Natal ( Carbineers ) Cavalry Volunteers Unmarked Silver Shooting Medallion, 1896 - Present at Defence of Ladysmith
An attractively engraved medal ( circa 3.6cm across ) to the Natal Carbineers, maker marked T&F, with original pin fitting and c clasp fittings and engraved on both sides as follows:
Obverse engraved: " Natal Cavalry Vols, Field Firing Comp, 1896, won by E Troop, 119 points "
Reverse engraved: " Presented to Tr. A. Miles by Lt F.E. Foxon, O.C. Richmond Troop "
Alexander Miles, Trooper, Natal Carbineers (No. 4 – Richmond Squadron) entitled to Queens South Africa Medal with clasp Defence of Ladysmith
Born in Surrey in 1856, the son of Thomas and his Ann Miles. Emigrated to South Africa and became a resident of Richmond, a small farming hamlet just outside of Pietermaritzburg. Attested for service with the Natal Carbineers in 1888, Trooper A. Miles, regimental no 67, on the outbreak of the second Anglo Boer conflict, mustered as part of No. 4 Squadron of the Natal Carbineers on 29th Sept 1899, under the command of Major G.F. Macfarlane, the then Mayor of Pietermaritzburg. The regiment immediately proceeded to Ladysmith on the northern Natal battle front. The regiment, including Miles, were to become besieged in that small bustling township.
All told the Siege was to last three months and, with the troops reduced to eating horse meat and enteric and other conditions rife, it was small wonder that life was unpleasant. To add insult to injury there was also the Long Tom guns of the Boer forces which peppered the town and its inhabitants with shells fired randomly. This caused more of a nuisance that injury to life and limb but it was a sober reminder that freedom of movement was severely restricted and liberation still distant.
Possibly as a result of deprivations experienced in the siege Trooper Miles was, at the age of 45, discharged from Carbineers, being taken off strength on 7 March 1901 on account of ill health.
He returned to his civilian pursuits and, having married Rose Ann Hall in Richmond some time before, fathered no fewer than six children: Ada Elizabeth Harding; William Alexander Miles, Florence Ann Lowe, Percy Jex Miles, Agnes Ethel Vear and Frank Norman Miles.
He passed away at the age of seventy-six years and seven months at “Hillglen” his property in the Avoca area near Verulam north of Durban, on 6th May 1932. He was a retired Pensioner with the South African Railways and Harbours at the time. He had moved to the North Coast area in 1907 where he had purchased several properties.
Source:https://www.angloboerwar.com/forum/5-medals-and-awards/5402-a-miles-natal-carbineers-siege-of-ladysmith?limitstart=0 (with thanks to the researcher, Rory)
War service record of Lt- Col F.E.Foxon, Natal Carbineers:
FOXON Frank Ernest Augustus Cock, Lieutenant Colonel .Attested 26/11/1880, E Sqn.Magistrate, Ixopo.
1879 served with Natal Native Pioneers.Awarded 1879 medal and clasp.
Promoted Corporal 2/4/1885, Sergeant 28/4/1886, Lieutenant 6/4/1889, Captain 1/12/1897.
Served Boer War 29/9/1899 -19/10/1900, 18/9/1901-16/10/1901.Awarded QSA and Clasps.
He was in action at Rietfontein (24.10.1899) and Lombard's Kop (30.10.1899), and when besieged at Ladysmith (November 1899 - 28.2.1900)(28.2.1900) wounded at Dejagersdrifton patrol duty on 30 July 1900 and took part in the Langsberg action.
Promoted Major 10/3/1902
Awarded the V.D. Decoration in 1905
During the Bambatha Rebellion of 1906 he commanded a squadron of Natal Carbineers.
Promoted Lt Colonel 28/12/1906.
He was granted permission to retain his rank and wear the uniform of his regiment on his retirement.
The Natal Carbineers are said to be the oldest volunteer regiment in the former British Empire and the senior regiment of the South African Army. The unit has fought in every conflict “logistically possible” since its establishment as the Pietermaritzburg Irregular Horse at a meeting of volunteers in the Pietermaritzburg court house on January 15, 1855.