I spent a few hours back in spring this year, looking at both this man and his family, this is one thing that I had not seen until now, so I am really delighted to see it on here today!
He is along way from home, I wonder if his poor mother ever saw it?
Brett Hendey wrote: Wazat
Thank you for an excellent series of photographs. I am very grateful for those on which H C Gorton is commemorated. Since acquiring Gorton's QSA, I have tried in vain to find pictures of Intombi that show his grave/memorial. Recently, I was told that it is no longer safe to visit the cemetery because of its neighbours, so you were wise to leave before darkness set in.
Not sure how i missed this the first time but.....
A fantastic addition to the record of Trooper H C Gorton, ILH! I am most grateful. This photo completes the story of a very interesting man:
Henry Corbett Gorton was a much loved son and brother from Burton on Trent, Staffordshire. In the early 1890's, he took his "Beeropolis" brewing skills to the Castle Brewery in Johannesburg, where with Charles Glass he was in at the beginning of what was to become the international brewing giant, SAB-Miller. He played rugby for Transvaal and for South Africa in 1896 against the visiting British Isles team. This was before South Africa was a political entity, but even then it was united by a game at which it still excels. After moving to the Natal Brewery in Pietermaritzburg, Gorton was there when the Boer War threatened and it was there that he joined his "Uitlander" friends from the Transvaal as a foundation member of the Imperial Light Horse.
Gorton enlisted in the ILH on 11 October 1899 and 10 days later he was in action at the Battle of Elandslaagte, where he was seriously wounded. He spent the next two months in hospital and was released early in 1900, a few days before the Battle of Wagon Hill on 6 January. During this battle, he was wounded 12 times, seven times in the body and five in the head. He was taken to hospital, where he died of his wounds on 10 January.
Of the three months Gorton spent with the ILH, for all but two weeks of it he was in hospital. In spite of this, he is eulogised in the ILH history, while there were obituaries for him in newspapers in both Natal and England. In his memory, his mother kept his QSA well polished in the 22 years that she outlived her son, thereby reducing the medal's numismatic grading from EF to F-. Both mother and son are commemorated by brass plaques in St Modwen's Church, Burton on Trent.
It is very satisfying to add a photo of Gorton's grave to all the other records of him that were acquired from members of this forum, particularly Frank Kelley.
Indeed, Frank! I am very pleased with how the Gorton project has been ended. Having written that, I remember that there is more to be discovered about Gorton's life in South Africa, so his file is not closed.
I do remember that telephone chat we had several months ago now, back in spring, it is wonderful how you went from just a QSA with a misspelt transcribed roll entry and catalogue description, to where you are now with it now, it all came together really quite quickly!
I am pleased for you and I have to say rather relieved too, given the price paid in the sale, it could have gone the other way and that would have been very frustrating.
Brett Hendey wrote: Indeed, Frank! I am very pleased with how the Gorton project has been ended. Having written that, I remember that there is more to be discovered about Gorton's life in South Africa, so his file is not closed.