The Australian Boer War Memorial
Anzac Parade Canberra

Sergeant Major (later Lieutenant Colonel) William Tackaberry

Ancestor Details

Ancestor's Name: William Thomas Tackaberry

Ancestor's date of birth: 17/09/1879

Ancestor's date of death: 08/07/1945

Cause of Death: Heart problems

Service Number: 29 (1 VMR) 1333 (5 VMR)

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

Unit: C Company 1st Victorian Mounted Rifles then 5th Victorian Mounted Rifles

Rank attained in Boer War: CSGT, Date Effective: 1901

Highest Rank attained (if served after war): LTCOL, Date Effective: 18/09/1936

Murray Page: 225 and 294

Contingent: First and Fifth Victorian Contingents

Ship: Medic, Date of Sailing: 28/10/1899

Ship: Orient Argus or City of Lincoln, Date of Sailing: 15/02/1901

Memorial details: VMR Memorial Melbourne.

Decorations: Queen's South Africa Medal with three clasps: Cape Colony, Transvaal and Orange Free State. King's South Africa medal with SA1901 and SA 1902. British War Medal and Victory Medal from WW1. A second British War Medal and Australian Service Medal from WW2.

Personal Characteristics: A farmer before going to the Boer war.

Reasons to go and fight: Detail not provided.

Details of service in war: From November 1899 as a private in the 1st VMR contingent in northern Cape Colony including defence of Pink Hill where five killed (12 February), in Free State, and in east Transvaal. He was invalided to Australia, arriving 29 July 1900. Continued his service, and was a sergeant when he left with the 5th VMR. Served March 1901 - March 1902 in east Transvaal and Natal frontier under Beatson then Pulteney, including defeat at Wilmansrust where 18 killed and 42 wounded (12 June 1901), and successful intervention at Onverwacht (4 January 1902); the 5 VMR had the heaviest casualties of any Australian contingent, and at Wilmansrust suffered the costliest defeat. He was promoted to sergeant-major, and was postesd as a CSM.

Service and life after the Boer War: Continued to serve in the Army, 9 years Militia, including Victorian Rangers and 10th ALH Regiment. In 1911, he was commissioned into the permanent Australian Instructional Corps where he served in staff and instructional roles, including that of an instrucror in the recently formed Royal Military College Duntroon. On 1 March 1917 he moved to the AIF as a Major and was posted OC C Squadron 3rd Light Horse Regiment in Palestine. He acquitted himself well Colonel Bell, CO 3 LH noting "A good disciplinarian. An excellent leader under any conditions, a first class instructor in all branches of Light Horse training". His instructional and staff skills were quickly used, serving at the Desert Mounted Corps (DMC) Cavalry School as an instructor, DMC HQ as a staff officer, and Brigade Major of the 1st Australian Light Horse Brigade. He was at at Bersheba and Tel-el-Saba. After the first world war he continued to serve in the Army. He was transferred to the Retired List in 1936 with the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel. In 1940 he was returned to service No V80030 CO of the 17th Garison Bn. Then Commander Alien Internment Camps, Southern Command including 'Dhurringle' Camp and Tatura Camp.

Descendant Details

Name of Descendant: Erna Mead, Mildura VIC
Relationship to Ancestor: Niece


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RUSI of NSW Boer War Battlefields