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Medals to the Scots Guards 1 year 5 months ago #87218

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QSA (3) Cape Colony, Transvaal, Wittbergen (2668 Pte. J. Ferguson, Scots Gds:);
KSA (2) (2668 Pte. J. Ferguson. Scots Guards.);
[ 1914 Star Trio ]

James Ferguson also returned for service during the Great War and landed in France on 15 September 1914.
Dr David Biggins
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Medals to the Scots Guards 1 year 2 months ago #89052

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The Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Badge, gold and enamel;
The Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George, Badge, silver-gilt and enamel;
The Royal Victorian Order, Badge, silver and enamel;
DSO VR, silver-gilt and enamel;
Egypt and Sudan 1882-89, (1) Tel-El-Kebir;
Central Africa 1891-98, with ring suspension;
QSA (6) Belmont, Modder River, Driefontein, Johannesburg, Diamond Hill, Belfast;
KSA (2) South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902;
1914 Star;
[ BWM and VM ];
Coronation 1911;
France, Republic, Legion of Honour, silver-gilt and enamel;
Belgium, Kingdom, Order of the Crown, silver-gilt and enamel;
Japan, Empire, Order of the Rising Sun, silver-gilt and enamel;
Belgium, Kingdom, Criox De Guerre;
Khedive's Star

KCB LG 18 February 1915.

KCMG LG 1 January 1917.

GCVO. LG 3 June 1930.

DSO LG 3 November 1891: 'In recognition of services in the recent operations against slave-trading Arabs in the Uganda Protectorate.'

Legion D'Honour LG 19 March 1915.

Order of the Crown LG 24 February 1916.

Order of the Rising Sun LG 21 July 1919.

Croix De Guerre LG 11 March 1918.

William Pulteney Pulteney was born at Rectory House, Ashley, near Market Harborough on 18 May 1861. His father, Reverend Richard Pulteney was the Rector of Ashley while his mother, Emma Pulteney, was the daughter of Maximilian Dalison of Hamptons, Kent. The young Pulteney was the sixth child and, after attending Eton between 1875-77, he took the traditional route for the younger children of the gentry by taking a commission with the Militia in October 1878. Entering the Scots Guards with the rank of Second Lieutenant from the Militia on 23 April 1881 he was soon promoted Lieutenant on 1 July.

The outbreak of Ahmed Urabi's revolt in Egypt precipitated a British intervention which included the Scots Guards: Pulteney was present for the Action at Mahuta and after that the Battle of Tel-el-Kebir. In this major engagement the Guards were on the British right and less heavily engaged than their compatriots in the Highland Brigade on the left.

Pulteney continued to serve, and after almost a decade of soldiering he got a chance to make his mark. Promoted Captain on 4 May 1892 he was seconded for service under the Foreign Office on 15 February 1895, and was sent to the nascent Uganda Protectorate as an officer in the Uganda Rifles;
that same year was to earn his Central Africa Medal for his role in the Lnyoro Expedition. Again called to service, Pulteney was to win the DSO for his actions during the first Nandi Expedition (1895-96) as one of the officers commanding a column of four hundred Ugandan troops. He was promoted Major for his services on 1 May 1897 and presented with his DSO by Queen Victoria herself in an investiture at Windsor on 9 July 1897.

Given the role of Vice-Consul in the Congo Free State on 31 December 1898 Pulteney had not served here long when news of war threatening from South Africa brought him back to his old Regiment. Promoted Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel on 11 November 1899 the Battalion saw appallingly bloody fighting at Belmont and Modder River. Lord Methuen's report on the former gives stark testament to their stoic advance under withering fire, stating:

'The Scots Guards carried out their instructions to the letter, and gained the heights at the point of the bayonet'

After the breakthrough in the New Year Pulteney was given command of the Battalion and led it through the rest of the fighting, being 'mentioned' three times in the course of the war. He commanded the unit throughout the guerrilla phase of the conflict, leading it through a number of notable actions and earning high praise from General French when the war was finally won. Promoted Brevet Colonel on 1 April 1904 he was awarded the CB on 30 June 1905 in the King's Birthday Honours List. He was further advanced Brigadier-General on 7 February 1908 while commanding 16th Brigade in Southern Ireland.

Again promoted - this time to Major-General - on 1 January 1909 Pulteney was given command of the 6th Division in Southern Ireland. In this role he was notably involved in planning the British show of force in Northern Ireland which eventually led to the Curragh Incident in March 1914. Despite his involvement in what was for everyone an embarrassing crisis, Pulteney's star continued to rise as he was promoted Lieutenant-General on 5 August 1914 and posted to command III Corps. This appointment raised no eyebrows at the time - however it would do so for generations to come as he had attended neither the Royal Military College, Sandhurst nor Staff College and apparently had little aptitude for staff work.

