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28361 Corporal
Royal Engineers

Lieutenant Colonel Edward De Santis. 2005.


Photograph courtesy of Lorian Edwards

George Edward Mullins was born in the Town of Greenwich, in the County of Kent, in May of 1873 [2]. He was the 5th child and the 4th son of Frederick and Sarah Mullins. Both Frederick and Sarah Mullins were from Clapham, Surrey. According to the 1881 British Census, at age 53 Frederick Mullins was 10 years older than his wife Sarah.

The 1881 British Census shows the Mullins family living at 32 Bedford Place in Greenwich, Surrey. The census indicates that besides George Edward, who was 7 years old at the time, Frederick and Sarah also had a son Frederick F. (born 1864), a son Frank R. (born 1866), a son Harry F. (born 1868), a daughter Eliza A. (born 1871), another daughter Nellie L. (born 1876) and a 9-month old infant daughter named Maude C. The Mullins had a lodger, a 53-year old widowed dressmaker by the name of Emma Hammond who was originally from Darsham, Suffolk.

From the census data it appears that Frederick and Sarah Mullins lived in Notting Hill, Middlesex between 1864 and 1871. Their children Frederick, Frank, Harry and Eliza were all born there. The Mullins then moved to the Blackheath area of Kent where George, Nellie, Maude and Emma were born.

Frederick Mullins was a General Labourer. In 1881 his son Frederick worked as a Milk Boy and his son Frank was a Telegraph Messenger. As of the date of the census, the remainder of the Mullins children were listed as "Scholars" [3].

At some point prior to George’s enlistment in the Army, his parents moved to 10 Hassendean Road, Black Heath, London, S.E.

George worked as a plumber as a young man, and served an Apprenticeship in the trade for 5 years with a Mr. Bridges of London. He lived with his parents prior to joining the Army, was unmarried, and worshipped in the Church of England.


The following is a description of George Edward Mullins at the time he enlisted in the Army in 1898:

Apparent Age:

21 years and 3 months

Height: :

5 feet 6 inches

Weight: :

131 pounds

Chest measurement (minimum): :

34 inches

Chest measurement (expanded): :

35 inches

Complexion: :


Eyes: :


Hair: :


Distinctive marks: :

Dots on the left forearm


George Edward Mullins was recruited for service in the Royal Engineers in early August of 1894 by Sergeant Cutts of the 2nd Dragoon Guards. Mullins swore the Oath of Attestation for a Short Service enlistment of 7 years with the Colours and 5 years in the Reserve [4]. The oath was made before the Attesting Officer in London on the 14th of August 1894 and was witnessed by Sergeant W. Gardner of the King’s Dragoon Guards.

At the time of his enlistment, Mullins answered the customary questions put to the recruit. In addition to personal details of his life before enlisting, he indicated that he had never been sentenced to imprisonment by civil power, that he had no prior naval or military service in the regular or militia forces, he had never been dishonorably discharged from the service, and that he had never been found unfit for military service. Mullins did indicate that at the time of his enlistment he was a member of the 4th Volunteer Battalion, East Surrey Regiment. This battalion had its headquarters at Kingston-on-Thames.

A Certificate of Medical Examination was issued at London on the 14th of August 1894 indicating that Mullins was fit for service in the Army [5]. A Certificate of Primary Military Examination was signed on the same day at London by the Recruiting Staff Officer, indicating that Mullins was fit for service in the Royal Engineers. His civil trade as a plumber would have been a plus for him being accepted into the Royal Engineers.

Mullins’ attestation was determined to be correct on the 14th of August 1894 by the Approving Field Officer in London.

Following the formalities of his enlistment, Sapper George Edward Mullins, Regimental Number 28361, was assigned to the School of Military Engineering at Chatham, Kent, where he would undergo his recruit training as an engineer soldier [6].


a. Chatham, 1894 -1899

Immediately following the completion of his training at Chatham, Sapper Mullins was assigned to "F" Company of the Depot Battalion, Royal Engineers. He was subsequently transferred to the 7th Field Company on its arrival at Chatham. The company had returned from Bechuanaland in 1895. The 7th Field Company was known as the "Black Horse" Company, the origin of the name appearing to date from about 1885 when all the company horses were black [7]. Sapper Mullins was assigned to No. 1 Section of the company under Lieutenant R.L. Mc Clintock, R.E. [8]. The Officer Commanding the 7th Field Company at that time was Major W.F.H. Stafford, R.E. [9]. Major Stafford subsequently commanded the company in Ireland, but left it before it deployed to South Africa.

