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"At a mile distant their thousand hooves were stuttering thunder, coming at a rate that frightened a man - they were an awe inspiring sight, galloping through the red haze - knee to knee and horse to horse - the dying sun glinting on bayonet points..." Trooper Ion Idriess

The Australian Light Horse Studies Centre aims to present an accurate history as chroniclers of early Australian military developments from 1899 to 1920.

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WARNING: This site contains: names, information and images of deceased people; and, language which may be considered inappropriate today.

Friday, 28 November 2003
1st New South Wales Mounted Rifles, Organising the Men from Yass, Letter, 9 January 1900
Topic: BW - NSW - 1NSWMR

1st NSWMR 

1st New South Wales Mounted Rifles

Organising the Men from Yass

 

Letter from Lieutenant J. Howard requesting Rail Passes.

 

The following series of letters, telegrams and orders illustrates the work that went on behind the scenes to provide three men from Yass for the 1st New South Wales Mounted Rifles Contingent that embarked for South Africa on 17 January 1900. The correspondence indicates that it almost did not happen.

 

Letter from Lieutenant J. Howard requesting Rail Passes.

Yass, 9th January 1900

From the
Officer Commanding "F" Company
To the
Officer Commanding 1st Infantry Regiment

Subject: Railway Passes, application for.

Sir,

I have the honour to apply for a Railway Pass for four men to proceed to Sydney and report themselves for the Third Contingent.

These men reported themselves before and were told off to the Third Contingent, but having business to transact in Yass, Major Knight gave them permission to leave and told them they could come down again later on.

They intend leaving here on Friday night.

I have the honour to be Sir your most Obedient Servant,
Lieutenant JW Howard
Commanding "F" Company, 1st Infantry Regiment.

 

John William Howard, Biography

John William Howard. Born 24 May 1857. Appointed Second Lieutenant  with the 1st Infantry Regiment 12 June 1893. Promoted to Lieutenant and appointed Officer Commanding "F" Company (Yass), 1st Infantry Regiment, 18 November 1895. Passed exam for promotion to Captain at Infantry School, 1900 and promoted to Captain, 1 October 1900. He was placed on the Unattached List 9 February 1904 and then the Reserve of Officers, 10 December 1912.

 

The response from Major WJN Oldershaw

Officer Commanding "F" Company

Furnish names! How can the matter be dealt with when we do not know the names?

Major WJN Oldershaw
Commander, 1st Infantry Regiment.
12 January 1900

 

William James Norman Oldershaw

 

William James Norman Oldershaw, Biography

William James Norman Oldershaw. Born in South Melbourne, 24 April 1856 and educated at Wesley College. Served in the Victorian Voluntary Artillery from 7 February 1877 to 1 January 1884. In that time he was promoted to Lieutenant on 31 July 1881. Transferred to New South Wales and appointed Second Lieutenant with the 1st Infantry Regiment on 22 February 1886. He remained with the 1st Infantry Regiment to be promoted to Lieutenant 15 November 1888, Captain 1 July 1893, Major 3 December 1898 and Lieutenant Colonel 1 January 1900. During this time he was also heavily involved in shooting. He won the Queens Prize in Melbourne, then the chairman of the National Rifle Association of New South Wales (1903-1905), and captained the Australian rifle team which won the Kolapore Cup at Bisley in 1903. He was placed on the Unattached List 1 September 1905 and then the Reserve of Officers, 21 October 1907. He retired on 31 March 1913 with the title of Honorary Colonel. During the Great War was appointed Sugar Commissioner. On 18 March 1918 he was awarded the honour as a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE). He died in London on 17 October 1926.

 

Since Lieutenant Howard had not received word from Major Oldershaw regarding the passes, he despatched a Telegram on 12 January 1900.

 

Lieutenant Howard's Telegram, 12 January 1900.

 

Lieutenant Howard's Telegram, 12 January 1900.

Telegram from Yass Station.

Addressed to the Adjutant, 1st Infantry Regiment, Victoria Barracks, Paddington, 11.34, 12 January 1900.

Please wire reply to my two letters re passes for Comapny and passes for men leaving active service tonight.

JW Howard, Lieutenant, WX7.

 

The response was rather confounding as the men were about to depart as their ship was due to embark in five days.

 

Major Oldershaw's response, 12 January 1900

 

Major Oldershaw's response, 12 January 1900

Telegram to Yass Station.

Addressed to the Officer Commanding "F" Company, 1st Infantry Regiment.

No authority to issue passes for Company to visit Sydney. The men for Third Contingent may wait as there is no hurry.

WJN Oldershaw
12 January 1900.

 

The men departed with Railway Return Tickets and embarked for South Africa on Active Service.

The following information was sent by Lieutenant Howard in response to Major Oldershaw's request of 12 January 1900 for the names.

 

List of Rail Pass Holders

 

Response from Lieutenant J. Howard regarding Rail Passes.

Return of men to whom Railway Return Tickets were issued, in order to proceed to Sydney for examination for Active Service.

        Regt. No.  Rank   Name
        266  Corporal   Tonkin, CJ
        158  Private   Murphy, WH
        210  Private   Jones, C
        816  Private   Mote, FA

Those from the list who embarked to South Africa for Active Service were:

281 Private Charles John TONKIN, "D" Squadron, 1st NSW Mounted Rifles, Murray p. 69. He was wounded at the Zand River and invalided back to Australia, arriving on 15 September 1900. At the conclusion of his service, he was awarded the Queen's South African Medal with two clasps: Driefontein, and Cape Colony.  (Brother of Francis Henry TONKIN.)

70 Private William Henry MURPHY, "E" Squadron, 1st NSW Mounted Rifles, Murray p. 40. He saw 15 month's service in South Africa. At the conclusion of his service, he was awarded the Queen's South African Medal with four clasps: Johannesberg, Diamond Hill, Wittebergen and Cape Colony.  During the Great War, he enlisted for service in the AIF and embarked as 53 Sergeant William Henry MURPHY with "A" Squadron, 12th Light Horse Regiment.

325 Private Collin JONES, "C" Squadron, 1st NSW Mounted Rifles, Murray p. 66. After completing his contract for service with 1st NSW Mounted Rifles, he re-enlisted in South Africa with the 3rd New South Wales Imperial Bushmen. At the conclusion of his service, he was awarded the Queen's South African Medal with five clasps: Driefontein, Johannesberg, Diamond Hill, Wittebergen and Cape Colony. Additionally, he was awarded the King's South African Medal with two clasps.

And one who did not see Active Service:

Frederick Arthur MOTE.

 

Promotions to fill the vacancy, 22 January 1900.

 

Notification of the Promotions, 22 January 1900. 

 

Yass, 22 January 1900
From the Officer Commanding "F" Company
To the Officer Commanding 1st Infantry Regiment

Subject: Promotions, Temporary

Sir, In accordance with Routine Order No. 2 of 1900, I have the honor to submit the names of the following for promotion to the ranks set against their names:

No. 261 Corporal Curl, CH, to be Lance Sergeant vice Tonkin, FH;
No. 668 Private Fairley N to be Corporal vice Curl CH;
No. 836 Private Edwards AA to be Corporal vice Tonkin CJ;
No. 161 Private Burgess ML to be Lance Corporal vice Brewer MC, resigned.

