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On this day… 3 January

January 3, 2011
Australian troops marching to Fremantle to embark for the Boer War c. 1899

Troops marching across a bridge on their way to Fremantle to embark for the Boer War in South Africa c. 1899

On this day, 3 January 1872 John Alexander Nicol McLeod was born in Talbot Victoria.

John was an older brother of my great grandfather, Angus McLeod, who was also born in Talbot, Victoria on 7 September 1882.

John Alexander Nicol McLeod enlisted in Western Australia for the 1899-1902 South African (Boer) War.  His service number was 10, his rank was Lance-Corporal and he was enlisted in Unit 3 (Bushman’s) Contingent.  He is recorded in the nominal roll in the Australian War Memorial collection as John Alexander Nicholl McLeod.

My father had a very old leather ammunition belt/sash that he told us belonged to his great uncle who fought in the Boer War.  After my father died in 1976, my brother who was 10 years old when dad died, was allowed to play with this object.  My brother loved playing ‘wars’ and ‘soldiers’ and we had a 5 acre orchard that he could run around in warring and soldiering to his hearts content.  I don’t know what happened to the item, which must have been part of John Alexander Nicol’s uniform, but I can guess.

The War Memorial records do not record him as having died in the war, but John was listed as deceased in his father’s probate documents after his father, Alexander Grant McLeod died on 21 November 1916.

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