Author Topic: Tracing Great Grandfather Major William Price  (Read 7415 times)


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Tracing Great Grandfather Major William Price
« on: November 12, 2009, 12:11:16 PM »
I am currently researching my family history but have come to a dead end on one side of the family. I am trying to trace my Great Grandfather that served in the 9th Batallion. I have located him on the 1911 census  stationed atForts Brockhurst and Elson in Alverstoke, Hampshire. Census records show he was COLOUR SERGEANT MANCHESTER REGIMENT ATTACHED TO DISCHARGE DEPOT I have also found out that his medals were sold at auction. I have pasted below the information I have managed to find.
As far as I know he was born in LLANGATTOCK, Brecknock around 1877.

Description: [ Medals Groups/Pairs ] An Interesting M.B.E., M.S.M. Group of Eight to Major W. Price, Manchester Regiment Order of the British Empire, 2nd. type, Military Division, Member's Badge, silver (Hallmarks for London 1933); Queen's South Africa, three clasps, Cape Colony, Transvaal, Wittebergen (4995 Sejt W. Price. Manch: Regt); British War and Victory Medals (Q.M. & Lieut.); Army Long Service & G.C., G.V.R. (4995 Q.M. Sjt: Manch: Regt); Meritorious Service Medal, G.VI.R. ( 4995 R.Q.M.S. Manch.); Coronation 1911 (No.4995 Q.M.S. W. Price. Manch. R.); Jubliee 1935, unnamed as issued; with Royal Niger Company's Medal, bronze, one clasp, Nigeria (engraved Colour Sergt W. Price. W.A.A.F.), very fine or better (9) E500-600 M.B.E. London Gazette 3.6.1935, Major (Quarter Master) 9th Battalion, The Manchester Regiment, Te rritorial Army M a j o r William Price O.B.E. enlisted in the 2nd Battalion, South Wales Borderers at Brecon, 1894, aged 18 years; transferred to the Manchester Regiment 1896; served in India 9.12.1896- 13.11.1898; promoted to Corporal 1899 and Sergeant 1900; served in South Africa 16.3.1900-26.9.1902 (Mentioned in Lord Kitchener's Despatch of 8.8.1901 for Distinguished Conduct at Wilge River on 13.7.1901; entitled to the King's South Africa Medal with two clasps); posted as Sergeant with the North Nigerian Regiment 6.8. 1904 and served with the West Africa Field Force until 19.9.1905 ( entitled to Africa General Service Medal with clasp N. Nigeria 1904); Quarter Master Sergeant 1911; brought to the notice of the Secretary of State for War for valuable service rendered in connection with the war, War Office List 24.2.1917

Any information or help would be greatly appreciated.


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Re: Tracing Great Grandfather Major William Price
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2009, 01:57:13 PM »
It seems he was in the 2nd Batallion. I have found him mentioned in despaches.

Manchester Regiment (2nd Battalion)-4995 Sergeant Price distinguished himself at Wilge River, July 13

Offline tonyrod

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Re: Tracing Great Grandfather Major William Price
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2009, 08:44:04 AM »
HI cla, this could help a little, the Boer war on the main site is work in progress ,  tonyrod


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Re: Tracing Great Grandfather Major William Price
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2020, 11:21:58 PM »
This is quite strange reading this thread as it is over 11 years, however William Price is y Great Grandfather too and I am really struggling to find information on him. If you have found anything further I would very much like to make contact.

Offline Bob.NB

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Re: Tracing Great Grandfather Major William Price
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2020, 05:24:03 PM »
Some 30 years ago I bought an India Medal 1895-1902 named to “4995 L/CPL W.PRICE MANCHESTER REGIMENT” It is, I have been advised, "officially re-named" but his name does not appear to be on the official medal roll. As a result of this purchase I researched William Price's military career and this is what I found. I hope you find it of interest.
Bob B

