The Devonshire Regiment and the War - 1899

Trewman's Exeter Flying Post or Plymouth and Cornish Advertiser [Exeter, England]
Saturday, October 28, 1899; Issue 10075 (Gale Document no Y3200774578)

Transcribed by

Beverley Edmonds



The 1st Devonshire Regiment took a leading part in the battle of Elandelsagte on Saturday, the following being the casualty list as it affected the battalion:-

Second-Lieutenant H.R. Gunning, severely, bullet wounds in chest

Second-Lieutenant S.T. Hayley, severely bullet wounds in hand and leg

Second-Lieutenant G.F. Green, severely, bullet wound in forearm

Captain William B. Lafone, slightly, bullet wound


Corporal James Sims
Lance-Corporal William Andrews
Lance-Corporal Francis Tilke
Private Spencer Sheeter
Private Edward Sutton
Private Henry Thompson
Private William Stevens
Private Thomas Adams
Private John Josland
Private William Edwards
Private John Powney
Private Jarves Wilkins
Private William Jefferies
Private William Gliddon
Private Henry Marks
Private Albert Spear
Private William Ackland
Private Henry Dunhill
Private James Nicholls
Private Henry Salmon
Private William Slade, dangerously
Private Samuel Tottle, dangerously


Private William Cowlin
Private Frederick Redwood
Private Walter Parkhurst
Private Keen
Private Palmer
Private Charles Devitt
Private Henry Osmond [?]

Private William Ackland belongs to Bathwick and recruited at the Exeter Depot in 1894.

Lance-Corporal Andrews is a native of Crediton and enlisted in 1893 at Exeter.

There is more than one Private Thomas Adams attached to the 1st Devonshire Regiment, but it is believed that the one referred to is No. 4172, and whose parents reside in Bonhay-road, Exeter. Private Adams never was at the depot, going straight to the regiment at Pembroke.

Private William Cowlin belongs to Suffolk, and is a transfer from the Middlesex Regiment. Private Charles De Vitt is a native of Plymouth, and was at the Exeter depot in 1896.

Private Herbert Herbert Dunhill, a native of Rotherham, was never stationed at Exeter, being a transfer from York and Lancashire Regiment.

Private William Edwards is a Londoner, hailing from Walworth. He was at the Exeter depot in 1897.

Private William Gliddon comes from Holsworthy. He was in Exeter in 1893.

Private John Josland was born at Crediton, his family are at Drewsteignton. He enlisted in 1897.

Private John Keen is of London. He was at the Exeter depot in 1895.

Private William John Jefferies is a native of Chichester. He joined the Regiment at Plymouth in 1894.

Private Henry Marks is a native of Woodbury, near Exeter. His parents now reside at Lympstone. He recruited in 1895.

There is no Private Harry Osmond attached to the 1st Devons. Private Harry Osborne, who has served with the regiment since 1888 in India, is now in South Africa, and he is a native of Halberton, near Tiverton. He enlisted in Exeter in 1887.

Private Henry Salmon is a Londoner, and was at the Higher Barracks in 1895.

Private Albert Spear belongs to Holsworthy, and went through training in 1895.

Private Walter Parkhouse's home is unknown, but he is attested as a transfer from the West Kent Regiment.

Corporal James Sims joined the regiment as a boy in 1890. He came from St. Heliers, Jersey.

Private William Slade is of Torrington and joined in 1890.

Private Spencer Streeter is a transfer from the Hussars. He is a native of Wickfield, Sussex.

Private Samuel Tottle is a native of Wellington, Somerset, his parents living at West Buckland. He recruited at Exeter in 1895.

Lance-Corporal Francis H. Tilke belongs to Bideford, and he was at the Exeter Depot in 1896.

Private Henry H. Thompson, a Londoner, enlisted in 1895.

Private John Powney, a native of Winchester and whose family now reside in Bath, joined the regiment in 1895.

Private James Wilkins, of Northmolton, whose people live at Eggesford, joined in 1897.

The following are the casualties among the Devons at the battle of Reitfonteiu:--


Private William Winsor


Private Harry Bremford
Private Richard Bray
Private Christopher Burns
Private George Bouett
Private James Harrison

3,546, Private William Windsor, was born at Dartmouth. His parents are supposed to be living at Totnes. Enlisted August, 1892.

4,915, Private Harry Bremford, was born at Plymouth. His father lives at Freshwater, Isle of Wright. Enlisted September, 1897.

2,083, James Harris. Enlisted at Aldershot as a drummer boy in April, 1898.

4,905, Christopher Burns, born in London. Enlisted in the R.A. in August, 1897, and was transferred to the Devon Regiment in November, 1897.

The names of Richard Bray and George Bouett cannot be found on the Lists at the Depot.


When foes our laws of right assail,
And heap contumely on our Throne,
No longer may sweet Peace prevail---
The Monarch Force must guard his own.

Tis Good to fight in Freedom's name.
And once for all dothrene the knave
Who seeks Britania's away to tame
And make her docile as a slave.

The victories our arms achieve
In righteousness and princely right
O'er this vast world's demains shall leave
The blessings of diviner light.

From zone to zone, from sea to sea,
Where'er the feet of Britons tread,
Shall wave the flag of liberty,
And mark the fields where Britons bled.

Great generations yet to come
Will sing Britannia's fame, and say
"She fought for honour, truth, and home,
And swept the throes of wrong away."

Then raise loud cheers, aye, mighty cheers,
For all our troops on Afric's Shores !
For cavalry and Fusiliers--
All "Soldiers of our Queen," and yours !

And spread their deeds of daring far,
And shame the trait'rous craven band
Who strive within Saint Stephen's Bar
To stain our glorious Fatherland.

But, midst the triumps of our braves,
We mourn with those who mourn the slain,
And write above their silent graves,
"These died for truth, and not in vain."

When foes our laws of right assail,
And fling their insults at our Throne,
No longer can true peace prevail,
The Monarch "Force" protects his own !

William Trend

Heavitree, Exon, October, 1899