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5549 Private David Packham 3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards. 1 week 5 days ago #76223

  • Dave F
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David was born in 1875 and resided in Hellingly, Hailsham Sussex. He joined the Grenadiers in November 1895 at Eastbourne. His age stated was 20 years and 3 months.
Private Packham was 6ft 1 inch tall, he had a fresh complexion with blue eyes, light brown hair and weighed in at 11 stone 14 pounds. No scars or tattoos recorded, although he couldn’t extend his little finger on his right hand which was a condition from birth. His religious denomination was Church of England. His profession stated was Labourer. The 1891 census has David living with his parents David & Ruth and his brother Andrew.
Private Packham was stationed in Gibraltar, Malta and Egypt. He served in the Nile Expedition and was awarded the Queens Sudan and the Khedive Sudan medal, (Khartoum clasp). He only served 78 days in South Africa, he arrived in October 1899 and was back home again on the 6th January 1900, having being wounded (23rd November 1899) in action at the battle of Belmont. He remained in England for over 2 years before he returned to South Africa in April 1902 for 101 days.
During his long convalescence at home the 1901 census has him working as a night watch man which looks like either at the Asylum ward or works .(Difficult to read due to heavy crossings out).

Below is a brief note on the 3rd Grenadier’s at the battle of Belmont.
The 3rd Battalion sailed from Gibraltar in the Ghoorkha on 25th October 1899, and arrived at the Cape about 15th November. Along with the 1st and 2nd Coldstreams and the 1st Scots Guards they composed the 1st (Guards) Brigade.
General Buller was in overall command but the Division was independently commanded by Lt-Gen Lord Methuen of the Scots Guards. Maj-Gen Henry Colville of the Grenadier Guards was the Brigade commander assisted by ADC Captain G C Nugent and Brigade Major Captain H G Ruggles-Brise, both Grenadier officers.

Gun Hill, Belmont 23 Nov 1899
Advancing to relieve Kimberley at the beginning of the war, Methuen attempted a night attack at Belmont on 22-23 November 1899. He sent Colville off with his brigade to assault Gun Hill: although 'They were guided by my Brigade Major, Captain Ruggles-Brise, who led them to the exact spot', Colville admitted that he had miscalculated the distance, and that the commanding officer, Lt-Col Crabbe of 3rd Grenadier Guards attacked the wrong hill. Crabbe was wounded and the attack was led by Major Kinloch. The hill was in fact the objective of the Coldstream Guards, and a faulty map was to blame for the error. The Grenadiers displayed great bravery in the assault and sustained heavy casualties: 2 officers and 23 men killed, 7 officers and 97 men wounded. These losses represented half the total loss of the whole force.



Modder River 28 Nov 1899
The Boers were entrenched either side of the Modder River at the confluence of the Reit and Modder where a railway bridge remained undamaged. The Transvaalers were commanded by De La Rey and Cronje, and the Free Staters by Prinsloo. Methuen chose to send the Guards Brigade into a frontal attack with the Scots Guards on the right coming in on the enemy flank. The 3rd Grenadiers were in the middle with a mile-long front. The Boers were well armed and able to direct accurate fire on the exposed troops. They were pinned down for many hours in hot sun and suffering from thirst and hunger. One Guards officers wrote afterwards:
"We had no cover except little scrub bushes about 6 inches high, and the ground sloping gently down to the Boers from about 2000 yards. I don't suppose troops have ever been in a more damnable position. I sat up occasionally to see how things were going, but only for a moment, as it was always the signal for a perfect storm of bullets. My ammunition-bearer had his head blown to bits by a 1lb shell from a 37mm Maxim, a most damnable gun. I happened to be in the line of it just before dark, and they pumped 6 rounds at me. The first 4 pitched in a line about 20, 10, 15 and the fourth 4 yards in front of me, and threw dirt all over me, and the next two just pitched behind me. I didn't like it a bit...it was the worst I have ever spent in my life. Twelve hours under constant and heavy fire of Maxims, 12-pounders, and other quick-firing guns and rifles, a hot sun, no cover, no water, and no food is more than enough for yours truly... The guns [Royal Artillery 18th, 75th and 62nd Batteries] yesterday fought magnificently, and I believe fired more rounds per gun than have ever been fired in a battle before... We had a lovely wash this morning. I washed shirt and drawers, besides myself - I wanted it. My clothes have not been off since we left the Orange River on November 21."

