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    A very unloved man...

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    This is to "Guide HJ van Aswegen F.I.D."

    He must have been a "Hendsopper" (Handsupper) or "Joiner" during the british advance into the Orange Free State. During the still (more or less) conventional stage of the Boer war the british gained the upper hand and advanced through the Free State into the transvaal, a number of Boers thought there was no point in continuing the fight and became "hendsoppers", a number went a step further and became "Joiners"... like old HJ.

    After the war there was a lot of animosity between those who had stayed the course and those who had joined the enemy, in some regions the "Joiners" were excluded from local churches and had to build their own.

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    I cannot imagine what it must have been like to live through that, after the fact. The only parallel in the US would have been the Civil War. In some cases, even families were torn apart with some fighting for the Union and some fighting for the Confederacy.... a bloody, terrible time in our history that cost hundreds of thousands of lives...

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    Chris or anyone else,

    I have a QSM and would like to know if the soldier was a casualty or not. Is there anything like the CWGC for the Boer War?


    I have the casauly lists, they are a terrible muddle. give me the name, unit and whenhe was there and I will see what I can do.



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    • 1 year later...

    Or unless you read a particular copy of "Crown Imperial" about 1984 - from an article by Andrew Chaney, a sketch of the FID shoulder title, locally made, in brass.

    Also worn on the slouch hat I would think?

    The original was on display at the INt Corps museum at Ashford, Kent - I don't know where the museum is nowadays.

    Field Intelligence deal with int. on the enemies organistaion, capabilities, tactics & intentions & with the geography of the battlefield & with counter intelligence to protect own personnel, information & equipmentd.

    Intelligence units were viewed as war raised rather than permanent requirements prior to WWII (when the Int. Corps was established in 1940), but the Anglo-Boer War showed the British that there was a need for such a corps.

    The FID was established to provide operational intelligence, Natal being at the forefront of such activity, units such as the Natal Corps of Guides (comprised of local white farmers & black guides) provided intelligence for the FID, which grouped guides, interpretors, scouts & native scouts into fixed grades & introduced field security & intelligence gathering procedures such as censorship, POW interrogation, field sketching, Ballon recce reports, carrier pigeons,etc.

    The British had sent over a small number of British officers including a Major Rimmington who formed the Rimmington Scouts who were often referred to as the "Intelligence Corps".

    Although the informal Int. Corps units were'nt authorised insignia, various scout units produced their own slouch hat & shoulder insignia.

    Medals to personnel of these units were inscribed "FID".

    Edited by leigh kitchen
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