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Thursday, 19 February 2004
At Elands River, Town and Country Journal, 1 September 1900
Topic: BW - Boer War

A letter from Elands River

Town and Country Journal, 1 September 1900

 

A fully equiped Bushman

[From: the Town and Country Journal, 24 February 1900, p. 21.]

 

The following is an extract from the Town and Country Journal, 1 September 1900, p. 21.

 

At Elands River.

Lieutenant R. E. Zouch, “A” Squadron, N.S.W. Bushmen's Contingent, writing from camp at Eland's River, July 15, says:

We are now in garrison, a dreadful place; and it is hard to say how long we may be kept here. I t is very hard that, after having done so much of regimental work, “B” and “C” Squadrons have now gone ahead of us, and have had two scrapes with the enemy - one at Rustenberg, where we had two men killed and several wounded, one of the latter being Captain Machattie. We haves, however, done good work disarming the enemy, and are keeping open the lines of communication between Mafeking and Rustenburg. This is the coldest place I have ever known; we have no fuel, and the men only one blanket, and hardly any clothes; for we lost most of our kit when we were compelled to retreat from Rustenburg. We are now trying to obtain some boots, clothing, etc, from the "powers that be" but I fear we stand a poor chance of success. All the other regiments here are splendidly equipped, especially the Queenslanders, who are now camped with us; they seem to have everything required, even horse-rugs; while our poor ,horses doing heavy work have no rugs, and are now on half rations.

 We often wonder what, our numerous friends in New South Wales would say if they could only see our present plight, and how we are treated ; we came here to light, but in stead of that we are "dumped" ,down by the way side, and, I regret to say, are sorely neglected. Our colonel and staff have done on with the two fresh squadrons, while we have to remain behind to "grin and bear" it, so that "A" squadron is not getting a fair show. We have had no letters since we left Australia (nearly six months ago), except those written a few days after we sailed. This 'is the worst hardship of all, and we are quite out of the world so far as news is concerned, and we know very little about the, war, or what has happened elsewhere. It is cruel that we have' not received letters from the dear ones in Australia, written so many months ago, too. A few days ago we got hold of a Melbourne paper, about, three months old, and we all enjoyed reading it. There was a call to arms a day or two ago, at 4 o'clock in the morning, when we had to stand out on the breast works until sunrise, and afterwards work all day until half-past 4, building forts. I went on duty at 6 p.m., was about all night, and had very little to eat, but I am glad to say that I have felt splendid.

This place cannot be made very strong, as there is very little good material for that purpose, the ground being a mass of slaty chips, but it is the general opinion that the enemy will hardly attack us at present. I am writing, this letter on the walls of an old Zulu fort; there are many such about here. This is a poor country in the winter, but evidently a, fine place in summer. The cattle are a very common lot; their horns are the largest part of them; and I really think the animals are made of leather, as the meat is, something awful. We get enough of this so-called beef, but other articles of diet are scarce - often no sugar nor tea - and all of a most inferior quality. Tobacco is a great luxury, and we have been compelled to use the Boer production, which is as coarse and dry as chaff. A message has been forwarded to Mafeking for our mail to be forwarded here. When it arrives it will be a "red letter day” indeed. It is heart-breaking not to hear from, one's relations and friends, and far harder to bear than all we have gone through. I will send this letter by our cyclist, but it may never reach you, perhaps, as one of our postmen was captured yesterday, and this may share the same fate.

 

Biographies

 

1. The letter's author, Lieutenant R. E. Zouch, “A” Squadron, N.S.W. Bushmen's Contingent.

New South Wales Citizens' Bushmen's Contingent, Richard Essington Zouch

 

2. Thomas Alfred Machattie.

New South Wales Citizens' Bushmen's Contingent, Thomas Alfred Machattie

 

Further Reading:

New South Wales Citizens' Bushmen's Contingent

Boer War, 1899 - 1902 

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

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: Elands River, Town and Country Journal, 1 September 1900

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EAST
Updated: Tuesday, 27 April 2010 11:01 AM EADT
Wednesday, 18 February 2004
Tasmanian Mounted Infantry, 1902
Topic: Militia - LHT - 12/26

