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Boer War - Detailed Information
Compiled and Copyright © Martin Edwards 2021

This page lists details from local papers refering to the Ryburgh 16, the men who served in South Africa 1901-1902.

Extract from Norfolk News - Saturday 22 December 1900, page 13:

Few villages in East Anglia have had such an honourable record of active service at the front as the Norfolk parish of Great Ryburgh. No less than sixteen men belonging to this village have been obeying their country’s call in South Africa, and it would be interesting to know whether such a distinction can be equalled by any other Norfolk parish. It is somewhat remarkable— and surely shows that Great Ryburgh is not an ill-omened spot —that of this gallant little company not a single man has been killed. After more than twelve months’ warfare, ten of the Ryburgh “Tommies” are still in the field. The remainder have returned home, the last arrival being Sergeant A. Smith of the 16th (Queen’s) Lancers, who at the outbreak the war was with his regiment in India. It may be remembered that the regiment was ordered to South Africa last December, and soon after landing was taking part in the dash for the relief of Kimberley with General French. From that time till six weeks ago the Norfolk sergeant has had heaps of fighting, as the engagements in which he has taken part will show, viz., Klip River, Kimberley, Paardeberg, Poplar Grove, Bloemfontein, Thaba N’chu, Boochrand, Zand River, Viljoen’s Drift, Elandsfontein, Pretoria, Diamond Hill, Heidleberg. Although unwounded, ague and rheumatism, brought on by constant exposure, eventually led to his being invalided. On reaching his native village, after something like eight years’ absence, it was fitting that he should be greeted with a warm welcome, the church bells ringing a merry peal and the village being decked with flags.
Images kindly supplied by Peter Trent

Newspaper extract from Dereham and Fakenham Times 24 March 1900:


CONCERT.—A concert Was given by the school children in the schoolroom on Monday evening last, in aid of the war funds. The room had been suitably decorated for the occasion, and on the walls, in large letters, were written the names of all the men from the village who are now at the front, viz: —Lieutenant E. M. Baker, 1st Manchesters; Lieutenant H. Smith, Carabineers ; Corporal A. Smith, 16th Lancers; Private A. Slegg, 2nd Coldstreams; Private Speakman, 1st Oxfords; Sergeant Waters, Private Toll, Private Buck, and Private Griffen, 2nd Norfolks ; Lance-Corporal Howman, Private A, Coates, Private Nelson, and Private W. Slegg, 3rd Norfolks; Gunner Barnes, Royal Horse Artillery ; and F. Coates, Army Service Corps. The Rev. H. F. Baker, Rector, took the chair. The room was so crowded, however, that seating accommodation for all was quite out of the question. The following programme was then gone through: --…..

Newspaper extract from Dereham and Fakenham Times 19 April 1902:


The return on Friday of Corporal Utting, Lance-Corporal A. Coates, Privates W. Stegg, and Loades, of the 3rd Norfolks, was made an occasion for public rejoicing. The station was crowded with old and young, the latter carrying flags and singing military airs. The whole village seemed to have turned out to give the men an enthusiastic reception. Detonators were fired, bells rung, mid the village decorated with flags. There now remain only Driver Barnes, R.H.A., ‘P’ Battery, Sergeants Waters and Simmonds, 2nd Norfolk, and upon their return the Ryburgh 16 will be completed.

Last updated 22 June, 2021

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