William Blain originally joined the Royal Horse Guards in October 1889, before his transfer to the Manchester's in January the following year, his career began with appointment to Lance Corporal which was made upon the 17th of May 1890, with promotion to Sergeant being upon the 16th of February 1895, his discharge took place upon the 7th of February 1899 at his own request and on payment of eighteen pounds.
He had spent the majority of his service in the 2nd Battalion and had seen considerable Foreign service in India for over eight years from the 19th of September 1890 to the 13th of November 1898, this included actual Campaign service, taking part in the Miranzai Expedition which gained him an IGS 1854 and Samana 1891 clasp.
LinneyI wrote: Berenice
According to SAFF, "A" Division of the South African Constabulary had several casualties at Englebrecht's Drift on 24/25 May, 1901; three Killed, three Dangerously Wounded and died of wounds and three Wounded. In particular, "A756 Cpl. William Blain" was an interesting man. An on-line check about the location of Englebrecht's Drift threw up the following information about William Blain from "A Biographical Listing of all known Students, Graduates, etc. of Christ's College" ("Alumni Cantabrigienses").
The SAC appear to have served in the field in SA from early May, 1901 (at least according to "Absent Minded Beggars" by Will Bennett) and the action at Englebrecht's Drift may have been an early encounter with the enemy. I was not able to find any reference to that action in any of the usual sources - it may have been a clash of patrols or an ambush. The Times History Vol.IV page 137 only mentions that Drift in relation to Roberts' crossing of the Vaal some year earlier. From available sources it is difficult to ascertain if the action at the Drift took place on one day or spread over two.
A listing of the casualties at Englebrecht's Drift on 24/25 May 1901 is as follows:
A 769 Tpr. Allan, A.W., Dangerously wounded 25/5 and died 29/5
A756 Cpl. W.Blain, Dangerously wounded 25/5 and died 3/6
A699 Tpr. Brown, A. Severely wounded 24/5
A683 Tpr. Ferris, S. Died of wounds 24/5
A766 Tpr. Hancock, A. Severely wounded 24/5
A757 Tpr. Mason, H. Killed 25/5
A738 Tpr. Renfrew, A. Severely wounded 24/5
A695 Tpr. Robb, G. Killed 25/5
A719 Tpr. Selby, F.W. Killed 25/5.