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QUEEN'S SOUTH AFRICA MEDAL, WEST YORKSHIRE REGIMENT :

Bar, 'Transvaal', officially impressed naming - 5901 Pte. H.HAWKESLEY, W. York: Regt. (West Yorkshire Regiment) : (HERBERT HAWKESLEY - Born around 1879 at Sheriff Sutton, near York, Yorkshire, a farm labourer at the date of his attestation for the West Yorkshire Regiment : Late in 1900 he was posted for service in South Africa and was killed in action during a night attack on the camp at Lake Chrissie on 6 February 1901 : On 5 February, General Smith-Dorrien, reached Bothwell Farm, in the neighbourhood of Lake Chrissie, where he halted for the night and with the studious attention to all reasonable precautions, entrenched his camp strongly. It was an intensely dark night and visibility was further hampered by a heavy mist which hung over the uplands, making it virtually impossible for the sentries and outposts to see anyone beyond the distance of a few yards. Earlier in the day Louis Botha had reinforced Lukas Meyer, who was conducting the Boer retreat in this quarter, and it had been determined that a night attack with two thousand men would be made upon the British camp, in order to cover the withdrawal northwards. At 3.00am on 6 February the attack was delivered. The Boers who had crawled unseen close to the British outposts suddenly rushed between two trenches held by the West Yorkshire Regiment, driving infront of them a herd of loose horses in order to confuse the defenders into believing that they were being attacked by mounted troops. However the men of The West Yorkshire Regiment held firm, whilst support came up and a fierce hand-to-hand struggle ensued, the Boers being forced back in disorder, leaving some twenty burghers dead. Casualties on the British side were heavy too with twenty-four Officers and men killed and a further fifty-three wounded, the West Yorkshire Regiment was hardest hit. The Victoria Cross was awarded to Sergeant William Traynor of the Regiment for saving the life of a wounded comrade in this action. His group of awards was sold by DNW at their auction of 12 December 2012, when it realised a hammer price of £160,000.) : Recipient also entitled to the bar for 'South Africa 1901'; surname shown on Medal Roll as HAWKESBY but Regimental Number correct as 5901 and there was no other man with a similar name serving with the Regiment in South Africa.) : One slight edge bruise not effecting the naming otherwise GVF - £595