b. The Curragh, Ireland, 1899

The 7th Field Company was posted to the Curragh in the County of Kildare, Ireland in the early part of 1896 and was serving there while troubles were developing in South Africa. Mullins, now a Lance Corporal, hardly had time to guest accustomed to the new family he had acquired in Ireland when the 7th Field Company received orders to deploy to the Cape Colony.

c. South Africa, 1899-1900

On the 14th of July 1899 the 7th Field Company left the Curragh bound for Southampton. The company strength was 6 officers, 180 non-commissioned officers and men, and 30 horses [10]. The company was commanded by Brevet Lieutenant Colonel W.F.H.S. Kincaid [11]. The Second in Command was Captain F.R.F. Boileau [12]. The other officers in the company on deployment to South Africa were:

Lieutenant R.L. Mc Clintock, R.E.

Lieutenant E.E.B. Wilson, R.E. [13]

Lieutenant H. Musgrave, R.E. [14]

Lieutenant C.R. Johnson, R.E. [15]

Lieutenant C.C. Trench, R.E. [16]

The company embarked on board the Braemar Castle on the 15th of July 1899 bound for the Cape Colony where it would initially be assigned to serve with Corps Troops. The Braemar Castle arrived at Cape Town on the 5th of August and after disembarking the entire company was sent to Wynberg Camp where it was employed on the construction of accommodation for other British troops soon to arrive from England [17].

Lance Corporal Mullins, along with the rest of No. 1 Section under Lieutenant Mc Clintock, was sent to Kimberley on the 18th of September 1899. Mullins’ first impression of Kimberley was that it was a bleak town constructed almost entirely of corrugated metal buildings. Kimberley was the second largest town in the Cape Colony at the time, with a population of 50,000 civilians. The town was surrounded by redoubts and forts. The defensive perimeter around the town was initially 11 miles. By the time Mullins and his mates left the place, the perimeter had been extended to 20 miles. The area of the defensive perimeter included the town of Kimberley and the adjoining villages of Beaconsfield and Kenilworth [18].

An officer of the Royal Engineers, Lieutenant D.S. Mc Innes [19], was already in Kimberley planning and directing the defence of the town when No. 1 Section arrived. He had actually arrived prior to the outbreak of hostilities to supervise the construction of defences that had already been planned for the town [20].

The De Beers Chief Engineer, an American by the name of George Labram, was also in the town and was instrumental in assisting in the military engineering effort for its defence. Labram was 38 years old and a Mechanical Engineer by profession. Although not a British subject, Labram took an active part in the defence of the town and was responsible for the following projects [21]:

Labram was assisted in these tasks by the men of No. 1 Section, 7th Field Company, Royal Engineers and the men who worked on the mining equipment at the De Beers mine. The De Beers Chief Draughtsman, Edward Goffe, was also of much assistance, especially with the construction of the gun "Long Cecil" [22]. The town of Kimberley had an extraordinary amount of skilled labour that could be turned to good use on military engineering projects in defence of the town.

The commander of British troops at Kimberley was Lieutenant Colonel R.G. Kekewich, 1st Battalion, the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment [23]. His command consisted of about 3,000 infantry and 850 horseman, mostly townspeople except for the 1st Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment and a number of smaller British units. Another Sapper officer, Major W.A.J. O’Meara, R.E., was the defence force Intelligence Officer [24].

The Order of Battle of the forces defending the town of Kimberley are shown in the table below [25]:


Commanding Officer


Imperial Troops

1st Battalion, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment

Lieutenant ColonelR.G. Kekewich

564 officers and men

23rd CompanyRoyal Garrison Artillery

Major G.D. Chamier

Six 7-pounderMountain guns

No. 1 Section, 7th Field Company, Royal Engineers

Lieutenant R.L. Mc Clintock

1 officer and
52 other ranks [26]

Army Service Corps

Captain Gorle

1 officer and 3 other ranks

Machine Gun Section


2 guns

Volunteer Force

Diamond Fields Artillery

One battery of six 7-pounder field guns

Diamond Fields Horse

7 officers and 142 other ranks

Kimberley (Light Horse) Regiment

14 officers and 285 other ranks

Cape Police

120 men

Maxim Battery

8 guns

Cecil Rhodes himself arrived in Kimberley on the 12th of October 1899 [27]. He arrived none too soon, as the Boers appeared before the town to begin the siege on the 15th of October [28]. It became apparent to all that the defences of the town would have to be considerably improved if they were to withstand bombardment, siege and possibly assault by the surrounding Boer force. The Royal Engineers in the town immediately began work to strengthen the defences. Their primary tasks were those listed below:

While the Royal Engineers and civilian engineers of the De Beers mine were busy strengthening the town’s defences, the British and Boers forces were busy planning their next moves. On the 24th of October 1899 the British force conducted a reconnaissance outside the town. On the 4th of November the Boer Commander, Commandant Wessels, offered to allow the woman and children of the Kimberley garrison to be sent out of the town with an offer of safe passage. His offer was refused. The Boers waited three more days, and on the 7th of November they began their bombardment of the town. Lieutenant Mc Clintock, Lance Corporal Mullins’ section commander, was the first officer of the garrison to be wounded, but only slightly. Mc Clintock would later receive the Distinguished Service Order for his service during the war, primarily for his work during the defence of Kimberley [35].

On the 15th of November, Mr. Labram set up a powerful searchlight looking right onto Otto’s Kopje. The purpose of this light was to give warning of any forward movement of the Boers. On the 23rd of November the searchlights began signalling every night in the hope of getting some response from the troops coming up to relieve the town.

The Boer bombardment of the town continued and the British, eager to get at the enemy made a sortie against a Boer redoubt on the 25th of November. These sorties usually did little damage to either side.

A balloon from Lieutenant General Lord Methuen’s column (British 1st Division) was sighted from the town on the 10th of December 1899. This was the first sign that a relief force was nearing Kimberley. This sighting gave the garrison hope, although the remainder of the month of December went by without further indications of the approach of the relief column. Early in January rations were reduced in the town to mule and horseflesh, each person receiving one-quarter pound per day. The health of Lance Corporal Mullins and the other men of No. 1 Section remained good despite the cut in rations. The men were energetic enough to engage in a tug-of-war on horseback as a means of diversion on the 17th of January between the Royal Engineers and the Royal Artillery.

On Christmas Night 1899, George Labram made a suggestion to Cecil Rhodes to construct a gun with a longer range than those in the garrison, and one that might reply more effectively to the heavy Boer artillery being used against the town. Rhodes gave his approval and work on the gun that was to be known as "Long Cecil" began on the following day. The Royal Engineers of Lance Corporal Mullins’ section assisted Mr. Labram with the construction of the gun. The gun and carriage were completed on the 18th of January 1900 and the gun was test fired the next day [36]. On the 21st of January the gun was handed over to the Diamond Fields Artillery and on the 23rd of January "Long Cecil" was fired in anger for the first time.

Early in February 1900 the Kimberley relief force was on the move and making steady progress towards the town. The column arrived at Fraser’s Drift on the 3rd and at Koodoosberg on the 4th. On the 6th of February a Boer force attacked the relief column, and on the same day the Boers began using an enormous gun against Kimberley. The gun was located at Kamfersdam and fired a 96-pound projectile.

The Boers withdrew from their attack on the relief column on the 8th of February and on the following day the British column pulled back to reorganize for the final advance on Kimberley. Unfortunately for the Kimberley garrison, the resourceful Mr. Labram was killed by a Boer artillery shell on the 9th of February 1900.

The British relief column completed it reorganization and refitting at Ramdam on the 11th of February and resumed its advance on Kimberley, reaching Waterval Drift on the 12th and the Modder River on the 13th.

On the 14th of February 1900 the march toward Kimberley was resumed with the Highland Brigade in the lead. The Highland Brigade, commanded by Hector Macdonald, consisted of a battalion each from the Black Watch, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, the Seaforth Highlanders and the Highland Light Infantry. Supporting the infantry of the column were two squadrons of the 9th Lancers, 62nd Battery, Royal Artillery, and the remainder of the 7th Company, Royal Engineers whose mates were besieged in Kimberley.

Kimberley was relieved on the 15th of February 1900 and No. 1 Section of the 7th Field Company rejoined the remainder of the company. On the 20th of February a train arrived at Kimberley carrying a party of Royal Engineers on board to assist in the rebuilding and strengthening of the town and its fortifications.

