QSA (4) Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal, South Africa 1901 (Lieut., Rly. Pnr. Regt.);
1914-15 Star (Capt., R.E.);
British War and Victory Medals, MID oakleaf (Capt.)
MC London Gazette 1 January 1917. ‘Temp. Capt. Lewis Collings Boyle, R.E.’
MID London Gazette 4 January 1917.
The recruiting for the Railway Pioneer Regiment began in Cape Town on about 18 December 1899. Before Lord Roberts commenced his advance from Bloemfontein to Pretoria the first battalion was organised, its work being to assist in protecting the railways and to repair bridges, culverts, and lines when broken. Without outside assistance the corps of Royal Engineers could not have faced the enormous amount of work naturally falling to their department. From the Railway Pioneer Regiment they received very valuable help. The efficiency of the Regiment was greatly assisted by a leavening of Royal Engineer officers. Of such value was the work of the Railway Pioneer Regiment that before the close of the war a fourth battalion had been organised. The battalions were employed chiefly on the Cape-Pretoria railway, but they were also on the Krugersdorp line, and sometimes operated as a fighting force a considerable distance from railways. The regiment also did admirable service on the armoured trains which did so much to make railway traffic possible during the guerilla war stage of the conflict.
In his evidence before the War Commission (vol i p. 445), Lord Roberts said: "An enormous amount of reconstruction was carried out by the Railway Pioneer Regiment and the Railway Companies Royal Engineers. The Pioneer Regiment consisted almost entirely of civilian refugees, mostly mechanics from Johannesburg, and it rendered excellent service. To its aid and that of the Royal Engineer officers and men we were indebted for the fact that the railways very seldom lost touch with the fighting portion of the army, and that we were able to seize Johannesburg and Pretoria, distant about 1000 miles from our base upon the coast, and 260 miles from Bloemfontein, our advanced depot, with such rapidity that the enemy were unable to concentrate their resources and offer a strongly organised resistance”.
1. SERVICE DOCUMENTS ON MAIN FILE.
2. 2nd BATTALION, R.P.R.
3. ENLISTED 11-12-00
5. VERIFIED: By Winefred Scott (1990)
4. FROM ANGLO BOER WAR FORUM (Frank Kelley): While Haywood's medal was issued from the 4th RPR roll in WO100/265 page 315, he had also served in the South African Light Horse as number 2796 and appears on their rolls in respect of his OFS, Transvaal, South Africa 1901 and 1902 clasps in WO100/275 pages 28 and 63.
The Times, Monday, January 22, 1900 :
The Situation In Cape Colony
(FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT)
Cape Town, Jan.3.
The Railway Pioneer Regiment, recruiting for which is busily going on here, at Port Elizabeth, east London, and Durban, is already over 300 strong and has gone out to camp at Stellenbosch. It is expected within a very short time to reach the limit of 1,200 men at present sanctioned. The object of this force is primarily to help in the repairing of the railway wherever broken up by the enemy, but being armed and drilled as a regular battalion it will also serve the purpose of a force for defending lines of communication, and thus release an equivalent number of regulars for service at the front. It is under the command of Major Capper, R.E., and the rest of its officers are composed about equally of Royal Engineers and leading mine managers and engineers from the Rand. The combination seems to work admirably, and the greatest keenness is displayed by both the Imperial and the volunteer officers to make their force a really useful military unit.
Military Historical Society
1. ON LISTING OF 4th R.P.R., CROSSED OUT & CHANGED TO 1st R.P.R.
2. STATES TRANSFERRED FROM 2nd R.P.R.
3. ENLISTED 14-12-00
4. APPOINTED LIEUTENANT 3-7-01
5. DISCHARGED TO RESERVE 30-06-02
6. NOTE MEDAL IS NAMED TO LANCE-CORPORAL AND NOT LIEUTENANT
7. FROM ANGLO BOER WAR FORUM (Frank Kelley): Whilst Lieutenant Blackie QSA was issued from the 2nd RPR roll in WO100/265, he additionally earned his South Africa 1901 and 1902 Clasps, which were issued from the 1st RPR supplementary roll in WO100/265 page 106.
Military Historical Society