James Cue Ryan,our great great uncle, 1869- 1955: Boer War and WW1

James Cue Ryan,  born Sale Victoria,  was the Uncle of our grandmother, Kath Ryan.( James Cue was the second son of James Ryan of Tipperary, Ireland). James Ryan lived in Sale, Maffra and  in Walhalla ,Victoria and started the” Walhalla Chronicle” Newspaper.

Second Boer War: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Boer_War James Cue Ryan served with the Victorian South African Contingents.( Boer War). Peter Kemp, his grandson,  has just released his book(2012): “A Soldier’s Story” “The Boer War to Beersheba” with articles from the Boer War and WW1  that were sent back to his father’s paper in Australia.( The “Maffra Spectator” )

It has come to light that James Cue enlisted in 1900, (having been to South Africa in 1894  and was on the staff of “The Standard ” , Johannesburg).  James became  part of the 4th Victorian Contingent ,( member of the Colony of Victoria) ,  served the 12 months that was expected, and returned again to South Africa in 1902.( By this time in 1901,  the Commonwealth of Australia was created, and so in the next visit he went as an Australian citizen) With his two brothers: Herbert ( our great grandfather ) and Percy Ryan, James C.  worked  with his father on the “Walhalla Chronicle” and the “Maffra Spectator”. Their father James, died in April 1902 after James Cue had  embarked for South Africa in February 1902. The articles that he sent back to the paper in 1900, 1902 and in WW1 were eloquent and useful in understanding what transpired in the SAfrica and the Middle East in WW1. We are very proud of his writings and achievements in these conflicts and grateful he came back in one piece!!

Lt Col Kelly

Lt Col Kelly

Lt Col. Kelly command of the Victorian South African  Contingent.

http://users.netwit.net.au/~ianmac/fourth.html http://angloboerwar.com/unit-information/australian-units/405-4th-victorian-contingent  4th Victorian contingent, Victorian Imperial Regiment . 1900 -1901

1900 men enlisting at victoria barracks for the 4th imperial bushmen regiment

1900 men enlisting at victoria barracks for the 4th imperial bushmen regiment

600 mounted men rode through the city of Melbourne and then  departed 1st May 1900.( Under the command of Colonel Kelly). This 4th contingent was jointly paid for  by the Imperial Government and the State Government of Victoria ( hence the ‘Imperial ” was added to their title ). The contingent  arrived Beira May 29th,1900. Both 3rd and 4th regiments were sent to Beira to join what many refer to as the Northern Front and to protect Rhodesia – against a threat of invasion that never materialized. http://cas.awm.gov.au/photograph/P01222.007 VICTORIAN IMPERIAL BUSHMEN/AUSTRALIAN IMPERIAL REGIMENT

  • Original strength: 631
  • Subunits: five mounted rifle squadrons
  • Commanding officer: Lieutenant. W. Kelly
  • Left for South Africa: 1 May 1900 on Victorian
  • Service May 1900 – June 1901 in Rhodesia under Carington, west Transvaal, Cape Colony under Henniker including relief of Philipstown (11 February 1901), capture of Boer guns at Read’s Drift (23 February), and capture of Boer patrol near Doornkloof (1 March 1901); contingent separated mid 1900-early 1901, with Major L. F. Clarke commanding C, D, and E squadrons on garrison duty in Rhodesia.
  • Fatal casualties: 3 officers and 18 men.
  • Decorations: one CB (Kelly), four DSOs (Clarke, J. Dallimore, M. O’Farrell, A. Tivey), three DCMs (H. E. Elliot, A. L. Johnstone, D. Sandford)
  • Returned to Australia: 12 July 1901 on Orient
  • The 4th Victorian Imperial Bushmen were the most highly decorated of all the Victorian Units.

1902: Boer War http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Commonwealth_Horse james cue ryan boer war enlistment 1902 James Cue Ryan enlisted on the 9th January 1902 in Melbourne to go to  the Boer war again with the first Commonwealth Contingent. (2nd Battalion).( Under the command of Lt. Col Mc Leish – no fatal casualties, however 28 men died from disease).He was 31 years and 1 month, a journalist living in MaffraVictoria .

