Friday, 22 May 2020

The Battle For Birkenhead continued - 1886

This article follows on from this on William Rann Kennedy's electoral campaign in Birkenhead in 1885.

In 1886 William Gladstone Liberal Prime Minister decided to openly support Irish Home Rule. This would mean Ireland having its own parliament in Dublin for the first time since 1800. Gladstone presented his Home Rule Bill to the Commons on 8th April.

This caused a significant number of his party's MPs to leave the Liberal whip and vote with the Conservatives led by the previously Radical Joseph Chamberlain. The Liberal Unionists felt that it would lead to the eventual breakup of the Empire. On 8th June the Commons rejected the Bill by 343 to 313, 93 Liberals voting with against it. 

Gladstone had lost some heavyweights in the party over the issue and he was anxious to see William Rann Kennedy as an MP by his side, with his barrister's eye for detail and experience in government working as private secretary to Lord Goschen between 1868-1871 when the latter was President of The Poor Law Board, introducing critical important reforms to Local Government. Kennedy would again stand in Birkenhead.

The June 24th Liverpool Daily Post carried a report on a meeting of Liberal supporters held at the Music Hall in Tranmere. The proceedings were opened by a rendition of the National Anthem, it being the Queen's 50th Birthday. The chairman spoke highly of Kennedy in his introduction. He denounced the Act of Union as being brought about by fraud and bribery. He looked forward to an end to the conflict in Ireland. 

William Kennedy then spoke of the discord in Britain arising from injustice in Ireland not having a say in her own affairs. He described it as a system founded on the bayonets of 30,000 soldiers permanently encamped in Ireland, similar to Russia's  occupation of Poland, putting it rather bluntly.  He drew attention to the general lack of crime in Ireland apart from acts of political violence. He agreed with John Stuart Parnell's proposed solution of a parliament in Ireland and Irish seats in Westminster "for Imperial purposes". He condemned Joseph Chamberlain's recent speeches putting the rights of the rest of the kingdom before those of the Irish and said preventing Home Rule would continue oppression and coercion in Ireland.

He did not believe that the Roman Catholic body of Ireland would oppress the Protestants in Ireland but that the parliament would respect minorities' rights. He invoked the memory of the battle to widen the franchise in Britain.

Mr J.H. Ziegler concluded matters by pointing to the support of Irish Nationalist voters in Birkenhead this time around, unlike the previous year when they voted for the Conservative due to Parnell's manoeuvering against the Liberal government. He accused the Conservatives of trading on fear while the Liberals offered hope and he said Home Rule was a civil not a religious matter. 

In the June 25th Daily Post there was a report on a speech given by the Conservative candidate General Hamley at the Engineers Drill Shed in Birkenhead. Amongst the audience were several of the Laird family whose shipbuilding firm dominated the town. The chairman thanked volunteer canvassers and also Mr Kennedy for saying that the 1885 campaign had been conducted in a clean fashion. He hoped that the same could be the case in this election. 

Hamley took the stage to loud cheers and began in knockabout fashion by saying that Gladstone was punishing the electorate for not giving him the majority he wanted in 1885, by joining with Parnell. He said that Gladstone was incapable of learning from his mistakes and believed he was infallible (laughter, no doubt because of the Pope's famed 'infallibility'). He said that the cost of the Land Purchase Bill would fall on the shoulders of the British taxpayers. He said the first priority of the Conservatives was to enforce law and order in Ireland and suppress the League of boycotters, cattle stabbers and assassins (applause). Mr W. Laird then moved for thanks to the General and added some more placatory words to the effect that Conservatives would promote the welfare of Ireland by every legitimate means. 

Polling took place on the 2nd July in good weather. Seasoned campaigners in Birkenhead commented that the atmosphere was calm despite some of the febrile exchanges. Mr Kennedy was thought to have received 1200 Irish Nationalist votes. However some senior local Liberals had swung their support behind the General. 

The problem with this campaign from Gladstone's standpoint was that the Liberals were seen as offering benefits to the Irish people, not to British people. This was to a degree unfair. In fact the Irish Party had, by virtue of their maneuvering, blocked a lot of urgent reforming Liberal Government legislation in Parliament and Gladstone hoped to end this by addressing the Parnellites' demands. The resulting reforms would have benefited ordinary British people enormously. Also the Conservatives wrapped themselves in the flag more than ever and emphasised the need to punish misdeeds of Irish nationalists. At the time this appealed to a lot of the newly enfranchised working class voters who generally tended to support the Empire. Randolph Churchill (father of Winston), the rising campaigning star of the Conservatives had done much to draw working class voters to their side - in fact he was one of the real founders of the Conservative Party as a mass movement.

Locally in Merseyside there was an especially militant Unionist feeling which periodically led to actual violence in the streets.

The election result was 5,255 votes for Hamley, 4086 for Kennedy, a Conservative majority of 1169. The swing was 0.6 to Hamley. 

Nationally Gladstone lost the election. The result was :

Conservatives - 316 seats
Anti Home Rule Liberals - 78 seats
Gladstone Liberals - 191 seats
Irish Party - 85 seats

This was a major setback for Gladstone and for the cause of Irish Home Rule. 

Sunday, 10 May 2020

George Tatham and the Siege of Ladysmith

Fanny and George Tatham lived at Vine Lodge, Murchison Street, opposite All Saints Church in the town of Ladysmith, Natal, South Africa, in a house that no longer stands today.

George, born in Scotland in 1848, was the son of Edmund Tatham who had arrived on 'The Sovereign' and settled with his family in Natal in 1850. Edmund built the first railway in Southern Africa, the Point to Durban Railway.

George was a Land Surveyor since 1872 and had lived in Ladysmith since 1874. Two years later he became a partner of Mr J.C. Walton in Walton and Tatham, Conveyancers, Law, Land and Estate Agents and Surveyors. He was a member of the Natal Legislative Assembly from 1897 to 1903. Fanny was George's second wife, his first wife Dora Barker having died a year after their marriage. Fanny and George married in 1880. Fanny was the widow of Robert Anderson. Born in 1843, she had arrived in 1849 on 'The Henry Tanner' as a child with her parents Leonard and Elizabeth Wright who were farmers from East Yorkshire. Fanny was a tough lady who decided to stay in her besieged town when she had the option of leaving with most of the other women and children. She and her cousin Ada Craw and Ada's daughters braved the shelling and tended to the sick and injured in her own home throughout the siege. Her children were safe elsewhere judging by her letters to them.

