The Dead and the Living

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. ]

William Hadlow

  • 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:

 

William Hadlow

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/RankNumberAgeProfession(Enlistment)Place of BirthDate of DeathPlace of DeathStatusProfession (Final)Place of Burial
King W L CSM378231DetectiveLondon(UK) 14/11/1942CairoMarried.Maj W L King died in Cairo during WW2.Gaza War Cemetery
Short A J  QMS343424BookkeeperPort Elizabeth 13/07/1960JohannesburgSingleRetired accountant.Johannesburg
Tait N R  SGT455535SalesmanAdelaide(Aust) 18/06/1927East LondonMarriedImmigration Officer.Port Elizabeth
Turner F B SGT94723Clerk ( SAR)Cardiff(UK)1976 New BrunswickMarriedRemained in UK after 1918. Emigrated to Canada 1928. Retired. Jenseg
Sleed A T SGT446624ClerkKingWilliamstown 19/07/1962BloemfonteinMarriedRetiredBloemfontein
Dewar W R L/SGT311027CarpenterNewcastle(N) 26/01/1935JohannesburgSingleCarpenter. Died in a motorcycle accident, Cleveland JHBurg.Newcastle
Stewart L D Corp558134Sugar PlanterUmzinto(N) 17/06/1946ScottboroughMarriedRetired Sugar FarmerUmzinto
Adendorff G A L/Corp316625Clerk(SAR)Bloemfontein 24/05/1972Port ElizabethMarriedRetired Auditor SAR&H.Port Elizabeth
Webber E N L/Corp347221SalesmanGrahamstown(CP) 29/12/1940DurbanMarriedNone given.Stamford Hill
Connock C O L/Corp482622FarmerJohannesburg 22/07/1982East LondonMarriedRetired farmer.East London
Brickhill E W L/Corp299933SalesmanDurban 25/08/1951KokstadMarriedSalesman.Stellawood
Reed G A   L/Corp467026FarmerDurban 19/12/1963DurbanMarriedRetired FarmerStellawood
Name/RankNumberAgeProfession(Enlistment)Place of BirthDate of DeathPlace of DeathStatusProfession (Final)Place of Burial
Allen C A                 Pvt599720FarmerMiddelburg(CP) 12/03/1919CologneSingle 2 Lt in RFC.  Killed in flying accident in Germany.Cologne
Allsop L V               ditto556321Clerk(SAR)Ladysmith (N) 15/04/1954DurbanWidowerRetiredStellawood
Ballard H L39531ChefReading( Berks) 30/11/1924Isle of ElySingleRemained in UK, after demob. Lived in Norfolk/Cambridgeshire.
Barker E C594225FarmerKokstad(CP) 21/04/1945 DurbanMarriedRetired farmer.Stamford Hill
Becker H J466222FarmerPotchefstroom 21/08/1975JohannesburgMarriedRetired farmerBenoni
Beeton G343030FarmerMount Frere 07/08/1968PietermaritzburgMarriedRetired farmer.Comm Rd.
Bennewith W R658919Engineer(SAR)Uitenhage(CP) 09/08/1964PietermaritzburgMarriedRetiree SAR & H.Comm Rd.
Brickhill D J303122FarmerDurban 13/07/1964DurbanMarriedRetired overseer.Stellawood
Bruce H D613419FarmerBarberton(TVL)10/14/1977IxopoSingleRetired farmerStellawood
Bruton H44928BlacksmithTarkastad (CP) 01/11/1930GrahamstownMarriedMetalworkerGrahamstown
Botha H J321021FarmerBetlehem(OFS)Not traced & unknown.
Byrnes J476426MachinistPietermaritzburg 05/09/1946PietermaritzburgMarriedRetired Printers mechanic.Commercial Road.
