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Medals to the SAC - South African Constabulary 3 months 17 hours ago #93767

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QSA (2) Cape Colony, Orange Free State (2755 3rd Cl: Tpr: C. S. Watson. S.A.C.);
[ BWM and VM ]

Charles Spriggs Watson was born on 17 July 1875 at High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. He joined the South African Constabulary on 29 January 1901 at their recruitment office in Glasgow. His original departure was delayed because he was a married man at the time, this was eventually resolved and his attestation papers were signed on 1 May 1901 and Watson left for South Africa. On 28 September 1901 he went missing near Leeuwfontein in the Orange Free State but was later released and rejoined his troop, having been released by the Boers.

His family joined him in South Africa, leaving the family home in Scotland, and he was then to leave the S.A.C., and wrote to Captain Collins on 25 February 1903 as follows:

"Sir, I beg to make application for my discharge from S.A.C. with a view of receiving civil employment at my trade as Plumber by D.W.O. "E" Division, S.A.C. Hoping that you will recommend my application."

He was discharged on 8 April 1903, with the outbreak of the Great War he completed the South African Expeditionary Forces Attestation form at Potchefstroom on 9 December 1915 for service with the South African Medical Corps in German East Africa. Having been passed as 'Fit' by the Doctor he was given the number 879 and with the rank of Private was assigned to the Sanitation Corps and, initially, attached to the 4th South African Horse with effect from 15 January 1916 when he was already deployed in German East Africa. He had been promoted to Corporal with the Sanitation Corps four days earlier, being elevated to Sergeant's rank on 21 March 1916.

With the climate not suited for European troops, Watson was recalled back to South Africa and disembarked at Durban from H.M.T. Aragon on 11 February 1917 and was given recuperative leave to Johannesburg from 14 February until 13 May 1917 before being sent back to the front on 13 June 1917 aboard the H.M.Y. Anchises.

Back in the theatre of conflict he was attached to the 8th South African Infantry on 18 May 1917 where he resumed his duties. On 13 August 1917 at Lindi he succumbed to the ravages of Blackwater Fever and was hospitalised. He died on 20 August 1917 and is buried in the Dar Es Salaam Cemetery, Tanzania. His wife did not claim his Great War campaign medals.

Spink says, in addition to the 2 clasps on the medal he was entitled to the clasps South Africa 1901 and South Africa 1902.
Dr David Biggins
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Medals to the SAC - South African Constabulary 2 months 4 weeks ago #93788

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QSA (0) (231 Tpr: P. Bradley. S.A.C.) fitted with replacement suspension

Patrick Bradley was born on 9 September 1874 at St George, Dublin. He originally enlisted into the Royal Dublin Fusiliers in 1891 but after only 64 days his father purchased his discharge on 27 March 1891. He then attested for service with the 8th Hussars in Dublin on 25 February 1892, claiming to be 18 years and seven months old. At the time this created quite a stir in parliamentary circles, the Enlistment Law being brought under the microscope and debated in the House of Commons as a direct consequence of Bradley's attestation. The Huddersfield Daily Chronicle of 11 May 1892 reported the matter thus:

'In reply to Mr P. O'Brien, Mr Broderick said there was no minimum age fixed by law for recruits, but under the army regulations recruits were not enlisted before 18, unless they possessed the physical equivalents of that age. If a boy enlisted under false pretences his parents could not claim his discharge. In the case of the boy Bradley, who joined the 8th Hussars in Dublin, then 17 1/2 years of age, the Secretary for War did not intend to interfere, as he was physically equivalent to 18 1/2 years of age.'

The Birmingham Daily Post of the same day ran the same article.

This service, however, was destined to be short-lived and Bradley exited the army on 24 May 1892 after only 90 days, his discharge being Purchased by his father for £10. During this time he was admitted to the hospital at Norwich on 4 March 1892 for a "Wound". He was discharged on 10 March after seven days and was thereafter the subject of a Court of Inquiry where the Surgeons held that his injury would not "incapacitate him from further service as a soldier". He spent a further six days in hospital between 25-30 April, with Rheumatism before rejoining his unit.