One of Ada's daughters Bella kept a diary of the siege which is very illuminating.

George was local commander of the Ladysmith Natal Carbineers at the time of the Siege of Ladysmith having joined the volunteer unit around 1888. His cousins Frederick Spence Tatham and Charles Tatham were also officers in the regiment. George had surveyed all the land around Ladysmith over the preceding years so was able to give vital intelligence to the commander and his staff concerning all the locations from where the Boers were launching their attacks. 

Ladysmith became the focus of world attention during the Boer War by virtue of symbolic importance attached to it rather than its strategic value. Northern Natal which was sparsely populated and its terrain favoured the Boer guerrilla tactics, being hilly and providing cover for the Boers to use their Creusot field guns and their accurate Mauser rifles to pick off the British forces at their leisure. The British Forces in Natal had already suffered considerable reverses and were on the retreat.

However their commander Sir George White didn't want the supplies in Ladysmith to fall into Boer hands so he ended up occupying it, besieged from the hills around the town. The Boers cut off the railway and telegraph links and from then on for several months the only communication was by plucky individuals escaping through the lines or by Heliograph - sending flashes in Morse Code with a mirror. The garrison included members of the Natal Carbineers, the Imperial Light Horse, The Devonshire Regiment, The Gloucestershire Regiment, Natal Mounted Rifles, The Border Mounted Rifles, Natal Police, Royal Field Artillery, Naval gunners, 18th Hussars, 15th Lancers, Natal Royal Rifles, Durban Light Infantry and the Umvoti Mounted Rifles who were actually Dutch loyalists.

There were some prominent people in Ladysmith at the time : among the HQ staff was Lieutenant Colonel Henry Rawlinson who would be a General on the Western Front in World War One. The charismatic and mysterious Scot, Doctor Leander Starr Jameson who had led the aborted pro-British coup in the Boer Republic of  Transvaal in 1895-6 and later to be Prime Minister of the Cape Colony was also present in the town. Douglas Haig who would be Field Marshal in World War One left in the last train out of the town, lying on the floor to avoid Boer bullets flying around him, along with John French who led the British Expeditionary Force to France in 1914. 

Continental Europeans tended to support the Boers, especially the Dutch and Germans, but also many Belgians - who were oddly enough to be glad of Britain's military assistance in 14 years time. The citizens of the Empire however watched and waited around the world with baited breath, hoping that the siege would be raised. 

The Boers seemed reluctant to launch a full frontal attack which they knew they would probably lose. They preferred to sit back and shell the town into submission with their guns perched on top of the flat hills around. They did occasionally launch attacks however.

The following is from George's diary during the period of the Siege. It is taken by permission from the booklet No. 1 of the Ladysmith Historical Society.

Thursday 2nd November
Rail Stopped. Christopher left for Pietermaritzburg. Many women and children left, others declined to move unless order was general. Wife and Mrs Craw and two girls decided to remain and we laid in a stock of provisions etc, for a few weeks. This order of wife's I told Messrs Sparks Bros to duplicate, feeling sure that we should be shut in for a month or two. Went out with about 500 volunteers, a small lot of Lancers and a battery of artillery around End Hill. At 4pm saw Boer Commando from OFS [Orange Free State] outspanned near Table Hill (Grobbelaars Kop). Fired a few shots at them and were ordered to retire. General French was in charge and left Ladysmith that night by last train. [Along with future Field Marshal Douglas Haig, lying on the floor of the carriage in order to avoid being shot by the fusillade of Boer gunfire. ] Bella reports crowds of women and children were seeking shelter under the banks of the river.

Friday 3rd November
Quiet during morning. At noon Carbineers and other volunteers under Col. Royston were called out to End Hill to extricate Imperial Light Horse Squad from hot corner in dongas [dried up riverbed]; result satisfactory although we lost several men, amongt whom was our good Major C.E. Taunton, whose loss we all felt very much as he was our most popular officer. He was shot through the heart and fell dead instantly. 

Saturday 5th November
Quiet. Hospital being removed to Indomba's Spruit, now called Intombi Camp. A considerable number of civilians were also allowed to go and camp there on the west of the lines. This part was by some called "Fort Funk". The Pretorian prisoners from Dundee and Newcastle were also sent to this place by the Boers. [Bella reports her and Fanny volunteering at the hospital but being turned down as they had sufficient nurses though they had many bad cases to deal with.]

Monday 6th 
Borrowed a milk cow from Sparks in place of one taken from our flock of milk cows among a lot of town cattle. Went with Signalling officer to top of Caesar's Camp to try and find a Signalling Station. 

Tuesday 7th
Shelling from both sides of town commenced at 8pm. A few men sent out but no fighting took place. Native scouts said Boers were holding meeting. 

Thursday 9th 
Musketry and shelling from three sides commenced about 5am. Attempts made by Boers to enter the town failed though we counted the total shell fire - 1031 - from Boer guns. Our 4.7 returned this fire but on a very moderate scale and with doubtful results. [Bella reports her mother making scones as the shells came over in the early hours of the morning.]

Friday 10th
Very quiet. Hoping to get signalling sights through to Estcourt [Note : the nearest British-held town]. Afternoon heliograph communication established. [Bella reports that the Boers had asked for a 24 Hour ceasefire to bury their dead.]

Saturday 11th
Visited the outposts with Col. Royston as usual early in the morning. Wet morning. The outposts were fixed almost immediately after we were shut in, various regiments being allotted certain sections of the perimeter in all nearly 17 miles. Our section was from the bend of the river below First Lengthman's cottage below Ladysmith to the slope of Caesar's Camp, in all I suppose about two miles. Boers fired a few shells into town after twelve noon. [Bella reports that on this day everyone over 12 had to be issued with passes which caused some indignation].

Sunday 12th
Quiet all day. Went out to Caesar's Camp and round by Volunteer Post with wife and W. Wright and Bella Craw. 

Monday 13th
Shelling commenced 5:30am but ceased early in the day 

Tuesday 14th
Shelling commenced 6:30. 96 pounder fell in our garden fired from Pepworth Hill. Our artillery and cavalry had a scrap with Boers on O.V.S. Road, west of town, which brought on some hot fire from the enemy and a false alarm during the night. No casualties. One N.M.R. [Natal Mounted Rifles] man was killed by a fragment of shell falling in his tent and cutting the poor chap's throat while he was asleep.

Wednesday 15th
Rain. All quiet.

