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.


Surname SPIERS
Given Name(s) or Initial(s) Harry
Regimental Number 1016
Unit Name 2nd New South Wales Mounted Rifles
Extracts and Comments
(from Sources as shown)

Murray: died 20.2.1902
Source:# 34 died at Pretoria aged 20 born in Crookwell? NSW.
Source:# 103 War Memorial Goulburn NSW.
B5204: 'C'Sqn. tailor born 1881 ?Cronulla NSW Queen's South Africa Medal (SA01 & SA02).
URL2: died of enteric at Pretoria.
URL3: at the laying of the foundation stone for the Soldiers' Memorial in Gouburn NSW in 4.1903, the Chairman of the Memorial Committee, Alderman KNOWLMAN, said "it was his duty that morning to say a few words. They could all cast their memory back to 11.1899 when war was declared. ... They could remember how men were sent from Australia to fight and several from Goulburn went in the first contingent. Not only that, but when French made his great ride to Kimberley he was accompanied by Goulburn men. Trooper MILLER was one of those. Unfortunately, some who were sent from Goulburn did not come back, and though the majority returned, some never saw again their native shore, but left their bones to bleach on the African veldt. Among those slain were Troopers BARKER, TOWNS and WILSON, belonging to Goulburn itself. Trooper BARKER's mother was present there that day. Though these were the only ones from Goulburn itself, there were also Troopers SPIERS from Crookwell, MURRAY from Gunning and AYRE from Bungonia. Altogether the district sent some 100 troopers.
URL4: CROOKWELL, Wednesday [18.3.1903]. A monument to the memory of H SPIERS, who died in South Africa during the war, will be unveiled next Saturday.
URL5: The grim horrors of war and the sadness which it occasions in many homes for the loss of relatives near and dear to us has been vividly brought home to us by the death of Private Harry SPIERS, No. 1016, who was serving his country and his King in South Africa in the Second New South Wales Mounted Rifles. The sad occurrence took place on 20th ultimo [2.1902] at Pretoria, the once capital of the Transvaal, the cause of death being the much-dreaded enteric fever, which has accounted for so many precious lives during the past couple of years in South Africa. The district deeply mourns the death of its young and gallant soldier, and extends the greatest sympathy to the sorrow stricken and bereaved parents. Young SPIERS was a really strapping young man, of splendid physique and abnormal powers of endurance. Moreover, he was intellectually a promising young man, and those who have followed his correspondence which has from time to time appeared in these columns, could not but be struck with the intelligence of his matter and the keen interest evinced in the work he was so nobly and heroically performing. This is our first contribution of blood given from from here in the cause of the British Empire in South Africa, although many who were either born or were reared here, or who had lived many years in the district are among those who have gone to the front at the call of duty. We well remember the night that young SPIERS was met at a social evening prior to his departure by the townsfolk and wished a safe return, and the sterling remarks of that young volunteer, who said he would do his duty and hoped that his conduct at the front would always be such that they would have no cause to be ashamed of their townsman and mate. His despatches show that he had seen some hard times and bhd been in some tight corners, but had always come out scathless from the storm of the enemy's bullets which had so often encompassed them. It was, however, for the deadly malady, enteric fever, to do what the Boer's bullets had failed in accomplishing. Although he regretted deeply parting with his brave son, yet Mr. SPIERS said that evening (the night of the social) was the proudest moment of his life, as he was then witnessing with pride that his own flesh and blood was about to to take the father's place in fighting for old England. Mr. SPIERS saw service in the Zulu war, and is the proud possessor of a medal won in the campaign. Our chief object, in penning these lines, besides echoing the feelings of sympathy that pervade the district for tho bereaved family, is to draw attention to the fact that the people should not fail to show, in some substantial form, their appreciation of the young life that has been thus sacrificed in the performance of his duty, and to do something that would perpetuate his memory. To this end we would suggest that a subscription list be opened for the purpose of raising funds wherewith to erect a tablet or a memorial in some form to be deposited in a place to be hereafter decided upon. The idea, we believe, would be warmly supported, and it only wants some person or public body to initiate the movement. It is the least that can be done, and would tend in a great measure to alleviate the anguish of the bereaved parents.
URL6: Private Harry SPEIRS, of the 2nd New South Wales Mounted Rifles, has died of enteric fever at Pretoria. Private William John DUNSTAN, of the 5th Western Australian Contingent, has died of enteric fever at the same city.
Source References
Murray: Official Records of the Australian Contingents etc. page(s) 120 204
Source:# Oz-Boer contributed source number 34
Source:# Oz-Boer contributed source number 103
B5204: National Archives of Australia series B5204
Barrier Miner: Barrrier Miner newspaper date(s) 27.2.1902
Goulburn Hd.: Goulburn Herald newspaper date(s) 29.4.1903
Syd. Herald : Sydney Morning Herald newspaper date(s) 19.3.1903
CrookwGz.: Crookwell Gazette newspaper (NSW) date(s) 4.3.1902
SconeAd.: Scone Advocate newspaper date(s) 28.2.1902
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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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