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TOPIC: Defence of Kimberley

Defence of Kimberley 5 years 11 months ago #15632

  • Brianc
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Frank Kelley wrote: Makes one wonder what a medal to De Beers Maxim Battery would be worth!


I know someone who has one :evil:

I have a shoulder title but would like the medal to go with it! When did these skyrocket? In the last few City Coins auctions I am sure they were par for most QSA's. I have a DFA QSA but he was one of a handful that never qualified for a DOK clasp. However his clasp combo is very rare to the unit. Will dig around and post a pic.

Brian

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Defence of Kimberley 5 years 11 months ago #15635

  • Rory
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For your viewing pleasure as QSA Mike is wont to say.... and I have no idea how much they are worth...

Donald Bunn

Private, Duke of Edinburgh’s Own Volunteer Rifles (D.E.O.V.R.)
Gunner, De Beers Maxim Battery.

- Cape of Good Hope General Service Medal with Bechuanaland clasp
- Queen's South Africa Medal with Defence of Kimberley clasp
- Kimberley Star with "a" hallmark

Donald Bunn was born in January 1871 in the Ledbury District of Eastnor in the Hereford Diocese of the County of Herefordshire, England the son of William and Anne Bunn.
Three months later, on 31 March 1871 at the time of the 1871 Census, William, aged 33 and Anne, aged 40, Bunn were living at 40 Hillend Road, Eastnor. Donald wasa baby of 3 months and had an older sister, Alice Louisa (8) as well as three older brothers William Henry (13); John Arthur (6) and Edwin Ernest (4). William Bunn was a Butcher by trade and his wife a Dressmaker.

Ten years later on 31 March 1881 at the time of the 1881 Census, the family had moved house and were resident at 41 Wayned Street, Eastnor. Donald, now aged 10, was at home with Alice Louisa (18) and Edwin Ernest (14)

Donald, at the time of the 1891 census, was a Lodger in the house of Richard and Anne Hughes of 85 Back of Parliament Street, Littleworth in Gloucester. His occupation was given as that of an Engineers Apprentice (Turner)

At some point in 1896 Bunn took passage to South Africa from Southampton docking in Cape Town. Ere long he found employment as a Turner with the Salt River Works section of the South African Railways (Cape Government Railways at the time) in Sir Lowry Road and settled down to life in his new country.

On 21 June 1897, a year after immigrating, Bunn, aged 26 enrolled with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Own Volunteers Rifles (D.E.O.V.R.) as a Private and with Regimental number 584. A Mrs. Bunn was recorded as his next of kin.

Donald Bunn saw service in the Frontier Wars of the period earning the Cape of Good Hope General Service Medal with the Bechuanaland clasp. (for service between 24 December 1896 and 30 July 1897)

The uprising stemmed from an edict to slaughter native livestock to prevent the spread of virulent cattle disease in April 1896. The revolt rapidly gathered alarming momentum and the local troops under Lt Colonel Dalgety were hard pressed to contain the uprising. A large force was required to subdue the fighting and troops and volunteers were mobilized for the Bechuanaland Field Force. Actions were fought at Gamasep Kloof, Riet Kloof and finally at Langberg on the 30 Jul - 1 Aug 1897 before peace was restored. David Biggins.

What happened to Bunn after his sojourn in the Cape area can only be the subject of conjecture however, he must have set his compass north as, two years on he had enlisted for service in Kimberley in 1899 as a Gunner with the De Beers Maxim Battery attached to the 23rd Royal Garrison Artillery, the only Imperial Artillery involved in the Siege.

The Siege of Kimberley commenced on 6 November 1899 and lasted 124 days before the relief came on 15 February 1900.

Bunn, according to the medal roll, had attained the rank of Corporal although the Queen’s South Africa Medal he was awarded reflects his rank as Private. He also qualified for the Defence of Kimberley clasp to the medal which was issued to him in Kimberley on 24 December 1904. A total of 36 medals were awarded to the Maxim Battery.

Alongside approximately 5000 others, Bunn was also awarded the Kimberley Star, an unofficial medal in silver struck in Birmingham at the behest of Mr. H. Oliver, the Mayor of Kimberley as a “thank you” to all those who had served and endured during the Siege. Bunn’s Star was hallmarked “a” indicating manufacture in 1900.

With the Boer War a thing of the past Donald Bunn returned to civilian life and, at some point,married a Mary Agnes Parker.

On 12 February 1940 Donald Bunn passed away, aged 69 years and 2 months in President Street, Johannesburg, Transvaal. He was survived by his wife and two major daughters, Lorna Alice Williams and Margaret Louisa Hitzenauen. He was described as having been a Turner by occupation. He was resident at 58 Banket Street, Johannesburg at the time.





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Defence of Kimberley 5 years 11 months ago #15636

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Rory,

They are wonderful medals. Maxim Battry QSAs are few and far between.

Many thanks for these pictures and the biographical account.
David
Dr David Biggins

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Defence of Kimberley 5 years 11 months ago #15642

  • Frank Kelley
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Hello Brian,
I have seen and handled about fifty percent of those that were issued, they are not common medals and my point was simply that when you do the number crunching, with, for example, the Kimberley Town Guard, you do start to think about relative value.
The last I bought was Walter Thorne Adams, who lived at Cricket Street Kimberley and was employed by De Beers as a rigger in their construction works.
He married Helen Keating at the Anglican All Saints church in Beaconsfield on the 30th of June 1910, doubtless a very happy day and rather interestingly, died, whilst out rowing at Port Alfred in 1927.
He was, according to the Diamond Fields Advertiser, "Very well known and a highly respected man" in Kimberley.

Incidentally, to the best of my knowledge the De Beers Battery did not wear a distinctive shoulder title, the handsome DMB slouch hat badge was actually made in De Beers own workshops during the siege.
Also, suggest you now substitute the word "somebody" for the words "some people" moreover, please do excuse too the awful ribbon, these ultimately came from a Johannesburg collecter who had the best Kimberley collection that I have ever known to exist, he mounted all his collection in this way and I have just left items from it, as a mark of respect to him, also the star is a marriage from the same collection, for the photograph!
Kind regards Frank

Brianc wrote:

Frank Kelley wrote: Makes one wonder what a medal to De Beers Maxim Battery would be worth!


I know someone who has one :evil:

I have a shoulder title but would like the medal to go with it! When did these skyrocket? In the last few City Coins auctions I am sure they were par for most QSA's. I have a DFA QSA but he was one of a handful that never qualified for a DOK clasp. However his clasp combo is very rare to the unit. Will dig around and post a pic.

Brian


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Defence of Kimberley 5 years 11 months ago #15653

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Hi Frank

Here is the Maxims shoulder title/badge, sheet brass. It came out of a Cape Town collection also a number of years back. Sorry about pic it is mounted with the rest of my shoulder titles behind glass.




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Defence of Kimberley 5 years 11 months ago #15656

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Hello Brian,
Well I do have one of these, but, I have never associated it with the De Beers Battery or indeed the siege, a superb example you have there.
Regards Frank

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