Thursday 16th
Shelling part of the day. One white man, railway employee, killed, several wounded. 

Friday 17th
Again went to Caesar's Camp to try to fix a helio station. Few shells from Boers. Very wet night. 

Saturday 18th
Boers fired a few shells into town, also a little rifle fire from various Boer camps without damage. About 7pm shell struck Royal Hotel and cut off Doctor Stark's leg. That night Boers commenced shelling us about 12:30am (following morning) and one shell from Pepworths Hill landed within few feet of own conservatory, smashing all glass, etc. Wife and other ladies from house retired to shelter in the garden, also some of the patients, others of these remaining in their beds. Firing shortly ceased and all returned to their rooms and I to camp. Took observations with theodolite, saw McFie's black wattle plantation near Highlands Station. Some black prisoners came in from Umbulwana. 

Monday 20th
Morning quiet. Shelling and musketry during afternoon and evening, also about 2am following morning when one 96 pounder fell in front of church and one struck the porch damaging that part and shaking the west end very much. I hear of no casualties from this night's shelling. 

Tuesday 21st
A quiet day, a little rifle firing about sundown and during night.

Wednesday 22nd
Shelling commenced about breakfast time. Afternoon one shell struck Walton and Tatham's office back of building perforating roof and passing through loft. At work for Col. Royston collecting information re owners of houses in occupation of volunteers and others. Rifle firing from enemy during the night.

Thursday 23rd
Shelling from Umbulwan commenced after daylight and two oxen and one mule (Govt) were killed in showyard which was favourite place for this shelling. [Bella Craw reports Fanny playing cards with a Colonel Green while the men were playing cricket outside, oblivious to the shelling.]

Friday 24th
Shelling at western side of the town from Free State guns, also from Grobblars Kop side, in and about Caesar's Camp. 270 head of Govt. cattle taken by Boers from Mounted Infantry Guards. After this Volunteer Guards were sent out with stock, also men from Imperial Light Horse. Stormy night, heavy rain and wind.

Saturday 25th
Rain ceased but wind continued all day, as did Boer artillery fire on west of town towards Field's farm. Carbineers had to supply cattle guards. [Bella reports that the men were now on quarter rations - half a loaf, a quarter pound of meat and of meal.]

Monday 27th
Shelling commenced about 9am, three fell near Pieter's Church, one on the corner of Lines' ground and killed a horse, and one struck a tree under which a trooper of ours was sitting, cut the tree down, broke the man's rifle to pieces but the man escaped with no more than a severe shock. Three Manchesters wounded on Caesar's Camp. 

Tuesday 28th 
Shelling continued on and off all day. News brought by native runners that Boers were returning from Estcourt.

Wednesday 29th
Yesterday natives reported that Relief Column was at Chieveley and Frere. Shelling from enemy morning and afternoon and a few shots in return from our naval guns 4.7. General order issued to stand to arms at 2am. This order was countermanded in consequence of its having become too generally known. Noone knows what was to have been done, all were anxious for action and gladly received the order to move and regretted the contrary order.

Thursday 30th
Rode out with Col. Royston to Tin Camp and round to inspect new bridge over Klip River just below Tin Camp. Shells from Surprise Hill fell about us as we passed over, musketry also firing well on into the night. Eastwards towards Bell's Spruit we thought Boers were making an attack on this side of town. A few Long Tom shells from Bulwan about 6pm.

Friday 1st December
Shelling from Bulwan commenced early. Trooper J.R. Crickmore and horse struck while passing Town Hall, poor fellow killed. I was riding past office just behind this poor chap. Rations issued for 450 horses only, all rest had to go to veldt. 

Saturday 2nd 
Helio Station fixed at Weenen on the Kolombo Mountain visible from the Convent and all along that ridge. Volunteers held sports. Late in the afternoon a refugee white man was walking in from Tin Camp and was killed by a shell of enemy fired from End Hill. Two Boers gave themselves up to our picket. Troops called out. Volunteers complimented on being first at place appointed as rendezvous and all were ordered back to camp. 

Sunday 3rd
Quiet all day. Called up by Major Altham to identify William Wright Mason suspected of signalling to enemy, dismissed.

Monday 4th
Wet morning. Boers shelling slowly. Native messenger in from PMB [Pietermaritzburg]. News of British successes in Orange River area against Cronje and others. Natives report two Boer guns disabled. 

View North from Ladysmith
Tuesday 5th
Rain continued nearly all day. Firing from Boer guns now and then. In the evening the rain came on again and continued nearly all night. 

Wednesday 6th
Shelling town continued. Young Miller had an accident in discharging a shell which exploded and damaged his eyes. Lt Lang Simms got up a very nice concert programme of 25 items, very creditable, (open air). Sailors helped very much at this entertainment and were duly appreciated by all. 

Thursday 7th [Battle of Gun Hill]
Shelling pretty hot from Boer guns. General Hunter came to Royston during afternoon and arranged about Gun Hill attack. He in command took 650 of the following : - Carbineers and some N.M.R, B.M.R, and Natal Police, 200 in all, with Royston on right flank, General Hunter with 100 Carbineers under Major Addison and 100 I.L.H and some Engineers, centre, and Col. Rethman with about 200 men, left flank. Hunter and his 200 mounted middle ridge of Gun Hill, surprised the Boer picket and passed over it with a little firing and only 3 wounded men to us, pushed on to crest of hill, Carbineers lining hill to the right and I.L.H. to left while guns were exploded. The gratifying result was that one Long Tom and one twelve pounder were destroyed and a small Maxim was taken. Boers appear to have fled. This was all well and properly arranged and carried out by General Hunter in the most creditable way. We left town on foot about 11pm and returned next morning about 6 o'clock. I went as Royston's guide to the right into the Lombard's Kop Nek. Some mounted Imperial Troops went along Newcastle Road but were not very successful, in fact no one could make out what they were expected to do. They had very narrow escapes of being shot on their return after daylight. 
The Gun Hill men were all paraded at 1230am and thanked by General White and congratulated. He also said he trusted that we should soon be released. 

[Bella reported 11 British killed, 43 wounded and six prisoners taken in her diary.]

Saturday 9th
Usual 330am stand-to-arms and visit with Royston to outposts. At daylight few shells from Umbulwan. Newspapers of 2nd and 4th received by natives. Modder Spruit success news gratefully received all round. 

