County: County Durham
Issued on: Return
Date of presentation: 14/08/1901
Number issued: 1


Gold medal, to:

14th (Northumberland) Company, 5th Bn. Imperial Yeomanry –
3193 Saddler-Sergeant George J. ALLEN [Allan]

Presentation made by Mr W.C. Sarsfield, at the Western Hotel, Western Hill, Durham.

Sergeant Allen also received a watch from the City of Durham.



Durham County Advertiser, 16th August 1901


A smoking concert was held at Mr W. Hunter’s Western Hotel, Western Hill, Durham, on Wednesday night, to celebrate the return home from South Africa of Saddler-Sergeant George ALLAN, of the Northumberland and Durham Imperial Yeomanry, and to present him with a splendid gold albert and medal, subscribed for by numerous friends. Sergt. ALLAN was with Quartermaster-Sergt. C. SALKELD and Farrier WRIGHT recently presented with a watch by the townspeople as one of the gallant lads forming the 14th and 15th Squadrons of the Imperial Yeomanry who did such fine work with Lord Methuen’s column, but the present occasion marked a more personal association with him of numerous friends who have known him in times past. Mr F.W. Myers presided, and after the loyal toasts, proposed the health of Sergt. George ALLAN. In doing so he said that many of them perhaps might think they might be able to do what those who volunteered for the front had done, but what they had to consider was that it was the nobility of taking the first decisive step. Sergeant ALLAN did not wait to think about it as some of them might do. He went and did it, and he was one of the first of the volunteers to go. They knew that at the time the Yeomanry went out the country was in a rather peculiar position. The Government acknowledged then they had made a huge mistake regarding the Boers, as what the Pro-Boers now called a handful of farmers, and when they called for volunteers they found men responding nobly. These men did their duty at the front, and that was why they were proud to have Sergeant ALLAN amongst them that night. They must not forget those who had fallen. There was not only the glory and rejoicing and pleasure in meeting those who had come back, but there was also the pathetic side to the picture, and they had to remember that many noble fellows were left on the veldt of South Africa. Their sympathy must go out to those whom the fallen had left behind in England, and they as Englishmen should remember that they could help the wives, mothers, and relatives of those who had gone out at their country’s call and had died so splendidly. It was again a sad recollection that they had men on the other side, Englishmen who were Pro-Boers, and they would feel that men like Sergeant ALLAN came out all the stronger by the contrast (applause).

The toast was heartily drunk.

Mr W.C. Sarsfield, in presenting the testimonial to Sergt. ALLAN, expressed the hope that their worthy townsman and friend would live to wear the albert and medal for many years to come. That, he knew, was the wish of the friends assembled that night, so that in the days to come he might revert to the present, wherever he might be, as a pleasing memento of the past. Supplementing these felicitous sentiments by a few general remarks, Mr Sarsfield pointed to the splendid work done by the Yeomanry, and quoted in testimony thereof the remarks made in a speech made in Newcastle by Col. Meyrick that finer fellows he never wished to have. Their friend had been in the thick of the hard work. He had emerged from it safely and unharmed, and they hoped he would enjoy long life, good health, and prosperity.

Sergt. ALLAN, in replying, remarked in the course of some timely remarks that he was only one of many. All had gone out to do their duty. When they got there it was not for them to say “I’ll settle down here” or “I’ll go there”. They had to obey orders, and one got a soft job and another a hard one, well, it was all the same. Each man had gone out to do his duty, and did not know what might be his lot, but took the chance and did his best (hear, hear). The recipient went on to speak of the vast area of almost unknown veldt, a trackless region, where they made their own roads in any direction, and it was nothing if the guides made a mistake and took them twelve miles out of the way. In conclusion, he expressed the hope that the war would be over by Christmas, but said the bitter jealousy of the Dutch would long rankle in their mind, and he feared there would for long be occasional shooting down by the unseen foe.