Pictures courtesy of Liverpool Medals
Queen’s South Africa Medal, no bars, 457 Dirver Herbert William “Bert” Horsfall, “E” Quebec Battery, Canadian Field Artillery.
Officially impressed in large capitals: “457 DR: H.W. HORSFALL, R. CANDN: F. A.” With clear ghost dates to reverse.
Medal roll shows the medal was personally presented to Herbert by HRH the Duke of Cornwall and York, who at the time was the future King George V, on 18th September 1901 on his Royal Tour of Canada during 1901.
Also entitled to 3 bars for Cape Colony, Orange Free State and Transvaal, but as with all Royal Presentation awards the medal was issued on it’s own without claps for them to be posted later.
Mr Herbert William Horsfall, was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on 9th October 1879.
He grew up around Montreal in St Gabriel and later St Lambert.
As a young man he played a lot of Ice Hockey for Montreal and Quebec, these were the early days of Canadian Ice Hockey, which had only began during 1875 in Montreal and during his time there were no professional contracts until about 1907 so everyone was a keen amateur.
The Book, “La Coupe a Quebec, Les Bulldogs et la naissance du hockey a Quebec” by Marc DUrand and Jean Provencher records in 1899 that after a rough game: “Clare McKerrow (scorer of 6 goals in the previous win against Quebec) is in such bad shape that he won’t play again for the season and Bert Horsfall was kicked hard by spectators after being pushed among them.”
He proved himself to be a very skilled forward and would become a top scorer in his first seasons, he played for Montreal in the 1897 Season and was 10th highest scorer with 5 goals in 8 games, next season with Quebec in the Amateur Hockey Association of Canada season of 1898 and was a scoring leader with 6 goals in 8 games played, being the 10th highest scorer of the season.
For his service in the Boer War, Bert signed on at Montreal for E Battery, Royal Canadian Field Artillery on 29th December 1899, working as a Clerk.
There were 3 Batteries raised during the war, C, D and E, with E Battery being raised locally in Quebec, Montreal and surrounding areas of French Canada.
“E” Battery RCFA arrived in Cape Town about February 1900 and served mostly in the Western Cape Colony.
They later formed part of the Griqualand column and sufferd 1 killed and 8 wounded in action at Faber’s Putt. E Battery would suffer the highest battle casualties out of the 3 batteries.
He was officially discharged on 9th January 1901, and awarded his medal in September of 1901.
Following the war he returned to Hockey in 1903 with the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association for a few years.
During 1910 he married Jane Johnson in St Lambert, Quebec.
In 1928 Bert emigrated to the United States of America through Michigan and settled in Burbank, California.
He was doing well and was working as a Saleman, I believe he was a Wine Merchant at the time, when he suddenly dropped dead one day on 12th September 1934.
The Van Nuys News, 13th September 1934 Reports:
MAN DROPS DEAD NEAR HIS OFFICE
BERT HORSFALL SUFFERS HEART ATTACK WHILE DIRECTING WORK OF ASSISTANT
Bert Horsfall, 55, of 3360 Silver Lake Boulevard, Los Angeles, dropped dead at his place of business at 2100 West Sixth Street, Burbank, at 8:30 Wednesday Morning.
Horsfall, according to police reports, was directing an assistant regarding some work at an adjoining building and enroute from his office fell to the ground dead. A physician was summoned who stated that the dead man had evidently suffered a heart attack and had died instantly.”