THE SOUTH AFRICAN CAMPAIGN
The British Empire had slowly taken Southern Africa, using it as a staging posts for shipping for India and China Sea trade routes.
The first Anglo-Boer War in 1880 created the two Transvaal and Orange Free State Republics, following a short conflict between the British and Dutch land settlers, refusing to submit to foreign colonial rule. Separating themselves from British controlled laws and taxes. The land which at the time was deemed as “very poor” and had no strategic or economic value. In 1886 Gold was found in the republic creating a “gold rush” with a large influx of none Dutch speaking settlers and prospectors. The Boers resented the influx immigrants to the new country and would not allow them to vote or recognise foreign laws including the abolition of slavery. By 1898 the Republic produced 30% of the world gold production, becoming one of the richest countries in the world. In 1895 a coup backed by the British government failed. The Boer armed themselves with the latest and the best weaponry importing German rifles and French artillery. In 1899 peace talks between the Boer republics and the British failed. War was declared on 11th October 1899 with many of the main British held towns Ladysmith, Kimberley, and Mafeking were then besieged by the Boer armies.
10,000 British and commonwealth troops were shipped to South Africa in response. England quickly mobilised through patriotic and the public anger that woman and children were being shelled in besieged British populated towns.
The Boer army although classed by some as a reservist militia rather than an army, was underrated by the British, however the majority of the Boer farmers were good marksman and hunters, using the German built Mouser Rifle, more accurate than the British at long range. French siege guns and light artillery sometimes manned and trained by foreign powers were a match to the British.
The British lost many opening battles of the War, using outdated tactics against the modern weaponry. The army had up to that time still wore the old fashion “redcoats” jackets, which made easy targets. The first use of barbed wire and trenches used by both sides, held up many advances during attacks. The British found it hard to move large amounts of troops across the inhospitable terrain creating logistical problems. Thousands of troops became sick through poor sanitation and limited access to clean water, suffering from dysentery, typhoid and cholera using the name “enteric fever” as the main cause of death during the conflict.
Poor mapping of the terrain and the slow progress of large bodies of men were hampered by the Commando styled units of the Boer army, acting independently in a Guerrilla styled warfare. Hit and run attacks on the British army continued through to the War, despite the Boer army being out numbered, they managed to hold up thousands of British troops using these tactics. At the height of the war 400,000 British, South African, Indian, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand Soldiers were shipped to South Africa against 30,000 – 40,000 Boers.
One of the notable Battles with a large loss of Suffolk life was the “Battle of Suffolk hill” at Colesberg, Northern Cape 5th– 6th January 1900. The hill was originally called Red or Grassy Hill. The Suffolk regiment was ordered to make a night attack on a Boer position on the heights, four companies, 354 of all ranks, set out at midnight under the command of Col. Watson. The Suffolks were met by a storm of bullets. The Colonel was amongst the first to fall, and the party later retired with 11 officers and 150+ men killed, wounded or captured.
The War was notable by the use of “concentration camps” holding Boer families, imprisoned by the British while their men were fighting. Boer farms were destroyed by the British under their “Scorched Earth” policy. The camps were densely populated, living on small rations, the camps became rife with disease. Thousands of families and men were deported, it is estimated out of the 116,000 confined to the camps 28,000, mainly women and children died.
The Boer War was finally concluded with the signing of the Treaty of Vereeniging in May 1902. It is estimated British losses 7,000+ killed, 13,000+ died of disease. 6,000+ Boer soldiers were killed during the conflict.
The Wars had changed the British army, no longer using “red coats” opting for Khaki green uniforms that blended into the scenery. Block houses and barbed wire were used to protect the supply lines and controlled areas. Weaponry had changed too, to new rifles, machine guns and fire control systems for artillery. More coordination between units and better mapping systems. On the outbreak of WW1 the British army despite its small size was more advanced and experienced following the lessons learnt from the Boer war.
SUFFOLK VOLUNTEERS FOR THE FRONT.
DEPARTURE SCENES AT IPSWICH.
THE MAYOR’S FAREWELL LUNCHEON.
12th January 1900 Suffolk Chronicle & Mercury Newspaper
Follow link for the Suffolk Regiment during the Boer War.
It is a happy coincidence that the Mayor of Ipswich, during a year which is destined to be for ever memorable in the history of the empire in general and the Volunteer movement in particular, should be a gentleman who has long been connected with our defensive force.
Mayor W.A. Churchman represents the citizen-soldier in a most exact sense, and his Worship showed ready appreciation of the fact by inviting to luncheon at the Town Hall, the detachment of the 1st V.B. Suffolk Regiment which has engaged for active service in South Africa. This was the opening feature, therefore, of the demonstration which took place at the county town, on Wednesday, when the Active-Service Company of the 1st V.B. Suffolk Regiment left by the Depot at Bury St. Edmund’s. The men from other parts of East Suffolk proceeded straight to the Drill Hall, on reaching Ipswich; here they were awaited and joined by the representatives of the local half Battalion; and at half-past one o’clock the detachment marched to the Town Hall, from the summit of which the Old Union Jack – which is brand-new in actual presentment – floated bravely in the breeze. There was a fair assembly of townspeople in the streets even then, while the weather, wet and gloomy in the morning, gave signs of breaking out into a fine afternoon – a good omen in respect of the war itself, it may be hoped.
A number of leading townspeople, representative of all classes, had been invited to meet the Volunteers, and were received in the Council Chamber by the Mayor and Mayoress, his Worship wearing the chain of office, and being attended by Town Sergeants Hicks and Scott. Luncheon was laid in the Library, and the head table was adorned with the Regimental plate, including the Challenge Cup won by the 1st V.B.S.R. (given by Colonel Collins) and the loving cup presented to the officers’ mess by Col. J.H. Josselyn. The guests of the day were first shown to their seats, and the fact may here be mentioned that a member of H Company “retired” at the last moment, and that his place was filled at five minutes’ notice by one of the Woodbridge Company, who got a telegram after half-past twelve o’clock, and started for Ipswich at 12:58. The Mayor was supported on the right by Sir Charles Dalrymple, M.P., the Mayoress, Col. Josselyn, and Col. Alderson, and on the left by Mr. D. Ford Goddard, M.P., the Deputy-Mayor (Mr. E.P. Ridley), Dr. J.H. Bartlet, and Col. Fred Turner; the vice-chairs were occupied by Mayor F.G. Bond and Captain W.T. Pretty, and the company also included General Gardiner, Col. H.W. Packard, Lieut.-Col. Ward, Col. Russell, Captain Horsfield and Major Cobbold (1st Suffolk and Essex Artillery Volunteers), Captain Tempest, Captain and Adjutant Prest, Captain F. Turner, Captain Frank Bales, Surgeon-Capt. Hoyland, Surgeon-Lieut. Ward, Lieut. F.J. Cubitt, Liet. Orford, Mr. A. Winch, Mr. F.H. Forsdick, Mr. B.H. Burton, Mr. W.P. Burton, Mr. Cunningham Woods, Mr. Will Bantoft, Mr. J.E. Ransome, Mr. T.R. Elkington, and others.
After luncheon, the Chairman gave “The Queen,” which was drunk with cheers, and the loving cup was passed round. It was a merry scene this, as the gallant Volunteers, all unused to such a ceremony, bowed to one another, and roared with laughter over the fun of the thing. A cheer announced the rising of Lieutenant Orford, one of the Ipswich Company, who has volunteered for service, and is greatly disappointed that he has for the present to remain at home with the waiting Company.
The Mayor said before he proposed the toast with which he had been entrusted, he should like to mention that he had received some very kind letters from Mr. John D. Cobbold, Hon. W. Lowther – who was one of the first subscribers to the Fund which he (the Mayor) had opened the other day – Col. Thompson, Brigade-Surgeon Elliston, and Gen. Abadie, Commanding the Eastern District. General Abadie, in a letter expressing regret that he was unable to be present, owing to the fact that he was engaged at Norwich, heartily wished the Ipswich Volunteers every success, and concluded as follows:- “They have a hard time before them, and a hard nut to crack, but I feel certain they will do their duty to the best of their ability for their Queen, for their country, and for their county.” (Applause.) Continuing, the Major gave the toast of “Her Majesty’s Forces at home and aboard,” and, in doing so, remarked that it would be noticed that he made no distinction between Her Majesty’s force of all kinds – the Navy, and Army, and Reserve Forces. They were all her Majesty’s forces, and all are equally ready to do their duty whenever called upon to do so. (Applause.) Our Navy, they felt sure, was ready, and he thought, perhaps, it was owing to this fact that the country was not involved at the present time in complications outside South Africa. They knew that detachments of the Navy had been fighting side by side with the sister Service at the front, and they were told that the Navy had on more than one occasion saved the situation. He did not think that anyone who had carefully read the papers every morning – and who had not done so? – could possibly think that our Army of to-day was not equal to the Army which had fought for Britain in days gone by. (Applause.) They had read of officers and men vieing with each other in acts of bravery, and in showing that the “soldiers of the Queen” knew, as of old, how to fight and die for their country. (Renewed applause.) There had been defeats, but these had only made our soldiers more determined to succeed in the end. (Hear, hear). Napoleon once said, “These Englishmen never know when they are beaten,” and it was this indomitable spirit of our race which had built up the British Empire, and was bound to triumph over all disasters and difficulties. It had been a trying time to them at home, but he thought the nation had never appeared to greater advantage. There had been no panic; the voice of party politics had been hushed; and the nation had rallied shoulder to shoulder, to the wonder and the envy of half the world. (Loud applause). Out of evil, he felt assured, some good would certainly come. (Hear, hear). They had seen the Colonies holding out their hands to help the Mother land; they had seen such a wave of patriotism rush over the country as had not happened for many years past; and he thought the country had at last realised – what some of them knew all along – that that Volunteer force could be relied upon to do even more than its duty. (Applause). That force was started some 40 years ago by men who loved their country. It was born of patriotism and nurtured on patriotism; it had thriven in spite of snubs and some discouragement; and it must gladden the hearts of some of those who were responsible for its beginning to see that at last their efforts were bearing fruit. (Col. Josselyn: Hear, hear). They had met that day to wish “God speed” to the men of the 1st Volunteer Battalion Suffolk Regiment who had offered themselves for service in South Africa. These men were going out with a full knowledge of what they had to face. They knew well enough that they were going to face a soldier’s risk – possibly a soldier’s death; but they counted themselves proud to be amongst the first to show the country of what stuff the citizen soldiers were made. (Applause). He hoped each one of them would remember that he held in his individual hands the credit of the Volunteer Force – (a voice: “We will, sir,” and renewed applause) – of the 200,000 comrades whom they were leaving behind. Upon their conduct and bearing there depended, in no small degree, the future of the Volunteer Force. He was sure they would come back with honour and credit. “Remember that you carry with you,” the Mayor concluded, “our hearts and our hopes, and the good wishes of all your comrades; we shall watch your doings day by day; and when you return home victorious, as I hope and believe you will, I can promise you such a welcome as will repay you for all the hardships you may have undergone.” (Loud applause).
Sir Charles Dalrymple, M.P., who was received with applause, said in response, that though it was true he was an old Volunteer, and had served 25 years in the Militia, that time had gone by, and he should have thought there were many present who could have more appropriately answered the toast proposed by the Mayor. He well remembered joining the Volunteer forces on their formation, as an undergraduate at Cambridge 40 years ago, and he should have liked to appear in uniform on the present occasion. There were, however, reasons against doing so; one that the uniform would not button – (laughter) – and the other that two or three years ago he gave it to a young kinsman who was entering the regiment. (Applause.) The present gathering was one of extraordinary interest to us all. Our hearts were with the brave men who had gone forth, and were going forth, to do their duty for their Queen, and country, not only from this land, but from other lands, which were under the Queen’s benignant sway. (Applause.) Only on the previous day, he saw a young fellow in Edinburgh whom he knew well, and who had been selected to go forth with the cavalry, and now he (the speaker) was wishing Ipswich Volunteers God-speed on the same mission. (Hear, hear.) It showed to any that may have doubted it what a real thing the Volunteer movement had been, and that when the hour came, so did the men. (Applause.) The older men, whose day for soldiering had gone by, were grateful to the Mayor foe affording them the opportunity of meeting the Ipswich contingent of the Suffolk Volunteers on the present occasion. It was a memorable occasion in Ipswich – an occasion which none of them would miss, if possible (Hear, hear.) In conclusion he again wished the men God-speed.