Sunday 10th
I omitted to say enemy fired a few Long Tom shells from Bulwan after the return from Gun Hill but not till we had got near town, by which time we observed that Gun Hill was covered with Boers and could not account for our people not shelling them from 4.7 Naval Guns. Sunday fairly quiet. Some musketry firing from Boers and our men near Observation Hill and Surprise Hill, Hyde's Farm. The usual pom-pom fire from northern point of Bulwan at Col. Knox's Mounted Infantry. Boers appeared to be erecting another gun on Gun Hill.

Monday 11th
Slept at home until 0215am when heard heavy rifle fire at north west of town. Went over at once to warn staff. Boer search lights were lively. Warned Chief of Staff Col. Bru de Wold and Wales. Heard two explosions about 0230am about twenty minutes apart. Shortly after second explosion musketry fire commenced again and was very heavy - no volleys. Portion of shell entered roof of pantry just after wife and Mrs. Craw had left it, early in the day. [Bella said they were all reading The Natal Mercury in the kitchen at the time.]

Tuesday 12th
Report that Rifle Brigade with 400 men had blown up Boer gun on Surprise Hill in the night but had, owing to delay from inferior fuse, been detained. Boers had thus got warning and a fight took place on the return, in which 36 of ours, and a good many Boers were killed and wounded. A small shell from Silent Susan, near Lombard's Kop fell near Dispensary [Silent Susan was the name given by the occupants of Ladysmith to a particularly feared howitzer, being very quiet and therefore giving no warning of its impending strikes]. All mounted forces called to rendezvous at Range Post 930pm and report to Gen. Com. at Town Hall when ready. Did so and were ordered to return to camp. This was another test of our readiness. Very little shelling. A short cessation of hostilities in order that the dead might be buried and wounded removed from Surprise Hill. [Ada reports that on this day she, George and Fanny rode out to Caesar's Hill. While there they were warned not to go any further due to Boer attacks continuing. They could see the Boer encampments opposite and their guns. ]

Wednesday 13th
Native runner came in with letters and papers. Shelling from Boers on and off all day, especially at 6pm. Mounted parade, heavy marching order, 8pm Wagons etc, all paraded and dismissed. 

Thursday 14th
Shelling commenced about 4am random rifle fire from the enemy. Several ASC horses taken by enemy near Besters Ruins. Heard very heavy artillery fire in the direction of Colenso and observed Boers moving about in various directions more than usual. Went up to General to enquire news, was told that Buller's army had been defeated at Colenso. [This defeat was a devastating blow to British prestige in the World, not just in Africa. General Buller was replaced by General Roberts in overall charge of the campaign but Buller remained in charge in Natal unfortunately for all concerned.]

Saturday 16th
Shelling of enemy rather more rapid than usual, in couples and pairs as it were. Saw a poor artillery man struck by one near Horsley's Gate. Poor man only survived till the stretcher was sent for him and succumbed as he was being lifted on to it. Portions of this shell fell on our house and in the garden. 

Monday 18th
A sad day for us. After early morning parade our poor men had just returned to horse lines, about 0730am when a shell from Long Tom on Bulwan struck and burst amongst the thickest of them, killing four men, wounding eight men and killed and wounded 7 horses. Most of the wounded horses had to be shot. The men killed were Troopers C. Smith, Buxton, Elliot and Miller. One of these poor men had both his legs cut off at the thigh. Funeral was held at night as shelling was too severe to admit of its taking place during the day. Several other casualties happened at other camps during this unlucky day. Some of our wounded subsequently died.
[Bella reported a black woman cut in half by a shell, the first woman to die].

Tuesday 19th
Shelling on and off all day. No casualties in our camp Orders given for a warning bugle to be sounded whenever Long Tom on Bulwan fired and a trumpeter kept on the alert all day. Besides this, several pits were dug for shelter but after a few days all these precautionary measures were disregarded by the men and all moved about as carelessly as ever. This was particularly noticeable in the townspeople who appeared to become quite callous and rather to run after than away from the shells. Rain came on at 3pm. No news of Buller further than that he had retired to Chieveley. We fear Gatacre's and Methuen's columns will be surrounded and I have little hope of Buller helping us within at least six weeks. There were various opinions about the chances of our being relieved. Some are inclined to give Buller another two months, though others, more sanguine, say a fortnight. Military and civilians begin to suffer seriously from fever and many deaths are reported from Intombi. 
[Bella said on this day that every day ten to fifteen people were being taken to the sick camp at Indombi with Enteric Fever.]

Wednesday 20th
Shelling commenced 630 continuing all day at intervals. One of the last shots hit Town Hall Tower near clock which had only been taken down a few days previously.

Thursday 21st
Shelling this day mostly directed upon Brigade Office; 4.7 replied feebly. Two shells struck building in which Gen. White lived and which he used as Brigade Office. The shells this day seemed to be directed especially on this point and were well aimed. The General was persuaded to shift up  to Christopher's house on the top of the hill, and General Hunter removed his office to Francis' house, through the poort beyond the ridge. Heard heavy artillery fire at Colenso and towards Monte Christo.

Friday 22nd
Bulwan opened fire about 6:30 and continued during the day. Several Gloucesters and Lancasters, Officers and men, were killed by shell at north end of town. One 96 pounder fell in one of the Carbineer mess tents destroying a little of the Xmas provender, eggs etc, fortunately no one was in at the time.

Saturday 23rd
Shelling from Boers all day and some musketry firing during the night. Cannonading continued from the direction of Colenso all day.

Sunday 24th
Heavy musketry and pom-poms fire all day on Helpmakaar Post. Weather exceedingly hot, nothing of consequence to relate. Patrols etc going on as usual. 

Monday 25th Christmas Day
Xmas Day. Only a few shots fired by the Boers. One plugged shell picked up near Kisch's with a note and some pudding jammed into it. The note was as under:- "Come out of your holes and fight you cowardly English". One shell struck Player's house and wounded slightly Mrs C. Kennedy. General Dartnell and Davis gave an evening party for children in our Walton and Tatham Hall at which they had four very handsome Xmas trees which gave great pleasure to all the children as well as to their numerous friends, big and little, all of whom enjoyed a very happy time.

Tuesday 26th
Colenso heavy artillery fire continued all day from 5am. Boers commenced shelling us as usual about 6am. Musketry pretty considerable out in the direction of Surprise Hill. Heard of no casualties. 

Wednesday 27th
Helpmakaar Post getting it again with Mausers and Pom-Poms, also fairly heavy rifle fire on the Surprise Hill side. This continued almost all through the night.

