TOPIC: Medals to Jameson Raiders
Medals to Jameson Raiders 4 years 11 months ago #23518
Looking forward to that display already!
Do you want to start a new thread for your research?
Here is one I used to own:
Raleigh Grey was born in March 1860, the son of Lieutenant-Colonel Alfred Grey of Northumberland and great grandson of the 1st Earl Grey, and was educated at Durham School and Brasenose College, Oxford.
Commissioned in the 6th Inniskilling Dragoons in April 1881 he served as a Captain in the Zululand operations of 1888, when he was honourably mentioned; so, too, in the Matabele War of 1893, on this occasion in command of a column of British Bechuanaland Border Police, for, as described in his Times obituary, he had come under the spell of Cecil Rhodes:
‘With Colonel Pennefather, the first commandant of the Company’s Police, and Major Forbes, well remembered as magistrate of Salisbury, Grey was one of a group of officers of the Inniskilling Dragoons, then stationed in Natal, who came under the inspiration of Cecil Rhodes and gave the new Colony much of the English tradition and tone which has characterised it ever since. Essentially Grey had the colonising temperament. For a man of his adventurous disposition and practical capacity for affairs, Rhodesia, with its vast yet untested possibilities, offered an ideal field.’
Grey’s tenure as Lieutenant-Colonel Commandant of the Bechuanaland Border Police ended in December 1895, when he joined the famous Jameson raiders on their mission into Kruger’s Transvaal Republic. In command of a 122-strong contingent of his men, with two 7-pounder guns and two Maxims, Grey and his men, in company with numerous Matabeleland and Mashonaland Mounted Police, were confronted by a force of Boers outside Krugersdorp.
In the ensuing fight Grey was wounded in the foot and, in common with his fellow raiders, was taken prisoner - the announcement of the award of his C.M.G., for his services as ‘Lieutenant-Colonel Commandant of the British Bechuanaland Border Police’, had appeared in The London Gazette the previous day.
One of the 14 officers who subsequently appeared with Jameson at Bow Street in June 1896, he was one the five subsequently committed for trial at the Court of the Queen’s Bench in July, when he was sentenced to five months imprisonment, without hard labour.
On the outbreak of hostilities in South Africa, Grey was appointed to the command of a Brigade of Australians and New Zealanders in the Rhodesian Field Force, in which capacity he served with distinction, gaining a brace of “mentions”, one of them from General Babington for the actions fought in March 1901 - ‘Lieutenant-Colonel Grey’s fine leading has much contributed to the success of the operations; he has at all times displayed marked ability as a leader of men.’
A contemporary account of these actions states:
‘On 23 March 1901, Colonel Raleigh Grey, who was for many years an officer of the Inniskillings, and whose name came into such prominence in the famous “Jameson Raid”, gained a signal victory in the Magaliesberg. The New Zealanders and Bushmen, under Colonel Grey, were forming an advance guard to General Babington, who was engaged against General De la Rey. Emerging from the pass, near Haarbeestfontein, they beheld the Boer army moving across a plain below. Lieutenant-Colonel Grey at once gave the order to charge. With wild cheers the New Zealanders and Bushmen raced down on their foes. The Boers attempted to unlimber and bring their guns into action, but were overwhelmed, and the whole force fled terrified before the furious charge. Over 50 Boers were picked up after the charge, killed or wounded. 100 were taken prisoner; also two field guns, one pom-pom, six Maxims and 56 wagons.’
Of Grey’s subsequent career, his Times obituary states:
‘After his retirement from the Regular Army in 1904 Grey’s association with Rhodesian life was close and constant, first as Commandant of the Volunteers and thereafter as a leading figure in politics, mining and farming. In the early days his company, the Rhodesia Lands Limited, of which he was managing director, obtained handsome returns from the famous “Jumbo” mine, long since worked out, and is now among the leading agricultural concerns in the Colony. Sir Raleigh also farmed his own land, and was a rancher and producer of maize, tobacco, oranges and cotton.
In 1922 Rhodesia, in emancipating itself finally from the tutelage of the Company, had to make the fateful decision whether it should throw in its lot with the Union of South Africa or set up for itself as a separate self-governing Colony. Here Grey, as a strong Union man all through, was sharply at variance with the mass of popular opinion as represented by the majority of the elected members in the Legislative Council. With feeling running high the issue was fought out in the election of 1923. Grey was defeated at Salisbury, his own constituency, by Mr. W. M. Leggate, who became Minister of Agriculture in Sir Charles Coghlan’s Ministry, the first to take office under the new Constitution.
