He saw additional action during the Transvaal War of
1880-81and earned the Victoria Cross at Wesselstroom on
22 February, 1881. The London Gazette citation read as
follows: For his gallant conduct at Wesselstroom, on the
22nd February, 1881, in riding, under a heavy fire, toward
a party of 42 Boers, picking up Private Mayes, who was
lying wounded, and carrying him safely into camp.
Osborne returned to Wiggington, Hertfordshire after the
end of his service and married having at least two
children, his wife's name being Rhoda and a son John and
a daughter Edith.
|Carte de Visite
J.H. Murray - Photographer
Church Street, Pieter-Maritz-Burg, Natal, South Africa
This soldier is dressed as a mounted infantryman and wears the 1877-79 South Africa
Medal for service in the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879.
|Private James Osborne - 58th Regiment of Foot -
2nd Battalion, The Northamptonshire Regiment. The photo
was probablt taken soon after the presentation of his
Osborne wears both his 1877-9 South Africa Medal and well
as his Victoria Cross. He is outfitted in the walking out
dress of the 2nd Battalion, The Northhamptonshire
Regiment (ex 58th foot).
According to Iain Stewart at http://www.victoriacross.org.uk/bbosbor2.htm Osborn was illiterate and worked as a laborer. He died on 1 February, 1928
at the age of 71 after a debilitating stroke. Stewart also mentions that Osborne's Victoria Cross was given over to the Northhamptonshire regiment
for safe keeping by Rhoda Osborne after his death. Osborne's VC along with all the regimental silver were destroyed during a German air raid on
the night of 7-8 April, 1941.
I recently came across a set of attestation papers for James Osborne showing his enlistment in the Militia Volunteers. Dated 20 December 1876
shows Osborn as being an unemployed laborer 18 years 6 months old standing 5 feet 6 1/4 inches tall. He did not sign the papers on the designated
line but instead simply made his mark which seems to confirm the above statement that he was illiterate. He attested at Wiggington, Hertfordshire.