Lance Sergeant Tonkin FH and Corporal Tonkin CJ are absent on Active Service.

I have the honour to be Sir your most Obedient Servant,
Lieutenant JW Howard
Commanding "F" Company, 1st Infantry Regiment.

 

402 Private Francis Henry TONKIN, "D" Squadron, 1st NSW Mounted Rifles, Murray p. 69. He was wounded at the Zand River and invalided back to Australia, arriving on 6 August 1900. At the conclusion of his service, he was awarded the Queen's South African Medal with two clasps: Driefontein, and Cape Colony.  (Brother of Charles John TONKIN.)

 

This exchange indicates the difficulty that was faced in organising an enterprise such as a Regiment of mounted men for Active Service in South Africa. Every name is a story and every story needed to be set into the context of the larger enterprise. This chain of correspondence was replicated many times over during the Boer War campaign. 

 

Further Reading:

1st New South Wales Mounted Rifles

1st New South Wales Mounted Rifles, Roll of Honour

Boer War, 1899 - 1902

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: 1st New South Wales Mounted Rifles, Organising the Men from Yass, Letter, 9 January 1900

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EAST
Updated: Monday, 10 May 2010 11:46 AM EADT
South African (Second Boer) War: 1899-1902, Embarkation Roll: HAR to HAY
Topic: BW - Boer War

South African (Second Boer) War, 1899-1902

Australian Participation - Full Index

Embarkation Roll: HAR to HAY

 

 

The following is an alphabetical roll of all Australians known members of the many military formations which embarked overseas during the South African (Second Boer) War, 1899-1902.

Each man is detailed on this reference list with the following information:

Service Number;

Rank on Embarkation;

First Names;

Family Name;

If applicable, any false name employed; and,

Service unit.

 

Notes

Note 1: All soldiers’ names are linked to the specific unit and date when embarkation occurred.

Note 2: There are duplications of some names in the following list. The reason for this is that the soldier embarked on more than one occasion. This was the simplest way of resolving the problem of multiple entries for a single individual.

 

Embarkation Roll: HAR to HAY

 

296 Private G HARE, 6th Australian Commonwealth Horse, Victoria.

105 Private JL HARE, 1st South Australian Mounted Rifles.

41007 Trooper W HARFORD, 2nd Scottish Horse.

582 Sergeant Charles HARGRAVE, 1st Australian Horse.

3081 Trooper William John HARGREAVES, 3rd NSW Mounted Rifles.

513 Private Martin Theodore HARKEN, 6th West Australian Mounted Infantry.

250 Private Ockey Michael HARKEN, 5th West Australian Mounted Infantry.

412 Trooper Walter HARKER, 2nd New South Wales Mounted Rifles.

168 Private James Ramage HARKISS, 7th Australian Commonwealth Horse, Queensland.

361 Sergeant Thomas HARKNESS, 5th Australian Commonwealth Horse, New South Wales.

20 Corporal Thomas HARKNESS, Army Medical Corps, NSW.

40159 Trooper W HARKNESS, 2nd Scottish Horse.

1145 Lance Corporal Walter HARKNESS, 5th Victorian Mounted Rifles.

67 Corporal Rowland Edward HARKUS, NSW Lancers.

1768 Farrier Thomas HARLAND, 3rd Australian Commonwealth Horse, New South Wales.

394 Private William Myers HARLE, 7th Australian Commonwealth Horse, Queensland.

514 Private Charles George HARLEY, 2nd Battalion Australian Commonwealth Horse, Victoria.

2309 Trooper Thomas HARLEY, 3rd NSW Imperial Bushmen.

938 Trooper Thomas HARLEY, NSW Lancers.

1454 Trooper Robert HARMAN, 3rd Australian Commonwealth Horse, New South Wales.

689 Trooper John Alfred HARMER, 1st Australian Horse.

1011 Trooper Harold Laurence HARNETT, 1st Australian Horse.

795 Private Arthur HARPER, Army Medical Corps, NSW.

934 Private Benjamin John HARPER, 1st Battalion Australian Commonwealth Horse, Queensland.

2111 Trooper Charles Ernest HARPER, 3rd NSW Mounted Rifles.

1743 Trooper Frederick HARPER, 3rd NSW Mounted Rifles.

Private H HARPER, Kitchener's Horse.

322 Lance Corporal Herbert Edward HARPER, 1st Battalion Australian Commonwealth Horse, New South Wales.

63 Private Knollys HARPER, 7th Australian Commonwealth Horse, Queensland.

420 Private S HARPER, 6th Australian Commonwealth Horse, Victoria.

600 Private Sedgwick Percy HARPER, 2nd Battalion Australian Commonwealth Horse, Victoria.

274 Private Sedgwick Percy HARPER, 2nd Victorian Mounted Rifles.

104 Trumpeter Warabea Forrest HARPER, 4th West Australian Mounted Infantry.

31632 Trooper William E HARPER, 2nd Scottish Horse.

3689 Trooper Charles William HARPUR, 3rd NSW Imperial Bushmen.

63 Trooper Edward Francis HARRADINE, 1st Tasmanian Imperial Bushmen.

Trooper EJ HARRAM, Menne's Scouts.

486 Private HARRICKS, 6th Australian Commonwealth Horse, Victoria.

Trooper H HARRIE, Kaffrarian Rifles.

377 Private Albert HARRINGTON, 6th West Australian Mounted Infantry.

457 Sergeant Albert Bernard HARRINGTON, 5th South Australian Imperial Bushmen.

121 Sergeant Edgar Randolph HARRINGTON, 4th South Australian Imperial Bushmen.

47 Trooper HJ HARRINGTON, 3rd South Australian Citizens' Bushmen.

131 Sergeant Howard Jos. HARRINGTON, 4th South Australian Imperial Bushmen.

Orderly Room Sergeant Maurice Lionel HARRINGTON, 8th Australian Commonwealth Horse, South Australia.

265 Private Patrick HARRINGTON, 5th West Australian Mounted Infantry.

2905 Private Patrick W HARRINGTON, 4th Australian Commonwealth Horse, West Australia.

37 Corporal Sydney William HARRINGTON, 8th Australian Commonwealth Horse, South Australia.

2729 Trooper Thomas HARRINGTON, 3rd NSW Imperial Bushmen.

21 Private William HARRINGTON, 2nd West Australian Mounted Infantry.

Lieutenant William Rupert HARRIOTT, 1st New South Wales Mounted Rifles.

2614 Trooper Alfred HARRIS, 3rd NSW Imperial Bushmen.

1872 Quartermaster Sergeant Alfred Edward HARRIS, 3rd Australian Commonwealth Horse, Queensland.

14 Private Andrew Alfred HARRIS, 2nd Queensland Mounted Infantry.

615 Private Andrew Alfred HARRIS, 6th Queensland Imperial Bushmen.

333 Trooper Arnold Joseph HARRIS, 1st Battalion Australian Commonwealth Horse, New South Wales.

36 Private Charles James HARRIS, 8th Australian Commonwealth Horse, South Australia.

1699 Trooper Charles William HARRIS, 3rd NSW Mounted Rifles.

9 Private EC HARRIS, 6th Australian Commonwealth Horse, Victoria.

24 Sergeant Trumpeter Ernest James HARRIS, 4th South Australian Imperial Bushmen.

24 Trooper Ernest James HARRIS, 4th South Australian Imperial Bushmen.

1048 Private Frederick George HARRIS, 2nd Battalion Australian Commonwealth Horse, South Australian.

37 Private Frederick John HARRIS, 1st Tasmanian Mounted Infantry.

1012 Trooper Geoffrey Hamlyn HARRIS, 1st Australian Horse.

Lieutenant Geoffrey Hamlyn Savincount HARRIS, 1st Battalion Australian Commonwealth Horse, New South Wales.

