After many hours wading through the files of the men of B Company, a question arose about the living. What happened to the 135 men of that unit who survived WW1? What did they do? Where did they go? When/where did they depart this life – finally?
Whilst the dead had many memorials to their names – most fittingly – why did it seem, at least to my mind, a pervasive silence existed about the men who had returned from that unimaginably degrading war? What, with the benefit of hindsight, did they think of all the pre war humbug about “ King and Country “ and the like ? Or the incessant official propaganda forever proclaiming “victories “ – when there were none. All of this against a background where the supposed societal values of “fairness “ and “honour “ had been shouted down from rooftops in Britain for decades prior?
Was it simply that both participants and onlookers in WW1 were well aware it had been hell ? The dozens of pages of newsprint bearing the names of the dead had been there for all to see. A case of onlooker`s pretending to be busy with the chores of life, and to have been in the dark – whilst the participants pretended that the onlookers would not understand them anyhow, as their pretext for standing apart ?
These are questions impossible to answer now, a century after the fact. A few cases are mentioned below, that seemed particularly poignant. Not all of these cases represent men of B Company but all served in 2 regiment , or were directly associated with men who had done so. Respectfully, I felt they deserved their place here, nonetheless.
William Henry Brook, born Yorkshire April 1855.
- Circa 1883 he married Alice Elizabeth Bushell in Dover UK. The couple had 8 children.
- The family emigrated to South Africa circa 1902.
- WH Brook owned a farm “ Dover “ in Empangeni, Zululand .
- 13 May 1913: Alice Brook died in Empangeni.
- 12 April 1918: Walter Douglas Brook KIA
- 17 October 1918: Eustace James Brook KIA
- 9 November 1918: Victor Frederick died of influenza in military service in the UK.
- 2 May 1919: John Albert Brook who fought at Delville Wood , declared permanently deaf in both ears.
- 1924 May Wyn Morling nee Brook died
- 1930 Vera Emily Dalton nee Brook died
[With 3 surviving sons after 1918, one of whom was permanently deaf – one can only surmise at William Henry`s thoughts as a father. What had been the point of it all? W H Brook died in Durban on 27 April 1936.]
John Albert Brook died in East London on 16 January 1953. His wife Mabel Alice nee Gay returned to Bordon in Hampshire where they first met in 1919. She died there on 24 December, 1978.
Captain Robert Beverley Beverley. D.S.O . M.C.
- Capt Beverley was born in London in June 1883.
- Emigrated to South Africa circa 1904.
- Major in the Natal Police.
- Married Millicent Ker ( born in Melbourne in 1877 ), on 2 November 1910 in Eshowe, Zululand.
- Commanded no 4 platoon , A Company in Delville Wood.
- WIA 19/7/1916.
- Member of Allied Military Mission to north Russia 3/1918 – 10/1919.
- Died 05/07/1922 at Roberts Heights ( Voortrekkerhoogte ). The grave inscription there reads:
And in undying memory of my beloved husband Capt Robert Beverley DSO MC who died on 5 July 1922 from the after – effects of the Great War. Aged 39.
“Dying and behold he lives “.
- [Millicent Beverley remained a widow. She died on 22 January 1940 at the age of 62, at her daughter’s home in Umzinto. She is buried at Stellawood.]
On a headstone in President Brand cemetery in Bloemfontein are written the following words:
- In Memoriam
- B. W. Lansdown. Departed this life 27 August 1901 aged 36 years.
- “ Willie “ 27 November 1895. Aged 9 months.
- “ Ernest “ 27 April 1900. Aged 6 Weeks.
- “ Ben “ who fell in Delville Wood 18 July 1916 aged 23 years.
Erected by the loving wife & mother.
[Ben Hudson Lansdown, No 3163, was a member of no 5 platoon, B Company 2 Regiment. His name may be found in the B Company listing. ]
- Born in Heilbron OFS in August 1897.
- B Company 2 Regiment.Badly wounded in Talus Boise 12/07/1916.
- POW 23/03/1918 – 14/12/1918.
- Suffered pulmonary complications. Demobed 07/04/1919 Maitland.
- Involved in the suppression of the Rand Miners revolt in 1922.
