The Markham Family

Benjamin Thomas Kelly Markham

Benjamin Thomas Kelly Markham, Jessie Irene (Edmondson) Markham and Margaret Hazel Irene Markham
Benjamin Thomas Kelly Markham, Margaret Hazel Irene Markham and  Jessie Irene (Edmondson) Markham (1918)
photo from Robert Wallace
Birth: 29 August 1872, at Church Street, Pietermaritzburg, Natal

Father: Benjamin Markham

Mother: Elizabeth Susan Chadwick (Kelly) Markham

Education: Hilton College, Hilton, Natal, South Africa. leaving in 1889.

The Hiltonian August 1946 p72
B. T. K. Markham (1889), who has a most impressive military record, stretching from 1892 to 1918, is living at Camperdown. He recalls a Rugby match against College, for which the team, captained by Cyril Robinson (now Canon), walked to Maritzburg and back. They walked to Hilton Road Station, but missed the train, so walked into Maritzburg and beat College, before walking back to School by a direct path up Town Hill.

Wedding of Benjamin Thomas Kelly Markham and Jessie Irene Edmondson
Benjamin Thomas Kelly Markham and Jessie Irene (Edmondson) Markham on their wedding day in 1913
photo posted by Robert Wallace at flickr
Married: Jessie Irene Edmondson on 4 February 1913 in St Peters parish church, Pietermaritzburg, Natal
Benjamin Thomas Kelly Markham is recorded as a bachelor, aged 40. He is a stock inspector, resident in Isandhlwana, Zululand. Jessie Irene Edmondson is recorded as a spinster, aged 19, resident in Maritzburg. Consent was given by C. Edmondson, mother and legal guardian of the bride. The marriage was witnessed by A E Potterill and A. Edmondson.

Children:
Occupation: Stock Inspector, and later a poultry farmer.
The Hiltonian July 1928 p46
B. T. K. Markham (Camperdown):—
  “As you know, I have been retired from Government service as from 1st January, 1928. I am trying to build up a poultry farm. Hilton College has a very warm spot in my heart. I hope to send my contribution along at the end of this month. I met Arthur Hime the other day, after many years.”

Notes: Benjamin served in World War I. He was appointed temporary captain in the South African Army Service Corps on 15 July 1916, but with seniority from 1 November 1914 (London Gazette 15 December 1916 p12316). Benjamin was awarded the Military Cross on 1 January 1918 (London Gazette 28 December 1917 p53). On 10 April 1919, Benjamin relinquished his temporary commission as a major on ceasing to be employed, retaining the rank of major (London Gazette 23 April 1920 p4824).

The Hiltonian June 1920 pp32-3
  Benjamin Markham, who was a captain in the Transport Corps throughout the war, was on active service during the Rebellion, in German South West and in East Africa. He was awarded the Military Cross for distinguished services in East Africa. He is, now living at Camperdown, being Stock Inspector for that district.

The Hiltonian December 1921 pp33
    Records of Military Service
      B. T. K. MARKHAM.
  Union Service.—August 10th, 1914: As member of A.C.F., Union Defence Force (Lieutenant, 2nd Mounted Brigade Train); called to Pretoria and attached to Headquarters Staff, Transport and Remounts, Union Defence Force. October, 1914: Promoted to Temporary Captain, Transport and Remounts. January, 1915: Promoted to Temporary Staff Captain, Transport and Remounts, Union Defence Force. July 14th, 1916: Released from above appointment. Mentioned in dispatches for South-West Africa campaign.
  Imperial Service.—July 15th, 1916: Granted Temporary Imperial Service Commission, with rank of Captain, for service in connection with Carrier Transport, Central Africa (G.E.A. campaign). Unit: S.A. A.S.C. (T. and R.). December 10th, 1916: Appointed Chief Transport Officer, Nyassa-Rhodesia Field Force. November 28th, 1917: Appointed Assistant Director of Carrier Transport, Nyasa-Rhodesia Field Force, with rank of Temporary Major. (In charge of all Carrier Transport with General Northey’s forces). April 10th, 1919: Released from Temporary Imperial Commission on demobilisation.
  Mentioned in dispatches by Brigadier-General E. Northey, C.B., A.D.C. (London Gazette, 25/9/1917). Awarded the Military Cross, 1918, New Year Honours.
  Theatres of War in which Served: During Rebellion and South-West Africa campaign, at Headquarters, Union Defence Force, Pretoria. During German East Africa campaign : German East Africa, Portuguese East Africa, and Nyassaland.
  While in charge of Carrier Transport with General Northey’s forces was in command of about 16 officers, 66 other ranks, and from 25,000 to 30,000 native porters. Was not wounded.