So closely had Grey been identified with the rejected policy that it seemed Rhodesia no longer held for him a place in its counsels. And realizing, or assuming, that the sense of the country was against him, he did not stand at the election in the following year when Sir Charles Coghlan, the constitutional question having been finally closed, dissolved Parliament in order to take the opinion of country upon various domestic issues. Although not abating his opinion that the young Colony had set its foot on the wrong road, Grey, as a good Rhodesian, took its decision in excellent part. He turned to the care of his extensive interests with redoubled energy, and “carried on” – a dignified figure in the country whose prosperity he had done no little to establish and in which by dint of his admirable qualities he had achieved his own outstanding success. He was made a K.B.E. in 1919, being already a C.M.G. and C.V.O.’
Grey, who was awarded his C.V.O. in November 1910, in his capacity as C.O. of the Southern Rhodesia Volunteers at the opening of the First Parliament of the Union of South Africa, died in January 1936.
Dr David Biggins
Medals to Jameson Raiders 3 months 1 week ago #64679
Picture courtesy of Spink
BSACM, reverse Rhodesia 1896 (0) (Tpr. L. C. Kennedy. M. R. F.);
QSA (4) Relief of Kimberley, Paardeberg, Driefontein, South Africa 1901 (3324 Tpr L. C. Kennedy. Kitchener's H.);
1914-15 Star (573 Dvr. L. C. Kennedy. 1/F.A. Bde. A.I.F.);
British War and Victory Medals (573 Dvr. L. C. Kennedy 1/F.A. Bde. A.I.F.)
The British South Africa Company's Medal is an official replacement, confirmed as having been awarded to Kennedy in 1908. He lost his original Medal in 1905, while taking part in The Duke of Connaught's Review.
Leslie Coleridge Kennedy was born at 26 Walton Road, Kirkdale, Lancashire on 8 January 1876, the son of a physician. He enlisted into the Matabele Mounted Police at Cape Town in October 1895, and was encamped at Pitsani on the Bechuanaland/Transvaal border one month later, when Dr. Leander Starr Jameson began recruiting for a raid into Transvaal. The discovery of gold at Johannesburg in 1884 had caused an influx of British settlers into the Boer territory of Transvaal. The Boers responded by protecting their gold mines with trade restrictions, and limiting the voting rights of non-Boers. The British Colonial Secretary, Joseph Chamberlain, and the President of Cape Colony, Cecil Rhodes, drew up plans for a martial show of force to deter Paul Kruger's government from further discriminating against 'Uitlanders' (outsiders). Some 600 men, including The Matabele Mounted Police, were placed under the command of Dr. Jameson, whose orders were to support an anticipated Uitlander uprising in Johannesburg. When the uprising never transpired, Rhodes sent an urgent telegram to Jameson, ordering him to stand down. It was too late.
During the early hours of 29 December, the Jameson Raid began. The nominal roll of the Jameson Raiders (TNA, CO 179/193) confirms Kennedy as having entered the Transvaal as a member of 'C' Troop, Matabele Mounted Police. Jameson hoped for a 3-day dash to Johannesburg, before the Boer commandos could mobilise. To cover his tracks, he ordered all telegraph wires to be cut. Unfortunately, the telegraph wires to the Boer capital of Pretoria remained intact, enabling the Boers to track Jameson's movements from the moment he crossed the border. The Raiders were fired upon by a Boer outpost at 6 a.m. on 1 January. Six hours later, having advanced twenty miles, they fought a sharp skirmish with Boer marksmen in entrenched positions at Krugersdorp. They withdrew south-east in an attempt to outflank the Boers, but were confronted by a far larger force waiting for them at Doornkop. After an initial firefight in which thirty Raiders were killed, Jameson saw the hopelessness of his situation and surrendered. His entire column was imprisoned by the Boers at Pretoria, with international repercussions. The German Kaiser, sympathetic to the Boer cause, sent a telegram to Paul Kruger congratulating him on his success.
