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TOPIC: Defence of Kimberley

Defence of Kimberley 1 year 7 months ago #58032

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A lovely pair from the next DNW auction


Picture courtesy of DNW

Thomas Gilbee Tyson was born in 1848 and arrived in South Africa in 1872. He served in the Gaika-Galeka war with the Diamond Fields Horse under Colonel Warren. In 1884 he joined the Bechuanaland Field Force as Captain. He served as Secretary of the Kimberley Club from 1887 until 1902. During the siege he was assistant military censor and served in No. 1 Section, Belgravia Fort. He is generally credited with the idea of the soup kitchen during the siege but in a letter to the Diamond Fields Advertiser of 25 January 1900 he said the chemist Mr J. W. McBeath deserved the credit. He was appointed to the De Beers Board on 21 November 1902 and served until his death on 19 November 1912.

During the siege a soup kitchen was established on the initiative of Captain Tyson, with soup being issued in lieu of the meat ration. It was very successful with reports estimating that as many as 16,000 pints were issued in a day. Even Rhodes contributed to this by donating vegetables from his gardens.

‘Captain Tyson is a dynamo of energy. He has long been conspicuous in every public work and institution in the town, and as manager of the very ambitious Kimberley Club is one of the best-known and best-liked of the citizens. It is said that everybody in South Africa knows him, and nearly everyone calls him by his first name. The mere management of the “Club” as he carried it on “was a god-send to the scores who lived or got their meals there. He inaugurated the famous work of distributing soup” a task that sometimes compelled the giving out of pint rations to sixteen thousand persons.’ (An American With Lord Roberts, Julian Ralph, refers.)

The Kimberley Club traces its history to the early days of Kimberley. The Diamond Fields Advertisor carried an advertisement in 1881 asking for designs for the Kimberley Club with costs not to exceed £6,000. The club was ready for business on 14 August 1882. The original articles for the club were signed by 74 founding members including J. H. Lange, Theodore Reunet, Leander Starr Jameson and Cecil Rhodes. It was in the Club that Rhodes hatched and developed his plans for Rhodesia and the Jameson Raid.

During the siege the Club served as Kekewich’s headquarters and provided accommodation for the headquarters staff with an overspill at 44 Currey Street. The Military Press Censor was stationed at the Club. The Club provided a company of the Town Guard from amongst its members. The were called ‘The Buffs’ after Kekewitch’s old regiment and were commanded by Captain Mandy. They were about 100 in number and were stationed at Belgravia Fort, which was rumoured to be one of the more comfortable of the posts.

Green, in An Editor Looks Back, says, ‘During the South African War the Kimberley Club made huge profits, for the officers of crack British regiments and of the Imperial Yeomanry, who were constantly turning up, spent lavishly and emptied the extensive wine cellars which were largely the relic of more prosperous days.’

It was no idle boast that there were more millionaires to the square foot in the Club than anywhere else in the world. Chilvers said of the Club, ‘Go into the Kimberley Club, identified for so many years particularly with De Beers men, where have foregathered Jameson, Barnato, the Rudds, Beit, the Stows, the Joels and Oppenheimers, Gardner and Alpheus Williams, Sir John Lange, Sir William Solomon, Sir David Harris, Sir Lewis Mitchell, Sir Julius Wernher, Klisser; also Scott-Turner, Koch, Lord Roberts, Kitchener, Baden Powell and Alverstone, General Kekewich, Justices Bingham and Lawrence, Joe Chamberlain, Sir John Ardach, the Rothschilds, Mark Twain, Sir Charles Warren, and a host of other notables.’
Dr David Biggins
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Defence of Kimberley 1 year 7 months ago #58194

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Picture courtesy of BidorBuy.

A sad looking QSA.



Entitlement is QSA (1) DoK. Served No II Section, Belgravia Fort
Dr David Biggins
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Defence of Kimberley 1 year 7 months ago #58226

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Very nice indeed, they have survived, unmolested down the years.


djb wrote: A lovely pair from the next DNW auction


Picture courtesy of DNW

Thomas Gilbee Tyson was born in 1848 and arrived in South Africa in 1872. He served in the Gaika-Galeka war with the Diamond Fields Horse under Colonel Warren. In 1884 he joined the Bechuanaland Field Force as Captain. He served as Secretary of the Kimberley Club from 1887 until 1902. During the siege he was assistant military censor and served in No. 1 Section, Belgravia Fort. He is generally credited with the idea of the soup kitchen during the siege but in a letter to the Diamond Fields Advertiser of 25 January 1900 he said the chemist Mr J. W. McBeath deserved the credit. He was appointed to the De Beers Board on 21 November 1902 and served until his death on 19 November 1912.

During the siege a soup kitchen was established on the initiative of Captain Tyson, with soup being issued in lieu of the meat ration. It was very successful with reports estimating that as many as 16,000 pints were issued in a day. Even Rhodes contributed to this by donating vegetables from his gardens.