Barnett F A273427Clerk(SAR)Lewisham(UK) 06/07/1946PretoriaWidower Warrant Officer SA PolicePretoria
Cochrane N A311321ClerkDundee( Scot) 21/03/1949KlerksdorpMarriedStatisticianKlerksdorp
Cowan G H486423HairdresserHarrismith(OFS) 11/08/1958DurbanWidowerRetiredStellawood
Cresswell H W116034ClerkKWTown(CP) 21/04/1932Cape TownSingleRetired clerk SAR&HMaitland
Craig T S317618Clerk(SAR)Kroonstad ( OFS) 21/05/1950SussexMarriedRetired scheduler, SAR&HHastings
Dashwood H W383123Blacksmith(SAR)Durban 31/01/1923DurbanSingleTramway motormanStellawood
Davey E C558229PlanterPietermaritzburg 04/04/1965DurbanWidowerRetiredStellawood
Davidson L J452218Clerk(SAR)Johannesburg 06/02/1955LondonMarriedClerkLondon
Dawson E B449519DraughtsmanDurban 20/03/1957JohannesburgMarriedGeneral Manager SA Associated NewspapersStellawood
Dawson G V449025Tram DriverJohannesburg 23/01/1946DurbanMarriedSugar PlanterStellawood
De Bruyn H J393520FarmerVentersburg(OFS) 25/01/1949JohannesburgMarriedMinerJohannesburg
Dickson S T273320Shop AsstMaclear(CP) 28/04/1958WitbankMarriedMinerPretoria
Dupont A H446720ClerkStegi(Swaziland) 29/11/1973Salisbury ( Zim )Widower Retired Data processor.Salisbury
Dyer E453837MachinistSydney(Aust) 17/05/1923DurbanMarried Machinist. Boer War veteran.West St
Eason R H S561319AccountantGeelong(Aust) 14/06/1949 Cape Town.Married.Retired Building contractor, normally resident in Bloemfontein.Maitland
Evans J A318535Telegraphist(SAR)Worcester(CP)Not Traced & Unknown
Faulds D448718PostmanBarrow in Furniss (UK) 28/02/1953DurbanSingleRetiredWest St
Ford J E451619Chem operatorDurban 22/12/1921PietermaritzburgMarried.Retired, permanently unfit.Comm Road
Fouche G G378124Clerk(SAR)DeWetsdorp(OFS) 26/03/1952ParysMarriedRetiredParys
Fowle H L454219Clerk (SAR)Kokstad(N) 31/03/1931DurbanWidowerBook KeeperStellawood
Franks G R449424Clerk ( Bank)Durban 24/09/1946EnglandSingle.Bank Official. Died in Summerford, Christchurch, England.Summerford.
Fraser K W561725Clerk(SAR)Weybridge(UK) 24/06/1926Mossel BayMarried Sergeant SA PoliceMossel Bay
Furmidge B W613226Clerk(SAR)Craddock(CP) 20/11/1968PietermaritzburgMarriedCourt UsherComm Rd.
Fleming A O613919FarmerManchester (UK) 25/09/1950EshoweMarriedSugar Planter.Stellawood
Figg S629227ClerkKovno( Lithuania) 09/06/1979DurbanDivorcedWar PensionerDurban( Jewish section )
Garland F L324122FarmerVerulam(N) 14/12/1961UmhlaliMarriedRetired sugar cane grower.Umhlali
Garstang T472321FitterUtrecht(N) 23/01/1974PietermaritzburgMarriedRetiredCommercial Road
Gilgan P451927TailorCartonhugh(IRE) 22/07/1959Wellington(NZ)SingleRetired tailor. Emigrated to NZ.Wellington
Gilham C L8134Motor mechanicBraintree ( UK)Demobed Maitland 1919. No trace in SA records
Green E M L315819Clerk(SAR)Noolen (UK) 14/05/1984Bedford(UK)WidowerRetiredBedford
Greener C W473819Bell Hop(SAR)PietermaritzburgDemobed in UK. Suspect remained there. No trace in either UK or SA records.
Hadlow W97618Law StudentHeilbron(OFS) 18/01/1925BloemfonteinMarriedPensioned SoldierBloemfontein
Harmsworth V R303424ClerkPietermaritzburg 29/09/1969DurbanSinglePensionerStellawood
Harvey J N324220FarmerVerulam(N) 10/04/1963DurbanMarriedRetired sugar farmerVerulam
Heath A E618023FarmerBloemfontein 22/08/1958DurbanMarried SA R & H  PensionerStellawood
Heath C V452821CarpenterBloemfontein 26 June 1967 traced to Bezuidenhout Valley JHB. Not traced further.
Heath E J363018Clerk(SAR)Bothaville(OFS) 30/04/1959JohannesburgMarriedRetired legal counselBloemfontein
Holder L FX40319Grocers asst.Devizes ( UK) 19/07/1967PietermaritzburgMarriedPensionerCommercial Road
Helfrich C J318225ButcherAliwal North(CP)Not traced & unknown.
