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TOPIC: A Dane in the Black Watch

A Dane in the Black Watch 3 months 13 hours ago #64352

  • BereniceUK
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Private T. W. Jensen, who is a Dane, but enlisted in the Black Watch under the name of Thomas Tucker, writing home to his father in Sunderland from De Aar Hospital, describing the battle of Magersfontein, says: - "I have just arrived from the battlefield wounded, and I can thank God that I am living. We commenced on Sunday to march to Kimberley, and came across the enemy in the afternoon about four o'clock. Our artillery commenced to shell them, and our company was told off for the firing line. We went up to within 800 yards of their trenches, but they would not show fight, so we had to retire because it was getting dark. Our brigade received orders about eight o'clock to lie down till 12, and we had a hard night of it. It rained all the night, and we got wet through. The time came for the advance, and we made for the hill in the dark. We got to about 100 yards from the trenches (the brigade in quarter column - that is where the mistake of the General's was) when we received a perfect hail of bullets. I dropped flat on the ground, and I could hear the bullets whistling by me. Then we got the order to charge. It seemed to cease their fire a little, but our charge was stopped by a big fence of railings, and we could get no further. We made for the right flank, and when I got out of their heavy fire I ran into their hands again. I was about 50 yards from them, and I dropped behind the nearest bush. I commenced firing at them, and one of the Boers was crawling to get sight of me when I spinned him around. Just as I was going to have another round at them a bullet knocked the rifle-butt to pieces and smashed the bolt. My rifle was no more use, and I told my mate that I would retire to get a rifle. No sooner had I got up than the bullets began to whistle about me, and after getting a good way I was struck by a bullet right under the bottom of the heel, through my instep and foot, and then through my shoe. I threw up my helmet and rifle into the air and dropped. I did that to let them know that they had killed me, so that they would not fire any more. They fired a few more at me after I had dropped, one gong right through my kilt, but it did not touch the skin. I lay there motionless for eight hours before I got any assistance. I heard the Boers talking in Dutch about something as they were being chased by our men. I was found by our men and bandaged, and while they were dressing my wound bullets were again whistling about me. I was carried to the ambulance and then to De Aar Hospital, where I am at present. I expect to be taken to the Cape."

Sunderland Daily Echo, Tuesday 9th January 1900
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A Dane in the Black Watch 3 months 10 hours ago #64353

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Berenice
Palmer says that "6018 Pte. T.Tucker of 2BW was Wounded at Magersfontein on 11/12/99. The BW medal roll for South Africa shows his QSA medal bore the clasp "Cape Colony".
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IL.
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A Dane in the Black Watch 3 months 53 minutes ago #64358

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Any alias used by this man appears not to have actually ben recorded in WO97, he had joined in 1895, as an eighteen year old paper maker from Berwick, he served in South Africa from the 24th of October 1899 until the 16th of March the following year, very much the career professional , he was a qualified Mounted Infantryman and was discharged from the reverse upon the 13th of May 1907.
Both his medal and clasp, as well as his adventure at Magersfontein are clearly shown, he gave his next of kin as his mother in Sunderland.



BereniceUK wrote: Private T. W. Jensen, who is a Dane, but enlisted in the Black Watch under the name of Thomas Tucker, writing home to his father in Sunderland from De Aar Hospital, describing the battle of Magersfontein, says: - "I have just arrived from the battlefield wounded, and I can thank God that I am living. We commenced on Sunday to march to Kimberley, and came across the enemy in the afternoon about four o'clock. Our artillery commenced to shell them, and our company was told off for the firing line. We went up to within 800 yards of their trenches, but they would not show fight, so we had to retire because it was getting dark. Our brigade received orders about eight o'clock to lie down till 12, and we had a hard night of it. It rained all the night, and we got wet through. The time came for the advance, and we made for the hill in the dark. We got to about 100 yards from the trenches (the brigade in quarter column - that is where the mistake of the General's was) when we received a perfect hail of bullets. I dropped flat on the ground, and I could hear the bullets whistling by me. Then we got the order to charge. It seemed to cease their fire a little, but our charge was stopped by a big fence of railings, and we could get no further. We made for the right flank, and when I got out of their heavy fire I ran into their hands again. I was about 50 yards from them, and I dropped behind the nearest bush. I commenced firing at them, and one of the Boers was crawling to get sight of me when I spinned him around. Just as I was going to have another round at them a bullet knocked the rifle-butt to pieces and smashed the bolt. My rifle was no more use, and I told my mate that I would retire to get a rifle. No sooner had I got up than the bullets began to whistle about me, and after getting a good way I was struck by a bullet right under the bottom of the heel, through my instep and foot, and then through my shoe. I threw up my helmet and rifle into the air and dropped. I did that to let them know that they had killed me, so that they would not fire any more. They fired a few more at me after I had dropped, one gong right through my kilt, but it did not touch the skin. I lay there motionless for eight hours before I got any assistance. I heard the Boers talking in Dutch about something as they were being chased by our men. I was found by our men and bandaged, and while they were dressing my wound bullets were again whistling about me. I was carried to the ambulance and then to De Aar Hospital, where I am at present. I expect to be taken to the Cape."

