QSA (4) Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal, South Africa 1901 (Lieut. Sir. A. V. F. Seymour. Bt. Lanc. Fus.);
Jubilee 1897, silver, unnamed as issued
Provenance: Nobility and Royal Household Collection, Dix Noonan Webb, December 2016 (when sold without the ‘South Africa 1901’ clasp).
Sir Albert Victor Francis Seymour, 2nd Baronet, was born at Kensington Palace on 1 December 1879, the only son of Sir Francis Seymour, 1st Baronet, Master of the Ceremonies, and his wife Agnes, eldest daughter of the Revd. Hill Wickham, and was educated at Harrow. He was appointed Page of Honour to H.M. Queen Victoria on 27 October 1893, and served in that role until 2 June 1896. Commissioned Second Lieutenant in the 5th (Militia) Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers on 29 March 1899, he served with the Regiment in South Africa during the Boer War, and was granted the honorary rank of Lieutenant, receiving the substantive promotion on 6 November 1906.
Sir Albert Seymour succeeded his father as 2nd Baronet on the latter’s death on 10 July 1890. On returning from the Boer War he was very prominent in Society and a generous supporter of charities devoted to the acting profession, and was a close friend of the celebrated actress Dame Ellen Terry. He served as a Private in the Middlesex Regiment in the Great War and was awarded the British War and Victory Medals, and also received the Silver War Badge. He never married and died on 2 May 1949, heirless.
QSA (3) Cape Colony, Transvaal, Orange Free State (Lieut. G. H. Soames, Lanc: Fus:);
KSA (2) (Lt. G. H. Soames. Lanc. Fus.);
1914-15 Star (Capt: G. H. Soames. W. York R.);
BWM and VM with MID oak leaves (Lt. Col. G. H. Soames.) together with Bronze Memorial Plaque (Gilbert Horsman Soames)
Gilbert Horsman Soames was the younger son of Arthur W. Soames, Liberal Member of Parliament for South Norfolk. He was born on 8 April 1879, and educated at Bilton Grange and Charterhouse. He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the Lancashire Fusiliers on 4 April 1900, becoming Lieutenant on 20 October the same year. He was promoted to Captain on 20 May 1905, and transferred as Captain to the West Yorkshire Regiment on 20 May 1908.
He served in the Boer War attached to the Army Service Corps from 24 July 1901. Took part in the operations in the Transvaal in May and June 1900. In the Transvaal, east of Pretoria, July to 29 November 1900. Again in the Transvaal, January 1901 to January 1902, and April to May 1902. During the operations in Orange River Colony, January 1902 to April 1902.
In 1914 he was Adjutant of the 5th South Staffordshire Regiment and went to France with that unit on 28 June 1915. After being invalided home, he rejoined his old regiment, the 1st West Yorkshires, in France as acting Lieutenant-Colonel. He was killed in action on 9 January 1917, shot by a sniper at night in No-Man’s-Land near La Basse, and is buried in Cambrin Churchyard Extension, Pas de Calais, France.
His elder brother Major Maurice Gordon Soames, R.F.A., was also killed in action on 24 September 1916.
DCM VR (Cr. Sgt. W. Evans. Lan: Fus: (2nd Sept: 1898));
Queen’s Sudan (2184 C/Srgt. W. Evans 2/Lan: Fus:);
QSA (3) Orange Free State, Relief of Ladysmith, Transvaal (2184 C. Sgt. W. Evans, Lanc: Fus.);
KSA (2) (2184 Clr:-Serjt: W. Evans. Lanc: Fus:);
Army LS&GC EdVII (Q.M. Sjt: W. Evans, Garr. St.);
Khedive’s Sudan 1896-1908, 1 clasp, Khartoum (2184 Color. Sergt. W. Evans, 2nd L.F.)
2 DCMs awarded to the Lancashire Fusiliers for the Sudan campaign 1898-99.
William James Evans attested for the Lancashire Fusiliers on 7 June 1887. Promoted to Lance-Corporal in December 1889; Corporal in March 1891; Sergeant in December 1892 and Colour Sergeant in August 1895. With the 2nd Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers, he served in the Sudan campaign of 1896-98 and was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for his service at the battle of Omdurman, 2 September 1898 (London Gazette 15 November 1898). He then went on to serve with the regiment in the Boer War. He was reported ‘missing in action’ at the battle of Spion Kop, 24 January 1900, but had been taken prisoner by the Boers and was later released. Evans was promoted to Quartermaster Sergeant in April 1905 and was awarded the Army L.S. & G.C. in 1907, serving with the Garrison Staff. In May 1914 he was promoted to a commission as Quartermaster in the Leinster Regiment.
