Author Topic: Thomas West 7167  (Read 8751 times)

pnbradbury

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Thomas West 7167
« on: October 25, 2012, 09:01:32 PM »
Hi, I am new to this forum and am trying to get more information on my great-great uncle Private Thomas West, 7167.

I have a copy of his 4 page Short Service enlistment form. It is dated 10 Mar 1900 and shows he was previously with the 5th Vol Btln of the regiment.

He was credited with Home service from 10 Mar 1900 to 16 Mar 1901, South Africa service from 17 Mar 1901 to 31 Jan 1902, and Home service from 1 Feb 1902 to 4 Apr 1902.

He was awarded the Queens South Africa medal, with clasps for Transvaal, Cape Colony, Orange Free State, and South Africa 1901 & 1902.

Any further information on the specifics of his service in South Africa would be greatly appreciated.

Nigel
« Last Edit: October 27, 2012, 04:33:13 PM by Nigel Bradbury »

Offline mack

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Re: Thomas West 7167
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2012, 11:11:47 PM »
hiya nigel.
according to the medal rolls,he was only entitled to the transvaal and 1901 clasps to his QSA medal

mack ;D

pnbradbury

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Re: Thomas West 7167
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2012, 02:56:39 AM »
hiya nigel.
according to the medal rolls,he was only entitled to the transvaal and 1901 clasps to his QSA medal

mack ;D

Hmm - my comment was based on one page of his "Military Service Sheet", which I've (hopefully)attached.

sphinx

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Re: Thomas West 7167
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2012, 10:52:35 AM »
hiya nigel.
according to the medal rolls,he was only entitled to the transvaal and 1901 clasps to his QSA medal

mack ;D

I agree.  No record on 2 rolls for the 2nd Volunteer Service Company, which he was part of, of the other clasps.

regards

Offline Bob.NB

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Re: Thomas West 7167
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2012, 12:04:06 PM »
Following a long period of tension in Southern Africa between the Boers and the British, the two Boer Republics, The Transvaal and the Orange Free State, declared war on Great Britain on 11th October 1899 and the Boer columns crossed the border into Natal the next day. A wave of patriotism swept the country and additional troops were rushed to South Africa. For the first time since the Crimea, members of the militia, who volunteered, were also sent overseas. Very soon the use of the Volunteer Force was raised in Parliament but the Under Secretary of State pointed out that the law did not permit the use of the Volunteer Force outside the United Kingdom.
The events of Black Week in December 1899 shattered the complacency of the Cabinet and on 17th December 1899 General Buller, the Commander in Chief, sent a cable asking for “8,000 irregulars organised, not in regiments but, in companies of 100 men … equipped as mounted infantry… able to shoot as well as possible and ride decently.” Buller was well aware that the British troops needed to match the mobility of the Boers. This resulted immediately in the rapid formation of units made up from the Imperial Yeomanry but soon, following letters from a large number of volunteers offering their services at home and abroad, the war Office accepted the idea that the Volunteer Force should raise Volunteer Service Companies of mounted infantry. These men were to serve a short service of one year with the colours.
Army Order 29 of 2nd January 1900 provided for the raising of “a carefully selected company consisting of a captain, 2 subalterns, 1 sergeant instructor, 4 sergeants, 5 corporals, 2 buglers, 99 private soldiers and 2 stretcher bearers to serve each line battalion of the regular army in South Africa”.
At this time the 1st Battalion Manchester Regiment was part of the besieged garrison in Ladysmith and so in Manchester there was considerable press interest in the progress of the war. The Lord Mayor of Manchester opened a fund to equip and benefit the Yeomanry and Volunteers although the government said that they would pay for their khaki and green clothing. On 14th February 1900 the 1st Volunteer Service Company (VSC) commanded by Capt B C P Heywood left Ashton-Under-Lyne, travelled to Southampton by train and from there on the SS Geek for South Africa.
The 2nd Volunteer Service Company, under Capt Heys, left for South Africa on 17th March 1901 and joined the 1st Battalion Manchester Regiment as ‘K’ Company at Machadodorp on 7th May 1901. The next four months were spent mainly on convoy escort duty and patrolling the local area but on 27th September the Battalion were ordered to join Colonel Park’s column. After assembling at Lyndenburg the column moved off on 1st October, with the Manchester Regiment leading. There then followed 6 weeks of patrolling, rounding up Boers, destroying farms etc and the column was frequently under sniper fire. On 19th November K Company were detailed as the garrison of Bridge Hill, Lyndenburg until 6th January 1902 when the VSC joined the rest of the Battalion at Belfast.
On 15th January the Battalion moved north to Zwart Kopjes, to Dullstroom on the 17th and on 21st January attacked the Boers to the east of  Paardeplatz before returning to camp. On 21st March the battalion, including K Company, was ordered to prepare for another drive and, as part of Park’s column, to move south west towards the Natal Railway. By the end of the drive they had marched 75 miles in 60 hours. A further drive took place on 12th April and after a march of 55 miles the battalion reached Vaal.
On 15th April the 4th VSC joined the 1st Battalion (the 3rd VSC had joined the 2nd Battalion in August 1901) and so the 2nd VSC left for England on the same day and arrived back in England on 18th May 1902. See “The Volunteer Service Companies of the Manchester Regiment in the Boer War 1899-1902” by Robert Bonner.
Most of the men in the 2nd VSC would have received the 5 clasps mentioned on Thomas West’s service documents but as the roll only shows his entitlement as two clasps (Transvaal and SA 1901) it may be that he was taken ill or was wounded and spent some time in hospital (or was transferred to one of the “base camps”) before returning to the UK on 31st January 1902, almost 4 months before the rest of the 2nd VSC. The roll may be wrong but I reckon a clerk just filled in his service papers to show the usual clasp entitlement. Do his papers indicate whether he was taken ill in SA?
Bob B

