QSA bronze (906 Dooly Bearer Gundapericola, S. & T. Corps)
Gundapericola served as a Dooly Bearer with the Bangalore District, Madras Command, Supply and Transport Corps in South Africa during the Boer War, and was present at the action at Talana on 20 October 1899, the first battle in which the Dooly Bearer Corps rescued the wounded under enemy fire. H. Watkins-Pitchford described the scene thus:
‘... and the Dooly Bearers waddling back under their heavy burdens. Excellent little fellows these bearers are, some of them with four or five ribands upon the breasts of their dirty khaki blouses. They trot out complacently under the heaviest fire and seem to know no fear.’
The Dooly Bearer Corps rescued and removed approximately 240 wounded men from the field of action at Talana that day. As the Natal Mercury of 30 October 1899 reported:
‘At the Talana Hill Battle, during the heaviest fighting, when bullets were scouring the air, and men were falling dead and wounded in terrible numbers, these stoical and stolid Asiatics went about their business with heroic indifference to the leaden rain. It is due to them very largely that so many wounded were not afterwards numbered among the killed.’
The Dooly Bearer Corps at Talana numbered 199 men- with the exception of 14 members from the Ahedabad District who managed to escape to Pietermaritzburg with some of the wounded, virtually the entire Corps was later interned at Ladysmith.
Sold with copied medal roll extract, which shows ‘entitlement’ to the clasps, Belfast, Orange Free Stare, Talana, Defence of Ladysmith, and Laing’s Nek’, with the later annotation ‘no clasps to be issued for these followers’.