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The Indian Contingent 7 years 4 months ago #15586

  • David Grant
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6 members were to die in South Africa

28 L.B. Hav.Far. R.G.Kitto KIA 8.3.1902 L/AG/26/11/2
39 Syce Lutchman 10/12/03 WO 100/296 p129
L/AG/26/11/2
R.B. Syce Maduray 23/4/00 WO 100/296 p129
L/AG/26/11/2
27 R.D. Farrier W.Lamgan 1/1/03 L/AG/26/11/2
1269 Private Sheik Abdulla Died 29/7/02 WO 100/296 p133
627 Private Jaipal Singh 7/6/03 L/AG/26/11/2


A particularly horrid affair occurred at Klipdrift on the 7th March 1902 when Lord Methune was capture by General De la Rey. It is graphically portrayed by Sir Fredrick Smith. " Then followed acts of murder which had become all too common; native drivers were shot, and the whole Indian and Kaffir establishment of the Field Veterinary Hospital were butchered. One Farrier Sergeant of Native Cavalry ( RG Kitto 3rd Madras Cavalry) and two Indian Assistants ( men carrying no arms) were ruthlessly shot dead after the surrender, and nine Hospital Kaffirs were either killed in action or murdered later"
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The Indian Contingent 7 years 4 months ago #15589

  • JustinLDavies
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David,

Fascinating stuff. The below is slightly ephemeral but may be of interest if you have a Coronation 1902 to a member of the Indian Contingent! From 'Nottingham Evening Post' 26th August 1902.

Best wishes,

Justin


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The Indian Contingent 7 years 4 months ago #15606

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Memorials to the Indian dead South African War.

Observatory, Johannesburg








The War Memorial stands at the summit of Observatory Ridge in Johannesburg, as a silent testament to the Indian Troops and Auxiliaries who fought and died in the Boer-War and whose contribution to that war has been as silently recorded in the histories of that conflict as the sandstone monument that commemorates their supreme sacrifice. This article, in part, is an attempt to list those who died and are commemorated.



The War Memorial referred to is a sandstone obelisk overlooking the valley in which in now Bezuidenhout Park but at the time a the Remount Depot which could stable thousands of horses under corrugated roofs. A tablet on the east side is inscribed with the legend







“To the memory of British Officers
Natives
NCOs and Men
Veterinary Assistants
Nalbands
And Followers of the Indian Army
Who died in South Africa, 1899-1902”


A second tablet in Urdu, Hindi and English, badly vandalized, is mounted on the opposite side.

Funding for this first memorial after the war was by public subscription, the local Indian population being the principal donators In the first flush of victory, and perhaps a new dawn for those nationalities who had contributed to the war effort, the following invitation was issued by the Johannesburg Town Council.
“Captain J.C.C. Perkins, the Native Officers. N.C.O.s and men of the Indian details, request the pleasure of the President and Members of the Johannesburg Municipality, their families and friends, to witness the unveiling of the Indian Monument at the Remount Depot, Bezuidenhout Valley, Johannesburg, by Lieut-General the Hon. N.G. Lyttleton, K.C.B., commanding Transvaal and Orange River Colonies, at 3.45 p.m. on Friday 31st October 1902”.


This spirit of acknowledgement is shown in the following :“Telegrams have been received by the officer commanding Indian Details here from the Indian community, Cape Town, Hindu Siva Society, P.E., and the Indian community, Durban, expressing gratification at the appreciation shown for the valour and loyalty of the Indian soldiers by the erection of a memorial which they acknowledge gives further proof of a truly Imperial Spirit in the hearts of all loyal subjects of His Majesty the King”

Braamfontein Cemetery
A second memorial was erected by Captain Perkins, Indian Details, to mark the burial site of four Muslims, from the Remount Depots at Bezuidenhout Valley, that died in August 1902. A shale inscription being made around the graves so as to read "There is no God but Allah and Mahomet is his Prophet” These bodies were exhumed in the development of Observatory Park and now lie buried near other war dead of the Boer War at Braamfontein Cemetery . The Granite tombstone reads




1899-1902
IN MEMORY OF
FOUR UNKNOWN DETAILS
FROM INDIA
WHO DIED DURING THE
SOUTH AFRICAN WAR.
ORIGINALLY BURIED AT
OBSERVATORY PARK
AND NOW LAID
TO REST HERE





Eric Itzkin Indian War Memorial: Selective Memories of the Anglo-Boer War, 1899-1902.
The Register of War Graves in Natal, 1904
Smith, Sir Fredrick Smith A Veterinary History of the War in South Africa 1899-1902. H.& W. Brown, London 1919
Wassweman J. & Kearney B A Warrior's Gateway. Durban and the Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902. Protea Book House, Pretoria. 2002
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The Indian Contingent 7 years 4 months ago #15609

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Thanks Justin,

I have no 1902 Coronation Medals with a QSA to an Indian yet. Always on the look out though. Here is the roll.




Just to as a matter of interest, this man has the 1911 Coronation with the Delhi clasp.




Interesting article. Thanks so much for that.
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The Indian Contingent 7 years 4 months ago #15621

  • Brett Hendey
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David

As usual, fascinating and informative posts for which I am most grateful.

I wondered if you have come across members of the South African Indian community who take an interest in your collecting specialisation? With the one notable exception, my occasional enquiries in Durban have produced no positive responses, although there is widespread interest in other aspects of Indian settlement here.

Regards
Brett

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The Indian Contingent 7 years 4 months ago #15624

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Thanks Brett for your continuing interest in this thread.

I am lucky to have a number of historians from Stellenbosch and UCT as friends and clients so I do harass them. One has written the book on Indian Immigration to South Africa. But apart from polite conversation no particular interest. I have one possible immigrant and that is 1026 Havildar Abas (40th Pathan Regiment Bengal Infantry). I did have inquiries about this man from a researcher in India but there was no follow up from information I supplied.

There was a Mr Reddy in KZN and Ganes Pillay who wrote bits and pieces for the Military History Society but I have not had any response to my attempts at contact.

Of interest is this from the Pietermaritzburg Archives

DEPOSITION FROM INDIAN SHEONARAYAN SINGH NUMBER 123006, REQUESTING A BRONZE CHINA MEDAL.

123006 SHEONARYAN SINGH Father ,AJODHIA SINGH; aged 24; Caste Thakur; From the Village of GAUSIR in IBAREILLY,MUSKABAD. Arrived Jun 1906 aboard the Umlazi from Calcutta and worked on Natal Estates Ltd. Mt. Edgecombe Verulam Sugar. He returned to India : 22.11.1917 aboard the Umkuzi

His foreman, on the sugar plantation, learnt of this man's prior work in China and applied for his medal and arranged for it to be presented. On this evidence there could well be others who came to Natal and brought their medals with them. I have advertised in the Natal Indian press to no avail.

So any contacts that "our men in KZN" might have would be appreciated.

ATB

David
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