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Saturday, 9 August 2003
4th QIB, 4th Queensland Imperial Bushmen, Outline
Topic: BW - Qld - 4QIB

4th QIB

4th Queensland Imperial Bushmen

Outline

 

Map illustrating the activities of the 4th Queensland Imperial Bushmen in South Africa, 1900.

[From: Chamberlain, M., The Australians in the South African War 1899-1902, Canberra, 1999.]

 

In 1911, Lieutenant-Colonel P. L. Murray, produced a marvellous Boer War reference detailing all the contingents sent from Australia to South Africa, giving a brief history of the formation and finally, listing all the soldiers who saw service in South Africa with that unit. The book was called, Official Records of the Australian Military Contingents to the War in South Africa. It is now the standard reference and starting place for any person interested in pursuing information about Australian involvement in the Boer War.

Murray, P. L., Official Records of the Australian Military Contingents to the War in South Africa, pp. 474 - 477.

 

Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Aytoun

 

Fourth (Queensland Imperial Bushmen) Contingent.

It was the first Regiment of Imperial Bushmen raised in Queensland, and under conditions similar to those which obtained in New South Wales and Victoria (see under those States). Candidates were required to be good shots, good riders, and practical bushmen of experience, to have good eyesight and hearing and sound health. Age, 21 to 38 years; chest measurement, 34 inches; height, 5 ft. 6 in. to 5 ft. 11 in.; weight, not over 11 st. 10 lb.; to undergo physical examination and to be unmarried, for preference.

Rates of pay, until the Contingent came under the rates paid by the Imperial Government for service in South Africa outside Cape Colony and Natal, were as follows:- Lieutenant-colonel, £2 per diem; major, £1 10s.; captain, £1 5s.; lieutenant, £1 1s.; medical and veterinary officers, according to rank; staff sergeants, 10s.; company sergeant-major, 9s.; sergeant, 8s.; corporal, 7s.; artificer. 6s.; bugler, gunner, driver, or private, 4s. 6d.

For rates of pay when serving in South Africa beyond Cape Colony and Natal, vide 4th Victorian (Imperial) Contingent.

The companies were still numbered consecutively with those which had preceded them.


Clothing and Equipment.

Uniform consisted of khaki cloth F.S. jacket, pants, puttees, hat, F.S. cap. Greatcoats and boots were also issued; and a full kit of underclothing, necessaries, &c.

Rifles and bayonets were supplied in South Africa. Cartridge belts (bandoliers) and braces issued in Queensland. Fully horsed and supplied with saddlery. Regimental transport provided. Vide Appendix II., p. 578.


Establishment.

This was as subjoined:-

Battalion Staff.-1 lieutenant-colonel, 1 major, 1 adjutant, I quartermaster, 1 medical officer, 1 veterinary officer, 2 staff sergeants, 1 sergeant, 1 corporal, 14 privates; total, 6 officers, 18 N.C.O.'s and men, 24 riding horses; in all, 24 of all ranks, 24 horses.

No. 6 Company.- 1 major or captain, 4 lieutenants, 1 company sergeant-major, 5 sergeants, 5 artificers, 2 buglers, 6 corporals, 97 privates; total, 5 officers, 116 N.C.O.'s and men; 50 draught, 121 riding horses. In all, 121 of all ranks, 171 horses.

No. 7 and No. 8 Companies.-The same. Spare horses, 13.

Total.-1 lieutenant-colonel, 1 major, 3 company commanders, 1 adjutant, 12 lieutenants, 1 quartermaster, 1 medical officer, 1 veterinary officer, 2 staff sergeants, 3 company sergeant-majors, 16 sergeants, 15 artificers, 6 buglers, 19 corporals, 305 privates. In all, 21 officers, 366 N.C.O.'s and man; 150 draught, 400 riding horses. Grand total - 387 of all ranks; 550 horses.

 

The SS Manchester Port embarking with the 4th Queensland Imperial Bushmen

 

 

Departure and Return.

Left on 18th May, 1900, comprising - 26 officers, 368 of other ranks, with 512 horses. Fifteen were killed or died; 5 officers were transferred; 2 officers, 63 others, were struck off in South Africa; 2 were commissioned in Imperial Army; 20 officers, 288 others, returned to Australia.


Promotions, etc.

Captain F. L. Jones was Adjutant, 17th November, 1900, to 7th August, 1901.

Lieutenant A. W. Butterworth, promoted Captain, 18th November, 1900.

Lieutenant W. I. Ferguson, Acting Adjutant, temporarily.

Sergeant A. Bailey, promoted Lieutenant and Quartermaster, 15th January, 1901, vice Crichton, returned to Australia.

Sergeant N. B. DeLancy Forth, received a commission in the Imperial Service, but returned invalided to Australia.