The 7th Field Company moved to Bloemfontein on the 1st of March 1900 where it was employed on camp duties. On the 10th of March the company took part in the action at Driefontein. During this battle the Boers occupied a position about seven miles in extent, which was attacked in front by Lieutenant General Kelly-Kenny’s 6th division, and on the left flank by General Tucker’s division. The Boers were driven out and the road to Bloemfontein was opened, at a cost to the British of 424 killed and wounded. The Boers left over 100 dead on the field [37].

Captain T. Fraser, R.E. was assigned to the 7th Field Company in March of 1900 as Second in Command [38]. The company remained in camp at Bloemfontein until the 25th of April 1900 when it began the march to Pretoria with the Highland Brigade of the 9th Infantry Division. The company marched with General Ian Hamilton’s force on the east side of the Bloemfontein to Vereenigen railway line and reached Winburg on the 6th of May where it was employed on the construction of the defences of the town [39]. It then continued on towards Pretoria, reaching Lindley on the 17th of May and the Rhenoster River on the 20th. On the 29th of May the 7th Field Company supported the attack on the Boer position at Doornkop [40].

Mullins, now a 2nd Corporal, and his company entered Pretoria on the 5th of June 1900. After a few days there the company was moved to Leeuwspruit, reaching that town on the 14th of June and on the 25th of June Mullins left South Africa to return to England.

d. Home Service (1900-1903)

On his arrival in England, 2nd Corporal Mullins was assigned to the 59th Field Company, Royal Engineers at Chatham. In July of 1901 he was authorized the Queen’s South Africa Medal with clasps [DEFENCE OF KIMBERLEY] and [DRIEFONTEIN]. His name appears on the medal roll of the 7th Field Company that was at Bloemfontein when the roll was prepared on the 9th of July 1901 [41]. Mullins was a Corporal at the time the medal was issued to him.

For reasons not stated in his service papers, Corporal Mullins had returned early from South Africa. The remainder of the 7th Field Company did not disembarked in England until the 28th of September 1902 after the trip home from South Africa. The company then proceeded to Aldershot where it was to be stationed. Only 3 officers and 45 other ranks of the original company returned to Aldershot. One officer (Lieutenant Trench) and 12 non-commissioned officers and men had died in South Africa, the remainder being transferred or invalided. Mullins was one of those who had been transferred.

Mullins had extended his service on the 10th of February 1902 in order to complete 12 years with the Colours [42], and on the 31st of July 1902 he was paid a War Gratuity of 7-0s-d for service in the South African War. At the time he received this gratuity he was serving with the 54th Field Company in the Curragh, Ireland once again.

e. Gibraltar (1903-1906)

Mullins embarked for Gibraltar on the 5th of November 1903 to join his new unit, the 32nd Fortress Company, Royal Engineers. On the 1st of April 1904 he was granted service pay at the rate of 7.d per day under authority of Army Order 66 of 1902. His trade at this time was "Skilled Plumber."

f. Home Service (1906)

Corporal Mullins returned to England on the 13th of May 1906 and was posted to "G" Company of the Royal Engineers Depot Battalion in Chatham. The Officer Commanding "G" Company at the time was Captain H.W. Buckle, R.E. [43]. Upon his arrival at Chatham, Mullins submitted his 90-day notice to apply for discharge from the service.


a. Promotions: George Edward Mullins received the following promotions during his 12 years of service with the Colours.


Promotion or Appointment

14 August 1894

Attested as a Sapper ("F" Company, R.E. Depot Battalion)

29 December 1898

Appointed a Lance Corporal (7th Field Company)

1 April 1900

Promoted 2nd Corporal (7th Field Company)

15 June 1901

Promoted Corporal (59th Field Company)

b. Conduct: Corporal Mullins was awarded one Good Conduct Badge and Good Conduct Pay at the rate of 1.d per day during his time in service [44].

c. Education: Corporal Mullins was awarded a 2nd Class Certificate of Education on the 11th of November 1896 [45].


Except for the results of his medical examination and description on enlistment, Corporal Mullins’ service records do not contain a Medical History Sheet.


George Edward Mullins married Kate O’Dea at Newbridge in County Kildare, Ireland, without leave, on the 20th of September 1879 [46]. Mullins was serving with the 7th Field Company, Royal Engineers at Curragh Camp at the time. The marriage ceremony was performed by Thomas Tyron, Justice of the Peace, and witnessed by Bartholomew Millerick and Teresa O’Dea.

The Mullins’ first child, Frederick Joseph was born at Newbridge on the 22nd of September 1898. He was baptized by the Reverend Murray at Newbridge on the 2nd of October 1898.

