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Family honour Boer War soldier

GOOD MAN: Kay Martens, of Flinders View, honoured the memory of her grandpop, Arthur Mitchell, at the Reserve Forces Day ceremony.
GOOD MAN: Kay Martens, of Flinders View, honoured the memory of her grandpop, Arthur Mitchell, at the Reserve Forces Day ceremony. Rob Williams

TROOPER Arthur "Artie" Mitchell would have played an invaluable role in the Australian war effort between the years 1899-1902.

He went to the South African war as a "shoeing smith" or farrier with the 3rd NSW Imperial Bushmen, for 18 months, and the care of horses in that conflict was indispensable.

About 43,000 horses were sent into battle from Australia and none returned.

Mr Mitchell's granddaughter, Kay Martens, proudly wore his medals at the Reserve Forces Day march and service in Ipswich on Sunday.

Mrs Martens said her grandpop was a nice man - a farmer who had limited formal education.

Despite that, his postcards from the war zones were eloquent and well written.

"He never talked about the war," Mrs Martens said.

"Grandpop was a man of great integrity, a good man."

A total of 516 young Australians lost their lives in the Boer War.


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