Thursday 28th 
Our 4.7 fired a few shots early in the morning and Boer guns were silent rest of the day. Sent letters out by native runner. Our 4.7s fired a few shots during the night.

Friday 29th
Newspaper of 22nd received. One shot only from Long Tom. Very wet night. Shell fell in Bank (Standard) bedroom destroying almost every bit of furniture. Occupant happened to be out for a minute or he must have been killed. All the front windows of our Walton and Tatham's office and the Bank were shattered to pieces.

Saturday 30th
Rain fell. Shelling as usual.

Sunday 31st 
Three shells fell from Surprise Hill at very long ranges, one landing near Maiden Castle in the direction of Waggon Hill. Several shots were fired during the night. This put the nervous members of the community into a bad state of mind and many started off for their shelters in the river bank, in the dark, followed by and dragging troops of crying children; others remained at home taking their chance, amongst whom were all our own household, as I found the next morning when asking them how they all had fared. 

Monday 1st January 1900
Rode around with Major Bru de Wold all round posts. Could see no reason for alarm. Cannonading still continuing at Colenso, but one heard very little Boer firing. One shell fired during the afternoon fell in the Parsonage Garden and Mrs Barker narrowly escaped as it struck the tree under which she was sitting. Message received from Christopher. Children reported "All well". Our 4.7s exchanged a few shots with the Boers.

Wednesday 3rd January
Cannon from both sides firing on and off. Still no news of Buller's movements though firing seemed continuous from big guns in the Colenso direction. 

Thursday 4th
Nothing happened of any consequence. Heard that Walker was to move to Wagon Hill with his Hotchkiss and that a 4.7 was to be sent there also. Shell from Long Tom, Umbulwana landed in Col. Dartnell's tent destroying everything. Fortunately he was out. [The Boers seemed to have very good intelligence of where the senior officers were billeted. There were quite a few fifth columnists in the town unfortunately] Bella Craw reports that there are 1500 sick at Indombi Camp. She says that the sickness is far worse than the warfare.

Friday 5th
No news. All quiet. Miss Carbutt died after dark. About 2am a great lot of firing on Wagon Hill and Caesar's Camp. Was sleeping at home but being roused by this contest firing decided to go over and warn Commandant Royston, whom I found with the members of his staff, quite on the alert, and all ready for action, men all being warned on my way to the parade ground. The Mauser bullets were falling about at that hour. These must have been spent bullets from Wagon Hill and Caesar's Camp which were being attacked by the Boers, the former by the O.F.S Commando and the latter by Transvaal Boers from Heidelberg. 

Saturday 6th
[George headed out to Caesar's Camp. This was held by 1st Manchester Regiment, Border Rifles, 42nd Battery Royal Field Artillery, a large naval gun and a couple of smaller field guns. The Boers had climbed the steep precipice of rocks and trees surrounding the hill and by momentarily pretending to be British troops had dislodged sentries and gained a foothold on the edge of the flat top of the hill.]
Own picket sent in to report that they must have support, had been obliged to retire being hard pressed and likely to be out-flanked on right by Boers. Royston went out at once with N.M.R. under Col. Evans telling me to join Major Abdie with his battery of artillery and with the support of Rethman, his men were to go over the bridge and round in the thorn trees near Old Range to remain in readiness for action. By this time fighting was getting decidedly warm and the enemy were pressing in under protection of their big guns which were peppering warmly in all directions. Bulwan gun, Long Tom, was pounding away along the side of Caesar's Camp. Abdie said I must return and inform Royston that he could not bring his battery over the river as this would be contrary to his definite orders. I told him he would have far better shelter over the river than on the town side, but he would not hear of this, though I took him along the River bank and pointed it out. Finally I decided to take his message to Royston and started off after him, Abdie saying he would get all ready for immediate action. In galloping over the flat at the back of Leonard's house I met Wales coming to hurry up the artillery. I told him my story and showed him the corner to which I proposed to take the battery. He decided to proceed and try his persuasive powers whilst I went on to Royston to report. 

After some little hunting I found Royston with his men well under cover pegging away at Boers who were pressing Manchesters and Gordons back along top of the hill. He instructed me to at once go and hurry up the artillery, deciding to take personal responsibility for guns being brought over the river. I was to inform Abdie of this and further I was to tell Rethman to send a squadron of his own men up to assist Gordons and Manchesters, who were being driven back. I raced off back and met Abdie just coming round the bend of the River towards the old rifle range, also Rethman. The order for squadron to support Gordons was immediately carried out and the artillery got into a very good position from which I pointed out Boers, and shelling was commenced very promptly and sucessfully, indeed Boers were driven back and a good many killed, but our shelling was discontinued in consequence of our Gordons moving forward into the rocks where the Boers had taken shelter. This was unfortunate, for the few Boers remained in the natural fortress all day and formed a sort of rendezvous for others to join them later in the afternoon, but they never got any further forward. It was this squadron of Rethman's men who met Boers who said "For God's Sake don't shoot. We are the Town Guard." The captain in charge of his men hesitated for an instant before ordering his men to commence firing and lost four men through it, for some Boers lying in the grass volleyed at once. He at once took cover and fired in return, then the shelling commenced from Abdie's battery and drove the enemy back a few yards, but they kept on or about that spot all day, sometimes trying to advance in a very desperate way till afternoon, when a very heavy storm came on, hail, lightning, and thunder, with rain falling in torrents for quite an hour. 

The firing continued all through this from both sides. Some horses were shot near us and one poor sergt gunner was struck by a Long Tom shell with the result that his left leg and arm had to be amputated. No more firing could be done by this battery from this spot, and the Major would not move forward, so after the storm we returned over the bridge to Camp as soon as the flooded dongas would permit. 

Met the Carbineers who were going out to relieve the men who had been out all day, and the night of the 5th, namely Capt. Lucas with Carbineers, and Clark with Natal Police, also the N.M.R. who had been out since 6am. One of these men was wounded on the way out showing that the Boers had not all retreated, though after the storm a retreat commenced and was assisted by a well-directed fire from artillery on top of Caesar's Camp. which had been up there some days. 

[The Boers were finally dislodged from the top of Caesar's Camp by a costly bayonet charge led by Captain Carnegie of the Gordon Highlanders. The next day the dead Boers were handed over and according to General White the Boers said that they had been the best of their number. A commandant that was killed among them had a piece of paper from General Joubert saying that Ladysmith had to be taken at all costs.]

