QSA (3) Elandslaagte, Defence of Ladysmith, Belfast (4483 Cpl. C. S. Philips, Devon: Regt.);
KSA (2) (4483 Corpl: E. S. Philips. Devon: Regiment)
Charles Samuel Philips was born in August 1877 at Paddington, London the son of William John Philips of North Kennington, London. He worked as a plumber's mate prior to enlisting with the Devonshire Regiment on 5 October 1895. Notably he was not the only member of his family to serve in the military, as his younger brother William John Philips joined the Royal Marines. Posted first to the East Indies, Philips served there from 28 February 1898 - 20 September 1899 when the Devonshire Regiment sailed for South Africa, arriving in 21 September. They joined Colonel Ian Hamilton's Brigade along with the 1st Battalion, Manchester Regiment and the 2nd Battalion, Gordon Highlander's.
Engaged first at Elandslaagte (21 October) they formed part of the reinforcements sent to join General French's small army advancing against the Boer defensive position on the hills above the Dundee railway. The plan was for the Manchester Regiment and Gordon Highlanders to push the enemy's centre and left up the hill and while the Devonshires drove into their right and the cavalry moved around their extreme left outflank them. This plan succeeded with the Gordons and Manchesters pushing the enemy back and the Devonshires attack hitting home while they were still reeling. Meanwhile the Imperial Light Horse cut across the hill and attacked their flank, losing their commander Colonel Chisholme. When the British had pushed past the Boer Guns to their camp a white flag was raised. However it seems that not all the Boers agreed with the surrender and those 'Bitterenders' opened fire again as the British showed themselves. At that moment Hamilton managed to rally his brigade into a bayonet charge, supported by the sudden appearance of the cavalry who charged the Boer flank, and broke the enemy's last resistance. Despite their victory, news of the Boer advances and the death of General Penn Symons at Talana Hill caused the army to withdraw to Ladysmith. They were engaged at Rietfontein and then again during the Siege of Ladysmith. Here the Devonshires excelled themselves in several engagements, most notably the Waggon Hill charge. Finally they shared in the action at Belfast, advancing alongside the 1st Royal Scots and the 1st Royal Irish.
Philips left South Africa with his regiment on 6 December 1902, returning to India on 19 January 1903. He did not see Britain again until 7 December by which time he had been promoted Corporal. Transferring the next day to the Army Reserve he was discharged completely at Exeter on 4 October 1911. Enlisting again for the Devonshire Regiment on 19 August 1916, he was posted to the Regimental Depot with the rank of Private - however he was promoted Corporal again the same day. Appointed Acting Sergeant on 27 November 1916, he later transferred to 3rd Labour Battalion on 25 April 1917 and was further transferred to the 'Z' Class Reserve on 3 January 1920.
The 2 clasp QSA to 4429 Pte. C. Paddon, Devon: Regt, who died of dysentery in April 1900 sold for a hammer price of £650 at DNW on Wednesday. Totals (inc VAT for UK only): £837. R16,500. Au$1,470. Can$1,350. US$1,090
IGS 1895 (2) Punjab Frontier 1897-98, Tirah 1897-98 (3351 Pte W. H. Knight 1st Bn Devon Regt);
QSA (3) Elandslaagte, Defence of Ladysmith, Belfast (3357 Corpl: W. H. Knigh. Devon: Regt);
KSA (2) (3357 Corpl: W. Knight. Devon: Regt), post loose on first and third, contact wear and edge bruising overall, nearly very fine.
William Henry Knight was born at Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. Enlisting on 10 November 1891 with the Devonshire Regiment, having previously worked as a Blacksmith.
Posted to India on 17 December 1892 he joined 1st Battalion and served during the North West Frontier disturbances and the Tirah Expeditionary Force, being promoted Lance Corporal on 12 September 1898. Knight remained in the country until 20 September 1899 when he and his Battalion were posted to South Africa. With the Second Boer War drawing to a close he returned to India, joining 2nd Battalion and remaining there for another two years from 19 January 1902-23 January 1904.
Finally returning to Britain after over a decade he remained there from 14 January 1904, being posted to the Regimental Depot and reverting to Private on 9 January 1905. Posted again with 2nd Battalion, first briefly to Crete from 8 January-26 July 1909 then Malta where he remained for the next two years from 27 July 1909-14 January 1912.
On from Malta to Egypt from 18 January 1912-30 September 1912 he returned home again and served attached 3rd Battalion from 1 October until 8 November 1912 when he was discharged at Gosport. He went on to live at Mythe Bridge Cottage, Gloucestershire