HANSFORD, Robert George, DCM.
Born : Dulverton C1876
Parents : John and Emily Hansford
Married : Rebecca Fry – 16th April 1906 – St Andrews, Feniton
Died : 25th September 1915
Buried : No known grave - listed on the Loos Memorial to the missing at Dud Corner Cemetery.
1881 Census : Causeway End, Broadhembury – aged 5
1891 Census :
1901 Census :
1911 Census : Lower Elstone, Chulmleigh – aged 35
Occupations : Labourer. Farmer in 1911.
Address on enlisting :
Regiment : 8th Battalion, Devonshire Regiment
Rank : Serjeant
Service Number : 3/7458
Service Dates : 22nd June 1895 to 21st June 1907.
CWGC listing : Yes
Soldiers Died Listing :
Devon Roll of Honour : Yes under Dunkeswell
National Roll of the Great War :
Medal Card (NA WO372) : WO372/8/219636
Service Record (NA WO363) :
War Memorial : Feniton
Newspaper Listings :
Notes : He says he was exactly 19 years old when he signed his attestation papers on the 22nd June 1895 and joined the Devonshire Regiment (number 4288) giving his next of kin as his father – John Hansford of Wolford, Dunkeswell. He lists himself as a labourer who had lived at his father’s house for the last three years. He had never been an apprentice, is not married and has not been to prison. When he enlisted he was already a member of the Militia (4th Devonshire Regiment) but was taking up a full 12 year Short Service agreement (7 years with the colours, 5 years in reserve or if overseas 8 years and 4 years). He was 5’ 4” tall and weighed 123lbs, had a fresh complexion, grey eyes and light brown hair.
He served at home from 23rd June 1895 until 8th September 1896 when he went to India until 20th September 1899. He then served in South Africa until 18th January 1902 and was Mentioned in Despatches on two occasions for his bravery in the Second Boer War. He was presented with the Queens South Africa Medal in 1900 with clasps for Belfast, Elandslaagte and the Defence of Ladysmith; Kings South Africa Medal, 1901-2, with 2 clasps; 1914-15 Star, and the British War and Victory Medals. He most likely earned his DCM for the action at Wagon Hill. During late 1899 and early 1900 the 1st Devon’s were engaged against the Boers in the Siege of Ladysmith, in South Africa. Ladysmith is surrounded by hills and the garrison units were tasked with keeping the Boers from taking the heights to prevent Ladysmith coming in range of their artillery. On the 6th January the Boers made a determined effort to assault Caesar’s Camp and the Devon’s were tasked with preventing its capture. Wagon Point formed part of Caesars Camp and it was successfully cleared by the Devon’s during a thunderstorm. During this action a Lt Masterson won the Victoria Cross.
Robert then returned to India until 25th March 1903 when he came home and was transferred to the reserve from 27th March 1903 until his discharge on 21st June 1907. He was made a Lance Corporal on 18th January 1900 and a full Corporal on 4th January 1902. He had passed his Sergeants promotion exam on 19th December 1902.