Sunderland Daily Echo, Tuesday 9th January 1900

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A Dane in the Black Watch 2 months 4 weeks ago #64363

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Possibly Thomas William Tucker, born Houghton-le-Spring, County Durham, in the fourth quarter of 1875 (mother's maiden name was Routley). I can't find any UK births for T. W. Jensen that match, and neither can I find any other references to T. W. Jensen. However, I've found some for Thomas Tucker, all in the Sunderland Daily Echo: -

24.1.1900 - '"Writing from the Wynberg Hospital, where he is being treated for an injury to the foot, Private Thomas Tucker, of the Black Watch regiment, states: "I know whose blame it was; we got cut up; but we will let that drop for the present. When Major-General Wauchope got shot, the men wanted to carry him off the field, but he resisted. He spoke to them and told them that it was not his fault, and that he had only done what he was told to do. He told the men to lie down, as it was a man-to-man job." The writer praises the hospital arrangements."

3.2.1900 - "Private Thos. Tucker, of the Black Watch, writing home to his parents from Wynberg Hospital, says: - My wound is healing up all right, but I cannot put my foot on the ground yet, and I have to use a pair of crutches. The people in Wynberg made our Christmas day a splendid success, for they gave us everything we asked for, and the Children's Mission at Capetown sent us twelve stamps each and a lot of writing-paper. We had a tea from the Soldiers' Home at Capetown, and enjoyed it "immense." The nurses who look after us here are very kind, and give us plenty of tobacco and fruit. We had three of the mounted infantry wounded through the treachery of the Boers. They were in a farm, and a woman commenced to wave her hands for them to come to the farm, and when they got near they were received with a volley from the windows of the farm. They were all wounded, but two of them managed to escape, whilst the third one was found near the railway (bandaged, it is said, by a woman) when we were out with the armoured train."

11.6.1900 - "On Saturday night in honour of the occupation of Pretoria several additions were made to the performance at the Avenue Theatre. The full band of the 1st D.A.V., under Mr W. W. Lax, played a descriptive piece entitled the "Battle of Waterloo," and Mr Percival Craig recited "Something to Remember," which was received with great enthusiasm. Three local men who had been wounded in South Africa made their appearance on the stage. They were Corporal Noble, of the Coldstream Guards; Private Carty, of the Northumberland Fusiliers; and Private Tucker, of the Black Watch. As each man was introduced by Mr Craig he received quite an ovation from the audience."

22.3.1901 - At the Sunderland Police Court, the same date, a case was heard regarding the manager of the Union Flag beerhouse permitting drunkenness on licenced premises. Among those who gave evidence was "Thomas Tucker, private in the Black Watch, who said he served under Gen. Wauchope at the battle of Magersfontein…"

10.9.1902 - Not known if this is the same Thomas Tucker - "Ethel Robinson and Thomas Tucker pleaded guilty to assaulting.....the barman of the Golden Lion public-house, High Street East....Defendants were fined 5s and costs each."

Was this what happened? - Thomas was born to parents Mr and Mrs Tucker. Mr Tucker later died, and Mrs Tucker re-married, to Mr Jensen. Thomas chose to use his birth-father's surname, but Mr Jensen preferred to call him Thomas Jensen. If that was the case, he wasn't really a Dane, only through his stepfather.

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A Dane in the Black Watch 2 months 4 weeks ago #64389

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Sorry for late reply, without looking further, I would not venture an opinion, although, he stated he was born in Berwick upon Tweed.

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