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Ottolangui-Langley OZ & NZ

Trooper Aaron Langley 1881-1901

Aaron Ottolangui/Langley was the second child and first son of Gershon Ottolangui, known as George Henry Langley and Annie Harvie.
He was born in 1881 and around 1900 at the age of 19 he travelled to South Africa from where he sent this photograph home

On 7th November 1900 he writes home from Johannesburg saying:
“I have joined the Celebrated Irregular Calvary (sic) – The Imperial Light Horse and have seen a little fighting”. “I can earn 10 shillings a day because the Colonel is going to find all the Regiment a Billet”. “Address 1 Imp, B Squad, Imp Light Horse Depot, Johannesburg”.
…and on 11th November 1900 from an address in “Pothipotrooove, Johannesburg,
 “….. food rations – 1lb dry biscuits, 1lb fresh meat (hard as leather), 1lb tinned boiled beef, 1/2 lb of jam, 10 oz tea every second night, 1 oz coffee every second day, 1 oz salt for a week”.
The letters were signed “B. Langley”

The Imperial Light Horse was a regiment was raised by the British in Johannesburg on 21st September 1899. Its initial strength was 444 officers and men. The regiment was engaged throughout much of the war and fought its first battle at Elandslaagte on 21st October 1899, and later after the successful raising of the siege of Ladysmith, the Light Horse joined the Mafeking Relief Column and were the first to enter the town on the night of 16th – 17th  May 1900.

He appears on page 130 of the Nominal Roll of the Imperial Light Horse as 1011 Trooper Matthew Aaron Langley, and is noted as Killed in Action

In the records of the Second Boer War and Australian casualty records for that period, Trooper Matthew Aaron Langley is listed as having been killed in action at Naauwpoort in the Transvaal on 5th or 6th January 1901 in  serious fighting between government forces and Boer irregulars, and the fallen are commemorated in the Klerksdorp Old Cemetery in the Transvaal.
The record shows:
Langley,                 M A 
Originally from     Windsor, VIC.
Service Number:  1011
Rank:                     Trooper
Unit:                      SAMIF – 1st Imperial Light Horse
Service:                  South African Colonial Forces
Conflict:                South Africa, 1899-1902
Date of Death:      5/01/1901
Place of Death:    Naauwpoort
Cause of Death:   Killed in Action
Cemetery or Memorial Details:
Klerksdorp Cemetery (Transvaal).

On the Commemorative Roll of the Fallen he appears as,
Trooper Mathew Aaron Langley

Service number1011
Death Date05 January 1901
Death PlaceSouth Africa: Cape Colony, Colesberg Area, Naauwport
Final RankTrooper
ServiceSouth African Colonial Forces
Unit1st Imperial Light Horse
PlaceNaauwport
Conflict/OperationSouth Africa, 1899-1902 (Boer War)

Since Aaron had not served in an Australian contingent, he is apparently not commemorated by the Australian War Memorial Commission.

In the Melbourne Argus newspaper for Saturday 4th January 1902 in the “Family Notices” column there appears this “In Memoriam” announcement:



LANGLEY.—In loving memory of our dear son and brother Aaron Matthew (Bert), who was killed on active service at Naauwpoort, S. Africa, 5th January 1901

By bryanell2020

Occasional genealogist and full-time Ottolangui family historian. 8th generation descendant of the 17th century Ottolenghi family of Livorno, born in London, graduated in Birmingham, lived around the United Kingdom, Israel, and in Rome, Italy. For a short while in Buenos Aires, and currently residing in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic where I have been since 2005.

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