Jump to content
Gentleman's Military Interest Club


Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

QSA 1899-1902 with clasps for:  Cape colony, Wepener, Transvaal and  Wittebergen officially named to: 376 Trooper D. (Daniel)  Ballock, Brabant's Horse.  He was captured and taken PoW at Browns farm 7-2-1900.   After his release, he continued to serve and was eventually discharged on 19 February, 1901.   He has served previously as a trooper (223) and later as a corporal (1673) in Scott's Railway Guards.  He served in the 1st Brabant's Horse.  His QSA is verified on the medal rolls and he was also awarded a KSA with two clasps.  If anyone knows the where abouts of the KSA, please contact me as I'd like to reunite the pair. 

The clasp inscribed “Wepener" was granted to all troops engaged in the defence of that place between April 9th, 1900 and April 25th, 1900, both days inclusive.

The clasp inscribed "Wittebergen" was granted to all troops who were inside a line drawn from Harrismith to Bethlehem, and from Senekal and Clocolan, along the Basuto border, and back to Harrismith, between July 1st and 29th, 1900, both dates inclusive.

There were some 2,050 Wepener clasps issued. Due to the subsequent movement of troops between units, there was a wide range of primarily South African units to which the clasp was ultimately issues.  This list shows the approximate number of clasps issue by unit.

Cape Mounted Rifles - 513
2nd Brabant's Horse - 473
Kaffrarian Rifles - 422

1st Brabant's Horse - 392
Royal Scots - 83
Driscoll's Scouts - 78
South African Constabulary - 25
Royal Engineers    - 11
Prince of Wales Light Horse - 9
KFS, 2nd - 8
Scottish Horse, 1st Battalion - 7
Prince Alfred’s Own Volunteer Guard - 5
Johannesburg Mounted Rifles - 3
Royal Garrison Artillery - 3
Imperial Light Horse, 2nd Battalion - 2
Scottish Horse, 2nd Battalion - 2
Imperial Light Horse, 1st Battalion    1
Cape Medical Staff Corps - 1
Lancashire Fusiliers    1
7th Hussars    1


Brabant's Horse from Steven's The Complete History of the War

This corps was raised and took the field in the Queenstown-Dordrecht district. Major Pollock in his volume frequently refers to them in appreciative terms. On 28th November he visited their camp and saw them at drill and musketry. "The progress already made quite astonished me ... Poor De Montmorency was then adjutant, and judging by the results, both he and his predecessor, Collins of the Berkshire, had a great deal to be proud of. The shooting on the range was very good". These facts are noted to show how quickly the volunteer and irregular troops got into fighting trim. The regiment was very soon sent to hold various posts, and when General Gatacre went out to attack Stormberg, on the night of 9th December, 160 of Brabant's were intended to join the attacking force from Penhoek, but it will be remembered the telegram was not delivered. The detachment under De Montmorency did arrive at Molteno on the afternoon of the 10th, and scouted back on the line of the British retreat.

On 22nd and 23rd December De Montmorency and his men had skirmishes near Dordrecht, in which they got the better of the enemy, who had the stronger force. About this time Captain De Montmorency raised his body of scouts, all picked men, who did some very fine work. On the 28th, with some of his own scouts and some of Brabant's Horse, he was out near Dordrecht, but little was to be seen of the enemy. On the 30th, however, there was quite a stiff little fight, in which a party of the Frontier Mounted Rifles was cut off and only rescued the following day (see Cape Mounted Rifles). Captain Flanagan's company of Brabant's was said to have done very well. The corps did an immense amount of patrol work throughout January, and Captain Flanagan's company were the first troops in the Queenstown district to gain touch with the Vlth Division, then approaching the Stormberg country from Cape Town via Thebus.

