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Driver Osmund Handford DCM - 88th Field Battery RFA 2 months 3 weeks ago #77132

  • DavidS
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Hi All,

I was lucky enough to purchase the group to the above man - 64419 Driver Osmund Handworth of the 88th Battery RFA; comprising DCM (EVII), QSA clasps CC/OFS/TVL and KSA. It also came with his South African Veterans Association Badge. I was drawn to this for a few reasons; i had always wanted a DCM for the Boer War, plus as his rank was just Driver i was nearly certain his DCM would be for gallantry rather than the "Good Work" ones you often see to senior NCOs.

He was MiD in the LG of September 10th 1901, with his DCM appearing on the 27th September of the same year. The only information that came from the group looks to have been lifted directly from Our Regiments in South Africa:
"The 88th Battery arrived on 14th February 1900, and was moved north to the Transvaal, and in August 1900 was part of a column under Lord Methuen based on Zeerust and Mafeking. An account of these operations can be found in Lord Roberts' despatch of 10th October 1900.
Afterwards the Battery was with Douglas's Brigade, operating about Klerksdorp, the valley of the Vaal, and other parts of the Western Transvaal. Both columns did work which was praised. The battery seems to have escaped serious losses at any time."

I've pinned down his civilian life so far; and i've ascertained he was in the Army in 1888 when he embarked on the SS Malabar as part of 1st Brigade (presumably for India) - but it doesn't look like his papers have survived. This looks to be his full entitlement though.
What i'm keen for guidance, or any kind of help on, is his time with the 88th in South Africa. I have no idea as to the normal time between action and gazette for the Boer War; and would love to try and pin down the action that's likely to be where he won his DCM - a tall order i know.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

David

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Driver Osmund Handford DCM - 88th Field Battery RFA 2 months 3 weeks ago #77133

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Great Find David.......

I ave a similar one also with LG on Sept. 27, 1901......

See: www.angloboerwar.com/forum/5-medals-and-...ld-artillery?start=0

Mike
Life Member
Past-President Calgary
Military Historical Society
O.M.R.S. 1591
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Driver Osmund Handford DCM - 88th Field Battery RFA 2 months 3 weeks ago #77135

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Oh that's lovely Mike, thanks for sharing.

Did you ever get any joy in pinning down his DCM action?

Other than the embarkation notice i mention below i haven't been able to find any military paperwork other than his roll entries and LGs. The DCM Register at the NA said that his DCM was awarded via GOC North East.

He's an interesting guy; looking at his early history i think it was "Army or Jail" in 1886.

David

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Driver Osmund Handford DCM - 88th Field Battery RFA 2 months 3 weeks ago #77136

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Hello David
Interestingly, I found 2 KSA medal rolls for Driver Osmund
Both WO100/ 308
88th RFA dated 4th December 1902 Cork
The other roll has him transferred to Number 6 depot RFA.
Roll dated 9th December 1902 Seaforth.
Is it possible you can provide a few more details on Driver Handford?
DOB and where he was born may help my search.
You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.
Best regards
Dave
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Driver Osmund Handford DCM - 88th Field Battery RFA 2 months 3 weeks ago #77137

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Hi Dave,

Sure can, Osmund was born in Burnaston in Derbyshire in 1867. (although other records have this as Burton-on-trent in Staffordshire)
1881 - "indoor Servant" at The Pastures Farm in Belper, Derbyshire
1894 - Married in Derby
1911 jobbing Gardener in Colwyn Bay
1939 Landscape Gardener - Derby
Died in Derby in 1941

Multiple arrests for fighting in the 1880s; seems to be in the Army by 1888 when he embarked overseas as part of the 1st Brigade R.A.

Thanks for having a look Dave,

David
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Driver Osmund Handford DCM - 88th Field Battery RFA 2 months 3 weeks ago #77142

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Hello David
I understand your frustration regarding information regarding Driver Handfords action pertaining to his DCM.
I could find nothing that you did not already know. It was not unusual for artillery personnel to be posted to other batteries, alas, without his papers it is impossible to say how he won his DCM and if it was with the 88th battery or another unit. There is very little detail on the actions of the 88th RFA.
I have looked at the casualty list for Osmunds battery. Here is the list.

11th October 1899 to 20th March 1899
23149 Bombardier H Hastler  Prisoner  Cape Town 28th February

21st March to 31st July1900

17471 Gunner G Andrew's Died of disease Orange River 2nd May 1900.

1st August  to 31st December 1900

79439 Farrier Sergeant  S Spragg slightly wounded at Zeerust 22nd October 1900

1st January 1901 to 30th June 1901.

29162 Gunner A Deacon died of disease  Krugersdorp 3rd June
23391 Gunner J Kermode died of disease  Vryburg    16th June

1st July 1901 to December 1901

96012 Sergeant S Synon killed at Zouitlief 16th September

1st January 1902 to 31st May 1902

203494 Bombardier  J Clayton died of disease Beaufort West 1st February

60920 Driver G Jordan died of disease Clanwilliam 1st February

99420 Driver C Hewson  injured near Vet Bridge, later died of his injuries.  1st January.


As you can see by the above list , the only 2 actions which incurred casualties were Zeerust and Zouitlief. As previously mentioned regarding the 88th Battery they seemed to have escaped serious losses at any time. Which could point to Driver Handford winning his DCM for the above 2 actions with the 88th or with another battery.

I have a very good friend whose passion is all things Artillery,  I have asked him to check if he has any data on the 88th RFA which might be helpful.

Best regards

Dave.
You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.
Best regards
Dave
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