Sudan Pair to The Lan Fus, POW And Later Wounded In The Boer War
Queens Sudan Medal 5298 PTE W RATHBONE 2/LAN FUS , Khedives Sudan Medal bar Khartoum 5298 PTE W RATHBONE 2ND L F
William Whittle Rathbone a 20 year old labourer from Bolton enlisted into the Lancashire Fusiliers in 1895 , he served in the Sudan and in the Boer War with the Lanc Fus detachment of the 5th Mounted infantry and was taken Prisoner at Vryheid on the 11th of December 1900 and was slightly wounded at the defence of Itala Fort on the 26th of October 1901
The Mounted Infantry of the Lancashire Fusiliers formed part of the garrison of Vryheid when that town was attacked on 10th-11th December 1900. After very severe fighting the enemy was driven off with a loss of 100 killed and wounded. The men of the battalion had about 10 casualties
At Fort Itala on 26th September 1901 (see 2nd Royal Lancaster) the 2nd Lancashire Fusiliers were represented in the little force which made one of the finest stands recorded in the campaign. One man of the battalion was killed and 5 wounded
During the second Boer incursion into Natal Colony, Cmdt-Gen L. Botha, laagered at Babanango, sent Asst Cmdt-Gen C. Botha on 25 September 1901 with some 1,400 burghers to storm the fortified British post at Itala on the eastern slopes of Itala Mountain. It was occupied by 300 men of the 5th division mounted infantry and two guns of the 69th battery Royal Field Artillery under the command of Maj A.J. Chapman, Royal Dublin Fusiliers. On receiving warning of the Boer advance, the peak of Itala Mountain was manned by 80 mounted infantrymen under Lt B.P. Lefroy, 1st The Royal Dublin Fusiliers, and Lt H.R. Kane, 1st The Prince of Wales's Volunteers (South Lancashire) regiment. At midnight, Botha first attacked the detachment on the summit which put up stout resistance and fought for over an hour before it was overwhelmed. The garrison thus had time to prepare for an attack which came about 2 am and for the next two hours repeated Boer rushes were repulsed. During the day, the burghers maintained a sporadic but accurate fire on the British defences from their positions on the mountain above the camp. Faced with this resistance, Botha withdrew his burghers that evening and Chapman, having provided for the wounded, withdrew from the camp at midnight retiring to his base at Nkandla. The British lost 22 killed, including Kane, and 59 wounded. Driver F.G. Bradley, 69th battery Royal Field Artillery, was awarded the Victoria Cross for carrying a wounded soldier to safety under heavy fire. Boer losses were 15 killed, 40 wounded and one missing; among the dead were Cmdt J.S.F. Blignaut, Swaziland Police, and Capt P.J. Scholz, Vryheid Commando scout corps.
Medals are dark toned VF condition