Evandale and District Soldiers who fought in the Boer War

Evandale Boer War Memorial – High Street Evandale


The EHS has commenced a long-term project to record the contribution of men and women from the Evandale District who have fought in the various wars and conflicts which Australia has been involved in during the last 120 or so years. The project has commenced with one of our members conducting extensive research into Evandale’s contribution to the Boer War 1899-1902. While the research has been extensive it is possible that some of the details in the accompanying spreadsheet may contain errors. As explained below, the criteria for inclusion of names on the list is somewhat flexible. The Society has agreed to adopt a broad approach to the inclusion of names. Even so, some names may have been inadvertently omitted. The Society welcomes feedback and input from the community concerning errors and omissions. It is hoped that at some time in the future the names will be recorded on a suitable Roll of Honour display.


Prior to 1901 those who enlisted were registered by the Tasmanian government. After Federation the federal government were responsible for all men enlisting in the Boer War forces. The records prior to Federation are very sparse. There does not appear to be any collection of enlistment forms. The Commonwealth records are more detailed.

Rationale for inclusion:

The following words from the Australian War Memorial are pertinent to our task in hand. https://www.awm.gov.au/research/guide/honour-board The criteria used for inclusion of names on an honour board were determined by those creating the board and can vary. For example, the board may only include those who were born in the town, those who enlisted in the town, those who were living or working in the town when they enlisted or veterans who became associated with the area after the war when the honour board was being created. Some honour boards include all those who served and others only list those who died in the war. In some cases an individual may appear on more than one honour board.

There are two Boer War soldiers, who died in South Africa, and have been recognized on the Evandale Boer War memorial. I believe we should make a determined effort to include others from the area who also served on that front. As there is not a consistent detailed register of the men joining up prior to Federation, we are relying on a number of sources to recreate a document of support for each man. I have found that many men are described as being connected to ‘Evandale’. To use birth in the old Evandale municipal area as a guiding principle for recognition is an impossible criterion to apply. The birth registrations for many men cannot be found. Maybe their births were not registered at all or maybe they were one of the many male infants who were not allocated a first name on the registration document when it was lodged. Given that one of the men whose name is inscribed on the Evandale Boer War memorial was not born in Evandale, or may not have lived there, I would prefer us to be gracious and put forward names of Boer War soldiers who have been connected to the area. They may have been born here, lived here at the time of enlistment or for a considerable time thereafter.


The Remarks column on spreadsheet is not meant to be a comprehensive summary of achievements. Refer to NC Smith for First Tasmanian Contingent and Tasmanian Bushmen Contingent. Boer War database has numerous sources.

Sources used:

 ‘Australians in the Boer War Oz-Boer Database Project’ http://members.pcug.org.au/~croe/ozb/oz_boer0.htm Bufton, J Tasmanians in the Transvaal War, 1905 Libraries Tasmania, ‘Tasmanian Names Index’, https://www.libraries.tas.gov.au/how-to/Pages/Names-Index-content.aspx Murray, P L, Official records of the Australian military contingents to the war in South Africa 1899-1902. https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C1416478 National Archives of Australia, https://www.naa.gov.au/search?search_api_fulltext=boer+war Louis, Lyn to Kim Polley, many notes on Boer War held at Evandale History Society. Smith, N C, First Tasmanian Contingent – Boer War 1899-1902, Mostly Unsung Military History Research and Publications, Victoria, 2002 Smith, N C, Tasmanian Bushmen Contingent – Boer War 1899-1902, Mostly Unsung Military History Research and Publications, Victoria, 2004


From Neil Smith booklets Jo Johannesburg (medal clasp for actions in that area) DH Diamond Hill Bel Belfast medal clasp for early action in that area CC Cape Colony OFS Orange Free State Tvl Transvaal Rh Rhodesia (medal clasp) 01 South Africa O1. Also 02 (clasp) POW Prisoner of War

From Boer War website:

 http://members.pcug.org.au/~croe/ozb/oz_boer0.htm Source:#445 Mary-Anne Warner’s transcriptions of Boer War related items published in the Sydney Morning Herald during March 1900: The following Tasmanians were reported missing after the engagement at Achtertang in North Cape Colony on 5.3.1900 – Corporal JH WHITWLAY, Launceston; Private W DUCIE, Evandale; Private A The following members of the Tasmanian Defence Force have been selected by the Federal Defence authorities to represent this State at the Coronation in London in June next [1902] – Sergt. HJ COX (Launceston), 1st Tasmanian Contingent; Corpl. F TOLMIE, (Evandale), 1st Tasmanian Bushmen; Private BROWN, 1st Imperial Contingent; Private C HYNES (Ulverstone), 1st Tasmanian Contingent; Private HH FACY (Bellerive), 2nd Tasmanian Contingent; Private W DUCIE (Evandale), 1st Tasmanian Contingent. Both COX and TOLMIE went to the war as privates, and returned with promotions.

Information on Prisoners of War: ‘Missing and Wounded’, Examiner, 23 Mar 1900, p. 5. The cable received from Lord Roberts also reported as follows: Wounded slightly, Private V. Peers., Prisoner and slightly wounded, Major Cyril Cameron. Missing and unwounded, Privates C. Hynes, C. Brothers, A. Button, H. Morton, H. Swan, A. Gillies, J. Wright, W. Ducie, A. W. Dennis, and Corporal Whitelaw. [It is presumed that those missing and unwounded are prisoners of war, as Mrs Whitelaw received a telegram from the Premier yesterday, informing her that Colonel Hoad had notified her Corporal Whitelaw was a prisoner in the hands of the Boers, and unwounded. General satisfaction was expressed in the city when it was known that Mr Whitelaw had not met with any mishap, though a certain amount of regret was felt that he was held in custody.]