The Mullins’ second child, Kathleen Christiana, was born in Newbridge on the 25th of September 1899 and was christened by the Reverend Murray on the 15th of October 1899. Her birth occurred about 10 weeks after her father had departed for the war in South Africa.

The Mullins’ third child, Florence Teresa, was born on the 10th of April 1901 while Mullins was serving at Chatham with the 59th Field Company, Royal Engineers. Her birth occurred about 12 months following Mullins’ return from the South African War. Sadly, little Florence Teresa died at Gillingham, Kent on the 15th of December 1901 at the age of about 8 months. There is no record of her having been baptized nor is the cause of her death indicated in Mullins’ service papers.

Tragedy again struck Corporal Mullins only 2 months after the death of his youngest child. His wife died on the 15th of February 1902 of unknown causes. Mullins was now left with two children aged 3 years and 5 months, and 2 years and 5 months.


Corporal Mullins was discharged from the Army at Chatham, Kent on the 13th of August 1906 on the termination of his first period of limited engagement. His total service was reckoned as shown in the table below:


Period of Service


4 years and 335 days

South Africa

345 days


3 years and 133 days


2 years and 189 days


93 days


Period of Service

Home Service

8 years and 196 days

Service Abroad

3 years and 169 days

Total Service

12 years exactly

Corporal Mullins was paid a gratuity of 12-0s-0d upon his discharge from the Army.


Nothing is known about George Edward Mullins’ life after leaving the Army in 1906. His discharge took place only eight years before the start of the Great War of 1914 to 1918. It is possible that Mullins was called up for service in that war.


Reference: HOLT-WILSON, E. War Letters to T.H.W. from South Africa 1899-1902 E.H.W. Clemency Holt-Wilson, 1999.

In this book of letters from Lieutenant Eric Holt-Wilson, R.E. to his father during the South African War, Holt-Wilson gives the detailed movements of the 7th Field Company, Royal Engineers from the Curragh in Ireland to South Africa. These movements are summarized below in chronological order.



14 July 1899

Company departs from the Curragh and travels to Southampton via Dublin and Holyhead.

15 July 1899

Company embarks for South Africa aboard R.M.S. Braemar Castle.

18 July 1899

Off the north coast of Africa just south of the Straits of Gibraltar.

20 July 1899

At Las Palmas on the Isleta, a small peninsula of the Grand Canary Islands.

23 July 1899

Passed Cape Verde.

26 July 1899

Crossed the Equator.

30 July 1899

At St. Helena island.

5 August 1899

Dropped anchor at Table Bay in Cape Town Harbour.

6 August 1899

In camp at Wynberg, a suburb of Cape Town.

This chronology takes the company up to its arrival date at Wynberg Camp when all the sections of the unit were still together. No. 1 Section commanded by Lieutenant R.S. Mc Clintock was sent to Kimberley, arriving in that town on the 18th of September. Lieutenant Holt-Wilson and No. 2 Section of the company left Wynberg on the 25th of September for De Aar in the Cape Colony.


The information in this addendum was provided by Lorian Edwards, a relative of George Mullins. Lorian Edwards' grandfather was Frank Richard Mullins, one of the brothers of George Edward Mullins.

Lorian provides a good deal of new information regarding the life of Corporal Mullins and corrects some errors contained in the main narrative. This information is provided below in outline form.

The following information provides more details regarding the other children of Frederick and Sarah Mullins (the siblings of George Edward) than was presented in the original narrative:

The following letter was written about George Edward Mullins by Lorian Edwards' aunt. The "Aunt Tess" referred to in the letter is George's wife Teresa O'Dea.

"As far as I remember it George Edward Mullins was my father's younger brother (I was told this). Grandmother apprenticed him to a plumber, but he didn't like it and ran away and joined the Army - the Royal Engineers. He went to Ireland to the Curragh. He met and married an Irish girl, Kathleen O'Dea who lived in a place in County Kildare. I saw her, she must have stayed with us in Blackheath. She was very attractive, but the life of a soldier was all wrong for her, married quarters being what they were and the soldiers and their [?] also, and I imagine three pregnancies in quick succession. Kitty, Fred and a baby Teresa. Well poor Aunty Kitty died (I think T.B.) and the baby. I think they were at Chatham. She told my mother that her mother had cursed her and she believe it."

