|Farrar||George Herbert||Captain||FARRAR, GEORGE HERBERT, Captain, was born at Chatteris, Cambridgeshire, 17 June 1859, son of Charles Farrar, MD, and his wife, Helen (The Crescent Lodge, Bedford), daughter of John Howard. He was educated at the Modern School, Bedford, and on leaving school entered the engineering business of his uncle, Sir Frederick Howard, going in 1879 to South Africa, to the Port Elizabeth and East London Branches. Eight years later he and his brothers settled in Johannesburg, where, in a few years, he became one of the leading men in the mining industry of the Witwatersrand. His chief enterprise was the formation of the East Rand Proprietary Mines, of which he was Chairman from the inception of the undertaking until the day of his death. He was for some time a Member of the Legislative Assembly of the Transvaal and Leader of the Opposition. He was tried for treason and sentenced to death for his share in the Jameson Raid, but the sentence was remitted on payment of a fine of £25,000. When the South African War broke out, he raised two regiments of South African Horse, and was appointed Major, Kaffrarian Rifles, 1 December 1900, and served in this campaign as Captain, and afterwards Major, Kaffrarian Rifles, and as Major on the Staff of the Colonial Division. He took part in the operations in the Orange Free State, including the Defence of Wepener; operations in the Transvaal, west of Pretoria, August to September 1900; operations in Orange River Colony, 1900, including actions at Wittebergen (1 to 29 July), and in Cape Colony, south of the Orange River. He was mentioned in Despatches, 16 April 1901; received the Queen's Medal with four clasps, and created a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order [London Gazette, 19 April 1901]: "George Herbert Farrar, Captain, Kaffrarian Rifles. In recognition of services during the operations in South Africa". The Insignia presented by the King. He was knighted in 1902. After the conclusion of peace, in 1902, he took an active part in the work of reorganization, and when Responsible Government was granted to the Transvaal he was unanimously elected leader of the Progressive Party in the House of Assembly, in opposition to the Ministry of General Botha. In 1903 Sir George Farrar was elected President of the Witwatersrand Chamber of Mines, and he took a leading part in the negotiations which led up to the formation of the Union of South Africa. For his services in this matter he was created a Baronet 2 February 1911, and he became MP for Georgetown, in the first Parliament of the Union of South Africa, 1910-11, but in December 1911, the claims of business in connection with the East Rand Company compelled him to retire from political affairs in order to devote his whole time for the reorganization of that enterprise. When the European War broke out he was on a visit to England, and was about to join General Sir Hubert Hamilton's Staff with the Army in Belgium, but he was ordered by the authorities to South Africa on the day before he was to have left. He was appointed to General McKenzie's Force, with the rank of Colonel, and was despatched to German South-West Africa as Acting Assistant Quartermaster-General. He went to Luderitz Bay in advance of the main force, and was engaged in the organization of the base camp, and later had charge of the restoration of the railway and of providing the water supply to the force, an operation of the first importance in that country. On the 19th of May 1915, he was returning from a tour of inspection when the motor trolley on which he was travelling collided with a construction train at Knibis, near Gibeon, in German South-West Africa. Sir George was fatally injured, and only lingered until the next morning. He was one of the best-known men in South Africa, and had contributed to the progress of that country by legislative work, and by attention to mining and agricultural enterprise. He married, on 3 June, 1893, at Johannesburg, Ella Mabel, daughter of Dr Charles Waylen, IMS, and had six daughters: Helen Mabel; Muriel Frances; Gwendoline; Georgina Marjorie; Kathleen Elizabeth and Ella Marguerite. Lady Farrar lived at Chicheley Hall, Newport Pagnall, Bucks, and had a residence in South Africa, Bedford Farm, near Johannesburg, Transvaal. |
DSO, QSA (4) CC Wep Trans Witt (Capt DSO, Kaff Rifles). Holditch 1983 £1250.
Source: DSO recipients (VC and DSO Book)