Colonel Josselyn, who was received with cheers, also replied, and at the outset expressed thanks to the Mayor on behalf of the Volunteers for his hospitality, and equally kind remarks. (Hear, hear.) His heart was almost too full for words. Sixty-five years had passed over his head, and out of that number, 36 years had been spent in learning, in the first place, to do his duty, and afterwards in endeavouring to teach – and be trusted not altogether unsuccessfully – others to do their duty. (Applause). The day, thank God, had not yet come, and please God, it never would come:-
When our maidens rend their tresses,
For our great country’s fall,
And our old men gird on their old swords,
And go to man the wall.
– (Applause). We knew now that our backs were by no means driven to the wall, and he trusted they would not be. (Hear, hear.) The clarion cry to arms had resounded throughout the land, and how well it had been responded to, not only by the youth, energy, and manhood of England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, but by Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, Queenslanders, and every section of the Empire’s people in our Colonial possession. (Applause.) Our Volunteers were going out to fight a just and righteous war. (Applause.) They of the Ipswich contingent were going to join a regiment of historic fame – the old 12th Regiment, or the present Suffolk Regiment – and they would be under the command of one who was known to most of the men serving in the ranks of the Volunteer Battalions. George MacKenzie was a soldier to the backbone, and under him he (the speaker) would rather go into battle than under any other man in the British Army (Applause.) The direction of the campaign was now in the hands of the darling of the British Army – (Applause) – for he had never yet lost a battle and was one whom they trusted well. (Applause.) It was he whom the British Army styled as “Gallant Old Bobs.” (Cheers.) In conclusion, Colonel Josselyn urged the Volunteers to be worthy of their country, and let “For Queen and country, God defend the right,” be their war-cry. (Cheers.)
Col. Alderson also responded, observing that he was proud to see the gallant response that had been made to the call to arms in the country, not that he was in the least surprised at it. (Hear, hear.) An Englishman was never backward when any fighting was going on. (Applause.) There were no more distinguished regiments in the Army than those from the Eastern Counties – the 9th and 12th Regiments. Few regiments had gained more honours, and no regiment had a better record for good and soldier-like conduct under all conditions. (Hear, hear.) To the Ipswich Volunteers might he say, “God bless you,” and wish them a safe return to their Queen and country and their sweethearts. (Cheers.) If any of them did come across his soldier-boy now fighting in South Africa – (Applause) – he hoped they would make themselves at home with him, and they could not give greater pleasure to the boy’s father than by the knowledge he had shaken hands with an Eastern Counties’ Volunteer. (Applause.) He (the speaker) felt certain that his son would recognise them as most glorious companions in arms. (Loud applause.)
Sergeant Garrard, senior non-commissioned officer of the detachment, also replied, being received with applause. He was sure that all his comrades who were going with him would, if the opportunity arose, give a good account of themselves. (Applause.) On the other hand, they felt they were doing nothing more than hundreds would be glad to do. They were merely the fortunate ones, who had been selected to represent the 1st Suffolk Battalion, and he believed that every man was proud of the fact he had been picked. (Applause.)
Mr. D. Ford Goddard, who was welcomed with applause, said he understood the limits of time were very narrow, and that, consequently, the toast list could not be extended. He was entrusted with the task of proposing the hearty thanks of those present to the Mayor for the excellent hospitality he had shown to them on the present occasion, and for the interesting speech which he had delivered. (Applause.) It might hearten them however, to say that they would not be forgotten during their absence, and he took the opportunity of saying. “You will not be forgotten by us when you are out in South Africa, amidst the perils of war.” (Applause.) Personally, he disliked the war altogether. He knew there were a great many sorrowful hearts, but it was not their business to discuss that question. When England said We want men,” there were men ready to say they would go. (Applause.) Those who had volunteered had shown themselves to be true to their principles and to their country. There was a time, at the beginning of the Volunteer movement, when the Volunteers were laughed at, and said to be playing at war. The play-time had gone by, and now their Volunteers had nothing before them but the earnest reality of war itself. (Applause.) He had no doubt that the Ipswich contingent would show themselves earnest and gallant soldiers, and he wished to assure them that they would not be forgotten by those at home while they were in the midst of their troubles, hardships and dangers. (Cheers.)
The Mayor, in reply, expressed thanks to the Town Clerk and to Major Bond for the assistance they had rendered him in making the arrangements for the luncheon. He had done no more than his duty, or more than any other Mayor would have done. He wished to take the opportunity of thanking those friends, who within three days, provided the necessary money to complete the fund he had opened in connection with the departure of the Volunteers, and he should also like to thank Mr. B.H. Burton, who had offered to insure for £100 any man had anyone dependant on him. He thought that was a very generous offer – (cheers) – and he was sure he might express their gratitude to Mr. Burton.
SCENE ON THE CORNHILL
While the luncheon in progress, there came from the outside the sound of many voices, and the strains of martial music, and the Cornhill presented an extraordinary scene when the company went down to the entrance of the Town Hall. Thousands of the Ipswich people – men, women, and children – had assembled to take part in what was generally regarded as an historical occasion. Almost every inch of standing-room was occupied; spectators thronged the windows of all the buildings around, from the Golden Lion Hotel to the Post Office, and a number of cabs, tram-cars, and busses formed improvised grand stands which were all crowded with onlookers. A space in front of the Hall was kept clear by the Ipswich Volunteers, who had marched up from the Drill Hall at half-past two o’clock, and a strong detachment of the Borough Police, under Superintendent Pearson. The massed bands of the Rifle and Artillery Volunteers were in attendance, conducted by Mr. H. Dunt, and they performed selections of martial music, which were in harmony with the patriotic enthusiasm of the crowd.
As the active-service detachment trooped out of the hall, under the command of Lieut. Orford, with Sergeant-Major Sparkes in attendance, they were greeted with ringing cheers. The men wore the familiar dark-green uniform of the 1st V.B.S.R., all bore the badge which betokened their reputation as first-class shots, and a mere serviceable-looking company would not be seen in a day’s march even at this time. Presently the Mayor appeared wearing his robes and chain of office, accompanied by the Mayoress, the members of Parliament for the borough, and others who were present at the luncheon.
At a signal from his Worship, who stood on the stage of the Hall, with the Sergeants-at-Mace on either side, the massed bands played “God Save the Queen.” The Volunteers saluted, civilians raised their hats, and when the loyal strains ceased, the cheering was tumultuous, while hats and handkerchiefs were waved. The departing Volunteers were then severally called up by name to the front, and the Mayor presented every man with an envelope containing a cheque for £5 (payable on reaching Cape Town), and a very useful knife with lanyard attached, these articles being the gift of officers of the Volunteer Artillery. With each man, too, the Mayor shook hands, wishing him “God-speed.” The crowd around recognised and cheered a good many of the Volunteers, some of whom appeared to be especial favourites.
The Mayor, addressing the vast public assembly, then said: “We are met to-day to do honour to our local Volunteers who have offered themselves for service in South Africa. We are perfectly sure that every one of them intends to do his duty – (loud cheers) – and will do nothing to disgrace the town of Ipswich, the county of Suffolk, the uniform that he wears, or the flag under which he is going to fight. (Renewed cheers.) I now, in the name of the town of Ipswich, wish them all Good Bye. May God bless them and keep them; may they come back again safely; may this war soon be over; and may the Pax Britannica soon reign once more over South Africa. (Loud cheers.)
Major Bond came forward and said: Sergeant Garrard, and members of the Active Service Detachment – in the absence of Colonel Collins, who is unfortunately prevented from being present to-day, I have to bid farewell to you on his behalf, and that of the Battalion. We are very proud to see our men coming forward so patriotically in a time of stress and trouble; we feel that in South Africa you will feel that you have to sustain not only the credit of your own good names, but the honour of the Battalion to which you belong; and we know that, whatever lies before you, you will do your duty. (Loud cheers.)
Col. Josselyn craved permission, as honorary Colonel of the Regiment, to say a few words. It is a proud day for me, he said, the oldest Volunteer in the county of Suffolk, to see a sample of the bulk of our Volunteers starting to fight for the honour of our Regiment, and for Queen and country, in South Africa. I bid you all God speed; I hope to live to see you return to your native shores, covered with glory, and with the proud consciousness of having done your duty like men in a most righteous cause. Old comrades – God bless you all!
With the band playing “Soldiers of the Queen,” an immense concourse accompanied the detachment to the Railway Station, whither they were escorted by their comrades of the 1st V.B.S.R., under the command of the Ipswich Company officers. Some of the populace carried miniature Union Jacks. Messrs. R.D. and J.B. Fraser displayed flags upon their premises, and threw a line of flags across Princes Street. Here the crush was so great that many people were carried off their feet, while one unlucky man who stumbled and fell was nearly smothered, beneath others who tumbled over him, before Superintendent Pearson and the police could effect a rescue. The tram-cars and busses, black with passengers, could only proceed at the slowest pace; at the corner of Commercial Road, vehicles of all kinds were drawn up; and, outside the Railway Station, the scene was one of wild enthusiasm and confusion. Mr. Fitzjohn, the station-master, had made excellent arrangements, but it was only with the utmost difficulty that the Volunteers could be got on to the platform, and the cheering and shouting sightseers kept outside. In the vestibule of the booking-office, one man was knocked down and trampled upon, and had to be rescued by the police, and the large glass panel of an inner door was completely smashed. The entraining of the detachment was effected at last, however, the band meanwhile playing “Auld Lang Syne” and other airs; as the train moved off shortly after four o’clock, cheer after cheer was raised by the Volunteers and those of the public who had been admitted to the platform; and the little band of active-service men cheered lustily in return for their Brigade Major (Col. Ward) and other officers of the Battalion. It was altogether a magnificent send-off, and a demonstration that will be long remembered by all who took part in it.
1901 Suffolk Chronicle & Mercury Newspaper
Throughout Saturday in Ipswich there was considerable commotion. The scene at the Railway Station in the afternoon was marked by the utmost enthusiasm. Trams, buses, cabs, and other vehicles were closed in by the crowd, and any attempt by the drivers to move being quickly recognised as futile, a large number of persons lost no chance in getting on top, and using the roofs as points of ‘vantage’ from which to see the Volunteers as they marched off the station. The more venturesome secured positions on what looked almost inaccessible places, and the 20-feet hoarding facing the station provided an excellent position for those numerous young urchins who had lined the very top.