Lord Roberts had in January announced the appointment of Brigadier General Brabant as Commander of the Colonial Division, which included the two regiments of this corps, and under that general they did excellent work in the clearing of the north-east of Cape Colony. In the fighting about Dordrecht, in the second half of February 1900, the corps took a very prominent part and were several times very heavily engaged. In Lord Roberts' telegram of 18th February he mentioned that Brabant "had attacked Boer position on 16th. He gradually closed in on laager during the day. Fighting lasted from 9 am till dusk. At midnight Captain Flanagan, 1st Brabant's Horse, attacked and took laager at the point of the bayonet, capturing the stores". Captain Crallen and Lieutenant Chandler and 4 non-commissioned officers and men were killed, and 5 non-commissioned officers and men wounded. On 5th March there was again severe fighting near Dordrecht, in which the Cape Mounted Rifles bore the heaviest share of the losses. At Aliwal North, on the 11th, Brabant's Horse had 3 killed and 6 wounded.

A second regiment having been raised in December, Lieutenant Colonel H M Grenfell, 1st Life Guards, was appointed to command it, and when Colonel Dalgety was besieged in Wepener (see Cape Mounted Rifles), the first and a portion of the second regiment were with him, their strength being respectively 345 and 459. One squadron of Brabant's Horse took part in the relief of Wepener. During the siege Lieutenant Thurston and 4 men were killed, and 5 officers— Surgeon Captain Perkins, Lieutenants W E Holford, Turner, and Duncan, and Quartermaster Williams— and about 30 men were wounded.

In the advance northwards, and in the operations preparatory to the surrounding of Prinsloo, the corps was very frequently engaged. In the Hammonia district they had an immense amount of difficult scouting, and several times, in the latter half of May and in June, they had encounters with superior forces and rather heavy losses. On 29th June Lieutenant J S Orr was severely wounded, and other casualties were suffered in an action in which the enemy had to be driven across the Zand River. On 3rd July Lieutenant and Adjutant A F C Williams was shot through the lung. On the 6th to 8th July at the capture of Bethlehem, on the 16th near Witnek, and on the 23rd, 24th at Slabbert's Nek, Brabant's Horse were in the forefront and gained distinction, but, as a matter of course, had to pay the price. 'The Times' historian points out that it was some "adventurous scouts" of Brabant's Horse who, by discovering on the night of the 23rd a commanding summit to be unoccupied, enabled Clements to seize the ridge at daybreak—the corps being entrusted with this task.

The 1st Regiment of the corps, now commanded by Major Henderson, 8th Hussars, accompanied Dalgety to the Reitzburg district, and thence in August across the Vaal in the pursuit of De Wet (see Cape Mounted Rifles). In his despatch of 1st September 1900 Lord Roberts said that "the enemy managed to derail another supply train south of Klip River (Johannesburg district) early this morning. Two men were killed, 1 wounded, and 35 taken prisoners. The engine was blown up, and thirteen trucks were burned. A party of Brabant's Horse on duty at Klip River Bridge followed the enemy as soon as the report of the accident reached them, drove them into the neighbouring hills, and recovered all the prisoners".

The 2nd Regiment was ordered to the eastern Transvaal in August, to take part under General Button in the movement from Belfast to the Portuguese border, crossing some of the most difficult country in South Africa. In November they were operating about Frederickstad in the Central Transvaal with General Barton. They had skirmishing very frequently, and on 11th December had 1 man killed and 3 wounded. A detachment of Brabant's Horse remained in the Orange River Colony in August. On the 27th of that month Sergeant Major Rutters of the 2nd Regiment was killed, and Corporal Abernethy was wounded at Winburg. During the last quarter of 1900 a portion of the corps was with Bruce Hamilton in the Orange River Colony. In the despatch of 8th March 1901, dealing with the events for the preceding four months, Lord Kitchener said that when, in November, it became apparent that De Wet was to attempt to invade Cape Colony, he (Lord Kitchener) railed certain forces from the Transvaal to the south of the Orange River Colony; these included the 2nd Regiment of Brabant's Horse. In his telegraphic despatch of 15th December 1900 Lord Kitchener said, "During the recent operations in the Zastron district, a party of Brabant's Horse became detached, and being surrounded in a defile had to surrender". The casualty list showed 3 men killed, 11 wounded, and 106 missing. The mishap was unfortunate, coming after so much good sound work; but at that time numerous small columns and patrols were then pursuing the enemy, who was in great strength in the south-east of the Orange River Colony, while to keep touch with him forces had to be greatly scattered, and there was always a chance of any little detachment being cut off. About 18th to 24th December the 2nd Brabant's had much fighting about Steynsburg, Cape Colony—the object being to prevent the Boers working south. On 28th December the 2nd Regiment had Captain Cholmondley and 5 men wounded. When it was seen that Kritzinger and Smuts, about 16th December, had effected an entrance into Cape Colony with about 2000 men, more troops were railed from the Transvaal to Naauwpoort, and in this second batch were the 1st Brabant's Horse.

