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TOPIC: Transvaal

Transvaal 6 years 3 months ago #11860

  • djb
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A clasp inscribed "Transvaal" will be granted to all troops in the Transvaal at any time between May 24th,1900 and a date to be hereafter fixed, who received no clasp for an action in the Transvaal which has already been specified.

Dr David Biggins

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Pte. James HOWARD 20H/10H; snagged by question 20. 6 years 2 months ago #12539

  • LinneyI
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James Howard enlisted for the 20th Hussars at Northampton on 11031886, trade shown as labourer, age 19y and 3m. 2634 Pte. James Howard was duly posted to Egypt with his unit on 02121886 and served there until mid June, 1890; earning two very scarce clasps for his undated Qennes Egypt medal - "Gemizah 1888" and "Toski 1889". Plus, of course the award of the Khedive's Star.

As an aside, it was the inclusion of the abovementioned two medals in the trio which initially attracted me. For some time, a secondary interest of mine has been the various campaigns waged in Egypt and the Sudan - and I had done enough reading to know that Pte. J. Howard had really earned his two Egypt medals.

The QSA in this trio bearing the single clasp "Transvaal" was automatically assumed by myself as simply being bereft of at least one date clasp; not that it was of overmuch concern either way. As it lies on the desk beside me, the Howard trio is a splendid example of medallic art and some hard service.

2634 Pte. J.Howard transferred to the Army reserve on 11031893 after his seven years were up and it is assumed he followed his civilian calling for the remainder of his five years service. However, his soldiering days were not up! He was recalled for service in the ABW on 28021901: being subject to his affirmation to Question 20 on his enlistment form.

The enlistment form was filled out by James Howard - and incidentally signed in beautiful copperplate style script. The sting-in-the-tail of Question 20 can be seen as follows: "Are you aware that, if, at the expiration of the abovementioned term of army service (IL note - shown specifically as five and seven years) you are required by a proclamation by Her Majesty in case of imminent National danger or great emergency, you may be required to serve in the army service for a further term not exceeding twelve months?". A copperplate script "Yes" and - almost three years after his "twelve" were up, it was "back to the army again" (apologies to Kipling).

Documents with the Howard trio indicate that as his parent unit (20H) was then serving in India, Pte Howard was posted upon mobilisation to the 2nd Provisional Hussars - a holding unit - before being posted to the 10H. Pte Howard served with that unit in SA between 03041901 and 15021902. Earning the clasp "Transvaal" for his QSA. Stirling tells us that during the time our Pte Howard was earning that clasp, his unit was part of a Brigade under Col. E.C.Knox which operated in the Eastern Transvaal, taking part in French's great sweep to the South Eastern border with Swaziland and the Vryhied district.

Other researcher documentation with the trio incicates that a search could find no evidence of the isue of any date clasps for Pte Howard's QSA. It was suspected that his extra clasps had either "fallen between the cracks" due to sloppy clerical work - or they had simply not been applied for.

Pte. J. Howard took his final discharge from the army on 02071902 He took up his calling as a Bridge Painter with the LNER and resumed his interrupted life with his wife and two children. Probably unworried about his missing two date clasps!

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Pte. James HOWARD 20H/10H; snagged by question 20. 6 years 2 months ago #12547

  • Frank Kelley
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Hello Ian,
A very nice group, so I assume Howard's QSA was from the 10th Hussar's roll, that single clasp would be very odd for a man in the 20th as they normally have the usual four clasp medals, not so strange for a 10th Hussar though.
I agree with you, the campaign in Egypt and the Sudan was not an easy one and those clasps on his medal and of course the medal itself, are also verified in WO100/65, I think it is always nice to see those particular medals in company with a QSA/KSA etc.
Regards Frank

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