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Hi all.

Love the forum. I'm sure having new members start with a question annoys you somewhat but I do intend to be a fully engaged part of this place. Especially as my childhood love of medals has been rekindled after my recent acquisition.

The following medals have been gifted to me and I've hit a bit of a brick wall trying to research the soldier.

South Africa medal with "1879" clasp, India General Service medal with "Burma 1885-7 clasp and Long Service Good Conduct medal. All awarded to Pte 393 W. McKeown of the 13th foot (Somerset).

Here's what I have managed to find out. He was in the 1st battalion during the South African campaign (I have found his name on the medal roll of ancestry) the date would suggest he fought at Kambula and possibly Ulundi.

The medal roll states he was transferred to the 2nd battalion (regiment was now called Prince Albert's light infantry - Somerset regiment) after his time in South Africa which accounts for the India GSM as they fought in the 3rd Anglo-Burmese war. The medal roll for Burma states he was invalided. This was probably the end of his service.

I've found a W. McKeown admitted to the royal Chelsea hospital in 1887 from India but it gave his birth year as 183?. A book showing all the Irish soldiers of 13th foot in South Africa has his birth year as 1850 (born in Killyman)

 

I suppose my questions are, would he have fought at both Kambula and Ulundi? How could I find out? Can I find out more about his service? Can I find out what happened to him after Burma?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Posted (edited)

Welcome to the GMIC, Boomer!

I assume you've tried the War office records here: https://www.forces-war-records.co.uk/collections/19/the-south-africa-medal-1877-roll.

I did a quick search but just 'W' for the first name is a stumbling block.  Similar records are available through Ancestry.com'.  Unfortunately, I only have access to North American records, but one fact of note, I think is this:  his birthplace is probably 'Killymard', Donegal, NOT 'Killyman'.

Edited by peter monahan

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Thanks for the reply @peter monahan 

I meant to put his full name as William. There is a tiny place called Killyman, on the eastern boundary of county Tyrone but it could be wrong in the book I've seen.

I did all my research on ancestry.com' 

I'll give the website you suggested a go.

'thumbs up emoji'

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