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QSA Natal Imp Hospital Corps Leader


Queen’s South Africa Medal, bar Natal, Orderley later Leader Edmund Pontifex Harrison, Imperial Hospital Corps. Son of Colonel Sir Robert Harrison RMLI.

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SKU: J7903 Category:
Origin: United Kingdom
Nearly Extremely Fine


Queen’s South Africa Medal, bar Natal, Orderley later Leader Edmund Pontifex Harrison, Imperial Hospital Corps. Son of Colonel Sir Robert Harrison RMLI.


Officially impressed: “Orderley E.P. Harrison. Imp: Hosp: Corps.”


Entitlement confirmed on the roll, scarce issue of the Natal bar.


The books for the unit recalls him as Edmund Pontifex Harrison later being a Leader, serving between 6th April 1900 until 4th February 1901, before re-attesting until his second discharge on 17th February 1902.


Edmund Pontifex Harrison was born at Plumstead Common, Kent during 1852. The 1st Son of Sir Robert Seppings Harrison (1822-1872) and Emily Pontifex (1823-1895).


His father had been an officer with the Royal Marines Light Infantry, entering the corps as a young 17 year old on HMS Benbow, who shortly after distinguished himself during the Syrian War as Commanding Officer at the attack on Tortosa, later serving in Hong Kong and the First New Zealand War of 1846. Later served in the Baltic Expedition and retired as a Colonel.


Edmund’s Grandfather was also Major James Hull Harrrison, Royal Marine Artillery and his Great Grandfather was Sir Robert Seppings, F.R.C. the Surveyor of the Royal Navy to King George IV.


Choosing a different path, at the age of 19 on 7th March 1871 Edmund was accepted as a candidate to join the Institute of Civil Engineers and begin training.


He spent the next 8 years around London as a Student attached to the Institution of Civil Engineers.


He was elected to become a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers on 4th March 1879.


He moved to South Africa in the 1880s, shown on the 1885 Civil Engineers List, working at the Kimberley Water Works Co in South Africa.


Perhaps a little old for fighting in the field and straying from his gallant father and grandfathers tastes of fighting in war, he joined the Imperial Hospital Corps.


The unit was raised in Natal on 2nd May 1900 and served through the war until the end, it looks like Edmund served all that time with the corps, and was later a Leader.


Shown after the war still active with the Civil Engineers at Box 116, Jeppestown, Johannesburg, Transvaal.


He stayed in South Africa, when his wife Emma Elvira Harrison died aged 70 at Pretoria on 3rd August 1912.
By 28th October 1931 he had returned to England and died in Canterbury, Kent.



The obituary of his father in 1872:


“Colonel Robert Seppings Harrison, late of the RMLI, died suddenly at Tunbridge Wells on 15th Instant, aged 51.


The deceased entered the corps of Royal Marines as a 2nd Lieut June 12th, 1838, and served in the operations on the coast of Syria, including the attacks on the fortress at D’Jebail and bombardment and capture of Aire, he also served in New Zealand, and was present at the taking of the fortified Pah at Ruapekapeka on January 11th 1846. He became Captain 14th Jan 1852, and served in the Imperieuse, 51, in the Baltic expeditions in 1854 and 1855, for which he also received a medal.