2224 Private George HARRIS, 4th Australian Commonwealth Horse, Victoria.

174 Private George Albert HARRIS, 2nd Tasmanian Imperial Bushmen.

3 Company Sergeant Major Henry George HARRIS, 4th Queensland Imperial Bushmen.

Lieutenant Henry John HARRIS, 3rd Queensland Mounted Infantry.

6 Corporal Herbert HARRIS, 1st Queensland Mounted Infantry.

1195 Private Herbert HARRIS, 5th Victorian Mounted Rifles.

16 Driver Herbert George HARRIS, 1st Queensland Mounted Infantry.

Lieutenant Hubert Jennings Imre HARRIS, 2nd Queensland Mounted Infantry.

135 Trooper James HARRIS, 3rd NSW Imperial Bushmen.

1014 Private John Arthur HARRIS, 2nd Battalion Australian Commonwealth Horse, South Australian.

116 Private John Noble Douglas HARRIS, 5th West Australian Mounted Infantry.

1970 Private Joseph HARRIS, 3rd Australian Commonwealth Horse, Queensland.

Nursing Sister NS HARRIS, Army Medical Corps, South Australian Nurses.

239 Trooper Percy Godfrey HARRIS, 5th South Australian Imperial Bushmen.

Lieutenant Samuel HARRIS, 2nd West Australian Mounted Infantry.

546 Private Shelley HARRIS, 3rd Victorian Bushmen.

4015 Trooper Sydney HARRIS, 3rd NSW Imperial Bushmen.

388 Private Thomas HARRIS, 6th Queensland Imperial Bushmen.

450 Private Thomas William HARRIS, 2nd Battalion Australian Commonwealth Horse, Victoria.

Trooper WG HARRIS, Thorneycroft's Mounted Infantry.

381 Private WH HARRIS, 6th Australian Commonwealth Horse, Victoria.

152 Private William HARRIS, 1st Queensland Mounted Infantry.

1100 Trooper William HARRIS, 2nd New South Wales Mounted Rifles.

476 Private William HARRIS, 3rd Victorian Bushmen.

370 Private William Charles HARRIS, Army Medical Corps, NSW.

332 Trooper William David HARRIS, 1st Battalion Australian Commonwealth Horse, New South Wales.

146 Private William Edward HARRIS, NSW Imperial Bushmen.

114 Corporal William John HARRIS, 3rd NSW Imperial Bushmen.

1497 Trooper William John HARRIS, 3rd NSW Mounted Rifles.

474 Private Wright HARRIS, 3rd Victorian Bushmen.

2248 Private Wright HARRIS, 4th Australian Commonwealth Horse, Victoria.

HARRIS, Thorneycroft's Mounted Infantry.

968 Corporal Albert HARRISON, 5th Victorian Mounted Rifles.

141 Private Archibald Oscar HARRISON, 2nd Tasmanian Bushmen.

546 Trooper Bernard H HARRISON, NSW Lancers.

85 Private CE HARRISON, Army Medical Corps, NSW.

85 Private Charles HARRISON, Army Medical Corps, NSW.

1284 Corporal Charles John HARRISON, Army Medical Corps, NSW.

310 Trooper Ernest Thomas HARRISON, 5th Australian Commonwealth Horse, New South Wales.

180 Private George Francis HARRISON, 2nd Tasmanian Imperial Bushmen.

1366 Private Henry HARRISON, 5th Victorian Mounted Rifles.

35 Private Henry HARRISON, 8th Australian Commonwealth Horse, South Australia.

1016 Private James Francis HARRISON, 2nd Battalion Australian Commonwealth Horse, South Australian.

82 Trooper John HARRISON, 2nd New South Wales Mounted Rifles.

2430 Private John HARRISON, 4th Australian Commonwealth Horse, Victoria.

524 Trooper John Charles HARRISON, NSW Citizens' Bushmen.

311 Trooper John Emanuel HARRISON, 5th Australian Commonwealth Horse, New South Wales.

29 Private Joseph HARRISON, Army Medical Corps, NSW.

Private OLH HARRISON, Brabant's Horse.

393 Private Richard Mild HARRISON, 7th Australian Commonwealth Horse, Queensland.

523 Private Robert HARRISON, 5th Queensland Imperial Bushmen.

1570 Private Robert Glenn HARRISON, 5th Victorian Mounted Rifles.

179 Private Ronald Wilberforce HARRISON, 2nd Tasmanian Imperial Bushmen.

555 Private Samuel Ernest HARRISON, 1st New South Wales Mounted Rifles.

308 Private Thomas HARRISON, 4th Victorian Imperial Bushmen.

896 Farrier Thomas James Irwin HARRISON, 5th Victorian Mounted Rifles.

309 Trooper Walter HARRISON, 5th Australian Commonwealth Horse, New South Wales.

2718 Trooper William HARRISON, 3rd NSW Imperial Bushmen.

57 Private William Ernest HARRISON, 7th Australian Commonwealth Horse, Queensland.

3012 Trooper William Paul HARRISON, 3rd NSW Imperial Bushmen.

33825 Trooper WR HARRISON, 2nd Scottish Horse.

159 Private Albert Edwin HARROLD, 8th Australian Commonwealth Horse, South Australia.

56 Private George HARROP, 4th Queensland Imperial Bushmen.

470 Trooper William James HARRY, 5th South Australian Imperial Bushmen.

265 Private Alexander J HART, 1st New South Wales Mounted Rifles.

800 Charles Edward HART, 3rd NSW Imperial Bushmen.

800 Private Charles Edward HART, NSW Imperial Bushmen.

Ernest Edward HART, 2nd Victorian Mounted Rifles.

3593 Sergeant Major Ernest Watkins HART, 3rd NSW Mounted Rifles.

61 Private Frederick Charles HART, 1st Victorian Mounted Infantry.

1724 Trooper Herbert HART, 3rd Australian Commonwealth Horse, New South Wales.

381 Trooper Herbert William HART, 1st Battalion Australian Commonwealth Horse, New South Wales.

186 Private James HART, 1st Queensland Mounted Infantry.

1551 Trooper John HART, 2nd New South Wales Mounted Rifles.

2826 Gunner John HART, A' Bty. Royal Australian Artillery.

496 Trooper JW HART, 5th Australian Commonwealth Horse, New South Wales.

23 Private Nathaniel HART, 1st West Australian Mounted Infantry.

406 Company Sergeant Major Nathaniel HART, 6th West Australian Mounted Infantry.

45 Private Percy Alfred HART, 8th Australian Commonwealth Horse, South Australia.

956 Trooper Percy Shadrock HART, 2nd New South Wales Mounted Rifles.

279 Private Richard John HART, 2nd Tasmanian Imperial Bushmen.

315 Private Richard John HART, 8th Australian Commonwealth Horse, Tasmania.

41006 Trooper RR HART, 2nd Scottish Horse.

358 Trooper Thomas Francis HART, 1st Battalion Australian Commonwealth Horse, New South Wales.

346 Trooper William John HART, 1st Battalion Australian Commonwealth Horse, New South Wales.

499 Private William John HART, 1st New South Wales Mounted Rifles.

17 Trooper William John HART, 3rd NSW Mounted Rifles.

1149 Private Edward HARTE, 5th Victorian Mounted Rifles.

366 Private Henry HARTE, 6th West Australian Mounted Infantry.

Corporal W HARTE, Driscoll's Scouts.

