DTD Komdt. A. Ross.);
ABO (Komdt. A. Ross.);
With a length of Wound riband (LvW)
Alexander Ross was born in Aberdeen in the Eastern Cape in May 1854.
His father had been born in Cape Town in 1813 and later married in Beaufort West in 1833 and this was where the young Alexander was baptised in October 1854.
He moved to the Orange Free State and became a stock farmer. His first wife was a Rossouw who died after 2 years. When he re-married it was to another Boer girl, Hester Kruger.
He served in Natal in October 1899 as Burgher but was soon promoted to Acting Fieldcomet and subsequently as Commandant of the Vrede Commando.
He went with Gen de Wet to north of the Magaliesberg, took part in the actions at Frederikstad and Bothaville and again accompanied Genl de Wet on the abortive sortie into the Cape Colony.
He operated in the Free State during the last 9 months of the war and was wounded twice (left buttock and left shoulder).
On 14 Dec 1901 Ross captured a British patrol of 14 men with all their equipment. The British decided to use his wife to get Ross to surrender. She played along and under armed escort took letters from Lord Kitchener and Col Rimington to him. Kitchener offered Ross a free pass to any destination, free schooling for his children and an amount in cash if he and his men surrendered. Ross’ answer was: “While my Government stands firm, I will be faithful and will not be moved. If my Government capitulates, so will I. I will then be just as faithful to my new Government”.
A few days later Col Damant invited her to dinner. During the course of the conversation Damant jokingly asked her not to tell her husband that he had a new rifle to use on Ross. Mrs Ross replied that her husband had a new Mauser.
40 years later Alexander Ross recalled: “On 20 December Col Damant bit the dust with 5 wounds, notwithstanding his new rifle, and lost all his guns.”
After the Boer War Ross served in the Repatriation Council and acted as Livestock Inspector. He died in Frankfort at the age of 89. In his application for the DTD, Commandant Ross claimed the Decoration on the strength of his performance at two actions:
1901 Action at Damplaats: Fieldcomet Strydom and 11 men were taken prisoner by the enemy and subsequently released by my Commando. 40 of the enemy captured; 17 killed and wounded.
1901 Action at Rietspruit: Captured from enemy (Col Damant) 1 Bomb-Maxim, 2 Armstrong cannon and 4 Maxims.