The Australian Boer War Memorial
Anzac Parade Canberra

Private (later Sergeant) Thomas Bailey

Ancestor Details

Ancestor's Name: Thomas William Bailey

Ancestor's date of birth: 25/05/1872

Ancestor's date of death: 08/04/1942

Cause of Death: Age Related

Service and Life Before the Boer War: A professional soldier, enlisted aged 13 years as a drummer. His father was a sergeant instructor in the volunteers. Put his age up to join.

Service Number: 2098

Colony or State of enlistment: Not Australia, Place of Enlistment: England

Unit: Mounted Infantry Company of the 2nd Battalion the Middlesex Regiment

Rank attained in Boer War: PTE, Date Effective: 11/10/1999

Highest Rank attained (if served after war): SGT, Date Effective: Detail not provided.

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

Contingent: Not Applicable

Ship: Travelled to South Africa from the UK.

Memorial details: Detail not provided.

Awards/Decorations/Commendations: Queen's South Africa Medal with Orange Free State, Transvaal, Relief of Ladysmith, Tugala Heights, Laings Nek clasps; King's South Africa Medal with South Africa 1901 and South Africa 1902 clasps.

Personal Characteristics: Detail not provided.

Reasons to go and fight: A professional soldier.

Details of service in war: The 2nd Battalion sailed on the Avondale on 2 December 1899, and arrived at the Cape about the 25th. They were sent round to Durban. Along with the 2nd Dorsetshire Regiment and 2nd Somerset Light Infantry they formed the 10th Brigade under Major General Talbot Coke, and part of the 5th Division under General Warren, and later under General Hildyard. The 2nd Warwicks and 1st Yorkshire Regiment sailed as part of the 10th Brigade, but were left in Cape Colony.

The Middlesex were part of the garrison of Spion Kop on the fatal 24 January and lost heavily, their casualties being approximately 3 officers and 20 men killed, and 5 officers and 60 men wounded. Two men were recommended for the distinguished conduct medal for very exceptional gallantry. In his despatch of 30 January 1900, General Buller bore testimony to the gallant and admirable behaviour and endurance of the troops who were on the hill, including the Middlesex Regiment, who "magnificently maintained the best traditions of the British army".

In the fighting between 13 and 27 February the battalion was several times engaged, but its losses were not serious. Lieutenant Colonel A W Hill was mentioned in the despatch of 30 March 1900.

At the battle of Alleman's Nek the Middlesex Regiment assisted in taking the hill on the right of the nek and did well. Their losses were approximately 1 killed and 9 wounded.

In his final despatch of 9 November 1900 General Buller mentioned 4 officers and 7 non-commissioned officers and men of the battalion, and 8 officers and 19 non-commissioned officers and men were mentioned in Lord Roberts' final despatch.

During the second phase of the campaign the battalion was mainly employed in the south - east of the Transvaal, and in the Newcastle district. They were represented in the garrison of Fort Itala when that place was attacked on 26 September 1901. The battalion had no opportunity of gaining distinction after Alleman's Nek, but 2 officers and 2 non-commissioned officers were mentioned in despatches near the close of the campaign, and in the supplementary or final despatch 4 officers and 5 non-commissioned. A mounted company was formed and spent much of the rest of the war away from the main unit.

Service and life after the Boer War: Registrant indicated her ancestor was promoted sergeant at some time after the Boer War but provided no further details.

Descendant Details

Name of Descendant: Janet Eileen Jones, Blacktown NSW
Relationship to Ancestor: Grand Daughter


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RUSI of NSW Boer War Battlefields