As the incoming train steamed into the arcade at the western end of the platform the massed bands of the Rifle and Artillery Volunteers played “Home, sweet home,” and “Auld Lang Syne,” and the returned Volunteers once more set foot in their native town, amidst much cheering and handshaking from those of their friends and comrades who were permitted on the platform. Outside, the Rifles, to the number of about 350, and the Artillery Volunteers, numbering about 100, had formed up in line, the latter forming up nearest the exit doors. The Rifles were under the command of Major F.G. Bond, the other officers with him being the Adjutant (Capt. Murray), Capt. Pretty, Capt. Tempest, Capt. Cubitt, Captain Birt, and Lieuts. Catchpole and Mason. The commanding officer of the Artillerymen was Capt. Horsfield, those in attendance with him being Lieut. H. Miller and Second Lieut. Parmenter. These officers, who were on the platform with several of the non-coms., had no time to take up their proper places in the procession, a general rush being made for the doors as soon as the khaki-clad Volunteers, headed by the bands, appeared outside. Disorder was general, and, the line formations having been completely broken up, it was useless to attempt to re-form. Friends and acquaintance of the Volunteers surged around the men, who were hoisted shoulder high, amidst great cheering. So matters continued for some minutes, and efforts to form anything like a procession seemed useless, for the time being, notwithstanding that assistance was rendered by a small detachment of six of the Suffolk Yeomanry Cavalry, under Acting-Sergt.-Major Bullen. Two of these being recruits, and apparently unaccustomed to the duties they had undertaken, if anything added to the disorder. With a large number of horses and vehicles in the station yard, the drivers of which were all trying to move in different directions, there was sufficient confusion, without the gallant Yeomen riding backwards through the crowd, on rearing steeds beyond control. The line of route between the station and the Cornhill being crowded, progress was necessarily slow, and it was with difficulty that the Volunteers could force their way along Princes Street. Many of the Rifles became hopelessly mixed in the crowd, but the Artillery being kept well to the rear, were able to preserve better order, notwithstanding they had to evade the frequent charges in the first part of the march of a Yeoman’s horse. Behind them followed in procession a number of buses, and being freighted with more than twice their carrying capacity, it was a matter of surprise that one or more of these did not collapse. The procession on reaching the Cornhill, which was already crowded, was the signal for a loud outburst of cheering, which became even more demonstrative when the 20 “gentlemen in khaki,” who had been carried on the shoulders of their friends were taken in that fashion to the Mayor (Mr. W.F. Paul), who in his robes was waiting to receive the Volunteers on the Town Hall steps. His worship cordially shook each by the hand, and having individually expressed his pleasure at meeting them again, addressed the gathering. His Worship, after the cheering had subsided, said in tones which were clearly audible on the other side of the hill, that as Mayor of the Borough it afforded him great pleasure to welcome those good men who had gone out to South Africa, and had honoured their town and country. (Cheers.) He only wished the force had returned in the complete way in which it had started out, and he would ask them all, in the most solemn silence, to express their great regret at the loss of those comrades the returning ones had to drop on the way. He would mention the name of Sergt. Garrard, a man whom they all knew, and whom he was pleased to say he had an interview and shock hands with on the morning of his departure from this country. There was also Prvt. May, and he would mention Sergt. Dykes, another Ipswich man, who was attached to the Ambulance Corps. These men had also lost their lives in the service of their country. His Worship concluded his expression of thanks by saying that he was convinced it was the wish of all fellow-townsmen that he should extend to them a most hearty welcome on their return to Ipswich. (Cheers.) The Mayor then invited the men to enter the Town Hall that he might drink their healths.
After the adjournment to the Town Hall the procession was re-formed, going through the town to the Drill Hall. The home-coming Volunteers were again shouldered, and lustily cheered as they were carried along the streets. At the headquarters the men were entertained by the officers and their comrades until about eight o’clock, when the band played them to the Lyceum, to which place of amusement they had kindly been invited to spend the evening by Mr. W.G. Fisk, the manager, and Mr. T. Maclagan, the manager of the La Poupee Company.
HONOURS FOR ACTIVE SERVICE
May 17th 1901 Suffolk Chronicle & Mercury newspaper.
At the meeting of the Ipswich Town Council on Wednesday, the Deputy-Mayor proposed the following resolution:- “That this Council do, in pursuance of the Honorary Freedom of Borough Act, 1883, confer the honorary freedom of this borough upon these members of the Headquarter Companies of the 1st Volunteer Battalion Suffolk Regiment, who are resident in Ipswich, and who have rendered eminent services to their country and this borough by volunteering for active service in South Africa in time of emergency; and that a copy of this resolution suitably engrossed, be signed by the Mayor, and presented to each of the Volunteers specified, namely:- Marshall Duggan, William Jarrold, Charles Wright, John Thomas Pye, John Percy Rogers, Frederick Percy Godbold, William Lambert, George John Norman, Hugh Amass Bothwell, Ernest Charles Chamberlain, Jeffrey Charles Snelling, Charles Slingsby, Edward Thomas Roper, William Frost.
The Deputy-Mayor, in moving the resolution, said he was quite sure, it was by a pure accident he was not able to carry this proposal into effect at the previous meeting of the Council, owing to there not being a sufficient number of members present. He asked the Council to now carry back their thoughts to the events of the autumn of 1899, which found Kimberley, Mafeking, and Ladysmith all besieged. Then came the black week, which none of them would ever forget, when the news of the disasters of Magersfontein. Stormberg, Coleneo made them realise suddenly that the country was face to face with one of the greatest crisis which had occurred for the last 50 years at least. Calls were made for Volunteers, and men left their peaceful occupations and flocked to enrol themselves under the flag of the Motherland, not from this country alone, but from uttermost parts of the Empire. What about the men which Ipswich sent out? They had fought in several engagements side by side, and shoulder to shoulder, with their regular comrades; they had endured great hardships, hunger, thirst, and sickness, and they had done so uncomplainingly. Three of the local contingent at least could not be welcomed home again, because they lay under the veldt, 6,000 miles from their homes and friends. Lord Roberts, as was a matter of common knowledge, had spoken in a most flattering way of the service of the Volunteers; and General French, under whom the Suffolk men had served, had also spoken very highly of them. Colonel Mackenzie, too, before the men left South Africa, thanked them for their service; those who knew Colonel Mackenzie were aware he was not in the habit of saying what he did not mean. (Hear, hear.) How had these men served their town? Each county which had a battalion in South Africa, he reminded the Council, was asked to supply an active-service company of 110 men; if Ipswich had not sent its fair share of men, it would have been disgraced. These men, therefore, in coming forward and doing their duty so well, had saved their town from humiliation, and conferred an honour upon it. (Hear, hear.) The hon. freedom which it was proposed to present to the Volunteers conferred no privileges whatever upon the recipients, but he did not think it would be appreciated say the less on that account. He would also like to include in this motion a proposal for the placing of a tablet in the Town Hall, bearing the names of these Volunteers; he should feel it a great honour if he was permitted to bear the cost personally. (Hear, hear.)
Mr. W.T. Pretty, in seconding, remarked that the attitude of the public towards Volunteers had changed a great deal during the last twelve months. The Volunteer forces stood between the public and conscription, and he thought for that reason they were deserving of a certain amount of gratitude. (Hear, hear.) Personally, he intended to look after the returned Volunteers in the matter of employment, should any of them be without work.
The motion was carried.
The Mayor said he had anticipated what would be the decision of the Town Council, and he had taken the liberty to draft and have engrossed a suitable address for presentation to each of these men. (Hear, hear.) He thought the valve of the hon. freedom would be enhanced if the presentation were made promptly and accordingly he had invited these 13 gentleman to dine with him at the Town Hall on Thursday night, and he would take that opportunity of presenting them with the freedoms. (Hear, hear.) As to Mr. Churchman’s suggestion for the placing of a tablet in the Town Hall, no notice had been given of such a proposal, and its consideration might very well be postponed for a month.
Editors note: The Roll of Honour book for Freedom of the Borough has all the names listed but “unsigned” On arrival from train station, the men marched to the Town hall where they received the Freedom. But this was rushed as the full Council had not voted on it. The Council voted it on the 15th but the date is marked as the 8th.
“Freedom of the Borough of Ipswich”
Freedom of the Borough is the highest honour given to an individual. Ipswich had given the honour to Lord Kitchener and Lord Nelson, both High Steward’s of Ipswich.
Recorded in the book on May the 8th 14 Ipswich men were honoured for their service during the South African campaign. The Mayor and Councillors invited the men into the Town hall and inducted them into the Roll of Honour Book, for the Freedom of The Borough. Included in the list was HUGH AMASS BOTHWELL who was later killed in action in the 1914-18 War.
IPSWICH VOLUNTEERS at CHURCH
UNVEILING MEMORIAL TABLET
March 1901 Suffolk Chronicle & Mercury newspaper
A very interesting and attractive service was held at St. Michael’s Church, Ipswich, on Sunday afternoon, the occasion being the unveiling of a memorial tablet to the late Sergt. Garrard, who died whilst serving with the Volunteer Companies in South Africa. Parade formed up at the Drill Hall at three o’clock, there being five Companies of the 1st V.B.S.R., including the cyclists, and the Boys’ Brigade connected with St. Michael’s and other churches of the town. The officers present included Major F.G. Bond (in command), Major W.A. Churchman, Captain and Adjutant F. Murray, Captain F.W. Turner, Captain W. Tertius Pretty, Lieut. W. Catchpole, Lieut. M.F. Mason, and Lieut. G.B. Steward. There were altogether about 230 on parade, including officers, but the muster would have undoubtedly been larger had the recruits, numbering about one hundred, received their equipments and clothing. Leaving the Drill Hall at 3.15, the Volunteers, headed by the band , under Band-Master Dunt, followed by the Cyclists Company, looking very smart and trim, under Capt. Pretty, the rear being brought up by the Boys’ Brigade. Arrived at St. Michael’s Church, the Volunteers occupied the seats reserved for them. A hymn having been sung, the Vicar, the Rev. W.J. Garrould, announced that the tablet on the south wall of the transept would be unveiled, and thereupon Capt. Turner and Segt.-Major Sparkes, and Colr.-Sergt. W. Fenner and Colr.-Sergt. A. Mills formed up and marched to the south transept. The Colr.-Sergeants unveiled the tablet and the Sergt.-Major, at the request of the Vicar, read the inscription aloud, as follows:-
“This Tablet is erected by the non-commissioned Officers of the Ipswich Companies 1st V.B.S.R. as a token of fraternal regard to the memory of Sergeant E.C. Garrard, who died while serving with the Volunteer Company at Germiston, South Africa, July 7th 1900, aged 27 years.”
The service was then resumed, the Vicar delivered an admirable discousre, chosing for his subject “A Good Soldier,” in the course of which he referred to the late Sergt. Garrard, as essentially coming within the category of a good soldier, and said it must be gratifying alike to his friends and conrades to see how highly he was respected, and how greatly his services as Captain of the Boys’ Brigade, and in other capacities as an ardent and efficient Volunteer were appreciated. The offertory was in aid of the Widows and Orphans of the soldiers who had fallen in South Africa.
After church, the Volunteers marched back to the Drill Hall, where the Companies formed up in the outer rink in quarter column, and the Volunteer long-service and good conduct medal was presented to Bandsman C. Butcher by Major F.G. Bond, who, in a brief address, pointed out that the medal was one much coveted amongst Volunteers, and one which they highly prized when it fell to their lot to receive it, as a member had to do twenty years’ service, while his conduct had to be satisfactory to entitle him to be recommended for such an honour. He (Major Bond) might say that he believed that that was the first medal of the kind presented under the new reign. He hoped that the presentation that day would act as an incentive to the recruits present to try and deserve a like acknowledgement of their services.
Note: Sadly the tablet and memorial were lost in a fire in 2011.
Major J.BRITIAN’S DEFENDERS
MEMORIAL UNVEILED IN IPSWICH
GENERAL FRENCH ON SUFFOLK PROWESS
THE “MORAL EFFECT” IN WAR
SPEECHES BY THE MARQUIS OF BRISTOL AND SIR CUTHBERT QUILTER
1st October 1906 EADT
On Saturday afternoon, in the presence of an immense crowd, which filled the Cornhill at Ipswich, to the outermost corners, General Sir John French, G.C.V.O., K.C.B., K.C.M.G., Commander-in-Chief, Aldershot Army Corps, unveiled the East Suffolk memorial to the soldiers of the Suffolk Regiment, and soldiers from the Eastern half of the county serving with other regiments, who fell in the South Africa War. The weather being fine, and the day being a half holiday, two important elements in the success of a big outdoor function were secured. Not only were the townspeople thoroughly resolved upon taking what part they could in the interesting ceremonial, but inhabitants of the surrounding towns and villages of East Suffolk visited the Borough in large numbers for the purpose of attending the function, many coming from a considerable distance. The result was that, long before the hour fixed for the ceremony, the Cornhill had begun to wear an appearance of considerable animation, and the numerous duties of the police in managing and directing the large crowd began early. Admirable preparations had been made by Captain J. Mayne, Chief Constable of East Suffolk hon. secretary to the committee, in consultation with Colonel Russell, Chief Constable of the Borough, and the Town Clerk (Mr. Will Bantoft), to ensure the best use being made of the available space, so that the ceremony should have a suitable and effective matter, and that the subscribers to the memorial and the general public should be able to see and hear what took place with the minimum of inconvenience. The calculations had been very accurately made, and though it seemed to some that the barriers took rather a wide sweep, there was really very little room to spare within the enclosure while the proceedings were taking place.