292 Private William Myers HARTE, 3rd Queensland Mounted Infantry.

108 Private Frederick HARTH, 3rd Queensland Mounted Infantry.

Trooper Michael T HARTIGAN, South African Light Horse.

4000 Corporal William HARTILL, 3rd NSW Imperial Bushmen.

96 Private Harold Leslie HARTLEY, 3rd Queensland Mounted Infantry.

438 Private Hugh Francis James HARTLEY, 3rd Victorian Bushmen.

566 Trooper William John HARTLEY, 2nd New South Wales Mounted Rifles.

190 Private George Augustus HARTNETT, 6th Queensland Imperial Bushmen.

354 Private James F HARTNETT, Army Medical Corps, NSW.

1013 Trooper James Patrick HARTNEY, 1st Australian Horse.

167 Private JW HARTSHORN, 6th Australian Commonwealth Horse, Victoria.

3001 Trooper Percy HARTWELL, 3rd NSW Mounted Rifles.

72 Private Arthur Edgar HARVEY, 3rd Queensland Mounted Infantry.

Lieutenant Arthur Kenneth Le Rei HARVEY, 6th South Australian Imperial Bushmen.

Lieutenant Arthur Vernon HARVEY, Roberts' Horse.

310 Private George HARVEY, 6th Queensland Imperial Bushmen.

188 Private Herbert William HARVEY, 4th Victorian Imperial Bushmen.

Trooper J HARVEY, Cape Railway Pioneer Regt..

244 Private James HARVEY, 5th Queensland Imperial Bushmen.

21 Trooper John HARVEY, 3rd NSW Imperial Bushmen.

224 Private John HARVEY, 5th Queensland Imperial Bushmen.

299 Private Thomas HARVEY, 4th Victorian Imperial Bushmen.

2309 Private Thomas James HARVEY, 4th Australian Commonwealth Horse, Victoria.

Henry HASCH, 6th West Australian Mounted Infantry.

Henry HASCH, 6th West Australian Mounted Infantry.

44 Private Oliver HASELDINE, 8th Australian Commonwealth Horse, South Australia.

Private CR HASSELL, 3rd West Australian Bushmen.

723 Trooper JP HASSELL, NSW Citizens' Bushmen.

723 Private James Patrick HASSETT, NSW Imperial Bushmen.

1622 Private John HASSETT, 5th Victorian Mounted Rifles.

404 Corporal John Joseph HASSETT, 4th Victorian Imperial Bushmen.

Trooper HASSETT, Rimmington's Guides.

262 Private Thomas HASSON, NSW Imperial Bushmen.

80 Private R HASTHORP, 6th Australian Commonwealth Horse, Victoria.

169 Private John Jesse HASTHORPE, 2nd Victorian Mounted Rifles.

169 Trooper Percy Ronald Stuart HASTIE, 4th South Australian Imperial Bushmen.

67 Private Peter Stewart HASTIE, 4th Queensland Imperial Bushmen.

320 Private Thomas HASTIE, 4th Queensland Imperial Bushmen.

45 Private Ernest A HATCHARD, 1st Victorian Mounted Infantry.

2884 Gunner Albert Thomas HATTER, A' Bty. Royal Australian Artillery.

501 Lance Corporal James Robert HATTER, 6th West Australian Mounted Infantry.

2411 Gunner Arthur Edward HATTERSLEY, 3rd NSW Mounted Rifles.

492 Shoeing Smith George J HATTON, 1st New South Wales Mounted Rifles.

116 Trooper William HATTON, 5th Australian Commonwealth Horse, New South Wales.

Trooper H HAUGHTON, Johannesburg Mounted Rifles.

1280 Private William HAVERS, NSW Imperial Bushmen.

Captain HAVILLAND, South African Constabulary.

33818 Trooper T HAWDON, 2nd Scottish Horse.

44 Private T HAWDON, 6th Australian Commonwealth Horse, Victoria.

33 Private Edwin George HAWES, 'A' Sqn. NSW Mounted Rifles.

362 Trumpeter Theophilus Octavius HAWES, 5th Australian Commonwealth Horse, New South Wales.

103 Private Thomas William HAWES, 3rd Queensland Mounted Infantry.

1840 Trooper William Robert HAWES, 3rd NSW Mounted Rifles.

33 Private HE HAWKE, 1st South Australian Mounted Rifles.

251 Trooper Hedley Charles HAWKE, 5th South Australian Imperial Bushmen.

2682 Sergeant Horace Ernest HAWKE, 4th Australian Commonwealth Horse, South Australia.

Trooper Henry Colley HAWKER, 2nd South Australian Mounted Rifles.

Major James Clarence HAWKER, 4th South Australian Imperial Bushmen.

451 Farrier Sergeant Mark HAWKER, 2nd Battalion Australian Commonwealth Horse, Victoria.

293 Private Mark HAWKER, 4th Victorian Imperial Bushmen.

996 Private Robert HAWKES, 5th Victorian Mounted Rifles.

2117 Private Samuel HAWKES, 3rd Australian Commonwealth Horse, Tasmania.

316 Private William Richard HAWKES, 8th Australian Commonwealth Horse, Tasmania.

81 Farrier Sergeant John Martin HAWKEY, 'A' Sqn. NSW Mounted Rifles.

1010 Sergeant Fred. W HAWKINS, Bethune's Mounted Infantry.

1710 Sergeant Frederick John HAWKINS, Army Medical Corps, NSW.

1868 Private Giles Harrison HAWKINS, 3rd Australian Commonwealth Horse, Queensland.

412 Trooper James HAWKINS, 8th Australian Commonwealth Horse, West Australia.

763 Private John HAWKINS, 5th Victorian Mounted Rifles.

Lieutenant John Frederick HAWKINS, 6th West Australian Mounted Infantry.

77 Private Robert Smith HAWKINS, 6th Queensland Imperial Bushmen.

293 Private Thomas Bartholomew HAWKINS, 7th Australian Commonwealth Horse, Queensland.

40113 Trooper WI HAWKINS, 2nd Scottish Horse.

Private HAWKINS, Border Horse.

Private HAWKINS, Border Horse.

201 Trooper Jackson Ebenezer HAWKSBY, 4th South Australian Imperial Bushmen.

2371 Trooper James Edward HAWKSBY, 3rd NSW Imperial Bushmen.

148 Trooper William Theodore HAWKSHAW, 2nd New South Wales Mounted Rifles.

2375 Trooper Charles HAWLEY, 3rd NSW Imperial Bushmen.

3321 Private J HAWLEY, Doyle's Australian Scouts.

Trooper Harold HAWSON, Thorneycroft's Mounted Infantry.

