Hepbrun and Jeanes - Photographers
The London Studio, Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa
...in 1850. If his obituary was correct it would seem that Sampson would have been entitled to the 1853 South Africa Medal
but an examination of the concerned medal roll(s) has not turned up an appropriate record.
Between serving with the local volunteer units Sampson became a respected citizen of Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape. He
ran a farrier business in Grahamstown and was successful enough to enter horses in the local races. He was also elected
Councillor for the City of Grahamstown a post he held from 1873 until his death in 1903.
Appointed a 2nd Lieutenant of the Grahamstown 1st City Volunteers 14 December 1875 and then Lieutenant on 15 July,
1876. Promoted Captain during the Ninth Cape Frontier War (1877) he conducted patrols in the Pirie and Fish River Bush
while in command of the Mounted Infantry Company of the Grahamstown 1st City Volunteers seeing action at Thaba N'Doda.
Sampson was entitled to the 1877-79 South Africa Medal with the clasp "1877-78". The 1877-79 Medal Roll makes no
mention of any earlier campaigns and it would seem that he was entitled to the earlier South Africa Medal the later roll would
have noted this and simply listed his clasp entitlement to the earlier medal. He wears this medal in the above photograph
which has been retouched by the photographer giving the ribbon the appearance of the British South Africa Medal - a medal
that Sampson was not entitled too.
Sampson was not involved in any way with the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 but was again in action during the Basutoland War
(1880-81) during which he was in command of the Second Relief Contingent. The 14 December 1800 issue of the London
Gazette lists Sampson as being severely wounded at Lerothodi's Kraal. In Twenty-Five Years Soldiering in South Africa the
author H.V. Woon mentions the incident surrounding Sampson's wounding: "The 1st City were the principle sufferers in the
day's fight, about 15 of them being killed outright and ten badly wounded. Capt. Sampson, their commanding officer, had a
very narrow escape. A Basuto rode up to him and fired point blank at his chest; but it was a muzzle-loading weapon and
evidently the bullet had not been rammed home, for although it struck him full on the chest and burnt his coat, the bullet
only bruised him severely and did not penetrate". For this service Sampson was entitled to the Cape of Good Hope General
Service Medal with the clasp "Basutoland".
His lifelong civil career as a farrier was put to use during the Anglo-Boer War during which he held the appointment of
Veterinary Captain with Gorringe's Flying column. He was entitled to the Queen's South Africa Medal with two clasps: "Cape
Colony" and "South Africa - 1901".
David Sampson's wife was named Hannah who predeceased him in 1891. The couple had at least one child, a daughter named
Jemima Jane Sampson. Over seventy years old by 1900, Sampson passed away in 1903 not long after the end of the
Anglo-Boer War and one wonders if the hardships of military service at his advanced age had anything to do with his death so
soon after the end of the war.
Captain David Sampson's three medal group sold at auction in South Africa in 2009.