The Royal New South Wales Lancers

Lancer - Corporal Fred Kilpatrick

Fred Kilpatrick was a schoolteacher. He taught at Leichhardt Public School and at Carlingford.

He was also a Lancer. He like Tom Morris took part in the great adventure to train in England, then serve in South Africa. He became the first Lancer to die in action.

The official report on his death, written by Major Lee, the commander of Lancer Squadron South Africa was as follows:

"Slingersfontein, 17-1-1900.- In reference to the patrol of New South Wales and First Australian Horse that left camp at 3 a.m. yesterday under Lieutenant W.V. Dowling, of the First Australian Horse, the following is notified for record: The patrol after leaving camp was attended by Major Lee as far as Pleese's farm. After short halt Lieutenant Dowling moved on with patrol. At 3.30 p.m. Warrant Officer Duncan reported his return to camp, also that he had been with Lieutenant Dowling's patrol up till 1 p.m. The patrol had reconnoitred according to instructions, and was about returning to camp when Warrant Officer Duncan with two men, was detached to examine Mr. Foster's farm. After doing so, he went in search of Lieutenants Dowling's part, and failing to find them concluded they had returned to camp. At 4.30 p.m. Major Lee received a message from Colonel Porter to see him at once in reference to the patrol, and rode around immediately with Warrant Officer Duncan and Private Buchholtz, and was informed that a New South Wales Lancer patrol had been cut up. Colonel Porter proceeded to the top of the adjacent hill, where Warrant Office Duncan and Private Buchholtz explained all particulars. The Colonel considered the unfortunate occurrence could not be classed otherwise than as an accident, and that no one was to blame. It was decided after hearing the verbal evidence of the Rimington Scouts (Bennet and two others) that we would wait developments and see if any came in after dark. At 11.30 p.m,. Private Artlett, Parramatta Half-squadron, returned to camp in an exhausted condition. The position of the occurrence was located by the Lancer scouts, some distance away on our left front. Upon examination it was found the T.S.M. Griffin, No. 367, First Australian Horse, had been killed from bullet wounds, one being through the head. Corporal F. Kilpatrick, No. 755, New South Wales Lancers, was found severely wounded - one bullet wound through the lungs, and the lower jaw smashed as if by an explosive bullet. Owing to the Boers appearing on our left flank in strength I withdrew all combatants from the front, and sent on the ambulance. On return the medical officer reported that he had buried T.S.M. Griffin on the spot where he had fallen, and that Corporal Kilpatrick was in the ambulance expiring. Corporal Kilpatrick died, at 5.10 p.m. was buried next to the two New Zealanders on the slope above Slingersfontein Farm.

There are memorials to Corporal Kilpatrick at Carlingford and Leichhardt schools. The memorial at Leichhardt is illustrated below:

The inscription states:'In Memory of , Corporal Frederick Isaac Kilpatrick of the N.S.W .Lancers, For many years a scholar and teacher of this school He was killed at Rensburg, South Africa, on the 16th January 1900 At the age of 26, and was one of the first of the N.S.W. volunteers To fall in the defence of the empire This tablet was erected by the teachers, scholars, residents of Leichhardt and friends of the deceased'.

There is also a memoorial at Carlingford Public School:

New South Wales Lancers Memorial Museum Incorporated ABN 94 630 140 881; Linden House, Lancer Barracks, 2 Smith Street, PARRAMATTA, AUSTRALIA
Postal Address: PO Box 7287, PENRITH SOUTH NSW 2750, AUSTRALIA; Telephone: +61 (0)405 482 814 Email:
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