525 Private David James HAY, 3rd Victorian Bushmen.

1599 Trooper George H HAY, 3rd Australian Commonwealth Horse, New South Wales.

2844 Private James Arthur HAY, 4th Australian Commonwealth Horse, West Australia.

3487 Trooper James Thomas HAY, 2nd New South Wales Mounted Rifles.

60 Private JG HAY, 1st South Australian Mounted Rifles.

1556 Trooper W HAY, 3rd Australian Commonwealth Horse, New South Wales.

1313 Private Walter Stewart HAY, Army Medical Corps, Commonwealth.

1313 Private Walter Stewart HAY, Army Medical Corps, NSW.

2683 Private William Loutit HAY, 4th Australian Commonwealth Horse, South Australia.

 

Further Reading:

Boer War, 1899 - 1902 

South African (Second Boer) War, 1899 - 1902, Australian Forces, Roll of Honour 

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: South African (Second Boer) War: 1899-1902, Embarkation Roll: HAR to HAY

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EAST
Updated: Friday, 30 April 2010 9:20 AM EADT
New South Wales Infantry Contingent, Legge Letter 28 February 1900
Topic: BW - NSW - NSW Inf
 

NSW Inf

New South Wales Infantry Contingent

Legge Letter 28 February 1900

 

Legge Letter 28 February 1900

 

After the arrival of Captain JW Legge in South Africa, he sent a series of letters to Sydney describing the activities of the New South Wales Infantry Contingent. They are a mixture of action and issues and so allow the reader to get to know this unit in an intimate manner. The personality of Legge comes through very clearly in his commentaries. The following is a transcript of his undated letter of about 28 February 1900. 

 

Camp Arundel
From Officer Commanding NSW Company (Infantry)
To the CSO NSW

Sir,

I have the honour to state that I have been so pressed in time that I have had no opportunity to write of late.

During the middle of January there were a number of alarms at Enslin and we had a great deal of outpost work on the kopjes.

On the 22nd January it was definitely announced that the Australians were to be converted to Mounted Infantry, and we were hard at work testing the men in riding and practising the poor riders on mules and in stable duties with the horse lines of any mounted troops near us.

On 30th January we marched to Belmont, and entrained there on 31st January, arriving at Naauwpoort on the morning of 1st February. Here we received horses. The horses were from Madras Cavalry Regiment and were evidently not culled out as the best, as was also the saddlery, most of which was perished. We have been patching it ever since.

On 3rd February we proceeded by train to Rensburg, and were inspected "mounted" by the General Officer Commanding, General Clements, on the following morning. The General Officer Commanding was pleased with the Company and could hardly be induced to believe that we had only had one drill mounted. Of course the horses know their duty and so simplified matters considerably.

On 4th February we marched out to the Kloof Camp, west of Rensburg, on the outpost line against Colesberg, and first came under fire while entering Camp, from one of the enemy's Maxim Vicars guns, which fires a stream of shells weighing about 1½ pounds. There were no casualties. This gun is much used by the Boers and is called by our people the "pom-pom" gun, also the "Ten a penny". The effect, morally speaking, is worse even than heavy rifle fire or shrapnel, though the actual damage is generally less than either.

Since writing last time three men have been sent away to hospital with enteric fever, Privates Murray, Bradstock and Sergeant Coles. They have not yet returned.

Three men were poisoned with bad meat and sent to Naauwpoort, Corporal Buckleton and Privates Saxelby and Whiley. They have now recovered and returned to duty. Private Coxhead has returned to duty from hospital at Cape Town. Private Bright is still in hospital as reported in my last letter.

At the Kloof Camp we had a constant succession of outpost work on distant points and were often under fire, even in the Camp, from shots that passed over the outposts.

The force on the Colesberg - Rensburg line had been very much weakened to assist in forming the column which Lord Roberts was arranging for the relief of Kimberley.

The Boers consequently commenced to press us all along a front of about 15 miles.

On 9th February I had to send half the Company with Lieutenants Holmes and Logan to reinforce Slingersfontein on the other side of Rensburg.

On 10th February my half Company were on outpost on the left, nearest to the Victorian Camp at the Windmill Valley. These two outposts were driven in with loss from Bastard's Neck and Hobkirk's Farm. I was ordered round to their support, being relieved by infantry. Some guns (15 pounder) and Inniskillings from Maeders Farm also came up.

The enemy were checked and temporarily held during that day and the following, but were bringing up Pom Pom  guns, a 15 pounder which they use as a howitzer by putting the trail in a hole in the ground, and a 6 inch gun (about 40 pounder).

This we did not know until the morning of 12th February, when two of our field guns went down to a breastwork about 5,000 yards from Bastard's Nek, close to a large dam. The artillery were subjected to a heavy shrapnel fire, and as snipers were coming out, I had to take 20 men down to the dam as a covering party. The men obeyed well and we covered 1,000 yards on the flat at a gallop under shrapnel and pom-pom fire. There were no casualties among the men. Four horses were shot but not permanently damaged, my own in two places, by shrapnel bullets. We remained there 5 hours when the guns had to retire under fire, and we followed after they were out of range, again without casualties.

The ridge at Hobkirk's Farm on the left of us had been gradually forced by the Boers with rifle and artillery fire, although the Victorians fought well and saved a Company of Wiltshires.

We then held the valley with this line of mounted men skirmishing until dark while the Kloof Camp and Cole's Kop in our rear were evacuated. From 6 pm to 12 pm we then held the hills while the Infantry retired, the Victorian Mounted Rifles and our men joining the rear guard to Maeder's Farm.

As we were not in Camp ourselves much of our baggage was lost on the way or left at the Kloof Camp.

Arriving at Maeder's the retreat was continued, the South Australians and our Mounted Men being rearguard. We left them at 2 am and reached Rensburg in good order at 6 am on 13 February 1900. We had been three days and nights out without any rest, and during the last 38 hours the horses had no water and only one half feed.

The other half Company, which had done good work under Holmes at Slingersfontein as escort to guns and on outpost, joined us, and, after feeding and watering, I was sent on with my Company only to escort a Royal Engineers Park from Rensburg to Arundel. No enemy was met.

The following night Rensburg was evacuated and the whole force retired to Arundel, pursued by the Boers, who cut off two companies of the Wiltshires. Their artillery was at this time far superior to ours.

On 14th February we took part in a reconnaissance as escort to guns. Pte Murphy's horse was killed by shrapnel.

On 15th February half the Company was on outpost the other half scouting to the right rear. The Boers have worked round to a considerable extent on both flanks and do a good deal of sniping.

On 17th February we took part in another reconnaissance and were under a heavy artillery cross fire but without loss.

The duty here is extremely arduous and the men and horses are worked to the uttermost.

On 20th February we went out with a force to repel an attack upon our right rear. One Division under Lieutenant Dove was escort to some of the guns, where unfortunately Private Atchison was killed by a shell together with his horse, and Private Southey very slightly wounded.

