Queen’s South Africa Medal, bar Modder River, Orange Free State, King’s South Africa Medal, 2 bars, 3386 Pte Daniel Marshall, Highland Light Infantry, wounded in action 11th December 1899, Magersfontein.
A brief summary of the Battle at Magersfontein on 11th December 1899, where Daniel Marshall as a member of the Highland Brigade was amongst the high number of casualties:
“The Battle of Magersfontein was fought near Kimberley on the borders of the Cape Colony and the independent republic of the Orange Free State. British forces under Lieutenant General Lord Methuen were advancing north along the railway line from the Cape in order to relief the siege of Kimberley, but their path was blocked at Magersfontein by a Boer force that was entrenched in the surrounding hills. The British had already fought a series of battles with the Boer, most recently at Modder River, where the advance was temporarily halted.
Lord Methuen failed to perform adequate reconnaissance in preparation for the impending battle and was unaware that Boer General De La Rey had entrenched his forces at the foot of the hills rather than the forward slopes as was the accepted practice. This allowed the Boers to survive the initial British artillery bombardment, when the British troops failed to deploy from a compact formation during their advance, the defenders were able to inflict heavy casualties. The Highland Brigade suffered the worst casualties, while on the Boer side, the Scandinavian Corps was destroyed.
The Boers attained a tactical victory and succeeded in holding the British in their advance on Kimberley. The battle was the second of three battles during what became known as Black Week. “
Daniel Marshall was born and raised in Dundee, Scotland around 1870.
At the age of 19 years months, he attested for full time service with the Highland Light Infantry, having been a member of the 3rd Volunteer Battalion Royal Highlanders and working as a Calendar Worker on 17th September 1889.
Saw the following service:
Home, 17th September 1889 – 11th November 1890
India, 12th November 1890 – 5th March 1897
Home, 6th March 1897 – 22nd October 1899 (In reserve)
South Africa, 23rd October 1899 – 25th July 1902.
Some online records show he was living in Calcutta, India during 1928, working with the Indian Mines Department.
The Dundee Advertiser 18th December 1899:
“The full list of casualties at Magersfontein has now been issued. The total casualties among non-coms, and men number 893, with 70 casualties among all ranks – 963.
The Black Watch alone lost 42 men killed, 192 men wounded, and missing, 111 – a total of 345.
The official estimate of losses among the Highland Brigade were considerably under the mark.
HIGHLAND LIGHT INFANTRY:
….D. Marshall, reservist, Waterside Cottages, Braco, by Greenloaning; enlisted at Perth, September 1889” (J7333) N.E.F. £450