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 Caractacus Reliance Rathbone

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littlehand

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PostSubject: Caractacus Reliance Rathbone   Fri Feb 12, 2010 6:50 pm

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Caractacus Reliance Rathbone known as 'Crack' to the family, had a remarkable career in his own right. Born in 1854 in Zululand, he married in 1881 Caroline Magdaline Williams and farmed at 'Tiverton' in the District of Utrecht. In 1870 he went to the Diamond Fields with his brother-in-law John Seymour, and took up claims at Heilbron. After working these for six months he went to Dutoit's Pan in 1871 and then went to New Rush (later called Kimberley), selling out of his claims there in 1872. He then proceeded to Button's Gold Reef near Marabastad, before returning to his farm. He saw service throughout the Anglo-Zulu War 1879 as Lieutenant in Wood's Irregulars, under Sir Evelyn Wood, receiving the campaign medal and bar. In 1880 he served in Basutoland as a Lieutenant in Hanson's Troop, Transvaal Horse, and earned another medal and bar. He was Guide and Interpreter to Colonel Deane OC Natal Field Force in 1881 (First Anglo-Boer War), then transferred to Field Hospital as Officer-in-Charge and Interpreter to Native Stretcher Bearers, attached to Natal Field Force, under Surgeon-Major Babington. He was present at the actions at Ingogo Heights (9 February 1881) and Majuba (27 February 1881). In 1882 he went to Lower Umzimkulu and planted cane on Ambleside (property owned by Archie Sinclair who had an ox power mill). In 1885 he moved to the Harding District, and then farmed near the Ingela in 1886. He became a transport rider to Barberton in 1888, discovered the only coal mine worth working on the Newcastle Town Lands and worked this for two years before returning to farming. He served as OC transport attached to Lord Dundonald's Mounted Brigade, under General Sir Redvers Buller, in the Transvaal, 1900 (Second Anglo-Boer War). He joined the Field Intelligence Department, under the Hon Captain Guest, serving to the end of the war in 1902, and receiving the Queen's medal, 2 bars, and the King's medal, 2 bars. Caractacus Reliance Rathbone had six sons and a daughter.

© R Dixon-Smith 2007
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