"Well Aunt Tess came over from Ireland and took Fred & Kitty back with her. I think Uncle George went to Gibraltar, when he finished with the Army it was from [Gibraltar] but he went to S. Africa in the Boer War and he was in the Siege of Ladysmith [he was actually in the defence of Kimberley] and he had enteric fever. I don't know much about enteric, but I have seen it written of the 'dread' enteric."

"When he came out of the Army he went to Ireland and brought Aunt Tess back with him plus Kitty & Fred and I remember them getting married at Greenwich Registrar Office. Aunt Tess in a black skirt & white blouse with a lacy hat with pale blue on it. Mrs. Evans went as witness. They had rooms with her at first, till they had a house in Park or Saksdale[?] Road, Plumstead."

"Uncle George was always an Army man and he got a job at Woolwich Barracks. When the 14-18 war broke out, he joined up again. He had left the Army as a Corporal and he paraded on Hounslow Heath, September 1914. He was due to be made Sergeant, but he fell down dead, heart I imagine, due to the enteric I think. Kitty and Fred must have been in their early teens. I know Kitty was learning dressmaking but that stopped and she went into service until she married."

The letter goes on for some pages describing other members of the family, providing details that are not particularly relevant to the life of George Mullins. On page 6 of the letter the narrative again returns to George:-

"Uncle George was good looking and had a very nice tenor voice. When he left Gibraltar his mess mates gave him a clock. It had his name on it and the name of the song he used to sing."


Lorian Edwards was kind enough to supply the author with the original copy of George Mullins' Soldier's Pay Book. The book is enclosed in leather with the following inscription hand-written in ink on the back side of the leather case:

No. 28361
G.E. Mullins

The leather case includes the following documents:

The following information was uncovered in the pay book that was not included in the copies of the Soldier's Service Papers used for the original research:

1. George Mullins was awarded Good Conduct Pay at 1.d on the 14th of August 1896. At the time of this award he was serving with the 8th Company, Royal Engineers. Apparently, after completing his recruit training, he was assigned to this company and then later was posted to the 7th Field Company.

2. Mullins completed the recruit's course in musketry in December of 1894.

3. He completed the shortened (92-day) Recruit Course in Field Works at Chatham on the 30th of October 1895.

4. Mullins requalified in musketry periodically during his time in service. The following were his musketry classifications between 1896 and 1904:

1896: 4th Class

1897: 3rd Class

1898: 2nd Class

1900: Marksman

1901: 2nd Class

1902: Marksman

1903: Marksman

1904: 2nd Class

NOTE: According to Grierson (p. 176), 119 rounds were fired during the qualification course. A score of 105 points qualified a man as a "Marksman," 60 points placed the man in the 2nd class of riflemen and below 60 points in the 3rd class. Grierson does not describe the requirement for 4th class.

5. Mullins was issued his Second Class Certificate of Education at the Curragh by Lieutenant Colonel G.A. Cockburn, R.E. The requirements for receipt of this certificate, to quote from the certificate itself, included:

6. Mullins indicated that in February of 1895 his parents were living at 10 Hassendean Road, Charlton Road, Blackheath, Kent. His brother Frank was living with his parents at that time. The address of his brother Frederick was not known to George in 1895.

7. George Mullins earned Engineer Pay during his time in service as shown in the table below.


Rate of Pay

Date Authorized



4th Class

31 October 1895


School of Military Engineering

3rd Class

13 April 1897


7th Field Company

2nd Class

10 August 1898


7th Field Company



1. BAKER, H.A. History of the 7th Field Company, R.E. During the War, 1914-1918, With a Short Record of the Movements and Campaigns since the Formation of the Company. The Royal Engineers Journal. The Institution of Royal Engineers, Chatham, Kent, March 1932.

2. CONOLLY, T.W.J. Roll of Officers of the Corps of Royal Engineers From 1660 to 1898. The Royal Engineers Institute, Chatham, Kent, 1898.