With the other three divisions, subsequently reinforced by a Victorian Mounted Rifles Division, we were sent to occupy some kopjes in front. After crossing with the two divisions under fire and taking two ridges we received an order to retire which appears more to have been meant for us. The men retired under a heavy rifle fire and kept their heads well. Finding the order was never intended we again went across and by evening drove the Boers along 5 miles of ridges. Of course we were assisted greatly by a cross fire from our Artillery. At dusk we were with 55 rifles and 20 in reserve opposed to 200 Boers in a farm and on the opposite ridge. The rest of our men were holding the other part of the ridge already taken. Here we came to a stop and had a furious rifle duel, which the Boers finished up by firing shrapnel from an invisible gun at about 1,000 yards. They also used explosive bullets. We had good cover however and had no other loss. The whole of the Company, even the horses and horse holders on the far side of the ridge were under a dropping fire and it is really wonderful how we escaped.

As my orders were to secure all I took, I had to move from one part to another, and entrenched the firing line to Lieutenant Holmes, who acted with great dash and coolness. At dusk we received orders to return to the guns, and went back to camp with them. The Boers have not since returned to this farm and ridge, called Wolfefontein. Major Enthoven, Royal Artillery was kind enough to send over and say that "We could not have done better."

No. 17 Private Atchison (Samuel Charles) was a single man, whose mother lives at Shellhabour. He died doing his duty and was a very good lad. He has been buried near the Headquarters at Arundel.

On 21st February, we were ordered out early to the left outposts near Potgieter's Farm to support No. 4 Field Battery under Major Butcher, Royal Artillery. We were met about 3 miles to the left where the Boers were trying out their turning movement. After a reinforcement of guns on the morning of the 22nd February, our force advanced west from the outpost line two miles out another force from Camp attacked the Boers on the South, and subjected them to a heavy shell fire. Lieutenant Dove did an excellent piece of scouting on the right with his division and drove off the Boer patrols, thus rendering the advance of the guns possible.

About 3 pm the Boers retired in great haste making north, and we returned to camp at night.

The last fortnight has been extremely trying to men and horses, constantly standing to arms even when in Camp, broken rest and irregular and deficient food and water. The latter is not the fault of the Army Supply Corps but due to the rapid moves we have to make as mounted men.

I expect that we shall make another move forward in a few days.

I have the honour to be
Sir
Your obedient servant
JW Legge, Captain
Commander NSW Infantry Contingent
(Now Mounted Infantry).

War Diaries

All War Diaries cited on this site should be read in conjunction with the Australian Light Horse Studies Centre, AIF War Diaries of the Great War, Site Transcription Policy which may be accessed at:

Australian Light Horse Studies Centre, AIF War Diaries of the Great War, Site Transcription Policy 

 

 

Further Reading:

New South Wales Infantry Contingent

New South Wales Infantry Contingent, Roll of Honour 

Boer War, 1899 - 1902

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: New South Wales Infantry Contingent, Legge Letter 28 February 1900

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EAST
Updated: Saturday, 9 April 2011 11:15 PM EADT
1st New South Wales Mounted Rifles, Hilliard Letter, 11 July 1900
Topic: BW - NSW - 1NSWMR

1st NSWMR 

1st New South Wales Mounted Rifles

Hilliard Letter, 11 July 1900

 

Hilliard Letter, 11 July 1900

 

The following letter to an unnamed Colonel in the NSW Military was written by Captain Maurice Alfred HILLIARD (19 March 1964 - 1907), the Officer Commanding “C” Squadron, 1st New South Wales Mounted Rifles in South Africa. During his service he was accidentally injured Heidelberg 27 June 1900. Much to his despair he was invalided to Australia and arrived on 17 August 1900. He was Mentioned in Despatches in the London Gazette edition of 18 April 1901 and awarded the DSO. His service in South Africa saw him awarded the Queen’s South African Medal with four clasps – Driefontein, Transvaal, Johannesburg and Diamond Hill. After returning to Sydney he remained in the permanent forces.

To place people and places into the context of the letter, a series of explanatory notes have been placed below the body of the letter. These match up with the reference numbers in the letter’s text.

 

Captain Maurice Alfred HILLIARD (19 March 1964 - 1907)

 

 

Arundel
11 July 1900

My dear Colonel

My last letter to you was written in April last when on Outpost duty at Karee near Bloemfontein and I am afraid you will think I have been rather remiss in not having earlier taken up the thread of our doings since that time, but the fact is our movements have been so rapid that little time has been at my disposal for letter writing.

Owing to rather a severe accident, which occurred to me at Heidelberg through my horse falling and rolling upon me when "galloping a kopje", I am at this place invalided and so have time now to continue the narrative of our experiences since we left Bloemfontein to which place we had returned to be re-equipped and transferred to General Hutton's Brigade.

Our first day's march was a rough one of 30 miles to a place called Constantia at west from Bloemfontein and it was 10 hours on 1st May before we bivouacked.

On morning of 2nd May we immediately got in touch with the enemy and following him very earnestly but without any hot fighting, occupied Brandfort on 3rd May.

The 5th May saw us (for the first time actually engaged under General Hutton) at the Vet River.

My Squadron led the attack and after a sharp gallop under shell fire we left our horses under cover and advanced in extended order on foot.

The advance was over perfectly level ground without any cover whatever and as the firing was very heavy (shell fire, pom-pom, Maxim and rifle) we had a trying time, but rapidly crossing over the 1,500 yards of open, succeeded in driving the Boers out of the drift.

Taking a breather under this welcome shelter we again advanced across the open on the opposite side and stormed the kopje held by the enemy. Our advance was so rapid they were obliged to leave a Maxim behind which we captured. We also seized six or seven prisoners and accounted for a good many killed.

None of our men were killed and only a few slightly wounded, which considering the rain of bullets is to me marvellous. I can only attribute such luck to the rapidity with which we moved and the excellent way intervals were maintained.

General Hutton was too generous in his remarks when congratulating me personally - but the warm praise he bestowed upon my Squadron in particular and the Regiment generally was well deserved and will ever be warmly cherished by us all.

On the 6th inst we met Colonel Parrot and Captain Copeland (1) at Smaldeel the junction of the main Railway and Winburg line.

The 7th inst again found us under a heavy shell fire on the South Bank of the Zand River where we had suddenly come upon a Boer Laager of 10 to 12,000 enemy.

Retiring that night to Welgelegen we awaited the arrival of Lord Roberts' Column and on the morning of the 9th inst he arrived and we were immediately marched out to take a drift higher up the river which we successfully crossed without opposition just as dark and bivouacked on the opposite bank at du Preez Laager. (2)

You have of course read the account of the Battle of Zand River of the 10th May and how the Boers scattered like chaff.

This day was however responsible for a Calamity on our side and I witnessed one of the most painful sights I ever hope to see.

My Squadron having been on outpost all night was told to follow on after the advance had commenced and missing the Regiment on the field we were placed by General Hutton as escort to supporting guns.

It was a most trying day of incessant shell fire and the range being too long for our twelve pounders (without dangerously exposing them to the mercy of the Boers big guns) the Carabineers and Scots Grey (to which the 1st Australian Horse were attached) were ordered to charge the gun positions.

The Boers quickly got their guns away but left an ambush of 300 men in a Kaffir Kraal and our Cavalry seeing no one and cattle on the top of kopje rote to within 70 yards of the Kraal when the Boers opened fire. You can imagine what a sight of dead and dying men and horses met our eyes when we, following up, occupied the position.