An unpublished manuscript "Memories of my Father" by his daughter contains some interesting titbits of Benjamin's life:
When he was four months of age, his Mother, who was just 22 years of age, died of tuberculosis. They were travelling by ox-wagon from Bulwer to Durban to seek medical help for her when, sadly, she died. Tom was told how he had been fed on condensed milk and water from the streams that they passed!
...
In his early years, he was taught by his Father and then by a tutor. In 1887, he became a boarder at Hilton College. With a twinkle in his eye, he used to say, “Hilton College rolls in knowledge and feeds on bread and porridge.” He told of how he travelled on horseback to Hilton from Bulwer. Accompanied by an African who then took his horse back home, they would sleep over in an African hut on the way.
...
He was made a Justice of the Peace and came to be relied on as a good citizen and friend of both races. Like his father, who had helped translate the Bible into Zulu, my Father was an excellent linguist who was fluent in Zulu. He was greatly respected by the Africans. He was tireless in rendering help where it was needed. For example, he was a pretty nifty carpenter, and so when the Africans built their church and needed help, he put the roof on. I remember seeing him make a coffin for an African child who had died, and how grateful the parents were.
When he retired he was an Agent for land owners in The Valley of the Thousand Hills, and he was often off on horseback down there. When Indunas visited us they greeted Father with the salute “BAYETE”. I was always very impressed. No-one coming to our home went away emptyhanded; even the dogs were always given a bowl of water. Before he died, a piece of ground near the Court House was set aside and called ‘Markham Place’.
...
He was Church Warden for 31 years, from 1919 -1950, and a Synod Representative for a period of about 25 years. He cared for the Cemetery, too. When there was a funeral, it was his responsibility to oversee the digging of the grave. Prisoners were engaged to do the digging; it was particularly hard work because of rocky soil. I can see him now, coming in late from supervising, hurriedly changing into a suit in order to return to the Church for the Service. Generally, he read the Lessons, lead the singing, tolled the bell, kept the books and hosted the visiting Parson.

Death: 14 December 1950, at Rockhurst, Camperdown, Natal, South Africa, aged 78

Gravestone of Benjamin Thomas Kelly Markham and Jessie Irene (Edmondson) Markham
Gravestone of Benjamin Thomas Kelly Markham and Jessie Irene (Edmondson) Markham in Anglican Church of the Resurrection cemetery, Camperdown, Natal, South Africa
photo by Alta Griffiths at eGGSA
Burial: Anglican Church of the Resurrection cemetery, Camperdown, Natal, South Africa
The gravestone reads:
In Loving Memory Of / Benjamin Thomas Kelly Markham M.C. / dearly loved husband of Irene / passed peacefully away at Camperdown / 14th December 1950 / Aged 78 Years. / His duty nobly done /
Jessie Irene Markham / passed peacefully away on / 27th June 1982 - Aged 89 Years / fondly remembered by Hazel and Jess and their Families / Rest in Peace


Obituaries:
Newspaper clipping (date and publication unknown)
MAJ. MARKHAM
  From our Correspondent
    CAMPERDOWN, Friday
  The funeral of Major B. T. K. Markham, M.C., took place recently at the Parish Church, Camperdown. He was the eldest son of the late Rev. B. Markham, of Bulwer, and was 78 years of age. He left a pleasant memory among both his European and non-European friends.
  Major Markham started his military career at a very early age, serving throughout the 1914-18 war, during which time he was twice mentioned in dispatches. In November, 1917, he was made Assistant-Director Carrier-Transport, Nyasa-Rhodesian Field Force, under Brigadier-General Northey, C.B., and in 1918 was awarded the Military Cross.
  At the close of World War I he was appointed to Camperdown by the Government Veterinary Department, from which he retired in 1927.
  Major Markham is survived by his widow, two daughters, Mrs. T. F. B. Massingham, of Maritzburg, and Mrs. R. Wallace, of Venterspost, and six grandchildren.


The Hiltonian May 1951 p78
      MAJOR B. T. K. MARKHAM, M.C., J.P.
  Benjamin Thomas Kelly Markham died at his home in Camperdown on 14th December, 1950.
  He left Hilton in 1889, and during 1888 and 1889 had been a member of the school’s 1st XV, of which the late Cyril Robinson was captain. He began his military service at an early age, and served throughout World War I, during which he was twice mentioned in dispatches. In 1917 he was made Assistant Director of Carrier Transport in the Nyasa-Rhodesian Field Force, and in 1918 was awarded the Military Cross. At the close of the war he was appointed to Camperdown by the Government Veterinary Department, from which he retired in 1927.
  He became a well-known and well-loved figure in the district, mainly from his fine sense of duty and Christian charity. He was churchwarden in the parish of Camperdown for over thirty years, and was a licensed Lay Reader. He will be sadly missed both in his home district and in Maritzburg, where he had many friends.

Sources:

Margaret Hazel Irene (Markham) Massingham

Benjamin Thomas Kelly Markham, Jessie Irene (Edmondson) Markham and Margaret Hazel Irene Markham
Benjamin Thomas Kelly Markham, Margaret Hazel Irene Markham and  Jessie Irene (Edmondson) Markham (1918)
photo from Robert Wallace
Birth: 8 May 1914, at "Forestside", Nqutu, Natal, South Africa

Father: Benjamin Thomas Kelly Markham

Mother: Jessie Irene (Edmondson) Markham

Married: Thomas Frederick Blake Massingham on 26 August 1939 in St Peters, Pietermaritzburg, Natal
Thomas Frederick Blake Massingham is recorded as a bachelor, aged 28, born in Trans. He is a clerk, resident at 20 Leighton St, Pietermaritzburg. Margaret Hazel Irene Markham is recorded as a spinster, aged 25, born in Zululand. She is a clerk, resident at Y.W.C.A., Pietermaritzburg. The marriage was witnessed by E. M. Massingham and BTK Markham.

Thomas was born in 1910/11, in the Transvaal, South Africa, the son of Frederick James Massingham and Elise Maud Young. He was Clerk of the Natal Provincial Council. Thomas died in 1977.

Occupation: Clerk.

Sources:
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