Henry Jackson Dalzell Ponsonby, Mount Darwin Volunteers
BSAC Medal to NZer
The scarce British South Africa Medal w/ Mashonland 1897 reverse issued to Henry Jackson Ponsonby, a New Zealander from Lawrence, Central Otago.
Born 13th October 1868 at Blue Spur, Lawrence, Central Otago, to John Ponsonby & Elizabeth Dalzell. In the Tuapeka Times of 28th December 1878, Henry Ponsonby is listed as best boy in his class, and best general scholar of Blue Spur School. On the 1890 Tuapeka Electoral Roll, Henry is listed as a Clerk of Lawrence. In the 22nd July 1891 issue of the Tuapeka Times, H.J.Ponsonby is listed as the Secretary of the Tuapeka Poultry, Cage-bird, Cat & Dog Society.In the 1st August 1891 issue of the Tuapeka Times, it is reported that “Mr. H. J. Ponsonby, who has been for many years employed as a clerk by Mr. J. C. Arbuckle, left for Dunedin yesterday afternoon, having accepted a lucrative and responsible position in the well-known auctioneering firm of Messrs Wright, Stephenson, and Co. Mr. Ponsonby is a young man of smart and energetic business habits, and an exceedingly obliging disposition; and having received a first-class business training, we feel sure he will do credit to his new employers and that he has a promising career before him. He takes with him the best wishes of a large circle of friends in this district.” In the 8th September 1893 issue of the Mataura Ensign, H.J. Ponsonby gave evidence in a Court Case in Dunedin, so it is presumed he went to South Africa thereafter.
On the 1897 Mashonaland Campaign Medal Roll as a Trooper in the Mount Darwin Volunteers. Next of kin listed as Mr. J.Ponsonby, Lawrence, Otago, NZ.
In the 6th January 1904 copy of the Otago Witness, Mr. Ponsonby, a New Zealander formerly with Messrs Wright, Stephenson & Co, is stated as now being “an old Rhodesian”. It states his occupation as ‘contracting’ and that he is doing well. In the 24th May 1905 copy of the Otago Witness, Mr. Ponsonby, “Another New Zealander with a sound knowledge of Rhodesia and the border lands, and who has been on the Rand for some time, joins Mr. Hazlett in his latest venture.” The venture was railway contract work in West Portuguese territory.
In the 3rd January 1906 copy of the Otago Witness, it is reported that Mr. “Dick” Hazlett is back on the Rand and in robust health after being hospitalized in Delgoa Bay Hospital in Portuguese East Africa, and will be shortly to join Mr. Ponsonby, “also and ex-Dunedinite, in railway contract work in the Transvaal.”
An H.J.Ponsonby, Contractor (Single) is listed as arriving in Southampton from Natal, South Africa on the 17th July 1908 on the Union-Castle ship Armadale Castle.
On 22nd May 1911, HJ Ponsonby is recorded as arriving in Liverpool on the African Steam Ship company ship the Elmina. It is stated that he embarked at the port of Seccondee, on the Gold Coast of West Africa.
On 11th August 1913, HJ Ponsonby is recorded as departing Dover on the Woermann Line ship the Eleonore Woermann for Sekondi, on the Gold Coast of West Africa. His occupation is noted as Merchant.
On 15th August 1914, HJ Ponsonby is recorded as arriving in Plymouth on the Elder, Dempster & Co ship the Mendi. It is stated that he embarked at the port of Seccondee, on the Gold Coast of West Africa. His occupation is stated as Supervisor (Village), and his age as 43 (which would seem incorrect.) His address was stated as C/- Bank of New Zealand, London, and his country of last permanent residence stated as Gold Coast. In the Q3 of 1914, Henry J D Ponsonby is recorded as being married in the district of St. Martin, London to a Miss Bearman.
On 30th June 1920, HJ Ponsonby is recorded as departing Liverpool on the African Steam Ship Co. ship the Abinsi. His destination is stated as Lagos, Nigeria. His occupation and age are not stated.
Medal is correctly chisel engraved TPR. H.J. PONSONBY MT. DARWIN VOLS.