Queen’s South Africa, 3 barrs, Natal, Transvaal, SA 1901, 3945 Pte Robert Harling, 18th Hussars. Rare entitlement to this regiment.
Officially engraved in Cavalry style: “3945 Pte R. Harling. 18/Hrs.” Crisp unworn condition, tiny rim nick otherwise unworn.
Entitlement confirmed on the medal roll, 18th Hussars Regimental History states he served with A Squadron and was “Invalided on 14th November 1901.”
Out of about 150 men, “A” Squadron suffered significant casualties during the Boer War having seen much active service, Approx 22 wounded, 6 Killed in Action, 5 Died on service, Harling was among about 27 who were invalided back home.
This squadron had the particular honour of being commanded in battle by Major Percival S. Marling, VC, who had won his own Victoria Cross as a young man in Egypt at Tamaai during 1884.
According to the medal roll, only 1 Officer qualified for the rare Natal Clasp, Lieut J.H.J. McClintock, so it is likely this small detachment in Natal was under his command between 11th October 1899-11th June 1900 to earn the clasp.
Robert Harling was born in Bury St Edmunds during 1873.
He signed up with the 18th Hussars aged 19 on 17th October 1892, he had worked as a Pawnbroker, it was stated he had a unibrow, Had a: “Scar on Nose & Eyebrows meet.”
Served a full 12 year term in the Army
At Home, 17th Oct 1892 – 28th Sept 1893
India, 29th Sept 1893 – 10th Oct 1898
South Africa, 15th Oct 1898 – 19th Dec 1901
Home, 20th Dec 1901 – 16th October 1904.
After his retirement from the Army, he settled in Sutton, Surrey, taking a job at the Hall Keeper to Sutton Public Hall.
Sutton Public Hall, built in 1878 as a private venture, was the home of Robert Harling, where he worked as the Hall Keeper.
He lived there on the 1911 Census, and by 1920 the Hall was purchased by the Council and became the home of the town’s public activities for 60 years until 1980.
Robert remained a Hall Keeper for the rest of his life around Surrey.
In 1939 he was a Retired Hall Keeper in Epsom and Ewell in Surrey.
He later died in Surrey during October 1942.