Holder F468131MinerLady Grey (CP) 15/06/1934GermistonMarriedRetired MinerPrimrose
Inman J A448839Tram ConductorPenge(UK) 09/09/1955DurbanMarriedRetiredWest St
Jackson W A323219PlanterVerulam(N) 02/03/1971DurbanMarriedRetiredStellawood
Jackson L L451519ClerkDurban 20/06/1961EshoweMarriedTransport ManagerUmhlali
Jurgens H T R475028SalesmanDurban 28/09/1939EmpangeniMarriedOwned a trading store in Matubatuba, Zululand.Stellawood
Kirby J A271025ClerkDurban 26/08/1965DurbanWidowerRetiredStellawood
Kleinschmidt I319722ClerkOudtshoorn(CP) 26/06/1940 Cape Town.MarriedCivil ServantMaitland
Knoetze D453422BricklayerVryburg(CP)Not traced & unknown.
Knewstub WF276718SalesmanDurban 28/07/1968DurbanWidowerPensionerStellawood
Kirkman W C268930ButcherNuneaton(UK) 29/09/1942DurbanMarriedMaster butcherStellawood
Laredo C F282526Clerk(SAR)Launceston(TAS) 25/10/1966DurbanWidowerRetiredStellawood
Legassick E305432BricklayerPenryn(UK) 24/12/1961Douglas ( CP)MarriedPensionerBloemfontein
Lowe S H A23218ClerkMount Frere(CP) 27/10/1963DurbanMarriedRetired MinerStellawood
Lubbie T A126625FarmerCalvinia(CP) 15/09/1951Ladismith ( CP)MarriedClerk SAR &H.Ladismith
Loveless E H126738Gen dealerCraddock(CP) 09/08/1935Port ElizabethMarriedRetiredPort Elizabeth
Laverack A470622ClerkDurban 19/08/1973DurbanWidowerPensionerStellawood
Maritz G P81227FarmerGriquatown(CP) 14/04/1970RoodepoortMarriedRetired farmer. Owned a plot in Honeydew.Roodepoort
Maher M P453918SailmakerPretoria 09/07/1970Queensland ( Aus )MarriedRetiredCharters Towers
Maher W486421CarpenterPietermaritzburg 09/06/1960DurbanMarriedPensionerStellawood
Mather P R472221StorekeeperDurban 22/11/1938KearsneyMarriedMalaria InspectorStamford Hill
May J317131BlacksmithDevonport(UK) 11/09/1937Phoenix CollieryMarriedRetiredWitbank
McKenzie G R F613131FarmerBedford ( CP)Not Traced & unknown.
McKinnon J D273720BoilermakerPhiladelphia(USA) 17/06/1957DurbanMarriedRetiredStellawood
McMahon J A456018 App electricianCairo(Egypt) 18/02/1958DurbanMarriedRetiredStellawood
Middleton H G N316920Clerk(mines)Bethlehem(OFS)  Dec 1964BirminghamWidowerRetiredBirmingham.
Moodie F449718DraperDurban 12/09/1976DurbanMarriedRetiredStellawood
Morris H R316721ClerkRondebosch(CP) 16/01/1961Salisbury ( Zim )WidowerRetired farmerSalisbury
Morrison J W346918Clerk(SAR)Durban 11/09/1956DurbanMarriedRetiredWest St
Mulley V H W300319SalesmanDurban 12/04/1965DurbanMarriedRepresentativeStellawood
Maritz J H M81130FarmerGriquatown(CP) 11/03/1963JohannesburgMarriedRetired BricklayerJohannesburg
Nel J455218Porter(SAR)Ladismith(CP) 10/03/1939RiversdaleMarriedFarmerDe Fontein farm
Nichol E D451818GrocerDurban 07/07/1954DurbanDivorceeClerkStellawood
Oliver A M449639Clerk(SAR)London(UK) 30/07/1931DurbanSingle Clerk SAR & HStellawood
O`Hara F126538SalesmanDublin (IRE) 09/09/1941Swinford(IRE)SingleRetiredKilconduff
Pauls H M7035Builders ForemanHumansdorp(CP)Not traced & unknown
Paxton C H300224SalesmanDurban 19/04/1979DurbanWidowerRetiredStellawood
Peacock W F C364121MechanicFicksburg(OFS) 13/09/1935JohannesburgMarriedMinerBrixton Cemetery
Pittam J617935FarmerPietermaritzburg 03/11/1937DurbanMarriedCarpenter.Stellawood
Pittam T448131Tram ConductorPietermaritzburg 06/06/1942DurbanMarriedTramway conductorStellawood
Power F348122Window dresserCamberwell(UK) 17/03/1970DurbanMarriedRetiredStellawood
Pritchard H G315323Bank ClerkKent(UK)1949BulawayoMarriedBank ManagerBulawayo
Reed W G347123Clerk(SAR)Kokstad(N) 07/06/1968Cape TownMarriedPensionerPlumstead
Rees P D354637HandymanArklow(IRE)Arklow(IRE)SingleDemobed at Bordon. Returned to Arklow, Ireland.
