Hugh Wallace was the son of Auchentibber’s James Wallace. Hugh was a blacksmith to trade and by February 1900, when this article is set, had been a member of the 2nd V.B.S Rifle Volunteers for 3 years. He had volunteered his services as a farrier in the Royal Horse Artillery.
On the first Wednesday in February 1900, just 1 month after saying goodbye to the 1890s, Hugh was ready to say goodbye again.
This time he was leaving for Aldershot and expecting to sail out to South Africa the following week. At Auchentibber, the community rallied and he was presented with a powerful pair of field glasses, sportsmans knife, and a pipe and tobacco from a few friends who met to bid him farewell and to wish him good luck. Inspector Gracie of Blantyre made the presentation and spoke in the highest terms of Hugh’s patriotic behaviour and of the volunteers in their country’s hour of need.
He said ‘Farrier’ Wallace took an honoured name to the front and knew he would never do anything to dishonour it. Mr Wallace suitably replied and a pleasant hour was spent afterwards bidding farewell from close family and friends.
War took place in South Africa from 1899 to 1902. Pictured are the mounted rifle volunteers.
Hugh was the son of James Wallace b1845 and Helen Allan Russell b1842. Originally from Kirkintilloch James moved to Auchenitbber as a farrier. Wife Helen was working as a domestic servant in Hamilton on Kennedy’s Farm. Hugh was born in 1879. This family had lived in Auchentibber throughout the 1870s, 1880s and 1890s.
Of course you should know how this ended. Hugh did survive the African conflict and was discharged from Army duty in 1902. Hugh Wallace married Lizzie Mckinlay on June 26, 1903, back in Blantyre, when he was 24 years old. His child James Jnr was born on November 23, 1903, in Motherwell, Lanarkshire. Another child Minnie would follow. Hugh, Lizzie and children visited America in 1906 but are thought to have returned to Blantyre.
His previous army experience made him a suitable candidate to return across the Atlantic to service when war broke out in 1914. His enrolement form 11th August 1914 is attached, listing Blantyre as his home. Hugh Wallace served in the military that year when he was 35 years old. He must have survived the war, for the trail runs cold in 1920, following the war, where he and wife Lizzie, are noted as living in the town of Eldorado Ward 3, Saline County, Illinois.
Trail runs cold at about 42 years of age, but given he had his family with him there, I’m assuming there are American descendants living today that are familiar with this family story.
His elder brother John lived a long life after emigrating to Australia.
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