Gary and Leigh Box and family
I had the pleasure of meeting Gary and Leigh Box from Toronto along with our local belle Marion Giles McNeely the other day at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Museum. If you have never heard about the Box family from Carleton Place and White Lake etc. etc. —let me tell you they have quite the past. In fact so much so, I am going to share stories with you thanks to Gary and Leigh who were very kind to share their family memories.
Remember if you have family stories you want to share with the LCGS please PM me or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Gary Box Marion, Giles McNeely, and Leigh Box at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum– May 2017
Please note that this is only a fraction of this story about the Box’s from White Lake– As they say, “The best is yet to come!” Stay tuned!
The Second Matabele War, also known as the Matabeleland Rebellion or part of what is known in Zimbabwe as the First Chimurenga, was fought between 1896 and 1897 in the area then known as Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe. It pitted the British South Africa Company against the Ndebele (Matabele) people, which led to conflict with the Shona people in the rest of Rhodesia.
In March 1896, the Ndebele revolted against the authority of the British South Africa Company in what is now celebrated in Zimbabwe as the First Chimurenga. The Mlimo (or M’limo, or Umlimo) the Ndebele spiritual leader, is credited with fomenting much of the anger that led to this confrontation. He convinced the Ndebele and the Shona that the settlers (almost 4,000 strong by then) were responsible for the drought, locust plagues and the cattle disease rinderpest ravaging the country at the time.
The Family Story
James and Duncan Box were murdered at the Eureka Mine while trekking near Sipolilo’s kraal on June 29, 1896 during the Matabeleland Rebellion. The body of Francis Lee Bent was also found with them in the Lomagundi District who was an engineer with the Great B. Syndicate. According to other notations I found online they were also known to have been with another prospector named Anton Henckens, prospecting gold near the Mazoe River.
The family noted in their pages that both ancestors had set forwards towards the Zambesi accompanied by a Mr. Gilman Spence of Ireland who was killed at the same time. (The Rhodesia Pioneers and Early Settler’s Society- National Archives of Rhodesia)
Imposing granite memorial to Cecil Rhodes on Table Mountain Cape Town South Africa
On Table Mountain in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) there is a monument to the memory and honour of Cecil Rhodes. On that same monument is inscribed the names of Duncan and James Box. A grateful government received the warning (read about this soon) sent by James Box and his name is listed on the Honour Roll. It was mentioned that UK lawyers contacted the Box family after their death in White Lake and some money changed hands.
Photo of white skulls and things taken by the Zulus in a Zulu Queen’s tent– late 1800s
In the inquiry from the National Archives of Rhodesia they told the family that the white skulls of the murdered were probably at one time in a zulu hut in the hinterland of the Mashonas. White skulls were prized ancestral trophies and a grim reminder of a time when the search for gold was on the minds of many. Duncan and James Box were sadly in the wrong place at the wrong time and were never to return to White Lake where their family resided.
Zulus–A weekly serial called Black Heart and White Heart by Henry Ryder Haggard on zulus from Africa ran as a serial in 1896 in newspapers as there was such an interest.
Some of the other noted men that perished:
The London Gazette Issue 26954 published on the 5 April 1898. Pages 2203 to 2208.
List of Persons Reported Murdered or Missing:
Note. – In the following list of murdered and missing no hope is entertained for any of those returned as missing. All bodies that have been found have been buried.
Civilians, 114; Local Forces, 3; Imperial Troops, 1; B.S.A. Police 1-Total, 119
IRELAND, George, about June 21, 1896, Lomogondi District, Prospector, believed to have been murdered at the Eureka Mine.
JAMESON, Arthur John, about June 21, 1896, Lomogondi District, Mining Commissioner, believed to have been murdered at M.C.’s Camp,
JOUBERT, J., about June, 1896, Salisbury District.
KEATINGE, Frank, June 18, 1896, Lomogondi District, Corporal M.M.P., murdered at Gwebe River, real name was Frank Gilbert Keating
KERR, June 20, 1896, Lomogondi District, Prospector
KOEFOED, S., June 16, 1896, Salisbury District, Prospector, murdered at the Beatrice Mine by ‘Mslopa people, body thrown down
LAW, Horace, about June 20, 1896, Salisbury District, Storekeeper, murdered near N.C. Campbell Farm; body, supposed to be his,
found July 25, 1896
MCCULLUM (Captain), William, June 25, 1896, Lomogondi District, Telegraph Constructor, murdered at his camp, Matatima.
MCGOWAN, James, June 21, 1896, Lomogondi District, Prospector, murdered at or near Deary’s Store.
METCALF, Samuel, about June 20, 1896, Headlands, Trader; body found August 20, 1896, at Nedziwi’s Kraal.
MICHELL, William Walton, Trooper, B.S.A.P., lost on veldt, Hartley District, July 31, 1897.
MILTON, William, about June 20, 1896, Salisbury District, Transport Rider, body found, Umtali Road, August 3, 1896.
MOORE, John, about June 20, 1896, Salisbury District, Storekeeper, body found near Umtali telegraph line on August 3, 1896.
MYNHARDT, A. G. F., June 21, 1896, Lomogondi District, Native Commissioner, murdered at his camp; body, supposed to be his, found
October 30, 1896
MOONY, David Enraght, June 15, 1896, Hartley District, Native Commissioner, murdered at Mashangombi’s Kraal; body recovered and
buried, July, 1897.
NELSON, Thomas, about June 20, 1896, Hartley District, Prospector, believed to have been murdered near Umswezwe’s Kraal.
NOBLE, Andrew, about June 20, 1896, Abercorn District, last heard of May 22.
NORTON, Joseph Norton, about June 17, 1896, Salisbury District, Farmer, murdered at or near his farm Porta; body found.
NORTON, Caroline, about June 17, 1896, Salisbury District, wife of above, murdered at or near his farm Porta; body found.
NORTON, Dorothy, about June 17, 1896, Salisbury District; daughter of above, murdered at or near his farm Porta; body found.
Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.
Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and Screamin’ Mamas (USA)
Stay tuned for more about the Box family from Carleton Place, Prospect, White Lake and Beckwith.