South African War

South African War

Australian units

John Boardman (1863-1948; in College 1890-93). He had been ordained in 1898 and was curate at St Paul’s Redfern when he was appointed Church of England chaplain to the New South Wales Contingent of Citizens’ Bushmen. Aged 36, he sailed with the contingent on 28 February 1900, was present with A Squadron at the relief of Mafeking in May 1900, and with other chaplains was awarded the Queen’s Medal with four clasps. He returned with the contingent 11 June 1901. Also World War One.

Harold McIntosh (1868-1917; in College 1886-88). A pastoralist near Bathurst, he had joined the New South Wales Mounted Rifles in 1895 and he was one of a detachment sent to Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, June 1897 (winning the sabre v sabre competition at the military tournament staged at Islington). A corporal, he returned with the detachment in October. He embarked, aged 31, with A Squadron of the Rifles by the Aberdeen, 3 November 1899, was present at the relief of Kimberley and the capture of Pretoria, and was promoted sergeant. Having returmed to Sydney in January 1901 he was commissioned lieutenant, sailed again with the 2nd Regiment of the Rifles in April, and served in the Transvaal. He was promoted captain (1901), and awarded the Queen’s Medal with five clasps. Also World War One (killed). [Australian Dictionary of Biography]

Godfrey William Millard (1870-1923; in College 1887-89). He was a solicitor in Newcastle and a Fellow of the College, and had held a commission in the New South Wales Wales regiment, when he enlisted as a lieutenant in the 3rd Battalion of the Australian Commonwealth Light Horse, February 1902. He was 31. With the New South Wales division he sailed for Durban on the transport Manhattan, 1 April 1902. The war being over they returned by the transport Drayton Grange, 11 August. He was awarded the Queen’s Medal with one clasp.

Venour Vigne Nathan (1879-1955; in College 1903-05). He served before coming to University and College. He enlisted aged 21 in February 1901, in the newly raised 3rd Regiment of the New South Wales Mounted Rifles, as a corporal, and he sailed with C Squadron by the British Princess, 21 March. Promoted sergeant 4 August 1901, he returned by the Templemore, 15 March 1902. He enrolled in Medicine in 1903.

Duncan Campbell Osborne (1877-1940; in College 1897). A pastoralist (he had not finished his degree), he enlisted as a corporal in D Squadron of the New South Wales Citizens’ Bushmen, probably about January 1900, when he was 22. The contingent departed Sydney on 28 February 1900 and D Squadron was involved in heavy fighting at Koster’s River in July. It returned to Sydney on 11 June 1901.

Thomas Walter King Waldron (1870-1934; in College 1890-92). Aged 29, he was a solicitor with Waldron and Dawson, Penrith, and in command of the Penrith company of the 3rd New South Wales Regiment (from December 1897), when he enlisted in the New South Wales Imperial Bushman, in April 1900, keeping his captain’s commission. The regiment sailed by the transport Armenian, 23 April, with Waldron in command of D Company, which saw action at Koster’s River, 22 July, attempting to relieve the Eland’s River garrison. A letter he wrote home on 6 September was published in the Sydney Morning Herald. Wounded, he returned by the Orient, arriving 8 January 1901. Awarded the Queen’s Medal with four clasps.

British and South African units

Richard Charles Cliff (1875-1951; in College 1894). He had been an Arts student but did not finish his degree. On enlisting in the First AIF, in 1916, he said that he had served for two and a half years in the Cape Field Artillery (Prince Alfred’s Own) during the Boer War and had been discharged because of “illness”. He would have been 24 when the Boer War began. He had since been employed as an engineer in Sydney. Also World War One. He was the father of the World War Two naval hero, Jack Cliff.

Frederick Ramon Lopez de Bertodano (1871-1955; in College, where he was known as F.R. de B. Lopez, 1888-91). He left for England before finishing his Sydney degree, and then, having passed the Law Society’s intermediate examination, was briefly a solicitor in Bulawayo. He went back to England, and in May 1899, at 28 years old, joined the Manchester Regiment as a second lieutenant. Promoted to full lieutenant in July and captain in January 1900, he was seconded to South Africa, where in May 1900 he was appointed military commandant of the small and recently captured town of Kroonstadt. Before long he was chief intelligence officer for Pretoria (the former Boer capital) and Northern Transvaal, and in that capacity he set up and managed the inquiry into the murder of Boer prisoners of war, which led to the conviction and execution of Harry (Breaker) Morant and Peter Handcock in February 1902. Returning to England, presumably in 1902, he resigned his commission in June 1907. Also World War One; and see Adventurers.

