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Paul L Murphy

Portugal - Question about Portuguese activities in Machemba and Matuka

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One of the medal groups in my collection is a DSO group to Lt Colonel H S J L Hemming. This gentleman had a rather interesting career but during a lull between the end of the Boer War and the start of WWI he went off and served with the Portuguese army in the "Machemba and Matuka Expedition". Does anyone have any information on these expeditions since I have drawn a blank.

He later went on to serve in WWI with the South African forces, lost his right arm at the Battle of Agadir, wounded on the Somme, gasssed at Passchendale, wounded at Gouzancourt in 1918 (you would think by now he would have learned how to duck :rolleyes: ), DSO, 3 MIDs and a French Croix de Guerre. After this he served in Lithuania with General Crozier and ended up in Ireland as a company commander in the Auxiliary Division of the RIC, which is why I have it.

I have plenty of information on everything excpet the Machemba and Matuka part of his career, including lots of rather gory medical records about the aftermath of losing his arm, yeuck ! If anyone could help fill in the gap I would appreciate it.

Cheers,

Paul

Edited by Paul L Murphy

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Wow Paul,

Do you happen to have somewhere a magic hat from where you draw the most beautifull bars???

Do you have a picture of this bar and it's receipment??

Kind regards

Jacky

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Hi Jacky,

No magic hat, I wish I did have one ! I will try to dig out a photo of this and post it. The bar consists of DSO, Queens South Africa (Cape Colony, Jo'burg and Paarderberg bars), Kings South Africa (usual 2 bars), Africa General Service Medal (Somalilan 1902-04 bar) 1914-15 Star, BWM, Victory with MID, Croix de Guerre 1914-18 with bronze palm.

Cheers,

Paul

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What I have on him so far, up to and including his WWI service, is as follows : -

Served with the 1st Batt. E. Lancs. in Boer War (30th Foot). The AGS is renamed and the E.Lancs were not entitled to the bar. Hemmings may have been a staff officer ?

Who was who entry is : - b. 1882, commd E. Lance Regt. 1900; served S. African War 1990-02, Somaliland 1903; resigned commission 1906; spent nine years exploring and great game hunting in the interior of Africa; served with the Portuguese forces in Machemba and Matuka Expedition. Joined S. African Forces, Sept 1914, Capt and Adjudant Rand Rifles, Boer Rebellion and German S.W. A.frica campaign; Capt & Adjudant, 3rd S. African Infantry, Aug1915, Major 1915; served with S. African Forces in Eqypt, Dec 1915, lost right arm at battle of Agagir; France, July 1916, battle of Somme, (again wounded); battle of Passchendale, gassed, 20 Sep 1917; wounded Gouzancourt 1918, commanded 3rd S.A.Inf. Sep-Oct 1917 (despatches thrice, DSO, Croix de Guerre). Served as GSO 1st Grade on General Crozier?s Mission in Lithuania 1919-20 (Oct 1919 ? Mar 1920), operations against Bolsheviks; Commanded G Company Auxiliary Div Royal Irish Constabulary operations against the rebels 1922, commanded S.E. Brigade Ulster Special Constabulary 1922-26.

D.S.O. List further shows : - b. 28.6.82; s. of Dr J Hemming M.A., and Lily Florence E., d. of Sir W Jenner; educ. privately; Bedford Grammar School; ... Lt Col 1918, commanding S. African Reserve Battn; retired, disability pay. ... commanded temporarily 3rd S.A.Inf Sep-Oct 1917 and Dec1917-Jan1918.

M.I.D. 9/7/1915 for services in S.W. Africa with Rand Rifles.

DSO London Gazette 3/6/1918, Recommendation states ?This officer has served with his regiment at the front since January 1916 with the exception of periods of absence on account of wounds. He has been 2nd in command of a battalion and for short periods in command and although suffering much pain from the stump of an arm lost in action, he has borne it with the greatest courage, and after every operation or wound, has returned to duty at the earliest possible moment. He has been three times wounded.?

M.I.D. 29/5/1918.

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served with the Portuguese forces in Machemba and Matuka Expedition.

The names aren't very much help, but it might point to a 1912 expedition in Mozambique against the chief of the Yao in the area, mataca Chisonga (mataca being the title). I'm talking about what today is Niassa Province, in the northnest part of Mozambique.

This expedition, organized by the Nyassa Company, was aimed at destroying an uprising of the Yao, which constantly raided the area and enslaved many people (their main business, and why the british also had an eye no the Yaos west of lake Nyassa - or lake Malawi). This expedition came to conclude another one in 1899 against the 'great' mataca Bonomali, in turn to 'avenge' the killing of lieutnant Valadim and his expedition, in 1890.

Can't track the commander of the expedition, but can indicate the following composition, organized in September, 1912:

- 18 europeans

- 370 'Cipaios' (Sepoy? - local african police)

- 2500 auxiliaries

- and 500 bearers

The commander would be the local governor.

The expedition had no artillery, but it had 2 machine-guns and 300 round for each.

The first objective being completed - that of cutting powder supply routes from Ost Afrika to the Yao - the rest was 'easy'.

In 21 days, the Yao's capital city, Mwembe, is destroyed (much the same way as in 1899) and the Yaos flee to Ost Afrika. In the destroyed Mwembe, Fort Lieutnant Valadim is raised and portuguese authority established.

Perhaps this is the expedition you are trying to find, but as I said the names are not helpful.

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Jorge,

Looking back through posts I realised I had never thanked you for this information. I am not sure if it is the same expedition but it is the closest information I have so far.

Many thanks,

Paul

:cheers:

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