Alexander ROSS

ROSS, Alexander

Service Number: 4
Enlisted: 31 January 1898, 'C' Company, Castlemaine, Victoria
Last Rank: Corporal
Last Unit: 1st Victorian Mounted Rifles
Born: Winter's Flat, Victoria, Australia, 25 August 1879
Home Town: Castlemaine, Mount Alexander, Victoria
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Killed in Action, Hobkirk's Farm, Rensburg, South Africa, Rensburg, Colesberg Area, Cape Colony, South Africa, 12 February 1900, aged 20 years
Cemetery: Colesberg Cemetery, South Africa
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Ballarat Boer War Memorial (Queen Victoria Square), Castlemaine Boer War Memorial
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Boer War Service

31 Jan 1898: Enlisted Australian and Colonial Military Forces - Boer War Contingents, Private, 4, 'C' Company, Castlemaine, Victoria
1 Oct 1899: Involvement Corporal, 4, 1st Victorian Mounted Rifles
12 Oct 1899: Embarked Australian and Colonial Military Forces - Boer War Contingents, Corporal, 4, 1st Victorian Mounted Rifles, s.s. Medic, Melbourne
12 Feb 1900: Involvement Australian and Colonial Military Forces - Boer War Contingents, Corporal, 4, 1st Victorian Mounted Rifles

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Biography contributed by Paul Trevor

Corporal Alexander Ross was the son of Mr. Donald Ross, farmer, near Winter's Flat. He was born on 25th August, 1879, and consequently not 21 years of age. He was a farmer by occupation, and joined the Militia as a member of C Company on 31st January 1898, and was appointed Corporal on 21st July, 1899. The officers of the Company speak in high terms of his soldierly qualities, and looked on him as a man likely to rise rapidly in the military profession. He was 5ft. 9in. in height, and of a splendid physique, a good rifle shot and as quiet and unassuming as he was brave and generous. The first letter, published in the MAIL from our boys at the front was from Corporal Ross, in which he said he did not think much of South Africa, but when the war was over he would stay if he could see anything worth staying for. On leaving Castlemaine, in reply to a question, he said that he would not stay behind for £50. Corporal Ross was a born soldier and his whole heart was in military matters. He was a nephew of Cr T. Martin, who received a letter from him a few days ago, written in a very cheerful spirit.' 
from Mount Alexander Mail 19 Feb 1900 (



Corporal Archer, of Chewton, and Private Topham, of Guildford, members of the 4th battalion militia of the First Victorian Contingent, returned to-day invalided. As soon as they arrived at the platform, which was crowded, they were seized upon by their comrades of the battalion, and carried on their shoulders to a coach awaiting them. The State school boys and cadets, drawn up in front of the station, gave ringing cheers for the returned warriors, who were driven to the town hall, where they were publicly welcomed by the mayor and councillors and a great number of residents.

Speeches were made foy the mayor, Colonel McCay, and Corporals Archer and Private Topham. Corporal Archer referred to the engagement at Hobkirk's Farm, where their brave comrade, Corporal Alex. Ross, of Castlemaine, lies buried on the battle field. The mayor afterwards banqueted the returned soldiers, the officers and men of the 4th Battalion and a number of the leading citizens. The heroes of the hour were then driven out to Chewton, where the mayor and councillors gave them a hearty reception.' from The Age 7 Aug 1900 (


A melancholy but powerful attractiveness naturally pertains to "in memoriam" publications in connection with the South African war, and the volume now issued by G. A. Osboldstone, of Queen-street, "In memory of the gallant officers and men of Victoria, who have died in defence of our Empire in the Transvaal war, 1899-1900," ( will appeal to many anxious as well as sorrowing hearts in the colony. Photographs, admirably executed, are given of Colonel Umphelby, Major Eddy, Captain Salmon, Surgeon-Captain Hopkins, Lieutenant Roberts, Mr. W. J. Lambie, "The Age" correspondent, Sergeant Neil Grant, Corporal Alex. Ross, Privates A. E. Coulson, T. Stock, C. E. Williams and A. H. Wilson. With each portrait is given a brief biographical notice of the soldier represented, and an account of how he fought and fell. "Our Brave Boys Who Have Died for the Empire" is published at 1/6, with an edition de luxe, bound with special and appropriate elegance, at half a guinea.' from The Age 28 Apr 1900 (


ROSS. — In loving memory of ALEXANDER ROSS, Corporal of the First Victorian Contingent to South Africa who was killed in the engagement at Hobkirk's Farm, on February 12th, 1900. Aged 21 years.' — Inserted by his father Donald Ross, of Winter's Flat, Castlemaine. from Mount Alexander Mail 12 Feb 1901 (