QSA (1) Belmont (6820 Pte. F. Doran, R:M:L:I: H.M.S. Doris)
Private F. Doran died of wounds received at the battle of Graspan (Enslin), near Belmont, on 25 January 1899. He was Major Plumbe’s servant and died of his wounds on the way down to Simonstown (Naval Brigades in the South African War refers).
At the Battle of Graspan the Naval Brigade carried out the only infantry attack of the Boer War made by men of the Royal Navy:
‘Captain R. C. Prothero, R.N., led the advance, and Major J. H. Plumbe, R.M.L.I., Captain A. E. Marchant, R.M.L.I., and Colour-Sergeant Dyson were in advance of the various marine companies.
Midshipman T. F. J. L. Wardle acted as A.D.C. to Major Plumbe and accompanied that officer. In some places the line was somewhat crowded and ‘bunched,’ but the average extension was about four paces... The officers lost heavily. Commander Ethelston, Major Plumbe and Captain Senior were shot dead, Captain Prothero, R.N., and Lieut. Jones were both severely wounded, and Mishipman Huddart was mortally wounded whilst struggling to advance after being twice hit.’
‘Midshipman Wardle also showed great gallantry, and remained with Major Plumbe and several dead and wounded men, and attended to them and dressed their wounds under a heavy fire.’ (London Gazette 30 March 1900). Wardle was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross.
5243 Pte. F. Rawlinson, Northumberland Fusiliers. PIN 71/4936
Queen’s South Africa Medal clasp Belmont.
Wounded in action Belmont 23 November 1899.
Fred Rawlinson enlisted at Leeds 1 September 1897 aged 18 years 2 months. Born Leeds. Occupation labourer. Religion C of E. Posted to 2nd Battalion 22 November 1897. In 1898 he had two entries in the defaulter book, one for shirking his fatigues and the other for an unauthorised absence. Posted to 1st Battalion 11 February 1899. Sustained two gunshot wounds and a shell splinter wound to his right arm, thumb and right wrist. Posted to Depot 3 February 1900. A medical report dated 22 October 1900 stated that he had received three wounds, one a gunshot through the right biceps muscle, another that grazed his right thumb and a shell splinter in his right wrist. He had lost nearly all power in his right arm. There was no wasting but his muscles felt flabby. He was unable to lift any weight with his right arm as he had practically no grip. His condition was considered permanent and his degree of disability was assessed at 50%. Discharged medically unfit for further service at York 24 October 1900. Character very good. “Has been an excellent officer’s servant.” A medical report dated 24 September 1901 reconfirmed that his condition was permanent and his degree of disability at 50%. In 1904 he emigrated to Wellington, New Zealand. A medical report dated 1 April 1921 stated that he complained of a loss of power in his right arm and occasional pains in his hand. He had a small bullet wound scar on the inner side of his right biceps. The circumference of his upper right arm was 1½ inches and his forearm 1 inch less than his left arm. The muscles of his arm were flabby and the grip of his right hand was half that of his left. There was a hard lump, possibly fibrous, the size of an almond in the biceps near the scar. He was unable to do heavy work due to the weakness of his right arm. His condition was again considered permanent and his degree of disability was assessed at 30%. At the age of 63 he married Roberta Kesson Smith (45), a widow, at Wellington 25 October 1946. This was his third marriage. Died of myocardial failure at home at 26 Arawa Road, Wellington 9 September 1957 aged 76. Former occupation council officer. He had been living in New Zealand for 53 years. Served in 1st Battalion in South Africa.