Queen’s South Africa, 3 bars, Orange Free State, Relief of Ladysmith, Transvaal, Sergeant William Maher, Royal Dublin Fusiliers, wounded in action and taken prisoner at the Battle of Colenso on 15th December 1899.
Company Sergeant Major William Maher, a long serving veteran NCO of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, he was wounded in action and taken prisoner of the Boers at Colenso, released 6 months later. He was a keen sportsman of all kinds and during WW1 was serving as an Instructor with the Army Gymnastics Staff.
All Ireland Military Athletic Meeting, July 1908;
Throwing the Hammer. (1st Prize, £1; 2nd, 10s)) – L-Cpl Carr, 1st Bn Black Watch, 4ft, 1in., 1; Sgt. Maher, D Co. Royal Dublin Fusiliers, 81ft 2in. 2. Six competed.
Army Hockey Tournament 4th April 1912;
On the Royal Engineer’s Ground at Chatham, on the 4th Inst. The 2nd Batn Royal Sussex Regiment (winners of the English section) beat the Royal Dublin Fusiliers Depot (Winners of the Irish section) in the final round by 5 goals to 1. The Sides were-
Royal Dublin Fusiliers Depot – Lt. A.J.D. Preston, Goal; Cpl Bryan and Jones, backs; Drmr Sheeran, Sgt Muhall, and Sgt Maher, Half-backs; LCpl Bilson, Dmr Steele, Capt. J.P.B. Robinson, Pte. Gallagher, and Pte. Smith, forwards.
Born in Kilkenny, Ireland, joined the army aged 18 on 27th January 1898, by 10th January 1899 he was already Lance Corporal, with Pay from 1st July 1899. Promoted to Corporal on 12th August 1900, Lance Sergeant
on 31st January 1902 then full Sergeant on 4th February 1903.
After being prisoner of the Boers for 6 months soon after on 4th November 1901 he was tried by Court Martial at Ladysmith for being Drunken on Duty and Conduct to the prejudice of good order and military discipline, he pleaded Not Guilty and Guilty, but due to his good service was only reduced to the ranks, but was swiftly promoted again.
After the Boer War he continued his service and extended his 6 year period of engagement to 12 years in 1904.
On 30th March 1908 he was made Assistant Gynmastic Instructor at the R.D.F. Depot.
He then extended his service to 21 years in 1908.
An employment sheet from October 1913 shows him as employed in the Officers Mess and described as “Honest, Sober, Industrious, Intelligent, Trustworthy.”
Appointed Acting Company Sergeant Major Instructor with effect from 26th February 1916.
Recommended for the Long Service and Good Conduct on 27th June 1919, which was granted.
It was issued to him at the Old Comrades Club in Kildare, during August 1920 and he writes back on his receipt “Sir, many thanks for medal received in due course, respectfully yours, W. Maher”.
Upon being given demobilisation orders in 1919 and at the time was Acting Company Sergeant Major of the 2nd Bn Border Regt, he immediately sent in a request to continue his service voluntarily, which was granted in October 1919.