The memorial stands about 13ft 6in. high, the statue itself, of which a sketch appears, being about 6ft 3in., whilst the pedestal is a little over 9ft. The pedestal is made of stone, and has panels in bronze on each of its sides. Those at the back and sides bear the names of those who fell in the war, whilst the one in front bears the following dedication:-
SUFFOLK SOLDIERS’ MEMORIAL
Erected by Suffolk people as a monument to Suffolk Soldiers who lost their lives in the South African War, 1899 – 1902.
Surmounting this pedestal is a finely designed and modelled statue of a soldier in khaki uniform. Bare-headed he stands with rifle reversed, as at the graveside of a comrade. The poise of the head, bent low in reverence, and the facial expression are intensely pathetic. The sense of grief and the seriousness of the moment are indicated through the whole attitude of this dignified figure, and whilst the treatment of the work throughout is board and sculpturesque, none of the detail has been left unstudied, the sculptor having given infinite care to this, with the result that great accuracy is the representation of a soldier has been achieved.
The statue has been most successfully cast in bronze by the cire-perdue (lost wax) process.
The pedestal, with its bronze panels, though simple in design, is well fitted to carry the more elaborate statue above. It may be interesting to know that the sculptor choose for his model for this statue one who had served in the South African war, rather than work from an ordinary professional model.
THE SCENE ON THE CORNHILL
The figure of the soldier has its back to the Town Hall, and behind is a stone water trough., harmonising with the pedestal. On the figure’s left hand a small platform, which had been coloured blue instead of the customary red, had been erected, and a few chairs had been placed thereon for the use of those taking actual part in the ceremony. Between this and the Town Hall were about a dozen chairs for the ladies accompanying these distinguished visitors, and the main body of this audience within the enclosure were seated on chairs, arranged in three blocks, between the platform and the pavement on the left side of the Town Hall as seen from that edifice. Members of the 1st Volunteer Battalion Suffolk Regiment, under Colonel W.A. Churchman, lined the enclosure round its whole length, the other officers of the unit present being the Adjutant Captain D’Arcy Smith, Major Hart, Captain W.T. Pretty, and Captain Catchpole, and Lieut. Cubitt. Across the space immediately in front of the Town Hall was drawn up the Guard of Honour, which was composed of about a hundred men of the 1st Battalion Suffolk Regiment from Woolwich, who attended with their colours, band, and buglers, under Captain Cooper, Lieuts. Taylor and Walker being also present. The band occupied a position on the right, and for about an hour before the ceremony played selections which were highly appreciated by their large audience. The programme submitted by Bandmaster Varnfield included:-
Grand Military Fantasia – “In Memoriam” Yeabsley.
Valse – “Sympathie” – Mezzocappo.
Grand Military Tattoo – Lieut. Mackenzie Rogan.
Song – “In Sympathy” – Leonf.
“The Death of Nelson” – Brahms.
Dream Pictures – “A Phantom Brigade” – Myddleton.
In lines at right angles with the guard of honour were detachments of the Imperial Yeomanry, under Major Royce Tomkin, and the Harwich Bearer Company, R.A.M.C. (Vols.), under Captain Gibb, while facing the memorial at the far side of the enclosure were detachments of the 2nd V.B. Suffolk Regiment, under Captain Beevor, the Royal Horse Artillery, L Battery, Ipswich, under Lieut. Ramsden, the Harwich Defences R.E. and R.A., under Lieut. Cameron, Suffolk R.G.A. (Militia), under Capt. Kendle, R.M.A.; 1st Suffolk and Harwich R.G.A. (Volunteers), under Lieut. Parmenter. Each of these units consisted of an officer, a sergeant, and 12 men. Major C.F. Lennock, commanding the 12th Regimental District, was present, representing the Depot of the Suffolk Regiment, Bury St. Edmund’s, but there were no men from there. On the Town Hall steps were a considerable number of members of the local Boys’ Brigade and Church Lads’ Brigade, while an avenue of police kept the centre portion of the steps clear. The remaining space close up to the Town Hall was completely filled, and at every window of the building could be seen a crowd of faces, the people for the most part being seated on slightly rising platforms, so that all had a good view of what was going on. The roof of the Town Hall, like that of every building commanding a view of the Cornhill, had a sprinkling of more venturous sightseers, and every one of the scores of windows facing the scene was filled with interested spectators. The crowd on such portions of the Cornhill as were available to the general public was a dense, solid mass of human beings, who were scarcely able to move. Old inhabitants say that they have never previously beheld such a crowd in Ipswich. On the whole, they were orderly, and no untoward incident is reported, but in one part, and, unfortunately, it was the nearest to the platform, there was, more or less, hubbub constantly going on. It was not an occasion for elaborate display of flags and bunting, and very little colour was to be seen above ground, except such as was provided by the hues of ladies attire, but the varied uniforms of the others imparted a certain picturesqueness to the scene, which, above all, was most distinguished for impressiveness.
As the time for the ceremony drew near, the great crowd was everywhere on the alert to catch the first possible glimpse of
Some particulars of the career of this distinguished soldier may be appropriate here. General Sir John Denton Pinkstone French began serving his country as a naval cadet and midshipman in the Royal Navy, but after four years of sea life, he entered the Army in 1874, commencing his military career in the Suffolk Artillery Militia at Ipswich. He afterwards joined the 8th Hussars, in which regiment he served through the Soudan campaign (1884-5), taking part in the actions of Abu Kleea, Gubut, and Metemmeh. He was mentioned in despatches, and was awarded a medal with two clasps and the Khedive star. From 1889 – 1893 he commanded the 19th Hussars, and was then appointed Assistant Adjutant-General of Cavalry on the Staff. A position which he exchanged later for the post of Assistant Adjutant- General at the Headquarters of the Army. His next appointment was that of Brigadier to command the 2nd Cavalry Brigade, from which he was transferred as temporary Major-General to command the Cavalry Divisions in Natal, when the South African war broke out in 1889. He commanded troops at the battle of Elandslaagte, and command cavalry in Sir George White’s forces in the battles of Reitfontein and Lombard’s Kop. His name chiefly came to the front while commanding troops in operations round Colesberg, from November 10th, 1899, to January 31st, 1900, during which period he fought several important engagements. He commanded the cavalry force in the operations culminating in the relief of Kimberley in February, 1900, and subsequently commanded, as Lieutenant-General, the cavalry division in Lord Roberts’ forces throughout the operations ending in the capture of Bloemfontein and Pretoria; and in the battles east of Pretoria, on the 10th and 12th June, 1900, he commanded the left wing. In connection with these engagements he was mentioned in despatches eight times. Later he was in charge of the forces during the operations previous to the capture of Barberton, and also commanded the forces in the Eastern Transvaal during the spring of 1901. He was in active work right up to the end of the war, having before then been promoted to be Major-General, and directed the final operations against the rebels in Cape Colony.
Almost as soon as three o’clock had struck there was a stir amongst the spectators, and many repetitions of the words, “There he is,” from all around, showed how interested the people were in General French. He has been the guest of Sir Cuthbert Quilter at Bawdsey Manor, and motored over from there with his host, and accompanied by his Aide-de-Camp, Major J. Arnold C. Quilter, of the Grenadier Guards (who, as a Lieutenant, rescued several wounded comrades from the burning veldt, while under fire at Biddulphsberg, South Africa. on the 29th May, 1900, and Major Maitland Kersey, D.S.O., of the Herefordshire Yeomanry, Major Quilter, it may be mentioned, is Assistant Military Secretary, Northern Command, and is a son of Sir Cuthbert Quilter. Preceded by the Town Sergeants in livery, bearing the maces,
the Mayor of Ipswich, in official robes and chain, led the way to the centre of the enclosure, accompanied by the Bishop of Ipswich (the Right Rev. H.L. Paget), in his canonicals, and followed by the Lord-Lieutenant of the County (the Marquis of Bristol), in uniform, while there were also of the party General Sir John French and his Aides-de-Camp, the Earl of Stradbroke, as Colonel of the 1st Norfolk R.G.A. (Volunteers); Lord Rendlesham, chairman of the County Council and Quarter Sessions, as Honorary Colonel of the Suffolk Artillery; Sir Cuthbert Quilter, in the uniform of a Deputy-Lieutenant; General C.R. Townley, commanding Harwich Infantry Volunteer Brigade; Lieut. Eley Quilter, Suffolk Imperial Yeomanry; Colonel Sir Howard Whitbread, C.B., who was associated with General French in this district in the early years of his military career; Col. R.J. Carthew, Suffolk R.G.A. Militia; Col. Barnardiston; Col. F.W. Scudamore, 3rd Battalion Suffolk Regiment; Capt. E.G. Pretyman, in the uniform of a Cavalry officer; Capt. Mayne, hon. sec; Mr. Albert Toft, the sculptor; and others. Amongst the ladies who made their appearance about this time were the Marchioness of Bristol, wearing a black gown, black bonnet, and black feather boa; Lady Beatrice Pretyman, who was also in black, but wore a white toque, bespangled with sequins and trimmed with black and white, and a white boa; Lady Evelyn Cobbold, who was entirely in black, with a black picture hat, draped with a long black veil, and wearing a mauve scarf; Mrs. Paget, who wore a black silk gown, a large white mushroom hat, with a black ruche and pale pink roses under the brim, over it being a large black lace veil, which fell down in folds behind; the Hon. Misses Thellusson, who came with Lord Rendlesham; Lady Florence Barnardiston, Mrs. Scudamore, Mrs. Townley, Mrs. Toft, and others. The Mayoress was unable to be present, being aboard.
Soon after his arrival, General French, accompanied by Col. Townley, inspected the 1st Suffolks, and subsequently inspected some of the other units present.
A great deal of interest was taken in,
who was conspicuous not only in the plainness of his dress in comparison with the gorgeous personages around him, but also on account of his youthful appearance. Mr. Albert Toft, who is one of the leaders of the younger generation of sculptors, is a native of Birmingham. His father, Mr. Charles Toft, was for over 20 years chief modeller to Messrs. Elkington, the well-known silversmiths of that city, and for some time modelling master at the Birmingham School of Art. His father transferred his services to the firm of Jonah Wedgewood and Sons, and with them young Albert Toft served a three years’ apprenticeship to modelling for pottery. At the end of that time he gained a national scholarship at the Newcastle-under-Lyme School of Arts, and he entered upon a course of studies in sculpture at the Royal College of Art in London, of which institution he is now an honorary associate. During his three years’ work there he carried off, besides many medals, the first prize in the college for the model of a figure from life. At the expiration of his scholarship he begun his career as a sculptor, and for many years he has been an exhibitor at the Royal Academy and other exhibitions throughout the world.
The work with which he first won fame was his statue of “Lilith,” the weird phantom of Rabbinical mythology, represented in the nude, with a serpent coiling round her; and it was further enhanced by “Fate-Led,” a magnificent work which was exhibited at the Royal Academy, and which has found a permanent home at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool. “In the Sere and Yellow Leaf,” a wonderful study of old age, and the marvellous “Spirit of Contemplation,” added further renown to his laurels. Among the more important of his other works may be cited “The Goblet of Life,” “Hager,” “Age and the Angel of Death,” “The Cup of Immortality,” and “Spring”- the original model of which is now in the Birmingham Art Gallery. In the realm of portraiture Mr. Toft occupies a distinguished place, and his busts of W.E. Gladstone and Philip James Bailey are accounted amongst the best examples of their kind. Other important works include the heroic statue of Henry Richard at Tregaron, the Mr. William Pearce memorial near Govan, the Gladstone memorial at Penmaenmawr, the Queen Victoria at Nottingham, the War Memorial in Warwick Church, the King Edward Coronation bust for Leamington, the Rajah Chief of Bamra statue near Calcutta, and other big works, in addition to a number of noteworthy portrait busts.
