The Australian Boer War Memorial
Anzac Parade Canberra

Private William Fagan

Ancestor Details

Ancestor's Name: William Fagan

Ancestor's date of birth: 05/06/1874

Ancestor's date of death: 07/12/1965

Cause of Death: Bleeding diathesis of indeterminate cause

Service Number: 119

Colony or State of enlistment: VIC, Place of Enlistment: Langwarrin

Unit: 4th Victorian Imperial Bushman

Rank attained in Boer War: PTE, Date Effective: Detail not provided

Highest Rank attained (if served after war): No further service

Murray Page: 262

Contingent: Fourth Victorian

Ship: Victorian, Date of Sailing: 01/05/1900

Memorial details: Unknown

Awards/Decorations: QSA with three clasps Cape Colony, Rhodesia and SA 1901.

Personal Characteristics: Born Romsey, Victoria; William was the second child (and first son) of William and Mary Fagan. Single and aged 26 years at time of enlistment. Height - 173 cm. 96 cm chest measurement. Religion was Church of England. Occupation on enlistment was a farm labourer.

Reasons to go and fight: William felt it was part of his patriotic duty to assist the mother country as well as having a spirit of adventure.

Details of service in war: Left Port Melbourne on the Victorian on 01/05/1900 for South Africa, disembarking at Beira on 23/05/1900. William left with the 4thVIB from East London for Australia on the Orient on 22/06/1901, finally arriving at Melbourne on 12/07/1901. He discharged from the 4thVIB on 31/07/1901.

4th VIB service included - May 1902-June 1901 in Rhodesia, west Transvaal under Cape Colony including relief of Philipstown (11 February 1901), capture of Boer guns at Read's Drift (23 February), and capture of Boer patrol near Doornkloof (1 March 1901); contingent separated mid 1900-early 1901, with Major L. F. Clarke commanding C, D, and E squadrons on garrison duty in Rhodesia.

Principal engagements: Ottoshoop, Malopo Oog, Wonderfontein, Hartebeestfontein, Uitval's Kop, Doornbult, Wolmaransstad, Hoopstad, Zeerust, Philipstown, Read's Drift, Sea Cow River.

The Regiment was involved in many successful small actions. But on 11th and 12th January 1901, the Victorians occupied the town of Wolmaransstad, after some resistance, taking many prisoners, and capturing arms, ammunition and supplies. The 4th Victorian Imperial Bushmen were the most highly decorated of all the Victorian units.

Service and life after the Boer War: William's occupation after the Boer War was a farmer in and around Lancefield, Victoria. He had no further military service. However two of his brothers James and Robert served in World War 1. William married Lily Louisa Waterland in 1904. After her death he married Margaret Freeman at the age of 50 but outlived both wives. There were no children from either marriage. William died at Parkville, Victoria at 91 years of age in 1965. His address at the time of his death was Dunsford Street, Lancefield, Victoria. He was cremated at Fawkner Crematorium.

Descendant Details

Name of Descendant: David William Fagan, Ipswich QLD
Relationship to Ancestor: Great, Great Nephew


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RUSI of NSW Boer War Battlefields