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IGS QSA Pair Wounded Modder River


I.G.S. 1895, bar Punjab Frontier 1897-98, Q.S.A., bar Modder River, 4611 Drummer Bernard Brown, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. Wounded in action at Modder River on 28th November 1899

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I.G.S. 1895, bar Punjab Frontier 1897-98, Q.S.A., bar Modder River, 4611 Drummer Bernard Brown, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. Wounded in action at Modder River on 28th November 1899.


IGS officially engraved in script: “4211 Drummer B. Brown 2d Bn Arg & Suth’d Highrs”. Suspension slightly slack.
Q.S.A. officially impressed: “4211 Pte B. Brown. A. & S. Highrs:” Early issue with visible ghost dates and large style impressed naming.


The picture above shows the Argyll’s as they waded through the Modder River to charge the Boer Trenches.


Three times convicted and imprisoned, by “Civil Powers”, for a “Breach of the Peace” for 14 days and spent 4 months in prison for theft during 1901.


Bernard Brown was born in Barony, Glasgow, Lanarkshire circa 1873.


As a serving member of the 3rd Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers of Militia, he attested for full time service with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders on 12th August 1891.


He saw the following service in brief:


Home, 12th August 1891 – 29th September 1893
India, 30th September 1893 – 2nd March 1899
Home, 3rd March 1899 – 26th October 1899 (Transfer to Army Reserve)
South Africa, 27th October 1899 – 25th January 1900
Home, 26th January 1900 – 20th April 1903.


Total service 11 Years 252 Days, before discharge as Medically unfit for further service.


Within only a few months joining the regiment, on 23rd December 1891 he was found in confinement by the “Civil Powers” and was imprisoned for 14 days, spending 24th December 1891 until 7th January 1892, spending his entire Christmas of 1891 in Prison.


Posted to 1st Battalion on 28th March 1892.


On 22nd June 1893 he was again found in detention by Civil Powers, the next day he was convicted and imprisoned for “Breach of the Peace” and spent 7 days in prison.


Joined 2nd Battalion on 30th September 1893.


Appointed as a Drummer on 1st September 1895.


Served as a Drummer during the “Tochi” Campaign in the North West Frontier of India from 1897-98.


Transferred to Army Reserve upon returning from India on 5th March 1899.


Recalled to service on 9th October 1899 and was posted with 1st Battalion to South Africa as a Private.


Not long after their arrival they were engaged in the Battle of Modder River on 28th November 1899.


In the aftermath the British Force had suffered 4 officers and 93 men killed, with 20 officers and 362 wounded.


A lot of the casualties were borne by the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders with 112 casualties.


The Argyll’s were later commemorated in a Pipe Tune called “The 91st at Modder River”


Notably during the action a Company of the Argylls made an attempt to storm across the river but were driven back across in a counter attack leaving several men dead in the Boer Trenches on the far bank.


There is an excellent illustration called “The Battle of Modder River – The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Crossing the Drift” from “South Africa and the Transvaal War, Vol II” by Louis Creswicke, which depicts them waist deep attempting to cross the river.


He was posted back home to the regimental depot arriving on 26th January 1900, having spent 91 days in South Africa.


He served another 3 years, being appointed as a Lance Corporal on 15th August 1900 then Drummer on 31st December 1900.


However this would be undone in March of 1901 when he was reverted to Private on conviction by Civil Powers.


He would be sentenced to 4 months of imprisonment by the Civil Powers having been caught for theft from 22nd March 1901 until 22nd July 1901.


He was later once more appointed as a Drummer on 1st September 1902 and served until his medical discharge on 20th April 1903.