An interesting Queen’s South Africa Medal 1899-1902, 5 Clasps: Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal, South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902, awarded to Boy later Sergeant C. Gillespie, 1st Battalion, Scottish Rifles - the Cameronians, who having arrived in South Africa for service during the Boer War as a Boy Soldier in November 1918, entered adult service a month later, and in June 1903 became a Bandsman before deserting the army in September 1906, and going to work as a sailor. He was not heard of again till the Great War, when he re-enlis

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Product ID: CMA/25734
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An interesting Queen’s South Africa Medal 1899-1902, 5 Clasps: Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal, South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902, awarded to Boy later Sergeant C. Gillespie, 1st Battalion, Scottish Rifles - the Cameronians, who having arrived in South Africa for service during the Boer War as a Boy Soldier in November 1918, entered adult service a month later, and in June 1903 became a Bandsman before deserting the army in September 1906, and going to work as a sailor. He was not heard of again till the Great War, when he re-enlisted in June 1916 and was promptly arrested and imprisoned. Due for trial, this was dispensed with an he then rejoined his old regiment, and saw service with the 9th Service Battalion, Scottish Rifles, out on the Western Front from February 1917, before being wounded in action by a gunshot wound to his thigh during the Battle of Arras. Having been discharged medically unfit in August 1917, he later enlisted as a Sergeant with the Chinese Labour Corps in July 1919.

Queen’s South Africa Medal 1899-1902, 5 Clasps: Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal, South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902; (5679 BOY C. GILLESPIE. SCOTTISH RIFLES)

Condition: Good Very Fine.

Charles Gillespie was born in Aldershot, Hampshire, and when aged 14, joined the British Army at London on 12th December 1896 as a Boy (No.5679) with the Scottish Rifles - the Cameronians. Posted to the 1st Battalion, with the outbreak of the Boer War, he embarked for South Africa on 27th November 1900, and then saw service on operations in the Cape Colony, the Orange Free State, and the Transvaal. Having attained the age of 18 on 12th December 1900, Gillespie was reclassified as a Bandsman on 4th June 1903, and was then posted home from South Africa on 28th May 1904.

Gillespie deserted on 17th September 1906, and was not heard from again till the outbreak of the Great War, he having worked as a sailor during the intervening period. With the outbreak of the war, Gillespie then ‘rejoined from desertion’ on 27th June 1916, and was promptly arrested. Imprisoned, he was due for trial on 2nd July 1916, however the trial was dispensed with, with effect from 28th June 1916, and he was ‘held to serve on original attestation and to suffer the same deductions and forfeitures of pay as if he had been convicted by District Court Martial’.

As such Gillespie then resumed his original service, being posted to the 3rd Battalion, Scottish Rifles on 12th July 1916, and appointed to Lance Corporal on 1st August 1916, and appointed Acting Corporal on 10th August 1916, before being appointed Acting Sergeant on 25th September 1916. Gillespie was then posted out to the Western Front for service with the 9th Service Battalion, Scottish Rifles from 5th February 1917, and he then reverted to Private on 8th February 1917. Promoted to Sergeant on 17th March 1917, he was then posted home to the Depot on 20th May 1917, having been wounded in action during the Battle of Arras, when he received a gunshot wound to his thigh. Gillespie was discharged no longer fit for war service on 21st August 1917.

Gillespie who had gone to work as a chauffeur, subsequently enlisted into the British Army as a Sergeant (No.714309) with the Chinese Labour Corps on 31st July 1919, which unit was then employed on body recovery and battlefield clearance in the aftermath of the war. He is believed to have been discharged in 1920.