I've just joined the web-site. My interest is prompted by researching my grandfather, who it turns out was in the Matabeleland Relief Force in 1896, having previously been a Jameson Raider. This I discovered only in January this year, having identified one of his medals as being the BSAC Medal for the Rhodesia campaign. He was on the Harlech Castle repatriation voyage, but can anyone suggest where I might look to find his first outward voyage, and then his second trip to join the MRF? He was back in UK in April 1897 as he married by grandmother that month! Any suggestions gratefully received
This may, or may not, be relevant, but is there some confusion as to where Edward M. Rogers, of the Jameson Raiders, came from? His address is listed as "Bichford, Perbridge, Staffs.", which would seem to actually be Bickford Grange, Penkridge, Staffs. The Rogers family was still resident there into the 1930s.
I am about to partly reply to my own post! Apologies if this is not correct protocol!
Researching passenger lists indicates that about 190 Raiders returned to South Africa on nine different vessels, starting as early as 14 March 1896. Some even travelled back on the Harlech Castle, although presumably with slightly more space than the northbound journey a couple of months earlier when there were some 350 men on a ship with a capacity for 250 3rd Class passengers. The returning Raiders woutd have reached Mafeking in time to join the Matabeleland Relief Force under Col. Plummer. Details of the return journeys are:
Date from UK Vessel Number
14 March 1896 Lismore Castle 17
14 March 1896 Mexican 20
21 March 1896 Goth 11
21 March 1896 Dunottar Castle 15
28 March 1896 Harlech Castle 23
28 March 1896 Norman 20
4 April 1896 Roslin Castle 46
4 April 1896 Trojan 34
11 April 1896 Tartar 4
If anyone would like any more details please let me know.
I was intrigued last week to realise that while all this was going on, England were playing three cricket tests against South Africa in Port Elizabeth, Johannesburg and Cape Town.