Private H. C. Morley received a commission in the Imperial Service; struck off Contingent, 17th January, 1901.

Private J. D. Henry became Lieutenant, “D" Company, 3rd Australian Commonwealth Horse.

Private V. B. Brodie became Lieutenant, 7th Australian Commonwealth Horse.


For promotions of N.C.O.'s and men, vide nominal roll.

Note:- The following promotions and transfers from 4th Queensland Imperial Bushmen, appeared in South African Army Orders, 7th July, 1901:

Captain J. W. M. Carroll, to 6th Contingent (Major from the same date. Army Order, South Africa, 12th October, 1901).

Lieutenant MAT Bell to 5th Contingent as Captain.

Lieutenant CV Sellheim to 5th Contingent as Captain

Lieutenant WI Ferguson to 5th Contingent as Captain

Lieutenant J McLeod (Veterinary Officer) to 5th Contingent as Captain

Sergeant AC Robertson to 5th Contingent as Lieutenant.

Sergeant H. St.C. Yaldwin 5th Contingent as Lieutenant.

Sergeant A. Smith 5th Contingent as Lieutenant.

Sergeant G. F. Livingstone 5th Contingent as Lieutenant.

Sergeant-Major A. E. Pooley 5th Contingent as Lieutenant.


All to be supernumerary to Establishment.

It does not appear, however, that all these officers joined the Contingents in question, vide nominal rolls of such Contingents; also, vide Note to "Promotions," 4th Victorian Contingent, p. 254.


Service.

The 4th Queensland Imperial Bushmen started for the war on the 18th May, 1900, in the transport Manchester Port, and arrived at Beira on the 14th June. Proceeded by order to Port Elizabeth; arrived there on the 20th; thence sent to Cape Town, and disembarked there on the 23rd, having anchored in Table Bay on the previous day, and sent ashore baggage and stores. After a short rest at Maitland Camp, entrained to Kroonstad towards Lindley, and from thence to Pretoria, and-joined General Ian Hamilton's force.

On the 13th July at Honen's Nek, occurred their first casualty. A patrol having been sent out to escort guns to Wonderboom, Private Duggan was shot dead in a skirmish. 16th July.- Eastern advance, and engagement at De Waggen Drift. From 21st July to 20th August.- Advance to Rustfontein, and engagements at Honen's Nek and Zilikat's Nek. Returned to Commando Nek, marched to Rustenburg, up Maghatie's Valley, vid Zeekoe Hoek, and Oliphant's Nek, in pursuit of De Wet. Advanced towards Warmbad, and skirmish en route at Krokodil Drift. Returned to Pretoria on the 28th, and remained until 10th September.

A detachment of 4 officers and 50 men then joined General French's eastern movement; the remainder, after refitting, joined General Ridley's Column, General Clements' command. 15th to 23rd September.- Operations at Maghatie's Valley; on 26th, skirmish at Zandfontein, where Lieutenant Higson was dangerously wounded. From that date to 15th October, Rustenberg, vid Magata Pass; operations in Maghatie's Valley. Left General Clements' command, and joined General Paget's, as part of Colonel Hickman's corps; General Plumer's Column at Jericho. 24th October, a telegram was received from General Paget by Colonel Hickman, "Please inform Colonel Aytoun how gratified I am by the accounts of the results achieved by the Queensland Imperial Bushmen in so short a time, and I trust his wounded are doing well."

From that date, operations west of Rustenburg on Zelons, Koster, and Eland's Rivers, till 11th November; during which time there were several skirmishes with the enemy. Operations east of Pretoria and north of the railway; skirmishes at Oybrand's Kraal, Roodepoort, and Hartebeestfontein.
On 19th November, Lieut.-Colonel Aytoun was admitted into hospital at Pretoria, suffering from enteric; and was subsequently invalided to Australia. Major Deacon assumed command of the Battalion.

On the 29th, there was a heavy engagement at Rietfontein (Rhenoster Kop) with Ben Viljoen, from 5.30 a.m. until about 10 p.m. (vale 3rd Queensland Mounted Infantry " Service "), and the enemy evacuated the position on the night of the 30th.

Operations in the vicinity until 17th December; then between Rustenburg and Pretoria until 14th January, 1901. Colonel Hickman's brigade was broken up on the 18th, and the Battalion then became part of Lieut.-Colonel Craddock's brigade. Operations included a sweeping eastern movement as far as Balmoral; and operations in vicinity until 2nd February, 1901. On 24th January, by Divisional Orders, the Contingent was separated from Lieut: Colonel Craddock's command, and formed part of Lieut: Colonel H. B. Jeffrey's corps. Craddock's and Jeffrey's brigades were officially designated "Plumer's Force." On 31st, joined Colonel Jeffrey's corps above Balmoral, and camped there. On 1st February, 10 officers, 135 N.C.O.'s and men were available for the firing line; 53 dismounted men were shown in the weekly state. The Queenslanders had been in constant touch with the enemy, and there had been many casualties, both of men and horses; remounts being, of course, obtained from time to time.