Kennedy was briefly imprisoned by the Boers, before being deported to England. His name appears on a list of deported Raiders compiled at the time (TNA, CO 179/193). He sailed aboard S.S. Harlech Castle on 24 January 1896, along with many other 'Mounted Policemen', and is mentioned on the ship's passenger list, which incorrectly gives his age as 22 (TNA BT 26 Piece No 89). He reached Plymouth on 26 February 1896.
The Raid's ringleaders were less fortunate. Despite being lionised in the British press, Dr. Jameson and Major White, his Chief of Staff, were put on trial in London in 1896. Joseph Chamberlain publicly condemned the Jameson Raid, and Cecil Rhodes was forced to resign as Prime Minister of Cape Colony. Major White's pocket diary, captured by the Boers and sent to London for the trial, was used as evidence to incriminate him. One of the excerpts read out in court was a roll call of men recruited by White at Pitsani in November 1895. Kennedy's name appears on this list. The diary, which includes hand-drawn maps of the actions at Krugersdorp and Doornkop, is held at The Bodleian Library (MSS. Afr. S. 220, p132).
Bulawayo to the Dardanelles
He may have been spared the trial, but Kennedy was still under contract to the British South Africa Company. He sailed back to Cape Town with nineteen other Mounted Policemen aboard S.S. Norman on 28 March 1896, disembarking in mid-April. In March 1896, while the British were distracted, the Matabele people of Rhodesia saw a chance to gain their independence. Hundreds of white farmers were massacred by the tribesmen, the survivors making their final stand at Bulawayo. Colonel Plumer was given command of the Matabeleland Relief Force, in which Kennedy served as a trooper. Several years later, Kennedy wrote a letter to Major Gordon, the Military Secretary at Cape Town, claiming to have served: 'all through the Matabele Campaign as a Gunner in Maxim Detachment M.R.F.' The Maxim Detachment played a vital role in suppressing the Matabele. An armed clash in the Umlugulu Valley on 5 August was reported by The Times in the following terms:
'The natives fought steadily and well up to the moment of the arrival of the British reinforcements, but then they broke and ran for their lives, the Maxims doing great execution among them as they fled.'
The Matabele Relief Column was then disbanded, having achieved its mission, and Kennedy resided at 2 Adams Street, Cape Town. He enlisted into Kitchener's Horse on 2 February 1900, serving during the Second Boer War, but avoided the fate of approximately 100 men of that unit who were overwhelmed by General Christiaan de Wet's forces at Paardeberg and forced to surrender. He transferred to the South African Light Horse at Maitland, Cape Town on 3 January 1901, becoming Sergeant Major of the Regiment. He was discharged as 'time expired' on 5 September 1901, receiving £8 5s 8d in back pay. He retired to Arklow Villas, Upper Buitenkant Street, Cape Town.
Re-entering military service, Kennedy joined the Cape Field Artillery as a driver on 5 July 1905. While taking part in the Military Review held by His Royal Highness the Duke Connaught in September 1905, Kennedy lost his original British South Africa Company Medal. He paid 8 shillings for an official replacement, which was sent out to him by the Military Secretary on 29 September 1908. Kennedy's application for a replacement Medal is held at the Cape Archive Repository (KAB GH 35/250).
Kennedy emigrated to Australia in 1908, working as a painter in Sydney. He married a widow, Harriet Armstrong, fathering two children. The family lived at 15 Trafalgar Street, Enmore. At the outbreak of war in August 1914, he immediately enlisted as a Driver in the 1st Field Artillery Brigade Ammunition Column (BAC), First Australian Imperial Force. He sailed with the first A.I.F. convoy, leaving Sydney on 18 October 1914. After a wait at Albany in Western Australia, he boarded S.S. Argyllshire, bound for Egypt, reaching Alexandria on 5 December. Billeted at Mena Camp, he joined the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force on 4 April. His unit boarded S.S. Indian and sailed for Lemnos in preparation for the Gallipoli landings. He appears to have been wounded at Gallipoli, for he embarked T.S. Ballarat at Alexandria on 5 July, 'for transport to Australia for the purpose of discharge', and was described as 'medically unfit'. He was discharged on 5 December. He died on 2 June 1945, his occupation given as 'book keeper'.