- He died on 18 January 1925 in Bloemfontein.On his headstone in the Bloemfontein Memoriam cemetery are these words:
2 nd S.A.I.
Born 18 August 1897
Died 18 January 1925
No easy hope or lies
Shall bring us to our goal
But iron sacrifice
Of body, will and soul.
The spreadsheet tabled below provides data of 90 % of the 135 B Company survivors of WW1 that could be traced at the present time. The following points are relevant :
- The age provided for each person represents their age on enlistment in August 1915, and is not their birth year.
- The spreadsheet format was derived from the previous B Company listing shown in the chapter on B Company in order to preserve commonality as far as practicable.
- The death details were almost exclusively obtained from Death Notices as retained in public records. Every effort was made to match place of birth and year of birth with each death certificate to ensure accuracy. Despite this it is impossible to guarantee no error.
- In general, it was found that the men with Afrikaans surnames were particularly difficult to trace due to the societal habit of having multiple Christian names. The reality is that unless such a person`s place of burial is known beforehand, there are inevitably far too many possible death notices to begin with, unfortunately.
- Of the 135 surviving members of B Company, it should be noted that all but 3 were wounded during WW1, sometimes in multiple instances. In a lot of cases the wounds were severe & life changing. The immense psychological trauma they endured during WW1 in most cases also had to be borne alone. It is very unlikely that many escaped that aspect, or it`s after effects. This had the consequence of reinforcing the sense of isolation that these men felt vis a` vis the general public, throughout their lifetimes.
|Name/Rank||Number||Age||Profession(Enlistment)||Place of Birth||Date of Death||Place of Death||Status||Profession (Final)||Place of Burial|
|King W L CSM||3782||31||Detective||London(UK)||14/11/1942||Cairo||Married.||Maj W L King died in Cairo during WW2.||Gaza War Cemetery|
|Short A J QMS||3434||24||Bookkeeper||Port Elizabeth||13/07/1960||Johannesburg||Single||Retired accountant.||Johannesburg|
|Tait N R SGT||4555||35||Salesman||Adelaide(Aust)||18/06/1927||East London||Married||Immigration Officer.||Port Elizabeth|
|Turner F B SGT||947||23||Clerk ( SAR)||Cardiff(UK)||1976||New Brunswick||Married||Remained in UK after 1918. Emigrated to Canada 1928. Retired.||Jenseg|
|Sleed A T SGT||4466||24||Clerk||KingWilliamstown||19/07/1962||Bloemfontein||Married||Retired||Bloemfontein|
|Dewar W R L/SGT||3110||27||Carpenter||Newcastle(N)||26/01/1935||Johannesburg||Single||Carpenter. Died in a motorcycle accident, Cleveland JHBurg.||Newcastle|
|Stewart L D Corp||5581||34||Sugar Planter||Umzinto(N)||17/06/1946||Scottborough||Married||Retired Sugar Farmer||Umzinto|
|Adendorff G A L/Corp||3166||25||Clerk(SAR)||Bloemfontein||24/05/1972||Port Elizabeth||Married||Retired Auditor SAR&H.||Port Elizabeth|
|Webber E N L/Corp||3472||21||Salesman||Grahamstown(CP)||29/12/1940||Durban||Married||None given.||Stamford Hill|
|Connock C O L/Corp||4826||22||Farmer||Johannesburg||22/07/1982||East London||Married||Retired farmer.||East London|
