14 March 2016

Boer War and WW1 group

This search only took a couple of days to resolve once the medals arrived, however, the history behind them that has been fascinating to research.
Herbert Charles Carter was born in Australia in 1882. He was the son of Joshua Whitby Cater and Charlotte. At the out break of the Boer War he enlisted with the 2nd Victorian Mounted Rifles. His number was 342. He is mentioned on this Boer War site and the AWM. This is the official nominal roll and shows that Herbert was detached to the Pioneer Corps.
The Boer War site incorrectly gives his middle initial as E, however, it does mention that he was a member of the South African Soldiers Association of Victoria. The association membership badge was also sent to me.

As soon as I saw the Boer War medals I new there was something wrong. It is obvious that the medals have been renamed. There is no question that Herbert served in the Boer War so he must have lost his original medals at some time. This is not an uncommon occurrence. If he originals are lost then others are purchased, the name erased and renamed. This can be identified by the rim being thin in the name area and the engraving being a bit suspect. These pictures show the pair and the areas in question highlighted.
I then moved on to researching the WWI medals and found that he served as a motor mechanic in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserves. His medal card is on the British Archives web site. The medals are quite genuine.
The next piece of information I found was Herbert's death in 1959. I was able to corroborate his birth, death and parents details. From all this I surmised that after the Boer War he traveled the UK and on the outbreak of WWI enlisted in the Royal Navy. Then in the 1920 returned to Australia.
Herbert and his wife, Francis Alice  (nee Cope) had a son also named Herbert Charles Carter. I found Herbert jnr on an Ancestry family tree and the owner very kindly connected me to Herbert's (jnr) wife.
The family story is that after the Boer War Herbert returned to Australia and was offered a solider settler block which he quickly rejected. He then returned to South Africa and is reputed to have but the first plane that was flown there. On the out break of WWI he went to England to enlist and served on submarines. After he was invalided out of the Navy he married and returned to Australia with his new family in the 1920.
Thanks to Graeme W who sent me the medals and Lynn W who put me in touch with Herbert's daughter in law.
The returned medal tally is now 1784. (There have been a few returns which I've been unable to publish the details about).

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