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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

William Frederick Day - Umtata South Africa


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I would appreciate help in identifying the uniform and the rather distinctive headgear.

William Frederick Day served with the 74th (SA) Siege Battery SAHA from 22.5.1917 and was wounded 2.9.1918 and this resulted in a disability of nature D A H. This image was scanned from a photograph taken in Umtata in the old Transkei (no date available) but Day is recorded as (later) enlisting in the 74th Siege Battery as a gunner Royal Field Artillery formerly of the Durban Light Infantry. His UK marriage certificate shows his address as Durban, Natal. No further information is available.

The 74th Siege battery had originally been raised in the Eastern (Cape) Province. Umtata was the depot for the 1st Permanent Force (Artillery) Battery and would (or could) have been affiliated with the 1st South African Mounted Rifles whose depot was at King Williams Town (about 200 kilometers south west of Umtata) also in the Eastern (Cape) Province. The Union Defence Force of 1912/1913 was formed from the colonial and Boer regiments and included the colonial mounted police regiments. The original intention was for the skutters (riflemen) to be trained as artilleriste ie artillerymen (?gunners) as well.


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