The particularly fine South Africa Sekhukhune Campaign 1878 South Africa Medal 1877-1879, 1 Clasp: 1878, awarded to Trooper C. C. Perring, Diamond Fields Horse, later a Lieutenant with the Corps of Guides during Major-General Charles Warren's Expedition into Bechuanaland in 1884 to 1885, who became a successful Johannesburg printer and was affectionately known as 'Wopsie' on the cricket pitch - a clever ruse which likely scared the life out of opening batsmen when they discovered that he was a bowler with a 'lightning delivery!'
South Africa Medal 1877-1879, 1 Clasp: 1878; (TPR. C.C. PERRING. DIAMOND. FDS. HORSE.)
Condition: toned, Nearly Extremely Fine.
Charles Cambert Perring was born at Port Elizabeth, South Africa, on 7 March 1858. Schooled at St. Andrew's College, Grahamstown, Perring first took employment as a printer at Grocott's Penny Mail, Grahamstown, and subsequently worked for the Diamonds Field Advertiser at Kimberley. Aged 20 years, Perring served as a Trooper with the Diamond Fields Horse during the Sekhukhune Campaign of 1878.
Sekukuni's people were the Bapedi, a Basuto tribe at the centre of unrest in the Transvaal. From their natural rocky mountain fortress they were able to raid the surrounding country unchecked. However, a raid on a Chief under British protection determined the Commissioner to take action. In October 1878, a small mixed force of the 13th Foot with some Frontier Light Horse was sent to deal with the problem but found itself inadequately prepared for the task and withdrew with nothing accomplished. It was then decided to suspend operations for the time as the British were facing problems in Zululand and a year would pass before attentions would once again focus on the Seukuni. In all 87 medals with the clasp 1878 were issued to the Diamond Field’s Horse.
Perring later held a commission as Lieutenant in the Corps of Guides. He was also present during Major-General Charles Warren's Expedition into Bechuanaland from 1884-85.
Moving to Johannesburg in the pioneering days, Perring worked for printers W. E. Burmeister & Co. before taking the opportunity to establish his own printing business which ran successfully for many years. At around this time he met his future wife Agnes, a Scots-born Rand Pioneer, who came to South Africa in 1886 and the Rand in 1889 and opened the original millinery department branch of Harvey Greenacre's in President Street, Johannesburg. Joining the Wanderers' Club in 1889, Perrin displayed a love of cricket which stayed with him all his life:
'He was an exceptionally fast bowler. But he also interested himself in all other games and was a veritable statistician when it came to recalling individual performances. For some time, in later life, he was Chairman of the Transvaal Umpire's Association.'
As a mainstay of The Kimberley Cricket Club during the 1880's and a member of the 'Kimberley Stray Klips', Perring developed a somewhat fearsome reputation:
Charles C. Perring must also be set down as one of the acquisitions to the K.C.C. Fastest of fast bowlers, as well as straightest of the straight, it was a pleasure to play him when the pitch was in good order, but the batsmen preferred to be at the other end if the pitch was otherwise. Considering his pace he had a wonderfully easy action and could bowl all day if required. He was also a reliable batsman, and always made runs when they were most wanted.' (The History of South African Cricket, refers)
As well as displaying a passion for sport, Perring devoted himself to civic affairs in Johannesburg, becoming a founder member of the Rand Pioneers and later their Vice-Chairman. He moved his family to a particularly grand townhouse at 112 De Korte Street, Bramfontein, and served as a member of the Master Printers' Association and South African Printers' Sick Benefit Society for 30 years. Perring died on 5 November 1931 at Johannesburg and was buried the following day at Brixton Cemetery:
'A number of speeches were made at the graveside, and the service, which was conducted by the Rev. J. Gray, himself a pioneer, was a very impressive one.' Sold with a copied image of the recipient.