« November 2003 »
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
You are not logged in. Log in

Search the site:

powered by FreeFind
Volunteer with us.

Entries by Topic All topics  
A Latest Site News
A - Using the Site
AAA Volunteers
AAB-Education Centre
AAC-Film Clips
AAC-Photo Albums
AIF - Lighthorse
AIF - ALH - A to Z
AIF - DMC - Or Bat
AIF - DMC - Anzac MD
AIF - DMC - Aus MD
AIF - DMC - British
AIF - DMC - French
AIF - DMC - Indian
AIF - DMC - Italian
AIF - DMC - Medical
AIF - DMC - Remounts
AIF - DMC - Scouts
AIF - DMC - Sigs
AIF - DMC - Sigs AirlnS
AIF - DMC - 1 Sig Sqn
AIF - DMC - 2 Sig Sqn
AIF - DMC - Eng
AIF - DMC - Eng 1FSE
AIF - DMC - Eng 2FSE
AIF - 1B - 1 LHB
AIF - 1B - 6 MVS
AIF - 1B - 1 LHMGS
AIF - 1B - 1 Sig Trp
AIF - 1B - 1 LHFA
AIF - 1B - 1 LHR
AIF - 1B - 2 LHR
AIF - 1B - 3 LHR
AIF - 2B - 2 LHB
AIF - 2B - 7 MVS
AIF - 2B - 2 LHFA
AIF - 2B - 2 LHMGS
AIF - 2B - 2 Sig Trp
AIF - 2B - 5 LHR
AIF - 2B - 6 LHR
AIF - 2B - 7 LHR
AIF - 3B - 3 LHB
AIF - 3B - 8 MVS
AIF - 3B - 3 LHB Sigs
AIF - 3B - 3 LHFA
AIF - 3B - 3 LHMGS
AIF - 3B - 3 Sig Trp
AIF - 3B - 8 LHR
AIF - 3B - 9 LHR
AIF - 3B - 10 LHR
AIF - 4B - 4 LHB
AIF - 4B - 4 Sig Trp
AIF - 4B - 9 MVS
AIF - 4B - 4 LHFA
AIF - 4B - 4 LHMGS
AIF - 4B - 4 LHR
AIF - 4B - 11 LHR
AIF - 4B - 12 LHR
AIF - 5B - 5 LHB
AIF - 5B - 10 MVS
AIF - 5B - 5 LHFA
AIF - 5B - 5 Sig Trp
AIF - 5B - ICC
AIF - 5B - 14 LHR
AIF - 5B - 15 LHR
AIF - 5B - 1er Regt
AIF - 5B - 2 NZMGS
AIF - Aboriginal LH
AIF - Badges
AIF - Cars
AIF - Chinese LH
AIF - Double Sqns
AIF - Engineers
AIF - Fr - 22 Corps
AIF - Fr - 13 LHR
AIF - Honour Roll
AIF - HQ - 3rd Echelon
AIF - Marching Songs
AIF - Misc Topics
AIF - NZMRB - Sig-Trp
AIF - Ships
AIF - Ships - Encountr
AIF - Ships - Una
AIF - Wireless Sqn
BatzA - Australia
BatzA - Broken Hill
BatzA - Liverpool
BatzA - Merivale
BatzB - Boer War
BatzB - Bakenlaagte
BatzB - Belmont
BatzB - Bothaville
BatzB - Buffels Hoek
BatzB - Coetzees Drift
BatzB - Diamond Hill
BatzB - Driefontein
BatzB - Elands
BatzB - Graspan
BatzB - Grobelaar
BatzB - Grootvallier
BatzB - Hartebestfontn
BatzB - Houtnek
BatzB - Karee Siding
BatzB - Kimberley
BatzB - Koster River
BatzB - Leeuw Kop
BatzB - Mafeking
BatzB - Magersfontein
BatzB - Modder River
BatzB - Onverwacht
BatzB - Paardeberg
BatzB - Palmietfontein
BatzB - Pink Hill
BatzB - Poplar Grove
BatzB - Rhenoster
BatzB - Sannahs Post
BatzB - Slingersfontn
BatzB - Stinkhoutbm
BatzB - Sunnyside
BatzB - Wilmansrust
BatzB - Wolvekuil
BatzB - Zand River
BatzG - Gallipoli
BatzG - Anzac
BatzG - Aug 1915
BatzG - Baby 700
BatzG - Evacuation
BatzG - Hill 60
BatzG - Hill 971
BatzG - Krithia
BatzG - Lone Pine
BatzG - Nek
BatzJ - Jordan Valley
BatzJ - 1st Amman
BatzJ - 2nd Amman
BatzJ - Abu Tellul
BatzJ - Es Salt
BatzJ - JV Maps
BatzJ - Ziza
BatzM - Mespot
BatzM - Baghdad
BatzM - Ctesiphon
BatzM - Daur
BatzM - Kurna
BatzM - Kut el Amara
BatzM - Ramadi
BatzN - Naval
BatzN - AE1
BatzN - Cocos Is
BatzN - Heligoland
BatzN - Marmara
BatzN - Zeebrugge
BatzN - Zeppelin L43
BatzNG - Bitapaka
BatzO - Other
BatzO - Baku
BatzO - Egypt 1919
BatzO - Emptsa
BatzO - Karawaran
BatzO - Peitang
BatzO - Wassa
BatzP - Palestine
BatzP - 1st Gaza
BatzP - 2nd Gaza
BatzP - 3rd Gaza
BatzP - Aleppo
BatzP - Amwas
BatzP - Ayun Kara
BatzP - Bald Hill
BatzP - Balin
