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 J. Corrie, Komgha

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anorakABO



Posts : 14
Join date : 2015-09-17

PostSubject: J. Corrie, Komgha   Fri Sep 18, 2015 6:13 am

Greetings all,

New member; ex-pat South African living in Australia. Thank you for welcoming me to your community. I'm here in the hope of solving a bit of a brick wall / family mystery. I have an existing thread on AngloBoerWar.com which hasn't garnered much attention.

My father's family arrived in South Africa around 1877, or 1878 from Ireland (according to my grandmother). They lived in, or near, a place called Kubusi or Koeboesie. He was purportedly in the employ of the Cape Government Railways. The timing coincides with the construction of the Stutterheim to East London railway. Later, with the discovery of gold in the Transvaal, the family moved to Kroonstad, in the Orange Free State. The timing coincides once more, as the Cape Government Railways started construction of the railway through OFS to Johannesburg around the same time.

I've done some research in the Cape Archives and turned up two documents. Both documents were addressed to J. Gordon Sprigg, Colonial Secretary, Cape Town. One is concerned with the non-receipt of rations at Komgha, the other is a first person account of the repatriation of livestock and killing of 5 rebels (with the assistance of some fingoes, or Mfengu).

In the document dated 06/04/1878 re: non-receipt of rations at Komgha, he signs his name as J. Corrie, Field-Commt. He mentions, as witnesses to the truth of what he has stated in this document, Major (Hans?) Moore and a Mr. Grant. In the document dated 14/05/1878 re: reporting patrol at Kubusie, he signs his name as J. Corrie, Captain. In this document he details how they followed some rebels, killed five and repatriated some livestock.

This second document is extremely important as it refers to a Lieut. Cowie, yet is signed by J. Corrie i.e. J. Corrie and James Cowie must be two different gentlemen.

I have found in the Frontier War Journal of Major John Crealock reference to a telegram from General Thesiger to the Cape Governer mentioning "From Komgha a patrol under Captain Corrie followed a party of rebels, recaptured all the stock taken and killed five". Which is a despatch about the second document, as listed above, for which I have Captain Corrie's first hand account (that which I could transcribe). He states:

The Honl
J. Gordon Sprigg
Col. Secretary
Cape Town

Komgha 14/5/78

Sir,

I have the honour to report for your information that I proceeded to the Kubusie on patrol on the night of the 11 inst. with 65 of the Komgha fingoes and of Lieut. Pullen’s fingoes in the morning on the 12th on the Hilmers farm in the Kubusie I found there two men had been slaughtered and two hamstrung and three others tied up in the bush, searching the bush came on several huts where the enemy was staying under the krantz following up the spoor of the Kaffirs higher up came, to where {?} Kaffirs had taken [refuge] in a cave in the Krantz and 4 boys also, it was in a very difficult place to get at, the Kaffirs defended [themselves] by throwing assegais and stones from {?} half {?} in the cave two tried to make [their] escape Lieut. Cowie shot and a fingo shot the other the four boy came out gave [themselves] up the others [called] out to {?} on that some of us [would] die [today], I placed some of the jingoes close on one side of the cave and took Lieut. Cowie and two fingoes with me, and climbed up the krantz till I got {opposite} the mouth of the cave within about 12 {?} and [as] they moved to throw [their] assegais I shot the three in the caves, we had several {try} {to} escape {?} succeeding getting the rest, the boys inform me that there {?} a lot more armed Kaffirs staying in the {?} lower down, I {asked” Lieut. Cowie to take the boys and the fingoes and {?} the bush, I took up a position on the near a Krantz with a few fingoes to keep the Kaffirs from escaping after {?} a little [while] a Kaffir came to the edge of the krantz and fired at{?} I shot him and he fell about 30 years down the krantz, several others made their escape {owing} to the bush being so large and the {?} of men being so small for the bush, on the information received from the boys I went to a bush up the Kubusie the remaining {?} daylight to where they stated the sheep and Kaffirs [were] I found the sheep in a [kraal] in the bush by the {?} had gone {?} we could get up to them, the country being so {?} we could not get up to them to return {?} {?} {?} 1 horse and 57 sheep to {Kumgha} I am totally {?} have the power as Commt is taken away from me I can only act over my own men as Capt. and I think there will be lots of [trouble] now the Kaffirs is [breaking] up in the [Perrie}, the boys stated that the {?} of men that had the sheep had come from the [Perrie} and that there was more down lower in the Kubusie that came out the country {being} so very rugged it is a difficult task to get them out of it.

I have the honour to be
Sir
Your most Humble Servant
J. Corrie
{Komgha]  {?}

Looking forward to your responses!
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90th

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Location : Melbourne, Australia

PostSubject: J.Corrie , Komgha    Fri Sep 18, 2015 8:58 am

Welcome anorakABO.
90TH
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: J. Corrie, Komgha   Fri Sep 18, 2015 9:19 am

Some ready information on James Cowie:
DEPOT KAB
SOURCE AG Collection
TYPE Photo
REFERENCE AG12502
DESCRIPTION Group of Kaffrarian Rifle Volunteers. Left to right
standing: FW Schermbrucker, formerly of the German Legion
1856 - 1857, W Warren, farmer, Kei Road, TRM Cole,
magistrate of King William's Town, G Gray, farmer, Komgha,
Mr Bryne, attorney, King William's Town, R Walker, merchant,
Port Elizabeth, G Broster, messenger of the court, King
William's Town and J Cowie, farmer, Komgha. Left to right
seated: J Sansom, farmer, Komgha, Doctor Egan, King
William's Town, TH Giddy, attorney, King William's Town, J
Walker, merchant, Port Elizabeth and J Lonsdale.
STARTING 1877
ENDING 1877
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Frank Allewell