‘Captain Tyson is a dynamo of energy. He has long been conspicuous in every public work and institution in the town, and as manager of the very ambitious Kimberley Club is one of the best-known and best-liked of the citizens. It is said that everybody in South Africa knows him, and nearly everyone calls him by his first name. The mere management of the “Club” as he carried it on “was a god-send to the scores who lived or got their meals there. He inaugurated the famous work of distributing soup” a task that sometimes compelled the giving out of pint rations to sixteen thousand persons.’ (An American With Lord Roberts, Julian Ralph, refers.)

The Kimberley Club traces its history to the early days of Kimberley. The Diamond Fields Advertisor carried an advertisement in 1881 asking for designs for the Kimberley Club with costs not to exceed £6,000. The club was ready for business on 14 August 1882. The original articles for the club were signed by 74 founding members including J. H. Lange, Theodore Reunet, Leander Starr Jameson and Cecil Rhodes. It was in the Club that Rhodes hatched and developed his plans for Rhodesia and the Jameson Raid.

During the siege the Club served as Kekewich’s headquarters and provided accommodation for the headquarters staff with an overspill at 44 Currey Street. The Military Press Censor was stationed at the Club. The Club provided a company of the Town Guard from amongst its members. The were called ‘The Buffs’ after Kekewitch’s old regiment and were commanded by Captain Mandy. They were about 100 in number and were stationed at Belgravia Fort, which was rumoured to be one of the more comfortable of the posts.

Green, in An Editor Looks Back, says, ‘During the South African War the Kimberley Club made huge profits, for the officers of crack British regiments and of the Imperial Yeomanry, who were constantly turning up, spent lavishly and emptied the extensive wine cellars which were largely the relic of more prosperous days.’

It was no idle boast that there were more millionaires to the square foot in the Club than anywhere else in the world. Chilvers said of the Club, ‘Go into the Kimberley Club, identified for so many years particularly with De Beers men, where have foregathered Jameson, Barnato, the Rudds, Beit, the Stows, the Joels and Oppenheimers, Gardner and Alpheus Williams, Sir John Lange, Sir William Solomon, Sir David Harris, Sir Lewis Mitchell, Sir Julius Wernher, Klisser; also Scott-Turner, Koch, Lord Roberts, Kitchener, Baden Powell and Alverstone, General Kekewich, Justices Bingham and Lawrence, Joe Chamberlain, Sir John Ardach, the Rothschilds, Mark Twain, Sir Charles Warren, and a host of other notables.’

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Defence of Kimberley 1 year 7 months ago #58227

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What has happened to all the KTG, there used to be a glut of them and they were as cheap as chips, it really does not seem all that many years ago either, how times change, very sad.
That said, this particular medal is certainly not an example that I would rush to buy, but, if I were a Kimberley collector, I expect would want it.


djb wrote:


Picture courtesy of BidorBuy.

A sad looking QSA.



Entitlement is QSA (1) DoK. Served No II Section, Belgravia Fort

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Defence of Kimberley 1 year 4 months ago #59419

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This must be a new records for a QSA to a Lt in the KTG - £895?


Picture courtesy of Liverpool Medals

QSA (1) DoK (Lieut J.F. Wilson, Kimberley Town Guard.)

Joseph Finlay Wilson was born during 1868 in Murton, Durham.

He was a popular member of the staff of the Harton Colliery in South Shields and went to South Africa to work presumably with De Beers in the Kimberley Mines as early as 1893, he first arrived as a 25 year old Miner on Hawarden Castle which departed London on 7th September 1893.

In 1895 he joined the Diamonds Field Horse as a 2nd Lieutenant and later got caught up in the Boer War during 1900 and was besieged in Kimberley, where he served as a Lieutenant with No IV Section, D Company at No. 4 Redoubt, the De Beers Floor, he was the only officer of his section with 19 men under his command.

Shields Daily Gazette 20th July 1895:

“A SHIELDSMAN IN SOUTH AFRICA -
The last issue to hand of the Diamonds Field Advertiser notifies the appointment as second Lieutenant of the Diamonds Field Horse, of Mr Joseph Finlay Wilson, formerly a well known member of the Harton Colliery Official staff, at South Shields.”

He died in South Shields, Durham on 15th March 1918.

Whilst working Kimberley he had two Children, Eleanor Wilson in 1893 & Cecil Wilson in 1896, both born in Kimberley. After the Boer War he returned home and had another child in South Shields, but went back to South Africa once again on 22nd May 1902.

His son’s World War One trio is in the next lot, J5495, he joined the Royal Flying Corps and was wounded in action in France.
Dr David Biggins
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Defence of Kimberley 1 year 2 months ago #60158

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Picture courtesy of DNW

QSA (1) DoK (Pte. G. McKay. Kimberley Town Gd:);
1914-15 Star (Pte. G. J. McKay. 7th Infantry);
BWM & VM (Pte. G. J. McKay. 7th Infantry);
Kimberley Star, ‘a’, inscribed ‘Pvt. Gordon John McKay Cycle Corps’
Dr David Biggins
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