Cape of Good Hope General Service Medal, bar Bechuanaland, Sergeant and Bugler Major Ralph Stafford Ozard, Kimberley Rifles, a Guernsey man who emigrated to South Africa.
Impressed in “Cape Style” naming: “SERGT R. OZARD. KIMBY. RIFLES.”
This style of naming done by Sceales and Armstrong in Cape Town circa 1905-1907.
The Guernsey Star reports on Guernseymen in South Africa:
“Ozard, R, Bugler-Major of Kimberley Scots Volunteers (Late Sergeant of Middlesex Regiment), in Spyfontein, Kimberley.”
He was severely wounded in action at Kilpdrift on 7th March 1902. Discharged medically unfit on 20th January 1903.
At this lengthy and bloody battle, De La Rey had ambushed a British column under Methuen, most of the men had not seen action before and quickly fled the battle or surrendered, notably Methuen had rode around rallying his British troops, as the battle lasted from Dawn until 9:30 am, after Methuen was wounded and dismounted, having his horse land on him and breaking his leg, he would become the only General to be taken as a prisoner by the Boers.
De La Rey however sent Methuen straight to a British Hospital in his personal carriage under a flag of truce, whilst his men pleaded for his execution. Upon hearing of the loss, a badly shaken Lord Kitchener retired to his bedroom for 2 days and even refused to eat.
Provenance of his QSA and KSA which are known to exist, sold by Chrities, July 1985 and Collet, May 1989. (According to David Biggins Siege of Kimberley Book)
Ralph Stafford Ozard, was born in St Peter Port, Guernsey during 1871.
He is listed on the 1871 Census as a Baby living at Croutes Place, St Peter Port, Guernsey, Channel Islands.
The son of James W. and Emma A. Ozard, with a brother and 2 sisters. His Father was a Professional Gardener and his mother a Dressmaker.
Shown on the 1881 Census as a 11 year old living at home at Bath Cottage, in S Jacques, Guernsey.
However not shown on the 1891 Census so this must have been when he set off on his adventures once he turned 18.
Notably during the Bechuanaland Campaign of 1896-7, he was only about 26 years old but already a Sergeant with the Kimberley Volunteers.
Earned the Queen and King’s South Africa Medal Pair for service as a Sergeant with the Kimberley Volunteer Regiment, bars Defence of Kimberley, Cape Colony and Transvaal as well as both bars to the K.S.A.
After the war he became a farmer and had married Edith Marian Augusta Ozard.
He died on 10th December 1937 at the Married Quarters in Modderfontein, Benoni.
A government gazette entry from 1924 recalls his Dairy Business:
“The Dairy Business formerly carried on by Ralph Stafford Ozard on Plot No 26, Kilpriversberg, No 25, District of Johannesburg, has been abandoned….”
Some details on the action where he was wounded at Tweebosch/De Kipdrift on 7th March 1902:
“On 7 March De la Rey ambushed Methuen’s column at Tweebosch on the Little Harts River. The British force numbered 1250, including nearly 1000 mounted men and four guns. Methuen’s force was largely made up of green troops; these panicked and fled or surrendered.
Only the British regulars in the column fought stubbornly in the combat which lasted from dawn until 9:30 am. The British lost 200 killed and wounded, plus 600 men and all four guns captured. After being wounded twice and suffering a broken leg when his horse fell on him, Methuen was captured. He was the only general taken prisoner by the Boers during the war.
De la Rey sent the wounded Methuen to a British hospital in his own carriage under a flag of truce, despite demands from his own troops to execute him. Upon hearing news of the disaster, a badly shaken Kitchener retired to his bedroom for two days and refused to eat.”