The next “exhibit” was bought from a Pretoria jeweller in August 1974 for the sum of R70-. At that early collecting stage I knew nothing about medals to Jameson Raiders and was just delighted to add the first BSA Co medal to my collection
In 1893 Geoffrey Manderville Osborn Springfield was a Trooper in in the BB Police, at the time of the Raid he was Troop Sgt Major, “D” Troop, MMP, in 1896 he was Sgt Maj, MRF and in 1897 Lieut in the BSA Police.
His BSAP service ended under a cloud. He was charged with “Theft” in July 1897 which was changed to “Obtaining money under false pretences” in August 1897. The case arose from his claim of £50 from the BSA Co as “compensation for a bay stallion which he had declared to be his own private property, knowing the same to have been the property of the Company”.
The trial was on 18 October 1897 and was reported in the “Rhodesia Herald”.
Col F de Moleyns had received a letter from Springfield on 6 January making the claim, and this was produced in Court. Springfield said that when he came up from Mafeking he brought the horse with him. He shod and fed it at his own expense and gradually came to regard it as his own. He had been told when he came to Rhodesia that he could not keep it, and as it had cost him so much "he determined that he should not lose money over him... He had previously had a horse of his own, when at Mangwe, which had been commandeered by the Company, and for which he had never received a penny compensation, although he had sent in several claims, and he thought he was merely putting the one against the other. He admitted that he had made a mistake, and pleaded guilty to the act, but not to the intent."
He had been "Simply bewildered" when charged with theft.
Sub-Inspector Birch confirmed that Springfield had had a horse of his own at Mangwe, worth between £100 and £120, and that it was taken by (he thought) Captain van Rooyen, and that Springfield had received no compensation. "With respect to the horse which died at Hartley, this must have cost the prisoner at least £50 in food, and for this also he received no compensation. For a year the prisoner had done his work on the Company's horse...Considering that the prisoner had been under arrest for six months, two of which he had actually been in jail, he thought he should be treated as leniently as possible. He (Sub-Insptr. Birch) was perfectly certain that no man in his right mind would have done what the prisoner had done if he had had any deliberate intention of defrauding the Company. It was a piece of stupidity in the first place, and was also, perhaps, partly owing to the fact that at the time the prisoner was on duty at an out-station where he could not easily approach the authorities. Under all the circumstances he thought that the prisoner should be discharged."
The Magistrate said he would take all circumstances into consideration, but the fact remained of the letter of 6 January: so "He would not even be able to give him the option of a fine but for the very peculiar nature of the circumstances of the case." He was found Guilty on the amended charge and given the option of a £10- fine or one month’s imprisonment. He opted for the fine.
I got the medal with the 1897 bar loose on the ribbon. Although Springfield was entitled to it, it is unclear whether the bar was forfeited after his conviction. Whatever the legalities, Springfield decided to keep it!
The photo is from negative 17239 in the Zimbabwe Archives. It is captioned “Bob Sanders’ Store and Hotel, Mangwe Fort, Dec 1893. L-R : Sgt Springfield, Bob Sanders (at back), Charles Case, Tommy Ruil”. The date, however, is not correct and should be Dec 1896
Interesting medal - may be 'worthy of further research'. I have a note in my annotated copy of my late father's Jameson Raiders roll that he was educated at Uppingham School and had previously held a militia commission in the Southern Irish Division of the Royal Artillery.
He may well have been one of those who sought their fortunes in Rhodesia when it was thought that the mines might be a second Rand and then joined many other public schoolboys in the MMP under Harry White (an Etonian and Grenadier).
Further to my last post to Henk, and seeing that are you doing an exhibit on the Jameson Raiders at the next OMRS, you may be interested to know that Harry White's medals were purchased by the Regimental Trustees of the Grenadier Guards at the Spink 1999 centenary auction. Major General Sir Evelyn Webb-Carter subsequently wrote up White's story in The Grenadier Gazette.
Please get in touch by PM for further details and regarding your exhibit.
rdarby wrote: Thanks Henk!
I am about 70% done. It is taking up most of my lounge floor at the moment as I lay it all out. I have three panels, one for an introduction and medals to the raiders and which medals are extant. The next is about the reformers but there is little of direct medal interest about them, and the third about the defenders (JVC medal and those who had it and the ABO).
I am now looking at which raiders got the BSAC medal.
I'm trying to balance history and numismatic interests, to keep it about the medals more than the men.
Now for some more medals to men on the Boer side of the Raid.
General (then Commandant) Piet Cronje is often referred to as “the man who caught Jameson”.
Cronje is seated right next to Kruger
However, in the 1951 publication “The Jameson Raid” by Jean van der Poel a different story emerges.
There were three senior Boer Commandants (P A Cronje, H P Malan & F J Potgieter) with their commandos waiting for the Raiders on 2 January 1896. After the white flag went up Cronje unilaterally arranged terms of surrender with Willoughby but Malan vetoed him, saying that they as Commandants had no right to set conditions, that the surrender must be unconditional and that the life of Jameson and his men could only be vouched for until they were handed over to the Commandant General in Pretoria. Through an interpreter Jameson was informed of Malan’s remarks and he then told Malan: “I accept your terms”.
Hercules Philippus Malan was born in Cradock in November 1836. His grandfather led a Voortrekker party of some 30 families from the Winterberg area into the interior and was murdered with Piet Retief at Mgungundhlovu in Feb 1838, while his father, brother and an uncle was killed at Italeni in April 1838.
His mother and family settled in the Overvaal where he grew up, becoming a Field Cornet for the Elands River Ward in 1858.
During the First Boer War he was Acting Commandant General, with HQ at Heidelberg and played an important role in the Siege of Pretoria (Dec 1880 – Aug 1881). He subsequently, as Commandant of the Rustenburg Commando, took part in a number of Expeditions against Black tribes, being particularly prominent in that against Mmalebôhô (Malaboch) in 1894. His role in the final phase of the Jameson raid is well documented.
Malan’s participation in the Second Boer War did not last long. After some service at Mafeking he was sent to Kgama to investigate the massacre of Boer Families at Derdepoort (25 Nov 1899) but died of a stomach complaint a few days later on 4 Dec 1899.
His widow applied for a DTD and ABO in December 1922, but inexplicably the DTD application was turned down
Pieter Arnoldus Cronje, second son of P A Cronje Senior, was one of the four brothers mentioned by Van der Poel on p125 of her book as setting out with their father when he heard about the Raiders. As such he most probably was present at Jameson’s capitulation.
In the 2nd Boer War he initially served as Commandant under his uncle, General A P J Cronje. In April 1900 the Commando moved south as far as Boshoff in the OFS where they surprised Methuen’s force at Zwartkoppiesfontein on 20 April 1900, thereby somewhat delaying his advance. In “With Seven Generals in the Boer War” by Pollock (p229-230) Commandant Cronje’s handling of a British ambulance party the day after the battle is mentioned favourably.
In June 1900 Gen A P J Cronje surrendered to the British and in 1901 he was heavily involved with the formation of the National Scouts. Comdt P A Cronje, however, was in the field till the end of the war. On 31 Dec 1901 he was wounded in the right hand, left arm and breast at Rooikop : one of the most publicized incidents in which Canadian troops were involved (“Painting the Map Red” by Carman Miller, p379).
Comdt Cronje claimed his own and his late father’s medals in 1921. Both sets are with long ribbons and fine stitching at the top : probably done by his wife.
The following user(s) said Thank You: djb, Mark Abbott