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About azyeoman

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  1. Yes, L/Cpl. 4447756 David E. Parker 6 Bn. DLI captured in 1940 - POW # 5869.
  2. Although not a medal, this letter from Cpl David Parker to his wife and family is a poignant reminder of the horrible and long separations while being a PoW. This letter was written on 20/9/42 in Stammlager XXB and is postmarked 18/11/1942, which is evidence of the terrible postal service for PoWs and their families. Parker had another two and a half years of captivity before he was to see his family again. The letter was obviously saved because it meant the world to his wife and daughter Mary. It shows how he was worried about their welfare and was trying to do all he could despite all. There is more than a tinge of depression when me mentions the length of the war and how the world will never be the same. His intimate lines hopefully help his wife and daughter to cope with his absence. I have typed the letter as it is, grammar, punctuation and all as it adds to the poignancy. The letter reads: My Own Darling wife & child, I am in the (20/9/42) best of health. it leaves me also in company with one of Eva's cousins, Bill Southern, we are working together, so please tell her I know she will be pleased. Nearly every time she has wrote she has hoped we had met. Also sweetheart last week I sent you L15 also I told the paymaster to increase your allottment to the fullest amount, also darling please write to him and ask him for the state of me credits then you can let me know and I will send (all) I can. Tell him I asked you to write Time goes on and still this war seems no nearer its end than it did twelve months ago, but one thing that grows is the fact that the longer to return grows and my love for you to. I suppose we will find a different England that what we left it is a changing world I supose we will be behind time. Love to all, tell Mary I send my love and kisses longing to see her. To you sweetheart I send all my love and millions of kisses all to the one I love most. Goodnight my love remember always that is how long I will love you. Think of the song "Yours" sweetheart I am yours for always. Your own loving husband, daddy, Dave
  3. I recently acquired a large RAF Ex-PoW Association neck medal on yellow/gold ribbon. It's 5mm in diameter. There is no hallmark and nothing is on the case either. I'd be grateful if anyone knows of the significance of this medal. Thanks in advance. For more information on the association please go to:
  4. A very interesting PoW to an officer for Roodeval. Queen’s South Africa - 3 clasps: Cape Colony, Transvaal, Wittebergen King’s South Africa - 2 claps: SA 1901, SA 1902; with Matching Miniatures. Lieutenant P.C. Shepard, Notts & Derby Regiment, was taken prisoner of war in the disastrous ambush at Roodeval on 7th June 1900. The entire battalion, but six men were killed, wounded or taken prisoner, in the epic action. Colonel Baird-Douglas, was wounded in four places, still fighting valiantly to his last breath, he threatened any man to retreat would receive a round from his revolver, they surrendered to save the remainder of the battalion after the Colonel collapsed and died of his wounds. 

An excellent account of the battle from ‘South Africa and the Transvaal War, by Louis Creswicke’; 

“It was imagined that the combined vigilance of these officers had entirely protected the communications in the Orange River Colony, but on the 7th of June the unquenchable Dutchmen succeeded in cutting line and telegraph wire north of Kroonstad, and in taking prisoners most of the 4th Battalion of the Derbyshires (Sherwood Foresters), who were guarding the district. Of the battalion, the Colonel, a lieutenant, and thirty-four rank and file were killed, five officers and ninety-nine men were wounded, and the rest, save six, made prisoners! 

The story ran thus: At dusk on the 4th, the Derbyshire Militia Regiment arrived at Roodeval and pitched their camp in the lee of a string of kopjes that shelved away to the west, and terminated in a high hump which, jutting out of the plain, commanded rail, camp, and the surrounding hills. Owing to the darkness it was impossible to do much in the way of reconnoitering, and though some scouts and natives warned the commanding officers that Boers had been espied in the vicinity, little notice was taken. The pickets, which had been posted on a range of kopjes north of the camp, were strengthened, and some few shots fired at distant snipers. Then the party laid themselves down to rest, and slept placidly. Before dawn they were awakened by the furious crackling of musketry, and even as the men turned out with their rifles, they dropped. One after another as they left their tents fell victims to the unseen foe. 