Active service in South Africa, March – April 1902

The 1st and 2nd Battalions, Australian Commonwealth Horse arrived in Durban in March 1902 and together with the AAMC were formed into an Australian Brigade. From Durban the Australians were sent north by train via Ladysmith, Elandslaagte and Dundee to Newcastle. By 22 March over 1,000 Australians moved into camp with another 1,000 New Zealanders in the vicinity of Mount Majuba. The brigade subsequently took part in the great Eastern Drive which aimed to encircle de Wet and Louis Botha in northern Natal, however severe weather allowed the Boers to escape.[9] At any rate the ACH played only a secondary role in the drive, consigned mainly to holding the Drakensberg ranges.[4]During late March and early April the ACH were deployed to outposts to block the mountain passes, while a large column drove the Boers towards a line of blockhouses.

Apart from minor skirmishes with unseen Boer snipers the Australians saw little action.[5] The Australians were subsequently sent to western Transvaal, joining Colonel Thornycroft’s Field Force at Klerksdorp. The column—which was predominantly Australian and included the Third New South Wales Bushmen, Haslee’s Scouts (an irregular unit composed of Australians), the AAMC, the Eighth New Zealand Brigade and Thornycroft’s own regular mounted infantry—advanced as part of General Ian Hamilton’s force numbering 20,000 men in the great Western Drive. The advance aimed to drive de la Rey back against a chain of blockhouses between KlerksdorpVentersdorp and proved to be the last of the war. The drive began on 19 April, but halted soon after, following news that peace negotiations were progressing.[10]

On 21 April the ACH moved out of camp and turned away from the blockhouse line towards the western railway, with orders to destroy crops and mealie fields and to push the Boers back towards the railway barrier.[11] On 7 May the Australians again advanced, driving forward over four successive days across dry and open country over a large front.[11] Ultimately the drive succeeded with few incidents, significantly diminished the Boer supplies in the area, and leading to the capture of thousands of head of livestock, nearly 200 wagons and 7,000 rounds of ammunition. Although hundreds escaped, 367 Boers were captured after becoming trapped, although only one was killed.[11] There were no Australian casualties.[12] The continued success of the blockhouse system, coupled with the approaching winter and shortages of food and clothing forced the Boer leaders to re-open peace negotiations.[11]As such with the war all but over the ACH set up camp along the Klerksdorp-Ventersdorp blockhouse line, and although they continued to send out patrols they had little to do but await the inevitable peace.[13]

Despite seeing limited combat, Australian conduct in the field was considered to have been of a high standard, both in terms of military efficiency and discipline.[13] Indeed the ACH showed a level of professionalism perhaps unseen in previous Australian contingents.[12]

Negotiations continued, with the Boer leaders again meeting their British counterparts at Vereeniging, between Pretoria and Kroonstad. Meanwhile at Elandsfontein the second contingent of the ACH was concentrating after having landed at Durban in late April.[12] On 31 May the Treaty of Vereeniging was signed and the war came to an end, even as the men of the third contingent of the ACH remained at sea, bound for South Africa.[13] The peace treaty was signed 31 May , 1902 and the war came to an end. The battalion returned to Australia August 2nd, 1902.

Return to Australia, August 1902

Although many men remained in South Africa to start a new life after discharge, the bulk of the contingents began to return to Australia by ship between July and August 1902.[14]Misfortune followed them however, and when the SS Drayton Grange arrived in Melbourne on 7 August with 2,043 troops aboard, five men were already dead from measles andinfluenza, while another 12 died within weeks. Neglect and unsanitary living conditions aboard the vessel were found to be to blame for the deaths, following a Royal Commissioninto the matter.[15]

Australian Commonwealth Horse badge 1902- the first to wear the rising sun badge

A photograph of a re-enactment of the Charge on Beersheba taken in early February 1918.

WW1: james cue ryan enlistment Here is his enlistment above  in WW1, he told them he was 43 and 6months when in fact he was 46! James Cue Ryan, enlisted 28/5/1915 , he was a journalist . ( Born in Sale 1869-1955).His wife, Susan(1870-1961) lived c/- Mrs. Buckie at 20 Crimea Street , Caulfield.*

* Received word from a Buckie relative that Harry Buckie a sapper in WW1 became a famous watercolourist /artist in Tasmania. As the Buckies migrated to the gold fields in Victoria , I would guess that the Buckies and the Ryans knew each other from Walhalla and there abouts. That perhaps Harry Buckie might have been fighting alongside James!

