My name is Eric Probert from Chelmsford, Essex, UK and I am a historian and genealogist
My grandfather, Driver Charles John Probert, served with the 62nd Battery, RFA in the Boer War from 1899 to 1902 being awarded the clasps Cape Colony, Paardeberg and Orange Free State to the QSA medal
Have just returned from a trip to South Africa including a visit to the Kimberley area. We had an excellant Guide, Steve Lunderstedt, who took us to the Museums and Battlefields at two places near Kimberley, Magersfontein and Paardeberg, where we know thatGrandfather, Charles John Probert of the 62 nd Battery Royal Field Artillery (RFA) was involved in February 1900. The progress of both battles was explained and we were taken to the locations of the 62 Battery RFA 12 pounder guns, where the horses and men were encamped, where Lord Roberts had his headquarters and where the Boers were entrenched in their laagers on the banks of the Modder River.
With the information from this Battlefields visit, books and research at The Royal Artillery Museum and the National Archives I am able to wite an illustrated story of Grandpa's Boer War.
However I want to include pictures of the arrival of soldiers and horses by ship at Cape Town and the movement of horses and soldiers by train from Capetown to the Orange River Station. Perhaps someone will be able to assist me with sources for these.
I have had more than a passing interest in 62Bty, RFA for quite some years; ever since I ran across a group comprised of QSA/BWM/VM/ISM - the QSA named to "22243 Gnr. J.R.TUTIN 62nd Bty: RFA". The QSA bears the clasps NATAL, MODDER RIVER, PAARDEBURG, JOHANNESBURG, SA1901. It may not be of interest to you - however, the reason it sparked interest with me was the combination of NATAL with MODDER RIVER. I considered this to be a most unusual combination. The reason I am making this post is to stress that by no means all of the men of 62RFA were entitled to the same/similar stack of clasps on their QSA as shown above. A glance at my copy of the medal roll of 62RFA shows that the members of the Battery were quite widely spread. If you are going to conduct an analysis of clasps to 62RFA, a look at it's medal roll would be vital.
This site contains images of Stirling's "Our Regiments in South Africa" and there is a writeup of the activities of 62RFA. As a matter of interest, the Battery was given very favourable publicity for it's assistance at Modder River (there is quite a nice illustration of it in action at MR in the book "With the Flag to Pretoria") and it covered the euphemistically named "withdrawal" of the Highland Brigade at Magersfontein.
I regret that I have no illustrations of the battery landing, etc.
Many thanks, Linney1, for the additional info. on the 62nd Battery RFA. I may need to analyse the awards of clasps to personnel of the 62nd Battery as I would like to know where the 62nd Battery moved to after Paardeberg and before they departed for India in 1901 and the award of the "Johannesberg" clasp to Gnr Tutin may be significant. I note that this clasp was awarded to troops who were north of an East/West line through Klip River Station andnEast of a North/South line through Krugersdorp Station on 31 May 1900.
Thanks for the tip about "Our Regiments in South Africa" and I have copies of the Volumes of "With the Flag to Pretoria" which indicates that only 2 of the 6 guns of the 62 Battery RFA were deployed at Modder River and explains why my grandfather was not awarded this clasp. Have you come across a really good photo or illustration of the 12 pounder guns used by the batteries of the RFA?
With regard to the transport aspects of the war I am seeking any (not particularly of the 62nd Battery RFA) photos of troopships arriving with men, horses & guns at S. African ports and any photos of trains with soldiers, horses & equipment transfering from ports to the battlefield area stations. Do you think that South African Newspapers of the day would have carried pictures?