|Brickhill E W L/Corp||2999||33||Salesman||Durban||25/08/1951||Kokstad||Married||Salesman.||Stellawood|
|Reed G A L/Corp||4670||26||Farmer||Durban||19/12/1963||Durban||Married||Retired Farmer||Stellawood|
|Name/Rank||Number||Age||Profession(Enlistment)||Place of Birth||Date of Death||Place of Death||Status||Profession (Final)||Place of Burial|
|Allen C A Pvt||5997||20||Farmer||Middelburg(CP)||12/03/1919||Cologne||Single||2 Lt in RFC. Killed in flying accident in Germany.||Cologne|
|Allsop L V ditto||5563||21||Clerk(SAR)||Ladysmith (N)||15/04/1954||Durban||Widower||Retired||Stellawood|
|Ballard H L||395||31||Chef||Reading( Berks)||30/11/1924||Isle of Ely||Single||Remained in UK, after demob. Lived in Norfolk/Cambridgeshire.|
|Barker E C||5942||25||Farmer||Kokstad(CP)||21/04/1945||Durban||Married||Retired farmer.||Stamford Hill|
|Becker H J||4662||22||Farmer||Potchefstroom||21/08/1975||Johannesburg||Married||Retired farmer||Benoni|
|Beeton G||3430||30||Farmer||Mount Frere||07/08/1968||Pietermaritzburg||Married||Retired farmer.||Comm Rd.|
|Bennewith W R||6589||19||Engineer(SAR)||Uitenhage(CP)||09/08/1964||Pietermaritzburg||Married||Retiree SAR & H.||Comm Rd.|
|Brickhill D J||3031||22||Farmer||Durban||13/07/1964||Durban||Married||Retired overseer.||Stellawood|
|Bruce H D||6134||19||Farmer||Barberton(TVL)||10/14/1977||Ixopo||Single||Retired farmer||Stellawood|
|Bruton H||449||28||Blacksmith||Tarkastad (CP)||01/11/1930||Grahamstown||Married||Metalworker||Grahamstown|
|Botha H J||3210||21||Farmer||Betlehem(OFS)||Not traced & unknown.|
|Byrnes J||4764||26||Machinist||Pietermaritzburg||05/09/1946||Pietermaritzburg||Married||Retired Printers mechanic.||Commercial Road.|
|Barnett F A||2734||27||Clerk(SAR)||Lewisham(UK)||06/07/1946||Pretoria||Widower||Warrant Officer SA Police||Pretoria|
|Cochrane N A||3113||21||Clerk||Dundee( Scot)||21/03/1949||Klerksdorp||Married||Statistician||Klerksdorp|
|Cowan G H||4864||23||Hairdresser||Harrismith(OFS)||11/08/1958||Durban||Widower||Retired||Stellawood|
|Cresswell H W||1160||34||Clerk||KWTown(CP)||21/04/1932||Cape Town||Single||Retired clerk SAR&H||Maitland|
|Craig T S||3176||18||Clerk(SAR)||Kroonstad ( OFS)||21/05/1950||Sussex||Married||Retired scheduler, SAR&H||Hastings|
|Dashwood H W||3831||23||Blacksmith(SAR)||Durban||31/01/1923||Durban||Single||Tramway motorman||Stellawood|
|Davey E C||5582||29||Planter||Pietermaritzburg||04/04/1965||Durban||Widower||Retired||Stellawood|
|Davidson L J||4522||18||Clerk(SAR)||Johannesburg||06/02/1955||London||Married||Clerk||London|
|Dawson E B||4495||19||Draughtsman||Durban||20/03/1957||Johannesburg||Married||General Manager SA Associated Newspapers||Stellawood|
|Dawson G V||4490||25||Tram Driver||Johannesburg||23/01/1946||Durban||Married||Sugar Planter||Stellawood|
|De Bruyn H J||3935||20||Farmer||Ventersburg(OFS)||25/01/1949||Johannesburg||Married||Miner||Johannesburg|
|Dickson S T||2733||20||Shop Asst||Maclear(CP)||28/04/1958||Witbank||Married||Miner||Pretoria|
|Dupont A H||4467||20||Clerk||Stegi(Swaziland)||29/11/1973||Salisbury ( Zim )||Widower||Retired Data processor.||Salisbury|
|Dyer E||4538||37||Machinist||Sydney(Aust)||17/05/1923||Durban||Married||Machinist. Boer War veteran.||West St|