The fact was, the pickets had been attacked and driven in, and the enemy occupied the range, which commanded the British troops. Presently the early morning was humming with shot and shell, the Boers now having brought four big guns and a pom-pom to bear on the unfortunate camp and the bald plain that surrounded it. Valiantly the militiamen, raw and unfledged warriors as they were, fought; long, bloody, and disastrous hours passed, and they, falling thick as autumn leaves, continued to hold out in a completely defenseless position till the plain was littered with dead and wounded — more than eighty of them now lying in a trap from which it was impossible to escape. Colonel Baird-Douglas, wounded in four places, fought like a lion, encouraging his men, and vowing to shoot the first who should display a white flag. Then he dropped exhausted and breathed his last. Finally 420 prisoners were taken, including the following 
officers of the 4th Derbyshire Regiment: Captain J. Humber, Captain C. P. Piers, Captain A. M. W. Mohun-Harris, 
Captain E. M. Wilmot, Captain R. C. Fenwick, Captain and Adjutant R. Britten, 
Lieutenant P. C. Shepard, Second-Lieutenant A. C. Hewitt, Second-Lieutenant 
J. L. Heymann, Second-Lieutenant H. L. Napier, Second-Lieutenant H. M. 
Milward, Second-Lieutenant J. H. W. Becke, Second-Lieutenant J. H. Mathias, 
Second-Lieutenant H. S. Anderson, Second-Lieutenant E. N. T. Collin, Hon. 
Lieutenant and Quartermaster M. M'Guire. Among the killed were: Lieutenant-Colonel Baird-Douglas and Lieutenant Horley. Among the wounded : Colonel Wilkinson, Captain Bailey, Second-Lieutenants Hall and Lawder, 
Lieutenant Blanchard, Canadian Infantry (attached to 4th Derbyshire). 

It was said that after the capture the commandants, on bringing the prisoners to the station, were seen cordially shaking hands with a railway official as though exchanging congratulations. This circumstance was one of many which bore witness to the innumerable acts of treachery and duplicity with which commanding officers had to contend.” Percy Cumberledge Shepard was born on 2 November, 1880 in Putney. He was educated at Yorebridge Grammar School in Hawes, Yorkshire. He was 6’ tall, and single when he passed from the militia to the Notts & Derby Regiment in 1900. He was the son of WP Shepard of Ridgeway Place, Wembeldon. He served in South Africa from 11/1/1900 to 10/9/1902. He then went to China were he served from 14/12/1902 to 6/12/1904 and then ended up in the Straits Settlements from 7/12/1904 to 27/9/1908. He served with the Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby) and he saw action at Wittebergen and of course Roodeval. His QSA and KSA and claps are confirmed in his Regimental Officer Service Records. (WO 76) On the line of communications in June 1900 there occurred several "regrettable incidents" (as the press would describe them) whereby a large bag of British POWs were taken by the Boers; who at the same time wreaked havoc upon Lord Roberts' supply line. One such incident involved the surrender on 7 June 1900, after a stiff fight and many casualties, of the 4th Militia Bn of the Derbyshire Regt. at Rhenoster Camp. Several battalions of the Militia were in SA following the national uproar over Black Week. Among other sources of manpower, nine Militia battalions were asked to volunteer for active service. The 4th Derbys was one of them and left Southampton on the transport ship "UMBRIA" on 11 January 1900 and landed at Port Elizabeth on 2 February 1900 for duties on the LofC. Some describe the action as having taken place at Roodeval (including the SAFF casualty list) wheras others correctly locate it at Rhenoster camp. Sometimes the details vary - however it is sufficient to record that DeWet's forces conducted a triple hit on the British LofC in the OFS and, in the words of Conan Doyle, at Rhenoster camp, the Derby Militia were outnumbered, out generalled and without guns. They had been tasked with guarding the supply depot on both sides of the Rhenoster river; however no entrenching was conducted. The Boers under Froneman hit the camp with concentrated rifle fire at 0200 and later employed artillery. At 1000 hrs, after suffering 156 killed and wounded, the camp surrendered and about 500 men went into captivity. The 1900 edition of Conan Doyle's work comments that "there was no shadow of stain upon the good name of the only militia battalion, which was ever seriously engaged during the war". Some opinioned that bad staff work was the root cause of the incident. Arthor Conan Doyle described the action... Two miles beyond Roodeval station there is a well-marked kopje by the railway line, with other hills some distance to the right and the left. A militia regiment, the 4th Derbyshire, had been sent up to occupy this post. There were rumours of Boers on the line, and Major Haig, who with one thousand details of various regiments commanded at railhead, had been attacked on June 6th but had beaten off his assailants. De Wet, acting sometimes in company with, and sometimes independently of, his lieutenant Nel, passed down the line looking fur some easier prey, and on the night of June 7th came upon the militia regiment, which was encamped in a position which could be completely commanded