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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Matthew Dixon Batty

Hunter 631

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My Grandfather was born 6/1889,resided at 7 Clifford St. Barrow-in-Furness, Lancashire.I have military records from S.A. that indicate previous military service in 1. Westmoreland and Cumberland Yeomanry 2. 10th Hussars and an undated photo of him in the undress blues of the Imperial Lighthorse.I believe the W&C Yeomanry sqd. C had a depot in Barrow. From a timing standpoint I know he was in S.A. in 1911 from an application to Transvaal police where he served as a constable in Krugersdorp, other record of service with Krugersdorp Rifles 12 Mtd and service in GSW.


My confusion is how did he get to S.A.? Does the W&C Yeomanry have any connection to the 10th Hussars and would any records of attestation exist to verify ?

He left service with Transvaal Police 1/9/13 records show KR 2/3/15,how does Imperial Lighthorse get squeezed in?

If he did enlist in the U.K. and transport to S.A. was it common to separate while overseas ?


Any help or clarity you give this Yank would be greatly appreciated

Thanks, Hunter1744237349_MatthewBatty.jpg.ddf78487c6ce142bbd05a7950b7c3e9a.jpg

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Hi Hunter

According to his death certificate he was born on the 9th April, 1888.......lookingBatty,_Matthew Dixon

Regards Barry

Edited by The Inspector
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Hello Hunter and welcome to the forum

If you have access to a site such as Ancestry or Find My Past it may well be worth checking the passenger lists as you may well find his passage to SA listed there.

Good luck with your research


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I have find another record that says 9/3/1889 as Dob. School admission record. Think June 1889 just means that is the quarter his birth was registered in. So I think his true DoB is very open to question.

Can find post-WW1 travel records but not pre-war

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Thank you for the responses

The most logical conclusion to me is that Mr. Batty arrived in S.A. Via military transport.He was an experienced rider as SA military records show attestation to 12th Mounted (Krugersdorp Rifles), received 1914-15 Star and later 1916 to SA Mounted Rifles GEA service until final discharge 3/16/19 in Durban.

So this takes me back to the mention of service with Westmoreland and Cumberland Yeomanry and 10th Hussars.

1. Does anyone know if enlistment/service records for the above exist for 1908-10 ?

2. Where would I find them if available online ?

3. If no online exist can anyone recommend someone in the U.K. who might assist for compensation ?

Thank you all!




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3 hours ago, Hunter 631 said:

The most logical conclusion to me is that Mr. Batty arrived in S.A. Via military transport

"Find my past" hold a large number of pre war Regular & Militia attestation papers, couldn't find any papers for MDB.


However you theory above is a quite possible, providing he entered Regular Army service...unlikley (I stand to be corrected) with a Yeomanry Regiment.


A help an SA gent to establish the very same question you are posing, but hus Grandfathers records were online.  Went to SA with the Royal Scots Fusiliers in 1910, bought himself out and stayed in SA, later fighting with 4th SA Infantry Regiment on the Somme.


You may wish to contact the SA National Archives...search for a recent post on this very subject of SA records.



Edited by HolymoleyRE
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Regarding South African records, they are available. Been covered elsewhere, either through a researcher or from records themselves but this may take longer.

as for date of birth, the majority are christening dates, not birth. The exceptions in our family are where stillborn or died on birth where it was decided to give a name rather than be buried without one.

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