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2754 Trp John William Gleave 22nd Cheshire Coy Imperial Yeomanry

John William Gleave, was born in St Asaph around 1878/80. He lived at ` Mount Pleasant` on Mount Road. He was a painter and decorator by trade, he served a 4 year apprentiship with Mr Peacock of St George.

On the 18th February 1901, John travelled to Chester and enlisted in the 22nd Cheshire Company of the Imperial Yeomanry, part of the 2nd Battalion of the Imperial Yeomanry, his age on enlistment is give as 20 years and 3 months. His papers described him as 5`4 1/4” tall, with a fresh complexion, blue eyes and dark brown hair. Religion Church of England.

On the 27th January 1901, he embarked for South Africa, arriving on the 5th April 1901 and serving there till the 27th September 1901. John was discharged from the Army on the 23rd November 1901 at Shornecliffe Barracks as being unfit for further service.

He is entitled to the Queen’s South Africa with 3 clasps, Cape Colony, Orange Free State and South Africa 1901.

John died aged 56 years of age, on the 30th December 1932 and is buried in Mount Road Cemetery, along with his Wife Hannah Gleaves aged 61 10th May 1941, and son John William Gleaves aged 66, 30th January 1980.

Does anyone have an interest in Yeomanry Units, during the Boer War, who could give me an information on the Cheshire Yeomanrys role in the war. Are there any books on the subject?

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Imperial Yeomanry – Brief History.

The Imperial Yeomanry were born out of the disasters that became known as ‘Black Week’ in December 1899, after these set-backs it became obvious to all that mounted infantry were needed in large numbers to counter the fast moving, hard hitting Boers. At the start of the war there had been many offers from the Colonels of existing county yeomanry regiments to provide forces for South Africa, some at no cost to the Government, all were politely but firmly rejected.

The Yeomanry were a volunteer organization that had been in existence for over a hundred years, the Pembroke Yeomanry having the distinction of being the only unit to have a battle honour on British soil for their defeat of the small French invasion force at Fishguard in 1797. A decision was taken by at the War Office on the 13th of December 1899 to allow a contingent of volunteer forces based on the standing yeomanry regiments, this was a watershed decision in the war. The acceptance that the conflict was not going to be a swift and painless operation and that every man, whether standing army or volunteer, would be needed to defeat this desperate enemy. The birth of the Imperial Yeomanry was through a Royal Warrant dated the 24th of December 1899 and from this warrant the standing Yeomanry regiments were asked to provide service companies of around 115 men each. The new Imperial Yeomanry were to be raised on a county basis with the core being the men of the existing volunteer units, the remainder of the numbers being recruited from individuals that met the strict criteria laid down.

The Royal Warrant stated:-

1. Her Majesty's Government have decided to raise for active service in South Africa a mounted infantry force, to be named "The Imperial Yeomanry".

2. The force will be recruited from the Yeomanry, but Volunteers and civilians who possess the requisite qualifications will be specially enlisted in the Yeomanry for this purpose.

3. The force will be organized in companies of 115 rank and file, 1 one captain and four subalterns to each company, preferably Yeomanry officers.

4. The term of enlistment for officers and men will be for one year, or not less than the period of the war.

5. Officers and men will bring their own horses, clothing, saddlery and accoutrements. Arms, ammunition, camp equipment and transport will be provided by the government.

6. The men to be dressed in Norfolk jackets, of woollen material of neutral colour, breeches and gaiters, lace boots, and felt hats. Strict uniformity of pattern will not be insisted on.

7. Pay to be at Cavalry rates, with a capitation grant for horses, clothing, etc.

8. Applications for enrolment should be addressed to colonels commanding Yeomanry regiments, or to general officers commanding districts, to whom instructions will be issued.

9. Qualifications are: Candidates to be from 20 to 35 years of age, and of good character. Volunteers or civilian candidates must satisfy the Colonel of the regiment through which they enlist that they are good riders and marksmen, according to the Yeomanry standard.

The original contingents of the I.Y. were an amazing collection of individuals who were generally socially superior to the men of the regular army they were meant to serve alongside. The 47th Company (Duke of Cambridge’s Own) consisted almost totally of gentlemen from the City of London who not only gave their wages over to the Imperial War Fund but were willing to pay for a horse, their equipment and passage to South Africa. Apart from the 47th there was also Paget’s Horse (19th Bn.) which was recruited through gentleman’s clubs, in total over 50% of the original contingent were of middle and upper classes. This figure included many troopers who had resigned a county Yeomanry commission, they were so desperate to get involved in the conflict. A typical example of the kind of infectious enthusiasm of this group of men was demonstrated by the South Notts. Hussars:-

“”On the morning of Christmas Eve 1899, a notice was to be found in conspicuous places in Nottingham. It was from the War Office and it invited members of the Yeomanry to enrol in the forces required as the result of the hostilities declared in October '99 by the Transvaal Republic, later to be assisted by the Orange Free State.

The proclamation was under the hands of the commanders of the Sherwood Rangers, the South Notts. Hussars, the Yorkshire Hussars and the Yorkshire Dragoons. Such was their willingness to join the cause Col. Rolleston and his men, (and in 24 hours there were to be 160 volunteers, including 9 commissioned officers) were mobilised on the 4th January 1900 and 25 days later they were off to Cape Town, sailing on the troopship, SS Winifredian.

The 3rd Regiment of Imperial Yeomanry amounted to four squadrons or companies and the South Notts. Hussars' contingent became ‘12' Squadron (title numbers were not consecutive). Colonel Lancelot Rolleston was its 'Captain' and Captain R.L. Birkin was his 'Lieutenant’. Among the N.C.O.s and men in the Nominal Roll are the names of 'Corporal' H.L Birkin and ‘Trooper' T.P Barber. Both S.N.H. Officers, they had surrendered their commissions to join the 'party'. “”

Standards of troops raised in this manner tended to vary considerably. The laid down regulations of men being able to both ride and shoot proficiently was prone to a certain ‘slippage’ in some companies. This meant that some men arriving in South Africa had minimum horsemanship skills. Sadly even more of the men were poor marksmen, a fact that some of them would not live to regret. Thankfully a lot of the companies were held up at the Cape for long periods awaiting transport up country which gave them time for much needed training and acclimatization.

