QSA (4) CC Paard Drie Joh (3193. Pte. A. F. Whelan, 2nd. Shropshire Lt. Infy.);
Visit to Ireland 1903 (C. A. Whelan. R.I.C.) with integral top shamrock suspension bar;
Visit to Ireland 1911, unnamed as issued,
“Lord Methuen’s force left us and proceeded to Potchefstroom and the Gordon Highlanders went to Krugersdorp. They had no boots, so we were left to bring a convoy on to Potchefstroom. July 28 we were joined by the City Imperial Volunteers and 33 sick and wounded who were captured in the wrecked train and sent in by the Boers. The convoy arrived on the 29th and we proceeded towards Potchefstroom the same day. An unfortunate accident attended with considerable loss of life happened on the way. A heavy train of supplies passed us just as we were approaching camp at Frederikstad on July 30 and seated on the trucks was a draft of ours which had lately arrived in the country together with some sick men re-joining. Our yeomanry scouts had been ordered to inspect the line as they advanced but they failed to perceive that on a sharp curve where the line ran down a decline some of the fishplates had been unscrewed and the rails loosened but carefully replaced. The engine on reaching the spot was derailed and the heavy supply trucks ran up one on top of the other. Thirteen of our men were killed, together with the engine driver and forty-one injured.”
QSA (3) CC, OFS, Tvl (7358 Pte. J. Wright, 2nd Shropshire Lt. Infy.)
The clasp set is loose on the ribbon, not attached to the suspender.
Pte Wright served in the Volunteer Service Company of the Shropshire LI. and was one of the 13 men killed in the accident.
He is buried in the Olën Park Cemetery in Potchefstroom.
QUEEN'S SOUTH AFRICA MEDAL
CLASPS:TRANSVAAL (ALSO ENTITLED TO SA1902)
CONDITION:GVF WITH EDGE KNOCKS.
A recent addition to the collection, I was very pleased to find his attestation papers form a very interesting insight into the character of Private John Jones.
Please read on.
John Jones was born in Oldwood Common, near Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire in1874.
He attested to the Shropshire Light Infantry in the market town of Ludlow, Shropshire on 23rd January 1893 at the age of 18 years and 9 months, stating his occupation as a farm labourer. He is further described thus:
Height:5' 5 1/2"
Chest min. 34" max. 35 1/2"
Religion : Church of England
His next of kin was his father, also John Jones who resided at Duncombe, near Onibury, Shropshire.
John's military history sheet details the following periods of service:
Home:23/01/1893 to 22/11/1894. 1yr 304 days
India:28/11/1894 to 13/02/1902. 7yrs 83 days
S. Africa :14/02/1902 to 06/09/1902. 205days
Home: 07/09/1902 to 22/01/1903. 2yrs 138 days
His total service stood at 12 years until his discharge time expired.
Now things begin to get interesting!
His disciplinary record was rather appalling with a charge sheet as long as your arm!
On 24th July 1895 Jones was, I quote from his papers:
"awarded 14 days of forfeit of pay by C. O. for using threatening language to a N. C. Officer. Returned to duty 7th August 1895."
On 19th June 1896 "solitary confinement awaiting trial. Tried and sentenced to 84 days imprisonment for striking his superior officer". Returned to duty 18th September 1896.
4th February 1898 sees him awarded 10 days imprisonment by C. O. for drunkeness and using improper language. Back on duty 10th February 1898.
On December 4th 1898 he is in trouble again. "in confinement awaiting trial. Tried and sentenced to six months imprisonment for failing to appear at the place of parade and offering violence to his superior officer." He served 4 months of his sentence before returning to duty on 12th April 1899.
By my reckoning 3992 Private John Jones, a soldier who did not much care for authority, spent over seven months of his service behind bars.
As far as the war against the Boer was concerned, he probably did not see a great deal of action as he arrived in the latter stages of the conflict. However, as his statement of service bears witness, Jones was a very feisty character indeed!