Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Boer War Day - Private Samuel Charles Atchison

The Boer War is remembered on Boer War Day on the 26th May.

Clorinda Thomas married Samuel Atchison and they farmed at Bass Point for many years. Their son Samuel Charles Atchison was the only young man in the district to be killed in the Boer War in South Africa in 1899.

Samuel Charles Atchison was born in 1877 at Bass Point; the sixth child of Samuel and Clorinda Atchison. Private Samuel Atchison volunteered to serve with the NSW Infantry Unit in the Boer War where he was killed in action on 20th February 1900, aged 24.

Samuel’s father had died in 1897 and a letter came to Clorinda and the family with heartbreaking news: Mrs C. Atchison from Major General G. A. French, NSW Military Forces 24th February 1900, ‘killed whilst worthily doing his duty in action against The Boers at Arundel, South Africa’.

Shortly after Private Samuel Atchison’s death the Shellharbour community gathered at the Shellharbour School of Arts, initiating steps for a memorial to S.C. Atchison of the Scottish Rifles, Sydney. The marble monument was erected by public subscription on 30 May 1900. It stood on the hillside in Little Park Shellharbour Village until erosion made it necessary to move it to the flatter area in 1957. It was later relocated to Caroline Chisholm Park in Addison Street and incorporated with both the World War memorials and the memorial to the wreck of the Cities Service Boston. 

On 20th February 2000, on the 100th anniversary of his death, a commemoration service was held and a plaque unveiled to his honour at Caroline Chisholm Park, Addison Street Shellharbour. 

Information - Gillis, Dorothy 2009, '150 Years of Shellharbour City Area', Tongarra Heritage Society Inc.

Private Samuel Charles Atchison
Photograph courtesy David O'Meley.

Members of the Tongarra Heritage Society at the memorial to
Private Samuel Charles Atchison, Caroline Chisholm Park, Shellharbour Village. 

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