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Zulu Dawn Lt Col Pulleine Lord Chelmsford assures us that there is no way the Zulu can get around us without our knowing. Col Durnford Zulu generals have a nasty habit of doing the unexpected It might be wise to picket the hills
 
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 Alexander Somerville

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ibatty



Posts : 3
Join date : 2012-08-19

Alexander Somerville Empty
PostSubject: Alexander Somerville   Alexander Somerville EmptySun Aug 19, 2012 2:05 pm

Hi all,

I am researching Alexander Somerville (a scot born 1852 or 1856) for a cemetery walk to be conducted in October. His headstone is inscribed "Ex Ashanti and Zulu war veteran."

He married Margaret Peterson (also a scot, born 1862) at Cape Town on 24 May 1881, and came to Victoria (AU) about 1883, where his occupation was listed as mason, then cook. He died in 1926 aged 74 years, at Ararat, Victoria.

Questions are:

Was he involved in the Zulu war?
If so, what was his part?
What would Margaret Peterson have been doing in South Africa? (Settler? Nurse? came with parents?)

Is there a list of units involved in the conflict?

regards,
Ian.
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90th

90th

Posts : 9984
Join date : 2009-04-07
Age : 63
Location : Melbourne, Australia

Alexander Somerville Empty
PostSubject: Alexander Somerville   Alexander Somerville EmptySun Aug 19, 2012 11:33 pm

Hi iBatty.
Welcome to the forum , I've had a look through Terry Sole's book ' For God , Queen & Colony ' which deals with the Colonial Units that were involved in the Zulu War of 1879 , didnt find anyone named Somerville . Thats not to say he wasnt there , he could have enlisted under an alias etc etc . The Medal Roll by D.R. Forsyth will also give the names of the Colonials and the Imperial Troops that were involved in the Zulu , Kaffir wars from 1877 - 78 - 79 .
Cheers 90th. Salute
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ibatty



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Join date : 2012-08-19

Alexander Somerville Empty
PostSubject: Re: Alexander Somerville   Alexander Somerville EmptyMon Aug 20, 2012 4:49 am

Thanks 90th,

Alexander Somerville was most likely recruited in Scotland, his birthplace is given as Edinburgh in some Australian docs I have, and if he took part in the 2nd Ashanti War (1873-1874), he would have been at least 17 and at most 21 years old at that time.

I must admit I am somewhat puzzled. The information on Alexander Somerville in the Australian birth and death registrations, does not tally with the information in the Scottish BDM, or 1861 Scottish Census. Things would make better sense if my "Alexander Somerville" was actually born "George Somerville".

regards, Ian.
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90th

90th

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Location : Melbourne, Australia

Alexander Somerville Empty
PostSubject: Alexander Somerville   Alexander Somerville EmptyMon Aug 20, 2012 1:12 pm

Hi Ian.
Just a stab in the dark but is there any chance your Alexander Somerville was born George Alexander Somerville ? . If so he could have used his middle name instead of his Christian name !.
Cheers 90th. Salute
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ibatty



Posts : 3
Join date : 2012-08-19

Alexander Somerville Empty
PostSubject: Re: Alexander Somerville   Alexander Somerville EmptyTue Aug 21, 2012 1:15 am

Hi 90th,

Anything is possible with first names :-) His daughter was registered as Hilda May Somerville, but was known as Annie.

I had the alternate name wrong and should have written "William" instead of "George." As far as I can figure at the moment, he could have been born 4th August 1852 as William Somerville to parents James Somerville and Mary Spence at Carnwath, Lanark.

Other possibilities (from 1861 Census) are:
Alexander Somerville born1851 Rutland Sq, Edinburgh, parents Alexander and Mary Somerville
Alex Somerville born 1852 Maryhill, Lanarkshire, parents Alex and Mary Somerville
Alexander Somerville born 1856 Edinburgh, Midlothian, parents James and Mary Somerville


regards, Ian
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