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Medals to the Remount Department 2 years 6 months ago #80805

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Picture courtesy of Spink

QSA (5) Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal, South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902 (Major R. J. Lowry. Remount Dept.)

QSA verified on WO100/234p2. States Reserve of Officers and late Dragoon Guards.

QSA issued 31 December 1908 to Pomeroy House, Pomeroy, County Tyrone
Dr David Biggins
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Medals to the Remount Department 2 years 4 months ago #81747

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Picture courtesy of DNW

QSA (1) Cape Colony (A. E. Foxcroft. Remount Depot.)

Described by DNW as scarce. Estimate £140-180
Dr David Biggins
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Medals to the Remount Department 2 years 1 month ago #83643

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Pictures courtesy of Noonan's

OBE 1st/Mil, hallmarks for London 1919;
Egypt (4) Suakin 1884, El-Teb_Tamaai, The Nile 1884-85, Kirbekan (Lieut. D. E. [sic] V. Pirie. 4th. Dn. Gds.);
QSA (2) Cape Colony, Orange Free State (Captain D. V. Pirie. Remount Dept.) this a somewhat later issue;
1914 Star (Capt: D. V. Pirie.);
British War and Victory Medals, with MID (Lt. Col. D. V. Pirie.);
Greece, Kingdom, Order of the Redeemer, Officer’s breast badge, silver-gilt and enamel, with rosette on riband;
Serbia, Kingdom, Order of the White Eagle, Military Division, Officer’s breast badge, silver-gilt and enamel, with rosette on riband;
Khedive’s Star, dated 1882, a contemporary tailor’s copy by Jenkins, Birmingham

OBE London Gazette 7 June 1918: ‘For services with the British Expeditionary Force, Salonika.’

Greek Order of the Redeemer, Fourth Class London Gazette 21 July 1919.

Serbian Order of the White Eagle, Fourth Class London Gazette 10 September 1918.

Duncan Vernon Pirie was born in Aberdeen on 28 March 1858, and was educated at Trinity College Glenalmond, and Clifton College. He was commissioned Second Lieutenant in the 1st Dragoon Guards, from the Aberdeenshire Militia, in 1879, before transferring to the 7th Dragoon Guards shortly afterwards. Promoted Lieutenant in 1881, he transferred to the 4th Dragoon Guards, and served during the Egyptian Expedition of 1882-84 as an Extra Aide-de-Camp to Major-General Graham, VC, CB Present at the actions of El Magfar, Mahsameh, and Kassassin, for his services he was twice Mentioned in Despatches (London Gazette 19 September and 2 November 1882). His Egypt Medal was presented to him in 1883 at a Royal Levee at St. James’s Palace, overseen by the Prince of Wales.

Exchanging into the 1st Life Guards in late 1883, Pirie subsequently served during the Sudan Expedition attached to the Staff of the Cavalry Brigade, and was present at the Battles of El Teb and Tamaai, and then took part in the Nile Expedition with the Heavy Camel Regiment. Present at the action at Kirbekan, for his services he was again Mentioned in Despatches (London Gazette 25 August 1885).

Promoted Captain in the 5th (Royal Irish) Lancers, Pirie was briefly stationed in Ireland before transferring to the 3rd (King’s Own) Hussars in 1880. After serving as Aide-de-Camp to the Governor of Ceylon from 1890 to 1893, he returned to the UK and was elected Liberal Member of Parliament for Aberdeen North in 1896, a seat he held for the next 22 years.

Interrupting his parliamentary career, Pirie served in South Africa during the Boer War with the Remounts Department as the Disembarking Officer from 28 July 1900, and then during the Great War with the British Expeditionary Force, initially as a Railway Transport Officer on the Western Front form 28 September 1914, and later as an assistant Military Landing Officer. In 1916 he was appointed temporary Major of the 1st (Garrison) Battalion, Suffolk Regiment, and served with them in Salonika, and was afterwards in command of the British Garrison on Corfu from 13 December 1917 to 1 August 1918. For his services during the Great War he was again Mentioned in Despatches (London Gazette 11 June 1918), and was created an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, as well as receiving the Greek Order of the Redeemer and the Serbian Order of the White Eagle.

