I have been researching the Second Anglo-Boer for over 25 years, before the internet and certainly before the digitisation of records that makes research relatively easy (if you know where to look!) and certainly quick.

Read my Guide to Researching Anglo-Boer War Soldiers.

I offer full research services from my website, you can pay using a secure server provided by Barclaycard.

For an in-depth view into a soldier's military career I write summaries of their service - this based upon the records available. Even if records a missing or scant it is somewhat surprising what can be gleaned from the evidence; this is helped by my extensive library.

Please feel free to ask advice on what is the best service for you.


  1. I'm wondering if you have an avenue of research that might assist me to fill some gaps in my great grandfathers service, James Corr. He joined 1st Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in 1883, I have a copy of his attestation. I have no knowledge of where he served until shipping out to South Africa with 1 RIR in 1897. The confusing part is that 1 RIR relocated to India in spring 1899 but his eldest son (my great uncle) Robert James Corr was born in Ladysmith on September 26th 1899. A reference on a Leicestershire Regiment website indicates that he was attached to the 1 Leics (sergeant) during this period. However his QSA carries only the Natal clasp and not the Defence of Ladysmith clasp which creates even more ambiguity as I know that he didn't rejoin 1 RIR in India until spring/summer 1900. He finally left the army in 1904 but aged 48 rejoined in 1916 as permanent staff (CQMS) to an RIR reserve battalion in WW1 although he didn't serve overseas and was awarded a Silver Badge when medically discharged with neurasthenia in 1918. I would dearly like to fill the gaps of his service, particularly those interesting yet ambiguous few months between September 1899 to spring 1900. Thank you.

  2. Hello Damon

    Thanks for your post.

    To find out the locations of 1RIR from 1883-1897 try the Victorian Wars Forum (, there are some very knowledgeable folk on there.

    With regards to his whereabouts in 1900, when war broke out in October 1899 and the Leicesters moved north to Dundee your great grandfather did not go with them. He may have been attached to fill a gap in numbers or perhaps as an instructor - signalling, musketry or the like. When war broke out the Leicesters decided they had enough of their own and left him behind to earn just the 'Natal' clasp. I suspect he was in Pietermaritzburg, a major army base in Natal, and stayed there missing out on the relief of Ladysmith campaign. Not every soldier got to fight, the rear echelon was very important to keep the fighting units functioning.

    It will be almost impossible to say what he was up to in this period without direct evidence, i.e. a letter or the like, as he was not with his regiment.

    Good luck with your research.

  3. Thanks for the reply Meurig and the tip for further research of the RIR. Someone else once suggested Pietermaritzburg to me as well and I discovered that there was something of an exodus from Ladysmith in that direction on September 24th 1899, but that's two days prior to my Uncle Bob's birth. I think it likely therefore that as Jane Corr would have been so close to labour on the 24th she would have been ill advised to travel but post-natal they may well have followed on.

    Thanks again


  4. I have noted that Matthew James (MJ) Jennings (my GGGrandfather's) AB war medals contain an 'ME' designation next to three of the four entries on you database.

    Does that mean that a complete allocation of his medals and clasps have been noted in a collection or noted for sale at some point in the past?

    I would like to determine the quality and quantity of the information available and whether it is for sale...?

    Des Jennings

  5. Hello Meurig I have recently discovered a damaged AngloZulu War medal issued to my great grandfather, Huibert Willem de Haas who acted as a guide to the British forces based in Utrecht where he resided since the late 1850’s. Apparently the medal was issued from Cape Town. How do I go about obtaining the service records for Huibert Willem de Haas. I surmise that the medal was damaged during the Anglo Boer war because his family would not have wanted to be accused of collaborating with the British at this time. Regards Mike

    1. Hello Mike, thanks for your query. There won't be formal military records for a civilian like your great grandfather. This book may help:
      or you could ask on this Facebook group:

      Good luck and compliments of the season!

    2. Hello Meurig, thanks so much for your response that I have only just seen. I will enquire whether the Johannesburg War Museum Library has a copy of “For God Queen and Colony”. Together with the recently discovered damaged Anglo-Zulu War medal, my late mother provided a few items of a dinner service that originated from her maternal, de Haas grandparents. A year or so ago I was emailed a copy of my maternal grandmother’s older sister’s memoirs which stated that the dinner service was a gift from Empress Eugenie who had stayed at the de Haas home in Utrecht during her pilgrimage to the site of her son’s death in 1880. I have read Ian Knight’s “With His Face To The Foe” about Prince Imperial. I have read your late father’s “Utrecht District and the Anglo-Zulu War, 1879” in the Military History Journal, June 2005 many times over trying to glean as much information as I can. Is your book on the Utrecht District still available? I am also reading everything I can get hold of on related references by John Laband and the late Jeff Guy.

    3. It is strange that the Anglo -Zulu War medal recipient Willem de Haas’s second youngest daughter’s son-in-law was the respected historian Jeff Butler who started out at Rhodes University Grahamstown and was later Emeritus Professor of History at Wesleyan University West Virginia, USA. His brother, Guy Butler was a long-standing Professor of English at Rhodes University who edited the illustrated commentary “The 1820 Settlers”.

    4. Hello Mike, fascinating family history you have and the links to the Butlers is a great thread.

      You are after my father's book, 'Boiling Cauldron'? It is available from Naval & Military at a knocked rate. Hopefully the postage is not too horrible.

  6. Thanks Meurig I am trying to source a copy of “Boiling Cauldron” that I think is available in SA. Travelling with Empress Eugenie on her pilgrimage to Zululand was Katherine Campbell the wife of Captain Campbell killed early on at the Battle of Hlobane. I would love to know if she also stayed with the de Haas family in Utrecht and attended the meeting which Empress Eugenie had with Bishop Colenso in Pietermaritzburg . Katherine Campbell’s mother’s maiden name is Ward as is my surname. I do believe that her mother’s brother is probably my three times great grandfather, but this would be strenuously denied. He purchased the second large diamond found in South Africa in 1869 which precipitated the diamond rush to the country. Kind regards.

    1. OK, Chapter Two books in Pinetown have a copy.