive them back giving us a commanding position.”
He was Commandant, Cavalry School, from 1920 to 1922 and retired in 1923.
QSA (6) CC, Tug H, OFS, RoL, Tvl, L Nek (243Sjt. A.G.B. Nicol. Bethune’s M. I.);
KSA (2) (Capt. A.G.B. Nicol, D.S.O. Johannesburg M.R.);
14-15 Star (Lt. A.G.B. Nicol, S.A.S.C.T. & R.);
BWM & AVM (Bil) (Capt. A.G.B. Nicol)
Waterval, 10 September 1901
Gen Louis Botha was born in Greytown in1862. In 1884 he took part in an expedition under the leadership of Lucas Meyer to reinstate Chief Dinuzulu in Zululand.
As reward Dinizulu gave them a piece of land, of which Botha’s portion was the farm Waterval, 24 miles north-west of Vryheid.
During the war, British troops destroyed Botha’s farmhouse on Waterval with dynamite and photos of the damaged house were sent to his wife Annie in Pretoria. The Bothas never returned to Waterval. The LG of 3 December 1901, p8546, carries a Mention for Lieutenants Nicoll and Wells of the Johannesburg Mounted Rifles “For dash and judgement in attack on position at Waterval on 10th September 1901”.
The Johannesburg Mounted Rifles operated in this vicinity at the time, but it is not known what the Waterval attack of 10 September entailed.
QSA (5) TugH, OFS, RoL, Tvl, L Nek (Lieut. R.C. Trousdale. S. Lanc. Regt.);
KSA (2) (Lieut R.C. Trousdale D.S.O. S. Lan. Rgt.), engraved;
1914-15 Star (Capt. R.C. Trousdale. D.S.O. S. Lan. R.);
BWM & AVM with MiD (Major R.C. Trousdale)
Major Robert Cecil Trousdale, D.S.O., was born in 1876 and educated at Clifton College. He entered the South Lancashire Regiment as a Second Lieutenant in March 1897 and advanced to Lieutenant in 1899. During the Boer War he served with the Mounted Infantry, was present at most of the early actions in Natal and was Mentioned in Lord Roberts’ despatch under those ‘who have rendered special and meritorious service’.
LG 10 September 1901, p5953
In September 1901 he took part in the operations on the Zululand Frontier and was mentioned in Lord Kitchener’s despatch among those involved with the Defence of Itala, 26 September 1901:
‘South Lancashire Regt. (1st Battn), Lieutenant R.C. Trousdale; for the plucky way he worked the machine gun after both the men with him had been killed.’
LG 17 January 1902, p374
As a result of his bravery he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order.
He retired from the service as Captain in 1912 and re-joined the army on the outbreak of the Great War. His subsequent distinguished service in France and Belgium from January 1915 to November 1918 was recognized by being Mentioned in Despatches twice and the award of the Military Cross, LG 1 January 1919.