 TMI

Tasmanian Mounted Infantry

1902

Tasmanian Mounted Infantry [1900 - 1903]
12th (Tasmanian Mounted Infantry) Australian Light Horse [1903 - 1912]
26th (Tasmanian Mounted Infantry) Australian Light Horse [1912 - 1921]
22nd (Tasmanian Mounted Infantry) Australian Light Horse [1921 - 1930]
3rd (Tasmanian Mounted Infantry) Australian Light Horse [1930 - 1933]
22nd (Tasmanian Mounted Infantry) Australian Light Horse [1933 - 1942]
22nd (Tasmanian Mounted Infantry) Motor Regiment [1942 - 1943]

Pro Rege et Patria - for King and country

 

Headquarters

 Launceston

Honorary Colonel  

Vacant.

Commanding Officer  

Captain AH Rigall, DSO.

Adjutant  

Captain AWM Percival.

Quartermaster  

Vacant.

Medical Officer

Vacant.
 
 

"A" Hobart - Kingston - Brighton - Sorell Squadron

Captain LFS Hore, 12 September 1902

Lieutenant DC Lewis, 30 March 1900

Lieutenant E St L Lewis, 19 November 1901

Lieutenant EF Lucas, 12 September 1902

 

"B" Ulverston Squadron

Lieutenant EL Mays, 20 March 1901

 

"C" Ross Squadron 

Captain AH Rigall, DSO, 8 November 1897

 

 

Previous: Tasmanian Mounted Infantry, 1901

Next: Tasmanian Mounted Infantry, June 1903

 

Further Reading:

12th/26th Australian Light Horse

Tasmanian Militia

Australian Militia Light Horse

 


Citation: Tasmanian Mounted Infantry, 1902

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EAST
Updated: Wednesday, 30 June 2010 6:32 PM EADT
A Letter Home, Town and Country Journal, 24 November 1900
Topic: BW - Boer War

A Letter Home

A Sydney Nurse in South Africa.

 

Town and Country Journal, 24 November 1900, p. 43.

 

The letter published in the Town and Country Journal is quite prescient in its predictions regarding the longevity of the war. The above extract is transcribed below.

 

A Sydney Nurse in South Africa.

The following extracts are taken from an interesting letter received by a private friend in Sydney from one of the nurses in camp near Ladysmith:

"'The Camp,' Ladysmith, October 3.

"My dear M.,-When I wrote last the war was at full tide; now I write again when it is at low ebb. Between then and now lie ten months of work at such high pressure that to-day I feel worn out; so deadly sick of everything military that nothing appeals to me like a stray sketch of a cottage covered with roses, a hayrack on a farm, or an old-fashioned garden. For spring is in the air, and with the return of spring the homesick feeling in many hearts grows strong. A photo of General Christian De Wet lies before me. When I look at the keen alert face, I am apt to become dubious over the probable end of the war in three weeks or a month. De Wet says quite cheerfully he intends to fight while he has ten men left, and the general opinion is that until the brilliant Dutchman surrenders, or is caught, the air must still be full of uncertainties. At any moment he may bob up serenely in some new and unexpected quarter, or tear up a mile or two of railway lines; tend so far he has been able to set at nought Lord Roberts and all the other Generals.

"A cloud of dull apathy lies over the land, and a regiment might march through Ladysmith with the band playing 'Soldiers of the Queen,' and never a shopkeeper would pause in the act of measuring tea or sugar, to run to the door and cheer, for the 'gentleman in khaki' is simply a common Tommy once more, no longer an interesting novelty. 'The Camp,' where we are stationed at present, lies three miles beyond Ladysmith. It consists of rows and rows of corrugated iron sheds, placed on the open veldt with no signs of a tree or shrub in sight. I have only to go to the door of my quarters to look at Waggon Hill and Bulwana, while King's Post, with its trenches and breastworks, lies but a stone's throw away.

