Monday, May 23, 2011

The Boer War and Wolverton


Oliver Ratcliff includes a section in his book The History and Antiquities of the Newport Hundreds a news report about troops leaving for the Boer War in South Africa. I reproduce it here. Two photographs are reprduced from the book - one looks to me like the northern section of Buckingham Street which was pulled down to build The Agora, the other is in front of the Science and Art Institute, also gone.



The Wolverton Rifle Volunteers,

The volunteer force is represented here by No. 6 Company of the First Bucks, and consists almost exclusively of employees of the London & North-Western Railway Company. It was formed in 1877.  The company has always borne a very high character for general smartness and discipline. There is a strong and efficient band, and an ambulance squad.

At the close of the year 1899, this company came to the fore by their response to the call to arms.

On Monday, 1 January 1900, a meeting was convened in the large hall of the Institute, when Major Gilbey was present, and said he was extremely pleased with the excellent body of Wolverton and Buckingham men who had come forward for duty with the army.

The following are the names of the officers and men who volunteered for active service in South Africa, and others had given their names in for garrison duty:

Major H. M. Williams, commanding detachment.

Barker, L. R. Campbell, J. H. Clarke, W. J. Dixon, A. W.

Barley, A. W. Carroll, F. H. Cope, J. E. Dolling, A. J.

Beard, H. R. Carvell, E. Cowley,W. G., Sgt. Dormer, J. R.

Becaon, T. N. Carvell, J. Croft, Sgt. -Instr. Eady, T., Cpl.

Brownnutt, G., Cpl. Chapman, J. E. Davies, W. J. Edwards, W. E.

Felts, A. G. Harding, J. H. Lewis, E. T., Sgt. Spong, A. H.

Fessey^J.B., Bugler. Hawkinis, Lieut. Little, B. Teagle, C, Bugler.

French, H.T. Hawkins, W. Marsh, H. E. Tole,J,

Gibbons, A. Hellenburgh,F,Bglr. Meakins, E. Tooley, A. T.

Giltrow, P. W. Hellenburgh,W, * Meakins, W. Tyson, E. t.

Giltrow, T. H. Hikins,S. North, E. Waite, T. F.

Godfrey, T. Hll, G. H. Olney, W. Webb, E.

Gould, J.  Hill, W. R., Bugler. Pittam, W. Whitestone, D. G.

Grant, H. P. Hopkins, J. T. Powell, F. Whitmee, E. P.

Green, A. G. Humphreys, F. Price, E. O., Sgt. Williams, J. H., Cpl.

Gregory, T. Jackson, R.. L-Cpl. Richardson, A. Wilmin, T. W.

Grimsdick, J. D. Jakeman, O. Roberts, E. Winstanley, F. T.

Harbell, A., L-Cpl. Jenks, A. R. Scott, T. E., Sergt. Woodford, W.

Harbell, J. Jones, G. E. Sewell, A. M Wootton, A. W.

Harbell, J. S. Jones, R. W., Cpl. Shakeshaft, T. B. Wootton, S.

Harding, C. W. Kirby, C, Lce-Cpl. Shackleford, W. T. Wright, W. F.
Harding, J. E.

On no previous occasion has the large hall of the Science and Art Institute presented such a display of loyalty, such a scene of enthusiasm, or such an array of volunteer lights, as was witnessed at the dinner given on Tuesday evening, 6 February 1 900, to recognise the departure of those selected to serve with the Oxfordshire Light Infantry in South Africa. The hall had been decorated with flags, bunting, mottoes, names of the places where the first Bucks had encamped, festoons of artificial flowers, etc. At the back of the platform was the encouraging and appropriate motto, “Good-bye and good luck to the gentlemen in khaki ordered south." Over the portico was a model maxim gun.

The detachment and draft paraded on the Market Square at 12.45 on the following morning under the command of Major Williams and Lieutenant Hawkins. Prior to leaving the square each member was presented with a packet of tobacco. Without ceremony the company, headed by the band, marched via Radcliffe Street, and Stratford, road to the station, their fellow workmen cheering them en route. 

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