Thomas Price (soldier)

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Thomas Price
Born(1842-10-21)21 October 1842
Hobart, Tasmania
Died 3 July 1911(1911-07-03) (aged 68)
Warrnambool, Victoria
Buried Melbourne General Cemetery
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Indian Army
Victoria Military Force
Years of service 1861–1883
1885–1904
Rank Colonel
Commands held Victorian Mounted Rifles
Victorian Rangers
Battles/wars Second Boer War
Awards Companion of the Order of the Bath
Mentioned in Despatches

Thomas Caradoc Rose Price CB (21 October 1842 – 3 July 1911), often known as Colonel Tom Price, was an Australian soldier, and acting commandant of the Commonwealth Military Forces in Victoria in 1902. Joining the British Indian Army in his early years, he served 20 years in India before returning to Australia. In 1885, he raised the Victorian Mounted Rifles, and was instrumental in establishing the concept of light horse units within the Australian Army. In 1900, he led a Victorian contingent during the Second Boer War, and was the only Australian officer during that war to command a force of British regulars. He remained in the Australian military after the war, serving in Queensland until 1904 when he was medically discharged. He retired to Victoria again and died in 1911 at the age of 68.

Order of the Bath series of awards of an order of chivalry of the United Kingdom

The Most Honourable Order of the Bath is a British order of chivalry founded by George I on 18 May 1725. The name derives from the elaborate medieval ceremony for appointing a knight, which involved bathing as one of its elements. The knights so created were known as "Knights of the Bath". George I "erected the Knights of the Bath into a regular Military Order". He did not revive the Order of the Bath, since it had never previously existed as an Order, in the sense of a body of knights who were governed by a set of statutes and whose numbers were replenished when vacancies occurred.

Victoria (Australia) State in Australia

Victoria is a state in south-eastern Australia. Victoria is Australia's smallest mainland state and its second-most populous state overall, thus making it the most densely populated state overall. Most of its population lives concentrated in the area surrounding Port Phillip Bay, which includes the metropolitan area of its state capital and largest city, Melbourne, Australia's second-largest city. Geographically the smallest state on the Australian mainland, Victoria is bordered by Bass Strait and Tasmania to the south, New South Wales to the north, the Tasman Sea to the east, and South Australia to the west.

British Indian Army 1858-1947 land warfare branch of British Indias military, distinct from the British Army in India

The Indian Army (IA), often known since 1947 as the British Indian Army to distinguish it from the current Indian Army, was the principal military of the British Indian Empire before its decommissioning in 1947. It was responsible for the defence of both the British Indian Empire and the princely states, which could also have their own armies. The Indian Army was an important part of the British Empire's forces, both in India and abroad, particularly during the First World War and the Second World War.

Contents

Early life

Price was born in Hobart, Tasmania, on 21 October 1842. [1] He was the fourth son of John Price, a police magistrate and convict superintendent, who was the fourth son of Cornish Australian [2] Sir Rose Price, 1st Baronet of the Price Baronets. [3] He received some basic education in Hobart and from 1854 was educated at Scotch College, Melbourne. In December 1859, he entered the East India Military College, in Addiscombe, England, and was commissioned in 1861 into the Madras Infantry. [4]

Scotch College, Melbourne school in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Scotch College is an independent Presbyterian day and boarding school for boys, located in Hawthorn, an inner-eastern suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Addiscombe Military Seminary British military academy

The East India Company Military Seminary was a British military academy at Addiscombe, Surrey, in what is now the London Borough of Croydon. It opened in 1809 and closed in 1861. Its purpose was to train young officers to serve in the East India Company’s private army in India.

Military career

Price undertook twenty years of service in India with several different regiments, [4] during which time he was also seconded as a police superintendent. [1] He retired from the army in 1883 with the rank of lieutenant colonel and returned to Australia, securing a plot of farm land around Heidelberg, Victoria. In 1885, he was appointed to the Victorian Military Forces, taking up a commission as an officer in its small permanent force. He subsequently formed the Victorian Mounted Rifles, an early light horse unit that helped establish the concept within the Australian military, which was raised from volunteers recruited from men based in rural Victoria. In establishing his new unit, Price obtained permission to dress them in khaki, instead of the red or blue uniforms that had been common at the time. [1] He also instituted the slouch hat as an item of their uniform, which subsequently became a defining icon of the modern Australian Army. [5] In 1888, he briefly took command of the Victorian Rangers, commanding them until 1889. [1] During a civil disturbance in Melbourne in 1890 when maritime workers went on strike, Price's unit was called out to aid civilian police. The orders that he gave to his men to fire on the strikers if necessary later led to him being criticised by Premier Duncan Gillies and appearing before a court of inquiry. In the end, his actions were upheld and ultimately the strike was resolved peacefully. [1]

Lieutenant colonel (pronounced Lef-ten-ent Kernel or Loo-ten-ent Kernel ) is a rank of commissioned officer in the armies, most marine forces and some air forces of the world, above a major and below a colonel. The rank of lieutenant colonel is often shortened to simply "colonel" in conversation and in unofficial correspondence. Sometimes, the term, 'half-colonel' is used in casual conversation in the British Army. A lieutenant colonel is typically in charge of a battalion in the army.

