The Australian Boer War Memorial
Anzac Parade Canberra

Trooper Cecil Guest

Ancestor Details

Name of Ancestor: Cecil Ernest Guest

Ancestor's date of birth: 22/10/1879

Ancestor's date of death: 01/01/1967

Cause of Death: Natural Causes

Service Number: 5414

Colony or State of enlistment: Not Applicable, Place of Enlistment: England

Unit: 17th (Duke of Camridge's Own) Lancers

Rank attained in Boer War: TPR, Date Effective: On enlistment

Highest Rank attained (if served after war): WO1, Date Effective: 16/07/1942

Murray Page: Not Applicable did not serve in an Australian Unit

Contingent: Not Applicable

Ship: Victorian Date of Sailing: 14/02/1900 (from the UK)

Memorial details: Boer War Memorial, Coombe Hill, Wendover UK

Decorations: QSA medal with clasps(3), MSM 1902, LSGCM, War Medal 1939-45

Personal Characteristics: Dapper, articulate with stong military bearing

Reasons to go and fight: Serving soldier in British Army

Details of service in war: The 17th's most significant action was at the Battle of Elands River (Modderfontein) in September 1901. C Squadron of the 17th was attacked by Boers under Jan Smuts whom they mistook for British troops. The Boers took advantage of a mist to encircle the British camp. When Smuts' vanguard ran head on into a Lancer patrol, the British hesitated to fire because many of the Boers wore captured British uniforms. The Boers immediately opened fire and attacked in front while Smuts led the remainder of his force to attack the British camp from the rear. The British party suffered further casualties at a closed gate that slowed them down. All six British officers were hit and four were killed, only Captain Sandeman, the commander, and his lieutenant Lord Vivian surviving. The 17th Lancers lost 29 killed and 41 wounded before surrendering. Boer losses were only one killed and six wounded. The 17th returned to England in 1902 with the conclusion of the war.

Service and life after the Boer War: Transferred to Rifle Brigade in 1903 and served in India. Emigrated to Australia in 1913 and joined Australian Army as WO2 instructor at Duntroon. Between the wars he served as CSM/RSM in 13 Militia Battalion until WW2 when he became WO1 8 Garrison Battalion in Newcastle. Discharged 16 July 1942 after some 42 years service.

Descendant Details

Name of Descendant: Bob Guest, Redfern NSW

Relationship to Ancestor: Grandson


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RUSI of NSW Boer War Battlefields