Queen’s South Africa, bar Transvaal, Mr Thomas Ingoldsby, Imperial Military Railways, A Train Guard who was shot on his train by the Boers on 9th October 1900 and died of wounds 2 days later. Rare Civilian Casualty.
An article from the Dundee Courier, 10th December 1900 of a letter from a former ticket collector with North British Railway, where Mr Ingoldsby had worked before the war reads:
“N.B.R. MEN IN SOUTH AFRICA, A COLONY OF FIFERS
An interesting letter has been received in Dundee by a friend from one of the clerks on the Natal Government Railway who, previous to proceeding to South Africa, was engaged as ticket collector at the Tay Bridge Station. information is contained in the letter of the death of Thomas Ingoldsby, formerly a porter on the N.B.R., who was shot by the Boers while acting as guard of a train.
The train had been derailed by the Boers who, from their ambush, kept up a fierce fire on the train. The driver was wounded in 13 places, but managed to survive and bring his engine into Standerton. The Fireman was also shot dead.”
Thomas died 2 days later from his mortal wounds, at Vlakfontein on 11th October 1900.
The whole action, from Heidelbergers of the Boer War, by Ian Luys:
“Parties of Boers under Hans Botha had been seen by the Enlighs on the hills near Vlakfontein (Balfourt).
In order to ascertain what they were doing an armoured train was sent out. Captain George Paget of the Rifle Brigade together with a detachment of his men and a few engineers proceeded along the line of the train.
Hans Botha allowed the train to pass Vlakfontein then had one party blow up 2 culverts behind it while another party tore up the rails ahead of it. A tremendous fire was then opened up on the occupants. Although they made a gallant resistance the ambush was a complete success and they were ultimately compelled to surrender. Captain Paget was mortally wounded and most of his men were casualties by that point.
Another party of 25 men under Capt Archibald Stewart, 1st Bn Rifle Brigade, followed on foot in support of the train. Stewart’s party was also attacked and he was killed in the engagement. They were within a few kilometres of a column under General Clery, which was en route to Vlakfontein, but they arrived too late to be of service.
At the armoured train one of the Imperial Military Railway Guards, Thomas Ingoldsby, from Scotland, was wounded and died 2 days later. He and 2 Officers have been reinterred at Standerton.”