We heard during the day several accounts of the action at Wagon Hill, which must have been more desperate than at our end of the hill, and more favourable to the Boers in consequence of their being able to keep back all our artillery with their well-placed big guns along the Roode Porte Range and at End Hill and Table Hill. Our gunners very bravely tried to get forward and round the Wagon Hill point but were bound to retire. Col. Royston did good work in keeping enemy from coming round on the flat. Our men at Caesar's Camp top say that Abdie's artillery fire was splendid and effectually kept the Boers from gaining further footing on that hill. Report says 60 of ours killed and 160 wounded. If this is all we consider ourselves lucky. 

[This was the last major engagement with the Boers, who seemed to lose spirit after]

Saturday 7th
Letter from Mr Christopher full of news gratefully received with enclosures from children. Carbineers employed all day at carrying Boer dead off Caesar's Camp, most disagreeable job. Major Molyneaux took these bodies to Intombi's Spruit and handed them over. Long Tom gave us the benefit of a few shots during day and a Pom-Pom fired on some of the burying parties. One Boer's body was so cut about that it had to be buried where it fell. Wales was wounded, also Woon of the Natal Police while with Royston on Saturday.

Monday 8th
Went round outposts with Major Bru de Wold. Nothing unusual happened. Wales returned to mess from hospital. About breakfast time a Long Tom shell struck a cart and horses, injuring two to such an extent that they had to be shot. Archdeacon held a Thanksgiving Service - very impressive. Raining heavily all night.

Tuesday 9th
Enemy all quiet. Said to be burying their dead.

Wednesday 10th
Fine morning. Went to Observation Post [went up in the observation balloon]. Saw Boer camps moving and mixing position about Brakfontein and Spion Kop.

Thursday 11th
Visited outposts with Major B, then to Wagon Hill. Saw an exchange of prisoners. We handed back a young man with a wound in the head for a Hussar with a broken arm. Men met near Ruins. Poor Gourton died of wounds received at Wagon Hill. Sent out coffin. 

Friday 12th
Few Long Tom shots - no damage. Helio is clear with Buller's helio visible on Spearman's Hill.

Saturday 13th
Visited posts with Bru de Wold. After breakfast went to Observation Hill  [again went up in the observation balloon] and saw Dutch Camps about Brakfontein evidently increasing. Our guns fired first at Bulwan today after which Long Tom gave us a benefit during the afternoon.

Sunday 14th
Quiet and very hot all day.

Monday 15th
No news of Buller. Warren said to have crossed the Tugela.

General George Stewart White

Shelling as usual from Long Tom. One fell in Bert Anderson's erf near stable. Our men escaped unhurt though camped all around.

Wednesday 17th
Heavy cannonading from Spion Kop way all day. Cloudy morning - no messages.

Thursday 18th
After visiting outposts Bru de Wold and I went to Wagon Hill, and while observing movements of enemy from this point for a short time, a shrapnel shell burst over our heads and the contents peppered us, the poor old man being struck in the face by one bullet which passed down his cheek and lodged in his neck. The blood flowed freely but thanks to my first aid and Dr Platt coming up just in the nick of time, we managed to get the necessary bandaging done and had him fetched to Ladysmith in an ambulance wagon. A very slight incision in the neck extracted the bullet. The excitement and interest in the probable date of the relief were now increasing and sweeps were got up, various dates from 17th to 1st February being supported, February 1st being supposed to be the extreme limit.

Friday 19th 
Visited outposts with Col. Royston. Nothing exceptional transpired all day. Long Tom gave us his usual few shells. Most favourable reports came in of Buller's successful advances on Brakfontein. 

Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st
Shelling as usual but great artillery fire continuing all day at Tugela, at Potgeiters and Spion Kop.

Monday 22nd
Shelling as usual. 116 of our fellows reported to have entered hospital sick this day. The fever patients are alarmingly on the increase all through the garrison.

Tuesday 23rd
Purchased some stores for house from Commt. Dept Biscuits 30lbs at 6d. Sugar 20lbs at 4d. Rice 16 lbs at 4d. Mealie meal 40lbs at 3d. Tinned Meat 20lbs at 1/-

Wednesday 24th
Visited outposts with Col. Met three native runners who had come into our lines during the night with letters, etc from Maritzburg. The three men had passed Boer outposts while they were asleep. They said there were few of the enemy between us and Colenso now and those few were not on the alert. Heavy fighting all day at Spion Kop and on Tugela. Unofficial wire from Spearman's that all had gone well and hill taken by Buller. [In fact the taking of the hill of Spion Kop was enormously costly and the British had to withdraw due to the punishment the troops took. The Tugela would not be crossed yet despite the hopes of the besieged garrison]

Thursday 25th
Commandant did not visit outposts this morning but we went to Observation Hill  [went up in the observation balloon] and saw that all Boers were in full retreat from Spion Kop, wagons etc moving off hurriedly towards Berg.

Friday 26th
Col. visited outposts as usual - no news from Buller. Cloudy weather prevents helio. Reported that 50 or 100 of our men have been taken prisoner at Spion Kop and marched past within sight of our western outposts. A few shots fired by Boers during the night, supposed a false alarm by them on their Umbulwana and Lombard Kop side. Native came in from Dutch lines and reported that we had taken Intaba Mnyama.

Saturday 27th 
Usual work. General informed me that our forces had taken and lost Intaba Mnyama. Had a message that prisoners in gaol were overcrowded, 75 being in places only sufficient for 50. Saw General Hunter who promised to put things right at once, which he did. Col. Royston indisposed.

Sunday 28th
Visited posts with Wittaker. They had a very tough rainy night. 1 1/4 inches of rain fell. Contradictory rumours of success and failure on Spion Kop.

Monday 29th
Royston well enough to visit outposts with me this morning. These men reported seeing beacon lights and a rocket or two through the Lombard's Kop nek at the back of Bulwan.Went to Observation Hill  [went up in the observation balloon], saw all Boer camps; appeared to be settled again. "Natal Witness" of the 19th inst. has account of killed and a nice letter of Sir H Hutchinson. Old Munger said he had lost David Munger's Wagon. After some search I recovered it for the old man. Various stories about Buller, heavy losses on both sides. Many shots about the town and Convent from Long Tom, also some old fashioned round shot from a new gun on Surprise Hill.

Tuesday 30th
Wet. Visited outposts as usual.

