I've taken advantage of the free access to Ancestry UK (it does not include Australian records) to do a bit of digging on this Sunday afternoon. It's interesting what you can find by having another look at a group that has been sitting still for a few years.
My target is FH Vallecarde. Vallecarde has the DCM and QSA and a KSA (missing) for the Boer War. The roll gives his first name as Fred, and I have worked out he is Frederick Hypolite Vallecarde. The original sale catalogue listed him as Hypolite but I don't have a military record listing more than FH Vallecarde.
DCM is for Bethune's Mounted Infantry, based on the LG entries for his MID and DCM. But it is named to the South African Light Horse. I've looked at the hand written register for both on the angloeboerwar.com site but he isn't on either. So either he just isn't there for some reason, or there is another unit he joined first that I can't find on the medal rolls.
His QSA is also named to the South African Light Horse. He has an entry on the supplemental rolls which is the same as the main roll. He has two numbers for the SALH, being 1176 and 2829. The supplementary roll does state he re-enlisted "same" so I would think he left the SALH and then re-enlisted. Maybe that is the window for him joining the FID.
His KSA which I don't have is, based on the rolls, for him as Agent in the FID. This lists him for the SALH twice, once with each number.
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I ventured outside of my usual area which is the rolls, and looked at births and deaths. I have found him as born in, possibly, 1873. This is from working backwards from a death entry which lists his death in Uxbridge at age 61 in 1934. Ancestry does have another with similar name born in the 1860's.
Next I looked shipping records and found that a Frederick Vallecarde, profession miner, went to Sydney, Australia in on 4 March 1899. I'm hoping this is my man. This would mean he went to Australia, and then to South Africa.
I next looked at Google and found that on 8 July 1898 he marries Elizabeth Govett at the Elizabeth Street Methodist Church in Sydney. In 1924 there is a little article in the Sydney Morning Herald that hey have divorced as she considers that he has abandoned her. This lists the marriage date and place. I don't yet know how to find more records in Australia.
This leaves some questions. He must have gone to Australia at an earlier point, then gotten married, then back to the UK, then back to Australia and then to South Africa, then presumably back to Australia before finally going to the UK where he died at age 61.
Where was he born?
Is there a way to track him going to South Africa? I thought there would have been shipping records for that. Not sure if he would have joined a unit in Sydney or gone over himself and joined in South Africa.
The book "Recipients of the DCM" shows "1176 Pte. Vallecarde, F.H. of SALH (Colt Gun Detachment)" …… (unit) corrected from Bethune's M.I. in LG of 18/2/02. Which is probably why I could not find his name in Smith's roll and (brief) history of BMI. There is no reference to him in the index of the Buxton FID book (he sometimes misses entries); however a glance at the list of FID chaps who received a KSA in the same book shows him listed as "Agent F.H. Vallegarde" (note slightly different spelling) with previous service in SALH.
I checked the Oz-Boer database just in case - but no entry. Didn't really expect there would be. Therefore, unless their records are out of whack (which I have not found them to be), he did not serve initially with a Colonial Australian unit.