SOME OF THOSE PRESENT
Amongst others noticed to be present were: Lord Huntingfield and the Hon. Mrs. Vanneck, Mr. E. Beauchamp, M.P., and Mrs. Beauchamp,
Mr. D. Ford Goddard, M.P(Pictured)., Mr. and Mrs. C.H. Berners, Sir Thomas Tacon (Major of Eye) and Lady Tacon, Alderman J.H. Grimwade (Deputy Mayor of Ipswich, pictured) and Mrs. Grimwade, Mr. and Mrs. A.M. Bernard, Col. Sir Joshua Rowley, Bart., V.D. (Hon. Colonel 2nd V.B.S.R.), and the Hon. Lady Rowley, Mr. Nathaniel Catchpole and Miss Dunne, Mr. G. Butcher, Mr. and Mrs. C.E. Tempest, Mr. T. Alderton, Mr. H.W. Raffe, Mr. and Mrs. E.P. Ridley, Mr. and Mrs. George Fenn, Mr. and Mrs. H.M. Jackaman, Mr. A.E. Smith (chairman of Halesworth Urban District Council), Mr. C. Terry (chairman East Stow Rural District Council) and Mrs. Terry, Mr. and Mrs. W. Wade, Mr. and Mrs. W. Hunt (chairman Woodbridge Rural District Council), Mr. and Mrs. G.J. Gosling (Stowmarket), Mr. W. Short and Miss Short, Mr. W. Bantoft (Town Clerk of Ipswich), Mr. E. Buckham (Borough Surveyor), Dr. and Mrs. Bartlet, Mr. G.F. Josselyn, General H.P. Phillipps and Mrs. Phillipps, Admiral Sir Lambton Loraine and Lady Loraine, General and Mrs. Martin, General A. Murray, General Sir Richard Farren, K.C.B., and Lady Farren, Col. H.F. Mercer, C.B., (commanding R.H.A.) and Mrs. Mercer, Major E.R.H. Cloete, R.H.A., and Mrs. Cloete, Colonel W.C. Saville, D.S.O. (commanding Harwich Defences) and Mrs. Saville, Col. S.S. Hoyland, V.D., R.A.M.C., and Mrs. Hoyland, Col. and Mrs. Alderson, Col. Bence Lambert, C.M.G., and Mrs. Bence Lambert, Major A.W. Cobbold, Ven. Archdeacon and Mrs. Lawrence, Canon Tompson, Canon and Mrs. Pigot, Canon Rogers, Rev. W.E. and Mrs. Fletcher, Rev. J. and Mrs. Powell, Rev. T. Holt Wilson and Mrs. Wilson, Mr. E.C. Ransome, Mr. C.H. Lomax, Mr. George Fiske, Mr. H.P. Varley, Mr. Walter Brooke, Mr. and Mrs. G.H. Garrett, Mr. and Mrs. Dudding, Mr. and Mrs. A. Townshend Cobbold and Miss Cobbold, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Miller, and Mr. and Mrs. H.W. Cullum. In response to the request by the Lord Lieutenant and the Committee, a large number of the officers present in the enclosure as visitors donned uniforms.
A long list of acceptances included the following, many of whom were doubtless present:- The Hon. Douglas Tollemache, Hon. A. Mulholland, Sir Frederick Adair, Bart., the Dowager Lady Blois, the Misses Blois, Lady North, Lady Cunninghame, Miss Cunninghame, Lady Constance Barne, Lady Cholmeley, Sir F. Gorell Barnes, Bart., Sir Walter Olivey, Mrs. Eley, Mr. Burness, Colonel F.A. Lucas, Sir Charles Dalrymple, Mr. J.G.S. Anderson, Mayor of Aldeburgh, Dr. H. Bournes Walker (Deputy-Mayor of Lowestoft), Mr. A. McQueen (Deputy-Mayor of Beccles), Rev. F. French, General R. Upcher, Mr. L.F. Orde, and Mr. E.W. Moore. The following Chairmen of Urban and Rural District Councils:- Mr. Frank Mason, Mr. Frank Garrett, jun., Mr. T.P. Borrett, Colonel H. Abdy Collins, Mr. L.W. Hayward, Mr. S.T. Harwood, Mr. C.W. Chaston, Mr. Kerry Rix, Mr. L.T. Clarkson. Members of the Executive Committee:- Mr. R. Eaton White, Mr. Edward Packard, and Colonel A.C. Churchman, Ipswich Town Councillors and Magistrates:- Mr. F. Bennett, Col. F. Turner, V.D., Mr. S.G. Howe, Mr. Raymond Bennett, Mr. P.W. Cobbold, Mr. T.R. Elkington, Mr. Lewis Moir, Mr. F. Bird, Mr. F.E. Rands, Mr. Owen Turner, Mr. W.J. Catchpole, Mr. W.S. Cowell, Mr, Sydney S. Brand, Mr. H. Underwood, Mr. W.F. Paul, Mr. W. O. White, Mr. J.R. Staddon, Mr. J. Pratt, Mr. W.J. Christie, Mr. J.S. Corder, Mr. A. Gibb, Mr. W.P. Burton, Mr. G.W. Horsfield; County Officials, Mr. A.F. Vulliamy, Mr. H.E. Garrod; Naval and Military Officers, Admiral Pelham Aldrich, C.V.O., Colonel and Mrs. Bond, Colonel Huddleston, Colonel and Mrs. Holland, Colonel Thompson, Colonel G.S. Elliston, V.D., Colonel Gall, Colonel Gore, Colonel St. John Fancourt, Colonel Cooper, Colonel Marshall, Colonel Sage, Colonel Dunwich, Colonel Grant, Colonel Boteler, colonel Campbell, Colonel Stokoe, Colonel James, Colonel Downing, Colonel Wilkinson, Colonel Taylor, Colonel Flint, Colonel Lloyd-Anstruther, Captain Hervey, Major Greenley, D.S.O. Major Turner, Brigade Surgeon Oldham, Major Moore, Major Copeman, Captain Sir Vere Isham, Captain Price, Captain Prentice Captain Michael Hughes, Captain Marshall, Capt. Symon, Mr. E.J. Cheney, Mr. Tidswell, Mr. W.A. Tollemache, Mr. R. Duncan Parker, Mrs. R. Holmes White, Mr. Parry Crooke, Mr. Lingwood, Mr. Fison, Mr. H.J. White-Jervis, Mr. Corrance, Mr. Balfour, Mr. Dashwood, Mr. Arthur Dashwwod, Mr. Long, Mr. Hunter-Rodwell, Mr. Millbank, Mr. Ford, Mr. Pearson, Mr. M. G. Hale, Mr. Francis Cobbold, Mr. Moorsom, Mr. Dickson, Mr. H. St. G. Cobbold, Mrs. Wahab, Mr. Harrington, Mr. Fraser, Mr. A. Fraser, Mr. Lindsay Scott, Mrs. Fitzroy Talbot, Miss Rowley, Mrs. Nathaniel Cobbold, Mr. Lucas Cobbold, Mr. A.S. Garrett, Mr. Clement Cobbold, Mr. Rapp, Rev. J. Steward, Mrs. Llewellyn Evans, Captain Showers (Chief Constable of Essex) and Mrs. Showers, Sir Paynton Pigott, M.V.O. (Chief Constable of Norfolk) and Mrs. Pigott, Major E.P. Prest (Chief Constable of West Suffolk).
Before proceeding to give an account of the ceremony which had brought all these people together, it will doubtless, not be regarded as inappropriate if a brief account is here interpolated of the territorial regiment whose ranks have supplied so many of the names inscribed on the bronze panels of the memorial pedestal.
which has for its motto “Mentia Insignia Calpe” (Calpe is the ancient designation of Gibraltar), and a castle and key the armorial bearing of Gibraltar), as its badge, was formally known as the 12th Regiment of Foot. The battle honours borne on its colours were most hardly earned, and begin with the name of “Dettingen” (1743), in which battle – the last battle at which an English king was present in person – the regiment fought under the eye of King George II, against the French, the steady courage of the splendid British infantry turning impending disaster into a great victory over a superior force. General Sir James Wolfe (of Quebec) was Adjutant of the regiment at Dettingen, and also at Fontenay two years later. Perharps the most famous fight in which the Suffolk Regiment has ever taken part was the battle of Minden, a name which stands for the undying glory of British infantry, six regiments of which, with the aid of two battalions of Hanoverians, shattered the cavalry of France, and drove from the field every body of troops which ventured to oppose them. This was in 1759, and during the next few years the regiment took part in several conflicts with the French. In 1779 they were amongst the brave defenders of Gibraltar, the siege of which, by France and Spain, lasted until 1783, during which time a mere handful of men, comparatively, had to withstand the fiercest efforts of numerous and powerful foes. For a long time the gallant defenders were content merely to resist as best they could the assaults of the enemy, but on the night of November 26th, 1781, two regiments, of which one was the Suffolk, and the Grenadiers and Light Infantry of the garrison, made a dash for the Spanish batteries. In a few hours, with the aid of fire, they destroyed utterly works that had cost the Spaniards £2,000,000 to construct. The great effort of the Spaniards and their allies on September 13th, 1782, need not be dwelt on here; it is enough to remind readers that the Suffolk Regiment played its part in one of the greatest war spectacles which Europe has ever witnessed, in which the British garrison of the Rock covered itself with a glory which can never grow dim. Freed from Gibraltar by the success of British arms, the Suffolk Regiment next found itself taking part in the Flanders campaign in 1793-4, when it was hurried off to the West Indies, which it helped to capture for the British. Four years later the regiment assisted in defending our East Indian possessions against Tippoe Saih, the rapacious Sultan of Mysore, who ultimately fell at Seringapatam before a volley of the Suffolk Regiment. The name of this battle was the next after “Minden” to be inscribed on the Suffolk colours. In 1809 the regiment was again fighting with valour in India, supported only by a force of Sepoys, they had to fight the Rajah of Travancore and 30,000 men at Quilon and Cochin, but they scattered the Rajah’s army, and forced him to submit. This gallant service, and subsequent brilliant work at the capture of the islands of Bourbon and the Mauritius gained for them the addition of “India” on their colours. This was followed by “South Africa, 1851-2-3,” which told of hard fighting against the South Africans, and “New Zealand” followed, representing six years of stubborn operations against the Maoris. In 1852, on February 26th, 55 men of the 12th Regiment were drowned at the terrible wreck of the Birkenhead, off Cape Colony. The next inscription on the colours was “Afghanistan,” where in 1878 the regiment went to avenge our murdered envoy. Later they were engaged in the Hazara expedition of 1888, but their next great campaign was in South Africa, for which they embarked on the outbreak of the Boer War, on November 11th, 1889.
The regiment was placed at the disposal of general French, who had the difficult task of stemming the Boer invasion of Cape Colony. On January 6th, 1900, the regiment was ordered to make a night attack on a Boer position on the heights near Colesberg, when four companies, 354 of all ranks, set out at midnight under the command of Col. Watson. The secret had leaked out, and when laboriously climbing up the rough hill side in the dark, the Suffolks were met by a storm of bullets. The Colonel was amongst the first to fall, and the party retired with 11 officers and 150 men killed, wounded or captured. General French adversely criticised two of the companies, but subsequently at Middelburg, when he was in possession of further information from the captured officers, he handsomely withdrew his criticism in a public speech in the Market Square of Middelburg. Much hard work in trekking and fighting was performed by the regiment in various parts of the Transvaal and Orange Free State, including the “advance to Pretoria,” and at Middelburg, Barberton, Piet Retief, Bethel, Rustenberg, etc. The surprise of De Wet’s camp at Bothaville on November 6th, 1900, gave the Mounted Infantry Company of the Suffolks an opportunity for distinction, which they did not fail to take advantage of. During the fight the Boers, who at first largely outnumbered the British, made a desperate effort to seize the English guns, but Lieuts. White and Peebles and the Suffolks, as mentioned in Sir Conan Doyle’s story of the war, “most galantly held them off.” Under General Smith-Dorrien‘s command, the regiment took part in an expedition from Belfast on November 6th, when the column sustained a heavy fire on all sides by a large force of Boers. Their steadiness resulted, however, in a complete repulse of the Boers, who lost General Fowrie and Commandant Henry Prinsloo, while General J. Grobler was amongst the wounded. On February 6th, 1901, the Suffolks, still with General Smith-Dorrien, were the object, with others of a desperate night attack by General Louis Botha, at Lake Chrissie, but although the onslaught was made at 3 a.m., the British were on the alert and the Boers (who had driven loose horses in front of them to disorder the outposts) suffered severe defeat.
