The Australian Boer War Memorial
Anzac Parade Canberra

Private Arthur Stephens

Ancestor Details

Name of Ancestor: Frederick Holmes Mansfield

Ancestor's date of birth: 18/09/1866

Ancestor's date of death: 20/03/1935

Cause of Death: Age Related

Service Number: 883

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

Unit: 2nd NSW Mounted Rifles

Rank attained in Boer War: SGT, Date Effective: 20/03/1902

Highest Rank attained (if served after war): SPR, Date Effective: 21/08/1915

Murray Page: 117

Contingent: Fifth NSW Contingent

Ship: Custodian or Maplemore, Date of Sailing: 15/03/1901

Other Boer War Service: Also served with Roberts Horse and 3rd NSW Imperial Bushman.

Memorial details: Rookwood Cemetery NSW

Decorations: QSA with six clasps, KSA with clasps SA1901,SA 1902. WW1 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.

Personal Characteristics: Frederick Holmes Mansfield was born George Whitefield Williams in the Coomra District NSW in C1866. Although a check of WW1 records shows that he claimed he was born in Yorkshire UK. At some point in the 1890's he changed his name,for whatever reason it was not clear,but the family bible was ammended accordinly. His occupation on enlisting for the Boer War was shown as station manager, although on his WW1 papers it is shown as a miner which perhaps gives some clue as to what he was doing in South Africa. Almost certainly he was in South Africa in 1899 pehaps working in the mines. Height 1.7 m, weight: 65 kg (1915), fair hair, blue eyes.

Reasons to go and fight: To be involved?

Details of service in war: On 8 December 1899 he enlisted in a local irregular unit Roberts Horse as #2013 Trooper, he was discharged on completion of service from that unit on the 15 September 1900. He then appears to have returned to Australia and enlisted as #883 Trooper 2nd NSW Mounted Rifles. This appears to have been his parent unit as all his promotions were promulgated in this unit, although, he seemed to consider the 3rd NSW Imperial Bushman as his unit. Promotions were: Coproral 19 May 1901 and Sgt 20 March 1902. To add to the mystery he appears to have been cross posted to the 3rd NSW Imperial Bushman as #5009. When or how this occured is not clear but soldiers were swapped between units and the 3rd NSWIB having been built in South Africa may have needed NCO's. He apparently agreed to say on in South Africa with the 3rd NSWIB rather than return to NSW with the 2nd NSW Mounted Rifles when this unit it returned in May 1902. The 3rd NSWIB returned in July of 1902 but it is not certain if Mansfield returned with them.

Service and life after the Boer War: On 21 August 1915 he joined the AIF and was posted to the 1st Tunnelling Company where he saw service in places such as Hill 60. He was wounded in action in France on the 1 June 1916 and discharged on medical grounds in 1917. Records show that he was suffering from chronic lung problems and not coping with the physical work, the records also show the word Senility. It is not certain that this related to a condition that we would describe today as Alzheimer's or a description of physical capabilities. He died in the State Hospital at Lidcombe and was buried in Rookwood Cemetery NSW, with a military headstone.

Descendant Details

Name of Descendant: Ruth Ross, North Balgowlah NSW
Relationship to Ancestor: Great Niece


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RUSI of NSW Boer War Battlefields