About the product

QSA ASC Engine Driver Deserter

Queen’s South Africa, bar Cape Colony, 11780 Driver W. Brazier, Army Service Corps. Almost had to forfeit his QSA on conviction of desertion. With Photo in uniform.

Out of stock

Origin: United Kingdom
Nearly Extremely Fine


Queen’s South Africa, bar Cape Colony, 11780 Driver W. Brazier, Army Service Corps. Almost had to forfeit his QSA on conviction of desertion.

Officially engraved: “11780 Dr W. Brazier. A.S.C.”

Confirmed on the medal roll for service as a Driver with 32nd A.S.C., which recalls he was admitted to hospital on 29th January 1900 and then invalided home on 19th March 1900.

With copy service papers.

Eastbourne Gazette, 6th June 1900:

A Native of Essex, Driver Brazier has now served 6 years in the Army. He proceeded to South Africa in November, and joined General Buller’s Force in Natal.
He was present at some of the most important engagements including the affair at Spion Kop.
Recently he was invalided home to Ireland, having fallen victim to fever. He is now progressing very favourably. He is 24 years of age, and his parents reside at 44, Beach Road, Eastbourne.”

Born as William Alfred Brazier in Writtle, Chelmsford, Essex, signed up for the Army at 18, working as a Carter on 24th July 1894.

He was as a serving member of the 2nd Sussex Artillery Volunteers and former 3rd Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment, having purchased his discharge.

After continuous good service, he mysteriously deserted from the Army on 12th December 1906.

He was missing for almost 6 months, finally rejoining in May 1907.

He was immediately locked up and tried by Court Martial for, 1. Desertion and 2. Loss of his Kit.

“All prior service forfeited by conviction of desertion”
This part crossed through and cancelled: “S. African War Gratuity £5 to be forfeited on desertion.”

He was placed in detention from 14th July 1807 until 6th July 1907.

Later, in what seems to be an act of leniency on 6th July 1910: “Service restored elects to have service forfeited by conviction of desertion restored under Para 273 (p), and service reckoned from 26th December 1906.”

His medal award section of his papers reads:
“Queen S.A. Medal and Clasp Cape Colony
Queens S.A. Medal and clasp Cape Colony, forfeited by conviction of desertion, article 1256 R.W. for Pay 14th May 1907.
Queen S.A. Medal clasp Cape Colony, restored on 6th July 1910.”

They never bothered to take the medal from him as they chose to forgive his desertion.

Later on 12th November 1912, he was discharged as medically unfit for further service aged 36.

They make no remarked given his lengthy desertion, noting his conduct had been “Very Good, no instance of drunkenness in whole of service of 18 years 3 months.”

Special Qualifications: “Engine Driver.”

However when it came time to sign his own name, it simply reads: “Insane”.

With his discharge, his death came soon afterwards, He died aged about 36 on 25th May 1913, at Lavender Villas in Farnham, Surrey.