Spink are listing the QSA to Lieutenant C R De La Porte which is named to Rimmington's Guides rather than Damant's Horse. Spink say the QSA has 'corrected unit'
Picture courtesy of Spink
QSA (8 clasps) Belmont, Modder River, Relief of Kimberley, Paardeberg, Driefontein, Johannesburg, Diamond Hill, Wittebergen (44 Sjt:-Maj: R. De La Porte. Rimington's Guides);
KSA (2) (Lieut: C. R. De La Porte. F.I.D.)
Cecil Richard De La Porte attested for Major Michael F. Rimington's Corps of Guides in October 1899, aged 25 years, stating he was 'used to using explosives' and able to speak 'a little' Dutch.
Advanced to Corporal in January 1900 and to Sergeant in September 1900, he was wounded in action on the 25th of the latter month at Kaffir Kop - a farmstead in the Western Cape commanding high ground. Discharged from Rimington's Guides at Cape Town on 22 May 1901, having attained the rank of Sergeant-Major, De La Porte subsequently gained a commission in the Field Intelligence Department.
In June 1902 Lieutenant De La Porte was recommended for the Distinguished Service Order for the following deeds but, instead, received a mentioned in despatches (London Gazette 29 July 1902, refers):
'For general brave, good and reliable work in all ranks of Rimington's Guides, and afterwards as Intelligence Agent and Intelligence Officer, all through the War, and particularly on 20 November 1901, when, by his quickness and initiative, Commandant Buys, who was being taken away wounded in a cape-cart from the fight near Villiersdorp, was taken prisoner; and on the night of 23 February 1901, when he was with Colonel Cox, N.S.W.M.R., in the action on the Hol Spruit, and assisted him in checking the Boers who broke through the picquet-line and prevented them from further rolling up the picquets. He was severely wounded in attempting to capture Boers in October 1900' (War Office records, refer).
The recommendation was additionally annotated by W. F. Rimington, 'I concur with the above fully'.
Hostilities over, De La Porte took employment in 1903 with the Sabi Game Reserve as a Ranger. Since 1926 the Reserve has been more commonly known as the Kruger National Park. Working alongside Warden James Stevenson-Hamilton, formerly of the 6th Inniskilling Dragoons, De La Porte was heavily engaged in stopping the movement of cattle through the Park and halting prospecting for coal and precious minerals. He administered the Reserve during the Great War and protected it from agricultural cultivation, although the lack of manpower and weak administration of his successor took its toll; sold with copied research and roll.
QSA (9) Belmont, Modder River, Relief of Kimberley, Paardeberg, Johannesburg, Diamond Hill, Wittebergen, South Africa 1901 (Tpr: W.Hicks. Damant's Horse);
1914-15 Star (unnamed);
British War Medal (unnamed);
Victory Medal (unnamed)
Trooper Wallace Hicks confirmed on nominal roll of Rimington's Guides, later known as Damant's Horse. Served from 20 Oct 1899 - 25 Jan 1901 and Discharged on completion of service. Medal and clasp entitlement confirmed. These were posted to W.Hicks at the Tattersall's Hotel, Glen Innes, NSW 0n 21 Jan 1908.
Wallace Hicks, agent, age 40, born at Mile End, London, England; Enlisted 05 Feb 1915 at Liverpool, NSW; Embarked 25 Jun 1915 with 18Bn with previous service of 16 months in South Africa with Rimington's Scouts (his description); KIA 22 Aug 1915, body found on Hill 60; NOK Mrs Elizabeth Hicks (wife), Matron of Collarenebri Hospital in north western rural NSW; Pte Hicks is commemorated at The Lone Pine Memorial (Panel 59) at Gallipoli, Turkey.
WO 108/372 (SA Surrenders): When employed on Intelligence work, 3 men of Rimington’s Guides approached Winburg, which was reported clear of the enemy. Suddenly “held up” by 14 Boers from behind a kraal wall and had to surrender. One man afterwards escaped.
QSA (5) RoK, Paard, Drief, Jhburg, D Hill (Tpr. F.D. Marais. Damant’s Horse). (rim nicks)
Francois Duminy Marais left his Johannesburg legal practice as a refugee in September 1899 and enlisted in Rimington’s Guides 4 months later. He was one of the men captured near Winburg by Boers from Gen Chris Botha’s Commando and sent to Waterval Camp, north of Pretoria. According to his biography in “Men of the Times” he eventually escaped, re-joined his unit and subsequently transferred to Lord Roberts’ Headquarters Staff as an interpreter with the rank of Lieutenant, for which service he reputedly earned a KSA. However, according to the QSA Roll for Damant’s Horse he was only entitled to a SA’01 clasp and his name is not found on the relevant KSA rolls.
His escape is verified as his name is not among the Rimington’s Guides PoW’s released at Waterval early June 1900. After the war, he returned to Johannesburg and was involved in lengthy procedures claiming compensation amounting to £66 for items stolen from his lodgings prior to the British Occupation of Johannesburg.
In his book “With Rimington” Captain L March Philipps, writing from Frankfort, notes on p 206 that his last diary entry was for 20 Nov 1900, as “each day’s events became monotonous”.
However, on p207 he describes an incident that took place a few days later:
“…we were camped on the river and had a picket on the other side. Two or three Boers crept up the river right between our picket and the main body, and then walked straight to the picket as if coming from us and fired into it at point-blank range. They mortally wounded one of our men and in the dusk escaped.”
In the early 1900’s there were 2 farms named Groenfontein in the Frankfort District, both bordering the Vaal River. It is not known on which of the two Sgt Webber was killed.
QSA 8 Belm, Mod R, RoK, Paard, Drief, Jhburg, D Hill, Witt (Serjt. B.J. Webber, Damant’s Horse)
Bertie James Webber was the only Rimington’s Guides casualty recorded during November 1900. It is not known where he is buried but he is commemorated on the Boer War Memorial in Grahamstown.
Prior to General de Wet crossing the Orange River for the Boers’ Second Invasion of the Cape he sent a small unit under Commandant P. H. Kritzinger and Captains W. D. Fouche and Gideon Scheepers in the direction of Rouxville with orders to cross the Orange River as soon as the opportunity presented itself. Kritzinger struck sharply at the troops trying to bar his path to the Cape Colony. On 13 December 1901 at Koesberg near Zastron he ambuscaded and overwhelmed a party of 250 Brabant’s Horse.
Creswicke Vol VI, p135 refers: “In the Zastron district a party of the 2nd Division of Brabant’s Horse – mostly raw recruits – got into difficulties on the 13th. They became detached from the main body, were caught in a defile, and 120 of them were taken prisoner. The captain in command was wounded in several places, and the Colonials lost eight killed and eighteen wounded, three of whom since died.”
In “After Pretoria: The Guerilla War”, p232-3 different casualty figures are given: “…3 men were killed, 17 others wounded and 107 taken prisoner.”
And some scathing comments: “No detailed information of this humiliating affair has ever been published, but it seems to have been the result of raw and untrained men to come into contact with a veteran enemy.”