A lovely medal named to the Mafeking Railway Volunteers from City Coins auction 71, 27 November 2020. There are fewer than 30 medals named to the Railway Volunteers.
QSA (1) Defence of Mafeking (Pte. M. Adams, Maf. Rly Vols)
The SA Field Force Casualty Roll, under the heading “Civilians in Military Employment” lists Stoker Myles Adams, Cape Government Railways, as “Wounded and died of Wounds: Houtkraal, 20 December”. On the QSA Roll for the Mafeking Railway Volunteers he is noted as “Killed in action at De Aar” and on the QSA roll for the Vryburg Town Guard a marginal note for 152 Private Miles Adams reads “Shot in armoured train. Died at De Aar October or November 1900”.
He is buried in De Aar.
The incident was recorded on the Boer side, albeit with a slight discrepancy regarding the date: “Hertzog went via Philipstown and on 18 December he crossed the railway line at Houtkraal, north of De Aar. It was here where Klaas Havenga “die penkop van alle penkoppe” charged on his horse Harry alongside the railway line and tried to shoot the driver of an armoured train with his revolver!”
Hertzog Series (Booklet 2), Free State Museum Service, 1984 (freely translated from Afrikaans)
Klaas Havenga, in his attempt to shoot the driver of the armoured train, managed to fatally wound the stoker, Myles Adams. The 18-year-old N.C. (Klaas) Havenga was the Secretary of Gen Hertzog. When Gen Hertzog became Prime Minister in 1924 Havenga was appointed Minister of Finance, a position he filled for 21 years.
QSA (1) Defence of Mafeking (170 Corpl: W. Frankish. Protect: Regt. F.F.)
Walter Frankish was killed at Mafeking on 7 December 1899, by a shell splinter from a 94-pounder.
Originally from Accrington, Lancashire, he was an electrical engineer prior to attesting on 18 August 1899 for service with “D” Squadron in Colonel Baden Powell’s Frontier Force (later the Protectorate Regiment F.F.). The following extract is taken from the Mafeking Diary of Edward Ross, Thursday, 7 December 1899: ‘Two large shells this afternoon burst in front of a chemist shop in the Market Square, destroying the whole of the shop and cutting a native all to pieces; parts of him were found lying about the road. Two of B.P.’s staff (Tracey and Wilson) were in the shop at the time, but very luckily escaped being hurt. Some of the pieces of these shells after bursting seemed to travel around corners, one 94-pounder burst in the Market Square. A small piece of it seemed to come around the corner of the street, passed through the door of the Mafeking Hotel bar and into the head of the man standing at the counter, Corporal Frankish of D Squadron P.R. who was killed on the spot. Another native was also killed today, a piece of a 94-pounder literally cutting him in half.’
Sold for a hammer price of £2,600. Totals (inc VAT for UK only): £3,349. R64,800. Au$5,840. Can$5,580. US$4,450
The medal to William Carey Bland, Mafeking Town Guard has appeared on the Cultman Collectables site at a price of £2,100.
Pictures courtesy of Cultman Collectables
Here is his biography from the draft Defence of Mafeking book:
Born in 1869 in Graaff Reinet, Cape Colony, son of Captain Willian Bland. A Freemason of the El Dorado Lodge, Zeerust, 3 January 1894. Freemason of the Austral Lodge, Mafeking, 18 October 1894. He married Marion Eliza Sanderson Campbell of Rocklands, Fort Beaufort in Fort Beaufort, 1 January 1896. William was described as a Managing Clerk. He served in the TG during the siege and was attached to the ASC as an Assistant Stores Clerk. According to the Mafeking Siege Slip 71, Mr and Mrs Bland were guests at the Batchelor's Ball, 15 February 1900. He was resident in Mafeking in 1910 and died in Umtali Rhodesia, 2 September 1946 aged 76