Hello again - I am not sure where to turn for help tracing what happened to my Great-Uncle William Carey born 1881 in Hebden Bridge, and whether this is the appropriate forum in which to post this query. William's brother Ernest Carey was killed in the Boer War (and we received great help with information about him when we first joined this site). Fairly recently we discovered a medal being sold with W Carey's name on it - we are not sure whether this is the person we are looking for but,as we have a photo of 'William' in uniform with a cross on his arm, it is quite possible...........but we simply cannot find anything about him. This is the medal that was for sale - we have tried contacting the auctioneers but have not received a response - can anyone please tell us if the uniform William is wearing is likely to have been worn in the Boer War - and is anything known about the medal.
Thank you so much for finding that information, Adrian. As I am pretty sure the William Carey, I am looking for, was born in 1881, this person you have found might not be the same one unfortunately.......but it certainly could be that he travelled to South Africa then stayed there. It seems strange that St John's Brigade in Hebden Bridge have no record of him, if indeed he was a member of the organisation - finding the record of the medal renewed our efforts to find out more.
The little bit I have found on 1418 W. Carey, is that he served on the Hospital Ship Simla.
He was not awarded any bars for his Queen South Africa Medal. Serving on the Hospital Ship could account for that.
If you have a closer look at the buttons on the uniform he is wearing in the picture, it would give you an indication of who he was serving with at the time. (Are you sure the photo is W. Carey)?
You could contact St. John HQ in London, at St. John's Gate, Clerkenwell to see if they have any information on your Gt. Uncle. You will need to tell them that you think he served with Hebden Bridge. There are two mentions on the SJAB roll, W. Carey and G.W. Carey. The information I have given you is for W. Carey. Do you know if he had a second initial?
I have an Article that states that letters from George Pickles, and E. Carey, were often sent home from the Boer War and published in the "Old Yorkshire" paper. So I would certainly check out the local papers around that date.
There is also a memorial plaque in the Hebden Bridge Town Hall, for soldiers that died in the Boer War, so you may like a look at that.
Thank you so much once again, James - it is wonderful to have people like you to assist with information.
We are most interested to hear that the W Carey with that service number, served on a hospital ship.........and thank you for the suggestion that we write to St John headquarters - we will certainly do that. As for your query as to whether we know if the photo is definitely William Carey - we have assumed it is as an Aunt (who was a lot older than my Mother and therefore had more knowledge of the Carey family) wrote on the back of the photo. She also named Ernest Carey on another photo and with help from this forum, and much research, we found details of his death in South Africa, an article about a letter he wrote (which included the same photo we have in our possession!) and also that he is commemorated on the plaque in the Hebden Bridge Council offices. We wish we had known about these family links to the Boer War when we lived in Africa!
We will follow up on what you have told us. Thank you again.