It was here that Lieutenant Wilkinson was taken prisoner. He has of course, as you know, been since released.

At 7.30 pm on 12th inst we entered the town from which I am now writing - after all the long marches and hard work we were grateful for a rest on Sunday 13th inst.

Monday 14th May saw us marching again and with much regret we left General French's command and transferred to that of General Ian Hamilton under whom we have since served.

It was here poor Harriott (3) and his troop after having been to Kimberely and back and rejoined my Squadron - of this dear fellow's death I shall tell you as I follow the course of our career.

Our Regimental strength was augmented also by Legge's Company which added on ours as "E" Company under Holmes and Dove (Legge (4) having become adjutant since and joining us at Bloemfontein).

I see I have arrived at page 9 and am afraid I am too exhaustive in my details which weary you to read it all therefore I must curtail and touch only on one or two of the most important days concerning us in my descriptive.

Marching rapidly (always camping and starting again in the dark) we occupied Lindley (without fighting) on 18th May.

A little fighting on 20th and 21st May and then Heilbron was occupied on 22 inst. We left this place next day and monotonous marchings brought us back to the main railway line again just north of Roodewal on the 24th inst.

All hoped to have crossed the Vaal on Her Majesty's Birthday and we were but a day late as the next day after a long and rapid march we did so.

We fully expected opposition here and waited near the river till dark when we galloped the drift at Boschbok south west of Vereeniging to which place Lord Roberts was advancing. To our surprise the enemy was not in evidence and we felt a joy at being at last in the Transvaal.

Rough marches and hardship and two day's hard fighting gave us Johannesburg which was occupied on the 30th May.

After 2 or 3 day's rest we pushed on for our goal, Pretoria, which after a magnificent artillery duel was ours on the 5 June. We were all proud and I am sure you all were in Australia that Lieutenant Watson (5) of our Regiment was the first into Pretoria.

He was lucky enough to be galloper to our Brigadier (Lieutenant Colonel De Lisle) and the Colonel sent him in to demand the surrender of the town. I must leave Watson to tell his own tale, but I take special interest in the lucky lot falling to him as I induced him to join our Permanent Paid Forces as Subaltern in the 4th Regiment.

Great was our disappointment on the 5th when instead of joining in the formalities of taking the town over we were suddenly saddled up and hastened out beyond Pretoria. From that day until the 11th inst we were kept going hither and thither after the enemy and on the 11th and 12th inst we had some of the hottest fighting on the Campaign.
(See: The Battle of Diamond Hill, South Africa, 11 - 12 June 1900)
All day on the 11th through some apparent blunder we got between two fires and had to simply stand and be shelled. To have retired would have appeared weakness and the only thing to do was to wait until our big guns came up the next day. (British casualties this day were heavy including Earl of Airlie (6))

At day break on the memorable 12th my Squadron was sent as escort to the Big Guns. They got into position by 10 am and having plenty of Infantry escort, I was ordered to rejoin the Regiment. The whole of the day the guns kept pounding away at each other and the sight was one of a lifetime. Towards noon it was with much satisfaction that we observed our guns had silenced those of the enemy which had the day before so much harassed us. The frontage of the battle must have been fully six miles in extent and the position held by the Boers was a long line of Kopjes (here little mountains).

Just about 3 pm our turn came - advancing across the veldt for about half a mile (in columns of troop in extended order) at a walk we then broke into a hot trot and when another half mile had been covered we broke into a gallop and made for the sheltering base of part of the Kopje straight in front of us.

After a most exciting gallop of a mile partly under fire we reached the shelter for our horses, dismounted and then scaled the Kopje.

My Squadron was first up and I had Mr Anderson (7) on my left and on my immediate right Mr Newman (8) and next to him Mr Harriott. It was a difficult climb especially after a trying gallop but out men never hesitated and we soon reached the first rugged "table top".

The bullets began to hiss in real earnest so we dashed across the open and gained the next line of pinnacle rocks. Keeping firing we halted for a little while and then made another rush for the next line of shelter.

It was then that poor Harriott fell shot in the thigh by either an expansive or a MH bullet. Private Cameron was also shot in the stomach.

Seeing the Boers retreating bayonets were fixed and a dash forward made which was too much for the and they "scattered". A Field Cornet was shot and his cousin after narrowly shooting Lieutenant Newman through the head was made prisoner.

The Boers managed to get away all their other dead and wounded.

At this juncture they opened a big gun on us at very short range also two pom poms, and discovering that we were being enfiladed with rifle fire on the left, I ordered the men to lie flat behind cover and so we remained and longed for darkness not daring to lift our heads up to reply to their fire except by an occasional volley. I afterwards learned that the other Squadron Commanders had a similar experience.

Poor Drage (10) fell just on my left shot through the left head – also though he lived a little while he was dead when I saw him. Captain Holmes was sounded in the right forearm but pluckily stayed with me all night on the Kopje which we had to hold. Harriott's loss was a great sorrow to me as I had become greatly attached to him.

He was plucky to rashness and I had often warned him to be careful but on this occasion poor chap it was the fortunes of war and a finer young fellow couldn't have been chosen for a Soldier's fate. He never rallied properly and died next day and was buried in the garden of a farm house.

Drage was also buried at another farm in a most picturesque spot.

Next day finding the Boers had cleared we gave chase and got on to their rear guard about 6 miles out and chased them up at the historical Bronkhorst Spruit. (9)

My Squadron and a company of 6th Mounted Infantry held the enemy whilst the remainder of our Advanced Guard retired which was considered expedient as the enemy was in force.

14th and 15th June saw us resting at Elands River and on the 16th we marched back to Pretoria which town we "did" on 17th and 18th. It was a treat and the town the prettiest we have struck. Houses and gardens like Strathfield.

Leaving Pretoria again on the 19th June easy marches brought us within sight of the hills behind which Heidelberg was hidden on the 22nd inst. We fully anticipated a fight next day but our patrols got right into the town and we following cautiously formed up at the Railway Station at 10.30 am.

Lieutenant Bowman and his patrol were first into the town and hoisted the "Jack".

We were just preparing to settle down when it was discovered the enemy held the hills on the opposite side of the town and had to be driven out.

It was just lunch time when we moved off at a smart trot to a position on the left of the attack.

There was only Captain Lenehan's (11) and my Squadrons engaged of our Regiment as the remainder were holding the town.

After about two hours firing the advance was ordered and we broke into a canter and it was just at this juncture that my horse (a large waler) put both his fore feet into a hole and turned completely over rolling I am told twice over me. I came off very lucky as outside a sprained foot, slight concussion of the brain and a nasty shaking I am sound in limb.

However, it was with the deepest regret that I saw my Regiment march off without me en route to Frankfort on the morning of the 27th June inst.

Since that date I have news of the Regiment anticipating they would work across here have made my way down gradually hoping to rejoin.

The doctor here however advises me to rest for a week or two longer after which I hope to be once again in the saddle.

This is all my news up to date except perhaps I shall like you to know that Colonel Knight informs me my name has gone forward in despatches.

Of matters generally you will know more than we do out here so that I need not add to my already too lengthy resume of our doings. Will you kindly send this letter on to Colonel Ranclaud (12) and I would ask him to accept it as a communication from me also.