In February 1901 a portion of Brabant's Horse was operating in the south-west of Cape Colony, and Lieutenant J M Grant gained mention near Lambert's Bay on 1st March. Near Jansenville on 20th March 2 men were killed and 6 wounded in an action when Colonel Scobell and Colonel Colenbrander inflicted a severe defeat on Scheepers and Malan. About this time there was fighting daily, and casualties came often. The despatch of 8th July 1901 shows that two squadrons of Brabant's Horse were in May and June, along with a squadron of the 9th Lancers and three companies of Imperial Yeomanry, operating in the Cradock and Richmond districts, chiefly against Malan's commando. On 28th June the 1st corps were heavily engaged near Richmond, and had 2 officers, Captain M Bowker and Lieutenant J R Thompson, and 6 men wounded. On 18th July Captain W J S Rundle and several men were wounded. During the remainder of the war Brabant's Horse were employed in Cape Colony, traversing almost every part of it. On 5th February 1902 they were in the sharp fight at Uitspanfontein near Beaufort West, when they had about half a dozen casualties. During the last year the work was harder than ever, and there was seldom the satisfaction of a fight, except when the enemy was confident that he had a successful trap laid.


Roll Brabant's Horse.JPG





Edited by azyeoman

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Recent acquisition of a WWI Victory with MID as a PoW.  Photos and info forthcoming.   It will be the second MID as a PoW in the collection. 

Edited by azyeoman

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Victory Medal with MID (missing) named to: 5103 Pte. A. Perrett. Wilts. R.

He was gazetted MID in the 30 January 1920 LG for gallant and distinguished service while a prisoner of war under Army Order 193 of 1919, which states, "Rewards for  officers and soldiers for services in the field and for services rendered in captivity or in attempting to escape or escaping therefrom".

Perrett is entitled to a QSA, KSA, 1914 Star and clasp trio.  If anyone knows the whereabouts of his other medals, (QSA, KSA, 14 Star and BWM) please contact me as I would like to reunit the group.

Arthur Perrett was a laborer from Gosport, Hants and enlisted when 18 years and nine months old on 10 Oct. 1898.  He was 5'5" tall, 125 lbs and had light brown hair with gray eyes.  He was C of E.

He was in the 2nd Battalion and served for a total of 21 years and 35 days.  He served in South Africa from 16/12/1899 to 15/4/02, then in India from 26/4/02 to 26/10/09. He returned to South Africa and was there from 28/10/09 to 6/2/10 and from there went to Gibraltar where he was stationed from 2/9/13 to 3/9/14 when the regiment went home and then on to Belgium.  The 2nd Wilts landed at Zeebrugge on 7 October and were in action at Reutel.  They were attacked by two entire regiments of Germans and did will, but at a terrible toll with casualties of 450 men and 18 officers captured, and 76 ORs and 70 officers were KIA and 229 WIA.  Perrett was a PoW for four years and six months in German and was released on 19/12/1918 and home on 20/12/1918 in time for Christmas.

For more information on the 2 Wilts, see:






Edited by azyeoman

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Here's an important Boer War PoW group sadly missing its companions - a QSA & KSA to a Pte. captured at Spion Kop.

