A Boer War 'Pieter's Hill' DCM to CSgt Taylor RSF
Item Reference: HM52320
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DISTINGUISHED CONDUCT MEDAL, VR (958 C. Sgt R. Taylor, 2nd Rl: Scots Fus:); officially impressed.
Lightly toned, minor obverse edge nick at 6 o’clock, otherwise nearly extremely fine, rare with award details.
MID London Gazette 08.02.1901 – ‘Conspicuous gallantry in the attack on Pieter’s Hill’ DCM London Gazette 19.04.1901. Roland Taylor was born 22 November 1865, in Headington, Oxford, and enlisted for service with the Royal Scots Fusiliers at Aldershot 7 November 1884, having had some experience with the 4th Oxfordshire (Militia) Regiment. He initially served in India before serving with the 2nd Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers during the Second Boer War.
Whilst in South Africa, at the rank of Sergeant he distinguished himself in action, and was later awarded the DCM for conspicuous gallantry during the attack on Pieter’s Hill 27 February 1900. Here, the Royal Scots Fusiliers (as part of Barton’s Brigade) attacked up a very steep hill of 500 feet elevation towards a strong Boer position. Dashing across the crest they managed to secure and hold the plateau, despite having lost all but one of their officers – the action centring around a sangar they erected whilst facing the main enemy-held kopje. This was the costliest attack for the Royal Scots Fusiliers since the Battle of Inkermann, with 4 officers and 26 men killed, 9 officers and 72 men wounded, including Colonel Carr, who was kept alive despite being seriously wounded. Given the grouping of awards for this action to the 2nd RSF, it appears very likely that Sergeant Taylor was amongst the party in the stone lined sangar, which came under very heavy fire.
Having been promoted to Colour-Sergeant subsequent to this action, he was also wounded in action at Frederickstad 23 October 1900. His papers show his wound elsewhere that he received a ‘gunshot wound to left side of head.’ More broadly, his service papers state he was mentioned for distinguished conduct in the action at Colenso, Greenhill, Pietershill and Venterskroon. He continued to serve with the Royal Scots Fusiliers, and served with them during WWI. His MIC appears to show him as serving as Lieutenant and Quartermaster with the 1st / 5th Royal Scots Fusiliers during the Gallipoli campaign, and later being sent on attachment as Captain and Quartermaster with the 14th London Regiment (London Scottish). His MIC gives two addresses: the first as 7 South Brink, Wisbech, Camb., the second as 24 Gordon Terrace, Ayr, and his various papers show him as being discharged due to reaching an age limit in October 1920. The ‘Proceedings on Discharge’ note his conduct as ‘Exemplary. No offense in the whole of his 26 year service.’
Furthermore, he is noted as ‘an excellent instructor & disciplinarian and a good clerk, a smart, conscientious & hardworking, reliable man, thoroughly suitable for a position of trust.’ His full entitlement should include a IGS with clasp Burma 1885-87, QSA with 5 clasps, KSA 2 clasps, and Army LSGC. Sold with copy London Gazette entries, MIC, and a large quantity of service documentation and papers.