Queen's South Africa Medal with clasps 'Defence of Ladysmith', 'Belfast'
Unfortunately we don't know this man's first name or anything about his early life or family.
He joined the Manchester Regiment in early August 1896 and was given the service number 4910. He was serving with the 1st Battalion by 1899. That August the British Government decided to send the battalion to South Africa in case war broke out between British and Boer settlers there.
The 1st Battalion sailed to Durban and was stationed in the small town of Ladysmith in Natal when war was declared on the 11th October. The war began badly for the British and by the 30th Ladysmith was under siege.
They fought hard to stop Boer attempts to take the town; the 1st Battalion would attack Boer artillery to stop it from shelling their positions. By the end of the siege food was in short supply and disease was widespread. The British relief force reached Ladysmith on the 28th February 1900.
After Ladysmith the British Army tried to force the Boers to face it in battle. They succeeded on the 21st August 1900 at the Battle of Belfast, or Bergendal. This soldier took part in this battle, which lasted until the 27th and ended with the defeat of Boer forces and the capture of their temporary capital, Machadodorp (today called eNtokozweni). The Boers did not surrender; they fought on as guerrillas in small units, so he stayed in South Africa.
There were no battles on the same scale during the rest of the war. The 1st Battalion took part in many smaller operations intended to restrict the Boer's movements and force them to face British soldiers. This strategy was eventually successful and the war ended on the 31st May 1902.
The rest of this man's life remains a mystery. His medal was donated to the Museum of the Manchester Regiment in August 1949. As well as his Queen's South Africa Medal, he was also awarded the King's South Africa Medal with clasps 'South Africa 1901' and 'South Africa 1902' for his Army service.