The Australian Boer War Memorial
Anzac Parade Canberra

Sergeant Henry Best

Ancestor Details

Name of Ancestor: Henry Best

Ancestor's date of birth: 20/12/1873

Ancestor's date of death: 04/11/1929

Cause of Death: Alcoholism

Service Number: 435

Colony or State of enlistment: VIC, Place of Enlistment: Geelong or Melbourne

Unit: 3rd Victorian Bushmen

Rank attained in Boer War: SGT, Date Effective: 01/01/19

Highest Rank attained (if served after war): CPL, Date Effective: 01/04/1916

Murray Page: 246

Contingent: Third Victorian

Ship: Euryalus, Date of Sailing: 10/03/1900

Memorial details: Cheltenham Private Cemetery Cof E section A Grave 63 - unmarked

Decorations: Queen's South Africa Medal with Transvaal, Natal, Orange Free State, Cape Colony, Mafeking clasps. 1914/15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.

Personal Characteristics: A carpenter by Trade. Height: 171 cm, weight: 64 kg (1916).

Reasons to go and fight: Not known

Details of service in war: April 1900 - April 1901 in Rhodesia, west Transvaal including skirmish at Koster River where six killed (22 July 1900), and in northern Transvaal including Elands River (4 - 16 August 1900) and the battle of Rhenoster Kop (29 November 1900), great De Wet hunt including charge at Wolwekuil (14 February 1901) and advance on Pietersburg.

Service and life after the Boer War: Returned to Australia June 1901 on the Morayshire. Married Ethel and worked as a builder in Great Western (near Ararat) and Geelong Victoria with sons Charles and Donald, daughters Blanche and Mary. On the outbreak of WW1, applied for a commission in the "Tropical Force". Joined the AIF 24 January 1916, posted to 39 Battalion. Promoted corporal 1 April 1916. Served with 10 Training Battalion in England, suffered pneumonia and chronic rheumatism; returned to Australia as medically suitable for home service only 16 May 1917. Was discharged on 6 August 1917. After the war he lived at Memosa Road, Glenhuntly Victoria, was granted a war pension, and continued to work as a builder; drank a bit.

Descendant Details

Name of Descendant: Richard Fenton-Smith, Doncaster East VIC
Relationship to Ancestor: Grandson

Sergeant Best's Reference courtesy the National Archives of Australia.


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