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TOPIC: QSAs with clasp Defence of Kimberley

QSAs with clasp Defence of Kimberley 2 months 3 weeks ago #62617

  • Frank Kelley
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I think it is just nice to see these days, so many are lost forever, there used to be a collector of all things Kimberley that insisted upon mounting his collection with awful polyester ribbon, but, at least he always kept the original brooches, although, they do look a little odd when court mounted for display.

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QSAs with clasp Defence of Kimberley 2 months 4 days ago #62795

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Picture courtesy of Lockdales

QSA(4) DoL (4505 Pte G Sheppard 1st L.N.Lanc Regt.)

Born Fulham, London. Died of Disease at Klerksdorp 17 December 1901.

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QSAs with clasp Defence of Kimberley 2 months 2 days ago #62821

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The DoK pair to J R De Melker whose brother was married to South Africa's first serial killer, Daily De Melker.




Pictures courtesy of ttandm4h

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QSAs with clasp Defence of Kimberley 1 month 2 weeks ago #63033

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Picture courtesy of Spink

Kimberley Star ‘d’;
QSA (5) DoK Paar RoM Rhod Tr (Sergt. Major C. Greetham Kimberley Lt. Horse);
KSA (2) (Lt. C. Greetham Field Intelligence Dept.);
1914-15 Star (217 Tpr. C. Greetham. E. Afr. M. Rif.);
BWM & VM (217 Tpr. C. Greetham. E. Afr. M. Rif.),

Second and third officially engraved in 'B.S.A. Company Medal' style, local rivets to the second, otherwise good very fine and a rare combination.

Just 151 combinations known of the 'Defence of Ladysmith' and 'Paardeberg' clasps.

Charles George Greetham initially served with the Kimberley Light Horse during the Boer War, at the rank of Troop Sergeant Major and Pay Sergeant to the unit. He was mentioned in Lord Roberts' despatch (London Gazette 17 June 1902, refers), an account of which is given in The Colonials in South Africa:

'At Edenkop, Eastern Transvaal, 30th June, he twice went out under heavy fire to bring in his brother, who was stunned by [a] fall of his horse.'

Greetham was subsequently transferred and commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Field Intelligence Department for the remainder of the war.

At the onset of the Great War, he enlisted in the East African Mounted Rifles on 9 September 1914, and served in East Africa, his MIC noting 'Theatre 4A'. He was discharged medically unfit on 4 November 1914 and was issued with a Silver War Badge (The Story of the East African Mounted Rifles, refers).


He is not entitled to Rhodesia and both the Paardeberg and Rhodesia clasps are copies. It is difficult from the picture to comment on the RoM clasp.

Dr David Biggins
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QSAs with clasp Defence of Kimberley 1 month 2 weeks ago #63034

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QSA (4) RoM DoK OFS Tr (770 Tpr: J. Bolitho. Kimberley Lt. Horse)

[Note that the catalogue lists RoK and DoM]

James 'Jim' Bolitho was a scion of the famous Cornish family. He was killed in action at Platberg on 31 December 1901 and is commemorated upon the Boer War Memorial at Truro Cathedral. A poignant obituary notice was published in The Cornishman on 6 February 1902:

'Brave Mr. James Bolitho

The late Mr. James Bolitho, of St. Just, recently killed in action with the Diamond Field’s horse at the Platberg, 35 miles north of Kimberley, was one of whom Cornwall may feel proud. Taking up arms on the first cry of danger in Oct., 1899, he remained in continual active service up to his death. He had seen considerable service on the western frontier and was entitled to four clasps.

During the siege of Kimberley the deceased served for a short period in the Kimberley Light horse - getting transfered to the Beaconsfield Town Guard. He was with them at the taking of Alexandersfontein, Feb. 14, 1900. One clasp was for the defence of Kimberley.

On the disbandment of town-guards deceased enlisted in the D.F.H., was at the occupation of Boshof, March 11, 1900, also at the taking of Warrenton, March 16, under Colonel Tom Peakman, and when one squadron D.F.H. defended the Pont and Fourteensteams bridge against Gen. Du Toit’s whole commando. Again back into the Free State he was in the fight in which the famous French General Villilais de Matriet was killed. Later was at the saving of Lord Methuen’s convoy in the retreat from Zwaitkopjesfontein. The D.F.H. received the personal compliments of Lord Methuen on that occasion.

He was on Mahon’s flying column in the famous march to Mafeking, and, after the relief was accomplished, the deceased, with several others, volunteered for service in the Transvaal under Col. Peakman, and was at the occupation of Licbtenberg and the subsequent operations in the Western Transvaal, including Otto’s Hoop, Zeerust, Klerksdorp, etc.

On his return to Kimberley be rejoined his old corps and until his death had been on detachment and column duty within a radius of 50 miles of Kimberley. The deceased was entitled to the Volunteer Long Service Medal. Previous to 1896 he had served over 20 years in the 'J' Company, 1st Volunteer Battalion, Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, but, owing to red-tapeism, or some slight misunderstanding, he did not receive the coveted honour.

In the field, on the march, or in camp, Mr. Bolitho was always the same, and by his soldier-like qualities, his genial manner, and cheerfulness under hardship and adversities, he endeared himself to all his comrades, from non-comrades to the youngest trooper in the regiment. One can imagine the tone of conversation around the bivouac fires, on the night of the 31st.

"Poor old Bolitho, I am sorry for him; hard luck on him to get knocked over now after being all through the campaign."

But, after all, such are the fortunes of war. He died a soldier’s death. May be rest in peace!'

Dr David Biggins
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QSAs with clasp Defence of Kimberley 1 month 2 weeks ago #63048

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Even at maximum zoom, it is difficult to see the clasps to Greetham clearly. Clasps 2 and 4 are certainly copies.


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