View Full Version : Grandfather in Boer war
09-12-2008, 6:00 PM
My grandfather James Donovan No.5918 Ryl Irish Fusiliers served in Sth africa from 30/09/1899 to 12/09/1902. I have his medals, the QSA with clasp Talana, and KSA with clasps Sth Africa 1901 & 02. His service record has no reference to Sth Africa other than across a medical record it states "Original lost in evacuation of Dundee" He was with the 2nd Battalion from 26/03/97 to 11/02/99 when the record says he was "posted" to 1st Batt.
On 12/09/02 he was transferred back to the 2nd Batt. I have his soldiers "Small Book" and under medals it says QSA with clasps Talana, transvaal and Orange Free State, signed by an officer. I wonder why he only has one. The medal roll also shows just Talana.
He went on to serve in India from 17/1903 to 101/10/1914 and at "Home " until his discharge on 11/05/1919.
I would be grateful if anybody could add to the details I have.
09-12-2008, 10:15 PM
Welcome to the B-G forums - you seem to be lucky enough to already have a fair amount of detail. To add to that, you might try the regimental museum (http://www.armymuseums.org.uk/amot-search/default.asp?Category=AMOT&Service=Museum-Display&reference=0000000103/)
Accounts which appear in the London Gazette (http://www.londongazette.co.uk/)
and possibly specialist books available via the Naval and Military Press.
They may be able to add to your knowledge of the involvement of his regiment in the various locations and engagements.
10-12-2008, 5:29 PM
I have contacted the museum and they were very helpful. I do have a lot of information but any additional detail helps me to make some sense of it. I am not from a military background and have difficulty even reading his service record. My grandfather was discharged with the rank of Acting Company Sergeant-Major, but along the way his service record shows appointments to "unpaid Lance Cpl", Corporal etc. I still don`t know the difference between a Sergeant and a Colour-Sergeant! Thank you for your help.
11-12-2008, 11:25 PM
Have you seen this website: http://www.angloboerwar.com/
12-12-2008, 12:57 PM
Thanks for that Littlemissp. That is a brilliant site. Reading the history of the 1st Batt. RIF it would appear my grandfather was taken prisoner. Any idea what happened to prisoners? How long were they held? Could this explain why he only has the Talana clasp?
13-12-2008, 12:19 AM
Had a quick peek for books about this subject and there are several available online with good reviews- perhaps you can justify a little Xmas pressie for yourself or ask someone else to get one for you?
I myself have searched high and low for more details about a member of my family who died in this war, and despite being a Lt there is hardly anything. What I did find was in the London Illustrated News and this seems to have covered the war very well, have a search for them online too. As per the name suggests, there are plentiful photographs! I'm very envious you've managed to get so much detail!
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