I recently picked up an inexpensive QSA to Pte 544 J Less Cape Town Highlanders, clasp CC because in the medal roll it states attached Namaqualand Border Scouts. Namaqualand is in the far western Cape where the siege of O'Okiep (April-May 1902) took place, it is a great story and I think you all know the Cape Copper Company's medal awarded to the defenders. So, could Pte Less have been a defender?
Orpen's history of the CTH states Cpt W Mitchell and 12 men were attached to the NBS in July 1901. No more mention is made of their activities but to record the deaths of three of them - none during the siege. Using the medal rolls and WO127 for the NBS I have identified 21 men of the CTH attached to the NBS. WO127 supplies dates of service for 16 of the 21 (but not Less!), of these six were still with the NBS during the period of the siege. The strength of the NBS during the siege was two officers and 70 men. The remainder of the NBS were scattered about Namaqualand.
Does anyone know of any likely sources to help here?
I have read Burke's account of the siege of O'Okiep. I don't have Brian Keiran's book on O'Okiep.
I have PM'd you. Recently, I ran across a chap in the 2/NBS and he served 14/01/1902 to 23/04/1902. As the siege was lifted 04051902, I really don't know if he was an O'Okiep defender or not!
So Kieran states 3 officers and 95 ORs of the NBS in the siege. Burke reproduces the "The last Field State rendered during Siege of O'Okiep" dated 7 April 1902 - the very beginning of the siege. On this return it states 2 officers and 70 NBS at "besieged in O'Okiep". There are other detachments of the NBS in Namaqualand - the 2NBS were not at O'Okiep.
About a 100 other of the CTH were employed as MI in Namaqualand from early 1901 - but they were not attached to the NBS.
I suppose I should get Kieran's book - prices range from £58 - £98 though. Is it that good??