Dr David Biggins
Medals to Jameson Raiders 2 months 3 weeks ago #64977
From the next Spink sale:
MG GV (Captain A. G. L. Pepys, 1/Essex Regt. 25th. to 28th. April. 1st. May 1915.), contemporarily engraved naming;
BSACM reverse Rhodesia (1) Mashonaland 1897 (Troopr. A. G. L. Pepys. M.R.F.);
QSA (3) Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal (Lieut. A. G. L. Pepys, North’n Rgt.);
KSA (2) (Lieut. A. G. L. Pepys. Northampton Regt.);
1914-15 Star (Capt. A. G. L. Pepys. Essex R.);
BWM and VM with MID (Capt. A. G. L. Pepys.)
M.C. London Gazette 3 July 1915:
‘From 25th to 28th April, 1915, during landing operations, for conspicuous good work; and again on 1st May, during operations south of Krithia, for gallantly capturing trenches held by the enemy and retaining possession of them.’
Further relevant information appears in his obituary:
‘It was during the heavy fighting on May 1-2, when a powerful Turkish counter-attack was defeated, that Captain Pepys and “X” Company restored a dangerous situation by a very gallant bayonet charge, which gained him the well-merited award of the Military Cross.’
Arthur Guy Leslie Pepys was born on 24 August 1875 in the Parish of St. Thomas, Exeter, Devon, the son of The Honourable Henry Leslie Pepys and Ada Coote. Educated in the town of Heidelberg, south-western Germany, he spent his school holidays in Dinard, France, before serving with the Mashonaland Mounted Police in South Africa.
Under Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Frederick White and Major William Bodle, Pepys served as a Trooper with ‘B’ Troop during the botched Jameson Raid against the South African Republic which took place from 29 December 1895-2 January 1896. Intended to trigger an uprising in the Transvaal by the primarily British expatriate workers - known as Uitlanders - it failed to do so when Jameson’s armed column was tracked by Transvaal forces from the moment that it crossed the border. Following a series of skirmishes and long marches, the tired Raiders were finally met by a substantial Boer force at Doornkop and it was here that they were forced to surrender to Commandant Piet Cronje; the Raiders were taken to Pretoria and jailed.
The Boer Government subsequently returned the leaders to London for trial, however their position became somewhat less precarious when the Kaiser sent the infamous ‘Kruger Telegram’, congratulating President Kruger and the Transvaal Government on their success ‘without the help of friendly powers’ - alluding to potential support by Germany. Once disclosed in the British Press it raised a storm of anti-German and anti-Boer feeling, with Jameson lionised in the papers and by London society. In consequence, Jameson, Colonel Frank Rhodes and John Hays Hammond were initially jailed in deplorable conditions, found guilty of high treason, and sentenced to death by hanging, but this was quickly re-addressed by the courts. The death sentences were soon commuted to 15 years’ imprisonment before, in June 1896, all were released upon payment of stiff fines. Rhodes was placed on the retired list of the British Army and barred from active involvement in military affairs, but after his release from Holloway, he immediately joined his brother Cecil and the British South Africa Company in the Second Matabeleland War.
Pepys returned to the fray and fought with Rhodes and Robert Baden-Powell in Rhodesia, attempting the stave off the Matabele people who were convinced that the 4,000 settlers were responsible for the drought, locust plaques and infectious viral cattle disease known as ‘rinderpest’ which were ravaging the country. Witnessing an opportunity with the failure of the Jameson Raid, Rhodesia lay virtually defenceless; it would take until October 1897 for the British South Africa Company to suppress the Matabele and Shona, but with heavy loss of life on both sides. The much maligned hut tax remained and the Matabele and Shona became subjects of the Rhodes administration, however the legacy of leaders such as Kaguvu, Mapondera and Nahanda was to inspire future generations (Towards a Zimbabwean Aaneid, J. Maritz, refers).
Following the outbreak of the Boer War, Pepys was commissioned in the Northamptonshire Regiment. The Regiment fought at Belmont on 23 November 1899 and were somewhat fortunate to escape heavy loss - being in the first line - with 3 officers and 15 men wounded. Whilst not present, Pepys likely formed part of the column under Major-General Douglas in south-western Transvaal and thus would have been taken part in regular attempts to stave off Boer raiding parties. Transferring to the Essex Regiment, Pepys served with the 1st Battalion in Burma, India and Mauritius from 1910 to 1914, returning to England in December 1914 upon the arrival of a territorial unit for garrison duties. Following a brief spell of defence duties at Harwich, on 18 January 1915 the Battalion moved to Banbury where they came under the orders of 88th Brigade, 29th Division. Originally expecting to be sent to the Western Front, the Battalion was instead sent to Avonmouth, sailing on 21 March 1915 aboard the ocean lined S.S. Caledonia for Gallipoli. On 13 April 1915 they joined the 78,000-stong Mediterranean Expeditionary Force at Mudros and began a number of practice landings in preparation for the assault on the Gallipoli peninsula.
