|Real Photo Postcard Memorial Presentation
Approximately 18 Inches Wide Opened (45.7cm)
Approximately 4 1/8 Inches by 6 1/8 Inches Closed ( 10.3cm x 15.6cm)
Lambert Weston & Son - Photographer
Folkestone, Kent, England
An unfolded memorial presentation consisting of four real photo post cards depicting the life of Commander James Alfred Boxer, Royal Navy. Hand inscribed on the front cover "With
Captain Boxer's Best Wishes 1924" it is believed to have been made as a keep sake for those attending Commander James Boxer's funeral after his death on 29 January 1924. The
Captain Boxer who inscribed the folder's cover may have been James Boxer's son Captain Henry Percy Boxer (who himself would rise to the rank of rear admiral in 1939).
The four postcards depict James Alfred Boxer at key moment in his life and were photographically reproduced from mush earlier photograph - probably carte de visites and cabinet
photographs. They were joined together with fabric hinges and unfold accordion style from the hand made paper covers.
The Niger returned to Quebec for two months in late fall when a number of he officers and men were detailed for duty on gunboats when the possibility of new Fenian threats posed
themselves. It is not known is Boxer served on the gunboat detail.
For his small part in defense of the Canadian border during the Fenian Raids of 1866 Lieutenant James Alfred Boxer would be entitled to the Canada General Service Medal with the
clasp "Fenian Raid 1866". Curiously the medal was no issued by the Royal government but by that of Canada and not until thirty years after the events in 1899.
The Niger remained on station and in December 1867 revisited Havana during a cholera outbreak. She finally returned to Spithead in November 1868 where her crew - and one assumes
Lieutenant Boxer - was paid off and the old ship decommissioned.
Boxer's naval career after his experiences aboard the Niger again become sketchy but he did receive his masters certificate on 21 December 1876.
We hear about him again the early 1880s when he was acting as harbor master at Folkestone, Kent. In 1881 Boxer became involved in some controversy when the steamship SS Albert
Edward burst a cylinder and became disabled in Folkestone harbor. The resulting court of inquiry stated in its report: "The Court is further of opinion that it is to be regretted that
Captain James Alfred Boxer, the harbour master and the superintendent of the Company's steamers, knowing as he did that the "Albert Edward" was disabled and had a large number
of passengers on board, did not, as soon as the water in Folkestone harbour would allow, send out some vessel from that harbour to her assistance, the more so as he was not aware of the
nature or extent of the injuries which she had sustained." .
The report ended with the statement: "The Court is not asked to deal with any of the officers' certificates, or to make any order as to costs." It appears that Boxer's reputation did not
suffer any permanent damage as the result of the Albert Edward incident and he remained harbor master until 1907. Boxer appears to have retired from active duty in the Royal Navy
prior to 1901.
After retirement as harbor master at Folkestone Box remained a resident of Folkestone living at 1 Marine Parade. He had previously married Miss Georgena Augusta Crichton in 1875
and the couple would have three sons: Arthur Chichester Boxer (1879-1976) who served in the Royal Navy, Herbert Seymour Boxer (born about 1881) who became a clerk for the Bank
of England and the previously mentioned Captain - later Rear Admiral - Henry Percy Boxer (1885-1961). One daughter - Edith Mary Curlden Boxer - was born to the couple about 1877.
Commander James Alfred Boxer passed away to his home at Folkestone on 29 January, 1924 at the age of 82.
|Above: Midshipman James Alfred Boxer in a photograph probably taken not long after joining the Royal Navy at age twelve.
|Above: In the prime of life - Lieutenant James Alfred Boxer probably sat for this portrait about the time he was serving on the HMS Niger or possibly
soon after his return in England in 1868.
|Above: Retirement - An aging Commander James Alfred Boxer posed possibly for the final time in uniform sometime around 1900. He wears his Canada
General Service Medal with its "Fenian Raid 1866" clasp which as only approved in 1899. He also wears another unidentified medal on his coat.
|Above: The Patriarch. James Alfred Boxer in a thoughtful looking pose sat for the camera sometime in the early 1900s. By this time he had two sons
serving in the Royal Navy as had his older brother Captain William Edwin Boxer (1842-1908). His father Captain James Fuller Boxer was also of
the Royal Navy and his grandfather was Captain Sir Edward Boxer, CB who served during the Napoleonic Wars..
|Right: The hand
inscribed cove of the
fan folded memorial
In April 1866 the Niger made her way to Nova Scotia amid rumors that an army of Irish Republican
"Fenians" were preparing to invade Canada from upstate New York and Maine. Although the raids by the
Fenians never posed a real military threat to Canada the untried militia initially called upon to defend the
Canadian border areas did perform badly in some cases. The ambush and retreat of a company of the
Queen's Own Rifles of Toronto at Ridgeway being such an example.
Lieutenant Alfred Boxer's part in the Fenian Raids of 1866 consisted of small actions against localized
Fenian incursions while still a member of the HMS Niger's crew. Most of the "action" - there would be little
is any shooting - took place around Indian Island on 26 April 1866 when a small party of Fenians had
landed. Boxer and other men of the Niger transported local troops Royal Marines from her own
complement to the island as well a provided additional manpower as might be required. The Fenians
vacated Indian Island without a fight when confronted by the troops transported there with the Niger's
assistance. Later between 15 and 16 June the Niger troop transport conveying troops between St Andrews
and St Johns.
With the immediate threat of the Fenian's ended the Niger returned to Halifax, Nova Scotia and along with
the other Royal Navy vessels there at the time offered up a salute to mark anniversary of America’s
independence on 4 July.
It seems likely the Boxer with still with the Niger when she assisted the Great Eastern during the laying of
the first trans Atlantic cable between 22 and 27 July 1866.