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QSA Defence of Kimberley 23rd WD RGA

Queen’s South Africa, bar Defence of Kimberley, 80351 Gnr Samuel Roberts, 23rd W.D. R.G.A., rare to unit, who served at Crushers Redoubt Ottos Kopje. Convicted Deserter.

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SKU: J8589 Category:
Origin: United Kingdom
Very Fine


Queen’s South Africa, bar Defence of Kimberley, 80351 Gunner Samuel Roberts, 23rd W.D. Royal Garrison Artillery.


Click here to view the Australian War Memorial’s Photograph of the Gunners at Otto’s Kopje with their field gun, whigh might contain Gunner Roberts.


Officially impressed: “80351 Gnr. S. Roberts, 23rd W.D. R.G.A.”


Official correction to service number.


Additionally earned the matching King’s South Africa with both bars for further service.


Confirmed on the medal roll, only 98 men from the Royal Artillery earned the clasp out of about 5,500 clasps issued.


Samuel Roberts served during the Siege at a position known as “Crusher’s Redoubt”, “who supported Otto’s Kopje Scouts.”


Samuel was born in Blackhill, Consett, Durham circa 1872.


Aged 18 he attested with the Royal Artillery on 23rd August 1890, having worked as “Puddler”.


During the Boer War he served in the 23rd Company Western Division of the Royal Garrison Artillery.


He was previously a member of the 4th Militia Bn of the Durham Light Infantry before his enlistment into the Royal Artillery.



Samuel would be a multiple times deserter, only a few months after enlistment, he deserted at Sunderland on 13th February 1891.


Being tried and convicted once returning on 24th March 1891.


He was again tried and imprisoned for 42 days on 15th August 1893.


Whilst on service in India, he “Deserted at Karachi” on 4th November 1895.


It took a while to recover him, “Rejoined, posted and now awaiting trial” on 5th March 1896.


This conviction would forfeit all his prior service on 1st April 1896, when he was given with 84 days in prison.


His Injuries section on his papers notes: “Severe contused wound of fifth finger of left hand, and catract of the left eye (on duty), 26th January 1900.”


His overseas service:


“Home, 20th August 1890 – 9th March 1892

Aden, 10th March 1892 – 6th April 1894

India, 7th April 1894 – 3rd November 1895

In A State of Desertion – 4th November 1895 – 4th March 1896.

Home, 5th March 1896 – 5th May 1899

South Africa, 6th May 1899 – 15th April 1902

Home, 16th April 1902.”


His papers then note: “Discharged at Dover medically unfit 30th Nov 1902”, but this appears only to have been temporary as it was crossed through with the addition later that he had “Re-enlisted in Durham Light Infantry as Private S. Roberts No 3/11129, Discharged to Pension 15th October 1917.”


According to further records, he enlisted on 21st October 1914 with the DLI and was discharged on 15th October 1917, in consequence of “Para 2. King’s Regulation 392 (XVI)” usually this means they were no longer fit for service due to wounds.


He received his silver war badge later on 20th August 1919.