Eventually a force of 550 officers and 10,371 men formed the original contingent of the I.Y., made up of 20 battalions of 4 companies each, the 8th and 16th battalions being 3 companies strong. The I.Y. began to arrive in South Africa from early February of 1900 and this process continued until early April. The 17th and 18th Battalions, being part of the Rhodesia Field Force did not arrive in Africa until May when they landed at the swampy and insect ridden Mozambique town of Beira. Once in the Cape the men were sent the five miles to Maitland Camp where conditions soon proved to be quite awful. The camp was understaffed and had few facilities for the huge influx of men it was meant to deal with, for many the journey up country would be a welcome change from the cramped conditions and ennui of the Base camp.

When the Yeomanry eventually left Maitland a grand plan had been hatched to spread the various battalions around the zone of operations. Four battalions (3rd, 5th, 10th & 15th) were to head for Mafeking, ten battalions (1st, 4th, 6th,7th, 9th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th & 19th) were to serve in the Orange Free State and the 2nd Battalion were to join Sir Charles Warren in Griqualand. The 8th, 19th and 20th Battalions were to remain in the Cape Colony. This plan proved little more than a theory however as the huge demand for mobile forces meant that companies of yeoman were detached from their HQ elements for weeks at a time and some battalions never even formed as such.

The first action of the new force came on the 5th of April 1900 where elements of the 3rd and 10th Battalions engaged a rather strange force of foreign volunteers under the command of the aristocratic Frenchman Count de Villebois-Mareuil at Boshof, north west of Kimberley. By a series of tactical errors the Boer sympathizers allowed themselves to be surrounded and the Count was killed. It was a fine victory at the sad cost of 3 dead (Lieutenants C.W. Boyle and A.C. Williams, Sergeant Patrick Campbell) but the Boer would prove to be a much tougher and elusive enemy as they soon showed at Lindley later the next month.

Lindley was, in all senses of the word, a humiliation for the British. Not only did nearly an entire battalion of yeoman fall into the hands of the Boer, but the manner of their capture and the fact that the it was the 13th Battalion made matters much worse. The battalion, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Basil Spragge, had been ordered to join the 9th Division under Colvile at Kroonstad. Because of a mix up in communication (Spragge claimed he was sent a telegram, Colvile denied sending one) the battalion instead headed for the Boer held town of Lindley where the pre-warned Boers were waiting for them. On the afternoon of the 27th of May 1900 the 13th battalion rode into Lindley and were shocked to find that it was not Colvile but a large contingent of the enemy that met them. Spragge made the decision to hold his ground in a group of hills to the north west of Lindley and await help, messages were sent but the manner of the message did not contain the tone of urgency that the situation required, as such no plan to assist the battalion was put into operation until it was too late.

After choosing his ground the situation for Spragge and his battalion grew rapidly worse, they were surrounded by a far more numerous enemy who also had artillery (it arrived on the 29th under command of De Wet). By the morning of the 31st of May the situation had become almost untenable and the final outcome was sealed when the party of the 47th Company commanding a critical position surrendered. With no chance of holding out, Spragge surrendered at around half past two in the afternoon. The yeoman had lost 1 officer and 16 men killed, another 1 officer and 3 men died of wounds. The Boers captured over 400 men in total, a huge shock, not only to the yeoman but to the public back in Britain. To make matters worse the men of the 13th battalion were the Duke of Cambridge’s Own and the three Irish companies, these men symbolized the wealth and power that had been associated with this corps. The D.C.O. had been nicknamed the ‘Millionaires’ Own’ because of the number of hugely wealthy men in it’s ranks and the Irish companies contained large amounts of money and title from the landed families of Dublin and Belfast. Within a few months of arrival in South Africa the yeoman had been given both a bloody nose, sadly this was not to be it’s last.

These pitched battles were rare events for the Yeomanry who rode hundred of miles over the veldt and met the Boer at infrequent times. The yeoman formed flying columns that moved constantly from dawn to dusk with only poor rations and little chance of shelter, hardly surprising that the rate of disease and death soared and the ranks of these men were thinned constantly. The story of the I.Y. for the remainder of 1900 was of minor victories and some occasions where it’s volunteer status became all too obvious, an example of this being on the 26th of June where the 35th Company fled from a Boer attack north of Senekal. In July the I.Y. were heavily engaged in the hunting of the Boer General De Wet in an attempt to stop his fleeing into the Transvaal, they did not succeed in this, a failure for which they were to pay for at a later date.

In September 1900 word began to spread among the men about the decision to send that other volunteer unit, the City Imperial Volunteers, home. Although the C.I.V. had been in South Africa since late January the decision to return them to England caused huge resentment and disillusion among the yeoman. The constant monotonous routine of patrolling was beginning to bite deeply into the enthusiasm that had brought these men to Africa. Another cause of resentment was the policy of farm burning that had been imposed by Roberts in the Summer of 1900, work that the educated men of the yeomanry found hard to stomach. This policy was eventually stopped in November.

The morale of the men was low, men volunteered for service with the Transvaal Constabulary and other police forces to escape the monotony, regular units snapped up the ‘prime material’ of the yeoman as officers and various Government departments offered these literate men fine jobs. With these reductions and the men who perished or were medically discharged the numbers of yeoman began to fall to alarmingly low numbers. No policy had ever been agreed upon to reinforce the original contingent, as such by the end of 1900 there was barely a third of these men left serving. When General Roberts left South Africa in December 1900 he pressed for a return of the volunteer infantry companies and the original contingent of the I.Y. on the basis that if something was not done quickly, the consequences for future volunteer forces would be dire. Although the original contingent had actually signed for ‘a year or for the duration of the war’ it was decided that they had done enough and recruitment began immediately for a second and larger contingent of Imperial Yeomanry in early 1901.

