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leon21

South African Brigade on the Western Front

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The Battle of Delville Wood/Longueval 15th July - 19th July 1916 The sacrifice made by the S.A.Brigade.

 

The task of capturing the wood was handed to the South African Brigade of some 3,153 men attached to the 9th Scottish

Division part of XIII Corps.

The Brigade Battle Order.

 

General Officer Commanding Brigade.

Brigadier Henry Timson Lukin.

 

1st S.A. Regiment ( Cape of Good Hope ) Commanded by Lieutenant Colonel F.S.Dawson.

 

2nd S.A. Regiment ( Natal and Orange Free State ) Commanded by Lieutenant Colonel W.E.C.Tanner.

 

3rd S.A. Regiment ( Transvaal and Rhodesia ) Commanded by Lieutenant Colonel E.F.Thackeray.

 

4th S.A. Regiment ( South African Scottish ) Commanded by Lieutenant Colonel F.A.Jones.

 

28th Brigade MG company composed of men of the H.L.I. reinforced by South Africans.

 

S.A. Trench Mortar Battery.

 

64th Field Coy Royal Engineers ( attached ).

 

1st S.A. Field Ambulance S.A. Medical Corps.

 

At dawn on the 15th July they went in following a heavy Artilliery battle, they managed to clear the southern edge of the wood

the remainder of the wood remained in German hands.

Hand to Hand fighting ensued, throughout bad weather ( it rained often ) and enemy artilliery fire which reached a crescendo

of 400 shells a minute. the surrounding landscape was transformed into a mess of broken trees and massive shell holes.

Mud and rainwater covered bodies of both South African and German Forces.

The remnants of the Brigade were relieved on the night of the 19th July, out of 121 Officers and 3,032 other ranks who formed

the Brigade on the 14 July only 29 Officers and 750 other ranks were present at roll call when the unit gathered some days later.

and out of these only 147 men were fit to bear arms, the dead outnumbered the wounded by four to one.

Many bodies remain in the woods today ( which is now in private hands ), the Germans lost 9,500 men, Delville Wood remained

the most costly action the S.A. Brigade fought on the Western Front.

Today the wood and near by Memorial are looked after by the South African Government, the Cemetery contains 5,493 burials

almost two thirds of these are unknown.

Over 146.000 White Africans volunteered for service in WW1, there were also 83,000 Black and 2,000 Coloured Africans who

served in a non-combatant capacity.

 

Below are a few photo's.post-3823-0-39931300-1433532773_thumb.jpgpost-3823-0-75099500-1433532808_thumb.jpgpost-3823-0-59542200-1433532830_thumb.jpgpost-3823-0-32821900-1433532863_thumb.jpgpost-3823-0-02272800-1433532890_thumb.jpgpost-3823-0-64458000-1433532920_thumb.jpgpost-3823-0-68837400-1433532949_thumb.jpgpost-3823-0-66727700-1433532970_thumb.jpg

post-3823-0-46791700-1433532996_thumb.jpg

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  Here is a medal group I recently added to my collection of one of the  soldiers of this brigade

  Private John Bell Galloway of the 1st South African Infantry Regiment.

100_5692.jpg

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Thanks Kenny, yes I was very pleased to find this one they don't come up very often, the odd thing is the soldiers regimental roll number

is not on the medals just his name and regiment.

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Yes that's fine for South African medals, I take it the victory is the South African version with Afrikaans on the back?   

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 The inscription on the back of medal is in English and Dutch text. 

Victory_Medal_(South_Africa)[2].jpg

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Here's another recent find I've added to this group a 1st Infantry Brigade shoulder title.

100_5701.jpg

100_5702.jpg

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Here are images of the 4 regiments  collar badges of the brigade.

( 1 ) 1st regiment.

( 2 ) 2nd regiment.

( 3 ) 3rd regiment.

( 4 ) 4th Scottish regiment.

( 5 ) 4th Scottish regiment button.

1st Infantry Regiment.jpg

2nd Infantry Regiment.jpg

3rd Infantry Regiment.jpg

4th Infantry Scottish Regiment.jpg

4th Infantry Scottish Regiment (2).jpg

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Jackie the mascot of 3rd SAI and his keeper Pte Albert Marr were both injured by the explosion of the same shell

in April 1918. Jackie was badly wounded his left leg hanging by shreds of muscle and another jagged wound to

his right arm. He was given chloroform and had the lower part of his leg removed and dressed and his arm was

also dressed, he was taken by a passing ambulance to the Casualty Clearing Station and after a couple of was

sent to the base hospital on the French coast.

It was the end of active service for both Jackie and Pte Albert Marr with the end of the war drawing to a close.

From early September to 14th February they were both lent to the Red Cross for the purpose of collecting money

for sick and wounded soldiers between them they raised over £1000.

Jackie was officially discharged on the 26th April on his arm Jackie wore one gold wound stripe and the three

blue service chevrons, indicating three years frontline service. At Maitland Dispersal Camp Cape Town he received

the usual discharge papers, a military pension, plus a Civil Employment Form for Discharged soldiers which had

been filled in, signed and witnessed like any other such document.

At a parade to welcome back officially the 1st SAI Brigade and a Peace Parade on Church Square Pretoria on 31 July

1920 he received the Pretoria Citizens Service Medal.

Jackie was able to  live out his days in peaceful retirement until his death on 22 May 1921, he was buried in a

unmarked grave  on Cheshire Fann, Villieria

Albert Marr died in Pretoria, aged 84, in August 1973.

Story and photo from the book Pyramids and Poppies ( The 1st SA Infantry Brigade in Libya, France and  Flanders )

1915 - 1919 by Peter K. A. Digby an excellent book,

15357594100_9b6af2933f_b[1].jpg

img819.jpg

tumblrm8bxv0zmtq1r0mxze[1].jpg

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Update for John Bell Galloway service number 1688 Private A Coy 1st Regiment South African Brigade.

Son of James and Ann Galloway of 17 St Clair St Glasgow, a Native of Leslie Fifeshire, Died in Sollum

West of Sidie Barrarni Egypt on 4th April 1916, buried at Alexandria (Hadra) War Memorial Cemetery,

Plot F, Row E, grave 259, inscription on grave "To Memory Dear".

here are a few documents map and photo.

 

doc1924428[1].jpg

doc1925935[1].jpg

doc1926042[1].jpg

British_military_operations,_Western_Desert,_1914-1918[1].png

EGAC7329[1].jpg

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Interesting, how did you find all this information?

 

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Hi Paul, I got lucky using Ancestry then looking through the Brigade history for battles places and dates and then looking

for his grave on Commonwealth War Graves Commission site. The place were he died was misspelt as Sotlum but looking

up the Brigade History gave me the correct name, it was the last battle in Egypt they fought before going to France.

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I know Ancestry can be a good source, but I think you have to pay a certain fee or at least register?

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Yes correct I joined on a 14 day free trail then stayed for an extra month for just over £13.

Here are two more documents.

img999.jpg

img998.jpg

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Re John Bell Galloway,

His age on enlistment was 32  He was posted to “A” company  1st Regiment He was a seaman at the time .

He died of disease “fatty degeneration of the heart” He was unmarried.

John

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Thanks John, that's very interesting. Here's a map of the Union of South Africa from that time showing the 4 Regions.

South_Africa_1000[1].jpg

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Here's a couple of post card images ( from other sources ).

s-l1600[1].jpg

img065.jpg

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