WW1: Jame Cue was with the 4th Light horse A.I.F. He served in Gallipoli as a private, October 1915 and transferred to Egypt  and Palestine. ( His obituary said he was also with the 11th Light Horse ).

The 4th Light Horse Brigade was a mounted infantry brigade of the First Australian Imperial Force serving in the Middle Eastern theatre of World War I. The brigade was formed in March 1915 and shipped to Egypt without their horses and was broken up in Egypt in August 1915. Reformed in February 1917, the Brigade was attached to the Imperial Mounted Divisionand in June 1917 transferred to the Australian Mounted Division, where it served in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign until the end of the war. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4th_Light_Horse_Brigade james cue ryan service doc The regiment was considered unsuitable for the initial operations at Gallipoli, but were subsequently deployed without their horses to reinforce the infantry. Much of the time at Gallipoli was spent defending the precarious Anzac position, most frequently around Ryrie’s post. It’s squadrons were involved in several minor attacks. ( Gallipoli was evacuated in December 1915). A new B squadron was formed for the 4th light horse in Egypt. The regiment spent the rest of 1916 engaged on rear area security tasks in the Suez Canal. In April 1917 it moved up into the Sinai desert in the wake of the main British and dominion advance, but continued to undertake security duties.

31/10/1917: An attack was made on Beersheba, ( two previous attacks had failed ). The 4th and the 12th regiments unleashed Beersheba at a full gallop – an action that has gone down in history as the charge of Beersheba.( After the Second Battle of Gaza ended in complete failure, General Archibald Murray, the commander in chief of the British forces in Egypt and Palestine, was replaced by the distinguished cavalry commander, General Edmund Allenby, formerly the commander of the British Third Army on the Western Front.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Beersheba_(1917) http://users.netconnect.com.au/~ianmac/bersheba.html

See battle of Beersheba on youtube.http://ahref=

light horse memorial tamworth nsw

Light Horse Memorial Tamworth , NSW

reenactment of charge of beersheba

reenactment of charge of beersheba

After Gaza fell on 7 November 1917,Turkish resistence in southern Palestine collapsed. The 4th Light Horse participated in the pursuit that followed , and then spent the first months of 1918 resting and training. In August 1918 the regiment was prepared in cavalry tactics in preparation for the offensive against the turks along the Palestine coast. The objective was Damascus. The turks surrendered 30th October 1918. ( By that time James had been transfered to the 14th AGH, July 1918).And with dysentry he was transferred back to Australia on the “Wiltshire” 29/8/1918.

His Life: Jame Cue Ryan married Susan Smallman and had a daughter Doris(1908-2001) who married Alan Kemp. Doris Kemp wrote “Maffra the history of the shire to 1975” with assistance from one of the Nind family ( married the Cue daughters ) .

1956 doris kemp  ( letter to the Argus).

Doris lived at 51 Villeroy St., Hampton.


James Cue , being a journalist , wrote during the war and sent back stories. Peter Kemp( a journalist for the Age), his grandson, who lives in Victoria, published a book of his life in WW1,( now out of print ). Peter has published his  second book . As of June 2012 he has published it privately, please contact Peter Kemp : 25 Mckenna Rd. Glen Waverley, 3150, Victoria, Australia. (pwk@pktheatre.com). The cost of the book is $35 with $5 postage.

22/10/1955 The Argus

James Cue RYAN,-On October 21, at Gippsland Base Hospital, ,James Cue, of McMillan street, Maffra, beloved husband of ‘Susan,  and devoted fathcr of Doris, and brother of George (deceased). Herbert, Percy (deceased), Harold  (deceased), aged,(i years, formerly of Walhalla, and the Boer War and 11th Light Horse, A.I.F.

Sale cemetary James Cue and Susan

Doris and Alan Kemp, had sons Brian Cue, Peter Winterbourne, Noel Robert and daughter Elaine ( now Bailey) who keeps in touch.  Elaine ( Bailey )and Alexander’s children are : Sophia, Conrad, and Aisling.

