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    The Battle of Biddulphsberg was fought near Senekal, a small town of about 25 houses and a church. As the Grenadier Guards and Scots Guards advanced on the morning of the battle, they could see no sign of the Boers, but they soon came under a hail of bullets.


    They lay down on the ground but, being still visible on the open veldt, were an easy target for the enemy. With many men already wounded, the long dry grass suddenly caught fire behind them, the result of a match dropped by a careless Imperial Yeomanry officer.


    The wind quickly fanned the flames and produced a high wall of fire and smoke. Faced with a hail of gunfire from the unseen Boers in front of them, the Guards were forced to retreat through the flames carrying their wounded, 
    with the result that many of the men were badly burned. Any wounded men who could not be carried were horribly burnt to death where they lay.


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    Thomas Morgan was born in Nottingham in May 1861. He enlisted in the Grenadier Guards in May 1880 and served in South Africa from November 1884 to November 1885. This was followed by service at home till July 1890, during which he was promoted to Corporal and eventually Sergeant.


    His next posting lasted some 10 years: in Bermuda on garrison duty. In October 1898 he was awarded his LS&GC Medal and advanced to Colour-Sergeant. He embarked for Boer War service in South Africa with the 2nd Battalion in March 1900. Soon after, Morgan saw action in the engagement at Biddulphsberg on 29 May 1900, when the Grenadiers were badly mauled.


    On that occasion, he assisted in the rescue of his C/O, Lt-Col F Lloyd who was wounded and caught behind the flames.

    Lt-Col Lloyd takes up the story: “I managed to struggle for 300 yards or so, when Colour-Sergeant Morgan came up and helped me. He was one of the few unhit. Bullets were falling thick, but I reached a wire fence where I lay down behind a stone post for a minute or two.


    Colour-Sergeant Morgan and another man then came and insisted on pulling me along, while others received like aid, those who could walk helping those who could not. Some 200 yards further on I was put on to a Scots Guards stretcher. I asked Gilmour to mention the following who came under my notice: Lieutenant E. Seymour, 2nd Lieutenant A. Murray, and Colour-Sergeant Morgan.”


    Morgan was duly mentioned in despatches by Lord Roberts (LG 10 Sept 1901, p5936) and the award of his DCM followed 2½ weeks later (LG 27 Sept 1901, p6310).


    Meanwhile, he had been invalided, and was discharged as ‘medically unfit for further service’ on his return to the UK in July 1901. He was then employed as a Gatekeeper at Windsor Castle until his retirement, except for a period during WWI when he served as RSM on the Military Prison Staff at the Aliens Detention Camp, Douglas, Isle of Man.


    This did not qualify him for any WWI medals, but he was awarded his MSM in 1933 (Army Order 122).

    He died in Nottingham in September 1944, aged 84 years.


    Edited by archie777
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