Wednesday 31st 
91st day of our Siege. Visited outposts with Commandant Royston. Letter came in from Chieveley, no news of Buller. Long Tom fired a few more shots this afternoon, evidently a new man at the gun as shooting is very inferior. Rain fell 27th to 30th - 5 1/8 inches.

Thursday 1st February
No news. Visited outposts with Col. Royston. Few shots from various Boer guns.

Friday 2nd 
93rd day of Siege. 96th of bombardment. Still no news of Buller, all garrison getting down-hearted and miserable. Sick increasing daily in numbers in camp and want of strengthening food for convalescent patients much felt. Sparks is doing good work in this way. With the assistance of R. Cox and his sister, they are running a sort of convalescent home in Gorman's house, which is a great help. 

Saturday 3rd
Some musketry firing during night in the direction of Wagon Hill. No change whatever. Sweeps drawn up again to 13th by which day all hope for relief as matters generally are getting more and more serious. Buller said to have a column over the Skiets Drift, came in on the enemy, but we don't think much of this.

Sunday 4th
Perfect weather. All quiet. Inspection of outposts, etc., also pointed out to Peddie where wood was to be cut. Visited outposts after dark as a special precaution, heard that we were to have an attack from the Boers.

Monday 5th
Visited as usual, all quiet. Colonel was surprised at this after yesterday's rumours. We had usual six and eight shots from Bulwan Long Tom. Sent a messenger off with letters and wires. Bulwan fired on our wood wagons without effect. 

Tuesday 6th
Heavy firing at Colenso all day. Some say they heard field artillery near Wagon Hill. Killed a young ox for the people at house. 

Wednesday 7th
Heavy firing on Tugela - musketry firing towards Wagon Hill. Still no communication with Buller. though all are looking for hello.

Thursday 8th
A little out of sorts, bilious and down-hearted.  Still no news of Buller.

Friday 9th
No news, all same. A few shots from guns all round. Sick slightly improved. Deglon laid up with fever, went to hospital. Got messenger in with Maritzburg letters dated 31st ulto. Rations again reduced.

Saturday 10th
Quiet. Nothing from Buller though we had more native runners in with letters. Two poor Indian grass cutters were shot by Boers.

Sunday 11th
All quiet. Still no news or signals from Buller.

Monday 12th
Mrs Doveton came in from Maritzburg by permission of the Boer Commandant and with the assistance of their carriages. Consultantion on the Major's arm, doctors decided to take it off. This was the result of Shell from Long Tom which fell near verandah close to Doveton's room. A native runner came in wounded in the leg having been chased by a Boer picket and dropped his letters. Nurse Bradey (Bradbury?) helped at operation to Doveton. [this entry shows the risks that the runners were subject to in their hazardous yet essential role during the Siege]

Tuesday 13th
Runner in with some letters. Ration scale: Meat potted 1/2 or 1lb, Fresh or cooked meat (horse flesh) 1lb sausage meat will be issued daily as soon as arrangements can be made, tea or coffee 1/6 of an ounce, sugar 1 ounce, salt 1/2 ounce, pepper 1/64 of an ounce, mustard 1/20 of an ounce, vinegar 1/10 of a gallon, horse food none. Natives and coolies, mealie meal or damaged biscuits 3/4 lb. fresh meat 1lb. 1/2 ounce of salt.
[Bella reports that Fanny was sick in bed with dysentery.]

Wednesday 14th
Firing very heavy about Colenso and Grobler's Kloof.  Eight shells from Long Tom top end of town and two towards afternoon at our end. Poor Major Doveton died today and was buried after dark.

Thursday 15th
Mrs Doveton returned. Met by Boer conveyance near Bulwan. Had another sweep draw and Bru de Wold drew 28th Feb. No one thought it likely he would succeed as we had begun to lose heart. Artillery and rifle fire was heard all night and in the morning in the direction of Pieters and Colenso.

Friday 16th
No news of Buller but we heard of Kimberley release. Long Tom fired a few shots to keep matters alive. Carbineers were called out with other Volunteers at 2am. False alarm but all went out to the Nek near outposts.

Saturday 17th 
Kimberley news confirmed but we were informed that Buller had returned over the Tugela. [finally!] Rations again reduced by order. 

Sunday 18th
Heavy firing Colenso direction. No news from Buller. Food very scarce, poor fellows glad to accept presents of whole mealies or Kafir corn. We hunted a few bags up in back store at office. Very hot, no rain.

Monday 19th
German walked in and gave himself up. We hear that Buller is gaining a position on Xingolo and Bloy's Hill Monte Christo. This he should have done on the 15th December. Heavy storm came on about 3pm cooled the atmosphere though it gave a wet night for me on duty with picket. Countersign that night was "Long Street". Nothing happened.

Tuesday 20th
Relieved at 630pm Showers of rain came just as we were returning.

Wednesday 21st
A few shots from Long Tom was about our only change, mostly directed to Caesar's Camp. Dull day, not wet. Two Germans gave themselves up to our picket. General at last gives following : - "Buller wires his movements satisfactory". All Boers on north side of River Tugela fighting, continued till late. One of the Durban men shot a native who would not answer his challenge.

Thursday 22nd
Nothing during the night reported. Long Tom paid us his daily compliments. Reports state that our troops are crossing Tugela at Robinson's Drift, Colenso and near the Falls. Yesterday's movements said to be most successful and the General has other good news which he cannot publish. Received letter from Christopher dated 14th, also one from Mrs Robert Bristow Tatham (George's Aunt, mother of Charles and Frederic Spence Tatham).

Friday 23rd
Long Tom's usual shots mostly towards Caesar's Camp. Buller's guns going all day, some of his shells bursting on Pieter's Hill. Native boys came in with a small parcel of medical comforts. Naval guns fired a few shots during the night and early in the morning. 

Saturday 24th
Buller's concert still going finely. Wet afternoon. Sent letters out. Rain continued, slight showers all night, our men report Boer wagons moving off westwards. 

Sunday 25th
All quiet on both sides. Native scouts brought in very favourable news of Buller's advance to Tugela Heights, too good to be true we fear.

Monday 26th
Another sweep arranged up to 10th prox. Long Tom gave us the benefit of several shells also played upon some of the out-lying stations with, I think, very little damage - we heard of none. Buller's guns still sound a very long way off. News of General Roberts' successful action against Cronje and his absolute surrender was received with cheers and brightened us up a little. Was sent out in charge of our picket for the night and following day.