The battle continued into the night but the Boers would not have been forced from their defensive positions but for the bravery of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and others who forded the river and took the enemy by surprise. The battle was a victory and gained a battle honour for the regiment. Grenadier Guard casualties: 3 officers wounded, 12 men killed, 50 wounded. The whole Division: 68 men killed, 3 officers killed, 16 officers and 368 men wounded. One of the best-known casualties was Major Count Gleichen who was badly wounded. Also wounded was Lt Hon E Lygon and 2nd Lt A H Travers. Lord Methuen mentioned the following from the 3rd Battalion in his despatch: Sgt Brown and Private Martin who helped Count Gleichen and were both shot. Sgt-Major Cooke who displayed remarkable coolness under fire. Lt the Hon A Russell showed great coolness in working a machine-gun, which he did with marked success. Capt- Hervey Bathurst, Grenadier Guards was of great value in rallying a number of Grenadiers and Coldstream's shaken by the fire.
The 3rd Battalion was at Magersfontein on 11 Dec but were not heavily involved. Thereafter they marched with Lord Roberts' army through the Orange Free State and Transvaal, arriving at Komati Poort on the eastern border by late Sept. In Nov 1900 they were brought down to Cape Colony to guard drifts on the Orange River. To the end of the campaign, they were employed in the Colony in suppressing Boer insurgency.

David was discharged on the 10th of November 1907. He moved to Eastbourne. The 1911 Census has him living at Annington Road Eastbourne Sussex. He lived with his wife Eva and his son Charles. He also had 2 step children, George & Doris (Bearteys?)
David was a police constable in Eastbourne where he remained until his death in June 1955 aged 79



Private D Packham's QSA



You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.
Best regards
Dave
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5549 Private David Packham 3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards. 1 week 4 days ago #76230

  • rdarby
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I think I sold his single bar KSA at DNW a few years ago.

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5549 Private David Packham 3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards. 1 week 4 days ago #76235

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rdarby wrote: I think I sold his single bar KSA at DNW a few years ago.


You mean his Kehidive Sudan medal?
Originally they were sold as a pair QSA & KSM went for 300 notes at Dixon Noonans in December 2006.
Shame when they get split up. Still, as a collector of single QSA casualties I have the one I wanted.
You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.
Best regards
Dave

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5549 Private David Packham 3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards. 1 week 4 days ago #76236

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No a King’s South Africa medal. He got one with a single 1902 bar. I still have his papers somewhere. Same number and name.

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5549 Private David Packham 3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards. 1 week 4 days ago #76237

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That's very interesting,
The paperwork I have states Belmont, Transvaal, Cape Colony with a circle around it. And a 1902 single clasp to his QSA. WO 100 / 317 KSA roll has his name on list with no ticks against the KSA entitlement and a line crossed through his name. Dated 1st December 1902.Aldershot
Would be nice to see your paperwork if possible.
Best regards
Dave

PS Another roll 100/317 Dated 27th October 1903 stamped GG orderly room Buckingham.
3 entries Packham, Rawlinson and Wait only Rawilinson has entitlement to KSA the other recipients in the remarks column state- In possession of clasp South Africa 1902.
You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.
Best regards
Dave

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5549 Private David Packham 3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards. 1 week 4 days ago #76240

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Here is the thread about Single Bar K.S.A.'s

www.angloboerwar.com/forum/5-medals-and-...ngle-bar-ksa?start=0

Mike
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