The second contingent or ‘new’ yeomanry were a totally different force from that of the original. Gone were the patriotically motivated educated men, the new recruit of 1901 was likely to have much more in common with his regular soldier comrades. Generally working class and with a motivation derived from a 5 shilling a day wage (as opposed to the shilling a day in the infantry, little surprise many men transferred from the volunteer companies of infantry battalions to the I.Y.), the new yeomanry came to South Africa as very poor soldiers with none of the hard won skills of the original contingent. For a few months the small remainder of the original contingent served alongside the second, long enough for the veterans to be filled with a sense of foreboding that proved more than accurate. Eventually in June and July 1901 the veterans, bar those who had re-enlisted with the new force (including a lot of enlisted men who were commissioned) returned to England. It is amazing to note that a lot of these men ended up as officers in WW1 and such men as Corporal Shand of the Pembroke Yeomanry ended up as a C.O. of the Green Howards, gaining the V.C.. The experiences they gained in South Africa were not wasted.

The second contingent was born in haste, trained in chaos at Aldershot in January and February 1901 and a lot of the men were packed off to the war before it’s officers had even been selected. Apart from the social differences, the new I.Y. also contained a lot of married men who had been positively discouraged from joining in 1900. The Government was keen to settle the new claimed lands and offered the yeoman the chance to bring their families with them. For most, those companies that were so carefully selected by county in 1900 were now formed from any batch of recruits at Aldershot who were ready, the common bond of geography was gone. The situation in South Africa had also changed drastically, the half-hearted Boers had gone, leaving only the men determined to fight to the last. The war had become very guerilla in nature, thrust into this theatre, the yeoman found life very difficult.

If some ‘slippage’ in standards had been allowed in the original contingent, those in the new yeomanry were at times ignored. Over 700 men who had been passed fit in England were sent back from South Africa as medically unsuitable or unlikely to become efficient soldiers. At least those who proved fit had come from hard existences that if nothing else, prepared them for the harsh life on the veldt. Problems also occurred with the officer selection that was an administration disaster, it caused men to be chosen who had no experience or leadership potential. Some officers were sent straight back home after being found to be cowards, drunkards or just plain incompetent. To counter these problems the companies of yeoman were increased to 155 men (so less officers were required), officers were drafted in from other units and some of the original contingent were convinced to stay on.

The first blooding of the new force came at Vlakfontein on the 29th of May 1901, 230 yeoman of the 7th Battalion being involved. The force under Brigadier General Dixon consisted of yeoman, artillery, some Scottish Horse and some men of the Derbyshires. The rear-party, consisting of the yeoman, 100 Derbyshires and 2 guns were attacked by 500 Boers, the yeoman fled after suffering 70 casualties and left the Derbyshires and artillerymen to be shot down. Only a counter-attack, launched by the Scottish Horse and some K.O.S.B.’s saved the guns and salvaged some pride. At best the I.Y. could claim that some men had joined in the counter-attack but their reputation had already begun to suffer and questions were being raised in parliament about their suitability for this campaign.

In the same way as the original contingent, the improvement of the force became evident as they stayed in the field and by September 1901 they had improved immensely. Near Rustenburg in this month men of the 5th and 9th Battalions fought off an attack on a column which cost it 12 dead and in a hard fought engagement at Moedwil on the 30th the yeoman and Scottish Horse again gave a good account of themselves. In England, at the end of 1901, there were plans to reduce the incessant reduction of the I.Y. by wastage. Whilst a system of drafts had yet to be introduced, the authorities raised the 25th and 26th Battalions from former I.Y. soldiers, ex-regulars and men who had served in the colonies. A third contingent was also being raised as early as December to allow these new men the time for some proper training before deployment, lessons of a year ago were being learned.

The worst catastrophe of the second contingent occurred at Tweefontein on Christmas morning of 1901. The 11th Battalion were caught by De Wet in an awful position that they had been ordered to occupy. The Boers had quickly taken a position overlooking the British camp and from there they fired mercilessly into the tents of the sleeping men below. Despite attempts by various officers and S.N.C.O.’s the camp was taken and 289 yeoman were killed, wounded or taken prisoner. This was not to be the last disaster for the second contingent, a convoy was attacked and captured by De la Rey at Yzerspruit on the 25th of February 1902 which left the 5th Battalion of I.Y. with 28 dead and 34 wounded. The worst disgrace happened however near Tweebosch on the 7th of March 1902. The column under direct control of Methuen (who was wounded and captured by De la Rey) was attacked by 2000 Boers with artillery they had captured at Yzerspruit. The colonial mounted troops panicked and fled, for the most part sweeping the yeoman with them. The 86th Company had the sad distinction of fleeing 3 miles without firing a shot. The regular troops left with the convoy had no chance and the casualties were huge with 68 dead, 121 wounded and over 600 men taken prisoner.

It was for these disasters, and not the huge good work that the majority of the yeoman achieved, that the second contingent became known as ‘De Wets’ own’. There were tales of true grit and heroism within the span of the new yeomanry, including those portrayed by Taylor and Coates at Blaauwater. There were countless actions both large and small in which they performed heroically in the best traditions of the army to which they had volunteered and not all commanders had low opinions of these men.

By the signing of the peace treaty on the 31st of May 1902 the third contingent had begun to arrive, the 27th to 32nd Battalions arriving at the Cape just days prior to this event and as such ‘squeezing’ a medal which was denied to the men of the 33rd to 39th Battalions who arrived shortly afterwards. The third contingent was a better trained force which had been in barracks for months before sailing to South Africa. They stayed in the country long into 1903 to help in the stabilization process.

