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Boer War
    
SA5394   Trooper George Frederick Sievers – 8th Contingent, New Zealand Mounted Rifles
 
The Sievers family originated in what now is Leipzig, Saxony, Germany. In the 1840 Leipzig was within the Kingdom of Prussia and while the Napoleonic Wars had ended in 1815 there were many factors effecting Germany resulting in a
large scale movement of Germans / Prussians to other lands.
 
Wilhelm (William) and Augustus (August) Sievers left Prussia in the 1840’s going first to England where the brothers married and then, the brothers with their new wives, in 1849 immigrated to New Zealand.[i]
 
William & Clarissa Sievers would settle in Makara where they had twelve children. There were six sons, Louis George (1851), Alfred (1852), Augustus Isadore (1856), George Edward (1857), Frederick William (1864) & William Thomas (1866).
All the sons, apart from Frederick William and William Thomas married and the Sievers family expanded.
 
Alfred Sievers (1852) married Elizabeth Angelina Catley and they would also have a large family with four sons and five daughters. During the Anglo-Boar War 1899 – 1902 two of Alfred and Elizabeth’s sons left Makara to serve in contingents that New Zealand sent to the War.
 
The first was George Frederick Sievers, who had been working as a shepherd in South Makara, as SA5394 Trooper Sievers he left in January 1902 with the 8th Contingent. The Evening Post, 21st January 1902 noted:[ii]
 
‘A farewell ‘social’ was given to Trooper Sievers of the 8th
Contingent,  in the Makara Hall last night, when he was
also presented with a purse of sovereigns by Mr T Wilford
M.H.R on behalf of the settlers of the district.’
 
The 8th Contingent sailed from Auckland on the 1st February 1902 also sailing was SA5111 Trooper Thomas Francis Ryan from Tawa Flat.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
8th Contingent, NZMR leaves for South Africa
 
In South Africa the 8th Contingent suffered their heaviest casualties in a train accident on 12th April 1902 when 14 members of the contingent were killed and a large number injured. The 8th Contingent’s involvement in the war was
short and in July 1902 they sailed back to New Zealand where they were disbanded and George returned to his family in Makara.
 
For his service in South Africa George was awarded the King’s South Africa War medal with year clasp 1902 amd provincial clasp Transvaal.
 
George married, in 1908, Fiona Jane Braid and became the step father to her daughter who took the name Doris Evelyn Braid Sievers. It is possible that George did not return to farming as in June 1915 a George  Frederick  Sievers was
awarded the Eastbourne Council contract to operate the bus service that connected with the cross harbour ferry.[iii]  
 
This service operated to 1918 when George was balloted for service in the NZEF. George Frederick Sievers, bus proprietor of Eastbourne appealed the ballot and a review of his case was due in October 1918 so it is possible he never entered camp as the Armistice was signed in November 1918.
 
George continued with bus service to at least 1926 when he was operating a fleet of eight buses as the Sievers and
Bosher Motor- bus – Proprietors. [iv]
 
George Frederick Sievers died in 1939 aged 59. 
 
 
Notes:
There is also another branch of the Sievers family the descendants of Augustus and Clara Sievers some of whom settled and farmed in Porirua. These Seivers will feature in another story.
 
References:
Archives New Zealand - Military Records: 30648 Private Albert Henry Sievers
Archives New Zealand - Military Records: 30649 Private Louis William Sievers
Archives New Zealand - Military Records: 51543 Rifleman Arthur William Sievers
NZ Units in South Africa: NZ History Online
 
Photos:
Background and text - Departure of the 8th : NZ History Online
 
 
[i] Familytreecircle(2015).William Louis Sievers. Retrieved from http://www.familytreecircles/william-Louis-b-Sievers-b-Mary-Ellen-b-Kelly-b-Wellington-48341.htlm
[ii] Evening Post 21 January 1902: Eight Contingent.
[iii] Eastbourne News (10th June 1915) Evening Post 
[iv] Advertisments (1st November 1926) Evening Post 
[v] Archway Archives New Zealand – Military Records: SA5384 Private Arthur Sievers
[vi] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_Division