The Australian Boer War Memorial
Anzac Parade Canberra

Trooper Thomas Ashford

Ancestor Details

Name of Ancestor: Thomas Ashford

Ancestor's date of birth: 1869

Ancestor's date of death: 07/08/1956

Cause of Death: Not Stated

Service Number: 106

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

Unit: 2nd NSw Mounted Rifles

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

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

Murray Page: 111

Contingent: Fifth New South Wales

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

Memorial details: Not stated

Decorations: Queen's South Africa Medal with clasps.

Personal Characteristics: Thomas was born in Ditcheat, Somerset, UK. Came to Australia and married Bridget Hayes and had 5 children.

Reasons to go and fight: Detail not provided

Details of service in war: April 1901 - April 1902 in west then east Transvaal. Extracts from Column Orders Issued 17th April 1902 at Standerton. 'The command of this, purely Australian Column, has been a great pleasure to the officers commanding, and they desire to thank everyone for their cordial support and unfailing, loyalty at all times. During the year the column has been in existence it has travelled upwards of 6,400 kilometres in every part of the Transvaal, doing much fighting and hard work, all of which has most cheerfully carried out. One specially noteworthy feature is that, through constantly engaged with the enemy, only 18 men have been taken prisoners, and of them the larger were taken on the first fight at Korrandafontein and though no fault aof the men. This record, which is impossible to beat, speaks volumes for the spirit and soldierly qualities of the Australian soldier. No column has made more night marchers; and one march, made on the night of the 11t March 1902, from Brugspriut, over the difficult Wilge River to Doornek a distance of 72 kilometres, which, with the return journey, makes a distance of 144 kilometres, is worthy of mention. Finally Lieutenant Colonel Lassetter commanding 2nd NSW Mounted Rifles and Major Lydiard, the officer commanding column desire to express their grateful thanks. One hundred and forty one officers, NCO's, and men never missed a trek during the regiments service in the field'.

Service and life after the Boer War: Returned to Australia 4 June 1902. He lived the rest of his life and died at Waverley NSW. During the Boer War all the soldiers were given a Christmas Pudding by Queen Victoria,everyone else ate theirs but grandfather saved his and bought it home. Prior to his death he donated it to the Australian War Memorial Canberra. It used to be on display but now lives in the archives.

Descendant Details

Name of Descendant: Beverley Joyce, Sylvania NSW,
Relationship to Ancestor: Grand Daughter

Name of Descendant: John Gittoes, Salamander Bay NSW
Relationship to Ancestor: Grandson

Name of Descendant: Jennifer Ann Olsen, Kirrawee NSW,
Relationship to Ancestor: Great grandaughter


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RUSI of NSW Boer War Battlefields