Delving into Wepener at the weekend I spent time looking at the two Piggin brother who served side by side in Brabant’s Horse and then separately doing the Great War, one being drowned off Alexandria.
Piggin, 923 QMS Frederic Williams, Brabant's Horse | QSA (4) CC Wep Witt Belf, KSA (2) | Born c 1877 in Long Eaton, Derbyshire. Brother of H A Piggin. Enlisted in 2nd BrH, 15 December 1899 in Cape Town. Severely wounded at Wepener. Slightly wounded in the wrist near Lindley, 31 December 1900. Discharged 26 February 1902. Had transferred to 1st KFS (1295 and 1949) 11 May 1901. Discharged 26 February 1902 in Cape Town. Settlement of £111/19. Medal issued 17 July 1902. KSA issued 11 March 1904. Working as a butcher in 1910 in Long Eaton and living in Beeston, Nottingham. Served during the Great War in Salonica, Egypt and Palestine. Temporary Lieutenant 12 November 1915. Second Lieutenant, South Nottinghamshire Hussars, 6 October 1916. Temporary Captain 11 November 1916. Acting Captain 12 March 1918. MC LG 5 July 1918: Lieutenant [acting Captain] Frederick William Piggin, Yeomanry. 'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He was in command of the leading squadron in an action, and led his men with great skill. He advanced rapidly over very difficult country, driving back a superior force of the enemy. He cut the enemy's line of retreat, capturing two field guns and some prisoners.' He died 27 May 1918, drowned when the troop transport Leasowe Castle was torpedoed off Alexandria, Egypt, with a loss of 83 men, officers and other ranks. Commemorated on the Chatby Memorial, Egypt. Forenames sometimes Frederick William | [MC]; QSA (4); KSA (2) (RQMS KFS); 14-15 Star (2/Lt S Notts Hussars); BWM; VM (2/Lt). Glendining December 1969 £36
Piggin, 922 RQMS Henry Arthur, Brabant's Horse | QSA (4) CC Wep Witt Belf, KSA (2) | Born c 1880 in Long Eaton Derbyshire. Brother of F W PIggin. Enlisted in 2nd BrH, 15 December 1899 in Cape Town. Discharged BrH, time expired, 26 February 1902 in Cape Town. Conduct exemplary. Address after discharge: Long Eaton, Nottingham. Claimed balance of pay of £42/9/6. Had transferred to 1st KFS (1296 and 1977) 11 May 1901. Discharged 8 February 1902 in Cape Town. Medal issued 17 July 1902. Served during the Great War and in France. Second Lieutenant South Notts Hussars, 15 June 1916. Temporary Lieutenant 18 September 1917. Temporary Captain 4 February 1919. Resigned 14 September 1920. Served in the North Midland Field Ambulance and the Army Remount Service. Married Kathleen Cooper in September 1926. Riding instructor and horse dealer in Repton, Derbyshire. He died on 14 December 1961
QSA (4) CC Wep Tr Witt 416 Trooper Wi G Wood Brabants Horse)
KSA (2) (37789 Serjeant W G Wood, Driscoll's Scouts)
Wood, 37789 Sergeant William George, Driscoll's Scouts | QSA (4) CC Wep Tr Witt, KSA (2) | Served 1st BrH (416) 1 December 1899 to 7 August 1901 in C Troop and DrSc 16 August 1901 to 30 June 1902. Aged 23 in August 1901. Nationality: Scottish. Trade: Painter. 5'7'', 130 lb, chest 36. NOK: Sister, Salt River, Cape Town | QSA (4); KSA (2). BidorBuy September 2019 | Ref: 245p112, 237p116, 360p155
The QSA with Wepener clasp to Captain John Marsh appeared in a Boer War Centenary auction. There is quite a story to this man who started out life as a Sergeant in the South Notts. Hussars who, on arrival in South Africa, were absorbed into Brabant's Horse.
Marsh's QSA is a particularly nice one about which more will be revealed once I have completed my research.
1st and 2nd Battalions. Lieutenant 1 February 1900. Transferred to 1st BrH and Captain 1 June 1901. Resigned 31 December 1901. Commandant at Sterkstroom 1 April 1902. He was recommended for an award following an act of gallantry on 3 October 1901 whilst Station Commandant at Sterkstroom, Cape Colony, and in command of local District Mounted Troops and Scouts. He was recommended by Lieutenant Colonel Cumming, KR: 'In action at Haasjes Kraal near Sterkstroom on 3rd October 1901. Hurried out with only 10 scouts to keep 50 Boers under Commandant Pretorius in check until the arrival of a local DMT. During a retirement necessitated by the enemy endeavouring to surround the small party, Capt Marsh under very heavy fire went back and brought out safely two scouts whose horses had stampeded. During this action Commandant Pretorius and one man were killed and on arrival of local DMT the enemy were chased and eventually driven on to a post held by No. 2 DMT at Katberg Pass where 21 were captured with full equipment and horses’. He had initially been recommended to Lieutenant Colonel Cumming by Trooper G R Aspeling in a letter dated 4 January 1902: 'As Captain Marsh is no longer OC Troops here, I now feel at liberty, to personally bring to your notice, an incident which occurred during the skirmish at Hassjes Kraal on the 3rd October 1901. It was no doubt reported to you, that, when we opened fire on the Boers, at about 2000 yards range the enemy seeing our small number, several of them who were hidden in some bushes on our right front, charged us, a number of others making for a ridge on our left flank. However, those that charged us were met with such a warm reception, one being shot within 400 yards of us, that they swerved and made for a rise on our right. Captain Marsh seeing this, immediately gave the order to mount, leaving two of us to continue firing until the men got on their horses. The Boers, seeing this movement, poured in a hot fire on three sides, some of them firing with carbines from their saddles, at very close range. It was at this stage that two of the Scouts horses stampeded, the one being hit, two men being dismounted thereby. I was one of the dismounted men and ran for some distance to try and recover my horse but seeing him run past the Boers, I had to give up the chase. I ran back to where I was before. I may state that we had no cover, the grass being burnt, with only a small ant heap here and there showing. Captain Marsh, who had already ridden off, seeing my predicament, returned and told me to mount behind him. I was very much exhausted from running after my horse and consequently it took some time for me to mount. During this time we were under a rather heavy cross fire from the enemy, some of the Boers being very close to us. As it was through Captain Marsh's gallant act that I escaped death or capture, I think it only right that I should acquaint you, as his immediate chief at the time, with the facts of the case’. QSA (4) issued 3 July 1903. Address: Thornton Hall, Notts