Search for content in message boards

Help please with Uniform Identification Boer war and WW1

Help please with Uniform Identification Boer war and WW1

Posted: 1374526333000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1374583641000
Surnames: Lennie, McClellan
I would appreciate if anyone with appropriate knowledge on the subject could identify the uniforms in these photos.
It has been suggested that these 2 photos which were clipped together in an .may be the same man.
On his WW1 Application form ( he applied in Australia) he states he had previously been in the NZ Volunteers for 13 months and 2 years in the Scottish Horse Troop Boer War .
He is actually 51 when he applies for WW1 but says he is 46 and a half.
His name is David McClellan when he signs up for WW1 but his actual name was David Lennie - McClellan was the name of his step father. I cant find any record of a Lennie or McClellan in the Scottish Horse Troop records at British archives though there is one David Lennie listed in the Imperial Yeomanry.
Im unfamiliar with all things military so would love any guidance anyone could give me
I cant find his name in any list of Scottish Horse Troop records

Re: Help please with Uniform Identification Boer war and WW1

Posted: 1375388019000
Classification: Query
In November 1900 Lord Kitchener sanctioned the raising of a regiment to be known as the Scottish Horse. Lord Tullibardine soon started recruiting from Scotsmen, or men of Scottish descent, in South Africa, chiefly in Natal. Recruiting was not confined to South Africa. Great Britain and the other Colonies were appealed to, and the Caledonian Societies in London and overseas did grand work. The Society in Melbourne took up the matter with enthusiasm, and "about 300 men joined me on 8th March. These were a splendid draft, very fine riders, and all Victorians". Later on more men joined from Australia, recruiting having been attended with success.

Re: Help please with Uniform Identification Boer war and WW1

Posted: 1375476912000
Classification: Military
Edited: 1375545883000
Surnames: Lennie , McClellan , , McClelland ,Mclellan
Firstly you MUST take note that the Scottish Horse formed part of the Imperial Yeomanry and although most Scottish Horse troops were enrolled in South Africa, some did enrol in the UK.

I’ve looked at the David Lennie who’s listed as being in the Imperial Yeomanry and he served in the 11th Middlesex Company, 11th Battalion of the I.Y. not the Scottish Horse. To confirm it is or isn’t your relative, David Lennie was born 1881 in Edinboro (sic), Midlothian. An engineer by trade he was living at Balham SW London when he enlisted into the I.Y. on 24 February 1901 and was discharged in Sept 1902.

In the both the photographs there’s no indication of where they were taken, so it’s entirely possible they were taken “at home” and at least one when he was serving with a local unit (NZ Volunteers perhaps?); his change in hat style could indicate a change in unit.

In the photograph showing him alone, except for the lack of the black plume not showing on the upturn side of his hat, his uniform is typical of that worn by Scottish Horse and other Boer War mounted troops and the tunic looks to be the Australian/New Zealand pattern with large hip pockets. I can’t make out his collar insignia but again it is typical of ANZ troops and collar insignia were rarely worn by British contingents of the Imperial Yeomanry who wore shoulder titles.

In the second picture of him as an older man, he’s again wearing the Australian/NZ style tunic together with a 1903 pattern bandolier that was worn by mounted troops from 1904 and throughout WWI. Again his collar insignia aren’t clear enough to identify.

You said, “I cant find any record of a Lennie or McClellan in the Scottish Horse Troop records at British archives”; do you mean you or a 3rd party actually checked the enrolment forms in document series WO 126 at Kew or some other list/database online?

WO 126 War Office: Local Armed Forces, Enrolment Forms, South African War
WO 126/125 Scottish Horse. [surnames beginning] M-Ri
WO 126 records are not available online.

