M.B.E. 2nd type, civil, D.C.M (VR): (Sergt.Bechuanaland Rifles), Q.S.A, 3 clasps O.F.S, Defence of Mafeking, ,Tr. K.S.A, 2 clasps SA’01, S.A.1902: (both Sjt: . Bech’ld Rifles).
Coronation Medal 1902, Bronze, Jubilee Medal 1935 (Privately named Richard Rowland, Esq. D.C.M., J.P.)
First commended for Gallantry during the Defence of Mafeking when he commanded the Barolongs during the Boer attack of 12 May 1900. He was mentioned by Col. Baden- Powell in the Mafeking Garrison General Orders, as published in the Mafeking Mail of 22 May 1900.
Previously mentioned in the Mafeking Mail of 14 May
‘Cpl. R. Rowland , Bechuanaland Riles, – a son of Mr. Rowland, whose homestead was used as a women’s laager – with a few men also contested the exit of the Boers , who tried to creep along a gulley or “sluit” near where he was placed. Young Rowland was wounded , butt slightly. One of his boys was severely wounded in a manner characteristic of our enemy. “There is another” someone said as a figure was seen creeping up the side of a cutting. “Don’t fire, I want to surrender,” the sneaking cur called out. “Take his gun,” said young Rowland. The boy went to do so, the Boer holding it out as if intending to hand it over. When within six feet the dastard fired through the boys chest, and bolted, happily not quite free as at least one bullet caught him.’
“Corporal R. Rowland (30 men), Bechuanaland Rifles (wounded), in charge of Natives. Assisted the Barolongs materially in the defence of their Stadt, especially at the Western end in the evening, when, with a small party, he successfully contested the exit of the Boers till ordered to retire being wounded himself, and losing one killed and one wounded of his party.”
Following the Relief of Mafeking the Bechuanaland Rifles saw service in the Cape Colony and the Western Transvaal. In early 1901 a squadron was in Lord Methuen’s column and they were in action in a running fight of almost 24 hours duration south of Wolmaransstad against the local Commando. Rowland was again wounded on this occasion,
M.I.D in consequence (L.G., 16/4/1901, along with his C/O, Captain Cowan.
M.I.D. again L.G. 17/1/1902 by Col von Donop citation in Army Orders 14/11/1901 for the action at Kleinfontein, 24/10/1901.
“For marked gallantry in collecting men and carrying messages under heavy fire. Has been twice previously mentioned.”
Mentioned for the attack on Von Donop’s column by about 1000 Boers under Generals, Delarey, Kemp and Celliers. From Creswicke’ The Transvaal War
‘Fighting was ferocious , particularly round the two guns (4th Battery R.F.A………………Sergeant Roland (Bechuanaland Rifles) too, in the same deadly hail, collected men and carried messages with the daredevil courage for which he is notable.’
For his various acts of gallantry was awarded the D.C.M L.G. 28/1/1902.
In 1902 Rowland was one of the 5 NCO’s and men of the Bechuanaland Rifles chosen to form part of the Coronation Contingent. In the official motivation for his inclusion it was stated that he had enrolled in the unit on 18 July 1899, that he had rendered good service since the outbreak of hostilities and that he had earned a DCM. After the war, Rowland settled in Kanye, Bechuanaland.
By 1935 he was a Justice of the Peace and awarded a 1935 Jubilee Medal, with him noted on the roll as Trader of Kanye-Bangwaketsi Reserve, Bechuanaland Protectorate.
M.B.E L.G. 1/1/1938, ) Richard Rowland, Esq., J.P., of Kanye, Bechuanaland Protectorate. For public services.
Useful research including copy pages from Mafeking Mail and various publications .