BatzP - Beersheba
BatzP - Berkusieh
BatzP - Damascus
BatzP - El Auja
BatzP - El Buggar
BatzP - El Burj
BatzP - Haifa
BatzP - Huj
BatzP - JB Yakub
BatzP - Kaukab
BatzP - Khan Kusseir
BatzP - Khuweilfe
BatzP - Kuneitra
BatzP - Megiddo
BatzP - Nablus
BatzP - Rafa
BatzP - Sasa
BatzP - Semakh
BatzP - Sheria
BatzP - Surafend
BatzP - Wadi Fara
BatzS - Sinai
BatzS - Bir el Abd
BatzS - El Arish
BatzS - El Mazar
BatzS - El Qatiya
BatzS - Jifjafa
BatzS - Magdhaba
BatzS - Maghara
BatzS - Romani
BatzS - Suez 1915
BatzSe - Senussi
BatzWF - Westn Front
BW - Boer War
BW - NSW - A Bty RAA
BW - NSW - Aust H
BW - NSW - Lancers
BW - NSW - NSW Inf
BW - Qld
BW - Qld - 1ACH
BW - Qld - 1QMI
BW - Qld - 2QMI
BW - Qld - 3ACH
BW - Qld - 3QMI
BW - Qld - 4QIB
BW - Qld - 5QIB
BW - Qld - 6QIB
BW - Qld - 7ACH
BW - SA - 2ACH
BW - SA - 4ACH
BW - SA - 8ACH
BW - Tas
BW - Tas - 1ACH
BW - Tas - 1TIB
BW - Tas - 1TMI
BW - Tas - 2TB
BW - Tas - 2TIB
BW - Tas - 3ACH
BW - Tas - 8ACH
BW - Vic
BW - Vic - 1VMI
BW - Vic - 2ACH
BW - Vic - 2VMR
BW - Vic - 3VB
BW - Vic - 4ACH
BW - Vic - 4VIB
BW - Vic - 5VMR
BW - Vic - 6ACH
BW - Vic - AAMC
BW - Vic - Scot H
BW - WA - 2ACH
BW - WA - 3WAB
BW - WA - 4ACH
BW - WA - 8ACH
BW Gen - Campaign
BW Gen - Soldiers
BW General
Cavalry - General
Diary - Schramm
Egypt - Heliopolis
Egypt - Mena
Gen - Ataturk Pk, CNB
Gen - Australia
Gen - Legends
Gen - Query Club
Gen - St - NSW
Gen - St - Qld
Gen - St - SA
Gen - St - Tas
Gen - St - Vic
Gen - St - WA
Gm - German Items
Gm - Bk - 605 MGC
GW - 11 Nov 1918
GW - Atrocities
GW - August 1914
GW - Biographies
GW - Propaganda
GW - Spies
GW - We forgot
Militia 1899-1920
Militia - Area Officers
Militia - Inf - Infantry
Militia - Inf - 1IB
Militia - Inf - 2IB
Militia - Inf - 3IB
Militia - Inf - NSW
Militia - Inf - Qld
Militia - Inf - SA
Militia - Inf - Tas
Militia - Inf - Vic
Militia - Inf - WA
Militia - K.E.Horse
Militia - LH
Militia - LH - Regts
Militia - LH - 1LHB
Militia - LH - 2LHB
Militia - LH - 3LHB
Militia - LH - 4LHB
Militia - LH - 5LHB
Militia - LH - 6LHB
Militia - LHN - NSW
Militia - LHN - 1/7/1
Militia - LHN - 2/9/6
Militia - LHN - 3/11/7
Militia - LHN - 4/6/16
Militia - LHN - 5/4/15
Militia - LHN - 6/5/12
Militia - LHN - 28
Militia - LHQ - Qld
Militia - LHQ - 13/2
Militia - LHQ - 14/3/11
Militia - LHQ - 15/1/5
Militia - LHQ - 27/14
Militia - LHS - SA
Militia - LHS - 16/22/3
Militia - LHS - 17/23/18
Militia - LHS - 24/9
Militia - LHT - Tas
Militia - LHT - 12/26
Militia - LHV - Vic
Militia - LHV - 7/15/20
Militia - LHV - 8/16/8
Militia - LHV - 9/19
Militia - LHV - 10/13
Militia - LHV - 11/20/4
Militia - LHV - 19/17
Militia - LHV - 29
Militia - LHW - WA
Militia - LHW-18/25/10
Militia - Military Orders
Militia - Misc
MilitiaRC - Rifle Clubs
MilitiaRC - NSW
MilitiaRC - NT
MilitiaRC - Qld
MilitiaRC - SA
MilitiaRC - Tas
MilitiaRC - Vic
MilitiaRC - WA
Militiaz - New Zealand
Tk - Turkish Items
Tk - Army
Tk - Bks - Books
Tk - Bks - 1/33IR
Tk - Bks - 27th IR
Tk - Bks - Air Force
Tk - Bks - Yildirim
Tk - POWs
Wp - Weapons
Wp - Hotchkiss Cav
Wp - Hotchkiss PMG
Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
Open Community
Post to this Blog
Site Index
Education Centre
LH Militia
Boer War
Transport Ships
LH Battles
ALH - Units
ALH - General
Aboriginal Light H
Ottoman Sources