William Price was born around February 1877 in Llangattock, near Crickhowell, Breconshire, the son of John Price, a coal miner, and his wife Mary. Before the age of 14, William Price was working down the mines but this life was not to last for long because on 9 August 1894 William Price attested as a private, with the number 5381, in the 3rd (Militia) Battalion South Wales Borderers.
Even though this was only a militia battalion, the military life must have suited Pte Price because just seven weeks later, on 28 September 1894, Pte William Price joined the Regular Army. Initially he joined at, and was based at, the South Wales Borderers’s depot at Brecon but on 7 January 1895 he was posted to the 2nd Battalion which was then stationed in the UK. However, on 25 September the following year Pte Price deserted only to return to the battalion on 5 October 1896 to await his trial. He was duly tried by court martial on 13 October 1896, was convicted of “Desertion” and forfeited all his prior service as well as being put in prison. Given that his future with the SWB was now not looking too positive, Pte Price was transferred to The Manchester Regiment on 30 November 1896. On 9 December the unexpired portion of his sentence was remitted and he was posted to the 2nd Battalion The Manchester Regiment, which at that time was in India, and so he departed for India that same day.
The 2nd Battalion was at that time stationed at Dinapore where it had been since November 1893 and where it remained until August 1897. During this time, on 11 May 1897, Pte Price was promoted to lance corporal. In 1897 the frontier troubles became very acute with the border was “in a blaze” for 400 miles, following an attack on a British column, and a larger force was mobilised for service than had ever before been placed in the field in India for any lesser operations than those of an actual campaign. The intention was to punish this murderous outrage. The 2nd Battalion was not selected for service but several officers took part in the expedition as transport officers and two were attached to the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, while that regiment was employed with the Tochi Field Force. A few NCOs from the battalion were also involved in the expedition again primarily with the transport department. LCpl Price may have been one of those who were part of the Tirah Expeditionary Force under Lt Gen Sir W.S.A. Lockhart KCB, KCSI, which operated on the frontier between 2 October 1897 and 6 April 1898 and also operated beyond either Kohat or Peshawar or was on the lines of communication or in the Swat Valley at this time. Some of the most severe fighting in the 1897-98 revolt was experienced by this force. (An India Medal 1895-1902 named to “4995 L/CPL W.PRICE MANCHESTER REGIMENT” is known to exist but his name does not appear to be on the official roll).
On 4 November 1897 LCpl Price and the battalion left Dinapore for Bombay where in arrived on 14 November and embarked the same day in the hired transport Dilwara. Aden was reached on 21 November. Many men of between 3 and 5 years’ service sailed on to Gibraltar to join the 1st Battalion but LCpl Price and the others remained in Aden until embarking for England on the transport Dunera on 14 November 1898 and arriving in Southampton on 2 December from where the battalion went by train to either Lichfield or Manchester.
The battalion only spent a year in Lichfield and Manchester, during which time LCpl Price was promoted to corporal on 25 March 1899. On 8 December 1899 Cpl Price and the battalion were concentrated at Holyhead before sailing to Dublin the following day. However, as a result of the outbreak of the Boer War Cpl Price and the battalion were ordered to Aldershot on 19 January 1900 and from there they mobilized for active service in South Africa as part of the 17th Brigade in the 8th Division under Lt Gen Rundle and embarked in the SS Bavarian from Southampton on 16 March 1900. Cpl Price was promoted to lance sergeant on 10 February 1900 and to sergeant on 1 March.
The battalion with Sgt Price disembarked at Port Elizabeth on 9 April and two days later moved by train to Edenburg and from there marched to Reddersburg and on to Mostert’s Hoek. The 8th Division was to push forward to the relief of Wepener, a small town in the south-eastern part of the Orange Free State where colonial troops were besieged by De Wet. Rundle’s force moved east towards Dewetsdorp where it encountered fierce Boer resistance from a force under the command of De Wets’ brother Piet De Wet. Although the Boers eventually moved north the 2nd Battalion had been entrenched under enemy fire for 50 hours but suffered no casualties.
The battalion pursued the Boers north through Thaba’Nchu, Houtnek and Senekal before moving to Ficksburg on 4 June 1900 where it remained in occupation. The Boers were concentrated some seven miles to the North-East and so the battalion was occupied in strengthening the town’s defences.
The battalion moved out of Ficksburg on 30 June and marched to Hammonia and on 24 July the battalion, as part of the 8th Division, began an attack on the Boer positions. The fighting went on for two days before the Boers retreated north towards Fouriesburg. The 17th Brigade entered Fouriesburg on 30 July and two days later 4,000 Boers under Prinsloo surrendered.
The 17th brigade moved to Reitz on 14 August. Here much needed supplies were received – the men had been on short supplies and their clothing and boots were in many cases unserviceable (questions were asked in the House of Commons about the privations suffered by Rundle’s troops)
The brigade and hence the battalion continued to serve in this area for a considerable time moving to Vrede, Bethlehem and back to Senekal. On 17 August the enemy were engaged at Bronkhartsfontein but escaped and the battalion was back in Senekal on the 19. From here it moved, via Bethlehem, back to Reitz engaging the enemy on two occasions before arriving at Harrismith on 14 October 1900.
