The Australian Boer War Memorial
Anzac Parade Canberra

Sergeant Maurice Lee

Ancestor Details

Ancestor's Name: Maurice John Lee

Ancestor's date of birth: 17/10/1867

Ancestor's date of death: 24/11/1902

Cause of Death: Murdered, shot 3 times by an employee.

Service and Life Before the Boer War: At the age of 18 years started out as a horsebreaker in Queensland, travelled throughout Australia and New Zealand. Ended up in Coolgardie, Western Australia. Began as a mining speculator at the beginning of the mining boom. Maurice made alot of money totalling 8,000 pounds but through his generosity and failed ventures, he lost most of it.

Service Number: 44

Colony or State of enlistment: WA, Place of Enlistment: Detail not provided

Unit: 4th Western Australian Mounted Infantry (Imperial Bushmen)

Rank attained in Boer War: SGT, Date Effective: 1900

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

Murray Page: 415

Contingent: Fourth Western Australian

Ship: SS Manhattan, Date of Sailing: 08/05/1900

Memorial details: None known

Awards/Decorations/Commendations: Queen's South Africa Medal with Clasps

Personal Characteristics: An adventurer.

Reasons to go and fight: I (Ms Damaschun) could only imagine his sense of adventure, his love of horses and his sense of duty to his country. He was brought up in a very strict Catholic family with high morals and ethical standards.

Details of service in war: Maurice who joined under the name of John was a Quarter Master Sergeant Farrier - he was in charge of the horse lines and took a shipment of remounts from NSW to South Africa for Major Thompson prior to joining up in Western Australia. With 4WAMI served June 1900 - June 1901 as part of the Imperial Bushmen Regt in Cape Colony including skirmish at Stinkhoutboom (24 July 1900) and in northern Transvaal including battle of Rhenoster Kop (29 November 1900), great De Wet hunt, and advance on Pietersburg and into east Transvaal.

Service and life after the Boer War: He contracted Typhoid and was hospitalised in South Africa and was finally sent home. He resided with his two sisters Bridget and Margaret who lived in Cowra, NSW in 1902 and bought the Great Western Hotel only to sell it 3 months later to buy another called the Club House Hotel. His sisters lived with him at the Hotel. He had only been the owner for 3 months when he was shot dead by an employee in November 1902.

Descendant Details

Name of Descendant: Lynne Margaret Damaschun, Box Hill North VIC 3129
Relationship to Ancestor: Great Grand Niece

Name of Descendant: Mathew Shane Lee, Eastlakes NSW
Relationship to Ancestor: Great Great Great Grand Nephew


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RUSI of NSW Boer War Battlefields