I've just bought a QSA to 5744 Tpr. A.J. Leech, Thorneycroft's M.I. - according to an envelope in which the medal came, he was Severely Wounded at Colenso on 15 December 99. Please could someone with access to the rolls, reports confirm this.
From what I can see, a T. Leech with the same number was the chap wounded. Are they one and the same? Independent confirmation would be highly appreciated.
Sounds like another error on the rolls as regards initials, as are all too common. You have the number and surname, and there are only two men named Leech on the rolls so most likely correct.
Interestingly, he wasn't on the written nominal roll as shown on the unit webpage on ABW.
I had a look at it on offer and fancied it as a Colenso casualty, but will keep my powder dry for the forthcoming Noble sale.
All the same a decent medal for your money.
All the best,
First name(s) Arthur John
Last name Leech
Service number 5744
Regiment Thorneycroft's Mounted Infantry
Rolls WO100/277 page 41
Event detail Wounded Dangerously on 15/12/1899 at Colenso
Event unit Thorneycroft's Mounted Infantry
Gazetteer [2828:2844-2950] a village in Natal Colony (Estcourt district; KwaZulu-Natal), 21 km south of Ladysmith. The town commanded a strategically important crossing by road and rail between northern Natal and the Natal Midlands. After the British retreat to Ladysmith*, the town was garrisoned by the 2nd The Royal Dublin Fusiliers and several locally recruited units as well as the Natal Naval Volunteers with two 9-pounder guns. The arrival of Boer artillery on the heights to the north of the river which command the town caused the evacuation of the garrison to Estcourt on 2/3 November 1899. Boer commandos crossed the river on to the plain surrounding the town on 14 November. On 15 December the Natal Army under Gen Sir R.H. Buller mounted an assault on the crossing, Maj-Gen A.F. Hart's 5th infantry brigade ordered to cross the river at Bridle Drift (1)* and then move eastwards towards the town whilst Maj-Gen H.J.T. Hildyard's 2nd infantry brigade was to make a frontal assualt after a preliminary artillery bombardment. Hart's brigade failed to find the crossing and was withdrawn under heavy Boer fire; Col C.J. Long, RHA, positioned his guns too close to the well hidden Boer front lines, was severely shelled and shot at and forced to abandon them; Hildyard's brigade was used to cover the retreat of these units. Five companies of the 2nd The Queen's (Royal West Surrey) regiment occupied Colenso before being ordered to withdraw. For gallantry in treating the wounded under heavy fire during this operation, Maj W. Babtie, RAMC, was awarded the Victoria Cross. For attempting to retrieve the abandoned guns of the 14th and 66th batteries Royal Field Artillery under heavy fire, Capt H.N. Schofield, Royal Field Artillery, Capt W.N. Congreve, Rifle Brigade, Lt the Hon F.H.S. Roberts, King's Royal Rifle Corps, Capt H.L. Reed, Royal Field Artillery, Cpl G.E. Nurse, Royal Field Artillery, and Pte C. Ravenhill, Royal Scots Fusiliers, were each awarded the Victoria Cross. DCMs were awarded to:Sgt IoM 1196 T Allen, Border Regt, "when officer of Maxim was shot took charge and worked gun to end of day with remarkable address"Pte 3837 W Seeley, Royal Irish Fusiliers, "When the retirement was ordered…Lieutenant Taylor and Private Seeley remained behind to bring back a wounded man (Private Murray), who was much exhausted. They had to retire with him very slowly under a heavy fire, and rest every two hundred yards or so. They eventually obtained a horse on which they placed their charge, bringing him out under the fire of a Boer Maxim gun".After a sequence of reverses upstream, Buller attempted to force the Thukela crossing downstream with a deserted Colenso village on his left flank. Preparatory to the main attack on 21 February 1900 against Boer positions based on Hlangwane*, the 2nd The Royal Dublin Fusiliers entered the village on 20 February followed by Thorneycroft's Mounted Infantry; the latter unit crossed the river soon after daybreak on the following day when a pont was brought to the village. By 22 February Hart's brigade was positioned in Colenso ready to advance and the village was once again in British control. It was the location of a white concentration refugee camp. HMG I pp.262, 264, 267 and 345-375 (map nos. 15 and 15(a)), II pp.460-461, 468-469 and 533 (map nos.30(a) and 30(b)), IV pp.669 and 700; Times II pp.427-459 (map facing p.456), III pp.507 and 513-542 (map facing p.542); Breytenbach III pp.448-449 (map facing p.558); Wilson I pp.87-109 (map on p.95), II pp.458-462 (photographs and map on p.473); Trichardt pp.128-133 (map facing p. 119); Duxbury; Cd.819; Barnard cap.3 (map on pp.44-45); Griffith pp.177-209 (map on p.179);LG;Rudolf.
Event source NFF
Country Great Britain
Literary references Black and White Budget 19000505
Notes [Black and White Budget] Age 15 [The National Archives WO100. The QSA and KSA campaign medal rolls.] Transferred to Transport Dpt Col Pilcher's column [Natal Field Force. JB Hayward & Sons] Initial 'T'. QSA Clasps: OFS,T,TH,RoL,LN
Record set Anglo-Boer War Records 1899-1902
Category Military Service & Conflict
Subcategory Boer Wars
Collections from Great Britain, UK None
Military Historical Society