Natal Medal, bar 1906, Private J. Lazarus, Lancs and Yorks Contingent. 150 with bar to this unusual unit made up from from Lancs and Yorks Association. Known as Bailey’s Rosebuds.
Officially impressed: “Cpl: J. Lazarus, Lancs & Yorks Contg”
Confirmed on the medal roll.
A scarce medal to the volunteers from the Lancashire & Yorkshire Association, who earned 150 medals with the 1906 bar for their service in the Bambatha Rebellion.
Who was he?
This unit was made up of Englishmen and South Africans who held links to Yorkshire and Lancashire.
Our best estimated match for the recipient would be Joseph Lazarus, who was born in Leeds, Yorkshire to Jacob and Ada Lazarus. (The other 1 or 2 “J. Lazarus” with similar ages were of Dutch Boer origin)
He had come to South Africa as a boy with his family aged 11 during 1895 on the S.S. Gothic, 27th November 1895.
Too young to fight in the Boer War, he might have joined the Lancs and Yorks about 22 years old when the 1906 Rebellion broke out in Zululand, having a good connection to Yorkshire from his childhood.
He later died in Johannesburgh on 13th April 1933 having worked as a Salesman in Doornfontein.
The members of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Association were described as a group of “Ruffianly Rosebuds”, known locally as “Bailey’s Rosebuds”.
Many of them had previous experience fighting Zulu rebels and had seen plenty of South African “Pacification” wars in their life.
A telegram from Johannesburg, 29th May 1906, in the Pall Mall Gazette;
“The Natal Government has accepted Mr. Bailey’s offer of 150 men for service in Natal. All of them belong to the local Lancashire and Yorkshire Association, and the majority have seen active service.”
Their President was Sir Abraham “Abe” Bailey, 1st Baronet, KCMG a colonial born son of a Yorkshire man, who would later become one of the world’s richest men through control of South African Diamonds thanks to his special ties to Cecil Rhodes.
The Association ended in 1929 the following is an article in the Sheffield Daily Telegraph on 10th August 1929, regarding their services in Natal during 1906;
END OF FAMOUS CLUB – TRANSVAAL CENTRE FOR LANCS AND YORKSHIRE MEN
Owing to the membership falling off and to the competition of other clubs of a political nature, and other attractions, it has been decided to dissolve and liquidate the club of the Transvaal Lancashire and Yorkshire Association, situated just off Von Brand’s Square, in Johannesburg.
Founded in 1894 as the Lancashire and Yorkshire Association, the club was broken up by the South African War, but in 1904 was reformed under the old name, with Mr Abe Bailey (now Sir Bailey) as its first President, and the late Mr Ward Jackson (for many years editor of the Rand Daily Mail) as Chairman, the first named of Yorkshire descent and the latter a Lancashireman.
The Association had its headquarters in the former residence of the late Captain Von Brandis, but it moved to The Gables, Jeppe Street, more commodious premises.
At the outbreak of the Zululand Native Rebellion in 1906, 150 members of the association volunteered for active service, being called “Bailey’s Rosebuds.” The men were mobilised and equipped within 48 hours, the contingent being generally financed by Mr Bailey and was highly complemented by the then Natal Government on their splendid services. Three of the original members of the club, Sir Abe Bailey, the late Mr John Quinn, and Senator Tucker became members of the first Transvaal Parliament under responsible Government in 1906 and the last name filled the office of Mayor of Johannesburg.”
Some additional information from “Sir Abe Bailey His Life and Achievements” a History Honours research paper by Hamilton Sayer, University of Cape Town 1974, taken from J. Stuart’s a History of the Zulu Rebellion, 1906:
“At the request of the Natal authorities, imperial troops were hastily dispatched from the Transvaal, and Bailey offered to raise, equip and maintain at his own expense a contingent of 150 men (25 being mounted) of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Association. In effect, Bailey was prepared to defray all expenses relating to equipment, clothing and saddlery, but not salaries and food supplies. The offer was accepted by the Natal Government and enrolment began on 1st June; under the command of Lt Col Thomas Peakman, the corps presented itself for inspection some three days later.
On arrival in Natal on 4th June, the corps was directed to attach themselves to MacKay’s column, where they remained until the end of operations in Zululand.”