Though not always a success, the experiment of the I.Y. in South Africa did teach the Government and Army valuable lessons. It had showed that volunteers could serve alongside regulars with few problems, a lesson that proved vitally important just over a decade later when a new threat arose. In that conflict the problems that had arisen with the I.Y. were foreseen and a huge volunteer force left the UK to fight overseas.

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HI MATE, DON,T KNOW WHAT THE 22ND COY.I.Y. DID IN THE BOER WAR. BUT I CAN TELL YOU .THE ORIGINAL CONTINGENT OF THE 22ND WAS 125 STRONG.AND THE SECOND CONTINGENT WAS 155 STRONG. CLASPS FOR THE QSA TO THE ORIGINAL CONTINGENT WAS. CAPE COLONY,ORANGE FREE STATE,S.A.1901(70) SECOND CONTINGENT CLASPS WAS. A FEW HAS TRANSVAAL,S.A.1901 (125),S.A.1902(100) HOPE THIS MAY HELP YOU IT COME FROM MAJOR .L.L.GORDON BOOK ON BRITISH BATTLES AND MEDALS. A VERY GOOD BOOK ON MEDAL. THE 1979 EDITION IS THE BEST.

PAUL

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5000 miles with the Cheshire Yeomanry in South Africa: A series of articles compiled from letters and diaries written by officers, non-commissioned officers and men of the 21st and 22nd (Cheshire) Companies of Imperial Yeomanry, relating their experiences during the South African War in the years 1900-1901

I saw this book advertised on Amazon, but it had no price or author or anything else really, has anyone ver heard of it as it sounds just what i`m after!!!

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Guest myrddin

5,000 miles with the Cheshire Yeomanry in South Africa was a limited edition 500 print book complied by J. H. Cooke.

it contains diary extracts, letters, statstics, newspaper articles etc. all very selective.

Two copies are held by the Cheshire Military Museum, one is at the British Library and one is held in Cambridge Library.

I know this as I am writing a thesis on the Cheshire Yeomanry and would greatly appreciate any help in gathering further information - but I am on a limited timescale

its due in in three weeks

Am interested in Boer War and WWI matters, and the inter war years

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Hi M,

Many thanks for your reply. I`m awaiting some copies from the Earl of Cheshire book, about the Yeomany and the Boer War, don`t know if you`ve read that one. I intend to visit the Cheshire Mueum when I get a minute. But I think to have a go read of the 5000 Miles book, will be unpractical, but will certianly scim, threw it. Just to see on the off chance if Gleave is mentioned in it, and or to find out what the unit did whilst he was in SA with them.

Good luck with your studies.

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2754 Trp John William Gleave 22nd Cheshire Coy Imperial Yeomanry

John William Gleave, was born in St Asaph around 1882. He lived at ` Mount Pleasant` on Mount Road. He was a painter and decorator by trade, he served a 4 year apprentiship with Mr Peacock of St George.

On the 18th February 1901, John travelled to Chester and enlisted in the 22nd Cheshire Company of the Imperial Yeomanry, part of the 2nd Battalion of the Imperial Yeomanry, his age on enlistment is give as 20 years and 3 months. His papers described him as 5`4 1/4” tall, with a fresh complexion, blue eyes and dark brown hair. Religion Church of England.

On the 8th March 1901, he arrived in South Africa. Joining the 22nd on or around the11th April 1901, at Brandfort, in the Orange River Colony and continued to serve in South Africa till the 27th September 1901. John was discharged from the Army on the 23rd November 1901 at Shornecliffe Barracks as being unfit for further service.

He is entitled to the Queen’s South Africa with 3 clasps, Cape Colony, Orange Free State and South Africa 1901.

John died aged 56 years of age, on the 30th December 1938 and is buried in Mount Road Cemetery, along with his Wife Hannah Gleaves aged 61 10th May 1941, and son John William Gleaves aged 66, 30th January 1980.

The first soldiers of the Cheshire Yeomanry arrived in South Africa on the 25th February 1900, landing at Cape Town. However, from the Units history and Gleave`s service papers, I have pieced his involvement in the campaign as thus…….

On or about the 8th March 1901, Trp Gleave arrived in Cape Town, South Africa. Arriving along with 12,000 other Yeomen, to act as replacements for the Yeoman already serving in the campaign. The Yeoman who had been serving since 25th Feb 1900, had become disillusioned with the war and the glamour of it all had long since faded into the background. England seemed far more preferable to marching in the Karoo desert.

While the 22nd was resting at Brandfort, on the 11th April 1901, they were joined by a draft of 27 men under Lt Price. All the men cam from Cheshire ( I assume that Gleave, was one of these men, as the only other replacements to arrive at this time, were 48 men all from London).

On the 22nd April, the 22nd Coy, left Brandfort to begin their last operation in South Africa, they were accompanied by the new arrivals. They were given the job, of clearing all the farms in the area of Winburg, Senekal and Vaal Kop. It was no easy task as there where many Boers in the vicinity. The Boers were now beginning to feel the effects of the removal of their sources of supply and their efforts to interfere with the British Operations, became more determined each week. The policy in the area was always to remove the occupants to a refugee camp (the first concentration camps), and never leave anyone on a farm.

In spite of frequent contact with the Boers, the Company survived the next 18 days without casualties. Then on the morning of the 10th May they arrived at Virginia Sidings. The Cheshire Yeomanry`s operations in South Africa were over. Gleave continued to serve in South Africa, until September, I have been unable to ascertain details of this part of his service. But I can confirm that his health failed, as was so often the case in the war, more soldiers died of sickness and disease, than by enemy action. He returned to England and was discharged at Shorncliffe in the November. He then returned to St Asaph.