There were 

Sudan and Khedive's Sudan with Khartoum clasp named to 4655 Pte. A. Shepherd, 2nd Lancashire Fusiliers

Shepherd is entitled to a QSA with OFS, RL and Trans and a KSA with SA01 and SA02 clasps.  Please contact me if found as I'd like to reunite the group.

All of the above medals have been confirmed on the medal rolls.  His initial is shown as "J" on the QSA & KSA rolls but with the same army number 4655.

John Thomas Shepherd was an alias for Albert Barlow who was born in Bradford, Manchester.  He attested at Bury on 12/12/1893 when he was 18 years old.  He was of pale complexion, had blue eyes and dark brown hair and was 5'4" and weighed 120 lbs.  He was a chemical plumber by trade and CE by belief.  

He was captured in the battle of Spion Kop on 24/1//1900 and was released in Pretoria in June 1900.  He continued to serve, most likely with the 14th Bn. Mounted Infantry.  He was in the Army Reserve on 27/2/1902 and was discharged in Preston on 11/12/1909.  His character was "good".

He married Mary Ann Gilmore on 8/10/1904 in St. Aidan's Church, Manchester.

     The 2nd Battalion sailed on the Norman on 2nd December, arrived at the Cape about the 19th, and was sent round to Durban. Along with the 2nd King's Royal Lancaster Regiment, 1st South Lancashire Regiment, and the 1st York and Lancaster Regiment, they formed the 11th Brigade under Major General Woodgate, and part of the 5th Division under Sir Charles Warren. The work of the brigade has been sketched under the Royal Lancaster Regiment, and that of the Natal Army generally under the 2nd Queen's, Royal West Surrey.

     When Sir Charles Warren with three brigades was sent across at Trichard's Drift, it will be remembered that the intention of the Commander-in-Chief was that the force should push, via Acton Homes, round to the rear of the Boer position. Sir Charles decided that this was not feasible, and he set about clearing the hills on his right front. On the 20th January he proceeded to put his new plan into execution. The IIth Brigade were on the British right, to the west of Spion Kop. The Lancashire Fusiliers on the right, and York and Lancaster on their left, were ordered to attack a strong position, being assisted by the other infantry, notably the Irish Brigade in the centre, and by six batteries of artillery—7th, 19th, 28th, 63rd, 73rd, and 78th—massed at Three-Tree Hill, and the naval guns at Spearman's. The ground was very difficult, and the Fusiliers were at times greatly cramped for space. About three o'clock the visible crest was stormed by a grand rush, but the troops on reaching the top found themselves in face of another and stronger position. They could do nothing but hold on like flies on a wall, as one writer says. That day cost the battalion 4 officers wounded, 18 men killed and about 90 wounded. On the 21st the fighting was carried on chiefly at the left flank by Hildyard's brigade.

     On the night of the 23rd Spion Kop was taken, the Lancashire Fusiliers being part of Woodgate's force and remaining on the summit all the 24th. An account of the Spion Kop combat is given under the 2nd Royal Lancaster. The Lancashire Fusiliers along with the other troops on the summit earned the praises of General Buller. The losses of the battalion were very severe—3 officers killed, 5 wounded, about 40 men killed, 100 wounded, and some missing.

     At Vaal Krantz the brigade was ordered to make a feint attack on the British left; this was carried out satisfactorily. The battalion did not take part in the fighting between 13th and 27th February, being left along with other troops under Colonel Burn-Murdoch to hold an intrenched post near the bridge over the little Tugela at Springfield, and other positions on the left and rear. The Lancashire Fusiliers, now reduced to about 500 men, held Frere till the 26th February, when they were moved to Gun Hill and Chieveley. Nine officers and 16 men were mentioned in General Buller's despatch of 30th March 1900, chiefly for exceptional gallantry at Spion Kop, 5 being recommended for the distinguished conduct medal. In his final despatch of 9th November 1900 General Buller mentioned 7 officers and 2 non-commissioned officers; and in Lord Roberts' final despatch 10 officers and 19 non-commissioned officers and men were mentioned.

