Queen’s South Africa Medal, 3 bars, Cape Colony, Transvaal, Wittebergen, Sergeant Major Frederick Dakyn-Hockin, Border Horse, also Agent of the Field Intelligence Department and District Mounted Rifles, later Lieut in Ashburner’s Light Horse.
Medal is officially impressed: “Sjt: Maj: F. D. Hockin. Border Horse.”
Frederick saw varied service during the Boer War in many different units, can be found on the medal rolls with the surname “Hockin” “Hocken” “Hockess” and “Hocking”.
Frederick “Fred” Dakyn-Hockin, was born in England during about 1868.
During peacetime he worked as a Commercial Agent, he died aged 76, on 1st May 1944 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
He was the husband of Hester Dakyn-Hockin.
His son Fred, born during 1894 has an Entry in the South African Sporting Encyclopaedia and Who’s Who, 1949.
During the Boer War, whilst serving as Sergeant Major of Border Horse, he was taken as a prisoner shortly near Hammonia during an incident on 28th May 1900, some info from War Office Records 108/372, South Africa Surrenders:
“While Lt Boyes and 17 men of the Border Horse were out near Hammonia, they heard firing. They proceeded to the spot and were surrounded by about 80 Boers.
They fought fought for 3 hours and then, their horses having been captured and their ammunition nearly expended, Sergeant-Major Bull decided to surrender. Lieut Boyes was not near Sergeant-Major Bull at the time and Lieut Boyes was still in the hands of the enemy when the Court of Inquiry was held in September 1900.”
Sergeant Major Hockin was one of those who were forced to surrender and were taken as Prisoners, however fortunately for them the Boers had no interest in holding more British Prisoners, so he was released and is noted as Missing but returned to rejoin his regiment, The Boers would of course have most likely relieved him however of his horse, rifle, any ammunition.
The official casualty list shows Hockin as Sergeant and the only Sergeant present, with Bull being officially a Corporal.
Some information on the unit from Colonials in the Boer War by John Stirling:
“The Border Horse were stationed at Aliwal North in April 1900, and were reviewed there by General Brabant, under whom they were to act in the operations for the relief of Wepener. In the advanced to Wepener they were in the forefront, and several times had sharp fighting with casualties. They work was highly spoken of by those who witness it.
After Wepener was relieved, the Border Horse was a component par of the Colonial Division under General Brabant, and in the advance to the Brandwater Basin the whole of the Division often had fighting. The scouting and patrol work was constant, hard, and, from the nature of the country, very dangerous, and casualties were frequent.
Of the work and the losses the Border Horse had their full share, but they had the satisfaction of helping to hem in Prinsloo and his 4000 men.
Lieut L.G. Longmore was severely wounded near Hammonia, towards the end of may, and on the same occasion 3 men were killed and several wounded.”
He earned his King’s South Africa Medal, with 2 bars, as an Agent with the Field Intelligence Department, which noted he saw previous service with Rimmington’s Guides.
A curious remark on his medal roll notes his abuse of power during the war:
“This man was accused of embezzlement and fraud. he was not tried but released by the Civil Authorities at Johannesburg. His (unconvicted) crime was that of selling cattle, belonging to the Government.”
However his service with Rimmington’s Guides cannot be traced, another roll records he was later entitled to the SA 1901 Clasp to his Q.S.A. to be issued separately, so it is not clear whether he was allowed the issue of the K.S.A.