The regiment was more than once the subject of complimentary notice from leaders in the war. Lord Roberts commended the Suffolks for gallantry in the action that resulted in driving the Boers from their positions in the Drakensberg Range on September 9th, 1900, under General Mahon, prior to the taking of Barberton, and on February 1st, 1901, the following order was published: “It has given the Major-General commanding much pleasure to bring to the notice of the Commander-in-Chief the excellent and bold work done by the mounted troops, Suffolks, West Yorks, and guns in the recent move to Carolina.”
In connection with the South African campaign mention must not be omitted of the invaluable services rendered by the Volunteers who went out to March and fight side by side with their comrades of the Regular battalion.
The casualties of the regiment during the campaign amounted to eight officers, 146 non-commissioned officers and men killed in action or died of wounds, disease etc., and seven officers, 103 non-commissioned officers and men wounded – a total of 264. The following soldiers of the regiment gained the medal for distinguished conduct on the field of battle:- For gallant conduct at Colesberg, on 6th January, 1900: Sergt. G. Claridge, Privates C. Childs, T.H. Darley (two wounds), W. Hall, and G. Risby. For gallant conduct at Bothaville 6th November, 1900 – Corpl. A. Fuller, Private A. Oliver, who were both wounded. For distinguished conduct throughout the war: Colour Sergt, Godbolt, Sergeants E. Ager, A. Wheaton, and G. Ford. Colonel Mackenzie was awarded a C.B., and four officers the D.S.O., namely, Captains Brett, Peebles, White, and Barnardiston. Captains Prest and Lloyd were awarded “Brevet majorities.”
The Battalion served in Cape Colony (twice), Orange Free State (twice), Eastern Transvaal (twice), and Western Transvaal, under the following Commanders: Generals French, Lord Kitchener, Settle, W. Knox, Maxwell, Hutton, Mahon, Dickson, C. Knox, Smith-Dorrien, Wilson, and Col. George Mackenzie.
TOLL OF THE BRAVE
Appended is a list of the Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers, and men, belonging to the Suffolk Regiment, and of soldiers belonging to East Suffolk in other corps, who lost their lives in the South African War, 1899 – 1902.
THE SUFFOLK REGIMENT
Lt.-Col. A.J.Watson, Dublin; Major W. De La P. Lloyd, Cork; Capts. A.W. Brown; R.M. Dowie; W.G. Thomson; Capt. and Adjt. F.A.P. Wilkins; Lieuts: S.J. Carey; C.A. White, Woodbridge; Sergt.-Drmr. L. Orbell, Bury St. Edmund’s; Sergts.: J. Baker, London; F. Coleman, Ipswich; E.C. Garrard, Ipswich; A. Housden, Soham; E. Morgan, Claydon; W. Palmer, Alresford; Lce.-Sergt. H. Arrowsmith, Balham; Corpl. E.B. Green, Ashby-de-la-Zouch; Lce.-Corps. W. Andsley, Bermondsey; J.M. Attwell, Newport; E. Dames, Finsbury; W. Day, Dalham; C. Allingham, Luton; A. Goddard, Deal; H. Nixon, Coates; T. Read, Walsham-le-Willows; W. Reynolds, Witnesham; G. Sturgeon, Bury St. Edmund’s; Drmr. J. Walden, Coney Weston; Prvts.: G. Allensby, Walworth; J. Arbon, Stanton; A. Arnull, Newmarket; W. Baltzer, Ipswich; J. Burns, Wilburton; A. Barker, Isleham; S. Barnes, Isleham; G.R.K. Barrett, Hoddersdon; A.H. Bedwell, Lowestoft; J. Bosworth, Lambeth; W. Boyce, Walsoken; A. Bridge, Kirton; F. Broyd, Sudbury; G. Bruty, Clare; A. Hatcher, Coddenham; W.J. Cawley, Norton; H. Chapman, Sudbury; W. Cobbin, Mildenhall; H. Cobbold, Rattlesden; W. Coleman, St. Saviour’s; A. Cooper, Manchester; H. Cooper, Hadleigh; H. Corder, Hadleigh; W. Cuthbert, Hintlesham; C. Davis, Rothwell; A. Daw, Dublin; W. Daynes, Cambridge; W. Deadman, Thurston; J. Dewell, Bury St. Edmund’s; C. Double, Bury St. Edmund’s; T. Dunkling, Ely; W. Dyer, Bermondsey; F. Edgeley, Wickhambrook; E. Finch, London; J. Finter, Great Ashfield; E. Fisk, Combs; F. Forge, Hundon; S. Forsdyke, Otley; W. Fulcher, Ipswich; G. Garrod, Bramford; A. Gill, Bury St. Edmund’s; E. Goddard, Honnington; G. Greenwood, Lawshall; A. Griggs, Semer; C. Hackett, Bury St. Edmund’s; S. Hancock, Fulborne; W. Hearn, Coddenham; W. Heaume, Southampton; S. Hemmings, Royston; A. Hicks, Bury St. Edmund’s; G. Hicks, Colne Engaine; E.G. Holland, Blackenham; B.R. Holland, Blackenham; A. Howe, Burnley; R.C. Howell, Snape; F. Hunt, Rougham; W. Johnson, Framlingham; C. Kidd, Mildenhall; H. Knights, Farnham; J. Lambert, Ipswich; J. Last, Earl Stonham; W. Lewis, Woolverstone; J. Maloney, Bengal; T. Malyon, Bury St. Edmund’s; W. Manchester, Melton Mowbray; A. Martin, Cowlinge; E. Martin, Ipswich; A.H. May, Worthing; C. Mayes, Hundon; A. Meade, Haverhill; T. Murton, Eye; F. Muskett, Badwell Ash; R. Newson, Hadleigh; H. Norman, Laxfield; W.C. Norris, Charsfield; A. Norwood, Berkhampstead; G. Olley, Cockfield; J. Parmenter, Cavendish; J. Pearson, Ely; D. Peters, Trumpington; J. Plumb, Cambridge; H. Podd, Whitton; T. Pollard, Thelbridge; G. Pomeroy, Pimlico; G. Prigg, Soham; S. Pryke, Thorpe Morieux; W. Radley, Bulmer; T. Ransom, Semer; C. Rice, Woolpit; H. Risby, Sudbury; J. Robinson, Combs; G. Rogers, Portsmouth; W. Rogers, Twickenham; J. Rosendale, Bassingbourne; R. Rumsey, Lakenheath; E. Scott, Washbrook; T. Seamans, Leicester; J. Sharman, Ipswich; A. Sillitoe, Sudbury; J.R. Skeet, Claydon; W. Smith, Cambridge; L. Soames, Mildenhall; A. Southgate, Ipswich; H. Steggles, Rattlesden; W. Stock, Cambridge; W. Stollery, Brentwood; E. Stutley, Bury St. Edmund’s; E. Tabor, Cambridge; R. Taylor, Mildenhall; W. Taylor, Rotherhithe; F. Thompson, Morden; E. Thornhill, London; R. Tooke, Long Stratton; T. Tuffs, Eye; J. Vaughan, Ely; H. Wallace, Horringer; J. Ward, Gorefield; W. Watling, Walsham-le-Willows; A. Watson, Ipswich; T. Webb, Culford; C. Wilson, Bury St. Edmund’s; H. Wilson, Cambridge; C. Wood, Epping; A. Woodgate; W. Woollard, Kirtling; P. Wright, Streatham.
EAST SUFFOLK MEN OF OTHER CORPS.
Corpl. S. Andrews, Washbrook, Impl. Yeomanry.
Bomb. F. Allum, Stonham Aspal, R.G.A.
Prvt. J. Barber, Cransford, 7th Dragoon Gds.
Drv. B.H. Barber, Ipswich, R.F.A.
Prvt. F.C. Barker, Otley, 19th Hussars.
Sapper T. Baker, Finningham, R.E.
Prvt. D.C. Baker, Kelsale, Essex Regt.
Drv. A.C. Battle, Somersham, Army Svce Corps.
Sergt. E. Baldry, Halesworth, Impl. Yeomanry.
Prvt. J. Balham, Wetherden, Impl. Yeomanry.
Prvt. F. Barrett, Fressingfield, Scots Guards.
Prvt. W.G. Bedwell, Ipswich, 6th Dragoons.
Drv. J.E. Banyard, Woodbridge, R.F.A.
Prvt. G.A. Blumfield, Ipswich, 12th Lancers.
Prvt. H. Brightwell, Stonham Aspal, Gren. Gds.
Prvt. F. Brown, Ipswich, 19th Hussars.
Gnr. S. Button, Martlesham, R.F.A.
Lieut. R.H. Buxton, Fritton, Norfolk Regt.
Drv. A.R. Cracknell, Monk Soham, R.F.A.
Prvt. A.H. Chambers, Ipswich, 19th Hussars.
Drv. C. Carless, Saxtead, R.H.A.
Gnr. H. Calthorpe, Finningham, R.F.A.
Prvt. C. Chandler, Bungay, Scots Guards.
Gnr. E. Chandler, Fressingfield, R.F.A.
Sapper, W. Charles, Ipswich, R.E.
Cpl. W.A.E. Clarke, Ipswich, York and Lancs. R.
Prvt. F. Clover, Bacton, 19th Hussars.
Trpr. H. Cobb, Kitchener’s Fighting Scouts.
Prvt. E. Cooper, Woodbridge, 1st Dragoon Gds.
Sergt. A. Cooper, Ipswich, R.F.A.
Prvt. A. Cooper, Ufford, Rifle Brigade.
Prvt. W. Dale, E. Bergholt, 5th Dragoon Gds.
Prvt. C.H. Damant, Beccles, Impl. Yeomanry.
Prvt. H.S. Deane, Hintlesham, Impl. Yeomanry.
Prvt. C.H. Derisley, Palgrave, Impl. Yeomanry.
Sergt. H. Dykes, Ipswich, R.A.M.C.
Prvt. G.F. Dyke, Lowestoft, Norfolk Regiment.
Prvt. F.S. Ecclestone, Beccles, 16th Lancers.
Gnr. H.E. Elliston, Washbrook, R.F.A.
Prvt. A. Emery, Stratford St. Mary, 1st Dgn. Gds.
Gnr. F.E. Evans, Ipswich, R.H.A.
Gnr. T. Farey, R.F.A.
Sergt. W.G. Farthing, Holton, King’s R. Rifles.
Gnr. W. Firman, Lowestoft, R.F.A.
Prvt. C.H. Friend, Woodbridge, Impl. Yeomanry.
Prvt. J.W. Fulcher, Ipswich, Coldstream Gds.
Prvt. J.H. Garratt, Badingham, Gren. Gds.
Lce.-cpl. G. Garrod, Ufford, Coldstream Guards.
Corpl. B.T. Garrod, Ipswich, Royal Engineers.
Prvt. B. Garwood, Playford, Northum. Fusiliers.
Drv. C. Gelling, Ipswich, R.H.A.
Prvt. H.W. Green, Hintlesham, Rifle Brigade.
Lt. and Qr.-M. W.W. Girling, Coldstream Guards.
Prvt. W. Girling, Norfolk Regiment.
Gnr. E.O. Gibbs, Eye, R.F.A.
Prvt. F. Gostling, Mendlesham, Northampton R.
Prvt. A. Goddard, Westhall, Coldstream Guards.
