A Talana and Defence of Ladysmith Queen’s South Africa Medal, 2nd type Ghost Dates, 4 clasps, Talana, Defence of Ladysmith, Orange Free State, Transvaal, awarded to Private John Watson, “G” Company, 1st Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers, (5715 Pte J. Watson, Rl. Irish Fus:), officially impressed, lightly toned very fine.
Extract – Faugh-A-Ballagh, March 1898
The draft under the command of 2nd Lieutenant W.B. Dooner arrived at Alexandria, in Moss Line S.S. Anubis on the evening of the 28th of February. There were 136 all told, 2nd Lieutenant’s A.L. Kelly and R.J. Kentish accompanied the draft for duty on being posted to the 1st battalion. They disembarked at the Quay, and marched as far as the Grand Square, where they were met by the Band and Drums, who played them into the Barracks, where a welcome supper awaited them at the Garrison Institute.
The Draft have been posted to Companies:
5715 John Watson
John Watson was born in Dublin in 1868, he attested for the Royal Irish Fusiliers on the 7th of September 1896, he served Home from the 7th of September 1896 to the 13th of February 1898, Egypt, 14th of February 1898 to the 29th
of September 1899, South Africa 30th of September 1899 to the 16th of October 1902, 17th of October 1902 to the 6th September 1908. He was discharged on the 6th of September 1908 after completing 12 years with the Colours. His papers confirm the award of the Queen’s South Africa Medal with four clasps and the King’s South Africa Medal with two clasps.
He appeared in the Defaulters Book 5 Times, 5th of October 1900, Drunk in Camp. 19th of September 1902, Drunk found about 2.10Pm. 31st of December 1902, Drunk in Library Street, Belfast. 3rd of February 1903, Drunk and creating a disturbance in Barracks about 10.15pm and absent from Roll Call. 2nd of May 1903 Absent from Tattoo and Roll call. 15th of May 1903, Absent from Roll Call apprehended in Belfast by Military Foot Police, Drunk in Donegal Street, Violently resisting the Military Police, fined £5/-.
In 1917 was diagnosed with a Permanent Total Incapacity due to Active Service in South Africa, maybe the charge up Talana Hill took more out of him than we can imagine, perhaps a case of what would be today diagnosed as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that made him ill and drink.
Sold with copy Extract Faugh-A-Ballagh, copy Medal Roll confirming the 4 clasps, also entitled to the King’s South Africa Medal with South Africa 1901 and South Africa 1902 clasps, extract Talana Account & Medal Roll by David Biggins, page 374.