Tuesday 27th
Buller's guns still going, evidently fighting hard. Long Tom fired a single shot about 6 and in the afternoon at Caesar's Camp. This fire was directed there because we had a long range twelve pounder there firing at the men engaged on the dam below Intombi Spruit. Little damage was done by either side. Boer search lights being visible all night. At 6pm I saw three of what we thought were Buller's shrapnel shells burst on the sky line in sight of our picket towards Woodhouse's farm. Reported this to Comt. when we got in. Saw Boer search light going gaily all night in the direction of End Hill.  Rain part of the night.

Wednesday 28th February (119th day)
Emily's Birthday (their daughter). How I wish we could have her home. Head office reports Boers in full retreat and enquire how many mounted men we could put into the field. Wife and I rode out to Observation Post to watch retreat of Boers [in the balloon]. About 5pm or a little later were riding down the street and met Bewick who said some of the Relief Column had already arrived. We hardly believed this and rode quietly down the street meeting at the Court House a great party of people among whom, true enough, we saw some of our own Carbineers, who had with McKenzie, been working so hard to get us. No words can express the excitement of that moment. People cheered, cried, laughed, and went through all sorts of eccentricities. The old General was quite overpowered and could only speak the now memorable words "Thank God we have kept the flag flying". after which nothing but cheers and applause could be heard, and, darkness coming on, people went off in different directions to their homes, camps, etc. At the Carbineers' Mess great were the doings and the stories of our good comrade officer McKenzie. All slept quietly that night and many were the quiet prayers of thanks going from mothers, sons, fathers, etc. Boer flash lights were going all night, the enemy making a hasty retreat. Long Tom fired his last shot about 1230 that day, which I believe landed and exploded in Dunton's Stores.

Friday 1st March
About 200 of our men with a few from other volunteer regiments mustered at Road Bridge about 6am all hoping that we were to be sent in pursuit of the enemy which would have given us great pleasure, as we knew in consequence of the heavy roads and fall of rain, they could not get away as quickly as we could go after them, but, much to our annoyance, we were ordered down the river to meet Buller and guide him into town. I was sent off with Sangmeister of Maritzburg and 20 men to reconnoitre Bulwan and then find crossings for men by Cawvin's Drift. 

There George's diary ends. The relief of Ladysmith caused celebrations all around the world as Empire Loyalists everywhere breathed a sigh of relief. Likewise opponents across much of Europe and elsewhere were despondent that the British had once again muddled through.

George died aged 60 of a stroke on 18th August 1908.

Bella Craw nursed wounded and sick soldiers on a troopship back to England and was there presented to King Edward VII. She was presented with a silver belt by the Natal Carbineers. She married Bert Anderson and sadly died in childbirth in 1907.

Fanny continued farming into her 70s in Natal, without much help for the duration of World War One while her son George served first in Namibia then in the Artillery on the Western Front - in the same battery as Major Julius Kennedy, his brother in law. Fanny died on 3rd July 1922 and was buried in Ladysmith.

Canadians in St  Andrews celebrating the relief of Ladysmith

Bibliography :
Pamphlet No. 1 of the Ladysmith Historical Society 
Tatham Family History website
Natal Carbineers by Rev. John Stalker
Ladysmith: Diary of A Siege by H.W. Nevinson

Saturday, 2 May 2020

Julius After The War

This blog continues from the second part of Major Kennedy's Great War story which is here.

After the war, as a regular officer, Julius remained in the Army, however he became a farmer. His wife Emilie came from a farming family of many generations. Some of the men from his old Brigade worked on the farm for him.
Penstock Hall

Emilie had two daughters after the war, Rosemary and Elizabeth.
Emilie and her two youngest

They were living at Penstock Hall, Brabourne, near Ashford, at the foot of the North Downs in Kent. Julius was a typical English country squire according to someone who knew him. They kept and rode horses. Julius and sons went fishing and shooting. The eldest son Patrick was a talented artist in watercolours and painted landscapes of the district. The girls liked to go swimming in the local river if they weren't riding their horses. They all helped out with the farm.

On occasion they would visit and be visited by family such as Julius' elder brothers Alfred, a distinguished QC, future Judge and sometime Conservative MP (Preston 1922), and Rev. Horace who was the Vicar of St Marys Church, Brent Eleigh, Suffolk and their respective wives.

Family Get-together at Uncle Alfred's house

In the early 1930s the Army wanted to send Julius to India. He and Emilie had no desire to return there having been stationed in Karachi in the early 1900s so he resigned from the Regular Army Reserve, his resignation papers dated 14th February 1933. His sons George and John both went to India around this time though, joining the Indian Army mainly it seems because it was cheaper to keep a horse there. George became a military lawyer. John ended up as an officer in the Burma Border Force.

The eldest son Patrick became a curate in the Church of England, no doubt influenced by his Uncle Rev. Horace Kennedy. He took up a position in Rotherham, Yorkshire.

Rosemary and Elizabeth

When war broke out again in 1939 Julius was asked by the War Office to organise the early fortifications at Porthcurno in Cornwall around the all-important transatlantic telephone cable. This is not surprising, an artillery officer spent a major portion of his time organising building works for gun platforms and defensive structures of all kinds. After this work was completed he took over  as commander of the Brabourne Home Guard unit.

Emilie died sadly at the age of 60 on the 27th June 1942 in a nursing home in Cambridge. She was buried near Sudbury in Suffolk. As a young girl she had lived under siege at Ladysmith during the Boer War, treating injured victims with her mother Frances. She had had to endure the agony of waiting at home for Julius while he was on the Western Front for four years then in 1939-40 face air attacks, the very real and imminent threat to Kent of invasion by the Nazis and the possibility of losing her three sons in another World War. Patrick by now had joined the forces as a chaplain.

Julius took himself to his late wife's homeland, Natal, South Africa with his youngest daughter Elizabeth. They lived at 277 Bulwer Street, Pietermaritzburg. Elizabeth attended agricultural college. In Natal Julius met a distant cousin of both his and his late wife, Dorothy Gertrude nee Anderson, in her early forties. She was the widow of G.C. Van Heerden, a South African MP. They became close and in a short time they were married, on 27th February 1943.

Sadly Julius had medical problems which caught up with him in the form of a heart attack whilst out riding on November 16th 1943 and he died like his late wife aged 60.

He left behind his widow Dorothy, daughters Joan, Rosemary, Elizabeth and sons Patrick, George and John.

Sources : William Kennedy, Elizabeth nee Kennedy, Elizabeth nee Scott and