Robert Cook was my Great Uncle, I have family information on him from birth, how he came to be in South Africa, his service in the Essex Regiment and his death in the second battle of Ypres during WW1.
I am new to forums so do not understand the protocols, please contact me for more information.
Your post alerted me to a fascinating topic I had not come across before, so thank you very much!
You may already know this but your Great Uncle, after repatriation on the Harlech Castle following the Jameson Raid, returned to South Africa on the Trojan, sailing from Southampton on 4 April 1896. I was going to attach the passenger list, but it seems to exceed the maximum file size allowed, so if you would like it, let me know and I will e-mail it to you.
It's possible that he was with my grandfather, another raider, who also returned that day. Unfortunately, the family surname is Smith and while there was one on the Trojan, there was also a J Smith on the Roslin Castle which sailed the same day.
When going through the different posts on this topic yesterday, I noticed the one on Charles Rhodes and his name on the photocopy of the page from C M Rodney's book. On the line after Rhodes was my grandfather, James Joseph Smith! The list does not appear to be in alphabetical order, and as James was in D Troop, perhaps this means that the two of them stood next to each other 120 years or so ago!?
James was born in Belfast on 28 August 1875, and was to be the oldest of seven children. The family moved to Cardiff around 1890. At the age of 20, James was in D Troop of the MMP, and became a Jameson Raider, was captured, and repatriated via Durban on the Harlech Castle, arriving in Plymouth on 23 February 1896. He returned to South Africa, sailing from Southampton on 4 April 1896. He was a member of the Mafeking Relief Force and earned his BSAC Medal. He was back in Cardiff by 28 April 1897 when he married my grandmother.
Upon the outbreak of the First World War on 29 July 1914, despite then being 38 and having four children, James enlisted in the Welsh Horse Yeomanry which was established on 18 August 1914. As a new regiment, regimental numbers started from 1: James was Number 241, and he volunteered on 19 August 1914. He was awarded three standard campaign medals from the First World War, and also qualified for the Silver War Badge, given to all those receiving an Honourable Discharge as a result of wounds or sickness.
James sailed from Liverpool on 23 September 1915 on HMT Olympic with the Welsh Horse, reaching Mudros Habour on the island of Limnos in the Aegean on 1 October. The regiment transferred to a lighter, HMT Partridge, and landed at ANZAC Cove at Gallipoli on 8 October 1915 at 19.30 in the evening. The Welsh Horse served in positions on Hill 60, and was engaged in mining and sapping activity, but in the latter stages held part of the front line. The regiment was evacuated from there between 15 and 20 December and moved to Egypt. James was discharged from the army on 5 May 1916 as a result of a gunshot wound (GSW) to his left thigh inflicted at Gallipoli.
My father, his fifth child was born in 1920. James died in Cardiff on 8 July 1939.
...and if I hadn't taken his medals into a shop in Covent Garden in January this year, I would have known none of this - it was never mentioned in the family!
As you will appreciate, there are still some gaps in the story, particularly when he first went to South Africa and when he left for the second time. Passenger lists record lots of J Smiths travelling as you would expect. The most likely is a Jas Smith (a moniker he seemed to apply to himself) aged 20 (which would be correct) leaving London on board the Nineveh on 20 September 1895. I've noticed on other posts on this topic that enlistment and demob. dates are mentioned, but I have been unable to find a source of this information at Kew - any tips or clues anyone?
Finally, for the numismatists, a photo of his medals!