Was the Howard family living at 22, Everton Road, Southport in 1891, and if so can we find R. Howard's first name there? If the report got his age correct, he would have been born in 1874 or 1875.
Death of a Southport Yeoman.
I regret to have to announce the death of one of the local men who volunteered for active service with the Imperial Yeomanry force in South Africa. Trooper R. Howard died at Dragoender, on the 9th May, of dysentery. His parents have received a telegram from the War Office to that effect. Trooper Howard, who had been several years in the Lancashire Hussars, was only 26 years of age. He was unmarried, and lived up to the time of his departure with his parents at 22, Everton-road. Along with the remainder of the Yeomanry, who, it will be remembered, trained throughout January in Southport, he left Southport on Tuesday, the 30th of that month, and sailed for South Africa on board the Lake Erie. After remaining some time at Maitland Camp, outside Cape Town, the 32nd Company, by which name the Lancashire Hussars became known, proceeded with Lord Kitchener's column to the west, where they successfully crushed the rising rebellion. Two of Trooper Howard's letters were published in the "Visiter" on March 27th. Southport Visiter, 12th May 1900
My great great grandfather served as a Trooper in the 32nd Company. His attestation was recorded in Newton-le-Willows on Jan 4th 1900 so he may well have been part of the training at Southport and been on the Lake Erie. I'm hence intrigued by the letters from Richard Howard published in the Southport Visiter. I can't currently find an archive of the paper - is there any way of accessing the letters ?? Thanks in anticipation !!
MWidnall wrote: My great great grandfather served as a Trooper in the 32nd Company. His attestation was recorded in Newton-le-Willows on Jan 4th 1900 so he may well have been part of the training at Southport and been on the Lake Erie. I'm hence intrigued by the letters from Richard Howard published in the Southport Visiter. I can't currently find an archive of the paper - is there any way of accessing the letters ?? Thanks in anticipation !!
Not online. The Southport Visiter is normally available to view on microfilm at both Southport and Crosby libraries. I've just phoned Southport Library, and they don't know when their local history section will be reopening, so it's probably the same at Crosby.
Was it Richard Howard that was your gggf?
…."Private R. Howard, whose death we reported in our last issue, wrote as follows to his parents from Upington, Gordonia, on the 5th ult.: - ….When we left Britstown, we were hurried to a place called Prieska, after some rebels, with Lord Kitchener and the Orange River Column. We were composed of the City of London Volunteers and Suffolk Mounted Infantry, the Australian Artillery, and the 7th Dragoons Reserve men. We had orders wired down, when we got to a place for a halt, to go 22 miles express to Prieska, and that the rebels were in force. They put the 7th Dragoons first, in the front rank with the Lancs., then our Company, then the Cheshire, and Warwickshire and London Volunteers. The Dragoons lost 12 horses from exhaustion; we lost two, and the Cheshires and Warwickshires lost six, and it nearly knocked all the life out of the others, and all for nothing. The rebels had retired an hour before across the Orange River. We could not get across, the river was so deep, or we should have been upon them. They left about half a ton of dynamite and 500 rounds of ammunition, which we captured next day, concealed in a rock. We took about 40 prisoners (stragglers), shot three of the ringleaders, fined the others £50 apiece and took all arms and ammunition off them. We captured 300 rifles of all kinds, in a house, and lots of Eley's cartridges, London. We go through all the houses as we pass, and take all the rifles we find. We have had a rough time of it. One of our men says he will have forty days and nights rest when he gets home. We have no tents with us, we have only a rug and a waterproof sheet to lie upon and the floor is covered with all sorts of reptiles. We had to cross the Orange River in a pontoon 25 at a time. The rebels left here a fortnight ago. They have been having fine sport commandeering everything. The country is nothing but bush, this the only decent place since we left Prieska, but you cannot get a drop of beer or mineral water. There are oranges on the trees and we get a few, but we have not much time for anything. In one place we passed through there was only one …..., they had looted everything. They are a badly-disposed people here, nice to your face, and behind your back ready to shoot you. I don't know where we are going from here. We came in on Wednesday, and are stopping till over Saturday, when we shall receive orders. We might go to Kimberley, it is only 150 miles from here. We are about half way between German Africa and the Free State. We have heard officially that Joubert is dead, but we hear nothing about the Transvaal. We heard that some more of the Yeomanry were called up for garrison duty, but whether it is true or not we do not know. Kitchener has left us at Prieska, and General Settle is in command."
Southport Visiter, Tuesday 15th May 1900
I've censored one word, as it's now considered to be unacceptable.
Many thanks for that reply, for the text of the letter, and for the info about the libraries. Some years since I've been to Southport so another visit - when the libraries re-open - will be a bit of a haul from Wiltshire, but a pleasure !!
My ggg was James Joseph Griffin (8895). He was born near Waterford in Ireland and joined the IY at age 19 on the day it was established - 4th Jan 1900. He was discharged at his own request on 10th Nov 1900 from Mackenzies Camp, Cape Town. He was awarded the QSA with clasps recognising action in Cape Colony, Orange Free State and Transvaal (although I'm struggling to identify 32nd Co. action in the Transvaal). A family member has his QSA medal, photos in slouch hat and several Army forms relating to attestation and discharge.
Understanding is the 32nd fought at Britstown in April, and next engaged at Draghoender in May. Prieska looks to be about 2/3 the way from Britstown to Draghoender. There is then a reference to a burial at Griquatown in August 1900 which would be in the broad direction towards to Kimberley.
By 1905 my ggg had ended up in Rugby despite no known connections, but interesting that he both travelled with and fought alongside Warwickshire contingents.
I'm still very much on a learning curve with the Boer War......!!
It all depends where he had family and friends - if he didn't have a direct connection with Southport and district, it's unlikely that any letters of his would have been printed, simply because he wouldn't have been sending any to the area. Men joined the 32nd Company from around West and South Lancashire, so he could have been living in Ormskirk or St Helens, or elsewhere in Merseyside, when he joined up. A better bet would be the Waterford newspapers. Newspapers loved to print letters home from men who had volunteered, because volunteers were seen as being incredibly patriotic. You also have to be aware that he might not have been a letter writer, or that his family preferred to keep any letters received from him private, and not share them with newspaper readers.
Are there addresses on the Army forms? If you could get a home address, maybe on his attestation, that would be a pointer to where to look for newspapers which would be more likely to mention him. He would have had to have been in Lancashire to actually join the Lancashire Hussars, he couldn't have done that from Ireland (those who know more than me will correct that last sentence if it's wrong).