Author Topic: Pte William Downs 2nd Manchester Regt, Boer War  (Read 12075 times)

Chrismanc

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Pte William Downs 2nd Manchester Regt, Boer War
« on: May 05, 2011, 10:16:05 AM »
Hello all
I am a new member, trying to find out more about a soldier whose medal I have custody of.  It is the Queens South Africa medal with bars including Transvaal and Orange Free State.

I have tried Ancestry but just get 3000 odd records - I try and narrow it down but the number either doesn't decrease, or goes to ZERO!  I KNOW this is wrong, as I also searched for my Dad who was at Dunkirk in WWII and there are ZERO records for him (even though I have his army service papers!).  

I have searched online for the QSA Medal roll, but it seems to have been grabbed by private companies who want their cut before giving out any detailed info.   A bit disappointing, as this is public info?

Could anyone point me in the right direction, or give me some info on Pte Downs?
« Last Edit: May 05, 2011, 10:19:33 AM by Chrismanc »

Offline mack

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Re: Pte William Downs 2nd Manchester Regt, Boer War
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2011, 01:09:58 PM »
hiya chris
william was quite a soldier,he had served over 31yrs in uniform,he served 2yrs in the royal lancs militia and then enlisted on 14-11-1870 as pte 1436 william downs,1st durham light infantry,on 9th feb 1872 he went to the east indies for 10yrs,came home on 5-12-1882 and discharged on 3-1-1883 on termination of service,he then enlisted in the manchester regt as pte 746 william downs,on 2-1-1886 he went to india and took part in the samana campaign in 1891,earning the indian gen service medal with clasp for samana,he returned home on 10-12-1892 and transferred to the army reserve on 1-3-1893,he then re-engaged on 9-1-1897 and rejoined the colours on 5-3-1900,served in south africa,awarded QSA medal with clasps for wittenberg,transvaal and cape colony,on his return home,he was discharged from C.coy at ashton barracks on 8-1-1902.
this man never gives up,on 13th march 1915 he joined the 4th manchesters as pte 24058 william downs,4 napier st,gorton,occupation wagon repairer,his NOK was his sister mrs agnes dalton,4 woodman st,stockport,he was discharged as physically unfit on 6-6-16,THEN he re-enlisted again on 21-9-1917 in the royal defence corps 256th coy,as pte 46724 but discharged unfit on 24-1-1918,aged 58.
theres no way william was only 58yrs old,he was more like 67yrs old by then,when he first enlisted in 1870 he gave his age as 18.


mack ;D

ladysmith

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Re: Pte William Downs 2nd Manchester Regt, Boer War
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2011, 01:15:21 PM »
Hi Chris

To add to Mack's reply a Private Downs is on the memorial tablet to local men who served in the Boer War on the outside wall of the Labour club in Droylsden.

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/william.mcdonald7/boerwar.htm

David

Chrismanc

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Re: Pte William Downs 2nd Manchester Regt, Boer War
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2011, 04:06:38 PM »
What a guy !  Many, many thanks for the info you have supplied Mack, and the picture David.  It is all building up an interesting picture of the man.  As you say, he was pretty persistent wth coming back to the army!

Just looking at his medal again - he has bars (clasps?) for Transvaal, Relief of Ladysmith, Orange Free State and Tugela Heights.  Mack, would the history you found tie in with that - is he missing a few bars ?  Or are there some that shouldn't be on there? 

Thanks again,
Chris

Offline mack

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Re: Pte William Downs 2nd Manchester Regt, Boer War
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2011, 04:51:38 PM »
hiya chris
theres no mention of the other clasps,his army number is stamped on the rim of the medal,is it 746

mack ;D

Chrismanc

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Re: Pte William Downs 2nd Manchester Regt, Boer War
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2011, 05:35:04 PM »
Hiya

His army number looks to be 745 on the rim, not 746...

Chris

sphinx

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Re: Pte William Downs 2nd Manchester Regt, Boer War
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2011, 06:28:37 PM »
Chris,

Its interesting to hear that you have a QSA to William Downs, as I have a QSA to the same William Downs also.

He is entitled to the clasps, Cape Colony : Transvaal : Wittebergen & S. Africa 1901 which my medal has.  
My medal is officially impressed and I also have his India General Service Medal with clasp "SAMANA 1891",

It would be very helpful to see the naming on the medal you have as there are several possibilities.

1.  Duplicate issue
2.  Replacement Medal
3.  Re-named Medal

regards
« Last Edit: May 05, 2011, 06:31:19 PM by sphinx »

Chrismanc

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Re: Pte William Downs 2nd Manchester Regt, Boer War
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2011, 07:49:19 PM »
not sure how to do pictures on this forum, so I'll reproduce it as best I can:

The exact wording is           745 PTE Wm DOWNS  2ND MANCHESTER REGIMENT

The reverse of the medal has Britannia pointing at the R in AFRICA, so I think this means it is a "type 2" - where the dates have been machined off.

Interesting - especially knowing the history of the soldier - in and out of the army, he possibly got given a duplicate?

What does your version look like?

Chrismanc

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Re: Pte William Downs 2nd Manchester Regt, Boer War
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2011, 07:51:02 PM »
My medal is officially impressed and I also have his India General Service Medal with clasp "SAMANA 1891",


what does "is officially impressed " mean?

sphinx

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Re: Pte William Downs 2nd Manchester Regt, Boer War
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2011, 08:06:28 PM »
Chris,

Officially impressed means the letters and numbers were stamped neatly around the rim of the medal by the Army Medal Office when it was first issued.  That is how original QSA other ranks medals to the Manchesters were issued.

Duplicate medals were issued as a mistake and were identical to the first issued medal.

Replacement medals were again officially issued with the same naming but depending on when they were issued could be worded differently.

Re-named medals were some one elses medals, aquired, erased and engraved in that persons name.  Often done when a soldier lost his medals, or pawned his medals or in sone cases just pretended to have  won the medal.

I would need to see the naming on your medal before I could make an opinion but if it has "Wm" rather than "W" it appears to be a renamed medal.


If a mod could assist Chris to post a photo of the naming that would be extremely helpful.

regards

Chrismanc

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Re: Pte William Downs 2nd Manchester Regt, Boer War
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2011, 08:21:53 PM »
Thanks for the explanation.  I'll upload pics as soon as I get instructions.

It sounds lke you have the correct bars and I don't.  Does your Britannia point to the R or the F?  Could you upload pictures of your rim text, in the meantime?

timberman

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Re: Pte William Downs 2nd Manchester Regt, Boer War
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2011, 09:23:26 PM »
Hi Chris

If you follow the link below it will take you to the photo section and explains how to upload photos onto the site.

Any problems you can PM any of the mods and send the pictures by E mail and we will load them for you.

http://themanchesters.org/forum/index.php?topic=447.0

Timberman

timberman

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Re: Pte William Downs 2nd Manchester Regt, Boer War
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2011, 09:26:55 PM »
Sorry

The pm is the personal message (online) and can be done by clicking on the pm icon on the left under the members name.

Timberman

Chrismanc

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Re: Pte William Downs 2nd Manchester Regt, Boer War
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2011, 05:09:32 PM »
1st pic of medal rim

Chrismanc

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Re: Pte William Downs 2nd Manchester Regt, Boer War
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2011, 05:10:11 PM »
2nd pic of medal rim