"At present the hospital is half empty, for there are no big battles now, and the fever season has not yet set in. Sometimes we take a day off, and roam over such a battlefield as 'Pieter's' or 'Spion Kop,' from which we return in the evening very weary, and occasionally very sad, for a fragment of a letter, or a bit of an old paper, picked up in a trench has taken our thoughts back tab those awful days of fighting before, the relief of LadySmith. There is a mania existing at present for collecting curios. The battlefields have been almost swept clean, and the prices asked for a pom-pom shell or a `Long Tom' which has been used in action are most exorbitant. In my ward at present I have the tailor who made suits of broadcloth for President Kruger for the past nine years. At times my poor tailor, who is an orderly, grows quite melancholy. 'If I only had kept the old dopper suit the President gave me for a pattern,' he said yesterday, 'I might have shaken hands with myself; but, alas, I gave it to a Kaffir!' "I cannot tell you how I long to come across some of the men from New South Wales. I have nursed 'Devons,' 'Yorke,' `Lancashires,' 'Gloucesters,' 'Inniskillings,' `Gordons,' and others, a New Zealander, and a South Australian, but never a man from Sydney. The anxiety of some of the poor fellows among the reserves to get 'home' is very pitiful. A bad case pronounced unfit" for further service yesterday received the verdict with a smile of delight. The man is going home with death beside him; nevertheless he is quite content, for, according to his idea, 'better a grave in the old churchyard without a stone than a tomb with a monument in South Africa.' Owing to the fearful rush of work at first. I have forgotten the names of the majority of the men I nursed, but I can never forget their heroism and courage in hardships and difficulties. I always seem to see them stepping past in great companies, just as if I had known them in dreams. Had I had the experience of a siege I might have attempted a book, but the siege did not fall to my lot.

"I shall always be glad of the experience I have had in this campaign. The little things which used to trouble me are mere nothings brought face to trice with big realities. Yet here, where a few months ago such issues hung in the balance, a nursing Sister is fretting because her hair is losing its colour, and another Sister is perfectly miserable because the coolie washes her linen so badly. The army will probably soon disband the civilian doctors and nurses, as they have a full supply of their own staff, equal to the sick in hospitals at present. I, with many others, am looking forward eagerly to the day when we can say thankfully, 'Our services being no longer required, we intend returning home.' "

 

 

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: A Letter Home, Town and Country Journal, 24 November 1900

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EAST
Updated: Tuesday, 27 April 2010 11:04 AM EADT
Tuesday, 17 February 2004
Tasmanian Mounted Infantry, June 1903
Topic: Militia - LHT - 12/26

 TMI

Tasmanian Mounted Infantry

June 1903

Tasmanian Mounted Infantry [1900 - 1903]
12th (Tasmanian Mounted Infantry) Australian Light Horse [1903 - 1912]
26th (Tasmanian Mounted Infantry) Australian Light Horse [1912 - 1921]
22nd (Tasmanian Mounted Infantry) Australian Light Horse [1921 - 1930]
3rd (Tasmanian Mounted Infantry) Australian Light Horse [1930 - 1933]
22nd (Tasmanian Mounted Infantry) Australian Light Horse [1933 - 1942]
22nd (Tasmanian Mounted Infantry) Motor Regiment [1942 - 1943]

Pro Rege et Patria - for King and country

 

Headquarters

 Launceston

Honorary Colonel  

Vacant.

Commanding Officer  

Captain AH Rigall, DSO.

Adjutant  

Major W Brown.

Quartermaster  

Vacant.

Medical Officer

Vacant.