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Location : Cape Town South Africa

PostSubject: Re: J. Corrie, Komgha   Fri Sep 18, 2015 9:21 am

Some further information on the family
DEPOT SAB
SOURCE URU
TYPE LEER
VOLUME_NO 53
SYSTEM 01
REFERENCE 1914
PART 1
DESCRIPTION INCREASE OF PENSION AWARDED TO WILLIAM CORRIE, MINOR SON OF THE LATE
J CORRIE.
STARTING 1911
ENDING 1911



Document 2 of 5
DEPOT SAB
SOURCE URU
TYPE LEER
VOLUME_NO 53
SYSTEM 01
REFERENCE 1914
PART 1
DESCRIPTION INCREASE OF PENSION AWARDED TO WILLIAM CORRIE, MINOR SON OF THE LATE
J CORRIE.
STARTING 1911
ENDING 1911
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90th

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PostSubject: J.Corrie , Komgha    Fri Sep 18, 2015 9:45 am

From Forsyth's Medal Roll ' The South African War Medal 1877-78-79 The Medal Roll
Komgha Fingo Levy
Captain J.Cowrie Medal with Clasp 1878
Lieutenant J.H.Cowie Medal with Clasp 1878

Kaffrarian Volunteers
Private J.H. Cowie medal with clasp 1877-78
Private R. Cowie medal with clasp 1877-78x ( x means returned to Woolwich Mint ) These are probably different people if we go by the spelling and the award .
90th
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anorakABO



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PostSubject: Re: J. Corrie, Komgha   Fri Sep 18, 2015 10:59 am

Greetings Frank,

I believe this is the photo referred to:
SOURCE AG Collection TYPE Photo REFERENCE AG12502

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PostSubject: Re: J. Corrie, Komgha   Fri Sep 18, 2015 11:09 am

Now that's a fine bunch of farmers Very Happy
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cam simpson



Posts : 90
Join date : 2014-10-10

PostSubject: Re: J. Corrie, Komgha   Fri Sep 18, 2015 11:41 am

This is what I have on Cowie but nothing on Corrie:

COWIE John. Born 27.12.21. Bricklayer c1850. Fort Beaufort Levy 1852. Farmer of Komgha, Cape Colony. Lieutenant, Kaffrarian Volunteers 18.11.72. Captain, Komgha Fingo Levy (No132) 20.4.78. Operations 1878. Field Commandant 1-9.4.78. Died at Mooiplats 19.4.1892.

COWIE John Henry. Born Cape Colony 14.11.1853. Private, Kaffrarian Volunteers, Ninth Frontier War (Gaika and Gaeleka) 1877-78. Lieutenant, Komgha Fingo Levy (No133) 26.3.78. Operations 1878. Sub Inspector, District No1, Cape Police 25.9.82. Bechuanaland (Langberg) Rebellion 1896/97. Anglo-Boer War; Lieutenant, Cape Police. Died 4.1.1928.

Cam.
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anorakABO



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PostSubject: Re: J. Corrie, Komgha   Fri Sep 18, 2015 6:03 pm

Hi Cam,

Based on the two letters, John Cowie b. 27/12/1821 would seem the most likely candidate i.e. the dates on the letter and stated rank. Do you suppose that John Cowie is the same Captain J. Cowrie as 90th found in Forsyth's Medal Roll?

I've uploaded the document for your consideration. He uses a very distinct "W" for words starting with "W", as in "11th inst. with 65" and "the enemy was staying" (Page 1). For words containing "w" it's different again, as in "lower down" and "escape owing to" (Page 2). The way he's written the "w" in "owing" is the best evidence, I think, that this may well be Capt J. Cowie making reference to Lieut. Cowie. Despite both names being written in such a radically different style between Page 1 and Page 3.

Once we draw that conclusion, it stands to reason that  the Captain Corrie mentioned in the dispatch from General Thesiger to the Cape Governer, which I found in the Frontier War Journal of Major John Crealock, refers to Captain J. Cowie of the Komgha Fingo Levy, as the attached letter is the first-hand account of that event.

I've found Capt. John Cowie on Geni.com, where it seems he's my fourth great grandfather's wife's husband's great niece's husband's brother's wife's mother's husband's uncle! So, a total stranger.  Shocked I've also found a profile for him on 1820 Settlers and I can't find, at this stage, any shared ancestry.

So, not my Corrie but nonetheless a very interesting sojourn!

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anorakABO



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PostSubject: Re: J. Corrie, Komgha   Fri Sep 18, 2015 6:16 pm

Thought I'd post this; a photo of John Cowie's grave at the Komga Anglican Church cemetery.

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cam simpson



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PostSubject: Re: J. Corrie, Komgha   Fri Sep 18, 2015 6:31 pm

Its the same man that 90th Identified and Captain John Cowie referring to Lieutenant Cowie. Whilst he was known as 'Captain Cowie' in general circles he was also a Commandant in the Military arena. The Cowie's were well represented in the Eastern Cape Military unit.

Cam.
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anorakABO



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PostSubject: Re: J. Corrie, Komgha   Fri Sep 18, 2015 6:33 pm

Cam,

Thank you so much for helping me identify him. Care to assist me with my Cape Government Railways Corrie? Very Happy
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cam simpson



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PostSubject: Re: J. Corrie, Komgha   Sat Sep 19, 2015 7:24 am

Thats getting a little bit out of my sphere of interest I'm afraid.
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anorakABO



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PostSubject: Re: J. Corrie, Komgha   Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:26 am

Cam,

No worries. I know that, at least in India, the military had some role to play in the railways, and railway expansion. Was that not the case in ZAR?
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