Bradley re-enlisted on 29 November 1900, this time into the South African Constabulary who were recruiting at Inns Quay Police Courts in London. He was sent to South Africa and on 10 February 1901 signed a fresh Attestation Paper at Modderfontein in the Transvaal, and claimed to be "married" on these papers.

Promoted to 1st Class Trooper on 16 April 1901, he was however reduced back to 3rd Class Trooper on 9 June 1901 before being transferred to the Reserve "B" Division on 1 October 1901. On 1 January 1902 he was transferred to No.10 Troop at the Depot, and on 16 December 1902, some six months after the Boer War had come to an end, he took his discharge from the S.A.C. to join the Town Police. His character was described as' Good' and he was credited with service of 1 year and 310 days.

Despite his character rating, his service had not been without incident and his name appeared several times on the Defaulter's Register. The first time was at Modderfontein on 11 May 1901 where he appeared on two charges, disobeying of Orders and making use of improper language to a Senior NCO. Bradley was severely reprimanded on this occasion. On 8 June 1901 he was found guilty of Conduct to the prejudice of Good Order and Discipline and reduced to the rank of 3rd Class Trooper. His final act of defiance came on 12 October 1902 at Proclamation Hill outside Pretoria where he was guilty of "Not handing in his pass at the guard room when returning to camp". A fine of 5/- was levied for this offence.

It will be remembered that Bradley had claimed to be single on enlisting with the S.A.C. but what he had failed to mention, in a deliberate act of deception, was that he had in fact married "Ellen" at St.Joseph's in Berkeley Road, Dublin on 12 July 1898. This was finally revealed in a leter he directed to the Officer Commanding "C" Troop, Reserve Depot at Modderfontein in June 1901. It read as follows:

"Sir

I beg to make the following statement with reference to my being shown the S.A.C. books as a single man while I have a wife living, and ask that this may be kindly forwarded by you to the proper Authority with a view to my wife being overtaken on the strength at some future date. I joined the S.A.C. under the following circumstances. I was living in Dublin and saw the advertisements relative to men joining the S.A.C.. One of the conditions said that a certain percentage of married men would be taken. I applied to the Recruiting Officer in Dublin to join as a married man, but was told by the Recruiting Officer that no married men would be sent out on the S.S. Canada- a boat I wished to come out on with friends I knew were joining. I then applied to the london office and joined as a single man. I know desire to be shown as a married man, and trust that the Inspector General will see his way clear to overlook this irregularity on my part."

On 6 June the Chief Staff Officer wrote to Bradley's O.C. stating that "he should be required to produce a copy of his marriage certificate certified by a minister of religion as well as a certificate from a police officer that his wife is alive and living at the address shown. On receipt of these the entry on his attestation papers should be amended in accordance with the facts."

The C.O. went on to say that, "I am afraid that there will be other cases like this - Lance Corporal Bradley has done his work well since he attested- But of course he is guilty of a False Declaration on attestation". Bradley could not be placed on the married establishment "until all other properly enlisted married men are on it".

Despite being married and his wife being in Dublin, Bradley contracted Gonorrhoea on several occasions.

On 12 December 1902 the Staff Officer "B" Division wrote to the Staff Adjutant stating that "Tpr Bradley wishes to join the "Town Police" and I can recommend him as a good and reliable man". With those words Bradley and the S.A.C. parted company but this "good" and "reliable" man was to be heard from again.

Still living in South Africa, his wife however wrote to Mr Joseph Chamberlain from her address in Dublin.