Heidelberg, Victoria Suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Heidelberg is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 12 km north-east of Melbourne's central business district. Its local government area is the City of Banyule. In 2016, Heidelberg had a population of 6,225.

The Victorian Mounted Rifles (VMR) was a regiment composed of Australian forces that served in the Second Boer War. It was first raised by Colonel Tom Price in the mid-1880s, composed of voluntary forces. It was composed of several contingents, the most notable being the 5th Victorian Mounted Rifles.

A Company of the Victorian Mounted Rifles on manoeuvres in Victoria in 1889. Frank Dadd - Company of the Victorian Mounted Rifles on manoeuvres in Victoria in 1889.jpg
A Company of the Victorian Mounted Rifles on manoeuvres in Victoria in 1889.

In 1900, Price saw action in South Africa in the Second Boer War in command of the second Victorian contingent and was mentioned in despatches. He also commanded a force that included British regulars during the conflict, the only Australian commander to do so during the war. After his return from South Africa, he was briefly assigned the position of State commandant of the Victorian forces. This was the second highest position available to an officer at the time in Australia. He held the position between March and July 1902, before relinquishing the position to assume the same role in Queensland. He served there until he retired, medically unfit, in August 1904. [1]

South Africa Republic in the southernmost part of Africa

South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. It is bounded to the south by 2,798 kilometres (1,739 mi) of coastline of Southern Africa stretching along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans; to the north by the neighbouring countries of Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe; and to the east and northeast by Mozambique and Eswatini (Swaziland); and it surrounds the enclaved country of Lesotho. South Africa is the largest country in Southern Africa and the 25th-largest country in the world by land area and, with over 57 million people, is the world's 24th-most populous nation. It is the southernmost country on the mainland of the Old World or the Eastern Hemisphere. About 80 percent of South Africans are of Sub-Saharan African ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different African languages, nine of which have official status. The remaining population consists of Africa's largest communities of European (White), Asian (Indian), and multiracial (Coloured) ancestry.

Second Boer War war between South African Republic and the United Kingdom

The Second Boer War was fought between the British Empire and two Boer states, the South African Republic and the Orange Free State, over the Empire's influence in South Africa. It is also known variously as the Boer War, Anglo-Boer War, or South African War. Initial Boer attacks were successful, and although British reinforcements later reversed these, the war continued for years with Boer guerrilla warfare, until harsh British counter-measures brought them to terms.

Queensland North-east state of Australia

Queensland is the second-largest and third-most populous state in the Commonwealth of Australia. Situated in the north-east of the country, it is bordered by the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales to the west, south-west and south respectively. To the east, Queensland is bordered by the Coral Sea and Pacific Ocean. To its north is the Torres Strait, with Papua New Guinea located less than 200 km across it from the mainland. The state is the world's sixth-largest sub-national entity, with an area of 1,852,642 square kilometres (715,309 sq mi).

Later life

Following his discharge, Price retired to Warrnambool, Victoria, his health having been affected by his services in India and South Africa. He lived there until his death on 3 July 1911. He was buried with military honours in the Melbourne General Cemetery. He married twice, firstly in 1874 to Mary, daughter of Thomas Baillie, who died in 1899, and secondly in 1902 to Emeline Shadforth, daughter of the Robert Reid. Emeline survived him with three sons; Price's daughter from his first marriage also survived him. [4] He was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath in 1900. [1] One of his sons died on active service with the Royal Navy during World War I, while another reached the rank of brigadier in the British Army. [4] [3]

Melbourne General Cemetery cemetery in Melbourne, Australia

The Melbourne General Cemetery is a large necropolis located 2 km (1.2 mi) north of the city of Melbourne in the suburb of Carlton North.

Robert Dyce Reid was a pastoralist and politician in colonial Victoria (Australia), member of the Victorian Legislative Council.

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References

Citations
  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Dennis et al 1995, p. 472.
  2. Rowse, A.L. The Cousin Jacks, The Cornish in America
  3. 1 2 Searle 1949.
  4. 1 2 3 4 Coulthard-Clark 1988, pp. 289–290.
  5. Aitken, Peter. "The Slouch Hat: Trademark of the Australian Army". Australian War Memorial. Retrieved 23 August 2014.
Bibliography
<i>Australian Dictionary of Biography</i> Dictionary of Biographies

The Australian Dictionary of Biography is a national co-operative enterprise founded and maintained by the Australian National University (ANU) to produce authoritative biographical articles on eminent people in Australia's history. Initially published in a series of twelve hard-copy volumes between 1966 and 2005, the dictionary has been published online since 2006.

Jeffrey Grey Australian military historian

Jeffrey Guy Grey was an Australian military historian. He wrote two volumes of The Official History of Australia's Involvement in Southeast Asian Conflicts 1948–1975, and several other high-profile works on Australia's military history. He was the first non-American to become the president of the Society for Military History, but is perhaps best known as the author of A Military History of Australia.

International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.