Sergt. H. Harrison, Laxfield, Black Watch.
Sergt. W. Hardwicke, Bramford, Durham, L.I.
Prvt. H.H. Hanks, Felixstowe, Johannesbg. M.R.
Sgt. G.F. Hayward, Stowmarket, 1st Dgn. Gds.
Prvt. G.R. Hewitt, Copdock, Cape Mntd. Rifles.
Prvt. H.J. Hunnisett, Ipswich, R.A.M.C.
Prvt. T.G.P. Humphery, Carlton Coville, C.I.V.
Prvt. H.W. Hughes, Stowmarket, 1st Dgn. Gds.
Drv. G. Jordan, Ipswich, R.F.A.
Gnr. F.W. Jordan, Chelmondiston, R.F.A.
Bomb. B.H. Kendall, St. Margaret’s, R.F.A.
Staff-Sergt. J.W. Kettle, Ipswich, A. Ord. Dept.
Gnr. G. King, Walpole, R.G.A.
Prvt. J.G. Kitching, Ipswich, 7th Hussars.
Prvt. G.D. Knights, Lowestoft, Norfolk Regt.
Prvt. A.E. Knights, Bungay, Rifle Brigade.
Gnr. A. Langley, Lowestoft, R.F.A.
Gnr. C. Last, Haughley, R.F.A.
Prvt. W.G. Leach, Ipswich, R.A.M.C.
Prvt. R.W. Leggett, Eye, 11th Hussars.
Drv. J. Lord, Ipswich, R.F.A.
Prvt. E.J. Lowry, Lowestoft, 19th Hussars.
Prvt. A. Luke, Cookley, Argyll and S. Highldrs.
Prvt. T.E. Ludbrook, Kelsale, 12th Lancers.
Drv. F. Minns, Whitton, R.F.A.
Prvt. W. Markley, Ipswich, R.A.M.C.
Battery-S.M. J. Moore, Ipswich, R.F.A.
Prvt. T. Moy, Combs, 19th Hussars.
Prvt. H.J. Mouser, Woodbridge, 14th Hussars.
Cpl. W. Nicholls, Stratford S. Andrew, Bedford R.
Drv. A.H. Peck, Occold, Army Service Corps.
Capt. R.A.H. Peel, E. Bergholt, 2nd Life Gds.
Sergt. A. Owbridge, Ipswich, Impl. Yeomanry.
Prvt. F.W. Owles, Leiston, R.A.M.C.
Prvt. H. Prike, Eye, Royal West Surrey Regt.
Drv. J. Podd, Hoo, R.H.A.
Mr. H. Punchard, Imperial Military Railway.
Prvt. W. Raven, Lowestoft, King’s Ryl. Rifles.
Prvt. A.J. Reed, Ipswich, 19th Hussars.
Prvt. W.W. Reeve, Ipswich, Royal Scots.
Prvt. F.G. Redhead, Ipswich, Norfolk Regt.
Prvt. H. Rendall, Ipswich, York and Lancs. R.
Prvt. E.B. Reynolds, Witnesham, R.A.M.C.
Gnr. R. Riches, Ipswich, R.H.A.
Drv. A. Robinson, Ipswich, R.F.A.
Corpl. F.H. Roe, Ipswich, R.F.A.
Corpl. A.J. Rogers, Ipswich, R.H.A.
Prvt. H. Salter, Shotley, Coldstream Guards.
Trpr. C. Sampson, S.A. Constabulary.
Gnr. W.J. Sell, Lowestoft, Norfolk Artill. Militia.
Prvt. H.B. Scotchmer, Framlingham, Dublin F.
Prvt. A. Smith, Beccles, 16th Lancers.
Drv. T.L. Smith, Ipswich, R.F.A.
Drv. G. Smith, Southwold, R.H.A.
Sapper H.R. Smith, Saxmundham, R.F.
Prvt. S. Snowling, Fressingfield, Norfolk Regt.
Lce.-cpl. A. Staff, Darsham, Grenadier Guards.
Prvt. J. Stammers, Peasenhall, Gren. Gds.
Prvt. F.A. Spencer, Needham Market, K.R.R.C.
Prvt. C. Trenter, Ipswich, R.A.M.C.
Corpl. R.H. Tyrrell, Southwold, R.G.A.
Coy.-Q.M.S. J.R. Urch, Ipswich, A. Svce Corps.
Prvt. C.P. Vulliamy, Ipswich, Leicester Regt.
Drv. H. Warwick, Ipswich, R.F.A.
Corpl. W. Webber, Ipswich, R.F.A,
Prvt. F. Winder, Ipswich, Royal Scots Fusiliers.
Prvt. L. Wilden, Stowupland, Rifle Brigade.
Prvt. R. Woollard, Needham Mkt., 5th Dgn. Gds.
Gnr. F.J. Wright, Lowestoft, R.H.A.
Cpl. E.E. Wrightson, Eastern Province Horse.
Drv. G.J. Woolnough, Leiston, R.F.A.
Sergt. F.H. Zissell, Wrentham, Rifle Brigade.
Punctually at 3:15, the time fixed for the unveiling ceremony, a move was made by those who were to be active participators in it for the platform, and General French, on coming into view of the general public outside the enclosure, was received with a round of applause and cheering. He was accompanied on the platform by Sir Cuthbert Quilter, Chairman of the General Committee that has had charge of the arrangements, the Marquise of Bristol, the Mayor of Ipswich, the Bishop of Ipswich, and Mr. Toft. All eyes were now on the platform, and the troops all stood to attention , the colours of the Suffolk Regiment being brought forward in front of the double file of men who all stood to attention with bayonets gleaming in the sun.
Sir Cuthbert Quilter, without delay, commenced the proceedings by asking Sir John French to unveil the memorial. He said:- My Lord Bristol, my Lords, ladies, and gentlemen, before asking the distinguished General, Sir John French – who we are so glad to see with us to-day – to unveil the memorial, the Committee, in whose name I have the honour to speak, think it would be fitting if I gave a few particulars about the 1st Battalion of the Suffolk Regiment, and particularly about its share in the operations of the South African War, during which the corps served under his direct command. I will not attempt to trace the history of the Regiment back to 1660, when it originated in a Company formed to garrison Windsor Castle, in the reign of Charles II., but I will venture to say that of all the “battle honours” borne upon its colours, that of “South Africa, 1899 – 1902” has added nothing but lustre to its previous honourable achievements. (Applause.) The Battalion embarked for South Africa on the 11th November, 1899, and landed in England on the 28th of September, 1902. It served in Cape Colony twice, Orange Free State twice, Eastern Transvaal twice, and the Western Transvaal, under the command of General French, Lord Kitchener, and others. Its casualties in action were: 156 killed and wounded, and the total distance marched was about 2,400 miles. The memorial, however, as you know, is not confined to those who fell whilst actually serving with the Suffolk colours, but comprises also other East Suffolk soldiers, who fell in the service of their country during the South African War. The Committee desire to acknowledge the courtesy of the War Office in permitting the attendance here to-day of the guard of honour, and the band of the regiment, and we wish to offer a most hearty welcome to both officers and men to this the chief town of their territorial district. (Applause.) We have to acknowledge also the sympathy and assistance of the Mayor and Corporation of Ipswich, which have rendered the erection of the memorial possible in the most central position in this important town, and to them thanks are due also for the drinking fountain which they have thoughtfully provided. Further, the Committee wish to publicly express their appreciation of the care and thought which Captain Mayne, as their honorary secretary, has devoted to this movement from its inception to the present time. (Applause.) Differences of opinion about the war there may be, but there can be none about the desirability of this memorial to the gallant officers and men who lost their lives in the performance of their duty. We trust that our high opinion as to the beauty of the work which Mr. Toft, the sculptor, has produced will be endorsed by the public, and that it will be regarded as worthy both of its object and its position. Further, we sincerely hope that not only will it be a source of some solace to the relatives and friends of those whose names it bears, but that it will stimulate and encourage amongst men of Suffolk in the future those patriotic instincts and that sense of national duty which characterised the brave men whose memory we are perpetuating to-day. I now have the honour and pleasure on behalf of the Committee to call upon General Sir John French to unveil the memorial. (Applause.)
GENERAL FRENCH’S SPEECH.
General Sir John French, who was loudly cheered on rising, said: Ladies and Gentlemen. – We are met here to-day for the purpose of unveiling a memorial which is intended to record and hand down to those who come after us the names of Suffolk soldiers who have died for their country. In erecting such a statue, upon which their names are inscribed, a lasting record of their gallantry, of their devotion and self-sacrifice, will be handed down to posterity and, in establishing such a memorial, I think the county of Suffolk worthily recognises their services. I feel very grateful indeed to you for the great honour you have done me in asking me to come here to perform this ceremony to-day, and there are special reasons why I feel so, and why it gives me such pleasure. One is, that I commenced my military career in the Suffolk Artillery Militia in this town; another and more important reason is, that I had the great honour of being associated closely with the Suffolk Regiment, as you heard just now from Sir Cuthbert Quilter, has seen splendid service, and performed magnificent work in all parts of the world. In all these theatres of war, in which they have been engaged, there are certain particular spots which have become sacred and hallowed in the hearts of all English – speaking people by reason of some particularly sanguinary encounter and death-to-death struggle that have taken place upon them. It is not always because those encounters have been absolutely successful; it is not always because the immediate object has been attained. It is because the officers and men engaged have shown that they are true soldiers of their country – because they have fought to the death – fought like men. We all remember such spots as the Cashmere Gate of Delhi and Cathcart’s Hill in the Crimea; and in a remote corner of the South African veldt near the town of Colesberg, such a spot as this exists, which is known as Suffolk Hill. On that spot, in the early dawn of a January morning in 1900, there fell the gallant Colonel, whose name is inscribed on this statue, with nearly all the officers, non-commissioned officers, and men who accompanied him. They fell in a splendid but unsuccessful attempt to take this most important outwork of Colesberg by a night attack. Such incidents as that are called by ignorant critics “disasters” and “unfortunate occurrences.” I can only tell you that it is by the spirit shown in such incidents and such occurrences that the British soldier has become feared by his enemies in all parts of the world, and the British Empire has become what it is to to-day. (Cheers.) As regards the success or non-success of the undertaking, certainly they did not succeed in capturing the hill they attacked; but there is a power in war which we soldiers call moral effort, and, when soldiers are seen and known by their enemies to mean business, and to do or to die, it has a tremendous effect upon that enemy. In this instance it had a particular effect also, because it curtailed the operations of the Boers. The incident happened at a most critical time, when Cape Colony was on the point of rising; and, instead of spreading out as they were doing, and endeavouring everywhere to get on to join their comrades in Cape Colony, the Boers here were afterwards obliged to confine themselves to the defence of Colesberg alone. Well, I think that the existence of such a memorial as this in your midst serves not only the object of commemorating and perpetuating the memory of the dead, but also serves as a reminder to all young men in this country that they must be prepared themselves to follow the example of these gallant men, and do their duty to their country. It is the business of every man in this country to assist in its defence. (Hear, hear, and cheers.) Nor is it necessary to wait for a time of emergency to do that. The opportunity is in everybody’s hands at the present moment. Everyone can help – landowners and occupiers of land can give facilities for the manœuvring and training of troops; employers of labour can not only allow their young men to do their duty in this respect, but can insist upon their doing it; and these young men themselves can and should see to it that their local Volunteer and Yeomanry Corps are filled to overflowing with recruits. (Hear, hear.) I will say no more, ladies and gentlemen, except to thank you again most heartily for the honour you have done me, and to express to you how deeply I feel it, in allowing me to come here to-day to unveil this memorial, which according to Sir Cuthbert Quilter’s request I will now proceed to do.
As the gallant General unveiled the statue, the Guard of Honour presented arms, and the great crowd upon and around the Cornhill cheered again and again. The band then gave a magnificent rendering of Chopin’s Funeral March, the drums being used with wonderful effect. and then, as silence fell upon the vast assembly, save for the murmur of many voices at a distance, the buglers sounded the “Last Post.” At this moment, and while the Bishop of Ipswich offered an appropriate dedicatory prayer, followed by “Our Father which art in Heaven,” the scene was affecting and deeply impressive.