by artillery. It is not true that they had neglected to occupy the kopje under which they lay, for two companies had been posted upon it. But there seems to have been no thought of imminent danger, and the regiment had pitched its tents and gone very comfortably to sleep without a thought of the gentleman in the tinted glasses. In the middle of the night he was upon them with a hissing sleet of bullets. At the first dawn the guns opened and the shells began to burst among them. It was a horrible ordeal for raw troops. The men were miners and agricultural labourers, who had never seen more bloodshed than a cut finger in their lives. They had been four months in the country, but their life had been a picnic, as the luxury of their baggage shows. Now in an instant the picnic was ended, and in the grey cold dawn war was upon them--grim war with the whine of bullets, the screams of pain, the crash of shell, the horrible rending and riving of body and limb. In desperate straits, which would have tried the oldest soldiers, the brave miners did well. They never from the beginning had a chance save to show how gamely they could take punishment, but that at least they did. Bullets were coming from all sides at once and yet no enemy was visible. They lined one side of the embankment, and they were shot in the back. They lined the other, and were again shot in the back. Baird-Douglas, the Colonel, vowed to shoot the man who should raise the white flag, and he fell dead himself before he saw the hated emblem. But it had to come. A hundred and forty of the men were down, many of them suffering from the horrible wounds which shell inflicts. The place was a shambles. Then the flag went up and the Boers at last became visible. Outnumbered, outgeneralled, and without guns, there is no shadow of stain upon the good name of the one militia regiment which was ever seriously engaged during the war. Their position was hopeless from the first, and they came out of it with death, mutilation, and honour. The black and white photo is of the regiment marching to embark for South Africa.
  5. An update on this as I just found Pte. Ward's missing KSA. Now, as seen in the photos below, they're back where they should be, together again. Queens South Africa Medal with three clasps: Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Johannesburg named to: 5542 Private. J. Ward. East Lanc's Regiment. King’s South Africa Medal with two clasps: South Africa 1901 and South Africa 1902 J Ward served in the 1st Bn. East Lancashire Regiment, which served as mounted infantry in the Boer War. He was captured and later released at Vereeninging on 4 January 1901. Mounted Infantry - An unusual feature of the Boer War, and of its guerrilla phase in particular, was the prominence of mounted troops, including Mounted Infantry. The East, South and Loyal North Lancashire Regiments all provided large numbers of Mounted Infantry, including several complete companies. As the cutting edge of the mobile columns the mounted men saw more than their share of the fighting, and there was never any shortage of volunteers for this dashing role. By December 1899 it was evident that additional troops would be required in South Africa and over the next few weeks the 3rd (Militia) Battalions of the East, South and Loyal North Lancashire Regiments were all embodied, reservists were recalled and active service companies of the Volunteer Battalions of all three Regiments were formed for service with their respective Regular Battalions. On 19 December the 1st Battalion East Lancashires left Jersey and sailed on the Bavarian and arrived at the Cape about 3rd February. Along with the 2nd Cheshire, 2nd South Wales Borderers, and 2nd North Staffordshire, they formed the 15th Brigade under Major General A G Wavell, and part of the VIIth Division under Lieutenant General Tucker. They joined Lord Roberts’ army at the Orange River. Roberts, now C-in-C South Africa, had planned a major offensive to take the Boer capitals, Bloemfontein and Pretoria, and finish the war. The battalion was said to have done well at Karee Siding on 29th March 1900. They lost that day 5 men killed and 14 wounded. At the crossing of the Zand River on 10th May they also did their portion of the task well. In Lord Roberts' final dispatch 11 officers and 17 non-commissioned officers and men were mentioned. In 1901 the battalion furnished the infantry of columns which operated in the Southern Transvaal and in the Orange River Colony under Brigadier General G Hamilton, Colonel Grey, Colonel Garratt, and others, and necessarily did a lot of very hard marching and had a good many little fights. In 1902 the battalion assisted in holding a line of blockhouses near Vrede during the driving operations. Three officers, 1 non-commissioned officer, and 1 private were mentioned in Lord Kitchener's dispatches during the war, and 4 officers and 4 non-commissioned officers in his final dispatch. Some of the “good many little fights” were as follows: Paardeberg The advance began on 11 February and the East Lancashires, after a trying march, took part on the 15th in the capture of Jacobsdal. Their Mounted Infantry Company were also in action that day at Waterval Drift, while on the both they and the Loyal