|Eason R H S||5613||19||Accountant||Geelong(Aust)||14/06/1949||Cape Town.||Married.||Retired Building contractor, normally resident in Bloemfontein.||Maitland|
|Evans J A||3185||35||Telegraphist(SAR)||Worcester(CP)||Not Traced & Unknown|
|Faulds D||4487||18||Postman||Barrow in Furniss (UK)||28/02/1953||Durban||Single||Retired||West St|
|Ford J E||4516||19||Chem operator||Durban||22/12/1921||Pietermaritzburg||Married.||Retired, permanently unfit.||Comm Road|
|Fouche G G||3781||24||Clerk(SAR)||DeWetsdorp(OFS)||26/03/1952||Parys||Married||Retired||Parys|
|Fowle H L||4542||19||Clerk (SAR)||Kokstad(N)||31/03/1931||Durban||Widower||Book Keeper||Stellawood|
|Franks G R||4494||24||Clerk ( Bank)||Durban||24/09/1946||England||Single.||Bank Official. Died in Summerford, Christchurch, England.||Summerford.|
|Fraser K W||5617||25||Clerk(SAR)||Weybridge(UK)||24/06/1926||Mossel Bay||Married||Sergeant SA Police||Mossel Bay|
|Furmidge B W||6132||26||Clerk(SAR)||Craddock(CP)||20/11/1968||Pietermaritzburg||Married||Court Usher||Comm Rd.|
|Fleming A O||6139||19||Farmer||Manchester (UK)||25/09/1950||Eshowe||Married||Sugar Planter.||Stellawood|
|Figg S||6292||27||Clerk||Kovno( Lithuania)||09/06/1979||Durban||Divorced||War Pensioner||Durban( Jewish section )|
|Garland F L||3241||22||Farmer||Verulam(N)||14/12/1961||Umhlali||Married||Retired sugar cane grower.||Umhlali|
|Garstang T||4723||21||Fitter||Utrecht(N)||23/01/1974||Pietermaritzburg||Married||Retired||Commercial Road|
|Gilgan P||4519||27||Tailor||Cartonhugh(IRE)||22/07/1959||Wellington(NZ)||Single||Retired tailor. Emigrated to NZ.||Wellington|
|Gilham C L||81||34||Motor mechanic||Braintree ( UK)||Demobed Maitland 1919. No trace in SA records|
|Green E M L||3158||19||Clerk(SAR)||Noolen (UK)||14/05/1984||Bedford(UK)||Widower||Retired||Bedford|
|Greener C W||4738||19||Bell Hop(SAR)||Pietermaritzburg||Demobed in UK. Suspect remained there. No trace in either UK or SA records.|
|Hadlow W||976||18||Law Student||Heilbron(OFS)||18/01/1925||Bloemfontein||Married||Pensioned Soldier||Bloemfontein|
|Harmsworth V R||3034||24||Clerk||Pietermaritzburg||29/09/1969||Durban||Single||Pensioner||Stellawood|
|Harvey J N||3242||20||Farmer||Verulam(N)||10/04/1963||Durban||Married||Retired sugar farmer||Verulam|
|Heath A E||6180||23||Farmer||Bloemfontein||22/08/1958||Durban||Married||SA R & H Pensioner||Stellawood|
|Heath C V||4528||21||Carpenter||Bloemfontein||26 June 1967 traced to Bezuidenhout Valley JHB. Not traced further.|
|Heath E J||3630||18||Clerk(SAR)||Bothaville(OFS)||30/04/1959||Johannesburg||Married||Retired legal counsel||Bloemfontein|
|Holder L F||X403||19||Grocers asst.||Devizes ( UK)||19/07/1967||Pietermaritzburg||Married||Pensioner||Commercial Road|
|Helfrich C J||3182||25||Butcher||Aliwal North(CP)||Not traced & unknown.|
|Holder F||4681||31||Miner||Lady Grey (CP)||15/06/1934||Germiston||Married||Retired Miner||Primrose|
|Inman J A||4488||39||Tram Conductor||Penge(UK)||09/09/1955||Durban||Married||Retired||West St|
|Jackson W A||3232||19||Planter||Verulam(N)||02/03/1971||Durban||Married||Retired||Stellawood|
|Jackson L L||4515||19||Clerk||Durban||20/06/1961||Eshowe||Married||Transport Manager||Umhlali|
