Australians in the Boer War
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Hint: This site is intended as a search aid - not a definitive source. It is essentially an index to documents that seem to relate to this person plus a very brief precis of relevant elements. Sources often conflict and I also flag things with a ? when I am unsure. So if the information below is important to you, then please check the original sources to see what else they contain (and in case I have inadvertantly introduced transcription and/or precising errors). There can be additional information that was not included in the database for both space and copyright reasons.


Given Name(s) or Initial(s) Charles Edward Ernest
Regimental Number
RankLieutenant Colonel
Unit Name Special Service Officer
Extracts and Comments
(from Sources as shown)

Murray: RAA wounded at Driefontein 10.3.1900 died of wounds Driefontein 12.3.1900.
Horner: killed in action.
Price1: died of wounds Bloemfontein, Mentioned in Despatches 31.3.1900 photo, War Memorials Ballarat Queenscliff Williamstown Canberra Fort Queenscliff.
NMCSA : biography.
Source:# 445 hit by dum-dum bullet.
URL2: photo.
Source:# 609 grave at farmhouse.
B5179: soldier from Queenscliff Vic., attached for instruction.
URL4: died of wounds at Driefontein 12.3.1900, born at Richmond Vic. 13.6.1853 son of Charles Ernest UMPHELBY of Toorak Vic.
URL5: original veldt grave.
URL7: letter dated 10.12.1899.
URL8: Major GJ JOHNSTON reported that Col. UMPHELBY was mortally wounded by a Mauser bullet fired from 900 yards away which ricocheted off his cane while he was seated on an ant hill observing with field glasses, the day he began wearing a dead English officer's helmet.
URL9: Colonel UMPHELBY, one of the special officers of the Victorian contingent, dangerously wounded in the abdomen at Driefontein.
URL10: Mr. GD MENDELL has received a cablegram from Colonel BYRON, in South Africa, announcing the death of Lieutenant-Colonel UMPHELBY, of tbe Victorian Permanent Artillery, from the wound he received at the battle of Onsfontein. Lieutenant Colonel CEE UMPHELBY was attached to the Howitzer Division of Lord Roberts' column. Prior to his departure for South Africa he commanded the Victorian Permanent Artillery at Queenscliffe. He was 44, years of age, a splendid shot, and won the Victorian Queen's Prize in 1898. In 1889-90 he gained considerable experience in England, passing with honours through a long course at Woolwich aud Shoeburyness. Colonel UMPHELBY was also a successful competitor at the meetings of the New South Wales Rifle Association.
Launc. Exam.: contemporary accounts of his death, temporary burial on the veldt and projected reburial in Bloemfontein.
GeelongAdv.: another contemporary account of his wounding, initial medical treatment by Surgeon Major PIKE then rough evacuation 3/4 of a mile by buck wagon to a farm house and his subsequent death there.
Australasian: A statement having been published that the late Lieut.-Colonel UMPHELBY, of the Victorian forces, did not receive proper treatment after being wounded in South Africa, having, so it is said, been removed from the battlefield in a clumsy buck-waggon, and carted over a rough road, which only added to his injuries, the Premier has decided to request the Lieutenant-Governor to write to Sir Alfred Milner, High Commissioner for South Africa, and ask him to have inquiries made into the matter. ... Colonel UMPHELBY's grave on the veldt near Driefontein OFS. The inscription on the cross runs thus - "In memory of Colonel Umphelby, of the Victorian Artillery, Victoria, Australia. Wounded on March 10, 1900; died on March 12, 1900. In sad remembrance. - N.S.W. Medical Corps." (Alf. T. Hosking, Capetown, photo). See image at URL5.
Aust. War Memorial: AWM Roll of Honour - Charles Edward UMPHELBY Lieutenant Colonel Royal Australian Artillery, Special Service Officer, Colonial Military Forces South Africa, 1899-1902 (Boer War), died of wounds 10.3.1901 (sic), photo.
Roe: findagrave site also says he died of wounds 10.3.1901 with "burial unknown specifically Farm Schaapplaats or Driefontein Noord in the Paardeberg area, Northern Cape".
Register: longer report of Lt. Col. UMPHELBY's death by Major WT REAY dated Bloemfontein 3.4.1900.
Register: Lord ROBERTS has caused the remains of the late Lieutenant-Colonel CEE UMPHELBY of Victoria, to be disinterred from a grave on the route from Kimberley and to be buried with military honours at Bloemfontein.
Bne. Courier: London report dated 23.4.1900 that "the body oŁ the late Lieutenant-Colonel CEE UMPHELBY ... has been disinterred by the order of Lord Roberts, and reburied at Bloemfontein".
Source References
Murray: Official Records of the Australian Contingents etc. page(s) 305 336
Wallace1: The Australians at the Boer War page(s) 136 139-140
Horner: The Gunners, A History of Australian Artillery page(s) 48
Price1: They Proved to all the Earth page(s) 60-1
Dooner: The Last Post page(s) 392
Source:# Oz-Boer contributed source number 120
NMCSA : National Memorials Council of South Africa
Reay: Australians at War - with the Australian Regiment page(s) 374
Source:# Oz-Boer contributed source number 445
Syd. Herald : Sydney Morning Herald newspaper date(s) 18.1 & 14.3.1900
HAGSOC: HAGSOC's South African Graves website
Source:# Oz-Boer contributed source number 609
B5179: National Archives of Australia series B5179 item A
Argus: Melbourne Argus newspaper date(s) 16.1.1900 page 6 & 8.8.1900 page 4
Goulburn Hd.: Goulburn Herald newspaper date(s) 14.3.1900
MaitlandWkly.: The Maitland Weekly newspaper date(s) 17.3.1900
Launc. Exam.: Launceston Examiner newspaper date(s) 26.4.1900 page 3
GeelongAdv.: Geelong Advertiser newspaper date(s) 28.3.1900 page 4
Australasian: Australasian newspaper date(s) 2.6 & 7.7.1900 page 26
Register: The Register newspaper South Australia 24.4.1900 page 5 & 18.5.1900 page 3
Bne. Courier: Brisbane Courier newspaper date(s) 24.4.1900 page 5
Source:# Oz-Boer contributed source number 1602 Darebin's Boer War page 76
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Please email me if you can contribute any other relevant information about this person (eg any other military service, where in Australia they came from or when/where they died). Also, if you find an external link broken.

Apology: For some time now it has been difficult to keep up with the newly available sources (especially the Trove newspaper site) plus the flow of contributions and queries. So I have been forced to prioritise maintenance and data entry over replying to correspondence. Nevertheless, your contributions are being added to the database and acknowledged on the contributions page and, although my replies are many months behind, I will attempt to get to them more often.
Colin Roe

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