William John Lewis
5992 Pte. W. Lewis, Rifle Brigade.
Queen’s South Africa Medal clasps Cape Colony, Relief of Ladysmith.
Wounded in action Vaal Krantz 5 February 1900
& invalided.

With four photocopy pages of service papers and
a photocopy of the medal roll page. William John
Lewis enlisted at Neath 1 July 1898 aged 20
years 1 month. Born Ystrad. Occupation collier.
Convicted by District Court Martial 28 October
1898 of using threatening language to his superior
officer who had ordered him to confinement and
imprisoned for 21 days with hard labour. In 1898
and 1899 had 23 entries in the defaulter book,
mostly for unauthorised absences and drunkenness.

A court of enquiry was held at Parkhurst 3
October 1899 to investigate the cause of a
sprained ankle. It was concluded that the injury
was sustained on duty while route marching
through no fault of his own and his hospital
stoppages were remitted. Sustained three
shrapnel wounds from a bursting shell to the left
leg. A medical report in December 1900 stated
that he had two deep scars on his left calf and a
third on the inner aspect of his left leg. There was
a loss of substance in the calf muscles and the
lower calf scar was attached to the flexor tendons
causing lameness and pain on walking.
His degree of disability was assessed at 20%. By the 1920s he was unemployed and living on
parish relief. Died of senility at Abercwmboi 10 June 1952 aged 74. His nephew wrote to the
Ministry of Pensions requesting them to cover the cost of his funeral, less a £10 grant from the
British Legion, as he died destitute ‘without assets of any description’. This request was rejected
on the grounds that his death was not due to his pensionable disability. Served in ‘B’ Company, 1st
Battalion in South Africa.