The Nominal Roll of the Scottish Horse from WO 127, including images of the actual pages and a description of the Scottish Horse is available online at

Looking through the M surname images of the Nominal Roll (images 74-95), there are a few McClennan, McClelland and Mclellan names. One that stands out is listed on image 85 as 40071 McClennan Wm., and he’s listed again on image 93 but as 40071 McLelland and the last “d” has a red line through it. To me a search of the actual enrolment forms, armed with his personal details, date & place of birth, residence etc., is needed, but you should also check for records in either Australia or New Zealand as the records (or at least duplicates) of those countries Boer War Veterans should be held in their respective archives.

Almost forgot, to find a list of ALL Mcclellan and Mclellan soldiers who served in the Boer War search for Mccle then Mcle at you will find one David Mclelland No 43178 who served in the 37th Battalion Imperial Yeomanry and that was a Scottish battalion. Unfortunately the 37th battalion IY was formed in 1901 and didn’t get to South Africa until after the war had ended, so although he received the Queen’s South Africa Medal he wasn’t entitled to any clasps.
He’s turned out to be a bit of a puzzle because I’m unable to locate any attestation papers for him in WO 128.

Best I can do.

Re: Help please with Uniform Identification Boer war and WW1

Posted: 1375527631000
Classification: Query
I really appreciate all your help here Jeff. I had the photos looked at today by a NZ defence force historian who believes both uniforms are probably Australian but was unable to confirm dates exactly but I've been given more places to research which I intend to do. The David Lennie from Midlothian definitely is not him so I can exclude him as my man was born the Orkney Islands, ( though he seems to forget this-along with his age) in his WW1 application, stating he was born in Timaru NZ.. )

Re: Help please with Uniform Identification Boer war and WW1

Posted: 1379824499000
Classification: Query
Ive come across a small snippet of information regarding this man from some research done by a now deceased relative. In his notes he says of David Lennie/McClellan
"David Lennie - South African War - made whips for the Prince of Wales - rheumatic fever - married his nurse"

Of course this could all be family fable - I still have been unable to find anything in either NZ or Australia to prove he was in fact active in the Boer war apart from the notations on his WW1 Attestation form

Re: Help please with Uniform Identification Boer war and WW1

Posted: 1383008516000
Classification: Query
I’ve been looking at the part of the note, “made whips for the Prince of Wales”.

The London equestrian & leather goods company Swaine Adeney Brigg has held the Royal Warrant as “whip & glove makers” to the Royal Family since the early 1800’s and still holds it today. Queen Victoria awarded the company further Royal Appointments in 1883, so it would be logical that unless the Prince of Wales used another “none appointed” company at times, David Lennie probably worked for SAB in London. You could try contacting them to see if they have employee records from the late 1890-1900 period and if a David Lennie is listed.

If that draws a blank you could also contact the Royal Archives to see if the know if either HRH King Edward VII or HRH King George V had whips supplied from any other company in England or Scotland around 1900/1902 when they held the title “Prince of Wales”. For Edward VII that would have been until January 1901 when he became King and for George V from November 1901 when he became Prince of Wales.

Although the David Lennie who you’ve previously identified and served in the IY gave his occupation as an engineer, if he did work for the company it would also be logical for David Lennie to have enlisted in an Imperial Yeomanry Company from the London/Middlesex area, rather than Scotland or in South Africa. Just because he original joined a London area company, doesn’t mean he couldn’t have been attached to the Scottish Horse while in South Africa.


Re: Help please with Uniform Identification Boer war and WW1

Posted: 1383013881000
Classification: Query
You know the longer I think about this the less I believe aspects of the passed down history.
Firstly David Lennie was in New Zealand as late as the end of October 1900 as this was when his wife died. -
He wasn't an engineer by trade but a blacksmith /farrier so I dont think he is the David Lennie I had found earlier.
We know he was in Tasmania by 1903 as this is when he remarried. The family story says that he contracted rheumatic fever during the Boer War and married his nurse but I cant find any evidence that his second wife was in fact a nurse during the Boer War .
He remarried under the name McClellan and applied for his WW1 service under the name McClellan and I can find no evidence of someone of either name being part of the contingents leaving from New Zealand .
per page

Find a board about a specific topic