|Jurgens H T R||4750||28||Salesman||Durban||28/09/1939||Empangeni||Married||Owned a trading store in Matubatuba, Zululand.||Stellawood|
|Kirby J A||2710||25||Clerk||Durban||26/08/1965||Durban||Widower||Retired||Stellawood|
|Kleinschmidt I||3197||22||Clerk||Oudtshoorn(CP)||26/06/1940||Cape Town.||Married||Civil Servant||Maitland|
|Knoetze D||4534||22||Bricklayer||Vryburg(CP)||Not traced & unknown.|
|Kirkman W C||2689||30||Butcher||Nuneaton(UK)||29/09/1942||Durban||Married||Master butcher||Stellawood|
|Laredo C F||2825||26||Clerk(SAR)||Launceston(TAS)||25/10/1966||Durban||Widower||Retired||Stellawood|
|Legassick E||3054||32||Bricklayer||Penryn(UK)||24/12/1961||Douglas ( CP)||Married||Pensioner||Bloemfontein|
|Lowe S H A||232||18||Clerk||Mount Frere(CP)||27/10/1963||Durban||Married||Retired Miner||Stellawood|
|Lubbie T A||1266||25||Farmer||Calvinia(CP)||15/09/1951||Ladismith ( CP)||Married||Clerk SAR &H.||Ladismith|
|Loveless E H||1267||38||Gen dealer||Craddock(CP)||09/08/1935||Port Elizabeth||Married||Retired||Port Elizabeth|
|Maritz G P||812||27||Farmer||Griquatown(CP)||14/04/1970||Roodepoort||Married||Retired farmer. Owned a plot in Honeydew.||Roodepoort|
|Maher M P||4539||18||Sailmaker||Pretoria||09/07/1970||Queensland ( Aus )||Married||Retired||Charters Towers|
|Mather P R||4722||21||Storekeeper||Durban||22/11/1938||Kearsney||Married||Malaria Inspector||Stamford Hill|
|May J||3171||31||Blacksmith||Devonport(UK)||11/09/1937||Phoenix Colliery||Married||Retired||Witbank|
|McKenzie G R F||6131||31||Farmer||Bedford ( CP)||Not Traced & unknown.|
|McKinnon J D||2737||20||Boilermaker||Philadelphia(USA)||17/06/1957||Durban||Married||Retired||Stellawood|
|McMahon J A||4560||18||App electrician||Cairo(Egypt)||18/02/1958||Durban||Married||Retired||Stellawood|
|Middleton H G N||3169||20||Clerk(mines)||Bethlehem(OFS)||Dec 1964||Birmingham||Widower||Retired||Birmingham.|
|Morris H R||3167||21||Clerk||Rondebosch(CP)||16/01/1961||Salisbury ( Zim )||Widower||Retired farmer||Salisbury|
|Morrison J W||3469||18||Clerk(SAR)||Durban||11/09/1956||Durban||Married||Retired||West St|
|Mulley V H W||3003||19||Salesman||Durban||12/04/1965||Durban||Married||Representative||Stellawood|
|Maritz J H M||811||30||Farmer||Griquatown(CP)||11/03/1963||Johannesburg||Married||Retired Bricklayer||Johannesburg|
|Nel J||4552||18||Porter(SAR)||Ladismith(CP)||10/03/1939||Riversdale||Married||Farmer||De Fontein farm|
|Nichol E D||4518||18||Grocer||Durban||07/07/1954||Durban||Divorcee||Clerk||Stellawood|
|Oliver A M||4496||39||Clerk(SAR)||London(UK)||30/07/1931||Durban||Single||Clerk SAR & H||Stellawood|
|O`Hara F||1265||38||Salesman||Dublin (IRE)||09/09/1941||Swinford(IRE)||Single||Retired||Kilconduff|
|Pauls H M||70||35||Builders Foreman||Humansdorp(CP)||Not traced & unknown|
|Paxton C H||3002||24||Salesman||Durban||19/04/1979||Durban||Widower||Retired||Stellawood|
|Peacock W F C||3641||21||Mechanic||Ficksburg(OFS)||13/09/1935||Johannesburg||Married||Miner||Brixton Cemetery|
|Pittam T||4481||31||Tram Conductor||Pietermaritzburg||06/06/1942||Durban||Married||Tramway conductor||Stellawood|
|Power F||3481||22||Window dresser||Camberwell(UK)||17/03/1970||Durban||Married||Retired||Stellawood|
|Pritchard H G||3153||23||Bank Clerk||Kent(UK)||1949||Bulawayo||Married||Bank Manager||Bulawayo|
