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 Joseph Forsyth Ingram

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Brett Hendey

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PostSubject: Joseph Forsyth Ingram   Sat Nov 17, 2012 8:45 am

Having recently gone through a down-sizing in accommodation, my depleted library cannot help in my latest quest, so I am appealing for help here.

I have acquired the Queen's South Africa Medal to Joseph Forsyth Ingram, but his King's SA is missing. It now transpires that a second medal, the one for service in the Zulu War, is also missing. Ingram's medal entitlements are recorded in his entry in the 1906 Natal Who's Who.

Has anyone come across this name in their Zulu War research? Any assistance will be gratefully received.

Brett
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John

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PostSubject: Re: Joseph Forsyth Ingram   Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:05 am

Brett. Is this your chap..

"JOSEPH FORSYTH INGRAM, better known, perhaps, by his nom-de-plume of "ODEAN," was born at Belfast, on the 7th of October, 1858. Shortly after his birth his family migrated to Scotland, where the first nine years of the future traveller's life were spent.
In 1864-5 financial ruin, owing to the American War crisis, overtook the Ingram family, and the father, Mr. DANIEL INGRAM, who appears to have been a man of courage and determination, resolved to emigrate, and endeavour to build up his fortunes in a new land, where wider scope and more desperate chances were within reach of those who had the courage to face them.
After wavering for some time in the selection of a future field, the die was cast in favour of South Africa. Chartering a brigantine named the "Lone Star," the family, which consisted of four daughters, three sons, the father, mother, and Mr. THOMAS DAWSON, a son-in-law, set out. At this period such an undertaking required a considerable amount of self-reliance, for the voyage to South Africa meant six months on the high seas. After an adventurous time, during which the vessel was shattered by storms and well-nigh overwhelmed, they arrived in Natal, and settled in the vicinity of Durban.
The financial depression, however, had become world-wide, and Natal was no exception to other lands. Stagnation, poverty, and hopelessness were the portions even of old-established colonists. With his resources crippled by losses at sea, and in a land absolutely without scope of any description, it is not to be wondered at that after four years’ manful struggle the father’s health gave way and he succumbed, leaving his family almost unprovided for on a thirty-acre farm near the Little Umhlanga River, in County Victoria.
A volume might well be written on the struggles of this period, for, as we have said, the bulk of the colonists were poverty-stricken and almost as helpless as the widow and her family. Owing to her indomitable courage and ceaseless devotion to her charge, a few years were tided over, when the subject of this sketch, then a mere lad, went out to seek his own living, and contribute, as much as possible, towards the upkeep of the home.
After four years of country store life at Blackburn, a hamlet in the same county, he commenced his career of adventure, which speedily led him, prior to the Zulu War, into the heart of Zululand, where he became a favourite with the people. Now as a trader, now as a landscape artist, and anon as a newspaper correspondent, he won his way into almost every corner of South Africa, visited and learned the languages of many tribes, and by his published descriptions served to open up avenues of traffic to the cramped and poverty-stricken traders of the Portuguese and English settlements.
As his age increased, so did his field of labour, and after serving through the Zulu and Boer Wars—obtaining a medal for the former—we find him, in 1882, deep in Pondoland. Having described the Umzimvubu (now known as the St. John’s River), and interviewed the King and Chiefs in successful endeavours to ensure security to traders, he returned to Natal, and setting out for Swaziland, spent over fifteen months at the Great Place of King Umbandine. During this period the Boers were most energetic in their endeavours to secure territorial rights in that country.
The presence of an English correspondent at the King’s Kraal was irksome to them, and on more than one occasion Mr. INGRAM’S life was in considerable danger at the hands of the filibusters and adventurers of the frontiers. Owing to the friendliness of the nation, he escaped harm, and succeeded in reporting the state of the affairs to the Commissioner (Col. CARDEW), as he had been requested to do. The King at the same time, through him appealed to the British Government for help—an appeal which, by the way, has only lately been, in a measure, attended to, and that after repeated petitions.
Prior to his visit to Swaziland but little was authoritatively known of the physical features of the country, and the habits and customs of the brave and ingenious people who inhabit it. Full accounts of his explorations and successes appeared in the columns of the Natal Mercury, and also in many other journals throughout British South Africa, England, and America.
In the light of subsequent events, every line in these valuable contributions to the knowledge of the wilder parts of South Africa has been proved to be most correct and reliable, while the effect of his life and example on the hordes of semi-hostile savages tended in no small measure to establish the good feeling now existent between the black and white races of the country.
Returning from Swaziland to Natal, Mr. INGRAM made his first journey up the East Coast as far as Delagoa Bay. A few months later he set out for the far East, and in the course of his journeys through Portuguese Africa succeeded in casting much light on many hitherto but little known regions.
Everywhere it was his custom, acquired, probably, through a close boyish friendship with the late Mr. THOMAS BAINES, F.R.G.S., to endeavour to secure the goodwill of the native chiefs and tribes, who treated him, almost invariably, with distinguished kindness. Alone and unaided, financially or otherwise, Mr. INGRAM travelled along the Zambesi, worked his way inland of Mozambique, and traversed wide stretches of fever-swept and lonely territories, such as Manicaland and the, as yet, almost unheard-of Cheringoma district.
Day by day the results of his observations and researches are being given to the world, thereby serving the true purpose of exploration in assisting in the development of some of the darkest and less trodden parts of South Eastern Africa. During this journey, which extended over a twelvemonth, he suffered shipwreck twice, and endured many hardships. Returning to Natal he found that, owing to the kindness of Sir JOHN ROBINSON, K.C.M.G., R. I. FINNEMORE, Esq., and Colonel BOWKER, he had been elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.
After several years of travel, interspersed with intervals of town journalism, he visited England and published his first work, “The Land of Gold,
Diamonds, and Ivory,” which, as a handbook to South Africa, has met with a first-class reception. After twelve months in England, he returned to South Africa as the representative of an influential London company of exploration, whose purpose was the acquisition of concessions in the Umzila country. Owing, however, to the unfortunate Anglo-Portuguese squabble, which particularly affected this country, he was compelled to abandon the enterprise, and, turning his attention once more to journalism, he took up the editorial duties of a daily paper in Johannesburg. After twelve months of this life Mr. INGRAM’S health gave way, consequent on the recurrence of malarial fever, and he was forced to seek the milder and more congenial climate of Natal.
Not content to remain idle even in ill-health, he set out on a pioneering trip to the gold regions of Zululand. After over a year’s determined work, he succeeded in attracting public attention to the auriferous reefs in the country, where machinery is now being erected. Should this industry develop, as there is every reason to believe it will, Mr. INGRAM must be regarded as one of the pioneers to whose efforts the whole Colony will be indebted. Returning to Pietermaritzburg, the Capital of Natal, the author settled down to literary pursuits for some few months, and, in due course, produced his second work, “The Story of a Gold Concession.” This volume was, like its predecessor, well received by the South African Press, and roused considerable interest, for in it a new and delightful field of literature was opened up by the production, in quaint idiom, of a series of native legends, many of which are calculated to be of permanent interest to the anthropological student.
In a measure this work has been continued in the present volume: In his poetry, which for the most part was written in camp, by the wayside, or on canoe-board, is reflected the life which the traveller and settler in Africa is called upon to lead. In the poem entitled “The Colonist” the reader obtains a peep behind the scenes of the early life of the poet.
In “The Traveller’s Return,” all who have experienced the dangers of travel, especially in wild lands, will accord a ready sympathy to the wanderer, who, while glorying in his safe return, yet looks back with longing regret to the days that are past, and the dangers that have been overcome. The descriptive poems are, in every sense of the word, a true reflex of Nature, as seen by the author under circumstances as peculiar as can well be imagined.
In his ethical pieces, deep thought, insight into life, and philosophical reasoning of no mean order can be traced; and it is not unlikely that it is in this direction, more than in his descriptive work, that the subject of this notice may achieve a lasting reputation..
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Brett Hendey

