Picture courtesy of Spink
IGS 1895 (1) Punjab Frontier 1897-98 (4390 Pte E. J. Buck. 1st Battalion, Devon. Regt);
QSA (4) Defence of Ladysmith, Transvaal, Elandslaagte, Orange Free State (4390 Pte. J. Buck, Devon: Regt.), clasps mounted in that order;
KSA (2) (4390 Corpl: E. J. Buck. Devon: Regt.)
Elliot John Buck was born at Folkstone, Kent in 1873, the son of Alfred John Buck, landlord of the Queen's Head, Farnham, Surrey. He worked as a Groom before attesting on 21 August 1895, he is noted as having previously served with the 2nd Battalion, The Queen's (West Surrey) Regiment. Posted to the 1st Battalion, Devonshire Regiment in India Buck served on the Punjab Frontier during the disturbances there between 1897-98.
During the build up of forces in South Africa prior to the outbreak of the Second Anglo-Boer War the 1st Battalion was posted there on 21 September 1899. This regiment took part in the savage fighting at Elandslaagte, one of few successful engagements for the British during the earliest battles of the war, while all units were heavily engaged in the battle one of the deciding factors was a bayonet charge by the Devons. Later they were part General White's garrison during the Defence of Ladysmith, being heavily engaged in the fight for Wagon Hill on 2 November 1899 and famously launching a courageous charge to finally force the Boers off the hill.
After the war Buck was posted to India again on 19 January 1902, here he is noted as having passed a Signalling course. Appointed Corporal on 4 July 1904 and later promoted Sergeant on 5 March 1906, he was reduced to the ranks for disobedience on 3 August 1907 and discharged on 27 January 1908.