|Reed W G||3471||23||Clerk(SAR)||Kokstad(N)||07/06/1968||Cape Town||Married||Pensioner||Plumstead|
|Rees P D||3546||37||Handyman||Arklow(IRE)||Arklow(IRE)||Single||Demobed at Bordon. Returned to Arklow, Ireland.|
|Richards P E||3036||21||Hammer Driver(SAR)||Alexandria(Egypt)||05/07/1965||Durban||Married||Retired Loco driver||Stellawood|
|Robinson J||4533||28||Compositor||Vryburg (CP)||Not traced & unknown|
|Robson W H||3832||21||Riveter(SAR)||Umlaas(N)||25/08/1968||Durban||Married||Pensioner SAR&H||Stellawood|
|Ryall H||3218||18||Blacksmith||Pietermaritzburg||07/02/1960||Salisbury ( Zim )||Widower||Retired||Greendale|
|Ryder A||3114||18||Postman||Newcastle(N)||05/08/1977||Durban||Married||Retired SAR&H supervisor||Stellawood|
|Raine J R||3164||38||Stationmaster(SAR)||Durham(UK)||17/09/1948||Durban||Married||Pensioner||Stellawood|
|Sharp G W||6547||27||Engine Driver(SAR)||Pietermaritzburg||14/04/1946||PMBurg||Married||Retired||Comm. Rd.|
|Smith W||4732||30||Clerk||Old Cumnock(Scot)||1926||Roswell||Single||Demobed in UK 5/5/19 . Returned to Old Cumnock.||Dumfries|
|Smith J N||3707||35||House Decorator||Jamestown( St Helena )||Not traced & unknown.|
|Sumner E||1054||19||Clerk(SAR)||Manchester (UK)||28/07/1973||Bethlehem||Married||Retired farmer||Lindley|
|Swan E J||3010||21||Salesman||Ladysmith(N)||22/08/1940||Durban||Widower||Truck driver.||West St|
|Sterley G A||4559||18||Trader||Maseru ( Lesotho)||13/10/1918||Johannesburg||Single.||Unfit ex serviceman. Died at Wanderers hospital.||Brixton Cemetery|
|Spreckley E H S||3191||31||Clerk||Cape Town||09/02/1971||Pietermaritzburg||Married||Retired||Comm Rd.|
|Tedder L B||3220||27||Farmer||Isipingo(N)||19/01/1969||Pietermaritzburg||Married||Retired||Comm Rd.|
|Timmins J||3184||41||Pipe Layer||Antrim (IRE )||Not traced & unknown|
|Tremearne R C||4486||21||Clerk||Durban||28/11/1975||Durban||Widower||Retired||Stellawood|
|Tyson J P||3726||39||Foreman(SAR)||Ambleside(UK)||28/11/1922||Durban||Single||Checker SAR & H.||Stellawood|
|Upfold G E||4667||18||Cabinet maker||Pietermaritzburg||20/01/1944||Pietermaritzburg||Married||Clerk SAR & H.||Comm. Rd.|
|Van Heerden W J||4551||27||Labourer||Sterkstroom(CP)||17/01/1958||Cape Town||Married||Retired Signalman||Maitland|
|Van Tonder A J||4553||18||Farmer||Winburg(OFS)||Not traced & unknown|
|Vos H||4663||21||Farmer||Newcastle(N)||17/08/1965||Durban||Married||Retired Hotellier||Stellawood|
|Vlok N J||429||37||Farmer||Calvinia(CP)||22/07/1955||Van Rhynsdorp(CP)||Married||Retired Farmer||Lutzville|
|Walters P T||4504||21||Grocers asst.||Pietermaritzburg||27/04/1964||Durban||Married||Retired grocer||Stellawood|
|Weimer T||3177||22||Clerk(SAR)||Burgersdorp(CP)||22/08/1941||Cairo||Married||Re enlisted WW2. Died in Egypt.||Suez Memorial Cemetery|
|Wilson E C||224||35||Farmer||Griqualand East||25/11/1918||Mount Fletcher||Single||Pensioned Soldier||Maclear|
|Wilson W H||4484||20||Engineer||Birmingham(UK)||02/10/1941||Durban||Married||Foreman SAR&H||Stellawood|
|Wiggil A G||5606||19||Farmer||Cathcart(CP)||23/05/1979||Queenstown||Married||Retired.||Queenstown|
|Williamson J||3190||36||Engineer||Cape Town||15/04/1949||Durban||Married||Retired||Stellawood|