Jump to content
Free downloads from TNA ×
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Anyone Met A Boer War Veteran?


Paul Nixon

Recommended Posts

I was fortunate enough, twenty odd years ago, to take the initiative, hop on my push bike and scour the Chelmsford and Loughborough neighbourhoods for First World War veterans to interview. I'm so glad I did. One hundred odd interviews later and with the veterans rapidly thinning out, I at least feel that what they did has been recorded, in a small way, for posterity.

I never had the opportunity to interview Boer War veterans and nor do I know a great deal about the conflict but I'm guessing there must be forum members who have met Boer War vets.

So, hands up, who can claim that privilege?

Paul

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was introduced to a man in the 1970s (think his surname was Newsome) who had served wih my GGrandfather (see signature) at Malta and Gozo in 1901/2 with 3/KOYLI and also in the Great War with 1/KOYLI. I was quite young at the time with no real interest so I smiled politely and didn't ask any pertinent questions.

Andy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was introduced to a man in the 1970s (think his surname was Newsome) who had served wih my GGrandfather (see signature) at Malta and Gozo in 1901/2 with 3/KOYLI and also in the Great War with 1/KOYLI. I was quite young at the time with no real interest so I smiled politely and didn't ask any pertinent questions.

Andy

my mother in law,with her out there ime not surprised we won

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bernard,

you naughty boy!, someone might tell her!

Mandy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes I met two, one I did manage to record, fought with the Royal Sussex I think, but was captured and spent nine months on a farm in the high veldt, I think he said he was about sixteen and half when he went in the bag. I ran out of tape before we got to WW1.

Also met a vet of the Sudan as a very young boy, but can't recall the details.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting, thanks for the replies so far.

I remember catching a documentary, again 20+ years ago, which had interviews with the last surviving Boer War vets. There were around ten at that stage, almost exactly where we are at now with the First World War chaps. The TV serial Soldiers (remember that anyone?) also had an interview with a Boer War cavalryman whose name I forget now.

I would urge anybody out there with an interest in conflicts more recent than WW1, to do what I did - get on your bike or in your car, take your tape recorder and capture the recollections before it's too late.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The last Boer War veteran died in 1992/3, aged 115 IIRC.

Not sure if that's any help to anyone?

Adrian

Link to comment
Share on other sites

oh what would i give to have the opportunity to chat with my Grandad who served in the Border Regiment in the Boer War,

Seeing action at Colenso, Spion Kop (the next hill actually) relief of Ladysmith, Orange Free State, before being wounded at Middlefontein and invalided home.

Sadly he died in 1945, 11 years before I was born.

Still i hope soon to achieve my long held ambition and visit South Africa to follow his footsteps!!!!!

Scottie

(currently very emotional of Hertford)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Paul

what did you do with the records of the 100 or so interviews you made with the WW1 vets?

John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bernard,

you naughty boy!, someone might tell her!

Mandy

hiya mandy,if they are telling her they must be playing harps,shes dead,joking aside she would have charmed them into surrender with her beauty and charm,lovely gal

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Admittedly, not really connected to this thread, but I know a man who's school teacher fought in the Confederate Army!

Gavin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Paul

what did you do with the records of the 100 or so interviews you made with the WW1 vets?

John

John

They are in the Paul Nixon archive; admittedly a little smaller than that held at the IWM but none the less treasured. Some of the information has been used in my manuscript on Chailey during WW1, the bulk of it though has yet to be used.

Paul

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know a woman whose grandmother, as a child, was imprisoned in a British concentration camp in South Africa. Apparently it caused great family bitterness when she later married a Brit and came to live in this country.

My friend is attempting to complete the research for a book while her mother is still alive, but what with doing a challenging job and family responsibilities she is not getting very far with it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My friend is attempting to complete the research for a book while her mother is still alive, but what with doing a challenging job and family responsibilities she is not getting very far with it.

Tell me about it! Unfortunately work too often seems to get in the way of the enjoyable things in life. Sounds like an interesting project nonetheless.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Paul

Audio or written interviews?