On 3rd February, entrained at Balmoral to Naauwpoort, Cape Colony, arriving there on 7th; drew remounts, refitted, and started in pursuit of De Wet on 9th. Skirmishes, 12th, 13th, and engagement on 14th at Wolvekuilen. On the 13th the enemy were engaged twice during the afternoon, once very heavily. Lieutenant Kellaway was severely wounded. On 15th, De Wet's heavy transport ammunition wagons, over 30 (mostly full), and a maxim, were captured, having been bogged and abandoned. About twelve prisoners were also taken. Crossed the railway line at Houtkraal. Colonel Crabbe's and Colonel Henniker's Columns joined on the 16th; engagement at Geeluck's Poort on the following day. On the 23rd, the main body came in touch with the enemy about 12 noon, near Pompean Pan, Orange River, and pushed them very hard until 8 p.m.; they had to abandon a 15-pr. and a pom-pom. Thirty prisoners were taken; trekked about 40 miles this day.

Arrived at Hopetoun on 24th, obtained remounts, marched to Orange River station, and entrained there on 36th; and detrained at Springfontein on let March. From that date until 15th, the route was by Philippolis, Fauresmith, Pietersburg, to Winburg. Entrained at Smolldiel on 20th, and arrived at Pretoria on 22nd.

Commenced advance on Pietersburg on 26th; occupied Warmbad, 30th; Nylstroom, lot April; Pietpotgeitsr's Rust, 5th; Marabastad, 7th; and Pietersburg, 8th; after slight opposition. Left Pietersburg, vid Chune's Poort, 14th, to hold drifts in Oliphant's River, and operations in vicinity; returned to Pretoria, 6th May. Refitted and marched on 13th; sweeping movement towards Bethel, with almost daily skirmishes. On the 20th, orders were received to march at 6 a.m. to the vicinity of Bethel. Some resistance was made, and large parties of Boers could be seen on every skyline. Bethel was reached at 2 p.m., and a considerable number of the enemy surrendered when their stronghold was occupied. Orders were issued at 5 p.m. to burn the town; and after the women and children had been removed, the town was soon in a mass of flames.

Quitted Bethel on 22nd, and marched to Rietpan, en route to Standerton to replenish. The enemy was still seen in large numbers, and very daring; at one time charging up to within 250 yards of the pom-yams. Arrived at Standerton on 27th, after having been daily in touch with the Boers. Marched on the 30th; engaged in sweeping operations towards Piet Retief, which was occupied on 9th June. The 4th parted from General Plumer's force here, being under orders foe Australia.

The following individual instances of gallantry in the field ware specially rewarded by the General Officer Commander-in-Chief:

Acting-Sergeant E. H. Shadforth, to be Sergeant. On patrol near Boschkop, Cape Colony, on 12th February, 1901, he brought Private Suter, whose horse had been shot, out of action under heavy fire.

Private J. Alford to be Corporal. At Driekuilen, Cape Colony, on 15th February, 1341, single-handed he took prisoners three armed and mounted Boers and a Kaffir.

Private E. Culliford to be Corporal. Same place and day, he took prisoners four armed Boers.

Private J. H. Rule to be Corporal. Same place and day, single-handed he took prisoners three armed Boers and two Kaffirs.

The 4th, escorted convoy and prisoners to Utrecht, and were involved in a half-day engagement en route at Elandaburg. Arrived at Utrecht on the 18th June, and on the 20th, orders were received to proceed with convoy to Newcastle, Natal, en route to Stormberg, for mobilization. General Plumer addressed the Regiment, and thanked them for their good service during the past 12 months. Arrived at Newcastle on 22nd; handed in all equipment on same day, and entrained for Stormberg on 23rd; arrived 28th, and on 4th July entrained for East London.

Embarked on transport Britannic on 5th July, together with members of Western Australian, Tasmanian, and New South Wales Contingents, with whom the 4th had served the whole time. Called at Albany (20th July), Adelaide, Melbourne, and Sydney, and arrived at Brisbane, 6th August. Disembarked on the following day, and disbanded on the 10th.

 

 

Further Reading:

4th Queensland Imperial Bushmen

4th Queensland Imperial Bushmen, Roll of Honour

Boer War, 1899 - 1902

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: 4th QIB, 4th Queensland Imperial Bushmen, Outline

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Tuesday, 21 June 2011 11:43 AM EADT

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