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    “In accordance with an order from the General Officer Commanding 2nd Division, communicated by Major-General Hart to him, Colonel Kitchener 2nd Bn. West Yorkshire Regiment, took command of the force on Sugar Loaf Hill, and against the enemy’s right flank. In this operation the 2nd Bn. Queen’s, 2nd Bn. West Yorkshire, 
    and 2nd Bn. East Surrey Regiment were engaged.


    His plan was to work round the western slope of Sugar Loaf Hill with the four companies of the 2nd Bn. East Surrey Regiment, which had been sent up there at 4.30am, covering their advance by the fire of the 2nd Bn. Queen’s from the neck east of the hill, and to attack the enemy’s right.


    Simultaneously, two companies 2nd Bn. Queen’s were to advance along the plateau, covered by the fire of the 2nd Bn. West Yorkshire Regiment. Two companies of the 2nd Bn. West Yorkshire Regiment were to push forward on the left of that portion of the enemy’s position attacked by the 2nd Bn. Queen’s.


    The four companies 2nd Bn. East Surrey Regiment were unable to make headway in face of the fire brought against them from the enemy’s position. They were, consequently, halted on the west face of the Sugar Loaf Hill in a fire position, where they remained. The two companies 2nd Bn. Queen’s had, in the meantime, advanced, at 10:30am, and immediately encountered a heavy fire.


    As soon as it was reported that the flank attack by the 2nd Bn. East Surrey Regiment had been stopped they were withdrawn. This advance and subsequent retirement occupied about an hour. The two companies 2nd Bn. West Yorkshire Regiment had also advanced when the movement of the 2nd Bn. East Surrey 
    Regiment was brought to a stand, and Colonel Kitchener then ordered the advance to be discontinued. One company 2nd Bn. West Yorkshire Regiment, which had reached the donga referred to above, remained there till the evening, so as to avoid loss in retiring.”


    Report from Major-General H Hildyard on the 2nd Brigade operations of 21st January 1900.


    DCM (VR): C.Sgt. F. Kingsley, 2nd W. York Regt.;
    QSA, 5 clasps Tug H, OFS, RoL, Tvl, L Nek: 1957 Col Sejt. F. Kingsley, W. York. Regt.; 
    KSA, 2 clasps SA’01, SA’02: Serjt.-Maj. F. Kingsley. W. York. Regt.


    Frank Kingsley was born at Stamford Hill, London in 1865. He enlisted in the West Yorkshire Regt on 22 August 1887, giving his trade as “groom”. After service at home, he was stationed with the 2nd Battalion in India from 1888 to 1896. He was considered to be a good soldier: his fourth promotion, viz. to Colour Sergeant, was in October 1894. In June 1894 he extended his service to 12 years. 


    Serving at home again from 1896, he immediately re-engaged when his time was up in August 1899. He arrived with his Regiment at Durban in mid-December 1899. Along with the 2nd Queen’s, 2nd Devons  and 2nd East Surreys, they formed the Second Brigade under Major-General Hildyar.


    During the Spion Kop operations the 2nd West Yorkshires had some very severe fighting on the left of Warren’s force, particularly at the south eastern slope of Tabanyama on 21 January 1900. One company got so far in advance of the general line that they had to remain isolated till nightfall. During the afternoon Capt Charles Ryall was mortally wounded and brought under cover by C/Sgt Kingsley. 


    Sir Charles Warren, in his Despatch of 1 February 1900 (LG 8 Feb1900, p950), stated:
    “Col F W Kitchener, Commanding 2nd Bn West Yorkshire Regiment, reports that: Col Sgt Kingsley, when his company was unexpectedly caught by a very heavy cross fire which wounded both his Officers, showed coolness and intelligence in withdrawing his men steadily to cover, and gallantry in bringing his Captain under cover when mortally wounded. His case is an exceptional one, worthy of recommendation for the Medal for Distinguished Conduct.”

    Frank Kingsley was also the recipient of one of the eight scarves crocheted by Queen Victoria as an award of honour from the reigning monarch for gallant conduct in the field. He received his scarf at Standerton on 7 August 1900 when the following diary entry was made by 2699 Pte W Sykes of C Company, West Yorks:

    “On the 7th we had a parade at 9 o’clock, this was in clean fatigue dress, when we got on parade the Commanding Officer told us that the Queen had sent four mufflers which she had knitted herself to Prince Christian and she said they was to be given to rank and file and Prince Christian elected to give them to the 2nd Brigade as the most deserving of them, one to each Regt as he had done all his soldiering with the 2nd Brigade and in our Regt C.S. Kingsley was presented with it afterwards, three cheers for the Queen was given and an issue of whisky to drink the Queen’s health with which we did heartily.


    In the afternoon we were ordered to strike camp at 2.30 as we were for Pretoria, we got all packed up and ready when the order was cancelled till next morning.”

    Kingsley’s DCM was gazetted on 19 April 1901 and he was promoted to Sergeant Major on 1 May 1902. 


    He stayed on in South Africa after the end of the war, only returning to England in June 1904. He took his discharge in September 1906, being assessed as “a very able clerk and a very good manager”.


    His final days were spent as a pensioner at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, where he later died on 26 October 1952.


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