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Name: WILLIAMS, George Arthur Seccombe DSO
Birth Date: 6.4.1874 Port Stanley, Falkland Islands
Death Date: 19.2.1935 South Kensington, London
First Date: 1906
Married: In Guildford 1911 Alice Gordon Loch b. 1868 Cheltenham, d. 12 Mar 1957 Ipswich (dau of Brig.-Gen. Francis Adam Ellis Loch CB)
Book Reference: Drumkey, EAHB 1907, DSO, Web
DSO - London Gazette - 1 Jan 1918 - New Zealand Force - George Arthur Seccombe Williams - Major, North Staffordshire Regt. (Special Reserve)
Web - Article by Keith Steward FRGS - Major George Archer [sic] Secombe [sic] Williams DSO, 2nd battalion South Staffordshire Regiment late Major 4th battalion; late Lieutenant South Nigeria Regt, West African Frontier Force; late Lieutenant Royal Fusiliers was born in the Falkland Islands at Port Stanley on the 6th day of April 1874. George Williams spent the best part of 20 years in uniform; 5 years 9 months in West Africa, and undetermined period of time in East Africa and the years 1914 to 1919 or 1920 in France and Belgium. He was twice 'Mentioned in Despatches' in West Africa during the years 1900 and 1906, and 3 times during the First World War. He was awarded the DSO in the 'London Gazette' on the 1st January 1919 [sic]. He was undoubtedly resilient physically, hard working and competent yet he started and finished the First World War as a Major. The explanation is perhaps to be found in his First World War file where he is shown as serving with the Regiment until 1st August 1916. He is then appointed a Deputy Assistant Provost Marshal. It is likely that 2 years in the trenches at 40 years of age was quite enough when he was probably still suffering from recurring bouts of malaria, the consequence of his years in West Africa.
Major Williams is shown as being finally demobilised on the 1st April 1921. George Williams was the third child of Charles Henry Williams, a solicitor from Cheltenham who had emigrated in about 1860 to the Falkland Islands to try sheep farming. Apparently the good citizens of Cheltenham were not sufficiently litigious to provide him with an adequate income for his large family of at least 7 children. Young George was educated in England, at the Lichfield prep school Baylis House. Later he entered Stonyhurst College in September 1885.
Very little is known of his life between 1890 and 1900, except that he tried sheep farming in Tennessee, USA and went to the gold fields of Western Australia. In 1900 he obtained a 2nd Lieutenancy in the Royal Fusiliers. His appointment as Lieutenant 3rd battalion South Nigeria Regiment is dated 26 June 1901. The letter of appointment shows his address as Spratts Hayes, Exmouth, Devon ………… Aro Field Force …… South Nigeria 1902-3-4. West Africa 1906 …… transferred to the 'Civil' as an Assistant District Commissioner in 1906. …….. On 9th April 1906 he is gazetted as a Captain in the 4th battalion of the South Staffordshire Regt. On 25th October 1906 he applies for a Police Superintendent's position in British East Africa. It seems as though he wanted the step up in rank without being tied to West Africa and the West African Frontier Force. ……….
The next reference to Captain Williams appears in the East African Protectorate correspondence, where he is seeking re-appointment to the Civil Administration of Southern Nigeria. A curious letter written by Captain Williams, East Africa Police, is filed in PRO CO 533/40. It seems that while returning home on leave he was asked by the Colonial Office to observe a fellow passenger. The letter reads: "I first saw Mr Webster on 31 Jan 1907 on which day I travelled from Nairobi en route to Mombasa with him. He was then looking thin worried and very ill." The letter continues with details of them playing bridge together and trips ashore at Port Said, Genoa and Algiers. The letter concludes: "I necessarily saw a great deal of him …. And never once during that period saw or heard anything which led me to think Mr Webster was not as sane as any man or woman on board the ship." Clearly the Colonial Office were using Captain Williams skills as a policeman to evaluate a suspected erroneous claim for pension on grounds of poor mental health. The trail of Captain Williams then fades until 1911 when he appears in the 4th battalion South Staffordshire Regimental Diary, as attending the annual camp at Shorncliffe. ….
Drumkey 1909 - Asst. Dist. Supdt. Of Police, EAP, Oct 30th 1906; Lieut. Royal Fusiliers; Capt. 4th Batt. South Stafford Regt.; W.A. Frontier Force 1901-05; Medal and 5 Clasps (Mentioned in Despatches); Asst. Dist. Commissioner, S. Nigeria 1905-06
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