Advanced Lieutenant-Colonel at the end of the War, Pirie subsequently served as a Deputy Lieutenant of Aberdeen, and was a Member of the King’s Bodyguard for Scotland (the Royal Company of Archers). He died at his French home, the Chateau de Varennes, on 11 January 1931.



Dr David Biggins
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Medals to the Remount Department 2 years 2 weeks ago #83991

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The group to Captain Pirie sold this morning for a hammer price of £4,400. Totals (inc VAT for UK only): £5,667. R106,400. Au$9,660. Can$8,510. US$6,660
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Medals to the Remount Department 1 year 1 week ago #90720

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Picture courtesy of Noonan's

Egypt, dated reverse (0) (Lieut: H. E. Tombe. 2/Suff: R.);
QSA (3) Cape Colony, South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902 (Major H. E. Tombe. Remount Depot.) top lugs neatly removed;
Khedive’s Star, dated 1882, unnamed as issued

H E Tombe served as Commanding Officer of the Remount Depot at Cape Colony during the Second Boer War.

The 1905 Army List is less specific

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Medals to the Remount Department 9 months 5 days ago #92420

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CIVILIAN CLERK GEORGE HOWARD DAVIES
REMOUNT DEPARTMENT: DE AAR DEPOT

George Howard Davies was born in Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire, Wales in 1881. George appears on the Census for his year of birth residing at 5 Guildhall Square, Carmarthen St. Peter, Carmarthen. His father was a Jeweller aged 35 and originally came from Cardigan, Wales. His 31 year old mother Fanny nee Adams (yes, really!!) was recorded as Wife jeweller.
Other children of the family were Arthur Rowland (3), John Sidney (2) and Francis William (0) and recorded as also being born in 1881. So it seems highly likely that George was one of twins
The family, as one might expect of a Jeweller, appear to be of comfortable financial means, employing the services of Margaret Vaughan (26) as a General Domestic Servant and Catherine Roberts (15) as a Nurse. I would surmise Catherine possibly being a nurse/nanny to the twins?

1891 finds 10 year old George still living at 5 Guildhall Square in Carmarthen.
However, his mother is now described as a Widow and Jeweller. She probably kept the business going following the death of Benjamin. Arthur Rowland is also missing from the list of household members.
She would have needed to continue trading to provide an income, as the family had grown since 1881 Census with the addition of Frances E (6), Cecilia M (2).
On census day, a 29 year old Catherine Davies was visiting the family.
A single Domestic Servant was employed by the family, a Mary A J Page.

At some point, George found himself in South Africa during the Anglo Boer War in the role of a Civilian Clerk with the Remount Department at De Aar. De Aar would have been one of the smaller depots within this absolutely vital organisation which served to provide replacement mounts for the imperial mounted infantry, artillery, logistics and colonial mounted contingents.
The documentation system must have been an avalanche of paperwork when taken as a whole throughout the conflict. The native Basuto horses and Boerperds were much sought after as they were considered 'salted' and were well suited to the arduous conditions on the veldt ( Forer 2019) but the Basutos were reluctant to sell these prizes mounts, and in any case there would not have been enough of them to supply/resupply the imperial war effort.
Therefore, the imperial forces had to scour the four corners of the earth in order to source enough desperately needed warhorses for this highly mobile war.
Forer (2019) notes that the poor quality of these 'unsalted' horses, not bred for the privations of the veldt and with no resistance to horse sickness, resulted in an appalling wastage of horseflesh in the order of 60% and a total estimate of 400,000 fatalities!

So we can see that George would have been a very busy scribe during the war.


Queen's South Africa medal with no clasps awarded to CIV: CLERK G.H.DAVIES . REMOUNT DEPARTMENT.


Entitlement confirmed on Medal Roll WO100/234 for Present Staff at Remount Depot De Aar.



George would appear to have come through the war unscathed with no mention in casualty lists.

I have a couple questions for the forum please.

1-Would civilians employed by the Remount Department have been recruited locally or would they have been enlisted in the UK and travelled over to South Africa?

2- Would these civilian employees have needed any expert equestrian knowledge in the condition and maintenance of horses. Or were they purely admin? I guess they would have soon gained experience in theatre anyway.

Some further reading available from Naval and Military Press:

Forer, Duncan 2019): "Heroic Horses. Tales of Equine Courage From Waterloo to Korea."
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