The subject of this cabinet photograph, one H. H. Sawyer, is identified by a pen inscription on the reverse of the photograph. The inscription also states that the photo was taken "after enlisting to go to the Boer War." Further research seems to indicate that this is actually No. 1053 Henry Hollington Sawyer, trumpeter to "B" Battery of the Honorable Artillery Company (H.A.C.). Sawyer served with the detachment of the H.A.C. that deployed to South Africa during the Anglo-Boer War as part of the City of London Imperial Volunteers.
The H.A.C. sent some 193 men to South Africa with the City Imperial Volunteers. These men served in yeomanry, mounted infantry, infantry, as well as artillery capacities. Sawyer served with the Field Battery (H.A.C.) of the City Imperial Volunteers during his tenure in South Africa. He was entitled to the Queen's South Africa Medal with clasps "Cape Colony", "Orange Free State" and "Transvaal"
Henry Hollington Sawyer was born in 1880 in London being the son of William Sawyer and Mary Ann Hollington.
Sometime after the end of the Anglo-Boer War Sawyer moved to India where he remained for many years - at least until after his second marriage in 1931. He served with the Karachi Artillery Volunteers eventually attaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Indian Volunteer Forces. While in India During World War One and was attached
to the 2nd Brigade, Mobile Artillery. He was awarded the British War Medal. Additionally, had he received the 1911 Delhi Durbar Medal and the Indian Volunteer Forces Medal.
Sawyer married in 1908 and his wife Gertrude (d. 1918) would bear several children. One son, Squadron Leader Henry Cecil Hollington Sawyer (No. 65 Squadron) would be killed in his Spitfire as the result of a flying accident during the Battle of Britain. Another son Colonel Francis William Hollington Sawyer (Royal Army Medical Corps, Northumberland Fusiliers) fought behind Japanese lines in Burma in 1942-43, receiving a medical discharge
He married a second time in 1931 to Mary Wigglesworth at Bombay (Mumbai), India. He died at St. John's Wood, London on New Years' Day 1963.
Arthur Weston - Photographer
52 & 53 New Gate Street, London, E.C., England