Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Queen Victoria's Scarf

In my post about Crochet Royalty I noted that Queen Victoria made scarfs for  "the most distinguished private soldier" serving in the forces of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.  Here is a picture of what it would of looked like.  This scarf was awarded to Private R.R. Thompson and is on display at the Canadian War Museum.

This made me think about who was the Australian who received the scarf and what did he get it for.  It didn't take me long to find all the information, apart from the location of the scarf on the Australian Warm Memorial website. 

Alfred Henry Du Frayer was awarded the scarf.  Du Frayer "enlisted in the NSW Mounted Rifles Contingent for South Africa, entering camp at Randwick Rifle Range on 27th December, 1899, taking with him one horse" (AWM)

The following is an extract from the Australian War Memorial File of Research 569: 15 August 1956 titled "The Queens Scarf awarded to A. Du Frayer"

Referring to this incident the Sydney Mail of 22nd September, 1900, quotes Capt. Hilliard (Commander of "C" Squadron, N.S.W. Mounted Rifles, of which Du Frayer was a member) as saying:-
"In April last, when the regiment was on outpost duty near Karee a Reconnoitring Patrol was sent out in the early morning in charge of Capt. Legge. When approaching a farmhouse flying the white flag every precaution was taken, but seeing no-one about, the men, numbering about 12, rode within the stone fence enclosure when they were immediately fired upon from within the house and also by a party of Boers concealed in a donga on the veldt. The gateway was narrow but all succeeded in getting away safely except Private Clark of' "B" Squadron whose horse was shot and, in falling, stunned his rider. Du Frayer noticed the predicament and turning back galloped to Clark's rescue. The gateway was only about 150 yards from the farmhouse but Du Frayer dismounted, shook Private Clark into a semi-conscious state and mounting again, got Clark up behind him and finally out of danger. Private Du Frayer was exposed to a heavy fire from both quarters previously mentioned."
 So my question now is - Where is the scarf?  I think I'll have to contact the AWM to find out.

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