QSA (5) Tugela Heights, Orange Free State, Relief of Ladysmith, Transvaal, Laing’s Nek (3503 Serjt., S. Lanc.Regt.);
KSA (2) (3503 Clr.-Serjt., S. Lanc. Regt.);
Army LS&GC EdVII (1st Cl. Sergt-Instr., 1st Bn. G.I.P. Ry.Vol. Rif. Cps.) correction to unit;
Commonwealth of Australia MSM GV (Staff Sergt-Major, Instl. Staff)
John Martin was born in Bullevant, Co. Cork. He attested for the South Lancashire Regiment at Chester on 21 August 1891, aged 15 years, 8 months, and joined the regiment in Jersey two days later. He served as a Drummer until February 1892 when he reverted to Private and was promoted to Lance-Corporal in February 1894; Corporal in August 1895; Lance-Sergeant in March 1898; Sergeant in March 1899 and Colour-Sergeant in April 1902. Served in South Africa, November 1899-January 1903 and in India, January 1903-August 1913. In April 1906 he was transferred to the Bombay Unattached List as a 1st Class Sergeant-Instructor, posted to the Poona Volunteer Rifles and in March 1907, with the same rank, to the Great Indian Peninsula Railway Volunteers. Awarded the LS&GC in April 1910. Discharged on 21 August 1913 - listing Victoria Barracks, Melbourne, Australia as his intended place of residence. Awarded the Commonwealth of Australia MSM as Staff Sergeant-Major of the 4th Military District (Commonwealth of Australia Gazette 7 June 1917).
DCM V.R. (5112 Drmr: G. Handley. S. Lancs: Regt.);
QSA (2) Tugela Heights, Relief of Ladysmith (5112 Drmr: G. Handley. S. Lanc: Regt.) number officially corrected;
KSA (1) South Africa 1902 (5112 Cpl. G. Handley. S. Lanc: Regt.)
Provenance: Sotheby’s, October 1983 (DCM only) and DNW, September 1998 (QSA & KSA)
DCM LG 27 September 1901.
G. Handley served with the 1st Battalion, South Lancashire Regiment during the Second Boer War. He was wounded at Pieter’s Hill, 27 February 1900, when the Battalion took part in a crucial and spirited bayonet charge on the central position at Railway Hill. Inspired by the words of their commanding officer, ‘Remember, men, the eyes of Lancashire are watching you today’, they captured the position.
The Battalion suffered the loss of their commanding officer, as well as five other men killed, at the point of victory. Handley was mentioned in despatches by Lord Roberts, 4 September 1901. The KSA medal roll lists recipient as ‘Deceased.’
KSA single clasp confirmed, and scarce to Regiment.
QSA (2) Transvaal, South Africa 1902 (Major J. A. Moggridge. S. Lanc: Rgt:)
Together with a cast silver regimental badge with pin fitting to reverse.
John Antill Moggridge was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant into the 40th South Lancashire Regiment on 13 August 1879; Lieutenant, 4 October 1879; Captain, 23 April 1887; Major, 27 March 1897; served in the South African War 1902; took part in operations in the Transvaal March to 31 May 1902 (Queen’s Medal with 2 clasps). Brevet Colonel, retired.
QSA (2) TugH, RoL (5531 Pte. J. Fallon. S. Lanc. Regt.)
Edge bruising, especially on reverse, and re-suspendered. Also entitled to SA’01 clasp
Private Fallon was wounded, left for dead and stripped of all clothing by the Boers. His horrifying experiences over the days following the battle are recorded in Red Roses on the Veldt, p282-3
“Colour-Sergent Duffy has written an interesting account of the aftermath of the Itala engagement: ‘We collected our wounded, a number of which we had to leave at Jim London’s farm, and retired on N’Kandhla. Of the few horses remaining scarcely any were fit, and after everything was more or less ship-shape, we commenced patrolling the country in mule-wagons (most humiliating). On returning from one of these jaunts, three days after the Itala fight, we were astonished to see two figures on top of the ridge, near N’Kandhla, our base. One was a Zulu and the other a white man. We advanced to collect them and found the latter to be Private Fallon, who had been struck off as dead. He had been on top of the hill with Lieut. Kane and was so badly wounded that the Boers, thinking he was dead, had stripped off all his clothing. On recovering consciousness, and with wounds still unattended to, Fallon had wandered about naked until he was met by the humane Zulu, who gave him all the clothing he possessed – an Army jersey, and that had seen better days. Fallon’s appearance was indescribable. He was severely wounded and had been lying naked and without food during three cold nights and scorching hot days. Undoubtedly, he would have died from exposure and privation but for the friendly Zulu, who guided and assisted the emaciated derelict to N’Kandhla, sixteen miles distant from the Zulu’s kraal.
Shortly afterwards I also collected a Boer memento in the form of a bullet, and in company with Fallon and other casualties we were evacuated by ox-wagons to Etshowe [Eshowe]. The journey will live long in the memory of any who shared it. It was a nightmare. At Etshowe there was a civilian doctor but no hospital, beds, dressings or medical comforts and, regardless of our wounded condition, we were bedded down on wooden ‘bedboards’ infected with ‘jiggers’.
Next morning the journey was continued in the cumbersome old ox-wagons. The roadway, if such it may be called, was narrow and precipitous and we were forced off the beaten track by a column of advancing troops. The G.O.C. caught sight of us and on seeing our plight he halted his column and gave us the right of way. We travelled all day until we reached an hospital train and here, we were accommodated comfortably, even though medical treatment was primitive and many essentials were lacking. We had two days and nights on the train until eventually we reached Pinetown, about seven miles from Durban. Here a hutted hospital had been established and we received the best of attention, the doctors and nurses being unsparing in their efforts to make us comfortable. Fallon, who had severed an artery in his shoulder, had a nasty time and finally had to have his arm amputated.
On recovery, he was sent to England and I, then being marked fit, re-joined the battalion in Zululand.