5 clasps CC, OFS, Tvl, SA’01, SA’02 - 28260 Pte F.H. Williams, 85th Coy Imp: Yeo:
27 JULY 1901 DOORN RIVER
Lace is a historic diamond mine, some 30 km NW of Kroonstad. It was discovered in 1896 and the first mining operations were started in 1901.
On 27 July 1901 Lieutenant G Fraser with 20 Imperial Yeomanry men and 14 native guards were ordered to patrol as far as the Mine. On arrival he learnt that Boers had recently been seen in the neighborhood. Rashly searching for them, his party had to retire to a hut near Doorn River (Doringspruit on current maps) on encountering a large Boer force. After fighting for one and a half hours Fraser surrendered: their horses were all killed, and bullets were penetrating the walls. According to WO 108/372 (SA Surrenders) the natives were shot one by one as they left the hut, and a Yeoman was shot whilst lying wounded on the ground. Frank Williams was one of the Yeomen taken prisoner. He was not entitled to the SA’02 clasp, but nevertheless had one soldered to the SA’01 clasp.
The 22nd (Rough Riders) Battalion, IY, had been raised in London on 27 March 1901 for the Second Contingent of the IY, consisting of 84th, 85th, 86th and 87th (Rough Riders) Companies. The 2nd Rough Riders sailed from Southampton aboard the German on 31 March under the command of Lt-Col Stewart, with Maj Viscount Dungarvan (lieutenant-colonel of the North Somerset Yeomanry) as his second-in-command. On arrival in South Africa the battalion was joined by 76th and 78th Companies from the First Contingent. The battalion was disbanded at the end of the war in 1902.
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