Usk Boer War memorial

Usk Boer War memorial

This memorial was erected in 1908 in memory of the local men who died on active service in the South African War of 1899 to 1902. Their details are shown below.

A committee raised funds for the memorial, which was initially proposed to be a drinking fountain. A crowd of between 300 and 400 people attended the memorial’s unveiling ceremony on 1 January 1908. The unveiling was performed by James Henry Clark, Usk’s oldest resident. He was the last surviving portreeve of the ancient borough of Usk.

The memorial is close to the old town hall, where in December 1899 Captain White of the 4th Volunteer Battalion of the South Wales Borderers had mustered his men and called for volunteers to go to South Africa.

In 1901 inhabitants of Usk and district presented inscribed silver watches to four men who had served in South Africa and returned: Corporal David Lewis and Privates Charles Thomas and William Sweet, all of the South Wales Borderers; and Fred Haynes, of the Imperial Yeomanry.

Local solicitor John Maitland Watkins was a key figure in in both of these fundraising efforts and the appeal for money for the widow and child of one of the war dead. His son Illtyd graduated in law at Cambridge in 1910 but was killed in Belgium in 1915 while serving as a Captain in the Monmouthshire Regiment. He is commemorated on Usk war memorial.

John Haggett, who lost his son Osmond in the Boer War, lost another son, Reginald, in the First World War 15 years later, almost to the day.

Postcode: NP15 1AL    View Location Map


Usk men who died in the South African War

Thomas Baylis, Private, South Wales Borderers. Died of disease at Vereeniging on 23 June 1900. Left a widow and child, for whom a local appeal raised almost £35 by the end of 1900.

Osmond Haggett, Trooper, of Bethune’s Light Horse. Died of wounds at Piet Potgietersrust on 1 October 1901. Son of Mr and Mrs John Haggett of Bridge Street. He was described as belonging to the “Cattle Rangers”. Osmond had survived a previous wounding. He sustained fatal wounds in an engagement with ended with his comrades surrendering.

William Morgan, Private, South Wales Borderers. Drowned while on duty at Liebenberg’s Vlei river on 25 March 1902. Son of Mrs Maddocks, wife of Llanllowell gamekeeper Charles Maddocks.

John Williams, Gunner, Royal Artillery. Probably: John Williams, Royal Field Artillery. Died of disease at Ladysmith on 26 March 1900.