Following the onset of the Great War he was posted to the 5th (Extra Reserve) Battalion Leinster Regiment and Hon. Lieutenant and Quartermaster. It was when he was stationed at the Curragh, that Lieutenant Evans was found dead on 27 May 1916, aged 47 years. It was established that he had shot himself. He had left a letter to his wife stating that ‘he could not take the strain any longer’. Whether the ‘strain’ was due to the conditions prevailing in Ireland at the time - one could only surmise. He was buried in the Curragh Military Cemetery, Co. Kildare. He was the son of John Richard and Margaret Evans and the husband of Blanche Elizabeth Evans, of 14 Benbow Street, Stoke, Devonport.
Sudan (Lt. O. D. Blunt, 2/ Con: Rang:);
Central Africa, 1891-98 (1) Central Africa 1894-98 with bar suspension (Lieut: O. D. Blunt, Conn: Rangers);
QSA (3) Rhodesia, Relief of Mafeking, Transvaal (Capt: O. D. Blunt, Lanc: Fus:);
Turkey, Ottoman Empire, Order of the Medjidie, Fourth Class breast badge in gold, silver and enamels, reverse engraved (Lieutenant O. D. Blunt. Connaught Rangers. 1896);
Khedive’s Sudan (2) Firket, Hakir (Lieut. O. D. Blunt. Connaught Rangers. 1896.);
Turkey, Ottoman Empire, Order of the Medjidie: London Gazette: 2 March, 1897: ‘in recognition of active and distinguished service before the enemy during the recent expedition to Dongola’
Captain Osmond Donald Blunt (1870-1915) was born 17 November 1870, the son of Sir John Elijah Blunt, H.M. Consular Service, and Lady Fanny Janet (née Sandison). He was educated at Oxford University, and received his first commission as a Second Lieutenant in the 3rd Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers on 22 March 1890. He transferred to the Connaught Rangers on 15 March 1893, and served in the Sudan during the Dongola Campaign of 1896, for which he received a Fourth Class Order of the Medjidie from the Khedive of Egypt. In January and February 1898 he took part in the expedition against the Paramount Chief Mpezeni of the Ngoni tribe, which defeated the Chief and his son near Fort Jameson in North-Eastern Rhodesia, and during the Boer War he served with Colonel Plumer’s Force (medal roll states that he was seconded to ‘B’ Squadron of the Rhodesia Regiment, hence his rare Rhodesia clasp) and was wounded in action at Gaberones on 12 February 1900. He later joined the Lancashire Fusiliers for a time as Captain, and then served in the 5th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers as Captain, and died 20 March 1915 at Floriana, Malta, where he was afterwards interred with his father.
QSA (1) RoL (3503 Pte J. Kearns, Lanc. Fus.)
Some rim nicks.
When Sir Charles Warren with three brigades was sent across at Trichard’s Drift, the intention of the Commander-in-Chief was that the force should push, via Acton Homes, round to the rear of the Boer position. Sir Charles decided that this was not feasible, and he set about clearing the hills on his right front. On the 20th January he proceeded with his new plan. The 11th Brigade were on the British right, to the west of Spion Kop.
The Lancashire Fusiliers on the right, and York and Lancaster on their left, were ordered to attack a strong position, being assisted by the other infantry, notably the Irish Brigade in the centre, and by six batteries of artillery massed at Three-Tree Hill, and the naval guns at Spearman’s. The ground was very difficult, and the Fusiliers were at times greatly cramped for space.
About three o’clock the visible crest was stormed by a grand rush, but the troops on reaching the top found themselves in face of another and stronger position. They could do nothing but hold on like flies on a wall, as one writer says.
That day cost the battalion 4 officers wounded, 18 men killed and about 90 wounded.
Stirling: Our Regiments in South Africa.
According to the QSA Medal Roll and the SAFF Casualty Roll, Pte Kearns was Killed in action on 20 January 1900 with the Casualty Roll identifying the place as Venter’s Spruit.
An interesting anomaly: the handwritten Natal FF Casualty Roll lists Pte Kearns’ date of death as 24 January 1900 and buried at Spion Kop. His name is on the Lancashire Fusiliers Memorial on Spion Kop.