1914-15 Star : Gunner S E A Greentree, Cape Garrison Artillery, South African Army

Place Africa: Namibia
Accession Number REL41727.003
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Medal
Physical description Bronze
Maker Unknown
Place made United Kingdom
Date made c 1919
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

1914-15 Star. Impressed on reverse with recipient's details.

History / Summary

1914-15 Star issued to Septimus Ernest Athol Greentree for service with the South African Army's Cape Garrison Artillery during the First World War.

Greentree was born on 22 January 1872 at Freeman's Reach, Hawkesbury, New South Wales, to Robert and Hannah Greentree. He travelled to South Africa and in June 1900 enlisted for service in the Boer War, joining 1st Battalion, Brabant's Horse, an irregular British South African unit. This highly mobile Light Horse unit was formed by then Brigadier General Edward Brabant, a South African colonial military commander. It was made up of approximately 600 South African colonials, Australians, British and Canadian soldiers and was heavily involved in fighting irregular Boer commando units, in particular in the Transvaal. Greentree attained the rank of corporal and in March 1901 was discharged from Brabant's Horse to serve as an agent with the South African Field Intelligence Division (FID). The FID conducted a diverse range of field intelligence activities and was considered highly effective at combating the Boers in South Africa.

Greentree was still living in South Africa when the First World War broke out in September 1914. Aged 42 he joined the Cape Garrison Artillery on 17 September 1914 at Cape Town and was assigned the regimental number A/51164. He served in German South West Africa (today known as Namibia) and was discharged on 29 July 1915 after the cessation of hostilities in this area.

Greentree re-joined the South African forces in Cape Town on 22 April 1916, this time as a private in the 11th South African Infantry with the regimental number 11681. The unit saw action against German colonial forces in East Africa. Greentree was discharged in Durban on 13 December 1916. He later returned to Australia and died in 1963 at Sydney, NSW, aged 90.