Information supplied by Richard Ball
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Alexander Spalding
Colour Sergeant, Royal Sappers and Miners (1852) 1
of King William's Town Barracks
born circa 1812, Woolwich, Kent 2
died 11 August 1888, Garden House, Banks Drift,
in the residence of Alexander Spalding 3
He joined the Royal Marines at Woolwich on 25th October 1831.

He was 5 foot 7 3/4 inches tall, his hair was light brown, his eyes grey,
his complexion fair. He gave his birthplace as Woolwich, his age as 19
and his trade as bricklayer. He had the letters 'E.M.A.S' marked on his
right forearm. The same details appear on his discharge papers dated
30th June 1853 where his age is given as 47 years and 6 months and his
height as 5 feet 9 inches.

On the 3rd April 1833 he transferred to the Sappers and Miners as a
private. He was promoted 2nd Corporal on 1st May 1837, Corporal on
1st June 1841, Sergeant on 10th April 1844 and Colour Sergeant on
11th July 1848.

Between 1836 and 1843 he was stationed in Halifax, Nova Scotia. In
August 1845 the 9th Company of the Royal Sappers and Miners, to
which he was then attached, was transferred from Mauritius to the
Cape where the War of the Axe was being fought on the Eastern
Frontier. During the next eight years this regiment saw more action
than most infantry regiments.

The bloodiest single action for the Corps occurred on June 12th 1852
when a party, including men of the 9th Company, left Grahamstown to
escort nine wagons to Fort Beaufort. On a hill near the Koonap River
the convoy was ambushed by rebel Hottentots. Four of the advance
guard were killed in the first attack. They fought a retreat from wagon
to wagon and into a nearby ruined farmhouse where they managed to
hold out until assistance arrived. Alexander Spalding distinguished
himself during this action.

He received his discharge at the Cape 29th August 1853 on medical
grounds of 'chronic rheumatism accompanied with nervious debility',
settling in King Williams Town on a pension of 2 shillings a day.


G.R.Evison, The South Africa 1853 Medal, published Samson Books,
1978. The quotes of the Royal Sappers and Miners movements and
actions at the Cape come from this book.

Public Records Office, Kew:

Description Books for the Woolwich Division of the Royal Marines
ADM 158/66

WO 97/1152. No. 1488 Color Sergt. Alexaneder Spalding,
Discharge Papers, 30th June 1853, Royal Sappers and Miners

WO 22/243 (1853-56) and WO 22/244 (1876-79) Pension records

married 24 February 1834 at St. Luke, Old Charlton, Kent 4

Ann Smith
circa 1814-1874
nurse and midwife 5
of Taylor Street, King William's Town 6


1836 -

1838 -

c1839 -

Albert Alexander
c1841 -

Emma Isabel
1843 -

Joseph James
1846 -


born and died


Dina Maria

Charles Smith

children of Alexander and Ann Spalding

Anne Spalding born 1835
born 8 March 1835
baptized 3 June 1835, St Luke, Old Charlton, Kent, by the Revd. A. Drummond, Rector
 married 12 June 1850 Holy Trinity, King William's Town

James Hampson 7 born circa 1824
corporal, Royal Engineers
of Fort Murray

Sarah Spalding 1836-1917
born 3 October 1836, Halifax, Nova Scotia
baptized 23 October 1837, Halifax, by the Revd. J.T. Twining D.D.
died 25 July 1917, Fort Jackson, Eastern Cape
buried St. Stephen's, Fort Jackson, Eastern Cape
 married 16 February 1852 Holy Trinity, King Williams Town

Henry James Adkins 1827-1914
general dealer (1903)
of Gonubie District

John Spalding 8 1838-before 1888
born 2 July 1838, Halifax, Nova Scotia 9
baptized 22 July 1838, Halifax, Nova Scotia
died before 1888 10

Notes: there is a death notice for a John Spalding, parents
unknown, aged about 31 years, store and canteen keeper, who
died in the Masonic Hotel, Hebron, 11 April 1872. It is noted that
his wife had run off with Cruikshank. (MOK 1/1/3, 138)

Robert Spalding circa 1839-1885
born circa 1839, Halifax, Canada
died 23 January 1885, Spitzkop, District of Barkly, Griqualand West
 married 15 January 1861 Trinity Church, King William's Town

Sarah Jane Abernethy circa 1844-1891
of King William's Town

Albert Alexander Spalding circa 1841-1930
born circa September 1841, Nova Scotia
died 16 August 1930, Red Hill, Tabankulu
 married East London

Catherine Ann Treasurer 11 died after 1930

Emma Isabel Spalding 12 1843-1847
born 15 February 1843, Halifax, Nova Scotia 13
baptized 7 March 1843, Halifax, Nova Scotia 14
died March 1847, Fort Beaufort 15
buried 24 March 1847, Fort Beaufort 16

Joseph James Spalding 1846-1915
born 29 June 1846, Fort Beaufort, Cape Colony
baptized 23 July 1846, Fort Beaufort, by the Revd. H. Beaver
died 9 August 1915, at the house of H R Wade, Tsolo, Tsolo District
 married 14 December 1868 Holy Trinity, King William's Town

Charlotte Elizabeth 1840-1911

George Spalding born 1849
born 10 February 1849, Fort Cox, Cape of Good Hope 17
baptized 19 February 1849, Fort Cox, Cape of Good Hope

Margaret Spalding born and died 1851
born March 1851 18
died 19 August 1851
buried King William's Town

Martha Spalding born 1852
born 23 May 1852, King William's Town, Cape of Good Hope 19
baptized 27 May 1852, King William's Town

Dina Maria Spalding born 1854
born 27 May 1854 20
baptized 25 June 1854, Holy Trinity, King Williams Town
 married 1 December 1875 Wesleyan Methodist Church, Kimberley, Cape 21

Alexander Coltman
butcher 22
of Kimberley 23

Charles Smith Spalding born 1857
born 5 March 1857, King William's Town
baptized 23 April 1857, Methodist Church, King William's Town
 married 27 June 1892 Makeking - Wesleyan Methodist Church

Martha Johanna Louw born circa 1866

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