Lance Corporal Henry BettsPrint Page Print this page

Photographs supplied by Arthur Garland

The tablet commemorates Henry Allwright Betts, Lance Corporal, a member of the First Tasmanian Contingent to South Africa in October 1899, who was killed near Donkerpoch, Transvaal on June 20th 1900.

An interesting ceremony took place after the morning service on Sunday, the 11th inst., in the unveiling of a tablet erected by public subscription in St. Mark's Church, Pontville, to the memory of Henry Allwright Betts.

Lance-Corporal Betts became a member of the Brighton Rifle Corps, under Captain Gatty, and joined the staff of the Macquarie-street State School early in 1897 ; but, actuated by attachment to the comrades among whom he had grown up he continued as an efficient in the Brighton detachment, until his enlistment in the First Tasmanian Contíngent for South Africa. His career in South Africa was marked by a steady devotion to duty. On the field of battle, his distinguished bravery and noteworthy intelligence secured for him four "clasps" out of the five awarded in the following , campaigns : -Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Diamond Hill, and Johannesburg. 

On June 20, 1900, he was told to patrol with a Corporal's guard, in the direction of the Victorian camp. The country was fairly open, with patches of timber, and the grass very high. The party saw what appeared to be cattle in some timber. Betts halted his men, and rode on to reconnoitre, his comrades watching. When he was about three hundred yards from them, they heard a shot, and he at once called out, "Clear for your lives." A volley followed, and he fell - shot by a Boer party within 50yds who had crept up through the long grass to meet the patrol.

On receipt of the sad intelligence, a committee was formed to mark in some way the esteem and respect in which he was held by the general public, and to place on record a lasting token of recognition of services rendered to the Empire.
The Mercury (Hobart), 13th May 1902.



Address:Midland Highway, St Mark`s Anglican Church, Pontville, 7030
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -42.680713
Long: 147.266188
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event STart Date:20-June-1900
Actual Event End Date:20-June-1900


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 11th May, 1902
Front Inscription

This tablet is erected by public subscription in memory of Henry Allwright Beggs, Lance Corporal, first Tasmanian Contingent to S. Africa - Octr 1899, who was killed on patrol duty near Donkerpoch, Transvaal on June 20th 1900 in his twenty-third year.

"A soldier of Christ and his Queen.

Born in Hobart he was baptized in this Church, and associated with it as Sunday School scholar, teacher and lay reader.

Major Cameron`s official despatch records that his devotion to duty was an example to all.

"In the action near Karee he rescued a comrade whose horse had been shot.

"Quit you like men be strong"




Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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