This is were my research ends, except to say that he died and was buried in St Asaph, in 1932. If anyone has any additional details, I’d very much like to hear them. I have as yet, not been able to find a picture of Gleave, but again, if anyone has one, I’d very much like to see it.

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There is not a lot written about the activities of the 22nd Co but they did form part of Col Thorneycroft’s column that took part in the operations in the Free State in May-June 1901. Here they watched the line of outposts on the Modder River during one of General Bruce Hamilton’s drives where they cleared the South-western part of the Free State. Later they were also involved in similar drive in the North-western Free State and in the Western Transvaal.

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The operations in the North-Western Free State took place in the winter of 1901. (That is if he was still part of Thorne croft’s column)They were employed along the Fauresmith -Edenburg Road once again during one of Bruce Hamilton's operations. Their duty as Amery puts it was " to raid and ravage from their several centres and as far as possible to push into the 'corral ' all the Boers in the area" By the time Thorneycroft's column had moved to the North-Eastern Free State and Western Transvaal Gleave had already left for home

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Information has come to light, that Gleave may have served in the Great War, can anyone confirm this for me. Would his service papers for this period be linked to his Boer War papers or would they have been seperate?

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Am please to add this medal to my collection, further research details to follow.

171. Q.S.A. 1 Bar Cape Colony. Pte. G. Whitlegg. 22nd Coy. 2nd Imp. Yeo. Died of enteric fever on

12-12-1900 at Maitland.

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Hi Gordon,

I have just received a dealer's list with quite a few QSA's to the 22nd Company, Imperial Yeomanry.

Send me a PM and I will provide you with further details.

Ian.

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This maybe of interest to someone. I`ve turned up a bit of information which shines a lot of light on the alleged errors on the nominal rolls mentioned above. I have discovered that there were in fact 2 J Gleave`s who served in the 22nd.........

WINSFORD MEN WHO SERVED AS VOLUNTEERS

AND SURVIVED

J K COOKE

H H HEATLEY . .

F W HOPLEY

J GLEAVE

H P RIGBY

R STUBBS

R WHITLOW

So the J Gleave on the nominal roll is in fact from Winsford and not J W Gleave from St Asaph. So his Regimental number is also correct. I can only assume that the nominal rolls I have are for the orignal companys that went to South Africa. All the replacements who came later, do not appear. This would also make sense given the part of the medal roll I have for the 22, which lists several names, that don`t appear on the nominal rolls, I have.

So there we have it mystery solved, it just goes to show that you should never take anything on face value when researching your medals!!!!!

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Over a hundred years ago Great Britain was at war in South Africa with the Republics of the Trasvaal and the Orange Free State. This conflict, which lasted some two and a half years, involved 450,000 British and Colonial troops of whom 22,000 died, mainly from disease. It was also known as 'The last of the gentleman's wars'.

In Cheshire there was in existence the Earl of Chester's Yeomanry Cavalry which had been raised in 1797 but a committee was formed to raise two companies for the new Force for the war in South Africa, with the Republics of the Trasvaal and the Orange Free State.

An Equipment Fund for both the Yeomanry and the Volunteers raised ?6,732.0.9d by subscription; of this ?5,142.6.0d. was allocated to the Yeomanry.

On December 28th John Henry Cooke, Recorder of Over (Winsford) and Acting Hon. Sec. of the Committee gave a banquet in the gymnasium of Verdin Technical Schools, Winsford, for the men of 'E' Company, 3rd. Volunteer Battalion, 22nd. (Cheshire) Regiment. This gathering was addressed by Captain O. Mosley Leigh, Earl of Chester's Yeomanry Cavalry, who called for volunteers to join the new Yeomanry companies.

Enrolment was to be at Chester on January 10th,1900.On 25 and 26 January both Companies were entertained at dinners in Northwich and Chester, whilst on Monday 29 January a Farewell Service for them was held at Chester Cathedral. The next day, to a rousing send-off, they left Chester by train for Liverpool where, with other troops destined for the War, they embarked on the S.S. 'Lake Erie'. The officers of the 21st and the whole of the 22nd took their horses with them and these formed part of the total of 400 horses carried of the ship. Once again, an enthusiastic crowd had gathered to bid farewell to the troops.

During the voyage the days were occupied with rifle practise, drill - subject to the weather - and fatigues. Concerts and boxing tournaments were held in the evenings. Trooper W Lambourne, 22nd, from Northwich won the light-weight prizes at these contests. Trooper H J Cramer Roberts, whose previous occupation was given as 'gentleman', was attached to the ship's hospital as he has had previous experience of such work in Labrador, Canada. The ship reached Table Bay on February 25 and on the next day the troops disembarked at Cape Town, arriving at Maitland Camp a short distance from the town about 7.00pm.

From this camp the two Companies went their separate ways; the 21st to Naauw Poort to collect horses and the 22nd, with their horses, by train to De Aar. Theirs was to be a war of mobile columns pursuing an elusive enemy; of dull garrison duty in small towns; of patrolling and reconnaissance; of clearing Boer settlements and driving off cattle. Torrential rain, sandstorms and shortage of food were commonplace.

Men often had to sleep in wet clothing and the nights couls be bitterly cold. Dysentery and enteric fever were rife. Small wonder that men, fresh from England, quickly succumbed to disease from which more men were to die than were to be killed by the enemy.

The Companies were intended to form part of the mobile columns which were sweeping the country or to provide garrisons for small towns and river crossings. From these garrisons patrols were made into the country. A typical patrol was that undertaken by Captain Daniel, Lieutenant Massey and 24 men of the 22nd Company from Drachoender. In six days they travelled one hundred miles and collected two prisoners, eleven horses and one thousand sheep and goats. One task of the mobile columns was to deny food and shelter to the enemy. This was done by driving in the livestock from the Boer settlements and making the homesteads uninhabitable.

Usually the occupants were given an hour in which to remove their belongings and leave. The oven, which usually protruded beyond the wall of the house, was then broken making it unserviceable. In some cases the buildings themselves were destroyed. The livestock was taken away with the column.