Gallipoli Landings: ‘W’ Beach, Cape Helles, 25 April 1915
Without modern craft, the Essex Regiment under Colonel Owen Godfrey Fausset, D.S.O., landed in open rowing boats at ‘W’ Beach amidst heavy Turkish fire. The well-defended section of beach at the tip of the peninsula had already taken a devastating toll of the Lancashire Fusiliers who had suffered 700 killed or wounded since their assault at 6 a.m. As a Company Commander, Pepys and his men fought doggedly to secure a foothold on the beach, before then attacking Hill 138 which was taken at 5.20 p.m., digging in, and seeing off counter-attacks during the night; by then the 1st Essex had suffered 18 dead and 90 wounded.
On 1 May 1915 the 1st Essex Regiment were ambushed and their C.O. was killed. A contemporary newspaper article describes the scene:
‘In the earlier fighting in Gallipoli the Turks in the Krithia region penetrated our line at its weakest spot. The 1st Essex Regiment, who were in reserve, were ordered to retake the trenches. They made for a trench on the right of a gully. Soon they heard voices calling, “Who are you?” They replied, “Essex.” Then came they cry, “That’s all right; come on, Essex.” The Essex Colonel had only gone a few paces when he was shot in the stomach. He died an hour later. Major Shammut, who had gone with the Colonel met with a like fate. Even at this moment it was not realised that the men had bumped right into the Turks, who were only ten yards away, and that the men who had called out “Come on, Essex,” were Germans.’
It was amidst this scene of confusion and German trickery that Pepys won his M.C. for restoring a very dangerous situation following the deaths of two senior officers, as recalled in Essex Units in the War 1914-1919:
‘Captain A. G. L. Pepys and “X” Company, by a gallant and timely bayonet charge, restored the line, whilst a company of the Royal Scots dealt with the Turks who had broken through. For this exploit Capt. Pepys received the M.C.’
Throughout the rest of the month, the Battalion made concerted attacks upon ‘Fir Tree Wood’ - one of four heavily defended spurs separated by deep gullies. It was captured on 18 May, but shelling and endless sniping, together with extreme weather, took their toll on the men, including Pepys, who was mentioned in despatches (London Gazette 5 August 1915, refers). On May 30 his luck ran out:
‘During a severe close-quarter struggle in the advanced trenches, he was severely wounded in the jaw.’
Evacuated home, Pepys was promoted Major on 1 September 1915 and in July 1916, whilst still categorised ‘light duty’ as a result of his wound, appointed to Command the Depot and the 44th Recruiting Area with the temporary rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. The Depot Staff were small but had significant responsibilities, including the administration of returning field force personnel and the recruitment of all eligible manpower, especially following the attrition of the Somme and Passchendaele:
‘Pepys was well equipped to deal with this strange command, which included the initiation and the implementation of the first scheme for full compulsory service in this country. His energy and drive, his unfailing initiative and resource, his broad outlook and essential kindliness enabled him to create and control an organisation for which there was no previous pattern, and which was staffed by personnel drawn from every walk of life.’
Pepys had married two weeks before sailing for Gallipoli, and on 13 December 1915, he and his wife, Olive Grace (nee Starkey) welcomed the first of two children, a son, Samuel Guy Leslie Pepys. Pepys remained in Command of the Depot for the remainder of the war, and in 1919, upon the reorganisation of the 1st and 2nd Battalions, he took command of the latter at Colchester. In March 1920 he saw the ‘Pompadours’ well settled in Malta - their first post-War station - before relinquishing command in 1921 and residing at Coombe Priory, Shaftesbury, Dorset.
Pepys died at home on 9 April 1953, his obituary describing a much admired officer:
‘Colonel Pepys was more than popular with both officers and other ranks, in particular his junior officers. During the latter period of his service he suffered a good deal from the effects of his war wound, but despite this he was invariably cheerful, always having a good story at hand to fit the occasion.’
Dr David Biggins
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