QSA (5) Cape Colony, Tugela Heights, Orange Free State, Relief of Ladysmith, Laing’s Nek, Belfast (93566 Dr: R. Hill, A.B. R.H.A.)
Richard Hill was born in Devon in 1874 and attested for the Royal Horse Artillery on 17 October 1892. He served in India from 10 October 1894 to 7 January 1900, and suffered a fracture of both bones in the left leg whilst on duty on 23 March 1898. He subsequently served in South Africa during the Boer War from 8 January to 11 December 1900, and was wounded in action at Badfontein on 2 September 1900. He transferred to the Army Reserve on 4 August 1902, and was discharged on 16 October 1904, after 12 years’ service.
The magnificent miniature awards to Lieutenant-General Sir Henry Karslake, KCB, KCSI, CMG, DSO, Colonel Commandant, Royal Artillery.
His full size medals are yet to be catalogued.
Picture courtesy of Noonan's
The Most Honourable Order of the Bath (Military) silver-gilt and enamels;
The Most Exalted Order of the Star of India, silver-gilt and enamels;
The Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George, breast badge gold and enamels with gold ribbon buckle;
DSO VR, gold and enamels, LG 26 June 1902;
QSA (4) Cape Colony, Driefontein, Johannesburg, Diamond Hill;
1914 Star, with clasp;
British War and Victory Medals, with MID
Defence and War Medals 1939-45;
France, Third Republic, Legion of Honour, breast badge, silver and enamels, these all mounted as worn
Together with a very fine miniature breast star of the KCSI in silver, silver-gilt and enamels, the central star set with small stones and with pin fitting to reverse.
CMG b/b s/g;
DSO VR., silver-gilt and enamels, with integral top ribbon bar, chipping to both green enamel wreaths;
QSA (4) Cape Colony, Driefontein, Johannesburg, Diamond Hill (Lieut. H. Karslake. T. Bty. R.H.A.);
KSA (2) (Lt. H. Karslake. DSO R.A.);
1914 Star, with clasp (Capt: H. Karslake. DSO R.F.A.);
BWM and VM with MID oak leaves (Brig. Gen. H. Karslake.);
Defence and War Medals 1939-45;
France, Third Republic, Legion of Honour, 5th Class breast badge, silver, silver-gilt and enamels, this with chips to green and white enamels
Together with Royal Society of Arts silver prize medal, GV (Major-General Sir Henry Karslake, K.C.S.I., CB, CMG, DSO, For his paper on “The Quetta Earthquake.” Session 1935-36)
Henry Karslake was born on 10 February 1879, son of Lewis Karslake. He was educated at Harrow, and at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, and joined the 83rd Field Battery 23 June, 1898, and was posted to “T” Battery, Royal Horse Artillery, in 1901.
He served in the South African War, 1899-1902, and took part in the operations in the Orange Free State, February to May 1900, including actions at Poplar Grove, Driefontein, Vet River (5 and 6 May) and Zand River; in the Transvaal in May and June, 1900, including actions near Johannesburg, Pretoria and Diamond Hill (11 and 12 June); in the Transvaal, east of Pretoria, July to 20 August 1900; again in the Transvaal 30 November 1900 to January 1902, and March to 23 May 1902; also during the operations in Orange River Colony, January to March, 1902 (Despatches twice; Queen's Medal with four clasps, and King's Medal with two clasps). He was created a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order ‘In recognition of services during the operations in South Africa’, and was invested by the King on 24 October 1902.
He was promoted to Lieutenant, 16 February 1901, and to Captain 20 December 1905, and posted on promotion to the 100th Battery, R.F.A. 1906; was Officer, Company of Gentleman Cadets, Royal Military College, 20 February 1907 to 19 February 1911; posted to the 116th Battery, R.F.A., in 1911; was a Staff College student, 1912-13. He was posted to the 129th Howitzer Battery, 1914.
He served in the European War from 1914; became Major 30 October 1914; was Brigade Major, R.A., 6th Division, B.E.F., 9 December 1914 to 22 February 1915; Brigade Major, R.A., 12th Division, New Armies, B.E.F., 6 March to 16 August 1915; GSO2, 3rd Army, B.E.F., British Armies in France, 17 August 1915 to 26 June 1916; G.S.O.1, 50th Division, British Armies in France, 27 June 1916 to 15 September 1917; G.S.O.1, 4th Division, British Armies in France, 16 September 1917 to 4 August 1918; G.S.O.1, Tank Corps, British Armies in France, 5 August to 25 October 1918; Brigade General, General Staff, Tank Corps, British Armies in France, 26 October 1918 to 1 April 1919; G.S.O.1, Southern Division, British Army of the Rhine. He was mentioned in Despatches; was given the Brevets of Lieutenant Colonel, 1 January 1917, and Colonel, 3 January 1919; was created a C.M.G. in 1916, and was given the Legion d'Honneur.
Kerslake was appointed G.S.O.1 at H.Q., Peshawar, 1920-23, and held the same position at the War Office, 1923-25; Colonel on the Staff, Southern Command, 1925-28; Brigadier R.A., Western Command India, 1928-31; A.D.C. to the King, 1930-31; Major-General, 1931; Major-General R.A., Army Headquarters, India, 1933; Commandant, Baluchistan District, India, 1933-35.
Karslake's most testing time came in Quetta when, in 1935, there was an enormous and terrible earthquake, at just after 3am on the night of 31 May. The earthquake devastated Quetta, killing at least 20,000 people. It was one of the worst natural disasters of the 20th century. Although the earthquake destroyed Quetta, the military cantonment and the Military Staff College were left standing. While some of the soldiers were killed, most of the 12,000 troops were on the spot to take part in rescue and relief work. Within three hours of the earthquake, Karslake had divided up the devastated area, allocated troops to each section and deployed them to start their work. They did everything possible: providing rescue, moving in supplies, keeping law and order, running postal and medical services and setting up a refugee camp on the racecourse. It was one of the quickest and most efficient disaster operations that had ever been implemented. The credit for organising the army effort was largely due to Henry Karslake. The soldiers worked in dreadful conditions with epidemic disease a constant threat. For Karslake it was his finest hour. He retired a year later but was briefly recalled to help with the evacuation of troops from Dunkirk in 1940, where he was the General Officer Commanding British troops in France immediately after the evacuation. He died two years later, on 19 October 1942.
General Karslake married, in 1905, Florence Cecil, daughter of Vice Admiral E Rooke, and they had two sons.
QSA (4) Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal and South Africa 1901 (7139 DR. R.W. MCKAY, 1ST NTHLD:VOL:ART:”);
1914-15 Star (1212 DVR. R.W. MACKAY, R.F.A.)[
British War and Victory Medals (403209 2 A.M. R.W. MACKAY R.A.F.);
Territorial Force Efficiency medal Ed VII (77 CPL. R.W. MCKAY 1/NTH’BN B. R.F.A.)
The catalogue states 'Ghost dates present on Q.S.A., all clasps confirmed on the relevant rolls. Note differences in spelling of surname. Territorial Force Efficiency medal – Army Order 255, 1st October 1910. Robert William McKay was born in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1873. Served in Boer War in the Elswick Battery, 1st Northumberland Volunteer Artillery. During the Great War he served in France with the Royal Field Artillery from 17th April 1915 before transferring to the Royal Flying Corps on 28th June 1917 and the Royal Air Force on 1st April 1918. Discharged from service on 30th April 1920.'