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TOPIC: Town Guard QSAs and DMT QSAs

Town Guard QSAs and DMT QSAs 3 weeks 4 days ago #65530

  • djb
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I have been reading the article by Nick Tucker in the December 2010 OMRS Journal titled 'A fighting Town Guard - Jagersfontein 1900'.

In the article the author differentiates the Town Guards that saw action and those that did not, ie the fighting and non-fighting TGs.

The author did not identify the fighting TGs although Jagersfontein is one of them as they suffered casualties.

The Boers attacked Jagersfontein on 16 October 1900 but were repulsed by a force (large or small depending on the account) comprising Seaforth Highlanders, Cape Police and Jagersfontein TG men.

After Pretoria: The Guerilla War states:

Towards the end of October (1900) the state of affairs in the south of the Orange River Colony grew worse. On the 13th the Boers were near Jagersfontein, a diamond-mining town in the south west, and a militia patrol was cut up. Laagers appeared in close proximity to Kimberley. Horses and forage were commandeered, and a native was cruelly shot by the enemy as far south as Orange River Station. On the 16th a serious attack was made upon Jagersfontein. The weak detachment of 300 men occupying the place under Major King-Hall was divided between two small forts to the south of the town and a portion of the kopjes to the west of it. During the night of the 15th-16th a party of 25 Boers crawled into the town, passing the British outposts, by following the shadow of a wall. Inside the town they were joined by many sympathisers, who produced buried rifles and ammunition. Even the women aided them. At daybreak the Boers without attacked the British forts in the most determined manner. and when the attention of the garrison was thus occupied, the party inside the town joined in the assault, pouring in from the houses a heavy fire upon the British rear. The enemy succeeded in reaching the prison and releasing all the prisoners inside it; they also shot down with expanding bullets eight unarmed and non-combatant Kaffirs. But the garrison fought so well that it repulsed the assault and drove the Boers from the town after two hour's conflict, with the loss of their commandant, Vischer [sic], and 27 men killed. The British loss was 9 killed and 12 wounded. Severe measures were at once taken to punish the treacherous inhabitants. Their houses were burned and they themselves, where they had not escaped, were seized and imprisoned.

Davitt's account differs:

Jagersfontein, in the south of the Free State, which was held at the time by a strong British garrison, was attacked by Commandant Visser and a few men near the end of October. Some fifty Boers entered the town during the night unobserved, and at daybreak the following morning opened an attack upon the garrison in conjunction with the main body under Visser from the south of the village. The English held their ground during a three hours' fight, when Visser withdrew, leaving a dozen of his men prisoners. He returned again the same night, stormed the town, released the prisoners, but was himself killed in retiring again from the place.

There is a picture of the grave of Petrus Johannes Visser (1844-1900) here.

The casualties were:

2nd Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders:

Lieutenant A J Hall: severely wounded.
2284 Colour Sergeant R Bremmer (sic : Bremner): killed.
2093 Lance Sergeant R Henderson: killed.
3925 Private R Catchpole: killed.
4416 Private A Farrell: killed.
5542 Private W Gemmell: killed.
3614 Private W Gorman: killed.
3368 Private C Mitchell : killed.
2575 Sergeant W Sutherland: wounded, died 29 October.
3033 Private W Brown: wounded, died 16 October.
4583 Private J King: wounded, died 17 October.
5432 Lance Corporal J Dickie: wounded, died 19 October.
1063 Private J Scott: wounded, died 16 November.
4980 Private J Lawrence: dangerously wounded.
3552 Lance Corporal D McNab. slightly wounded.
3563 Private C Simpson: severely wounded.
3606 Private R Semple: slightly wounded.
6137 Private J Patterson: slightly wounded.

Cape Police:

Police Constable Bow: killed

Jagersfontein Town Guard:

Private F Wallace: killed.
Private C Cunningham: wounded.
Private J Dunn (sic: Drinn): wounded.
Private E Engler: Severely wounded.

There were other casualties incurred in and around Jagersfontein, for example on 24 August 1900, 30 July 1901 and 8 March 1901, so the TG may have also been involved depending on how close they were to the town.

From the recent posts we know that Zeerust was a fighting TG as were the TGs in Mafeking, Ladysmith, Kimberley, Dundee, Philippolis, Willowmore, Potchefstroom, Barkly West, Molteno, Richmond, Klipdam, Sutherland, Jansenville, Veldrift, Steytlerville, Middelburg, Cradock and O'okiep. It will be interesting to go through and identify the others.
Dr David Biggins

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Town Guard QSAs and DMT QSAs 2 weeks 3 days ago #65727

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Five TG QSAs currently on offer at the London Medal Co

Sergeant Major J.A. Jamieson, Cookhouse Town Guard £255
Private W.J. Harper, 1st Battalion, Grahamstown Town Guard £155
Private G. West, Burghersdorp Town Guard £155
Lieutenant C. Scriven, Beaufort West Town Guard £295
Corporal W.P. Henrey, Craddock Town Guard £165
Dr David Biggins

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Town Guard QSAs and DMT QSAs 2 weeks 3 days ago #65728

  • Rory
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I acquired one tonight which is unusual - a confirmed Cape Colony clasp to a DMT. The medal is to RJ Pringle of the Bedford DMT - he earned the CC clasp with Gorringe's F.C.





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Town Guard QSAs and DMT QSAs 2 weeks 19 hours ago #65752

  • RobCT
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This is a special thank you message to David.

Recently when doing some final editing for a well-known Postal Auction catalogue (Auction 70 will be stupendous and will probably close shortly before the Boris Johnson October BREXIT date) in an endeavour to determine the full name of a medal recipient.

Imagine my joy when I noted David’s posting of some new Town Guard medals offered for sale by London Medals.

My e-mail was quickly buzzing and I have been delighted to be able to report to my son-in-law that I have secured the purchase of the medal awarded to my eldest grandson’s great great grandfather with whom he shares his first, second and surname!

So David, from Cape Town, this is a very special thank you for hosting this Forum and for all the tireless effort, dedication and considerable amount of time you selflessly spend in making so much information available to collectors like me.

Thank you

RobM

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Town Guard QSAs and DMT QSAs 2 weeks 14 hours ago #65754

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Hear hear - well put Rob and a jolly good result for you!

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Town Guard QSAs and DMT QSAs 2 weeks 14 hours ago #65755

  • djb
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Ah, that's fantastic news, Rob. What a great find!
Dr David Biggins

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