“Trooper Frank William Baxter, of the Buluwayo Field Force, on account of his gallant conduct in having, on the 22nd April, 1896, dismounted and given up his horse to a wounded comrade, Corporal Wiseman, who was being closely pursued by an overwhelming force of the enemy, would have been recommended to Her Majesty for the Victoria Cross had he survived.”
He is buried in Bulawayo Town Cemetery in Zimbabwe.
“On the morning of the 30th March, 1896, just before daylight, Captain. Macfarlane’s party was surprised by the natives. Troopers Celliers and Henderson, who formed part of the advanced guard, were cut off from the main body, and Celliers was shot through the knee. His horse also was badly wounded and eventually died. Henderson then placed Celliers on his own horse, and made the best of his way to Buluwayo. The country between Campbell’s Store, where they were cut off, and Buluwayo, a distance of about thirty-five miles, was full of natives fully armed, and they had, therefore, to proceed principally by night, hiding in the bush in the daytime. Celliers, who was weak from loss of blood, and in great agony, asked Henderson to leave him, but he would not, and brought him in, after passing two days and one night in the veldt without food.”
He is buried in Bulawayo Town Cemetery, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.
Randolph Cosby Nesbitt (20/09/1867 – 23/07/1956) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the Mashona Rebellion in 1896. Captain Nesbitt led a patrol to go to the rescue of the miners at the Alice Mine in Mazoe Valley, who were surrounded by hordes of rebels. Captain Nesbitt and his patrol fought their way through the enemy and succeeded in getting the beleaguered party.
“This officer, on the 19th June, 1896, led the Mazoe Rescue Patrol, consisting of only thirteen men, fought his way through the rebels to get to Salthouse’s party, and succeeded in bringing them back to Salisbury, with heavy fighting, in which three of his small force were killed and five wounded, and fifteen horses killed and wounded.”
He died on 23 July 1956 and was cremated in Cape Town and his ashes were interred in the RSA Police Section of the Anglican Cathedral in Harare.
This Memorial, unveiled on 2 September 2012, is situated at the Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria. The original images of this memorial were kindly provided by Ryno Human and were used with his permission. I have since replaced these images with those taken by Igmar Grewar
The shooting down of these two Rhodesian civilian aircraft on the 12th of February 1979, and the 3rd of September 1978 has always been contentious, especially in the light of the callous and coldblooded slaughter of 10 survivors on the ground. The incidents did bring about reprisals from both sides, but no real satisfactory explanation was ever forthcoming from those responsible.
Sadly the truth will never come out, and any attempt to reach some sort of answer has always resulted in official bluster and denial. However, this memorial serves as a reminder that the horror and barbarity of warfare can affect those who are not in the military too.