Richards P E303621Hammer Driver(SAR)Alexandria(Egypt) 05/07/1965DurbanMarriedRetired Loco driverStellawood
Robinson J453328CompositorVryburg (CP)Not traced & unknown
Robson W H383221Riveter(SAR)Umlaas(N) 25/08/1968DurbanMarried Pensioner SAR&HStellawood
Ryall H321818BlacksmithPietermaritzburg 07/02/1960Salisbury ( Zim )WidowerRetiredGreendale
Ryder A311418PostmanNewcastle(N) 05/08/1977DurbanMarriedRetired SAR&H supervisorStellawood
Raine J R316438Stationmaster(SAR)Durham(UK) 17/09/1948DurbanMarriedPensionerStellawood
Sealey B304125Electrician(SAR)Durban 10/06/1948DurbanSingleElectrician(SAR)Stellawood
Sharp G W654727Engine Driver(SAR)Pietermaritzburg 14/04/1946PMBurgMarriedRetired Comm. Rd.
Smith W473230ClerkOld Cumnock(Scot)1926RoswellSingleDemobed in UK 5/5/19 . Returned to Old Cumnock.Dumfries
Smith J N370735House DecoratorJamestown( St Helena )Not traced & unknown.
Sumner E105419Clerk(SAR)Manchester (UK) 28/07/1973BethlehemMarriedRetired farmerLindley
Swan E J301021SalesmanLadysmith(N) 22/08/1940DurbanWidowerTruck driver.West St
Sterley G A455918TraderMaseru ( Lesotho) 13/10/1918JohannesburgSingle.Unfit ex serviceman. Died at Wanderers hospital.Brixton Cemetery
Spreckley E H S319131ClerkCape Town 09/02/1971PietermaritzburgMarriedRetiredComm Rd.
Tedder L B322027FarmerIsipingo(N) 19/01/1969PietermaritzburgMarriedRetiredComm Rd.
Timmins J318441Pipe LayerAntrim (IRE )Not traced & unknown
Tremearne R C448621ClerkDurban 28/11/1975DurbanWidowerRetiredStellawood
Tyson J P372639Foreman(SAR)Ambleside(UK) 28/11/1922DurbanSingleChecker SAR & H.Stellawood
Upfold G E466718Cabinet makerPietermaritzburg 20/01/1944PietermaritzburgMarried Clerk SAR & H.Comm. Rd.
Van Heerden W J455127LabourerSterkstroom(CP) 17/01/1958Cape TownMarriedRetired SignalmanMaitland
Van Tonder A J455318FarmerWinburg(OFS)Not traced & unknown
Vos H466321FarmerNewcastle(N) 17/08/1965DurbanMarriedRetired HotellierStellawood
Vlok N J42937FarmerCalvinia(CP) 22/07/1955Van Rhynsdorp(CP)MarriedRetired FarmerLutzville
Walters P T450421Grocers asst.Pietermaritzburg 27/04/1964DurbanMarriedRetired grocerStellawood
Weimer T317722Clerk(SAR)Burgersdorp(CP) 22/08/1941CairoMarriedRe enlisted WW2. Died in Egypt.Suez Memorial Cemetery
Wilson E C22435FarmerGriqualand East 25/11/1918 Mount FletcherSinglePensioned SoldierMaclear
Wilson W H448420EngineerBirmingham(UK) 02/10/1941DurbanMarriedForeman SAR&HStellawood
Wiggil A G560619FarmerCathcart(CP) 23/05/1979QueenstownMarriedRetired.Queenstown
Williamson J319036EngineerCape Town 15/04/1949DurbanMarriedRetiredStellawood
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