When General Buller moved into the Transvaal the 5th Division remained about the railway, and then operated in the south-east of that country, the Utrecht-Vryheid district, and frequently saw tough fighting. The Mounted Infantry of the Lancashire Fusiliers formed part of the garrison of Vryheid when that town was attacked on 10th-11th December 1900. After very severe fighting the enemy was driven off with a loss of 100 killed and wounded. The men of the battalion had about 10 casualties.

At Fort Itala on 26th September 1901, the 2nd Lancashire Fusiliers were represented in the little force which made one of the finest stands recorded in the campaign. One man of the battalion was killed and 5 wounded.

     In January 1901 the battalion entrained at Dundee for the Pretoria district. On arriving about Elandsfontein five companies were put into the column of Colonel Allenby, and three companies, under Major Tidswell, into the column of Colonel E C Knox; these columns being two of those then commencing the great sweep under General French to the Piet Retief district. In the beginning of May the battalion got together again at Middelburg and relieved the 2nd Berkshire Regiment on the railway line. Headquarters were at Wonderfontein. The battalion remained in the Eastern Transvaal till peace was declared.

     Some Mounted Infantry of the battalion were present at Kaffir's Spruit on 19th December 1901, when 1 non-commissioned officer and 2 privates gained mention in despatches by Lord Kitchener. In the final despatch 5 officers and 8 non-commissioned officers and men were mentioned.

For more information see: http://warfarehistorynetwork.com/daily/military-history/an-acre-of-massacre-the-second-boer-wars-battle-of-spion-kop/


A summery of the battle:

     Spion Kop, just northeast of Warren's force, was the largest hill in the region, being over 430 metres (1,410 ft) in height (relative height from its base). It lay almost exactly at the centre of the Boer line. If the British could capture this position and bring artillery to the hill then they would command the flanks of the surrounding Boer positions.[9] On the night of 23 January, Warren sent the larger part of his force under Major General Edward Woodgate to secure Spion Kop. Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Thorneycroft was selected to lead the initial assault. (Thorneycroft was one of six "special service" officers, among whom were also Robert Baden-Powell and Herbert Plumer, despatched to South Africa shortly before the war to recruit local irregular corps. Thorneycroft's mounted infantry were raised in Natal and numbered 360.)

     The British climbed up the hill at night and in dense mist.  They surprised the small Boer piquet and drove them off the kop at bayonet point. Of the 15 men in the Boer piquet, one was mortally wounded and his grave lies on the hill to this day. Ten British soldiers were wounded in the charge.  The surviving Boers retreated down the hill to their camp waking up their fellow Boers by screaming "Die Engelse is op die kop." (The English are on the hill.). A half-company of British sappers began to entrench the position with a mere 20 picks and 20 shovels (while almost 1,000 soldiers stood around idle) and Woodgate notified Warren of the successful capture of the hilltop.

As dawn broke, the British discovered that they held only the smaller and lower part of the hilltop of Spion Kop, while the Boers occupied higher ground on three sides of the British position. The British had no direct knowledge of the topography of the summit and the darkness and fog had compounded the problem. Furthermore, the British trenches were inadequate for all defensive purposes. Because the summit of the kop was mostly hard rock, the trenches were at most 40 centimetres (16 in) deep and provided an exceptionally poor defensive position – the British infantry in the trenches could not see over the crest of the plateau and the Boers were able to fire down the length of the crescent-shaped trench from the adjacent peaks.

