Sold with a quantity of original documentation, including two manuscript diaries covering his service in South Africa.
Private A.J. Carter, a joiner from Peterborough and a member of the 1st Volunteer Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment, volunteered to serve in South Africa on 9.2.1900. His diaries are an emotive testament to the Volunteer Company soldiers and vividly describe the long marches, prisoner escort and block house duty which fell to their lot:
'Fri. 9th. Went to Northampton to be examined by doctor for service in South Africa, returned to Peterborough at night.'
'Sat. 10th. Went to shop to explain matters to manager and packed tools and received presents and went to presentation dinner at night. Had very lively evening received 3.0.0, tam o shanter and pipe.'
The Volunteer Company entrained at Northampton, departed for South Africa on 14.2.1900 and arrived at Cape Town in 9.3.1900. They marched up to Kimberley and joined their Battalion at Dronfield on 20.3.1900. Private Carter was soon struck down with dysentery but recovered and embarked on a routine of long route marches and camp drill, with the occasional skirmish:
'Weds. 11th [April]. Reached Granaats Plaats and had a skirmish. Major slightly wounded. 18 miles. No tents.'
The Company marched into the Free State, stopping at, amongst other locations, Hoopstad, Kroonstad and Lindley and did various outpost duties. The diaries give a good account of the unsuitability of dismounted Infantry against mobile Boers but there are occasions mentioned which record successes:
'Weds. 18th [July]. Left Krugersdrop to attack enemy and marched six miles and halted for the night.'
'Thurs. 19th. Continued following the enemy for 12 miles west of Krugersdrop.'
'Fri. 20th. Continued march 14 miles.'
'Sat. 21st. Continued march 12 miles and fought the enemy at Olifant's Nek. Relieved Rustenburg by forcing Olifant's Nek and inflicting heavy loss on the enemy.'
The diary continues in similar vein during the hunt for De Wet until November 1900 when the Company was employed as Prisoner of War escorts and guards. Carter returned to England in 1901 after a year's typical footslogger's campaign.