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PostSubject: Re: Joseph Forsyth Ingram   Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:14 am

John

I am astounded! There seems to be no doubt that they are one and the same. I had no idea that "my" man had such a colourful and illustrious life! I am immensely grateful to you for providing this information.

The article you have reproduced seems to have been written about 1890 and it is in the early 1890's that my record of Joseph Forsyth Ingram begins. Reports on him in the Pietermaritzburg repository of the South African National Archives include one on the Zululand gold fields and he was later employed to write the official handbook of the Colony of Natal. His entry in the 1906 Natal Who's Who records that he was a FRGS.

During the Boer War he served first in Murray's Scouts and then as a Lieutenant (Interpreter) in the Field Intelligence Department. After the war, he lead a quieter life in government service in various capacities, including as Magistrate. He was Chief Leader of the Weenen Militia Reserves, so kept his links with the military as well. Records of him stop in 1909, except for his Death Notice in 1923. This notice usually includes date and place of birth, so that should provide a conclusive link to your article.

I have requested copies of most the Archives' files so in due course I will be able to add more details of Ingram's life for the period after your article ends.

I would be grateful if you would tell me the source of your article, so it can be properly acknowledged in my files.

Thank you again.

Regards
Brett
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90th

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PostSubject: Joseph Forsyth Ingram    Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:36 am

Hi Brett / John
Do either of you know which unit Ingram was part of during the AZW ?.
Cheers 90th.
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John

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PostSubject: Re: Joseph Forsyth Ingram   Sat Nov 17, 2012 1:05 pm

Brett. Click on link below.