The Cape Mounted Police, anxious to gain men for the Force, sent recruiting officers to the townships. As the daily pay of a Police trooper was seven shillings compared with the one shilling and fivepence of the Yeoman it is not surprising that during August and September, 1900, sixty one men, with their horses, from the two Companies joined the Police. Some may have seen the chance of a break from the boredom. Trooper J. Kelly, 21st Company, was one of those who joined the C M P. In his Diary he describes an action near Hoopstaad, Orange River Colony, on October 23 when he was part of the rear-guard of the Column which was attacked by Boers. Kelly and twenty-one others, horses dead and ammunition expended, were taken prisoner.

However, before Christmas they had been released near the British-held town of Christiana. The prisoners had not been ill-treated by their captors who had shared their provisions with them. No doubt those provisions had been captured from the British in the first place. Before the end of the year the ex-prisoners were back in action against their former captors.

Disillusionment set in amonst the troops. Drafts to replace casualties and to strengthen the Imperial Yeomanry companies arrived from time to time and by March, 1901 troops were arriving in such numbers as to enable those from the original contingents, who so wished, to return home. Not all did so. Captain Rennie and Lieutenant and Hon R Grosvenor remained behind to train the new Companies.

Those who remained were not forgotten by the people at home. W Bowers, a Nantwich man, left the 22nd Company and joined the 18th Battalion, Imoperial Yeomanry, as Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant. In April, 1902, whilst with a Column which included both Cheshire Companies, as they had been re-titled, he was in the railway warehouse at Bloemfontein when he discovered a crate addressed to the Officers of the 21st and 22nd Companies, Imperial Yeomanry.

On being opened, as well as foodstuffs, it was found to contain socks, mufflers and mittens bearing labels with the inscription 'God bless you and preserve you.From Winsford, Cheshire.'

The men who had elected to return home handed over their horses and travelled by train to Cape Town from where, on May 15 1901, they sailed on the Union Castle liner 'Tintagel Castle'. Reaching Southampton on June 16, they entrained for Chester and arrived at the General Station at 7.25am on next day.

Taken by transport to the Drill Hall the men went to various hotels in the City for breakfast after which they returned to the Drill Hall. From there, headed by the Bank of the Earl of Chester's Rifles, the contingent marched to the Town Hall where they formed up in two ranks. Behind them, mounted on their horses, were two ranks of the Earl of Chester's Yeomanry Cavalry. At the rear was a detachment of the Earl of Chester's Rifles with their Band. Of the original contingent Captains W Daniel and Sylvanus Reynolds, Lieutenant H C Beaumont, Lieutenant Docter J B Clarke and 96 Other Ranks were on parade.

The Yeoman were welcomed by the Major of Chester, Colonel H T Brown, who was thanked on their behalf by Captain Daniel. There followed a Luncheon in the Town Hall after which the two Companies were disbanded.

Although the war was still in progress, King Edward VII, on July 26 1901, presented medals to representatives from each of the eighty Imperial Yeomanry Companies which had served in South Africa. Eighty five Officers and Men from the Cheshire Companies were present at the ceremony on Horse Guards Parade, London.

Afterwards they were entertained to luncheon at the Tivoli Restaurant by the Earl of Harrington. For those unable to attend Horse Guards Parade there was a presentation ceremony at Chester Town Hall on September 7 at which they received their medals from Lord Egerton, Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire. The next of kin received medals on behalf of those who had died.

The war ended on May 31, 1902, and in August of that year the Cheshire Companies returned home. In addition to the casualties the war had cost Britain ?22 million. From it came much needed Army reforms as a result of which the British Expeditionary Force was, in 1914, to astound the German Army with its firepower and fieldcraft.

On January 14 1905, a Memorial Plague to those of the Cheshire Companies who had lost their lives in the War was unveiled in the north transept of Chester Cathedral. It bears the names of two officers and fourteen men, all of whom joined as troopers. Of these only four were killed or died of wounds; disease accounted for the others.

J W Broadbent joined the 22nd Company in January, 1900 but in 1901 took a commission in the 29th (Denbighshire) Company. On November 24, of that year he was in command of the advance guard of a Mobile Column when it came in contact with a party of Boers. Lieutenant Broadbent was leading his men in a mounted charge against when he was shot through the head, dying instantly. He was 30 years old.

C E Huskisson, a cycle maker before he joined the 21st Company, joined the Cape Mounted Police in September, 1900. He died two days later.

Percy J. Preston, whose father lived at Hill Top Farm, near Budworth, was one of the original members of the 22nd Company. On March 10 1901, he was mortally wounded by a sniper near Springfontein, dying in hopsital nine days later. His name also appeared on a Memorial Plaque in the Victoria Infirmary in Northwich.

H Thornton, 21st Company, also joined the Cape Mounted Police. He was killed in the action near Hoopstead on October 23 1900, in which Trooper Kelly was taken prisoner.

Of the remainder George Bradshaw, shoeing smith of the 21st Company, died aged 20, of enteric fever at Drachoender on March 31 1900.

T William Lister, 22nd Company, was an international water polo player and Captain of the Manchester Osborne Swimming Club. He was said to be one of the fastest sprint swimmers in England. He, too died, of enteric fever at Prieska on July 27 1900. Enteric fever also accounted for Troopers J J White, 21st Company, E P Pritchard and D Whitelegge, both 22nd Company, who all died before the year was out.

Henry Justice Cramer-Roberts, 21st Company, who had assisted in the ship's hospital on board 'Lake Erie', awoke one night to find that he had been sleeping in rain water due to a heavy storm. This brought about rheumatic fever which, when the dry weather came, was followed by sunstroke. Although admitted to hospital at Deelfontein he died, aged 21 on April21 1900. G F Fox, son of a Colwyn Bay Family, went out with the first draft of the 21st Company and arrived in Cape Town on May 5 1900. Too ill to leave with his comrades for Upington he died in Cape Town some ten days later.

