Friday, 21 December 2012

George Bone and the Boer War Pt I

One of the dark periods of British history is the Anglo Boer war period at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century. I will go on to talk about this at length in another blogpost however.

The conflicts was fairly costly and cost my family two family members - my Great Great Grandfather Homersham and my Great Great Grandfather Bone and it is the latter I want to write briefly about.

George Bone was born in Sussex in 1871 and eventually joined the Army as a Royal Engineer rising to the rank of Corperal Master Wheelwright with the army number; 23654.

Whilst serving at the Royal Engineers Barracks he met Mary Williams whom he married in March 1898 at St Mary's church in Gillingham.

As an army wife she joined with him when he moved to other barracks and their first and only child, Albert Richard Bone was born on 25th January 1899 at the Curragh Camp in Ireland. Unfortunately George never met his son - he was already in South Africa serving with the Army in the Boer War.

He received the South Africa medal 1899-1901 with clasps for Wittebergen, Driefontein, Paardeberg, Modder River and Belmont.

Although I was told he died after Belmont it would appear that the chronology is out of order and that he actually died after Wittebergen or in a skirmish not long after that in 1900. The legend is that he was shot in the liver during the battle and took three days to die.

He was buried in Lowersfontein at the British War Grave Cemetry where he rests to this day. His name also appears on the Boer War Memorial in Brompton Barracks.

I want to find out more about him, I have been trying in the past but am going to make a concerted push for information so I would be grateful for any pointers. None of my direct family were killed in the First or Second World War and for me this is like the quest many undertake for an uncle, their grandfathers, cousins in the Somme or at Dunkirk. I will write more as things come to light.

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