North Lancashire Mounted Infantry were present at the decisive victory of Paardeberg. During the subsequent advance on Bloemfontein the Mounted Infantry were engaged at the battles of Driefontein and Poplar Grove. On 13 March Bloemfontein surrendered. Karee Siding After a short halt at Bloemfontein the 1st East Lancashires marched north with the 7th Division and, on 29 March, attacked a Boer defensive position at Karee Siding. The Lancashire lads took the Boers’ main position, known afterwards as ‘East Lancashire Hill’, with a gallant charge. Zand River After a pause for resupply, Roberts resumed his advance north to the Rand, and on 10 May the East Lancashires were in action at the battle of Zand River, capturing the key to the Boer position and beating off a strong counter-attack. Johannesburg With the East Lancashire and Loyal North Lancashire Mounted Infantry well to the fore, Roberts’ army pressed on to take Johannesburg on 31 May. 1st East Lancashires had marched 126 miles in seven days. Pretoria and Diamond Hill Then, while the East Lancashires remained to garrison the Rand, the Mounted Infantry companies took part in the capture of the Transvaal capital and the subsequent battle of Diamond Hill, 11-12 June. During the guerrilla time of the war, Kitchener had some ten times the overall strength of the Boers, but by the time his lines of communication had been secured he had barely more soldiers available for offensive operations than his opponents, perhaps 22,000 to the Boers’ 20,000. In consequence, at local level the game of cat and mouse involved frequent role reversals when the ‘mice’ converged in superior strength to attack convoys and isolated columns. The Mounted Infantry companies were very active at this stage of the war, and the 1st East Lancashire Company in particular took part in many successful engagements. As the war entered its second year, Kitchener realized that he had to deny both logistic support and freedom of movement to the Boers. His draconic farm clearances were largely achieving the first of these requirements, and to achieve the second he began a comprehensive program of blockhouse building to cordon off great tracts of the country. These blockhouses were miniature forts, sited for all-round defense, each with a garrison of an NCO and 6-8 privates. They were linked by barbed-wire fences and erected at intervals of about half to three-quarters of a mile to contain the Boer commandos so that coordinated search and destroy drives could be mounted by mobile columns. The 1st East Lancashires built and manned a blockhouse line near Frankfort. By October 1901 this system was proving its worth, but it was not until May 1902 that the surviving Boer leaders accepted that further resistance was useless and surrendered at Vereeninging. South African Field Force. JB Hayward & Sons [2626: 2640-2755] a town in the South African Republic (Vereeninging district; Gauteng) some 50 km south of Johannesburg. By 23 May 1900 all the Republic's forces engaged in the Orange Free State had withdrawn to Vereeniging. Patrols from Maj-Gen J.D.P. French's cavalry division discovered on 26 May 1900 that the town had been evacuated, the Boers retiring to defensive positions on the Klipriviers Berg*. Cmdt-Gen L. Botha ordered Cmdt A.H. Malan with Theron's Scouts to wreck the railway bridge across the Vaal River south of the town and do as much damage as possible. The town was taken that day by Col St.G.C. Henry's column, including the 4th and 8th corps mounted infantry, but too late to save the bridge. On 27 May, Field Marshal Lord Roberts crossed the Vaal at Viljoen's Drift* and entered Vereeniging. Representatives of the commandos met at Vereeniging on 15 May 1902, with Asst Cmdt-Gen C.F. Beyers, in the chair to discuss the course of the war and elect a commission to discuss peace terms with the British. The commission returned to Vereeniging on 28 May and on 31 May the Assembly voted to accept the terms recommended to them. Although known as the Treaty of Vereeniging, the document was actually signed in Pretoria. Vereeniging was the location of both white and black refugee concentration camps. HMG III pp.71-72 and 74 (map no.38), IV pp.542, 544 and 554-560 (map no.59); Times IV p.136 (map of the Transvaal in the end pocket); Breytenbach V pp.512 and 518 (map facing p.550); Wilson II p.659 (photograph), IV pp.981-4 (photographs); Cassell pp.1,157-1,159; Warwick p.154; Cd.819. An interesting clip from the British Film Institute of the E. Lancs returning from South Africa and parading through Preston in 1902. Just back from service in the Boer War, the East Lancashire Regiment parades in the grounds of its Fulwood Barracks in Preston before a party of local dignitaries and others. Afterwards, the pith-helmeted militiamen relax and mingle with their audience. These beautifully crisp images were assembled in something of a jumble, suggesting they may be offcuts left over from another film. The Burnley militia was formed in 1853 and the soldiers form the 2nd Volunteer Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment. Fulwood Barracks was on the site of what is now the Queen's Lancashire Regiment Museum. The film was screened by Ralph Pringle in Burnley at the Mechanic's Institute.
