Egypt (1) Gemaizah 1888 (1965. Pte. R. Watt. 2/K. O. Sco: Bord:); I
IGS 1895 (1) Relief of Chitral 1895 (3211 Sergtt. R. Watt. 2nd. Bn. K. O. Sco: Bord:); Q
QSA (3) CC OFS Tr (3211 Serjt: - Piper R. Watt. K. O. Scot: Bord:);
Army LS&GC VR (3211. S: Piper: R. Watt. K: O: S: B'drs.);
Khedive's Star, undated, unnamed as issued, l
Robert Watt was a native of Alloa, Clackmannan and served initially with the 2nd Battalion, King's Own Scottish Borderers. Having seen active service in Egypt and India, it would appear he took leave sometime before the outbreak of the Boer War for he next appeared with the 3rd (Militia) Battalion in South Africa. Appointed Sergeant-Piper, Watt was clearly a character of some Regimental repute and popularity, for he is recorded in The History of the 3rd Battalion, 1798-1907 singing the following song at concerts in Bulawayo, regarding the Colonel, written by Captain Stewart:
'To his numerous girls 'twas the Colonel who spoke,
Ere I see you again Kruger's head will be broke,
So let each bonny lass that likes flirting with me
Cry ' Good luck to brave Jim and his K.O.S.B.'
Come, fill up my cup; come, fill up my can;
Come, saddle my mare and call out my men-
We are off to the Cape, and the ship's at the quay
All ready to sail with the K.O.S.B.
The Colonel was mounted, he rode up the street;
The crowds they did cheer, but the lassies did greet.
For they thought what a loss their dear Colonel would be,
Not to speak of his Major, bold Johnny M'Kie.
Then bid me farewell and kiss me good-bye,
For when Jim's on the march no girl can be shy;
We'll think of our darlings when far on the sea,
Where stern duty is calling the K.O.S.B.
There are Laurie and Jardine and Grierson of Lag,
All eager to fight for the Old Country's flag;
And Pat and small Alick, dressed smart in khaki;
And Jim Witham, the pride of the K.O.S.B.
Then drink to the health of our brave Border men.
To wish them good luck and safe home again,
For Borderers ever brave soldiers will be,
And none can surpass the 3rd K.O.S.B.
Then away to the kopjes, the sand, and the veldt.
In the breast of each man martial ardour is felt.
For they know that the Boers very quickly will flee
When they meet the bold boys of the K.O.S.B.
Then go for them, boys, you'll smash thorn up yet;
You may capture old Steyn and corner De Wet -
If you do, bring them home, that your friends may all see
The latest recruits of the K.O.S.B.
There are hills beyond Criilel and streams beyond Kith;
Though oceans now lie betwixt you and your kith,
Never fear, gallant Jim, our hearts are with thee.
And we are thinking to-day of the K.O.S.B.
When Christmas is here and we're greeting each one,
You won't be forgot, in the midst of the fun.
We toast "absent friends" where'er they may be,
And the dearest are those of the K.O.S.B.
But we hope that ere long we may welcome you home.
Whence never again we'll allow you to roam.
For we've missed our brave lads, and are longing to see
Our Jim leading back the 3rd K.O.S.B.
Then fill up my cup; and, fill up my can;
And we'll all join together to welcome each man.
And the Provost, guid man, says "Let all join with me; In drinking the health of the K.O.S.B."'
Watt was sadly not to see the curtain fall on the war however, he died of fever at Bulawayo on 5 November 1901. His comrades erected a tombstone and his is also commemorated upon the Alloa Boer War Memorial and at St. Bride's Church, Dunfries.
He was one of 15 members of the 3rd Battalion to lose their lives during the Boer War and is confirmed as Pipe-Major upon the latter memorial and in the Regimental History.
Awarded to Captain John Mutter Ferguson King’s Own Scottish Borderers. Comprising: Queen’s South Africa Medal, three clasps “Cape Colony”, “Orange Free State”, “Transvaal” “LIEUT J.M. FERGUSON KOSB” (impressed), British War Medal, Victory Medal “CAPT”. Medals loose PLEASE NOTE Victory Medal erased and re-impressed.
Captain John Mutter Ferguson in 1914 was serving with the 3rd Bn and was attached to the 2nd Bn. landing in France on the 26th August 1914. He is entitled to the 1914 Star.
The Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Military Division, gold and enamel, ring suspension;
The Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George, gold and enamel, ring suspension;
//The Royal Victorian Order, silver-gilt and enamel;
Egypt (2) The Nile 1884-85, Gemaizah 1888;
QSA (4) Rel. of Kimberley, Paardeberg, Driefontein, Transvaal, carriage broken between 2nd & 3rd clasps;
KSA (1) SA02;
BWM and VM (MID);
Coronation 1902, silver;
Coronation 1911, silver;
Montagu Grant Wilkinson was born in 1857 and educated at Harrow and the Royal Military College. He was commissioned into the 2nd Battalion 25th Regiment in 1878.
During 1884-85 he took part in the Nile Expedition serving on the Staff as Transport Officer. In 1888 as Adjutant of the 2nd Battalion, King’s Own Scottish Borderers, he served in the Suakin Field Force, seeing action at Gemaizah. For his services there he was mentioned in despatches (LG 11 January 1889).
During the Second Boer War he served on General Kelly-Kenny’s Staff as Assistant Provost Marshal, 6th Division in the Orange Free State, February-May 1900, seeing service at the relief of Kimberley, battle of Paardeberg, and the actions at Poplar Grove and Driefontein. He then commanded the 1st Battalion K.O.S.B. in Transvaal, April-May 1902. After the war he was placed on Half Pay and was Commandant of the School of Musketry in South Africa, after which he was Commandant of the Queen Victoria School, Dunblane, 1908-14.
On the outbreak of war he returned to the Colours and commanded the 44th (Highland) Infantry Brigade, 15th Division in France and Flanders, 20 March 1915-21 April 1916, which included service at the battle of Loos and he was again mentioned in despatches (LGs 1 January 1916; 15 June 1916, refer). Created a CB in 1916 and CMG in 1919.
In 1919 he was appointed a Gentleman Usher to King George V, a post which he held until 1927, when he was appointed an Extra Gentleman Usher, a post he held until the King’s death in 1936. He was then appointed Extra Gentleman Usher to King Edward VIII until that monarch abdicated, after which he was appointed to that same position with King George VI. Brigadier-General Wilkinson died at Bracknell, Berkshire on 28 November 1943.
Sold for a hammer price of £320. Totals (inc VAT on the commission for the UK only): £397. R7,900. Au$700. Can$660. US$510
First name(s)...........W (D. on medal)
Regiment.................1 Battalion The King's Own Scottish Borderers
Event detail Died Disease on 13/05/1900 at Cape Town
Event unit 1 Battalion The King's Own Scottish Borderers
Event source SAFF
Country Great Britain
Record set Anglo-Boer War Records 1899-1902
Category Military Service & Conflict
Subcategory Boer Wars
Collections from Great Britain, UK None
Military Historical Society