1901, Bothwell Camp

TRAYNOR, WILLIAM BERNARD, Sergeant, was born on 31 December 1870, at 29 Moxon Street, Hull, the son of Francis Traynor, Flax Dresser, of County Monaghan, Ireland, and Rebecca Traynor, formerly of Hull. He was educated at Pryme Street (Roman Catholic) School, Hull, and entered the 2nd Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment on 14 November 1888. He served for some years in India, and from 1899 to 1901 in South Africa, where he won the Victoria Cross when serving under Lieutenant G L Crossman, DSO, and Lieutenant Colonel W Fry, CB. Sergeant Traynor took part in the following operations in South Africa: Willow Grange (23 and 23 November 1899); Colenso; Spion Kop; Vaal Krantz; operations in Natal from 14 to 27 February, ending at Pieter's Hill; Northern Natal and Orange River Colony, including action at Laing's Nek, and East and West Transvaal; severely wounded 6 February 1901; arrived at hospital 15 February. For his services in this campaign Sergeant Traynor received also, besides the Victoria Cross, the Queen's Medal and clasps for Tugela Heights, Relief of Ladysmith, Laing's Nek, Transvaal and Orange River Colony Clasp for 1901. Owing to his state of health he was unable to travel to London to receive his decoration from King Edward, therefore his Victoria Cross was presented to him on 2 July 1902, at York, by Colonel Edward Stevenson Browne, VC, who had won his own Victoria Cross in the Zulu War of 1879. Corporal Lintott, who so splendidly answered his comrade's call for assistance, was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal, and promoted Sergeant by Lord Kitchener. Sergeant Traynor's VC was gazetted 17 September 1901: "William Bernard Traynor, Sergeant, 2nd Battalion The Prince of Wales' Own West Yorkshire Regiment. During the night attack on Bothwell Camp, on the 6th February, 1901, Sergeant Traynor jumped out of a trench and ran out under an extremely heavy fire to the assistance of a wounded man. While running out he was severely wounded, and being unable to carry the man by himself, he called for assistance. Lance Corporal Lintott at once came to him, and between them they carried the wounded soldier into shelter. After this, although severely wounded, Sergeant Traynor remained in command of his section, and was most cheerful in encouraging his men till the attack failed". The following is an extract from Orders by Major-General Smith, Dorrien: "The GOC compliments most highly the steadiness of all Infantry Battalions in the outpost line during the heavy attack last night. The conduct of the West Yorkshires, on whom the brunt of the battle fell, was especially fine, and their heavy losses are to be deplored. The casualties were very heavy, owing to the Boers getting through two picquets, having followed up a mob of 200 stampeded cavalry horses. These two picquets were practically wiped out". Sergeant Traynor's wound was so serious that he had to be invalided home in 1901, and discharged, medically unfit from the Service 29 September 1901, and was given the post of Barrack Warden at Dover on 8 September 1902, in which capacity he was mentioned for valuable services in connection with the Great War 2 September 1918. On 12 June, 1897, at Hunton, near Maidstone, Kent, Sergeant Traynor married Jane Elizabeth Martin, daughter of Elizabeth and James Martin. Their children were: Alice Kathleen, born 5 May, 1898 (deceased); Francis Bernard Redvers, born 7 December 1899 (deceased); Cecil Robert, born 4 May, 1903; WilKam Bothwell and Victor Charles, born 5 April, 1905, and Eileen May, born 20 July, 1910.

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