 

 

"A" Hobart - Kingston - Brighton - Sorell Squadron

Captain LFS Hore, 12 September 1902

Lieutenant DC Lewis, 30 March 1900

Lieutenant E St L Lewis, 19 November 1901

Lieutenant EF Lucas, 12 September 1902

 

"B" Ulverston Squadron

Lieutenant EL Mays, 20 March 1901

 

"C" Ross Squadron 

Captain AH Rigall, DSO, 8 November 1897


 

Previous: Tasmanian Mounted Infantry, 1902

Next: 12th (Tasmanian Mounted Infantry) Australian Light Horse, December 1903 

 

Further Reading:

12th/26th Australian Light Horse

Tasmanian Militia

Australian Militia Light Horse

 


Citation: Tasmanian Mounted Infantry, June 1903

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EAST
Updated: Wednesday, 30 June 2010 6:36 PM EADT
Monday, 16 February 2004
12th (Tasmanian Mounted Infantry) Australian Light Horse, December 1903
Topic: Militia - LHT - 12/26

12th ALH

12th (Tasmanian Mounted Infantry) Australian Light Horse

December 1903

Tasmanian Mounted Infantry [1900 - 1903]
12th (Tasmanian Mounted Infantry) Australian Light Horse [1903 - 1912]
26th (Tasmanian Mounted Infantry) Australian Light Horse [1912 - 1921]
22nd (Tasmanian Mounted Infantry) Australian Light Horse [1921 - 1930]
3rd (Tasmanian Mounted Infantry) Australian Light Horse [1930 - 1933]
22nd (Tasmanian Mounted Infantry) Australian Light Horse [1933 - 1942]
22nd (Tasmanian Mounted Infantry) Motor Regiment [1942 - 1943]

Pro Rege et Patria - for King and country

 

1903 Reorganisation, Tasmania

"D" Company, 3rd Battalion Tasmanian Infantry, together with the Ross and Ulverstone Troops, Tasmanian Mounted Infantry, to be formed into the 12th Australian Light Horse Regiment (Tasmanian Mounted Infantry).

The Hobart Squadron, Tasmanian Mounted Infantry, to be formed into one squadron, Australian Light Horse, and attached to the 12th Australian Light Horse Regiment (Tasmanian Mounted Infantry).

 

District

Tasmania  

Brigade

4th Light Horse Brigade, Southern Victoria and Tasmania

 Headquarters

 Launceston

Honorary Colonel  

Vacant.

Commanding Officer  

Lieutenant Colonel C St C Cameron, CB, ADC to His Excellency, the Governor General.

Adjutant  

Vacant.

Quartermaster  

Vacant.

Medical Officer

Vacant.
 
 

Number 1, Ross Squadron.

Captain AH Rigall, DSO.
 
Number 2 Squadron.
Lieutenant TJ Clarke
 
Number 3, Sheffield - Barrington District Squadron
Captain WG Hope

Lieutenant RR Roberts
 
Number 4, Ulverstone - Burnie District Squadron
Lieutenant EL Mays
 
Number 5, Hobart (Garrison) Squadron
Captain LFS Hore

Lieutenant DC Lewis

Lieutenant E St L Lewis

Lieutenant EF Lucas  


Number 6, Launceston (Garrison) Squadron

 

 

Previous: Tasmanian Mounted Infantry, June 1903

Next: 12th (Tasmanian Mounted Infantry) Australian Light Horse, 1904


Further Reading:

12th/26th Australian Light Horse

Tasmanian Militia

Australian Militia Light Horse

 


Citation: 12th (Tasmanian Mounted Infantry) Australian Light Horse, December 1903

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EAST
Updated: Wednesday, 30 June 2010 6:53 PM EADT

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A note on copyright

The Australian Light Horse Studies Centre is a not for profit and non profit group whose sole aim is to write the early history of the Australian Light Horse from 1900 - 1920. It is privately funded and the information is provided by the individuals within the group and while permission for the use of the material has been given for this site for these items by various donors, the residual and actual copyright for these items, should there be any, resides exclusively with the donors. The information on this site is freely available for private research use only and if used as such, should be appropriately acknowledged. To assist in this process, each item has a citation attached at the bottom for referencing purposes.

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The Australian Light Horse Studies Centre has made every endeavour to contact copyright holders of material digitised for this blog and website and where appropriate, permission is still being sought for these items. Where replies were not received, or where the copyright owner has not been able to be traced, or where the permission is still being sought, the Australian Light Horse Studies Centre has decided, in good faith, to proceed with digitisation and publication. Australian Light Horse Studies Centre would be happy to hear from copyright owners at any time to discuss usage of this item.

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