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About William Cheney

During the Boer War, six of his brothers fought for the British and he, William, for the Boers. William was captured and court-marshaled. His mother, Eliza had a photograph taken and sent to Queen Victoria in a plea for clemency. William was, however, allienated from his family.

William was tried for High Treason in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrates Court on 8 October 1900 and fined £3 He was held as a POW at Ceylon and was shipped home on the Templemore 19 July 1902 The info can be found on pages 30 and 50.

About 5 years after the Anglo-Boer War ended, (12 October 1899 - 2June 1902), William married Sarah Maria van LelyVeld March 1907 and then joined the South African Expeditionary Forces on 25 Feb 1918 at the age of 35. South Africa was then Union of South Africa under British rule and he served in Nyasaland.

William's children & grand children grew up with the story that he was wounded during the War (not sure which war) and left for dead. By some miracle a nurse noticed, the day after that he had moved by crossing his legs. He was rescued and lived to enjoy a large family of 12 children and many grand children. As children, we were very gullible but as we grew older, wondered whether it was perhaps just a story to attract our attention.

He loved to tease his grand children by telling them that his Doctor had replaced his stomach with a tin can enabling him to drink very HOT tea. He must have had a stomach operation hence the tall story that we all believed. He also had four hollows, each about 15mm diameter, around his head where he underwent an operation within his skull. (not sure what the reason for the operation was) Early on in William's marriage, Sarah was trying to get a shine on a table when William remarked 'It just needs Elbow Grease' Well, poor naiive Sarah tried in vain to purchase Elbow Grease from the store and was most upset when she found out what it really was!.(Brute strength from the elbow to wrist)

March 1944 William and his son, John George Shrive purchased property at 71 Loveday Street, Pretoria North and started up a business named Universal Ring Manufacturers. By July they were in financial difficulties and had to auction the property. William's son then moved to Carolina and carried on business there on his own.

Around 1953/4 William was making key-ring 'name tags' for extra pocket money in his old age. It consisted of oval shaped alluminium tags which he had die-pressed out. He then had a set of numerical & alphabetical punches with which he punched in, by hand, his customer's 'RETURN TO' details

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William Cheney's Timeline

November 25, 1882
December 18, 1907
South Africa
July 30, 1909
March 22, 1912
February 4, 1914
January 11, 1916
Kimberley, Northern Cape, South Africa
June 18, 1919