John

John

Both audio and transcripts from notes that I took, in addition to letters received, two or three diaries of varying content etc. One of these days I'll get round to doing justice to them all but as I'm sure you know from your own research and interests, time is always the enemy. (Plus being stiuck in India doesn't help a great deal either).

Paul

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I knew several Boer War Veterans in my Village obviously being sufficiently aged to have done so, one was the Village Blacksmith who allowed the village children to stand in his smithy whilst he was working. Another one was my Doctor he served as Medical Orderly in the Boer War and a Doctor in the Great War, he used to come in the local pub and regale us with his stories none of which we believed.

At a Dinner in 1919 for returning P.O.W.s the Village Blacksmith who was also the Parish Clerk said he had recieved the discharge papers of all the P.O.W.s (21)

and not one of them had a stain on his character. In present day parlance he tended to be a bit economical with the truth.

Cliff.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I knew several Boer War Veterans in my Village obviously being sufficiently aged to have done so, one was the Village Blacksmith who allowed the village children to stand in his smithy whilst he was working. Another one was my Doctor he served as Medical Orderly in the Boer War and a Doctor in the Great War, he used to come in the local pub and regale us with his stories none of which we believed.

  At a Dinner in 1919 for returning P.O.W.s the Village Blacksmith who was also the Parish Clerk said he had recieved the discharge papers of all the P.O.W.s  (21)

and not one of them had a stain on his character. In present day parlance he tended to be a bit economical with the truth.

Cliff.

its good to get away from the trenches for a while,but not for to long,good topic this,bernard

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think I ever met a Boer War veteran myself as there were only about 8 volunteers from my town but my Grandmother remembered the day they came home. She would have been about 8 at the time. Her uncle, Pte. W. Wiseman, picked her up and put her on his shoulders for the march from the Railway station to the Town Hall.

Tom

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks all, for the continuing responses.

I just missed out on interviewing one - possibly. One Old Contemptible I interviewed at The Star & Garter found himself in Khaki in 1901, just as the Boer War vets were returning to the UK. He was 104 when I met him; as bright as a button, and lived to be 106.

Paul

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am surprised at the low number of positive responses in this thread. There are numerous members on forum who fall into the category of old git who must have met these men on a daily basis. ;) , some probably waved them off in the first place.

Andy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My father served in the Boer War so I am quite familer with that time period, I have both the Queens South Africa Medal (6 clasps) & the Kings South Africa medal (2 clasps) he also served in the first war and the Matabelee War of 1896 (British South Africa Co. medal)

I have numerous books and photograph albums of the Boer War. He was in the South African Light Horse (Winston Churchill had a commission in this regiment at the same time my father served)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am surprised at the low number of positive responses in this thread. There are numerous members on forum who fall into the category of old git who must have met these men on a daily basis.  ;) , some probably waved them off in the first place.

Andy

Well I am 58 and I am sure that a number of the "old boys" who were around when I was a child were in the Boer War. As it happens, this did not include anyone from my family and I certainly was not allowed to chat with old men, so I don't remember ever talking to any.

My husband, who is 62, also does not remember any specific individuals who were in it.

If you think about it, the numbers involved were small compared to something like the world wars and even by say 1950 attirition will have taken quite a toll of those who were.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I knew one veteran, Ted Conchie, who lived in the same town of Traralgon in Victoria, Australia. He was a kind old gentlemen (I would have been about 15) who unfortunately was knocked of his bike and died as a result of injuries.

Peter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My Grandfather (1880 - 1980) was posted from the 3rd Battalion Royal Warwicks to the 4th battalion 24.02.1900 and posted to South Africa from 28.02.1901 to 13.10.1902.

His was seconded to the Mounted Infantry Regiment in South Africa.

He was posted to the 1st Battalion Royal Warwicks at Belgaum, India (14.10.1902).

A great Boer War reference site is:-

PERSPECTIVES

The South African War

Original and Contemporary Sources

http://www.pinetreeweb.com/perspectives.htm

Attached photo:

The Warwickshire Regiment skirmishing with Boers near Weppener, South Africa 1901.

Regards

Richard

post-1376-1117419363.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...