Harold H. Schwabe, a Manchester solicitor whose parents lived in Knutsford, joined the 22nd Company in January 1900. Later commissioned Lieutenant within the Company he died of disease in Johannesburg on April 26 1901.

E.Hodson, son of Mr & Mrs George Hodson, Marsh Farm, Nantwich, joined the 22nd Company at Drachoender in May 1900. Almost twelve months later he died of dysentery at Thabanchu.

Arthur A Carrick, 22nd Company, was the son of Alfred and Mary Ann Carrick of 4 Willowbank, Meadowbank, Winsford. Educated at the Meadowbank Board School he was in the first contingent which arrived at Cape Town on February 26 1900. He died, aged 19, of pericarditis in hospital at Drachoender on May 14. Fred W Davies was another who quickly succumbed to disease. He died, aged 27, on June 15 1900 less than four months after his arrival in South Africa. His name, too appeared on the plaque in the Victoria Infirmary in Northwich.

Of H. Hough little is known, other than he was in a draft for the 21st Company, joining it at Brandfort and dying there in 1901.

One name is missing from the Memorial Plaque in Chester Cathedral is Trooper G. F. Brundrit, whose parents lived at Bucklow Hill. He joined the 22nd Company in January 1900 and went out with the first contingent. In the summer of that year he was invalided home after contracting enteric fever. On his recovery he returned to South Africa and became a sergeant in a Company of the 10th Battalion, Imperial Yeomanry. Sadly, he again contracted enteric fever from which he died, in Johannesburg on January 6 1902.

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1789 Pte George Whitelegg 22nd Cheshire Coy Imperial Yeomanry

George Whitelegg, born in the parish of Warburton, near the town of Lyme Cheshire. Enlisted at Chester on the 10th January 1900. Aged 23 years and 3 months (?born 1877). Occupation farmer. Medically examined at Northwich on the 3rd Jan 1900, and declared fit for service. Rank given as Private. Next of kin Father Thomas Whitelegg Barns Lane Farm, Warburton near Warrington. Service details, Home 10th Jan 1900 to 29th Jan 1900 (20 days) South Africa 30th Jan 1900 to 12th December 1900 (317 days). On the 24th June 1900, whilst at Drachoender his horse fell over and rolled over him, but he remained on duty with the Company. He also appears in the 1897 nominal roll for C Sqn (Ardley & Bostock Troop) Cheshire Yeomanry.

Died on enteric fever on the 12th December 1900 at Maitland Hospital.

Name recorded on the Cheshire Yeomanry Memorial in Chester Cathedral.

Death recorded in the book South Africa Casualty roll. Pages 558, 606 & 614 of the book The Cheshire (Earl of Chester’s) Yeomanry by Lt Col Richard Verdin OBE TD. Also page 282 of the book The Earl of Chester’s Yeomanry 1797-1897. Also pages 31 and 73 of the book 5000 miles with the Cheshire yeomanry in south Africa by John H Cooke.

Edited by bigjarofwasps

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1793 Pte Charles Owen 22nd Company Imperial Yeomanry

Born 1871 Moss Side Manchester.

Son of Mrs Martha Owen, 4 Leamington Ave, Didsbury, Manchester.

Trade Joiner

Previous service in the Lancashire Fusiliers Volunteers.

Medical examination same day at Northwich, fit for service.

Attested at Chester on the 10th January 1900. Aged 20. To South Africa on the 30th January 1900 (20 days service), till 17th Jun 1901 (1 year 139 days).

War gratuity of ?5 paid on the 14th August 1901.

Discharged on the 17th June 1901, Chester. 21 years and 5 months old. 5` 5 1/2”

Tall. Complexion fair hair brown. Intended address 8 Leopold Ave, West Didsbury, Manchester. Conduct Good.

Owen was presented with his medal by King Edward V11, at the Yeomanry Parade in London. On the 26th July 1901.

Medal entitlement CC,OFS & 1901. Medal has these clasps, but 01 bar loose on ribbon. Confirmed on medal roll.

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1735 Pte John Hope 22nd Company Imperial Yeomanry

Born at Marthall, Knutsford Cheshire, in 1875.

Son of Mrs Hope of Ollerton, near Knutsford. His profession is given as farmer

Appears on nominal roll for B Troop A (Tatton) Sqn in 1897. Possibly as early as 1894.

He had his medical on the 30th Dec 1899, at Knutsford, by the MO of the 3rd V B Cheshire Regt. Height 5` 11”. Chest 34” to 35”. Complexion dark, eyes hazel, hair dark. Religion C of E. Fit for duty. Marital status single.

Enlisted on the 10th January 1900 at Chester, aged 24 years and 10 months.

Serving 20 days before going to South Africa. Left for South Africa 30th Jan 1900 (167 days). Served till 15th July 1900, then returned home, serving at home till 12th Oct 1900 (89 days).

His service papers say wounded in left knee, he also suffered with rheumatism and a back injury. He was paid War Gratuity under AO no.5 of 1901 as a Pte.

Seen by an MO at Avondale Castle on the 16th July 1900, and again at Netley on the 5th August 1900, were he was treated for rheumatism, but considered recovered and fit for duty.

Medal entitlement given as Cape Colony only, but his medal has clasps CC,OFS & 1901 (appears as would have been issued), a clerical error maybe?

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George Thompson 22nd Company Imperial Yeomanry

Born in Wigan Lancashire in 1877.

Son of Mr George Thompson, Timperley Hall Farm, Timperley, near Altrincham

Profession farmer

Medical at Northwich on the 6th Jan 1900, fit for service. Attested at Chester on the 10th January 1900, aged 22 and 6 months. To South Africa 30th January 1900(20 days). Served, till 17th June 1901 (1 year 159 days). Discharged at Chester 17th June 1901. War gratuity of ?5 paid on the 14th August 1901.

