Trooper Rudolf John Thompson MANNING, Trooper Bertie O’NEIL, St. Peter in the Fields, Bombay, New Zealand.
Bertie O’Neil and John Manning left for the Boer War together, aboard the Drayton Grange, on the 14th April ,1902, with the 10th Contingent. They undoubtedly knew each other, growing up in the same district. O’Neil’s father farmed at Bombay and Manning’s at Paparaka, near Pukekhoe.
Both died from illness contracted on board ship, returning from South Africa. Manning returned on the Montrose, which arrived in Auckland on the 18th August, 1902, dying from pneumonia following scarletina on the 14th, between Australia and Auckland. He was buried at sea with full military honours.
O’Neil travelled on the Britannic to Wellington, berthing on the 1st August, 1902. Many of the troops on board were suffering from measles and pneumonia. O’Neil, with others, was transferred to isolation on Somes Island, where he died a week later. Trooper Manning has no “official” memorial according to government sources. His name is inscribed on the side of Bertie O’Neil’s headstone at Bombay and on the Ranfurly Memorial.
Source: Evening News, Wellington, August 1902, various articles, Ministry for Culture and Heritage, Phil Beattie
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Text in italics supplied by Cenotaph Online, Auckland War Memorial Museum