pnbradbury

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Re: Thomas West 7167
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2012, 02:25:34 PM »
Thanks to everyone for the information.

The sheet I attached above does not show any wounds or injuries. The other thing of note regarding the clasps is the notation for the Cape Colony and Orange Free State clasps is in a different hand-writing.

Is it possible that he did suffer an illness, which led to his being returned to England earlier than normal? He got married on 22 May 1902 (6 weeks after being demobilized), if that would have made any difference.

Offline mack

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Re: Thomas West 7167
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2012, 04:18:26 PM »
thomas arrived in england on 1-2-02 and granted sick leave from 4-2-02 till 3-4-02

mack ;D

Offline Bob.NB

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Re: Thomas West 7167
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2012, 11:38:11 AM »
Mack,
That's very interesting and nice to hear as I was only surmising that he may have been ill.
Where did you get this info?
Bob B

timberman

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Re: Thomas West 7167
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2012, 05:55:13 PM »

There are 8 pages of his service records on Ancestry
one is a special sick furlough with the dates on

Timberman

Offline Bob.NB

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Re: Thomas West 7167
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2012, 08:53:00 AM »
Many thanks.
Bob

pnbradbury

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Re: Thomas West 7167
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2013, 06:31:13 PM »
After leaving the service in 1902, Thomas West entered Withington workhouse on 3 separate occasions, and died there on 2 Sep 1905 at age 27. From his service record it appears he was either wounded or became ill during his service in South Africa.

Does anyone know if an ex-serviceman who was unable to work because of his military service (either through wounds or illness) would have had any kind of government support other than the workhouse during this period?

Offline mack

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Re: Thomas West 7167
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2013, 09:29:10 PM »
hiya nigel
thomas would probably have recieved a £5.00 war gratuity from the government,but i doubt if there was any support from them after he left the army.
i have some info but not sure if he is your thomas west.

married miss bertha bailey at st.michaels church,hulme on 22-5-1902,witnesses samuel beckett and alice west[his sister]
occupation warehouseman
aged 24
bertha aged 19
thomas resided at 25 brunswick st,hulme
bertha 41 brunswick st,hulme

mack ;D












pnbradbury

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Re: Thomas West 7167
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2013, 01:14:32 PM »
Thanks.

The marriage information is correct - the address (Brunswick St) is the residence of his sister Sarah, who was married with 3 children (as of the 1901 census). Thomas' sister Alice, the witness, was single and a domestic servant per the 1901 and 1911 census. Both of Thomas' parents were dead before the start of the Boer War (his father died in the workhouse in 1891 @ age 49).

Thomas' widow Bertha was also in the workhouse on one occasion after his death - she died in 1908 @ age 25.