On this day, 117 years ago, the siege of Mafeking was finally raised. The day previous (16th May, 1900), the combined forces of Colonels Mahon and Plumer finally broke through the Boer forces ringing the town - which had been under siege since 13/10/1899. Colonel Baden Powell's tenacious defence of the town had excited the admiration of the Empire. The story of the Relief, however, was also an epic - and interested readers are invited to peruse Stirling's "The Colonials in South Africa" to obtain a perspective of the times.
Illustrated here is the trio of medals awarded to Lt./Capt. A.J.Forbes of the Rhodesia Regiment; wounded on the cold winter's morning of 16th May, 1900, South of the Molopo river.
1: BSACM, rev. "Rhodesia 1896" engraved to ""Lt. A.J.Forbes, M.R.F.
2. QSA clasps "Rhodesia", "Relief of Mafeking", "Orange Free State" and "Transvaal" impressed to "Lt. A.J.Forbes. Rhodesia Regt".
3. KSA clasps SA1901 and SA1902 impressed to "Capt. A.J.D.Forbes, S.A.M.I.F.
The Kaplan Roll for the Relief of Mafeking clasp shows Lt. A.J.Forbes as serving with "E" Squadron of the RR and subsequently serving with the Remount Depot, Kimberley.
SAFF shows Lt. Forbes as being "slightly wounded" on 12/5/1900 - however, other sources record the actual date as being that shown above; with Lt. Forbes being "shot through both legs". Whatever the degree of injury, Lt. A.Forbes left Mafeking Hospital for treatment and convalescence in Britain. He later returned for further military service.
Lt. A.J.Forbes was an experienced officer by the time he was recruited for Col. Plumer's Rhodesia Regt. He had served during the 1896 Matabele Rebellion with "C" Squadron of the Matabeleland Refief Force under Colonel Plumer; his Squadron seeing considerable action North East of Bulawayo, before the rebel stronghold of Thabas Amanda and at Sikombo's stronghold (where his Squadron commander - Maj. Kershaw - was killed in the assault.
Regards to all on this day
The following user(s) said Thank You: Rory, Frank Kelley
IL & Rory
Thank you for showing two splendid groups. Although I have always admired the medals of men who came to Mafeking from the north, my only RoM medals are to men of the Imperial Light Horse, who came from the south. Shown below is the only ILH Officer's QSA in my collection.
The following user(s) said Thank You: LinneyI, Rory
Thanks for posting Capt. Gilfillian's QSA. The combination of RofM with TH and RofL is very nice, indeed. I always regarded "Wepener" as my "favourite" QSA clasp - if that is the correct term - however, "Relief of Mafeking" is right up there!
Good to remember these men on this day so many years later.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Brett Hendey