QUEENS SOUTH AFRICA 1899, CLASPS CAPE COLONY, JOHANNESBURG, DIAMOND HILL, WITTEBERGEN ‘LIEUT RB SHERIDAN 17/ LCRS’ IN FITTED CASE
Richard Brinsley Sheridan of Frampton Court Dorset was born 22nd May 1874, educated at Harrow and Commissioned into the army in June 1896 and promoted Lieutenant in 1898. He was killed in action at the action at Modderfontien/Elands River on 17 September 1901.
A British post comprising 'C' squadron 17th (The Duke of Cambridge's Own) Lancers under Capt V.S. Sandeman with a 9 pdr gun and a maxim was located on the farm to deny the drifts across the Elands River to the commando of Asst Cmdt-Gen J.C. Smuts. Smuts, who’s force was almost out of ammunition and supplies, attacked the post on 17 September 1901; it was overwhelmed and the camp and wagons destroyed. The commando was driven off by the arrival of 'A' squadron 17th Lancers. British losses were 35 killed and 39 wounded, out of strength of 130 men, more men than they lost in the charge of the light brigade! The Boers, whose assaulting force numbered about 60 men, lost about 13 killed and wounded.
Denys Reitz, author of ‘Commando’, was one of the Boers in Smut’s Commando during the action and shot Lieutenant Sheridan and late ‘acquired’ his horse.
Excerpt from Reitz’s ‘Commando’, that tells of Sheridan’s death:
‘..Nicolas Swart by my side shot two other soldiers in quick succession, as they tried to join those in the rocks. There was a young lieutenant a few feet from me. I found out afterwards that his name was Sheridan, and they said he was a cousin of Winston Churchill. Twice he rose to -fire at me and missed, at his second attempt I grazed his temple, and he dropped out of sight, but only dazed, for in a moment he was up again, swaying unsteadily on his feet, with his face streaming with blood, but still trying to level his rifle at me. While I was hesitating what to do, Jack Borrius shot him through the brain…………….
Condition GVF, few minor EK’s, nice toning with faint ghost dates. In fitted leatherette case. Also entitled to 1901 SA clasp which was issued separately and never fitted; ears of upper clasp bent inwards.
An outstanding and rare KIA officer medal, to a very desirable regiment. Sheridan is mentioned a good few times, including a biography in Cam Simpson’s and Max Fahler’s outstanding 2019 book; ‘A Tight Corner – The battle of Modderfontein – 17 September 1901’.