     The Boer generals were not unduly concerned by the news that the British had taken the kop. They knew that their artillery on Tabanyama could be brought to bear on the British position and that rifle fire could be brought to bear from parts of the kop not yet occupied by the British.  However, the Boer generals also knew that sniping and artillery alone would not be sufficient to dislodge the British – and the Boer position was desperately vulnerable. If the British immediately established positions on Conical Hill and Aloe Knoll (the two unoccupied kopjes on the kop itself) they could bring their artillery to bear on Tabanyama, threatening the key Boer positions there. More importantly, there was a risk that the British would storm Twin Peaks (Drielingkoppe) to the eastern end of Spion Kop. If Twin Peaks fell, the British would be able to turn the Boers' left flank and annihilate the main Boer encampment. The Boer generals realised that Spion Kop would have to be stormed quickly if certain defeat were to be averted. The Boers began to bombard the British position, dropping shells from the adjacent plateau of Tabanyama at a rate of ten rounds per minute. Meanwhile, Commandant Hendrik Prinsloo of the Carolina Commando captured Aloe Knoll and Conical Hill with some 88 men, while around 300 burghers, mainly of the Pretoria Commando, climbed the kop to launch a frontal assault on the British position. Prinsloo told his men: "Burghers, we're now going in to attack the enemy and we shan't all be coming back. Do your duty and trust in the Lord." Minutes later, hundreds of Boers swarmed in to attack the British positions at the Spion Kop crestline, much to the surprise of the British.  It was very unusual for the Boers to launch a daytime massed attack quickly resulting in vicious, close-quarters combat. This was not a custom of the Boers' style of warfare. The British Lee–Metford and Lee–Enfield rifles were no less deadly than the Boer Mauser rifles. However, both sides exchanged fire at close range and engaged in hand-to-hand combat, with the British wielding fixed bayonets and the Boers wielding hunting knives and their own rifles used as bludgeons. After suffering serious losses, the Boer assault carried the crest line after several minutes of brutal hand-to-hand combat, but could advance no further.

A kind of stalemate now settled over the kop. The Boers had failed to drive the British off the kop, but the surviving men of the Pretoria and Carolina commando now held a firing line on Aloe Knoll from where they could enfilade the British position and the British were now under sustained bombardment from the Boer artillery. The British had failed to exploit their initial success, and the initiative now passed to the Boers.

    Morale began to sag on both sides as the extreme heat, exhaustion and thirst took hold. On one hand the Boers on the kop could see large numbers of burghers on the plains below them who refused to join the fight. The sense of betrayal, the bloody failure of the frontal assault, the indiscipline inherent in a civilian army and the apparent security of the British position proved too much for some Boers, who began to abandon their hard-won positions. On the other hand, the bombardment began to take its toll on the British. Woodgate fell at about 08:30, mortally wounded by a shell splinter.  In quick succession, Colonel Blomfield of the Lancashire Fusiliers took command but was wounded soon after Woodgate's death, while the sappers' officer, Major H.H.Massy, and Woodgate's brigade major, Captain N.H. Vertue, were killed. Officers and men from different units were intermingled, and the British were now leaderless, confused and pinned down by the heavy Boer artillery and rifle fire. The British artillery, positioned lower down the slopes of Spion Kop, were unable to hit back at the Boer guns.[1] The British artillery was also missing their marks causing one soldier to remark in his diary of the events "our gunners, by the inaccuracy of their fire did far more damage to our front line of infantry than to the Boers!"

    Colonel Malby Crofton of the Royal Lancasters took charge and semaphored a plea for help, "Reinforce at once or all is lost. General dead." After that the stunned colonel failed to exercise any leadership. Thorneycroft seems to have taken charge, leading a spirited counterattack that failed in the face of withering fire.

     Warren had already dispatched Major General John Talbot Coke's brigade of two regular battalions and the Imperial Light Infantry (raised in Durban) to reinforce the summit. However, he refused to launch an attack on Tabanyama and barred his guns from firing on Aloe Knoll, believing this to be part of the British position. At 11:40, Buller, who could see that things were not going well, suggested to Warren that Thorneycroft be appointed commander on the kop. The first runner to Thorneycroft was shot dead before he could utter a word. Finally, a second runner brought the news, "You are a general."

     Winston Churchill was a journalist stationed in South Africa and he had also been commissioned as a lieutenant in the South African Light Horse by General Buller after his well-publicized escape from Boer captivity. Churchill acted as a courier to and from Spion Kop and Buller's headquarters and made a statement about 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."

