|John Medley Loveband Fulford's military career has been somewhat difficult to track fully due to his being a member of various South African
police units during most of his time in uniform. Establishments such as the Transvaal Constabulary to which he was a member do not have
records available like regular British troops nor were promotions and such always listed in the London Gazette. His career was certainly an
interesting one based on the details I have uncovered to date.
John M. L. Fulford was born on 29 July, 1877 at Exeter, Devon, England being one of at least ten children of architect Robert M. Fulford and his
wife Maria. So far Fulford's younger years have proved elusive and the first record I can find of him turning up in South Africa during the
Anglo-Boer War as a sergeant (No. 2063) with Robert's Horse. While with that mounted unit Fulford would be wounded on 9 March, 1900 at
Abraham's Kraal. During the war he also served with Steinaecker's Horse apparently being promoted lieutenant while so employed. He was
serving with the Provisional Transvaal Constabulary when he received a staff posting with the Railway Staff on 12 November, 1900.
According to one unconfirmed source Fulford was captured at by the Boers at Colenso and spent some time as Winston Churchill's cell mate.
For his varied services during the Anglo-Boer War Fulford would be entitled to the Queen's South Africa Medal with the clasps "Paardeberg",
Dreifontein", "Relief of Kimberley" and "Transvaal". He was also entitled to the King's South Africa Medal with it two clasps of
"South Africa - 1901" and "South Africa - 1902".
Fulford's post war career seems to have been limited to service with South African police forces and did not see any active service in the field
during World War One. Around 1917 he was active in investigations to root out Bolshevik sympathizers in South Africa. Fulford was an
Inspector with the South African Police at Boksburg with the Rank of Captain in 1917 when a strike by white miners took place protesting the
hiring of semi-skilled black mine workers. He was again involved in another mine worker dispute in 1922 when he led an attack on a
"commando" of striking Afrikaner's miners near a rail crossing at Boksburg on 27 February which resulted in many injuries and arrests but no
deaths. The following day things when even worse when a crowd gathered outside the Boksburg jail to voice support for those taken into custody
the day before. Fighting soon broke out between the police and strikers this time the fracas left three of the strikers dead - one of which was
apparently killed by a bullet from their own ranks.
Fulford is listed as Captain, Inspector, South African Police, Boksburg in the 1922 edition of the International Police and Detective Directory.
Later in a passenger list from the ship Watusi dated 5 October, 1932 Fulford is listed as a Lieutenant-Colonel of South Africa Police (retired).
Here is is listed with his wife Margaret.
I have seen photographs a 450/455 Webley revolver which now resides in a private collection that was carried by John Medley Loveband Fulford
throughout the Anglo-Boer War. What makes this artifact stand out is that Fulford had small dated and engraved metal plaques attached to the
revolver's walnut grips that highlight his military career. These include "II S.A.L.H. - R.H. 1899-00" (2nd South African Light Horse/Robert's
Horse), "Trans Constb. 1900" (Provisional Transvaal Constabulary), "3H 1901-02-03" (Steinaecker's Horse) and "S.A.C. 1903" (South African
Constabulary). A fifth undated plaque is engraved "J.M.L.Fulford R.N.R" which seems to imply that at sometime prior to his service during the
Anglo-Boer War Fulford served in the Royal Naval Reserve. I have been unable to find any record to actually confirm this possibility.
J. M. L. Fulford apparently retired to England and died there sometime in the 1960s.
|With his Woseley pattern helmet resting on the studio table and inscribed "Your's Jack. 12/9/00" this cabinet photograph depicts
John Medley Loveband Fulford was inscribed by Fulford on that very same date of Fulford's railway staff appointment as mentioned in the
19 February, 1901 edition of the London Gazette and was probably taken to commemorate that event.
R.C.E. Nissen - Photographer
Pretoria, South Africa
12 September, 1900
|Left: The inscription on the signature
location were the photo was taken.