Pulteney's performance throughout the war was to prove poor: he was described as appearing like 'a peaceful country squire'. Indeed it was believed that his corps received a higher than normal crop of capable officers to make up for his failures. Serving as part of Rawlinson's Fourth Army during the Somme Offensive, Pulteney's unwillingness to properly manage his artillery is seen as one of the major causes for the high losses taken by III Corps in the fighting. Furthermore, he was behind the decision to support the attack on High Wood by the 47th (London Territorials) Division with tanks. This stopped the British from using heavy artillery near the tanks and prevented the vehicles from having a clear line of sight. Despite pleas from the Divisional commander to order the tanks to advance on either side of the wood, the attack went ahead with the wood falling only after 4,500 men became casualties.

In spite of this failure Pulteney remained in command of III Corps and led it through the Battle of Cambrai. The first massed tank offensive which the British launched here met with stunning success. However when warned of a German counter-attack Pulteney refused to act and the allied gains were swept aside by a massive offensive. Despite being officially cleared of blame he was removed from command, in the words of one historian: 'It is hard to see how he managed to survive for so long'. Post to XXIII Corps in Britain he remained with them until May 1919 when he was sent with Prince Arthur of Connaught on a Military Mission to Japan.

Retiring from the Military in January 1920 Pulteney served as Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod in the House of Lords. He also put his time and efforts into several service organisations such as the Ypres League; despite his wartime record recent histories have started to re-examine his record and especially his genuine concern for the welfare of the men under his command. Pulteney died at Pines Hill, Stansted, Essex on 14 May 1941 and he was buried at Ashley, Northamptonshire.
Dr David Biggins
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Medals to the Scots Guards 3 months 2 weeks ago #93863

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QSA (3) Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal (8379. Pte. J. Lowther. Scots. Gds.), the final clasp mounted unofficially by a pin;
KSA (2) (8379 Pte. J. Lowther. Scots Guards.), good very fine (2)

21 men of the Scots Guards wounded at Biddulphsberg.

Jeremiah Lowther was born at Tadcaster, Yorkshire on 9 April 1871, the son of John and Hannah Lowther. Working as a Labourer prior to enlisting at Bradford on 17 September 1889 with the Scots Guards, his attestation papers note previous service with the 2nd West Yorkshire Artillery Volunteers. He was to be at home until 16 September 1896 when he joined the Army Reserve.

That was not to be the end of Lowther's military career however, and he re-joined the colours on 13 November 1899. Entering the war in South Africa on 3 January 1900 with the 2nd Battalion Scots Guards, this unit joined the 8th Division under General Rundle and soon found themselves in the vicinity of the Senekal and the Biddulphsberg Kopje.

Here they clashed with a Boer Commando under General De Villiers; a sharp skirmish on 25 May 1900 saw a number of British casualties and General Rundle responded by advancing on the Boer positions at Biddulphsberg, where a major action developed with the Grenadier Guards taking the brunt of the enemy fire. During the attack the dried grass was set alight and a number of British casualties were horrifically burned to death. An eyewitness account in The Weekly Mail, 30 June 1900, describes the scene stating:

'The scene on the battlefield at this moment was one of the most awful description. The battle had now fully developed. From the front, where the Grenadiers had disappeared in the smoke, the crackle of rifles was deafening, and the bullets, fired too high by the Boers, fizzed—the word best describes the sound—past us incessantly. Ten guns on our side and two on the Boers' added their roar, the bursting of shells and the demoniac scream of shrapnel made up a perfect pandemonium of sound. Over all, and dominating all, was the dreadful popping crackle of the flames from the burning grass, while the smoke hid everything. Biddulph's Berg, the Boer guns, our own guns, the Grenadiers, and the Scots Guards, who had moved up in support of them, had all vanished. One saw nothing but vast rolling billows of thick blue-white smoke, rearing themselves far over the tops of the hills. Out of this great pall that hung over the battlefield came the dreadful din, and from under its edge crept stricken and bleeding figures, groping along in the semi-darkness, or staggering feebly, supported between blackened and dishevelled comrades, towards the busy doctors at the rear. It was bewildering, it was terrifying, it was horrifying.'

Lowther is listed as severely wounded during the battle, making him one of 21 for his Battalion. He was doubtless lucky that the Grenadiers rather, than the Scot's were the focus of Boer fire; he was further lucky that the bushfire raging on the hill did not claim him like so many others. Despite his wound listed as severe, he was able to recover and keep serving without being invalided. Lowther left South Africa on 4 August 1902, arriving in Britain at the end of the month and was discharged soon afterwards.

Despite his injuries he lived a long life - being listed as a Railway Goods Checker on both 1911 and 1939 censuses. Lowther died on 23 January 1951 at Lower Agbrigg, Yorkshire West Riding.
Dr David Biggins
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