William Mabin was born in the parish of St. Augustine's, Bristol
in October 1848.
in Bristol with the 2nd Battalion, Rifle Brigade on the 1st
June 1868, and was given the Regimental number 1566. Promoted
to the rank of Corporal in July 1870, Mabin transferred to
the Staff of the Army some two years later whilst stationed
in Dover. A further promotion followed on the 20th May 1872
when he became a Military Staff Clerk, and three years later
Colour Sergeant, c.20th May 1875.
20th June 1878, Colour Sergeant Mabin transferred to the District
Office, Cape of Good Hope.
at Rorke's Drift is confirmed
by the 'Chard' Roll and also
by Mabin's own account of the battle, given in 1914, in which
he also stated that he received a slight wound to his shin
from a spent bullet.
He served throughout
the Anglo-Boer War of 1880-1881, and was present at the actions
at Ingogo, Laing's Nek and Majuba, where it is reported that he
was within a few feet of General Colley when the General fell dead.
Mabin was promoted Superintending Clerk, in February 1880, followed
by the elevation to the rank of Warrant Officer, Superintending
Clerk on the 1st July 1881
On the 25th
June 1897, Mabin was awarded the "Cape of Good Hope Gold Medal
for Distinguished Conduct", one of only two awarded as part
of celebrations to mark Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. Mabin
having completed 29 years, 22 days service without once appearing
in the Regimental Defaulters Book. (By co-incidence another Zulu
veteran, Gunner William Hollis, Royal Artillery, received the second
back to Aldershot in early June 1898, where he was discharged
after nearly 30 years service with the army, receiving, "Annuity
of £10.00 with silver medal for long and highly meritorious
service, [Meritorious Service Medal], including Zulu &
Boer Campaigns 1879-1881."
twice, Mary Elizabeth Ranger in 1872, and then some years
after her death in 1906, he remarried a Mary Stroud. He fathered
eleven children from his first marriage.
William Mabin died, aged 90, at the Groote Schuur Hospital,
Rondesbosch, Cape Town on the 23rd October 1938. He is buried
in a large family plot in Maitland Cemetery, Cape Town.
are currently on display at the South African National Museum
of Military History.