  6. Another new WWI day badge; unusual as it's quite a large one. Here's a very scarce to rare welcome home medal to the Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment. There was a reception in 1919 that was held in Guildford for 270 repatriated other ranks POWs from the Queen’s Royal West Surrey. These men were also awarded a small commemorative medal that could be worn on a watch-chain. A list of those attending in the Surrey Advertiser shows most of the men came from places within the regimental recruitment district or from within Surrey. In total there were about 2,100 other ranks of the Queen’s who were PoWs.
  7. Nice group Michael; what was he MID for?
  8. Hi Bret, It's the only one I've ever seen mounted. The Canadians have issued quite a few in their Korean veterans org., and then there are the ubiquitous ones from Korea itself, but this is the only one I've seen from the federation. Normally you see them as singles as I'm sure they are not officially recognized. John
  9. 208744 BDR D B McDONALD, RNZA (EIIR First type obverse), mounted as worn with Korean War 40th Anniversary Medal1950-1990. Desmond Bruce McDonald, 16 Field Regiment, Royal NZ Artillery, arrived Korea 27 August 1952, returned NZ 13 March 1954, returned to Korea 2 June 1954, promoted to Bombadier, discharged 10 February 1955, Died Christchurch 30 January 2001. Queen's Korea, UN Korea and Intl. Federation of Korean War Veterans 40th Anniversary Medal
  10. 208744 BDR D B McDONALD, RNZA (EIIR First type obverse), mounted as worn with Korean War 40th Anniversary Medal1950-1990........ Desmond Bruce McDonald, 16 Field Regiment, Royal NZ Artillery, arrived Korea 27 August 1952, returned NZ 13 March 1954, returned to Korea 2 June 1954, promoted to Bombadier, discharged 10 February 1955, Died Christchurch 30 January 2001.
  11. A colorful medal bar to an Australian. For much more information go to:
  12. The scarcity of these always makes them interesting whether they be ground or air crew. Thanks for posting these Brett! A Greek medal bar for the Korean War.
  13. Three new lapel badges for WWI. The top one maybe an Australian one, but the others are definitely from the UK. The bottle left with the French, English, Russian and Belgian flags is in sterling and has a maker's mark, but it is illegible. The bottom right is of bronze gilt and blue enamel in which is "Prisoners of War Association", which was made be J R Gaunt.
  14. A four medal bar consisting of: -Sachsen Ernestinische silberne VM (saxon-ernestin silvered MM with Stempelschneider) -Hindenburg cross (N & H) -12 year LSM Prussia -Turkish Sanayi Medal An unusual combination with the tailor's lable "Knippenberg, Flensburg" on the reverse.
  15. Thanks Brett, I was hoping you'd add some info on this group. It's really interested that there were only 824 men in the regiment in Sept. '40. It appears that Bezouidenhout is not an uncommon name and goes back many years. Perhaps the naming of the medals to hiim as a Kaffrarian Rifleman is due to it being the regiment he served with. It's not an unusual group, but since I've branched out to include a named PoW group for some commonwealth countries, and because the name is that of an Afrikaner, it ticked all the boxes. On top of that, the battle and siege of Tobruk was/is most interesting. I'm curious, are there veteran's organization for WWII in SA? Is WWII service highly regarded among South Africans? Thank you again for your comments and for the information. I truly appreciate it! All the very best, John Brett, Doing some research, I came across this info: It's interesting to note that the DMR and the Kaff R had 439 and 532 PoWs respectively for N. Africa, and that a total of 17, 303 South Africans were captured.