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PostSubject: Re: Joseph Forsyth Ingram   Sat Nov 17, 2012 1:22 pm

John

Many thanks for the link. The Tatham Art Gallery is a 30 minute drive from where I live, so you have given me a second big surprise today!

Regards
Brett
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PostSubject: Re: Joseph Forsyth Ingram   Sat Nov 17, 2012 1:29 pm

90th

I do not know which unit Ingram served in during the Zulu War but, given the information that John provided, it is likely to have been a Colonial one. I hope that his record has survived and isn't lost for all time amongst those pulped in WWI.

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Brett
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old historian2

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PostSubject: Re: Joseph Forsyth Ingram   Sat Nov 17, 2012 3:32 pm

John, good work mate. Very interesting read. And it looks like you made Brett's day, 30 mins down the road. Who's what he will find out about this chap. Another one brought to light Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Joseph Forsyth Ingram   Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:03 pm

Portrait of Joseph Ingram.
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PostSubject: Re: Joseph Forsyth Ingram   Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:09 pm

Brett. Might be of some interest to you...

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PostSubject: Re: Joseph Forsyth Ingram   Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:13 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Joseph Forsyth Ingram   Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:14 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Joseph Forsyth Ingram   Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:15 pm

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90th

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PostSubject: Joseph Forsyth Ingram    Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:37 pm

Hi Guys .
Well done , fast and efficient work . Excellent work those men !.
90th.
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Brett Hendey

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PostSubject: Re: Joseph Forsyth Ingram   Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:18 am

It is less than a day since I posted the appeal for information on Ingram and the response from members of this forum has exceeded expectation.

When Ingram's QSA was advertised on a militaria auction, my interest was aroused by the Natal campaign battle clasps and the unit to which Ingram belonged - the Field Intelligence Department. A friend in the UK discovered that Ingram had first served in Murray's Scouts, a small unit of local volunteers of particular interest to me. The medal became a "must have" and, although it was expensive (450 gbp), it was worth every penny to me. Since then, everything that has emerged about Ingram has made the purchase seem cheap at that price. I can now look forward to collecting even more information about the man, sorting it all into order and writing it into the biography of a man who played a part in the development of Colonial Natal. This is why I collect medals.

Thanks again to all who have contributed to this thread.

Regards
Brett

PS If anyone should come across the whereabouts or other information on Ingram's Zulu War medal, I would be pleased to hear from them.
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90th

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PostSubject: Joseph Forsyth Ingram   Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:19 am

Hi Brett.
I didnt find J.F.Ingram in Terry Sole's book '' For God , Queen & Colony '' . I'll now check the Forsyth Roll Book .
Cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Joseph Forsyth Ingram   Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:18 am

Hi Brett.
Just went through the Forsyth Roll and only found one J. Ingram , Durban Vltr Artillery , Corporal , No Clasp Medal , but I dont know if this is your man .
Cheers 90th. You need to study mo
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PostSubject: Re: Joseph Forsyth Ingram   Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:52 pm

90th

This was also suggested by a friend in the UK. Durban is in the right sort of area for the Ingram family at that time in their history, so I think I will record it as the "probable" medal awarded to Joseph. A local expert on everything to do with the artillery may know of regimental records that still exist, so I will be talking to him when he returns from a visit to Johannesburg.

Thanks for taking an interest.

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Brett
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PostSubject: Re: Joseph Forsyth Ingram   Sun Nov 18, 2012 4:02 pm

In one of the book links posted by Littlehand, there is a photo of an Artillery and infantry volunteer unit.
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PostSubject: Re: Joseph Forsyth Ingram   Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:08 pm

Hi Impi

Thank you for pointing out the artillerymen picture. Their uniforms look to be the right vintage for the Zulu War and Ingram may well have chosen that pictire because it was "his" unit. I am sure that the local artillery expert will recognise the unit and I hope it will turn out to be the Durban Volunteer Artillery.

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Brett
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PostSubject: Re: Joseph Forsyth Ingram   Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:36 pm

That aside. There some very good photos in those books, that might be of interest to some.
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PostSubject: Re: Joseph Forsyth Ingram   Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:07 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Joseph Forsyth Ingram   Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:58 pm

OH. Do you know if he had been on board this ship.
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PostSubject: Re: Joseph Forsyth Ingram   Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:44 am

I have only an incomplete list of Forsyth's paintings and they are a curious choice of subjects. There are those like the wreck of the 'Minerva' that are of significant events in Natal's history, others that show places that he explored (e.g. Manicaland in what is now Zimbabwe), as well as events he might have witnessed (e.g. buffalo in the Umbilo River, which now lost in the city of Durban).

The 'Minerva' was a ship from London that brought immigrants to Natal and it was wrecked on its arrival. Ingram and his family came to Natal on a similar ship nearly 20 years later, but they landed safely.

Brett
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