For several weeks the battalion was engaged in escorting convoys between the various “local” towns (eg Vrede, Reitz, Senekal, Standerton, Harrismith, Reitpan, Bethlehem, Vlakplaats and Ficksburg) and was attacked on numerous occasions suffering several casualties. On 28 January 1901 the battalion took over the defences of Bethlehem having marched 400 miles during the previous eight weeks. Over the next few weeks several minor expeditions went out from the town.
On 24 April Gen Rundle with Campbell’s brigade, which had been harried for three months by the Boers, entered the town and brought supplies and mail, the first that had been received for 3 months. Four companies of the battalion were placed under the command of Colonel Reay and left with the column for operations in the Brandwater basin while the other three companies of the battalion remained in Bethlehem. This column under Col Reay was involved in much activity over the next few months moving to Fouriesburg, on to Golden Gate and then Harrismith on 8 June where the whole battalion came together again.
On 4 July the column was involved in a sweep northward towards Standerton and on over the Vaal River at Robert’s Drift. Vrede was reached on 24 July and back to Harrismith on 3 August where the battalion took over the defences of the town. While here the usual excursions to bring in grain and cattle were carried out. On 4 September the battalion moved out of Harrismith in convoy for Bethlehem but were back in Harrismith on the 12th. There was then much convoy work and encounters with the Boers and when the column moved off again it arrived in Bethlehem on 31 October with orders to bring out all the civilians. On the return journey the column was continually attacked and casualties taken. Price was mentioned in Lord Kitchener's Despatch of 8th August 1901 for distinguished conduct at the Wilge River on 13th July 1901. Orders were now received to hold the line from Eland’s River Bridge to Bethlehem in order to prevent the Boers from breaking south. While part of the battalion held this line the rest again swept the countryside and more casualties were incurred. Col Reay was now placed in command of the blockhouse line, Harrismith-Olivier’s Hoek and Albertina-Van Reenan’s Pass. In February 1902 the battalion was involved in a big drive from the north up to Van Reenan’s Pass but the battalion was soon back in the lines of the blockhouses. On 1 June 1902 news was received that peace had been signed and on 26 September the 2nd Battalion sailed for the UK in the SS Michigan. On reaching Southampton the 2nd Battalion was quartered at Aldershot where it remained for exactly two years. For his services in South Africa Sgt Price was awarded the Queen’s South Africa Medal with clasps “Cape Colony”, “Witterbergen” and “Transvaal” together with the King’s South Africa Medal with clasps “South Africa 1901” and “South Africa 1902”.
On 28 September 1904 the battalion embarked from Southampton for the Channel Islands. However, Sgt Price was posted to the North Nigeria Regiment of the West African Frontier Force on 6 August 1904 and took part in the expeditions that took place in widely scattered areas of Northern Nigeria. Whether Sgt Price took part in the expedition against the Dakka Kerri in Kontagora, or against the Yergam Pagans in the Wase area, or against the Semolikas  on the southern borders of Kontagora or against the Kilba Tribe north of Yola is not known but for his services in Nigeria Sgt Price was awarded the Africa General Service Medal 1899-1956 with clasp “N. Nigeria 1904”. Sgt Price returned to the 2nd Battalion The Manchester Regiment in the Channel Islands on 20 September 1905. He was promoted to colour sergeant on 28 February 1906.                                                                                                         
The 2nd Battalion returned to the UK at the beginning of October 1907 and was stationed at Cambridge Barracks, Portsmouth. However, Col Sgt Price returned, briefly to Alderney in January 1908 to marry Annie Hammond on the 8th. The battalion next moved to Aldershot before moving to Mullingar, Ireland at the end of September 1909 just after Col Sgt Price’s first child had been born in Portsmouth on 26 June. Although the battalion moved to Ireland Sgt Price was posted to the Discharge Depot at Fort Brockhurst at Portsmouth and it was in Gosport that Col Sgt Price’s next two children were born (1910 & 1912). William Price was promoted to Quarter Master Sergeant on 22 July 1911.
Qr Mr Sgt Price was awarded his Long Service and Good Conduct Medal in 1914. It appears that QrMr Sgt Price remained at Fort Brockhurst throughout the majority of the First World War when it served initially as a recruitment centre and later, in 1918, as a demobilisation centre acting as it’s quarter master. On 17 April 1918 Qr Mr Sgt Price was commissioned (as Lieutenant and quarter master) in the 3rd Battalion and travelled to France to serve with the 11th Battalion. He was brought to the notice of the Secretary of State for War for valuable service rendered in connection with the war, War Office List 24 February 1917. For his service in the First World war Lt & QMr Price was awarded the British War and Victory Medals.
Also believed to have been awarded Meritorious Service Medal; Coronation Medal 1911, Jubilee Medal 1935; MBE The London Gazette 3 June 1935, Major (Quarter Master) 9th Battalion, The Manchester Regiment, Territorial Army Major William Price OBE.
(Mentioned in Volunteer Infantry of Ashton-Under-Lyne 1859-1971 by Robert Bonner)
WO100/75 & WO100/198
1881, 1901 & 1911 census (Farnham, Surrey) + birth, marriage and death details.