The Marquis of Bristol moved a vote of thanks to General French, and the Mayor of Ipswich, on behalf of the inhabitants, undertook the care of the statue, “ever to guard it jealously, to maintain it in perfect order, and ever to cherish the memory of those names which are inscribed upon it.”
The troops then fired three volleys, the band playing, between each discharge, a verse of the well-known tune to the hymn, “O God our help in ages past,” the Reveille was sounded by the Buglers, and the ceremony closed with “God save the King.”
VOTE OF THANKS.
The Marquis of Bristol, who was warmly welcomed, said: Ladies and gentlemen. – This day witnesses the consummation of the four-fold memorial to the Suffolk Regimental soldiers, including all ranks, and also other Suffolk men, who fell in the late war in obedience to the call of duty and of patriotism. East Suffolk and the Ipswich portion of that four-fold memorial is the last to have been erected, but although it is the last in point of time, I am sure it is not the last in point of importance, whether looked upon for its artistic beauty and its melancholy grandeur, or whether we look upon it as being much in the minds of all those whom I see present, and of innumerable others in the town and country districts around it. This statue – the creation of the genius of Mr. Albert Toft, whom I heartily congratulate upon his work – will remain ever a beacon which shall light and render plain the path of patriotism to future generations, and it will also be, as I hope it may for long ages remain, an adornment to the good old town of Ipswich. (Cheers.) It may have been, it might have been – indeed, some people said, I believe it ought to have been – that all the money provided by the county for these four memorials should have been expended upon one large and magnificent monument, to be erected, prehaps, on some lonely eminence, as I believe they do sometimes in Germany, and I think also in Scotland. But there are obvious advantages, in placing such memorials as these in localities near the busy haunts of men, so that those who pass day by day, from their work or from their play, may behold an evidence of the appreciation and approbation of the British public of the valour and the self-sacrifice of their fellow-countrymen. (Hear, hear.) Then it should not be forgotten, ladies and gentlemen, that those who are living, those who have survived the war, those who have been animated by the same spirit, have undergone the same fatigues and toils of the field and have encountered the same dangers of wounds and of death, can legitimately claim some share in the honour that we are gladly and piously rendering to-day to the fallen and brave dead. (Hear, hear). Amongst the survivors we have fortunately the gallant General who has just unveiled this statue. We are deeply indebted to him for having come amongst us for the purpose of discharging that duty. (Cheers.) We all look upon his military career with great interest, and we thank him for the manly and soldierlike speech to which we have just listened – a speech that will ring in our ears for many a long day. Therefore, ladies and gentlemen, I ask you to give the gallant General a cordial vote of thanks by acclamation. (Loud cheers.) Now I have to perform another duty, although I think it’s one that is almost unnecessary. It is to ask His Worship the Mayor to take charge of this statue. The fact of his presence here to-day, with so many members of his Council, and the interest they have shown in the enterprise gives us an assurance that that charge will be gladly accepted. (Cheers).
General French briefly acknowledged the vote of thanks, saying again that it gave him great pleasure to be present.
The Mayor of Ipswich, raising amidst an enthusiastic outburst of cheers, said: My Lord Bristol. – On behalf of the county, and on behalf of the inhabitants of Ipswich, I accept the charge which has been offered me by the Lord Lieutenant of the County. In the names of those whom I have the honour to represent, I undertake the care of this statue, ever to guard it jealously, to maintain it in perfect order and ever to cherish the memory of those names which are inscribed upon in. (Cheers.) Ample evidence, I think, of the sympathy of the Council of this town, and I may further of the pride which they feel that this town should have been selected for the erection of this monument – ample evidence of this sympathetic and pride has been given by their selection of the most important site at their disposal as the site upon which it should stand. Sir Cuthbert Quilter referred in his remarks to the fact that all were not united in opinion as to the object of the war in which our comrades fell. With all respect to the opinions of those who were against the war as a war. I would say that we are not here to-day to do honour to the war itself, nor to the policy which occasioned it; we are here to do honour to those who responded so nobly, as I think and as you think, to their country’s call in an hour of their country’s need. (Cheers.) On behalf of my Council and on behalf of the inhabitants, I desire publicly to acknowledge the courtesy of the donor of the fountain, which was formerly placed upon the site now occupied by this monument, in allowing that fountain to be removed and replaced by this memorial, which cannot be said to have anything less than a national interest and a national importance. In conclusion, I would venture to express a hope that this monument may ever be a reminder to those who pass by – be they rich or be they poor, be they high or low, soldier or civilian – that before all of there lies the path of duty, and that those whose names are inscribed upon it not only responded to their call of duty, but carried it out to the death. God preserve their souls! (Loud cheers.)
The troops then fired three volleys, the band playing between each discharge, a verse of the well-known tune to the hymn, “O God, our help in ages past,” the Reveille was sounded by the Buglers, and the ceremony closed with “God save the King.” His Worship the Mayor entertained many visitors at tea in the Town Hall, and as there was a general desire to inspect the statue closely, some time passed before the huge crowd on the Cornhill had dispersed.
Messrs. George Grimwood and Sons constructed the barriers and platform, and carried out the work both expeditiously and well.
SONS OF ENGLAND
While war-clouds hang o’er Egypt’s desert plain
Ere din of battle’s hushed to Peace again
Lo, in the South the threatening clouds appear
And distant thunder trembles in the air
In that fair land where British heroes sleep
In deathless fame beneath Majuba’s steep
And England furled, in that ill-fated hour
Her flag, the proudest emblem of her power
Once more upon South Afric’s blood-stained shore
Republics rise, their Burghers arm for war
And England called her sons to meet the foe
Nor called in vain, for like true patriots, Lo!
From farthest corner of her wide domain
Responsive all, her valiant soldiers came
Eager to free her from Majuba’s stain
That Peace with Honour might return again
O, noble hearts! with valour beating high
Thine, thine to fight, to conquer – and to die
Yet ere thy course, O cruel War, be run
Ere Peace shall reign, when strife and death be done
O’er the red fields, the fragrant breeze shall wave
The grass that grows o’er many a hero’s grave;
Where, at Duty’s call, beneath an alien sky
Glorious in death, the Sons of England lie
And ye that erstwhile must in sorrow mourn
In silent grief, heroically borne;
Ye that the deepest pangs that death can deal
For him that’s dead, inevitably feel
O sorrowing mother! wife, whate’er ye be!
Whose heart now travels o’er that distant sea
Thy hero’s dead! But glories e’en to die
In righteous cause for England, his country
Ye gallant sons that bear Old England’s name!
To thee we trust her proud and spotless fame!
To thee, victorious in a thousand fights!
Loyal defenders of a nation’s rights!
Let Empire murmur, or rebellious rise
And noise of tumult reach unto the skies
While England’s cause is Liberty and Right
Nought can dishonour or withstand her might
Conquerors at last her sons shall over be
All nations bow to her supremacy.
AUGUSTINE P. RYLEY
Augustine Percival Ryley, born 1880, St. Higham, Norwich, Norfolk. Lived at East Dereham, Norfolk, where he was a Merchant & Agent.
SOUTH AFRICAN MEMORIAL TO GO TO PARK.
On the 12th February, 1930, the Council received and adopted the report
presented by the Electric Supply and Transport Committee with regard to the alteration to the traffic arrangements on the Cornhill. It was
suggested in the report that the South African War Memorial be erected
at the junction of Queen Street and Princes Street, in such position as
was most suitable. Experiments had been made with a view to ascertaining the most suitable spot at the junction for the memorial, but the Paving and Lighting Committee was unanimously of the opinion that it would be undesirable that the memorial be erected at that junction, and they therefore recommended that the Council would reconsider the question.
Ald. Pipe said that it had been found that the memorial made too large an obstruction to be placed at the junction of Queen Street and Princes
Col. F.W. Turner had written to him suggesting that the memorial should be restored as nearly as possible to its old position on the
Ald. Dr. J.R. Staddon said that the island certainly helped to regulate
driving at the junction of these streets, but it struck some of them that it was rather too long.
Ald. E.P. Ridley suggested that the Council defer considerations of both matters for three months. This would give them an opportunity of seeing how the new arrangements on the Cornhill worked out in practice.
Mrs. Bird, pointing out that the Cornhill was a bleak and bitter place,
said that a shelter should be built on the largest of the islands in the
centre of the Cornhill.
Mr. Gerald Benjamin proposed that the South African War Memorial be
removed to Christchurch Park, and Mrs. Bird seconded. She thought that a site might be provided near the Cenotaph.
Major Harold Hooper, M.C., supporting the two previous speakers said he thought that something should have been done long ago, thereby avoiding this memorial being humped and bumped about as it had been. (Hear, hear). He did not regard the Cornhill – with its attendant noise and bustle – as an appropriate place for the memorial and thought it
preferable to have it placed in some suitable spot in conjunction with
the Great War memorial in the park.
The Council then agreed that the South African memorial be moved to the park, and the question of a temporary island at Queen Street was
referred back to the Committee.
REMOVAL OF SOUTH AFRICAN WAR MEMORIAL.
14th February 1930 – Suffolk Chronicle & Mercury newspaper.
The Electric Supply and Transport Committee reported that they had considered the question of the traffic arrangements on the Cornhill when Lloyds Avenue is completed, and that a scheme had been agreed upon by all the Committees concerned. It was proposed that the present Cornhill-Station trolley vehicle should be replaced by through services, thus doing away with the present turning circle on the Cornhill. Two islands would be formed on the Cornhill for passengers using the trolley vehicles, one in in the centre opposite the junction of Lloyds Avenue, and one opposite Messrs. Manning’s premises. This would necessitate the removal of the South African War memorial, and it was proposed that this should be re-erected at the junction of Queen Street and Princes Street. This was considered a very suitable spot, as it would break up the traffic at this corner and also provide a much-needed refuge for pedestrians.
PARK SITE FOR SOUTH AFRICAN MEMORIAL.
13th, February 1931 Suffolk chronicle & Mercury newspaper.
Ipswich Town Council, at its meeting on Wednesday, decided that the
South African war memorial – which was recently removed from the
Cornhill to facilitate new traffic arrangements consequent upon
alteration of certain trolley-bus routes – shall be re-erected in
Christchurch Park in the vicinity of the Cenotaph to the memory of
Ipswich men who fell in the Great War.
The removal of the memorial from the Cornhill.
The eighth annual reunion luncheon, S.A Suffolk veteran association. (Left to right) Mr C.W. Baskett (branch Chairman) The Mayor Dr. Weiner. Mr J.T. Pye (sec.) Lieutenant General Sir Harold Carrington.(President of the Suffolk branch) and Captain L. Lockwood.
In Ipswich, the Borough Council would annually recognise the Ipswich Boer War veterans. Holding a tea parties and luncheons for them in the Mayors Parlour, in the Town Hall. Many of the men had also served in the Sudan, South Africa and the Great War 1914 – 1918. In 1956 the Mayor, Cllr. Dr, Phineas Weiner entertained the men, 50 years after the unveiling of the Boer War statue was erected.
From 1924 the format of remembrance Sunday had changed. The service was held on the Cornhill at the Statue. Once the Main memorial was built in the Park, the service had two parts. The main body of troops and veterans would march onto the Corn Hill, the Civic party would exit the Town Hall and lay Wreaths at the Boer War Statue, followed by the veteran, troops and families. The Parade would then move off, followed by the Civic party and the towns folk, through the Town centre, for the main service at the Cenotaph Christchurch Park.
The Parade still continue to march through the Town. Starting at Black Horse Lane, up Museum Street, then past the Town Hall and onto the Park. The Civic Party now start from Christchurch Manson.
Every year during the November Remembrance Day service, the veterans while marching to the Cenotaph, halt at the South Africa campaign, Boer War Memorial. Placing a wreath at the foot of the statue. As the civic party pass, the head of the procession gives an “eyes left” and remove their hats as a sign of respect.