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    King’s South Africa medal two clasps: South Africa 1901 & South Africa 1902

    (Capt. S.H. Chapin. D.S.O. S.A.L.H.) 
    Naming impressed on original rim. 

    Sydney Herbert Chapin was clearly an interesting individual. He was the son of a New York surgeon and is reported to have served as a transport officer on General Buller’s staff during the Anglo Boer War. In his younger days he was purportedly called “Slick Sydney” during his military services. 


    Having been appointed as a Member of the Distinguished Service Order for “meritorious services” on 29 November 1900 this award was revoked towards the end of the Great War (London Gazette,
    September 24, 1918) – His Majesty the King directing that “his name shall be erased from the Register of the Order.” An earlier Gazette had reporting that he “is dismissed by sentence of a General Court-Martial. 23rd May 1918.” Clearly a recipient worthy of much research. 

    The well-known Anglo Boer War Forum website records the following: 
    “Sidney Chapin was born in New York, USA, in 1875. In 1895, Chapin travelled to Rhodesia, where he joined the Matebele Mounted Police. During March 1896, he was attached to Coopes Scouts as part of the Matebele Relief Force. Afterwards, he joined the French Foreign Legion and was sent to Athens, taking part in the Battle of Pharsala. During 1897, he took part in Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee with the Rhodesian Forces.


    Chapin then returned to Rhodesia, where he joined the British South Africa Police. In September 1899, he enlisted in the South African Light Horse as a Trooper and was shortly promoted to Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant. After the Relief of Ladysmith, he received a commission as Lieutenant, and four months later, was promoted to Captain. He saw considerable action with the South African Light Horse. He received the Distinguished Service Order and stated in a letter that to the best of his knowledge, he was the first American citizen to receive it. After the Boer War, Chapin became a Sub-Inspector with the Criminal Investigation Department of 
    the South African Government Railways. He next served as Adjutant of the British Contingent with the company that brought General Piet Cronje to the Saint Louis Exposition in 1904. Chapin then took a position with the Department of Immigration in Guatemala. He next served for five years as Assistant Commissioner of Police and Superintendent of Prisons, Gold Coast, West Africa. He was appointed Lieutenant in the 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards in 1914 being wounded in September 1915 and promoted Temporary Captain in February 1916. Chapin was then promoted Temporary Major and transferred to the 17th Battalion Liverpool Regiment in December, 1916. He was dismissed from the service after a Court-Martial on May 23 1918.


    He died in London in September 1952. Major Chapin was Mentioned In Despatches (General Buller's Despatch, June 19, 1900), “S. Chapin has done invaluable service throughout the campaign,” and again (Lord Robert's Dispatch, April 2, 1901), “For meritorious services.” He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (London Gazette, April 19, 1901). Chapin had the Distinguished Service Order revoked (LondonGazette, September 24, 1918). He is not listed in the DSO book. Some accounts suggest he was involved in the Jameson Raid but there is no evidence to support this.”

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