John Harris (1874-1910; in College 1893). In 1894, aged nineteen, he won a University scholarship to the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. Having been commissioned first in the King’s Own (Royal Lancashire) Regiment, he transferred to the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons, still as a second lieutenant, in August 1896. He was a full lieutenant when his regiment was sent to South Africa, in October 1899. In November 1900 he was awarded the Silver Medal of the Royal Humane Society, for having, with two other men, attempted to save an officer from drowning in the Orange River. He was wounded in the head at the battle of Lake Chrissie, 6 February 1901, and invalided home. He was promoted captain in February 1902, and awarded the Queen’s Medal with five clasps and King Edward’s Medal. He drowned by falling from the South Head of Sydney Harbour, 17 December 1910. For a letter from Harris to his father, sent from the front, and for an account of his death, see here.

Herbert Charles Selwyn Heath (1869-1939; in College 1889). In 1890, aged twenty, he was nominated by the University for a cadetship at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. He was commissioned in the Essex Regiment on 21 January 1892, and promoted to full lieutenant in July 1896. The regiment took part in the relief of Kimberley, February 1900, and Heath was promoted captain (2nd battalion) in October. After the war, in November 1904, he was appointed adjutant of the 3rd battallion, retiring in November 1907. Also World War One.

Robert Bradshaw Ingelow Johnson (1874-?; in College 1893). He had enlisted with a commission in the 2nd Regiment, New South Wales infantry, in February 1895, aged 20. In 1896 he passed the University’s examination qualifying him for a commission in a British regiment, and in June was gazetted second lieutenant in the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. Having transferred briefly to the Suffolk Regiment, in July 1899 he became a full lieutenant in the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons. He went with his regiment to South Africa and in December 1901 was mentioned in despatches (with another Australian), “For gallant and dashing conduct on Vaal river on 23rd September, 1901, in killing two Boers, wounding one and capturing 15 before they could get to cover.” He was promoted captain in April 1902. In May-June 1906 he retired to half-pay, as major in the 18th Middlesex Volunteer Rifle Corps, but by 1908 had returned to full-pay as captain in the Royal Welch Fusiliers. Also World War One.

John Mair (1875-1901; in College 1893). He was a pastoralist’s son, from Hay. Aged nineteen, together with Robin Johnson (above), whom he knew in College, in February 1895 he took some initial steps to join the New South Wales Infantry, but by June he was a lieutenant with the Garrison Artillery. In September 1899 he resigned and went by himself to South Africa, where he enlisted in the Rhodesian Light Horse, but before joining changed to the Cape Mounted Police, having been caught in Kimberley during its siege (February 1900), along with the Police. Moving then to the 6th Mounted Infantry, he was aide-de-camp and galloper to Colonel Beauvoir de Lisle. He was killed on 6 June 1901, aged 26. According to the Sydney Morning Herald (30 August 1901), he and two other soldiers “were shot down by the Boers at Graspan, near Reitz, after the three men had surrendered”. A letter sent to his family by a British officer and published in the Herald described his death. He was the first Paul’s man to be killed in action. His name appears on a Boer War memorial in the public park at Hay, erected in 1903.

Alfred Ernest Priddle (1869-1940; in College 1889). Having been a house surgeon at St Mary’s Hospital in London, in January 1900 he joined the war effort as a civilian medical officer with no 20 Field Hospital, aged 30. In Africa he was appointed medical officer in the Transvaal Constabulary, with the rank of captain, and finally principal medical officer (and major) of the Constabulary’s western Transvaal division. In September 1900 he refereed a rugby match in Pretoria between the Constabulary and local men, which the Constabulary won, 8-0, 13-0 (“a splendid augury of the future relations between Briton and Boer” [West Coast Times, New Zealand, 20 November 1900]). In March 1904, with the war over, he received a regular commission in the Imperial Yeomanry (Denbighshire Hussars). Also World War One.

Edgar Glasson Horsford Sandeman (1860-1935; in College 1878-79). In 1881 he was a member of the Volunteer Artillery in Sydney, and he was probably the Edgar Sandeman who served in South Africa as a sergeant in the 35th company of the 11th batallion, Imperial Yeomanry. He died in 1935 in London.

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