top of page
James Anderson.png

Signed “Yours sincerely, James Anderson, 42nd.” This carte de visite appears to depict No 2711 Sergeant James Anderson of the 1st Battalion, the Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) while holding the appointment sergeant instructor of signaling. He passed the signaling course at Aldershot on 22 August 1892.

Anderson was born in Aberdeen, Scotland around 1863. He attested for short service in June 1885 at Perth.

His overseas posting included Egypt from December 1885 to April 1886, Malta from May 1886 to August 1889, Gibraltar from August 1889 to April 1892, Gibraltar from October 1892 – January 1893, Egypt from January 1893 to March 1893, South Africa from March 1893 to August 1894, Mauritius, August 1894, South Africa from August 1894 to February 1896, India from February 1896 to December 1901, South Africa from December 1901 to October 1902. The remainder of enlistment was spent at home service postings.

His appointments and promotions were:

Lance Corporal – 9 October 1886

Corporal – 5 April 1888

Lance Sergeant – 9 December 1889

Sergeant – 2 December 1890

Colour Sergeant – 15 April 1897

Quarter Master Sergeant – 1 September 1902.

Sergeant Major - ?

Quarter Master & Honorary Lieutenant – 28 September 1910

Anderson saw active service during the Anglo-Boer War and was issued the Queen’s South Africa Medal with the clasps for “Transvaal”, “Orange Free State”, “South Africa – 1901", and “South Africa – 1902".

About a month before his discharge on 23 June 1906, he was presented the Long Service & Good Conduct Medal with gratuity. His character was described as: “Exemplary. Always sober, reliable, most trustworthy.”.

Anderson re-enlisted in the Black Watch with the outbreak of the Great War as a private on 20 November 1914 and was promoted back to his old rank of Quarter Master Sergeant the same day. Based on notations in the rolls for the British war and Victory Medal he was eventually promoted to Quarter Master and Honorary Major before the war ended.

A soldier’s soldier, Anderson would serve in France from 12 October 1914 until the end of the war. He received two mentions in despatches: the first on 1 January 1916 and the second on 19 October 1916. His medal index card indicates that he was presented the Distinguished Service Order at some point during the war. He was entitled to the 1914 Star with clasp and the British War and Victory Medals with MID device.

Anderson died not long after the war on 10 December 1920.

He had married Blanche McPherson at Cape Town in 1895. The couple had a least one child, a daughter Blanche, born at Kamptee, British India in 1901.

Carte de Visite

Unknown Photographer

Unknown Location

c. 1896

bottom of page