The Australian Boer War Memorial
Anzac Parade Canberra

Sergeant Thomas Donohoe

Ancestor Details

Name of Ancestor: Thomas Donohoe

Ancestor's date of birth: 1860

Ancestor's date of death: Detail not provided

Cause of Death: Not Stated

Service Number: 1875

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

Unit: South African Light Horse

Rank attained in Boer War: SGT, Date Effective: Not known

Highest Rank attained (if served after war): Not known

Murray Page: Not applicable, did not serve in an Australian Unit

Contingent: Not applicable

Ship: Travelled privately to South Africa

Memorial details: Platrand South Africa

Decorations: QSA with clasps including SA 1902.

Personal Characteristics: He was from Walca NSW.

Reasons to go and fight: Detail not provided

Details of service in war: The unit was also known as the Imperial Light Horse. Its first engagement was the Battle of Elandslaagte on 21 October 1899. During this battle two Victoria Crosses were awarded (to Captain Charles Herbert Mullins and Lieutenant Robert Johnston) and the commander Colonel Scott-Chisholme was killed, leading from the front. The Regiment subsequently saw service at the Siege of Ladysmith (where another Victoria Cross was awarded - to Trooper Herman Albrecht at Wagon Hill) Colenso, the Battle of Spion Kop and the Relief of Ladysmith. At Spioenkop, the SALH was successful in capturing Commandant Hendrik Frederik Prinsloo, the commander of the Carolina Boer Commando. The SALH was then specially selected to join the Mafeking Relief Column under Colonel Mahon. Eight men under Major Karri Davies of the SALH were the first to enter Mafeking on the night of 16/17 May 1900 to break the siege, followed up by the joint relief columns the following morning. 209 men who had been involved in Relief of Ladysmith and 33 who had been besieged there were in Mahoon's Column as were 420 men who had been in the Defence of Kimberley. In late 1900 a second battalion was formed, under Major Duncan McKenzie. Both units then went on to fight in the South African Republic and the Orange Free State Republic until the end of the war. A fourth Victoria Cross was awarded - to Surgeon Captain Thomas Joseph Crean - due to his actions at Tyger Kloof Spruit near Bethlehem in 1901.

Service and life after the Boer War: He attended under the heading of 'Australians serving in South African Units as part of the South African Light Horse Coronation Contingent of Edward VII in 1902. He served up to the Unit's disbandment in late 1902. He appears to have remained in South Africa after the war.

Descendant Details

Name of Descendant: Karen Payne, Bulli NSW
Relationship to Ancestor: Great Great Niece

Name of Descendant: Debbie Dickson, ABBOTSFORD NSW
Relationship to Ancestor: Great Great Great Niece


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RUSI of NSW Boer War Battlefields