Excellent photo of my great grandfather Captain John Francis Fisher at the start of this message string. As Local Acting Major, he was to die from wounds 20 November 1901 following a skirmish near Villiersdorp. Captains Inglis and Langmore survived the war, and Captain Langmore served and survived WW1.
Last dispatch by Major John Francis Fisher at 7.40am, 20th November 1901, Wounded at Villiersdorp & later Died about an hour after writing this:
The Boers are on the Kopje to our W[est] (between us and SAC Post) I don't think there are many of them but we cannot shift them. Perhaps the xxx and xxx men might make a diversion. Our horses etc are all right. Don't bring the infantry on on my account but hold the camp. If we do not return before, shall retire under cover of darkness....Boers have moved off NE.
J.F.Fisher, Major 7.40am 20-11-01"
Extract from The Great Boer War by Arthur Conan Doyle Chapter 36 The Spring Campaign (September to December, 1901)
Only two small actions during these months appear to call for any separate notice. The first was an attack made by Buys' commando, upon November 20th, on the Railway Pioneers when at work near Villiersdorp, in the extreme north-east of the Orange River Colony. This corps, consisting mainly of miners from Johannesburg, had done invaluable service during the war. On this occasion a working party of them was suddenly attacked, and most of them taken prisoners. Major Fisher, who commanded the pioneers, was killed, and three other officers with several men were wounded. Colonel Rimington's column appeared upon the scene, however, and drove off the Boers, who left their leader, Buys, a wounded prisoner in our hands.
QSA (4) Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal and South Africa 1901 (1823 PTE F. GRANVILLE RLY:PNR:REGT)
49 year old Frederick Granville, a Sign Writer from East London enrolled in the 3rd Battalion on 16th January 1901. He is shown as discharged on 28th April 1901, his attestation paper has a note ‘Died’ in the discharge section
DCM GV (3144 Sjt: A. E. Holmes. E.A. Pr. Coy.);
QSA (3) Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal (728 Pte. A. E. Holmes. Rly: Pnr: Regt.);
1914-15 Star (3144 Pnr. A. E. Holmes. E.A. Pnr. Coy.) unit partially double-struck;
British War and Victory Medals (3144 Sjt. A. E. Holmes. E.A. Pnr. Coy.)
DCM London Gazette 3 October 1918: ‘For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. Although advanced in years, he has always been most energetic, having been employed on both military works and field service for he last three years.’
M.I.D. London Gazettes 8 February 1917 and 7 March 1918 (both East Africa).
Arthur E. Holmes served with the Railway Pioneer Regiment in South Africa during the Boer War, and subsequently with the East African Pioneer Company in East Africa, Nyasaland, and Northern Rhodesia during the Great War from 23 July 1915. Discharged in the rank of Sergeant, for his services during the Great War he was twice Mentioned in Despatches, and was awarded the DCM.