OBE (Mil) HM 1918
QSA (4) RoK Paard Drief Joh (Lieut: A. M. A. Struben, Kitchener’s H.)
Arthur Marinus Alexander Struben was born in Pretoria, South Africa, on 28 May 1871, and was educated at Pietermaritzburg High School and the South African College, Cape Town. Proceeding to London, he studied at the Crystal Palace School of Art, Science, and Literature, and was awarded a Bronze Medal from the School of Practical Engineering, after which he worked as an apprentice engineer for the firm of Baldry and Yerburgh, and was appointed an Associate Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers. He was employed as a surveyor for the construction of the Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire railway; railway work in Nottingham and London; and in South Africa on the railway at Vryburg and the Mafeking extension. He was subsequently appointed assistant engineer in the Public Works Department of the Cape Colony.
Following the outbreak of the Boer War, Struben was commissioned Lieutenant in Kitchener’s Horse, and saw action during the Relief of Kimberley, and the actions at Paardeberg, Driefontien, and Johannesburg. Upon the conclusion of the War, he returned to his engineering career, and for the next decade was involved in various irrigation and hydrographic surveys in both the Cape Colony and Transvaal. On the outbreak of the Great War he was commissioned into the South African Engineers, and was subsequently promoted Major on attachment to the Royal Air Force, although he never saw active service. For his valuable War service he was created an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 1919 New Year’s Honours List.
Sold together with the Bestowal Document for the O.B.E., named to Major Arthur Struben, R.A.F., and dated 1 January 1919; a South African Constabulary Cyclist Contingent Prize Medal, silver, the reverse engraved ‘Pte. A. Struben 1st. 1887 S.A.C.C.C.’, date corrected; a Crystal Palace School of Art, Science, and Literature Prize Medallion, bronze, the reverse engraved ‘To A. M. A. Struben, Student, Crystal Palace School of Practical Engineering, for course satisfactorily passed, April 19th 1890.’, in John Pinches, London, case of issue, together with an extract from the Examiners’ Report; and a post card photograph of the recipient in later life surveying.