Hi all, I'm Colleen, and I'm starting from about as completely Ground Zero as you can get. Any information and assistance will be greatly appreciated.
Attached is a photo of my grandfather, John Williamson, taken in Bloemfonte or Bloemfonth, Orange Free State. Grampa Jack was born in Quebec of Scotch father, Irish mother, so I have no idea if he enlisted in a Canadian unit (were there any in this war?) or if he headed for Britain and joined a regiment over there. He died when I was 6 months old, and other family members seemed to know little or nothing about his service record when I was finally old enough to care to inquire. ANY information or assistance or just direction-pointing so I know where to look further will be eternally appreciated. Thanks
Welcome to the Forum. There certainly was a considerable Canadian military presence during the South African war. There was also a considerable influx of volunteers from all over the Empire who enlisted in locally (South African) recruited units after they arrived. However, you certainly are commencing your quest from GZ - due to the lack of details concerning "John Williamson". Your pic shows him wearing spurs and leggings (typical of him being in a mounted unit as is his wearing a Mounted Infantry bandolier) and he appears to have a dark coloured hackle (or feathers) in his slouch hat. Which possibly indicates service in a Colonial unit.
It would really assist you in your quest if family memories could be trawled for any help whatsoever.
I have checked the Canadian rolls and there was only 1 John Williamson but the birth location was London, UK. ….. I also checked Canadian Scouts and Canadians in the South Africa Constabulary but again no J. Williamson's...… In checking FMP there were 56 J. Williamson's so more information would most likely be needed to narrow the list down.....
There was one thing that I did find and that was a LAND APPLICATION, they gave a land grant to any Veteran when they came home from SA no matter who they served with, British, South African etc..... They do not give much information after that.....
Military Historical Society
Like Mike, I have checked the medal roll index and found 8 John Williamsons and over 200 J Williamsons (including some duplicates) so any more information you could provide would help to narrow the search.