A Small article in Wednesday's South Coast Register about the Nowra RSL Sub-Branch's traditional Boer War Memorial Service this Sunday, June 2 has struck a chord for local Doug Holland.
Australia, as part of the British Empire, was dragged into the Boer War against the South African Republic and the Orange Free State, over the Empire's influence in South Africa.
Locally, 80 Shoalhaven men fought in the war between October 11, 1899, to May 31, 1902.
Mr Holland, who is extremely well-known in local cycling circles, has revealed his family's link with the Boer War, where his maternal grandfather, Charles Richard Wilson, served, not once but twice.
Mr Holland has provided some superb, albeit somewhat damaged photographs, of his grandfather while on his service in South Africa and some of his documentation.
Charles Richard Wilson (1874-1939), was originally from Katoomba in the Blue Mountains where he was a linesman.
He enlisted in the Royal Artillery and was sent to South Africa where he was serving in 1901 but was invalided home with smallpox the same year.
After recovering, he re-enlisted, changing the second initial of his name to F, and joined the 3rd Commonwealth Horse.
"All the other provided details almost certainly confirm it's the same man," Mr Holland said.
"His slight name change was likely to have been to avoid questions about his health after invaliding back the first time.
"Charles returned to South Africa and the couple of photos we have of him in the Commonwealth Horse uniform were taken in Upington, as marked on the back of one of the photos."
Upington was in the Bechuanaland Protectorate of South Africa, just below what is now Botswana.
His second attestation paper has been digitised at the Australian National Archives, while there is also a newspaper article from the Nepean Times (Penrith) , January 26, 1901 entitled Our Mountain Soldiers, From The Front in which he is mentioned and is available on Trove.
The Boer War ended at the end of May 1902 and Charles returned to Australia where he worked for the PMG as a linesman.
He met and married, Mabel Ellen Law in Bega in 1904.
The family grew and settled at Caniba, near Lismore, as dairy farmers in 1917.
Charles and Mabel had 12 children (two deceased as infants), with Mr Holland's mother, Florence, born in 1920.
Charles died of prostate cancer in 1939 and is buried in the Casino cemetery.
The late Keith Paterson's wonderful book 'South Africa The Volunteers War' traces the local connection to the Boer War.
The Nowra RSL Sub-Branch's Boer War Memorial Service will be held this Sunday, June 2 at 4pm at the Boer War Memorial in Rauch Park, Junction Street, Nowra.
The service is open to anyone.