23 men of the RN received this single clasp. This includes one to the NNV.
Barrett, Able Seaman J. HMS Terrible
Boldero, Midshipman H S W. HMS Terrible
Bramble, Able Seaman C. HMS Forte
Codd, Petty Officer 2nd Class F C. HMS Terrible
Coleman, Gunner W. Other NNV
Hamon, Ordinary Seaman G. HMS Terrible
Haynes, Ordinary Seaman R J. HMS Terrible
Hicks, Leading Carpenter's Crew J. HMS Forte
Horner, Petty Officer 2nd Class E B. Died of disease at Frere 5 Feb 00. HMS Terrible
Hunter, Able Seaman F. HMS Terrible
Leach, Ordinary Seaman J. HMS Terrible
Maloney, Ordinary Seaman D. HMS Terrible
McNeill, Stoker J. HMS Terrible
Nethercoat, Ordinary Seaman E. HMS Terrible
Nicholls, Leading Seaman C G. HMS Tartar
Skinner, Petty Officer 2nd Class H D. HMS Terrible
Summer, Midshipman C S C. HMS Terrible
Taylor, Petty Officer 1st Class T. HMS Terrible
Thomas, Able Seaman G. Died of disease at Estcourt 4 Jan 00. HMS Terrible
Thomas, Ordinary Seaman T R. HMS Terrible
Wheater, Engineer P. HMS Terrible
White, Ordinary Seaman E C. HMS Terrible
White, Able Seaman R. HMS Tartar
Dreweatts are offering this RoL officer's Spion Kop casualty group for action.
Picture courtesy of Dreweatts
Queen’s Sudan (0) (Lt G. M. Stewart. 2/ Lan: Fus:), QSA (1) RoL (Capt G. M. Stewart. Lanc: Fus:), Khedive’s Sudan (1) Khartoum (Lieut. G. M. Stewart), Coronation Medal 1901 [sic].
[David: I am not sure why he would have a 1902 Coronation Medal with the set?]
The catalogue says:
Captain Gilbert McDonald Stewart was born in Windsor, Berkshire, on the 4th of February 1873, the fifth son of Robert Stewart of Port Elizabeth, South Africa, based in Sydenham, London. He educated at Dulwich College, South London, before attending the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. He was commissioned as Second Lieutenant into the 2nd Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers in February 1893, and shot for the Army in 1895, when he was also promoted to Lieutenant. He served during the occupation of Crete and then in the Soudan Campaign in 1898, being present for the Battles of Omdurman and Khartoum. He was promoted to the rank of Captain on the 9th of October 1899 and served in South Africa during the Boer War.
After the losses and disappointments of ‘Black Week’ in December 1899 when British losses had continued to rise, the British and Colonial troops hoped to make a concerted effort to outmanoeuvre the Boer forces which had held Ladysmith, Mafeking and Kimberley besieged. Attempting to make a two-pronged encirclement of Boer forces on the Tugela River, thus clearing the way to Ladysmith, the forces under General Sir Redvers Buller VC proceeded to the easterly flank, and those under General Sir Charles Warren took the westerly flank towards the crossing point at Trikhardt‘s Drift.
Met by Boer forces on the facing hill crest of Thabanyama, a bombardment and subsequent infantry attack by Warren’s forces was easily repulsed by the entrenched Boer troops, and Warren looked toward taking the great hill of Spion Kop to allow him to turn the Boer flank.
He ordered the hill to be taken on the night of the 23rd, where a lightly-equipped force of 1700 men led by Major General Woodgate, comprising eight companies of the 2nd Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers, six of the 2nd Royal Lancasters, two of the 1st South Lancashires, one-hundred and eighty men of Thorneycroft's Mounted Infantry, and half a company of Sappers, slowly climbed the hill and cleared a Boer piquet which was taken completely by surprise, and they began with difficulty to entrench their rocky position.
Once daylight had broken on the morning of the 24th, their mistake was realised, as the British & Colonial troops discovered to their cost that they had only cleared the first part of Spion Kop, and that a larger Boer force remained at its true summit, and furthermore, Boer troops and artillery commanded three further opposing hills, bearing down on their position. Boer snipers and shelling wrought havoc on the British troops below, and fearing for their own reasons that the British would take and hold this tactical position, and charge was launched by some 300 burghers of the Pretoria Commando, with their Mausers and hunting knives, where brutal hand to hand fighting ensued, resulting in an exhausted stand off for both sides, as the shelling resumed upon the British.
Major-General Woodgate was killed by shrapnel, and soon after other senior officers including Colonel Blomfield of the Lancashire Fusiliers, fell in quick succession, the latter severely wounded. Colonel Malby Crofton of the Royal Lancasters, who was totally overwhelmed by finding himself in command, managed to semaphore for help from the hill, pleading: “ Reinforce at once or all is lost. General dead.” Without being able to provide any meaningful leadership, Warren sent runners to appoint Thorneycroft to command, who led a counterattack and personally prevented the surrender of wavering British troops for just long enough for reinforcements to arrive from Coke’s Brigade.
Acting as a courier between Spion Kop and Buller’s Headquarters that day, a young Lieutenant and journalist Winston Churchill reported of the scene: "Corpses lay here and there. Many of the wounds were of a horrible nature. The splinters and fragments of the shells had torn and mutilated them. The shallow trenches were choked with dead and wounded." By nightfall of the 24th, roughly 24 hours into the battle, Thorneycroft ordered his remaining exhausted, unfed and thirsty troops to retreat to the foot of the hill, leaving the equally weary remaining Boer troops in control of the hill.
In the course of the day’s fighting the British suffered 243 killed and around 1,250 wounded or missing. Boer losses were also heavy by proportion, with 68 killed and 267 wounded or missing. The 2nd Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers of Woodgate’s Brigade suffered heaviest of all, with eight officers amongst the number killed or wounded, and it was here at Spion Kop that Captain Gilbert McDonald Stewart was killed in action, this believed his first experience under enemy fire, and his name is inscribed on a memorial tablet outside of the New Memorial Library at Dulwich College, as well as his name and likeness being used on cigarette cards of the ‘South African Series’.