Herewith details of one of my South Lancs men who sustained serious and life changing wounds at Itala.
3807 Cpl. D. Wilson, South Lancashire Regiment.
Severely wounded in action Itala 26 September 1901 & invalided.
With four photocopy pages of service documents, a CD-ROM containing 78 pages of pension invalidity documents and a photocopy of the medal roll page. David Wilson enlisted at Liverpool 21 September 1892 aged 20 years 9 months. Born Crosby. Occupation labourer. Convicted by court martial 11 March 1898 of drunkenness on the line of march, escaping from custody and a further charge of drunkenness and sentenced to 56 days hard labour, fined £1 and reduced to the ranks. His duties had included being an officer’s servant and sanitary corporal. Discharged to Army Reserve 18 March 1899. Conduct good. Rejoined the colours 29 June 1899. Between 1893 and 1898 had ten entries in the defaulters book, mostly for drunkenness and unauthorised absences. Sustained a gunshot wound to the right shoulder joint and lower jaw. Admitted to 13 Stationary Hospital in Pinetown 9 October 1901 where necrosed bone was removed from his jaw. The bullet had penetrated the head of the humerus and the wound was treated by irrigation with Formalin with fluid passing right through the entrance and exit wounds. He was discharged 19 November 1901 and invalided home on S.S. Avoca. A medical report dated 24 January 1902 stated that he was debilitated from his wounds and service in the field. The bullet had passed through the head of the right humerus, comminuting the cancellous tissue and separating the tuberosities by fissuring. The joint had become septic. There was ankylosis (stiffening) of the shoulder joint which resulted in the arm being immovable and permanently positioned at his side due to the formation of adhesions. He had been admitted to the Connaught Hospital where the head of his humerus had been resected at the neck and all bone fragments removed. The body of the right side of his lower jaw had been fractured down to the bone resulting in a sequestrum (piece of dead bone) 1 ½ inches long having been removed through the mouth. Discharged medically unfit for further service at Aldershot 19 April 1902. A medical report dated 3 April 1903 stated that his arm was still almost immovable although his jaw wound had healed. Despite some improvement being possible he was considered totally incapacitated with his disability equal to the loss of a limb. His next medical assessment did not take place until 24 October 1924 when the report stated he was unable to raise his right arm above the shoulder and was obese with defective and deficient teeth. He had a 4 inch depressed scar from an operation on his shoulder joint and there was 1 ½ inch wasting of his shoulder muscles and ½ inch wasting of the muscles in his upper arm. He was unable to touch the back of his head with his right hand. He had a small scar to the left of his mouth from the exit wound, some irregularity and loss of bone on the right side of his jaw and slight facial disfigurement. His disability was assessed at 40%. Died of chronic nephritis at Halewood 11 February 1938. Served in 1st Battalion in South Africa. Also entitled to South Africa 1901 clasp.
All but one of the "Itala awards" that I kept are to men who were decorated, killed or wounded there.
As far as the odd one, a single DTD to Capt G M de Waal, goes he stated in his DTD application on the back of Vorm A: "During the night attack at Italenie, Zululand on Sept 26 1901, Burger M T Brink & myself carried late Burger David Louw, then wounded (badly) with broken leg & arm out & took him away about 5 yards from the forts, & myself getting 2 bullets though my hat." This was accepted by the Medal Application Board