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TODAY IN KIMBERLEY’S HISTORY 16 APRIL

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16 April 1878, The first black band – the Kimberley African Amateur Minstrels, performs in Dutoitspan.
16 April 1935, Lt-Colonel Thomas Henderson Rodger DSO, dies.
16 April 1941, Potgieter’s Motors opens their new building adjacent to Market Square.

DID YOU KNOW

Lt-Colonel Thomas Henderson Rodger (pictured) was born at Wynberg, Cape Town, on 10 March 1860.

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Lt Col Thomas Henderson Rodger

He served in the DEOVR in the Gaika-Galeka War of 1877-78, and in the Diamond Fields Horse in the Langeberg Uprising, of 1896-97 (Medal and clasp). He was promoted Captain in 1894; and Major in 1899.

He again saw active service in the Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902, taking part in the defence of Kimberley as well as in operations in Orange Free State from February to May 1900 including the Battle of Boshof and in the famous Relief of Mafeking and other operations in the Transvaal, May and June 1900.

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Lt Col Thomas Henderson Rodger’s Gravestone

 

 

 

Thomas fought in various operations in Orange River Colony, the Cape Colony, and the Transvaal right up until the end of the war on 31 May 1902. He was mentioned in Despatches [London Gazette, 8 May 1900, and 16 April 1901]; received the Queen’s Medal with four clasps; the King’s Medal with two clasps, and was created a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order [London Gazette, 19 April 1901]:

“Thomas Henderson Rodger, Major, Diamond Fields Horse. In recognition of services during the operations in South Africa”.

The Insignia were sent to the Commander-in-Chief in South Africa, and presented there.

In 1902 he became Officer Commanding the Diamond Fields Horse, with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, and in 1903 the commanding officer of the Kimberley Regiment.

In the Great War of 1914 – 1918 he commanded the 2nd Battalion Kimberley Regiment and saw action in the then German SWA at the battle of Trekkopjes.

Colonel Rodger had married, in 1885, Elizabeth Johanna, the daughter of W J Merrington, of Claremont, Cape Colony. He had gone to Kimberley as a young man and established the Victoria Steam Carriage Works in 1887. This building, reduced in height quite recently, is still in existence just off Quinn Street.

After semi-retiring he acquired a farm in the Dryharts region, this farm being incorporated into the Taung Reserve in 1936.

Colonel Rodger died in 1935 and is buried in Kimberley.

From Kimberley Calls and Recalls on Facebook By Steve Lunderstedt

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