     About 13:00, the situation proved too much for some men of the Lancashire Fusiliers who attempted to surrender. Thorneycroft personally intervened and shouted at the Boers who advanced to round up prisoners, "I'm the commandant here; take your men back to hell sir. I allow no surrenders." Luckily for Thorneycroft, the first of the British reinforcements arrived at this moment. A vicious point-blank firefight ensued but the British line had been saved. At 14:30, Thorneycroft sent Warren a plea for reinforcements and water. Meanwhile, Coke never reached the summit. He saw Thorneycroft's message for help but then did nothing to assure the lieutenant colonel of his nearby presence or support.

     The Middlesex Regiment and the Imperial Light Infantry, under Colonel Hill, who was senior to Thorneycroft in the army list and who also believed he was overall commander on the kop, held the British right for two and a half hours until a second crisis occurred when they too began to give way. The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) arrived at this point, and drove the Boers back with a bayonet charge. The fighting on the British right now became a stalemate.

     In the morning, Warren had asked for reinforcements from Lyttelton's division, even though he had eleven battalions of his own to draw upon. Without asking Buller, Lyttelton sent two battalions toward Spion Kop. One battalion, the King's Royal Rifle Corps turned aside to attack Twin Peaks. After losing Lieutenant Colonel Riddell killed and 100 other casualties, the rifles cracked the thin Boer line and carried the double summit at 17:00.










Spion Kop 1.jpg

Boer War Memorial 2.jpg

Edited by azyeoman

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

A seemingly uninteresting lone Victory Medal to named to 198195 Samuel Folland AB RN and missing it's companion China Medal, 15" Star and BWM.  (If anyone knows the location of one or all of the above, please contact me.)  Folland was captured on SS Appam and held PoW in Germany until the war's end.  

This medal is to a man who had a very interesting story along with his ship, the SS Appam

SS Appam was a British steamship owned by the Elder Dempster Lines, and was captured at sea by the German raider  SMS Mowe in 1916. The Germans took the ship to port at Hampton Roads, Virginia in the United States where the United States Supreme Court of the decided who would get ownership of the vessel.  

SS Appam was built in 1913 by Harland & Wolff in Belfast (H & W built the Titanic) United Kingdom. She had a gross tonnage of 7,781 and was 425 feet long with a 37 foot beam.

On 11 January 1916 the ship left Dakar, Senegal for Plymouth, United Kingdom, carrying 168 passengers and 133 crew members. Among the passengers were: Sir Francis Charles Fuller, The British Chief Commissioner to the Ahanti Region and Sir Edward Merewether, the Governor of the Leeward Islands and his wife.  By 15 January communication with the vessel had stopped and the vessel was thought to have sunk when an empty lifeboat was seen.

In actuality, the Imperial German Navy Merchant raider SMS Mowe had captured SS Appam on 15 January 1916. The Germans put a prize crew aboard Appam, and, under German control as a prize,  Appam was separated from Möwe on 17 January and made her way to the United States, where she went into port at Hampton Roads, Virginia. At the time, the United States was a neutral country so Appam′s British owners filed suit in U.S. federal court to have Appam returned to them. On 29 July 1916, U.S. Federal Judge Edmund Waddill of Virginia directed that Appam, along with the cargo remaining aboard her and the proceeds of her perishable cargo that already had been sold, be returned at once to the ship′s British owners.

The German Empire appealed the decision to the US Supreme Court, which heard the case as The Steamship Appam, 243 U.S. 124 (1917), and on 6 March 1917, the Supreme Court found in favor of the British owners, handing down a decision that a belligerent nation may not bring prizes of war into a neutral port. On 28 March 1917, Appam was returned to her British owners and renamed SS Mandingo, before reverting to her original name at the end of the war.

The last photo is of HMS Wallaroo on which Folland served in China.






Edited by azyeoman

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Another well researched and written addition to your collection. Thanks for showing us.

Best regards Simon.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Oddly,  I've recently come across what I have thought to be scarce to rare PoW medals or groups to men who served in the Royal Navy or the Mercantile Marine.  The following is one such group to the latter, and consists of a Mercantile Marine Medal, Victory Medal and a Death Plaque to Daniel Hanlon.  It's obviously missing the BWM and if anyone knows its location, please contact me as I'd very much like to reunite the group.

