The Australian Boer War Memorial
Anzac Parade Canberra

Trooper Robert Latham

Ancestor Details

Name of Ancestor: Robert Jenkins Latham

Ancestor's date of birth: 22/01/1874

Ancestor's date of death: 21/10/1951

Cause of Death: Unknown

Service Number: 30383

Colony or State of enlistment: Not Applicable, Place of Enlistment: Maitland, South Africa

Unit: Prince of Wales' Light Horse, Raised in Cape Colony

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

Highest Rank attained (if served after war): Detail of post Boer War Military service not provided

Murray Page: Not applicable did not serve in an Australian unit.

Contingent: Not applicable

Ship: Not applicable a South African resident

Other Boer War Service: Possibly attached to Railway Pioneer Regiment

Memorial details: Detail not provided

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

Personal Characteristics: Detail not provided.

Reasons to go and fight: He was a local (in South Africa) British Public Servant. Formerly employed by the Board of Agriculture, and by the Surveyor of Taxes, Inland Revenue, London, afterwards serving as Clerk in the Accounts Department of the Orange Free State and Cape Government Railways.

Details of service in war: In the despatch of 8 March 1901 Lord Kitchener dealt with the entry of De Wet into Cape Colony in the beginning of February, the pursuit by British columns, and his subsequent expulsion. Lord Kitchener mentioned that the 1st King's Dragoon Guards, newly arrived from England, the Prince of Wales's Light Horse, then recently raised at Cape Town, and 'G' Battery RHA, had been put under Colonel Bethune, and had assembled at Naauwpoort. The Prince of Wales's Light Horse was engaged near Colesberg about 12 February. The 3rd Dragoon Guards afterwards joined the column. When De Wet moved west from the Colesberg district, Bethune's force also crossed the De Aar line, and the pursuit was continued through Britstown, and afterwards in a northerly direction to the Hopetown district. In this pursuit all De Wet's waggons, his guns, and most of his ammunition were taken. The hard riding involved a terrible strain on the pursuing columns, horses falling daily by the score. The newly raised and newly arrived troops naturally felt the strain very severely, but all stuck to their work well. The despatch of 8 May mentioned that Colonel Bethune's brigade "left Orange River on 1 March, and two days later attacked and dispersed a body of about 1000 Boers at Open Baar. The brigade moved north-east, and reached the Modder River, near Abraham's Kraal, on the 8 May. On this date the Boers attacked an empty convoy returning from Colonel Bethune's column to Bloemfontein. The escort held its own, and being reinforced by a detachment of the Prince of Wales's Light Horse, drove off the enemy". Colonel Bethune's Brigade now moved to the northeast of the Orange River Colony, where, under the general direction of Major General Elliot, they and numerous other columns took part in many operations. During March and April the corps suffered casualties on several occasions. On 31 March Lieutenant C F Berry was killed. The despatch of 8th July shows the Prince of Wales's Light Horse to have been 500 strong shortly before that date. The corps was afterwards taken to Cape Colony, where they had a good deal of skirmishing, and on 14 November suffered casualties near Brande Kraal and Vogelfontein, including Captain E T Chittinden wounded. Captain F B Hughes was mentioned in the despatch of 8 December 1901 for dash and gallantry. (Ref: )

Service and life after the Boer War: He was appointed Clerk in the Land Settlement Department on the Orange River Colony in 1903. No other detail provided.

Descendant Details

Name of Descendant: Lieutenant Colonel David Deasey RFD, Mortdale Heights NSW
Relationship to Ancestor: Second Cousin

Name of Descendant: Colin Ferguson, Palmers Oaky NSW
Relationship to Ancestor: Second Cousin

Name of Descendant: : John Deasey, Green Point NSW
Relationship to Ancestor: Second Cousin

Name of Descendant: Major Dick Adams APM RFD, Springwood NSW
Relationship to Ancestor: 1st Cousin, 3 Times Removed

Name of Descendant: Brett Adams, Townsville QLD
Relationship to Ancestor: 1st Cousin, 4 Times Removed

Name of Descendant: Michael Deasey, Croydon NSW
Relationship to Ancestor: Second Cousin


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RUSI of NSW Boer War Battlefields