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Piper W. Mackay Seaforth Highlanders PoW 5 years 1 month ago #50476

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An extract from DNW's 8 December 2016 Auction Catalogue.

A fine Q.S.A. awarded to Piper W. Mackay, Seaforth Highlanders, who was wounded at Magersfontein, 11 December 1899, and later taken prisoner and escaped when his camp was attacked by Boers

Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, 5 clasps, Cape Colony, Paardeberg, Driefontein, Transvaal, Wittebergen (5692 Pte. W. Mc’Kay, 2: Sea: Highrs:) contact marks, nearly very fine £200-300
William MacKay was born in North Calder, Halkirk, and was educated at Bower. He attested for the 1st Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders at Aldershot, in 1896. He was present with the 2nd Battalion in London for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, in 1897.

In 1899 he, ‘embarked, on Oct. 21st, on S.S. Mongolian for South African War, arriving at Capetown on Nov,18th. Proceeded to De Aar, the Orange River, Enslin, and the Modder River. At the Battle of Magersfontein [11 December 1899], Piper Mackay was wounded in the right leg. Later he went to Koodoosberg under gen. Sir Hector Macdonald. On Feb. 2nd, 1900, under Lord Roberts, he started for the relief of Kimberley. He went next to Paardeberg, where the Seaforths took part in one of their greatest battles, having very heavy casualties; but the result was the unconditional surrender of Gen. Cronje and 3,912 of the Boer Army. The Seaforths then went to Doorfontein, and were engaged successfully at Bloemfontein, March 15th, Sanna’s Post 31st, Winburg-Lindley, Helibron, Frankfort and Bethlehem.

At Bethlehem the engagement resulted in the biggest capture of the S. A. War, Gen. Prinsloo on July 30th surrendering with over 4,000 men. The Seaforths were next back at Heilbron, and then went on to a succession of places, including Bethulie, Rouxville, and Jagersfontein. Piper Mackay and thirteen others were in camp when the Boers coming upon them killed eleven of them, only Mackay and two comrades escaping death. Mackay was taken prisoner but escaped at daybreak.’ (Sword of the North, refers)

Whilst serving at Klerksdorp, ‘here the Peace Delegates came in on April 9th [1902], the 2nd Seaforths furnishing an Officer’s Guard over the Orange Free State Delegates, Wm. Mackay being Piper to the Guard.’ (Ibid)

During the Great War Piper Mackay joined the 2nd Volunteer Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders, and went to the camp at Invergordon. He was ‘finally discharged on 20th Oct. 1919 - 23 years from his first joining the Army - his total service being 14 years.... He and his brothers are distinguished pipers, his brother John having been one of King Edward’s pipers. Piper Wm. holds the Queen’s S.A. Medal with five bars, and the King’s S.A. Medal with two bars.’ (Ibid)

Sold with photographic image of recipient in uniform.


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