Daniel Hanlon was born in Bootle in 1885.  He was the son of Michael and Mary Hanlon (nee Rice) who were Irish.  They were married in the Dundalk district in 1878.  The moved to Bootle and lived on 41 Bostock St. where Michael worked as a dock labourer.  Daniel's sister Annie was born in 1881 and his brother Henry was born in 1888 and younger sister was born in 1892. By 1901, Mary Hanlon and the four children were living at 30 Pleasant View, Bootle.  By then, Daniel was also a dock labourer.  By 1911, Annie and Mary were the only two living in Bootle and were lodgers with the O'Toole family at 38 Kirk St. 

Daniel Hanlon married Esther Donohue of 73 Audley St. On 22 March, 1917, Daniel was serving as a Fireman on board S.S. Brecknockshire bound Rio de Janeiro.  She was on her maiden voyage and her cargo was 7,650 tons of coal.  The ship was captured and sunk in the Atlantic by S.M.S. Möwe  (German for Seagull) on 15 February 1917.  The captian and crew were taken prisoner and arrived in Bremerhaven, Germany on 22 March 1917.  However, Daniel Hanlon died from Tuberculosis the day before on 21 March 1917.   He was buried at sea.  He was 28 years old.  One of Hanlon's shipmates, Greaser J. Riley, aged 53, died of TB after arriving in Bremerhaven and is buried in Hamburg.  Another fireman, Farley, died on 29 August 1917 and is buried in Hamburg Cemetery too. 

S.M.S Möwe was the most successful German merchant raider in WWI and WWII, and served in the Imperial German Navy and sank 40 ships during the Great War.  She could approach her targets because she was designed as a neutral cargo ship.  After the Treaty of Versailles, she went to Britain, to be operated by Elders and Fyffes as the freighter Greenbrier. In 1933 she was sold to a German shipping company. As the freighter Oldenburg, it served the route between Germany and occupied Norway in World War II.  On 7 April 1945 she was attacked by Bristol Beaufighters of Coastal Command aircraft from No. 114 Squadron RAF, No. 455 Squadron RAAF, and No. 489 Squadron RNZAF at her moorings sheltering off the coast of Norway—near the village of Vadheim in Sogn og Fjordane county. Following an intense strafing and rocket attack, holed by their rockets and strafed by cannon fire, she burned and sank.

see:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMS_Möwe

Hanlon's name is listed in Marcus Bateman's Index of British Fishermen and Merchant Seamen Taken Prisoner of War 1914-1918. His address was 73 Audley St., Bootle.  He death was reported in the Bootle Times on 29 June 1917.  He is commemorated on the following memorials:  Tower Hill Memorial (Addenda Panel) , London; Bootle Civic Memorial, and the ST. James' Roman Catholic Church, Bootle.  The First World War section of the Tower Hill Memorial commemorates almost 12,000 Mercantile Marine casualties who have no grave but the sea. It was unveiled by Queen Mary on 12 December 1928.

S.S. Brecknockshire was a British steamship that was built by Harland & Wolff in Belfast.  She was 8,423 tons, length 480' and could sail at 12 knots.  She, along with the Titanic, were the only two H&W ships to be lost on their maiden voyages.  She was launched on 12 September 1916 and was owned by the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company of London.  She had a 12-cm gun mounted on her stern.  The captain was G. A McKenzie and he had a crew of 90.  She departed Belfast, Ireland on 11 January 1917 and after a stop in Liverpool, she continued on her way to Rio.  She was captured and sunk 490 miles E x N from Cape Frio, Brazil.  

For more information on the Brecknockshire wreck and a photo of her sinking, see




Hanlon's widow, Esther, was awarded a pension on 11 October 1923.  According to another, dated 13 November 1936, she was awarded L69.6.8 per annum or 5 pounds, 15 shillings and seven pence per month and payable on the 13th day of each month.  







Edited by azyeoman

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now