Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, 1 clasp, Defence of Mafeking (C. W. Clucas. Mafeking Town Gd:), good very fine £1,200-1,400
C. W. Clucas originally came from the Isle of Man, his father residing at a property in Hutchinson Square, Douglas, which was later renamed ‘Mafeking House’. Sometime emigrating to South Africa, Clucas served during the Boer War with ‘B’ Section of the Mafeking Town Guard under Captain R. H. Girdwood - who was killed in action at Mafeking on 13 February 1900. A Town Councillor and assistant to the Mayor, Clucas also acted as Senior Deacon of the Freemason Lodge No. 2534. In one particular Lodge Meeting held on 21 February 1900, the following was observed:
‘On Sunday last, an emergency meeting of the Astral Lodge No. 2534 was held in the Masonic Temple. Although probably the circumstances under which the Lodge was held is unique in the history of modern Freemasonry, no signs of the siege were observable; if we exclude a shell hole at the top of the eastern wall, through which the rain had washed the brick dust in long brown trickles, looking like tear stains, down the decorated plaster. Unfortunately, though unobtrusive, there are other signs of the malignant influences surrounding us to be found in the roll call. Not only has the grave closed over more than one member of the Lodge since the last meeting, which was held before the Siege, but from the ranks of office bearers (The Mafeking Mail, refers).’
It was whilst attending this Lodge meeting that Clucas potentially found himself in hot water:
‘By the bye some of our post commanders (Commander of ‘B’ Section, Capt. R. G. Girdwood) are getting themselves disliked during the siege. I suppose they forget that they have to afterwards live amongst those to whom they are making themselves obnoxious. Residents will know very well whom I am referring to. No names, no pack drill. But this is one of the instances. Mr. Clucas, after providing a substitute to do his guard, requested permission to attend Masonic duties, but was refused leave. Mr. Clucas then went straight to Colonel Baden-Powell, obtained leave without a word, and attended Lodge. In the morning Mr. Clucas was placed under arrest and taken before the Colonel, but the post Commander received such a wigging that he will not attempt any more monkey-tricks that way in future. It could have been nothing else but personal spite’ (The published diary of the Siege of Mafeking by Mr. Edward J. Ross, refers).
L.Schreiber was an interesting chap. Colin Walker's Mafeking Siege Register shows he served in Section A of the TG and was a clerk in Col. Green's office. The Siege Register shows him as a Resident Member of Mafeking Freemasons and organist at their meetings. He was attached to the staff of the Chief Paymaster as local auditor on 15 shillings a day. Later he switched duties and became examiner of books. Schrieber was on the committee for B-P presentation. I am not sure what that means.
A good example of the local talent present in Mafeking during the siege.
As an aside, I must compliment Spink's photographer for the quality of the illustrations posted recently. Would that IL could do similarly!