The Australian Boer War Memorial
Anzac Parade Canberra

Lieutenant Gilbert Ramsay

Ancestor Details

Name of Ancestor: Gilbert Edward Layton Ramsay

Ancestor's date of birth: 01/04/1873

Ancestor's date of death: 01/07/1962

Cause of Death: Natural causes

Service Number: 877 (NSW Lancers); Officer, no number (Scottish Horse)

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

Unit: New South Wales Lancers and Scottish Horse

Rank attained in Boer War: LT, Date Effective: 1901

Highest Rank attained (if served after war): No evidence of post Boer War service

Murray Page: 12

Contingent: First New South Wales,

Ship: SS Kent, Date of Sailing: 28/10/1899

Ship: sailed again to South Africa, details unknown

Memorial details: New South Wales Lancers' Memorial Museum, Parramatta NSW

Decorations: Queen and King's South Africa Medals with clasps

Personal Characteristics: very good horseman. Was asked to accompany the Marquis of Tullibardine after the war to Blair Athol to become secretary to him. Apparently declined in favour of returning to Bulli (NSW South Coast) for family reasons.

Reasons to go and fight: Was a serving Lancer.

Details of service in war: Was from Berry Half Squadron of the NSW Lancers, and part of the first reinforcement draft under Major Lee for the squadron that had landed in South Africa en route from training in the United Kingdom. Served with the NSW Lancers in South Africa from December 1899 in northern Cape Colony, Free State, and east Transvaal. On 9 July 1900 the squadron marched 40 kilometres to Grootfontein. This was a long march in winter weather conditions. Another 40 kilometre march on 10 July brought the regiment past Rietfontein, and at noon of the following day Leeupoort Hill near Oliphantsfontein was taken. Building stone sangars for defence, the squadron held the position for three days, surrounded by the enemy in force. On 14 July 1900, Trooper Ramsay was evacuated with enteric (typhoid) fever. Many soldiers died from typhoid, in Ramsay's case he was invalided to Australia arriving 13/11/1900. When he recovered, he sought to re-join the fighting; the Lancers had returned to Australia. The caladonean society were seeking volunteers for the Scottish Horse, a unit formed by Major the Marquis of Tullibardine, MVO, DSO. By the time Ramsay joined the 1st Scottish Horse was commanded Lieutenant Colonel Leader of the 6th Dragoon Guards who knew of the Lancers reputation, and presumably knew Ramsay, Lancer Squadron had been attached to the 6DG during training at Aldershot, and during their service in South Africa. Ramsay was offered a commission. Between May and September 1901 the Scottish Horse had been almost constantly in contact with the enemy and the early months of 1902 the regiment was constantly on the trek and fighting. Their final action was at Rooival on 11 April 1902.

Service and life after the Boer War: Became farmer at Bulli. Also worked as an office worker in the South Bulli coal mine.

Descendant Details

Name of Descendant: Gordon McNicol Finlay, Port Macquarie NSW
Relationship to Ancestor: grandson


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