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Long, Charles Henry

Trumpeter 3778

17th Lancers


Charles Henry Long was born in 1878. This date is taken from Poor Law records but only records the year. Charles Henry Long’s birth was registered in the December quarter of 1878 in the Chelsea registration district.

He was admitted to the Britten Street workhouse in November 1880 with his mother Elizabeth and a younger brother Walter James. The Poor Law records give his next of kin as being his mother of 18, Leek Street, the whereabouts of his father being unknown.

On the 10th of December 1880 he was discharged to the district school. On the 1881 and 1891 censuses he is resident in Beechholme. His younger brother Walter died in 1891. Charles was discharged to the army on the 17th of January 1893. His mother's whereabouts at this time were unknown.

There are no surviving army service records for Charles but from the UK army campaign and medal awards held by Ancestry it is noted that his Boer War service culminated in him being awarded the Queens South African medal with Cape Colony, Orange Free State and Transvaal clasps and also the Kings South African medal with 1901 and 1902 clasps.

The 17th (Duke of Cambridge’s Own) Lancers sailed on the Victorian on the 14th of February 1900 and arrived at the Cape about the 10th of March.

                                        17th Lancers Cap Badge Charles Henry Long Boer War

                                                      17th Lancers Cap Badge.

Their motto was “Death or Glory” and they were known as  “the Death or Glory Boys “

The regiment joined Lord Roberts at Bloemfontein and were put into the 3rd Cavalry Brigade along with the 9th and 16th Lancers.

The 17th were to miss the big battles of the Boer War. They arrived just in time to see the Boers be technically defeated on the battlefield yet failing to surrender to the British. The Boers dispersed their mounted commandos throughout the imposing African landscape in what was to become a precursor of 20th century guerrilla warfare. In this campaign mounted troops were to become essential in combing the vast distances and empty spaces. There was no room for complacency in fighting such a dedicated foe as the Boer.

For the early part of the war up until the battle of Tarkastad see William Raisin's story.

After the battle of Tarkastad one or other of the squadrons took part in fighting in almost every part of Cape Colony and the 17th were involved in continuous small scale actions and sweeping operations against the ever elusive commandos.

In the final despatch of the war 3 officers and 4 non-commissioned officers and men were mentioned. 

After the war Charles was sent to the army reserve according to the UK army campaign and medal awards from Ancestry.  

On the 1911 census Charles is living at 383, High Road, Gunnersbury and he is married. His wife’s name was Elizabeth, but no record of his marriage could be found. As she was born in Scotland perhaps the couple married there. By this time they had two young sons, one of them having the middle name of Walter after Charles' younger brother who died. Charles' occupation is given as musician and he is 31 years old.

Nothing further is known about him, not even his date of death.

Research by Rachel and Jim Stapleton

SOURCES :- Ancestry,  Find My Past, Anglo Boer, 17th Lancers -the British Empire. 

Last updated: 31 Aug 2016 with information from Poor Law records

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