3. CRESWICKE, L. South Africa and the Transvaal War. Volume II. The Caxton Publishing Co., London, 19__.

4. DOYLE, A.C. The Great Boer War. Thomas Nelson and Sons, Ltd., London, Edinburgh and New York, 1903.

5. FARWELL, B. The Great Anglo-Boer War. Harper & Row, New York, 1976.

6. FARWELL, B. Mr. Kipling’s Army: All the Queen’s Men. W.W. Norton & Company, New York, 1981.

7. GORDON, L.L. British Battles and Medals. Spink & Son, Ltd., London, 1971.

8. GRIERSON, J.M. Scarlet Into Khaki: The British Army on the Eve of the Boer War. Greenhill Books, London, 1988.

9. HARBOTTLE, T. Dictionary of Battles. Stein and Day, New York, 1971.

10. HARDING, W. War in South Africa and the Dark Continent. The Dominion Company, Chicago, 1899.

11. KRUGER, R. Good-bye Dolly Gray. J.P. Lippincott Company, New York, 1960.

12. PACKENHAM, T. The Boer War. Random House, New York, 1979.

13. SIBBALD, R. The War Correspondents: The Boer War. Bramley Books, Stroud, 1993.

14. SKELLEY, A.R. The Victorian Army at Home: The Recruitment and Terms and Conditions of the British Army, 1859-1899. McGill-Queen’s University Press, Montreal, 1977.

15. WATSON, C.M. The History of the Corps of Royal Engineers. Volume III. The Institution of Royal Engineers, Chatham, Kent, 1954.


1. Soldier’s Service Papers, Public Record Office, Kew, Richmond, Surrey. Papers include the following documents:

a. Short Service Attestation, Army Form B. 265.

b. Description on Enlistment.

c. Statement of Services.

d. Military History Sheet.

2. Queen’s South Africa Medal Roll, 7th Field Company Royal Engineers, WO100/155/60.

3. Kimberley Star Medal Roll, Army Order 94 of 1904.

Internet Sources

1. Expediamaps.com, 2000.

2. INTERNExT Kimberley, 1997


1. HEBERDEN, W. The Diary of a Doctor’s Wife During the Siege of Kimberley, October 1899 to February 1900. Military History Journal. Volume 3, Numbers 4, 5 and 6. The South African Military History Society, 2000.

2. PEDDLE, D.E. LONG CECIL: The Gun Made in Kimberley during the Siege. Military History Journal. Volume 4, Number 1. The South African Military History Society, 2000.


1. Unless otherwise noted, the information contained in this narrative has been taken from the service papers of George Edward Mullins, WO97/5560, Public Record Office, Kew, Richmond, Surrey.

2. According to Mullins service papers he was born in Greenwich. The 1881 British Census return lists his place of birth a Blackheath, Kent.

3. 1881 British Census. Mormon Church Family History Library Film 1341169, PRO Reference RG11, Piece 0727, Page 17.

4. See Periods of Enlistment for The Corps of Royal Engineers.

5. See Age and Physical Requirements for Soldiers in the British Army (Victorian Period).

6. See Engineer Recruit Training.

7. BAKER, H.A.

8. Lieutenant Robert Lyle Mc Clintock, R.E.

9. Major William Francis Howard Stafford, R.E.

10. BAKER, H.A.

11. Lieutenant Colonel William Francis Henry Style Kincaid, R.E.

12. Captain Frank Ridley Farrer Boileau, R.E.

13. Lieutenant Eric Edward Boketon Wilson, R.E.

14. Lieutenant Herbert Musgrave, R.E.

15. Lieutenant Charles Reginald Johnson, R.E.

16. Lieutenant Christopher Chenevix Trench, R.E.

17. BAKER, H.A.



20. Lieutenant Duncan Sayre Mc Innes, R.E.



23. PEDDLE, D.E.

24. Later Major General Robert George Kekewich (1854-1914).


26. DOYLE, A.C.

27. Includes 2 other ranks from the 6th Company, Royal Engineers.

28. DOYLE, A.C. Other sources give Rhode’s date of arrival as the 10th of October 1899.

29. BAKER, H.A..

30. Kimberlite is a mineral consisting of mica-peridotite, an eruptive rock, and the matrix of the diamonds found at Kimberley and elsewhere in South Africa. Kimberlite was also referred to as a "diamondiferous ore," that is, a material yielding diamonds.



33. There is evidence to indicate that the Boer’s intention was just to keep the British force bottled up in the town. They did not appear interested in losing many men in a general assault on the fortifications.



36. BAKER, H.A.

37. PEDDLE, D.E.


39. Captain Theodore Fraser, R.E.

40. WATSON, C.M.

41. Medal Roll WO100/155/60.

42. See Extensions of Service of the Regular Army.

43. Captain Henry William Buckle, R.E.

44. See Good Conduct Pay.

45. See Certificates of Education.

46. See Marriage of Soldiers During the Victorian Period.