The Jack Webb Collection of Medals and Militaria

Date of Auction: 20th August 2020

Sold for £340

Estimate: £240 - £280

Pair: Lance-Corporal T. A. Yates, Eastern Province Horse and Kimberley Police, later an Agent in the Field Intelligence Department

Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, 3 clasps, Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal (55 L. Corpl: T. A. Yates Eastn: Prov: Horse); King’s South Africa 1901-02, 2 clasps, South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902 (Agent T. A. Yates. F.I.D.); together with a South African 1898 Penny, this pierced, a white metal ostrich cap badge; and an order from Field Marshal Lord Roberts, handwritten by Colonel Commandant Mackinnon and delivered by the recipient to General Broadwood and Colonel Little, nearly extremely fine (2) £240-£280


Thomas Arthur Yates was born in Aston Parish, Nechells, Warwickshire in 1874. He enlisted in the Eastern Province Light Horse on 31 January 1900, aged 25 years, stating his nationality to be English and trade to be that of traveller. Yates was a despatch rider of the Eastern Province Light Horse, sent by Colonel Mackinnon on 20-21 July 1900, to relay orders (original order with lot) from Lord Roberts to General Broadwood and Colonel Little, in an attempt to co-ordinate the capture of De Wet, who had escaped through the British cordon.

Mackinnon’s Journal of the C.I.V. in South Africa contains particular entries which appear to relate to Yates despatch:
20 July: A wire received from Lord Roberts to send four messengers in different directions to find Little and Broadwood, urging them to catch up De Wet, who is supposed to be taking Steyn with him north-east to the Pretoria-Delagoa line.
22 July: The two despatch riders whom I sent on 20th to try to find Broadwood returned; they went twenty-five miles out and back, but could not get through, and only just escaped after eight miles.

The despatch reads as follows:
‘To General Broadwood and Colonel Little, Heilbron 21 July 1900. 5pm.
I am directed by F.M. Roberts, &c, to forward you following message (Dated July 20th, Pretoria) “from information received here I gather that De Wet is endeavouring to take Steyn through to join Kruger on the Delagoa Railway East of Middleburg (?) (Stop). If this is the case he will as far as possible avoid our troops (Stop). Orders have been sent directing General Clery with his brigade to be at Grylingstadt on or before Sunday morning and ?? have these supplies for your Force if require (Stop). Supplies will also be available for you at Heidelburg or Standerton, both of which places have been warned to head off De Wet’s if he approaches them (Stop). I understand that De Wet’s force has a considerable number of wagons which cannot move with great rapidity and I shall be much disappointed if you do not manage to keep touch with and overtake him within the next few days,” Message ends.
Kindly acknowledge. W Mackinnon, Col. CG Heilbron.’

Yates was discharged on the termination of his engagement on 15 November 1900 at Krugersdorp.