A second lieutenant in the Royal Scots Fusiliers on 22 February 1879, and served in the Anglo-Zulu War later the same year, followed by the operations against Sekukuni. Two years later, he served in the First Boer War of 1881, and took part in the Defence of Pretoria.
He was promoted to lieutenant on 1 July 1881. He was promoted to captain on 23 January 1887, to major on 1 July 1899, and received the brevet rank of lieutenant-colonel on the same day.
Thorneycroft was one of several officers sent to South Africa to raise volunteer units shortly before the Second Boer War broke out in October 1899. He raised a corps of troopers, later known as the Thorneycroft′s Mounted Infantry. Thorneycroft received a brevet promotion to colonel on 29 Nov 1900. He stayed in South Africa throughout the war. Following his return, he was in November 1902 appointed assistant adjutant-general of the 7th Infantry Division, serving in Dublin.
↑ 1861 Census of England & Wales (RG9/1984 f35 p13), Tettenhall, Staffordshire, Alexander W. Thorneycroft, age 2, son of Thomas Thorneycroft, Iron Master. Accessed at Findmypast (http://www.findmypast.com)
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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Alexander by comparing test results with other carriers of his ancestors' Y-chromosome or mitochondrial DNA.
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