Trusting you have all escaped the ravages of the Bubonic plague and with kind regards

I am dear Colonel
Yours Sincerely
MA Hilliard, Captain.



Notes:

(1) Colonel Parrot and Captain Copeland = Colonel Thomas Samuel PARROTT and Captain Henry Paul Ramsay COPELAND, Special Service Officers.

(2) du Preez Laager = The laager formed by Field-Cornet Jan du Preez.

(3) Harriott = Lieutenant William Rupert HARRIOTT, "C" Squadron, NSWMR. Died of Wounds at Diamond Hill 13 June 1900. His grave is in Diamond Hill Cemetery

(4) Legge = Captain James Gordon LEGGE, see New South Wales Infantry Contingent.

(5) Watson = Lieutenant William Walker Russell WATSON, appointed Captain "D" Squadron, NSWMR. Appointed Service Officer 2nd Imperial Mounted Infantry Corps. Mentioned in Despatches, 18 April 1901.

(6) Earl of Airlie = Lieutenant Colonel David Stanley William Ogilvy, 11th Earl of Airlie (20 January 1856 — 11 June 1900)

(7) Anderson = Lieutenant Charles Godfrey ANDERSON, later Captain "C" Squadron, NSWMR. Born 1862 Stockholm Sweden.

(8) Newman = Lieutenant William Augustine NEWMAN, "C" Squadron, NSWMR.

(9) Bronkhorst Spruit = (From Wikipedia - Action_at_Bronkhorstspruit )

The Action at Bronkhorstspruit was one of the first serious clashes of the First Boer War. It was a skirmish between a British army column and a group of Boers, fought a few miles east of the town of Bronkhorstspruit, Transvaal on 20 December 1880.

A column of British soldiers consisting of six officers and 246 men of the 94th Regiment, as well as 12 men of the Army Service Corps and four of the Army Hospital Corps, were marching on a road to Pretoria, when at least 250 Boers appeared to the left of the column. Making use of the limited cover, the Boers crept to within 200 yards of the British. Lt. Col. Anstruther parleyed with a Boer envoy, who had brought a request from the Transvaal government to turn back. Anstruther refused, but before he could move his column into skirmish formation the Boers opened fire at 12:30 pm.

Within 15 minutes, most of the officers were killed or wounded, and the horses and oxen pulling the covered wagons at the front and rear of the column were killed, preventing any movement. Shocked by the sudden and aggressive nature of the attack, Lt. Col. Anstruther gave the order to surrender. In a battle lasting just 15 minutes, 156 British soldiers were killed or wounded, with the rest taken prisoner. Reported Boer casualties were only two killed and five wounded.


(10) Drage = Lieutenant Percy William Chanter DRAGE, "D" Squadron, NSWMR, Killed in Action at Diamond Hill 12 June 1900 buried and buried at Rhenosterfontein Farm and reburied with his grave at Diamond Hill Cemetery.


(11) Captain Lenehan = Captain Robert William LENEHAN, Officer Commanding "B" Squadron, NSWMR.


(12) Colonel Ranclaud = Colonel Charles Mark Ranclaud (b. 31 July 1851 - d. 1931 )

Second Lieutenant: 3 March 1882
Lieutenant: 31 May 1882
Captain: 14 March 1884
Major: 2 November 1885
Lieutenant Colonel: (Local) 9 January 1896, Commanding Officer 4th Infantry Regiment.
Lieutenant Colonel: (Substantive) 19 January 1897.
Colonel: 1 October 1906
Commanding Officer 1st Infantry Brigade: 1 January 1907
Retired: 1 January 1912

 

Further Reading:

1st New South Wales Mounted Rifles

1st New South Wales Mounted Rifles, Roll of Honour

Boer War, 1899 - 1902

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: 1st New South Wales Mounted Rifles, Hilliard Letter, 11 July 1900

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EAST
Updated: Monday, 11 April 2011 3:55 PM EADT
"A" Squadron, NSW Mounted Rifles, Antill Letter, 22 January 1900
Topic: BW - NSW - NSWMR_A

A Sqn NSWMR

"A" Squadron, NSW Mounted Rifles

Antill Letter, 22 January 1900

 

Antill Letter, 22 January 1900

 

The following transcript is of a letter written by Captain John Macquarie Antill, Officer Commanding the New South Wales Mounted Rifles contingent to South Africa to the New South Wales Chief Staff Officer and Assistant Adjutant General Colonel Henry Douglas Mackenzie.

 
Omdraais Vlei
22 January 1900

The Assistant Adjutant
Sydney

Sir,

Since my last advice nothing of importance has transpired. In accordance with instructions. Priesk has been attacked by 800 rebels on the 13th I returned on this place almost 40 miles south and awaiting reinforcements which arrive tomorrow from De Aar when it is intended to re-enter the town and I surmise march on Grequa Town and thus relieve the pressure on Kimberley. Our relief consists of a battery Royal Artillery, one Squadron of Imperial Light Horse, 2 Companies Infantry and 2 Companies Mounted Infantry was fortunately able to effect retirement without loss or mishap but only evacuated Prieska 1½ hours before it was occupied by the Boers in large numbers. Also got my prisoners away to De Aar with 1,000 sheep. The 9 horses we took are a valuable addition to the Squadron as it just fills our casualties. The men are in splendid health two only being exempt from work Private Symonds (slight fever) and Private Maxwell (pneumonia) I am very pleased to state that the discipline is all that can be derived and that the Commanding Officer Colonel Alderson has expressed his very great satisfaction with the work done by the Squadron. Lieutenant McLean and Onslow are of great assistance and Lieutenant Tooth who has had charge of the Transport has given every satisfaction. The Transport at first was a difficulty as it meant leaving De Aar with 40 mules only about 10 of which had been in harness: Warrant Officer Holeman, Staff Sergeant Wasson and all NCOs are doing good work. The duties are arduous for so small a unit there being 20 miles of front to watch. This means only about 2 nights out of bed per week. There are also 3 roads diverging from here to patrol. Greatly miss veterinary assistance having had none whatever. There is a dearth of Veterinary Officers and this country teems with horse sickness. Lieutenant McDonnell is here with us and will have medical charge of this column: Will you kindly have it promulgated that to date there has been no casualty as the men find a difficulty in procuring writing materials and the mails are very disjointed. I will be glad if you will ask General French if he has noted the papers which I arranged to have sent to him from Cape Town.

Your obedient servant
JM Antill, Captain
Commander Mounted Rifles.


Chief Staff Officer
15 February 1900  

 

 

Previous:  Antill Letter, 16 January 1900

Next:  Antill Letter, 8 February 1900

 

War Diaries and Letters

All War Diaries and letters cited on this site should be read in conjunction with the Australian Light Horse Studies Centre, War Diaries and Letters, Site Transcription Policy which may be accessed at:

Australian Light Horse Studies Centre, War Diaries and Letters, Site Transcription Policy 

 

 

Further Reading:

New South Wales Mounted Rifles, "A" Squadron

New South Wales Mounted Rifles, "A" Squadron, Roll of Honour

Boer War, 1899 - 1902

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: "A" Squadron, NSW Mounted Rifles, Antill Letter, 22 January 1900

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EAST
Updated: Tuesday, 3 May 2011 1:36 PM EADT

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