Medal entitlement CC, OFS &1901. (medal is missing 1901 clasp).

Listed as subscriber in the 5,000 miles with the Cheshire Yeomanry by J H Cooke.

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25896 Trp Harry Kilby 21st Coy Cheshire Yeomanry

Born In Twickenham Middlesex.

Enlisted aged 21, at the Pall Mall Deposit Carlton Street London on the 24th Jan 1901 Height 5` 81/2” Weight 153 LBS Attested 1st Feb 1901, Carlton Street. Next of kin Father address unreadable, but was somewhere in Twickenham

Discharged 9th Nov 1901, at Gosport Elandsfortein, as being no longer fit for service. Character given as very good. Finally discharged from the Colours 15th May 1902.

Service 1st Feb 1901 9th March 1901 Home

South Africa 10th March 1901 to 17th Oct 1901

Home 18th Oct 1901 to 9th November 1901

Complexion Dark Eyes Dark Hair Brown

Previous Occupation Fitter

Previous military service in the 2nd Middlesex Rifle Volunteers.

Entitled to the QSA Medal clasp CC,OFS,1901.

“During the course of operations in South Africa the column was joined at Smalldeel on the 11th of April by some new `Yeoman`. So far as the Cheshire Companies were concerned their allotment was 48 men nearly all of whom had been recruited from the heart of London. Their experience of riding was mainly confined to donkeys at some seaside resort and during the first days history relates that there was seldom more than three quarters of them in the saddle at the same time.”

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1735 Pte John Hope 22nd Company Imperial Yeomanry

Born at Marthall, Knutsford Cheshire, in 1875.

Son of Mrs Hope of Ollerton, near Knutsford. His profession is given as farmer

Appears on nominal roll for B Troop A (Tatton) Sqn in 1897. Possibly as early as 1894.

He had his medical on the 30th Dec 1899, at Knutsford, by the MO of the 3rd V B Cheshire Regt. Height 5` 11?. Chest 34? to 35?. Complexion dark, eyes hazel, hair dark. Religion C of E. Fit for duty. Marital status single.

Enlisted on the 10th January 1900 at Chester, aged 24 years and 10 months.

Serving 20 days before going to South Africa. Left for South Africa 30th Jan 1900 (167 days). Served till 15th July 1900, then returned home, serving at home till 12th Oct 1900 (89 days).

His service papers say wounded in left knee, he also suffered with rheumatism and a back injury. He was paid War Gratuity under AO no.5 of 1901 as a Pte.

Seen by an MO at Avondale Castle on the 16th July 1900, and again at Netley on the 5th August 1900, were he was treated for rheumatism, but considered recovered and fit for duty.

Medal entitlement given as Cape Colony only, but his medal has clasps CC,OFS & 1901 (appears as would have been issued), a clerical error maybe?

Searching the web I found the above entry this is my Grandfather once I manage to master the system I will try to send a photo of him Before ? he went to South Africa, I also have 3 or 4 letters sent to him in South Africa from his Mother and Sisters

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My cousin and I are looking for any information on F.T. Allen, who we believe is her grandfather and my great uncle, Frederick Thomas Allen (1877-1951), born in Church Street, Runcorn. According to http://www.angloboerwar.com/unit-information/imperial-yeomanry-by-company/2296-21st-company-2nd-battalion, F.T. enlisted as a trooper, No. 29918, in the 21st Company (Cheshire), 2nd Battalion, Imperial Yeomanry. Whether this was in January 1900, when most of the coy. was raised, we do not know. The first contingent of the 21st arrived in South Africa 25 February 1900.

FT was awarded The Queen’s South Africa (QSA) Medal with clasps for Cape Colony, the Orange Free State, and the Transvaal, South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902. I guess this means he was involved in relieving Ladysmith, Kimberley and Mafeking - and presumably Johannesburg and Pretoria. Action in Cape Colony was between 11 October 1899 and 31 May 1902; in the Orange Free State between 28 February 1900 and 31 May 1902; and in the Transvaal, 24 May 1900-31 May 1902.

He was discharged as "medically unfit" on 4 April 1902, which likely means that he was also involved in the guerrilla war after the war "ended".

We are trying to fill in more detail of where the 21st went during the Boer War and in which actions the unit was involved. If anyone has some details, including any on FT, I would very much appreciate receiving them.

Many thanks

Best wishes

John

Edited by johneowens

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HI MATE, DON,T KNOW WHAT THE 22ND COY.I.Y. DID IN THE BOER WAR. BUT I CAN TELL YOU .THE ORIGINAL CONTINGENT OF THE 22ND WAS 125 STRONG.AND THE SECOND CONTINGENT WAS 155 STRONG. CLASPS FOR THE QSA TO THE ORIGINAL CONTINGENT WAS. CAPE COLONY,ORANGE FREE STATE,S.A.1901(70) SECOND CONTINGENT CLASPS WAS. A FEW HAS TRANSVAAL,S.A.1901 (125),S.A.1902(100) HOPE THIS MAY HELP YOU IT COME FROM MAJOR .L.L.GORDON BOOK ON BRITISH BATTLES AND MEDALS. A VERY GOOD BOOK ON MEDAL. THE 1979 EDITION IS THE BEST.

PAUL

Paul

Could you please clarify re. 22nd Cheshire Yeomanry. Are you saying that someone who received a Transvaal clasp could only have been in the second contingent of IY (1901-02)?

My great uncle was in the 21st and received The Queen’s South Africa Medal with Clasps: Cape Colony Orange Free State, Transvaal, South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902.

Does this mean he was NOT in the first contingent? And must have been in the second? I had assumed he was in the 1st and stayed on with the second. He came from Cheshire and was in the Cheshire Yeomanry.

Many thanks

John

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