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TOPIC: Medals to the KOSB

Medals to the KOSB 1 year 1 month ago #63095

  • djb
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Picture courtesy of Spink

Egypt (1) Gemaizah 1888 (1965. Pte. R. Watt. 2/K. O. Sco: Bord:); I
IGS 1895 (1) Relief of Chitral 1895 (3211 Sergtt. R. Watt. 2nd. Bn. K. O. Sco: Bord:); Q
QSA (3) CC OFS Tr (3211 Serjt: - Piper R. Watt. K. O. Scot: Bord:);
Army LS&GC VR (3211. S: Piper: R. Watt. K: O: S: B'drs.);
Khedive's Star, undated, unnamed as issued, l

Robert Watt was a native of Alloa, Clackmannan and served initially with the 2nd Battalion, King's Own Scottish Borderers. Having seen active service in Egypt and India, it would appear he took leave sometime before the outbreak of the Boer War for he next appeared with the 3rd (Militia) Battalion in South Africa. Appointed Sergeant-Piper, Watt was clearly a character of some Regimental repute and popularity, for he is recorded in The History of the 3rd Battalion, 1798-1907 singing the following song at concerts in Bulawayo, regarding the Colonel, written by Captain Stewart:

'To his numerous girls 'twas the Colonel who spoke,
Ere I see you again Kruger's head will be broke,
So let each bonny lass that likes flirting with me
Cry ' Good luck to brave Jim and his K.O.S.B.'

Chorus -

Come, fill up my cup; come, fill up my can;
Come, saddle my mare and call out my men-
We are off to the Cape, and the ship's at the quay
All ready to sail with the K.O.S.B.

The Colonel was mounted, he rode up the street;
The crowds they did cheer, but the lassies did greet.
For they thought what a loss their dear Colonel would be,
Not to speak of his Major, bold Johnny M'Kie.


Then bid me farewell and kiss me good-bye,
For when Jim's on the march no girl can be shy;
We'll think of our darlings when far on the sea,
Where stern duty is calling the K.O.S.B.

There are Laurie and Jardine and Grierson of Lag,
All eager to fight for the Old Country's flag;
And Pat and small Alick, dressed smart in khaki;
And Jim Witham, the pride of the K.O.S.B.


Then drink to the health of our brave Border men.
To wish them good luck and safe home again,
For Borderers ever brave soldiers will be,
And none can surpass the 3rd K.O.S.B.

Then away to the kopjes, the sand, and the veldt.
In the breast of each man martial ardour is felt.
For they know that the Boers very quickly will flee
When they meet the bold boys of the K.O.S.B.


Then go for them, boys, you'll smash thorn up yet;
You may capture old Steyn and corner De Wet -
If you do, bring them home, that your friends may all see
The latest recruits of the K.O.S.B.

There are hills beyond Criilel and streams beyond Kith;
Though oceans now lie betwixt you and your kith,
Never fear, gallant Jim, our hearts are with thee.
And we are thinking to-day of the K.O.S.B.


When Christmas is here and we're greeting each one,
You won't be forgot, in the midst of the fun.
We toast "absent friends" where'er they may be,
And the dearest are those of the K.O.S.B.

But we hope that ere long we may welcome you home.
Whence never again we'll allow you to roam.
For we've missed our brave lads, and are longing to see
Our Jim leading back the 3rd K.O.S.B.

Then fill up my cup; and, fill up my can;
And we'll all join together to welcome each man.
And the Provost, guid man, says "Let all join with me; In drinking the health of the K.O.S.B."'

Watt was sadly not to see the curtain fall on the war however, he died of fever at Bulawayo on 5 November 1901. His comrades erected a tombstone and his is also commemorated upon the Alloa Boer War Memorial and at St. Bride's Church, Dunfries.

He was one of 15 members of the 3rd Battalion to lose their lives during the Boer War and is confirmed as Pipe-Major upon the latter memorial and in the Regimental History.
Dr David Biggins

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Medals to the KOSB 1 year 2 weeks ago #63554

  • Frank Kelley
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Watt, states he was interred at Bulawayo in the general cemetery, monument not specified, interestingly, the remains of his original papers appear to be in WO363, such as they are.

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