"Dear Sir

I have been recommended to write to you, my husband, Trooper P. Bradley, 1022 B Division joined the South Africa Constabulary in January 1901 and I have been informed by the Crown Agents he has been discharged. I have had no money since January last, and as I haven't heard since July last I would be thankful if you would give me his address, I have two chilren aged 4 1/2 and 3 and we cannot exist on nothing. If there are funds to meet such a case as mine I would be thankful if you would consider my case. I have written to the Captain of his Company also to the Officer Commanding snce November and never received a reply."

Chamberlain's Secretary, H. Bertram Cox, wrote back to Mrs. Bradley from Downing Street on 27 March 1903:

"Madam

I am directed by Mr Secretary Chamberlain to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 20th of March and to state in reply that as your husband Mr Bradley was discharged from the South African Constabulary on the 16th December last it is not possible to assist you except by asking the Governor of the Transvaal to endeavour to ascertain the address of your husband, which will accordingly be done. As he is no longer in the service of the Government he cannot be compelled by the Transvaal Government to contribute to the support of his family".

Bradley was found and at the time was a Fitter in the Maintenance Works of the Central South African Railways, Pretoria.

His family join him in South Africa. However things take a turn again for Bradley as on 8 May 1912 he appeared before Sir William Smith in the Supreme Court of South Africa, Transvaal Provincial Division, to answer to a charge of Rape. He represented himself in court and was found guilty the following day. He was sentenced to six years imprisonment with hard labour. After serving five years in prison his wife divorces him. On being released from prison he begins a liaison with a Bessie Bradley and they have three children, he dies on 6 February 1937 from lung cancer.

As an aside to the above story Patrick Joseph Bradley, son from his first marriage, died on 24 October 1942 at the Battle of El Alamein
Dr David Biggins
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Medals to the SAC - South African Constabulary 2 months 4 weeks ago #93792

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David
What a story
So detailed, with a life full of such a variety of circumstances.
Thanks
Clive

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Medals to the SAC - South African Constabulary 1 month 6 days ago #94661

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Picture courtesy of Noble Numismatic

QSA (2) Cape Colony, Orange Free State (1253 3rdCl Tpr: E. E. Teer. S.A.C);
1914-15 Star (1125 Pte E. Teer. 3/Bn. A.I.F.);
BWM and VM (1125 A/Sgt E. Teer. 3/Bn. A.I.F.)

Described as:

Ex Sid Thurgar Collection.

Boer War: E.E. Teer confirmed as serving with South African Constabulary.

WWI: Edwin Eugene Teer, gardener, age 37, born at Dublin, Ireland; Enl.29Aug1914 at Kensington, Sydney, NSW, with previous service in South Africa Constabulary (time expired); Emb.19Oct1914; to Gallipoli 05Apr1915; WIA and to hospital with concussion 06Aug1915; rejoined unit 06Mar1916; TOS 1 Pioneer Bn 10Mar1916; to L/Cpl 11Mar1916; to France 26Mar1916; to hospital in England with septic leg due to accidental abrasion 29Jun1916; to A/Sgt 16Nov1916; to France 04Dec1916; reverts to L/Cpl 05Dec1916; rejoined unit 20Dec1916; to Cpl 17Mar1917; to hospital with debility 25Oct1917; classified 'P.L.' - myalgia & age; RTA 11Jan1918; Disch.19Jul1918 Medically Unfit - rheumatism and premature senility; In December 1918 it was reported that E.E.Teer was appointed gardener and caretaker of the Tamworth Oval and the Council Chambers garden.
Dr David Biggins
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Medals to the SAC - South African Constabulary 3 weeks 2 days ago #94863

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Source: Billy Whitney's squad, South African Constabulary, 20th Troop, South Africa.", [ca. 1900], (CU1175107) by Unknown. Courtesy of Glenbow Library and Archives Collection, Libraries and Cultural Resources Digital Collections, University of Calgary.
Dr David Biggins
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Medals to the SAC - South African Constabulary 3 weeks 2 days ago #94865

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Most likely Corporal W.C. Whitney, no. E2182.
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