The Australian Boer War Memorial
Anzac Parade Canberra

Captain Arthur Holmes

Ancestor Details

Ancestor's Name: Arthur AKA Skipper Holmes

Ancestor's date of birth: 29/01/1867

Ancestor's date of death: 06/03/1943

Cause of Death: Natural Causes, he died at home, Pacific Street Manly NSW.

Service Number: Officer no number

Colony or State of enlistment: NSW, Place of Enlistment: Victoria Barracks Sydney NSW

Unit: RHQ NSW Imperial Bushman

Rank attained in Boer War: CAPT, Date Effective: Prior to Boer War

Highest Rank attained (if served after war): Retired with the rank of Captain after 20 years service.

Murray Page: 87 and 90

Contingent: Fourth New South Wales

Ship: Armenian, Date of Sailing: 23/04/1900

Memorial details: Buried in Manly, NSW

Decorations: Queen's South Africa Medal with Cape Colony, Transvaal, Orange Free State, Rhodesia and SA 1901 clasps.

Personal Characteristics: Son of Captain William Holmes, of the general staff, New South Wales Military Forces, who died in 1894

Reasons to go and fight: A serving member of the NSWMF, a permanent soldier of the NSW Garrison Artillery.

Details of service in war: May 1900 - May 1901 in Rhodesia and west Transvaal including capture of de la Rey's convoy and guns at Wildfontein (24 March 1901). Invalided to England on board ORIANA. In May 1901 his medal was confered personally by King Edward VII.

Service and life after the Boer War: Younger brother of Major General William Holmes (the most senior Australian officer to die in battle in WW1). In 1912 Arthur Holmes was appointed president of the Manly Life-Saving Club, a position which he held with conspicuous ability for 26 years. During his long term the club rose under his able administration, built up into one of the finest surfing organisations in the State. As a carnival organiser he stood alone, his principal achievement in this direction being the great surfing gala at South Steyne on the occasion of the visit of the Duke of Gloucester. He was organiser and manager of the first surf life-saving team to visit Western Australia. His services were rewarded by being appointed one of the first life-members of the SLSA. He was similarly honoured by the old club, to whose members he had been for years a guide, philosopher and friend. For many years he was also one of the stalwarts of the Manly Amateur Swimming Club. A high proportaion of the Surf Life Saving members were members were soldiers. During the first Great War of 1914-18, Captain Holmes threw himself enthusiastically into all patriotic efforts. He was secretary for years of the Voluntary Workers' Association, formed in 1916, to provide homes for disabled soldiers and sailors and their dependants. His Grandson Bruce Holmes, although a serving member of the armed forces during WW2 was given special leave to attend his grandfather's funeral 1943.

Descendant Details

Name of Descendant: Bruce Holmes, Katoomba NSW
Relationship to Ancestor: Grandson


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RUSI of NSW Boer War Battlefields