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Help with information about 20th Hussars 1908-14 including Ypres

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Hello!

I am trying to find out more about my great grandfather, Herbert Hallett (pictured in my profile). He was in the 20th hussars and died in the first battle of Ypres in Oct 1914. I'm not sure exactly when he joined, born in 1880, his wedding certificate of 1908 lists him as a railway labourer by profession. On the back of the certificate however is a 'stamp' from (Cavalry Records Hussars York for the date of 5 May 1909), would this indicate the date he joined the regiment? Also, his marriage certificate states that he lives in Brighton, older relatives of mine think he met his wife whilst stationed at Lewes road barracks? Does this link with the 20th hussars at all?

Help!

Does anyone have any group photographs of 20th hussars from this period?

Thanks

I also have another photograph of him in uniform, with the marking of 'Caire, Egypt' at the bottom (attached) when would this have been taken? Is he wearing medals? If so what would they be for?

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Good Morning.......

He is listed as serving in the Boer War.....

Therefore the medal......

Hallett, H., 4649, Private, 20th Hussars, Orange Free State,Transvaal, South Africa 1901,South Africa 1902.

Mike

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Hi Mike,

Well I must say a big thanks and I am very suprised by that news! How did you find out, is there anywhere I can see this evidence? This is a real development, can you shed any light on why he would have put 'railway labourer' as his profession on a wedding certificate?

Thanks

Adrian (Great grandson)

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Hi Mike,

Well I must say a big thanks and I am very suprised by that news! How did you find out, is there anywhere I can see this evidence? This is a real development, can you shed any light on why he would have put 'railway labourer' as his profession on a wedding certificate?

Thanks

Adrian (Great grandson)

Hello Adrian.....

The medal ribbon looked like a Queen's South Africa Medal so I looked him up on a list of Cavalry Members who served in South Africa...... There was only one H. Hallett and he served in the 20th Hussars....... I took an educated guess, which you have to sometimes..... In those days you enlisted for 15 years, you served 8 years with the colours and 7 years in the reserves...... If he enlisted in 1899 or 1900 the date on his wedding certificate would have been about the time he was being discharged..... Maybe that was the job he was going to....... Also since he would have still been in the reserves he would have been called up for active duty with his old regiment for World War One......

Mike

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Hi Mike,

Once again, many thanks for that. I like the sound of that, it works with the dates and would explain it I think. So fascinating, I've discovered so much about him today, it's really bringing him to life as it were. Do you know where I could find out what activities he may have been involved with as a hussar in the Boer war, did the 20th see a lot of action? what were conditions like for them?

Thanks

Adrian

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Adrian......

I did make one error that should have been 12 years worth of service 7 years with the colours and 5 in reserves......

Boer War Service: 20th Hussars.....

The regiment sailed from Bombay, and arrived at Durban in December 1901. Along with the 3rd Hussars they were brigaded under Colonel Nixon, and took part in the work in the extreme northeast of the Orange River Colony during the final drives.

Both regiments of Colonel Nixon's brigade were frequently engaged with the enemy, and their work has been very briefly referred to under the 3rd Hussars.

One non-commissioned officer gained mention in despatches by Lord Kitchener during the war, and in his final despatch he mentioned 4 officers and 4 non-commissioned officers.

3rd Hussars.....

The regiment sailed from India, and arrived at Durban in December 1901. After being stationed in the Newcastle district for a short time, they and the 20th Hussars were brigaded under Colonel Nixon, and were employed in the last great drives, chiefly in the extreme north-east of the Orange River Colony, when many of the enemy were taken. This column was responsible for many of these captures, and in Lord Kitchener's despatch of 8th April 1902 he mentioned that "Colonel Nixon reported the discovery of three Krupp field guns which were found hidden in the bed of a tributary of Liebensberg's Vlei". Dealing with an earlier drive, Lord Kitchener stated that Colonel Nixon had on the night of 26th February 1902 "successfully repulsed an attack by a large number of the enemy upon the line of the Cornelius River".

Mike

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Thanks again for this excellent information Mike. The Boer war stuff is great!

At what age did people generally join up? Herbert Hallett was born in 1880, I'm trying to do the maths with the 12 year service and the End of the Boer war and start of WW1.

Cheers

Adrian

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Adrian

Generally speaking, one had to be 16 to join the British Army - I don't recall when the rule requiring parental permission if under 18 came in, but not for your man's period I don't think. Earlier enlistments did occur but usually the recruiter had some reason to wink at a younger boy who claimed to be 16 - happened most often during war or when recruits were in short supply.

Many young men worked for a few years and then, especially if they were not trained/apprenticed to a trade, took the queen's shilling for better prospects or adventure. A man who listed 'labourer' as his profession on discharge might well have fit that description: little education, work as a low paid labourer or no work at all might tempt a man into the army. BTW, in the early part of the century [1800-1820] 'labourer' was the catch all term for any recruit who had no occupation or listed no occupation upon enlistment. Occasionally it was changed in the records later but very likely that's what Hallam's enlistment papers said, so a logical thing to say of himself on leaving.

Interesting query! Thanks for giving us a chance to show our stuff! :sleep:

Peter

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Following on from this, I am also trying to research my Grandfathers military service. Alfred Ernest Osborn[e] was born in 1889 but in the 19O1 census was claiming to be 14; in the 1911 census he is described as an Army Pensioner and Roadman. He married in Essex in19O8 but a story in the family is that he contracted some sort of 'sleeping sickness' in India in 19O9 and was nearly buried until somebody noticed him move. I have a photo of him, my Nan and two eldest aunties [born 191O and 1912] which would date this to early to mid 1914. He is in uniform and the cap badge is clearly that of the 2Oth Hussars. Can I assume that this would have been his earlier Regiment? In other WW1 photos I have he is in the Royal Engineers.

If anyone can shed any light on this it would really help.

Thanks Steve.

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Hello , my great great grandad Arthur harvey howes from cheltenham  was a calvary  20th hussar 1st battalion from 1914 to 1918 where he died in ypres 2,5,1918   his regiment numbers were 31227  4688 I am trying to find anything I can on him, a regiment photograph or general information , could anyone help with this ? kind regards Neil 

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