Alan and Doris Kemp,Maffra Cemetary

Peter Kemp, who also keeps in touch: his children are Robert Winterburn and Nadia.

Maffra: James Cue Ryan grave Maffra and  featuring dylan

This entry was posted in 1800's, 1900's, boer war, Joan Stubbs relations, kemp, Ryan and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to James Cue Ryan,our great great uncle, 1869- 1955: Boer War and WW1

  1. Peter Kemp says:

    This is the first time I have seen your page. I do have to correct you on one item, that is my and my son’s second name. It is not Woburn. In my case it is Winterbourne and in my son Robert it is Winterburn. It comes from Yorkshire and neans a stream that flows in winter, ie a burn but fiurther south hey spell burn as bourne. For some reason my father spelt his second name and mine as Winterbourne. To make things a little easier for my son but wanting to keep the family name I spelt it aas Winterburn.
    I had an Uncle BarryKemp (killed in New Guinea WWII) who spelt his name Winterburne.
    Re my book, the first one sold out and is now out of print. It only dealt with J. Ryan’s lif in WWII. I have written one on all his military life from the Boer War to WWII but as at the moment I cannot get a publisher as the usual comment is it is not commercially viable. I will have to publish it myself but have to save up the necessary to do so.
    Thanks for the info.
    Peter Kemp

  2. Noel Kemp says:

    Dear Jennifer,

    Good to read about Dadda (James Cue R), Mum’s father. I am Peter K’s youngest brother, and my daughter somehow or other found your site, which she has just directed me to. I haven’t gone through the side-bar with all your (diverse) relations, but you must be quite closely related to Margaret (my U Pat (Dermot) and Aunty Gwen’s daughter), and of course cousins, Thursa et al. I used to spend many of my (primary) school holidays with U Pat and A Gwen in Trafalgar. Margaret and I are still in touch.
    That is good quality/high resolution on the photo of the headstone in the Maffra Cemetery. In fact you can see where my (older) daughter’s name came from – where James Ryan was born: in Nenagh, Co Tipp. (yes, Nenagh always has to spell her name!). You probably know then that it is just near Borrisokane where Elaine and Alex lived for a couple of decades, and where Alex came from.
    Kind regards,
    fancy finding out about the various spellings of the middle name of many Kemps via your site!

    • Hi there Noel,
      Nice to hear from you. Please make a note of my email: stubbsjennifer3@gmail.com. Some time ago I heard from Peter. I am still trying to obtain any old photos that you guys might have of james cue and wife. Any other photos would also be of great interest. My brain is nearly exploding with so many ryans and so many parts of our family. But I did have a very special time a few years back visiting all the cousins in Victoria. Whilst Thirza also came to visit us in Canada. I will take another look at the Ryan family tree – originally supplied by Margaret Perdriau I believe . I did not know that Elaine and Alex lived at Borrisokane.
      Please keep in touch and if you and Peter can track down any photos or tid bits for me that would be just great. I saw a photo of Peter on his visit to Walhalla I believe to commemerate some Ryans . Of course my grandmother was Kath Ryan – James Cue was her uncle I believe .

  3. Peter Kemp says:

    Dear Jennifer,
    I have completed my book on both the Boer War and WWI. I am self publishing it as I am still awaiting an answer from another publisher.
    It has about 200 od dpages including index and photos. The front cover has two photos of J. C. Ryan one in Ber War uniform and one in WWI uniform.
    The cost is $35 Aust lus $5. postage
    My postal address is 25 McKenna Rd. Glen Waverley 3150. Victoria australia.

  4. Alison says:

    I am a relative of Mrs. Buckie at 20 Crimea Street , Caulfield. Her son was SAPPER HARRY BUCKIE during ww1, he became a well known Tasmanian Artist.

    • Hi Alison,
      Can you confirm who Mrs Buckie was? I guess the ryans lived in Caulfield ? I will look up information on Sapper Harry Buckie and please feel free to send any email to stubbsjennifer3@gmail.com.
      And let me know any connection with the ryans

      • Alison
        I have just reread my post and see susan ryan lived with mrs buckie, I had forgotten. So I suspect that the ryan family may have known the buckie’s.
        I have not yet had the pleasure to see any of the watercolours of Harry buckie , but will keep an eye out for them.

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