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TOPIC: Who were the men on the armoured train, 15 November 1899?

Who were the men on the armoured train, 15 November 1899? 7 months 1 week ago #60786

  • SWB
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Evening

I have published my analysis of the casualties, NFF has 47, from newspapers and Romer it is now 93 - we know the names of roughly 2/3 of those involved. I also turned up seven names of men there but not casualties. Full details on the blog: theangloboerwars.blogspot.com/2018/10/th...ain-incident-15.html .

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Who were the men on the armoured train, 15 November 1899? 7 months 5 days ago #60819

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I have had a lot of fun and quality input from the www.facebook.com/groups/AngloBoerWar/ group. The number of casualties is now at 96 and non-casualty participants at 11.

One big question remains - who is in the unmarked grave at the crash site?

The three Dublin Fusiliers are in a named grave, the fourth KIA Pte F/T Copeland Durban LI is not in a known grave. Watt 'In Memoriam' states he is in the unmarked grave, other research says he is buried at Chieveley.

Anyone know the answer?

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Who were the men on the armoured train, 15 November 1899? 6 months 1 week ago #61178

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Francis Napier, F.R.C.S., was on board the train. He had been taken on by the Imperial forces as a doctor, and was being sent to Estcourt to help establish a hospital there. He wrote to his wife: - "I was in the armoured train and might have been carried off to Pretoria. How I got back at all, I can't imagine, for we were in a very tight corner. I was in the second truck coming back, and when it was upset was thrown out on to the embankment, and then the work began, and what with the whizz of the bullets, the rattle of the Maxims, and the crash of the shells the noise was something awful. I had no time to think about danger or anything else, for a man was hit in the thigh almost immediately, and as soon as I had attended to him, there was another, and so on. The worst moment was when the locomotive got the line clear, and I was getting the wounded into the coal tender. Just then a shell struck the front of the engine, and a poor chap standing over the tender was thrown off on to the ground with his arm torn off. He ran shrieking down the embankment, and I had great difficulty in getting him back again. We started off with eighteen wounded, and I sat on the coupling between loco and tender holding a chap in my arms, shot through both legs."
The Southern Reporter, Thursday 21st December 1899

Napier was a brother of Lieutenant Basil Napier, Imperial Yeomanry, who died 28th December 1900.
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Who were the men on the armoured train, 15 November 1899? 6 months 1 week ago #61181

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Wow! Nice one Berenice, this man is not mentioned in any sources I have seen (and that is a great number now). Undoubtedly he was there, the soldier who had his arm shot off by a shell (a Royal Dublin Fusilier) is recorded by other many other sources.

Napier was a locally recruited surgeon who served in the Relief of Ladysmith campaign and served at 12 Stationary Hospital, Ladysmith after the relief.

I will update my blog. :)

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Who were the men on the armoured train, 15 November 1899? 6 months 1 week ago #61182

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The Napier family was from Thirlestane House, Ettrick, between Selkirk and Moffat. In Ettrick Kirk are some memorials to the family, and there's also a plot in the kirkyard with several family graves. I don't recall anything inside the kirk that mentioned Francis Napier's name, but don't know about the gravestones, as I was only looking for Basil Napier's name.

Francis Napier was the eldest son of the late Hon. William Napier of Broadmeadows, and was a resident at Johannesburg when war broke out. He was reportedly among the last to leave, and eventually arrived at Durban via "Lorenzo Marques." (from the same issue of the newspaper quoted above)

He's next mentioned in The Southern Reporter, date 22nd October 1908, as being a member of the Legislative Assembly of the Transvaal.

The Southern Reporter, 30th January 1913, in reporting a "fashionable Border wedding in London," has Mr. Francis Napier's present to the bride (from St Boswells, Roxburghshire) being "ostrich feathers."

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Who were the men on the armoured train, 15 November 1899? 2 months 1 week ago #62699

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Fantastic image!

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