"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.

The Australian Light Horse Studies Centre site holds over 12,000 entries and is growing daily.

Contact: Australian Light Horse Studies Centre

Let us hear your story: You can tell your story, make a comment or ask for help on our Australian Light Horse Studies Centre Forum called:

Desert Column Forum

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

Saturday, 29 November 2003
New South Wales Infantry Contingent, Legge Letter 28 December 1899
Topic: BW - NSW - NSW Inf


New South Wales Infantry Contingent

Legge Letter 28 December 1899


Legge Letter 28 December 1899


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 letter dated 28 December 1899.


Camp, Enslin Railway Siding near Modder River, South Africa.
28 December 1899

From Captain Legge
Commander NSW Infantry Company

To the Chief Staff Officer, New South Wales.


I have the honour to report the following occurrences since my last letter from Capt Town.

On 6 December 1899, in accordance with instructions received at Cape Town, I handed over to the Officer Commanding Mounted Rifles all my horses, transport, and miscellaneous stores, in order to save time as the Company had to entrain the following morning. I was informed that these would eventually be taken over by the Imperial Government, and that we should receive the necessary mule transport at De Aar. My orders were to proceed at once to De Aar and report to the Officer Commanding Australian Regiment.

On 7 December 1899, I drew three days preserved rations and sufficient ammunition to make 100 rounds per man and 4,000 for the machine gun. The Company marched in full marching order through Cape Town to the Railway Station and received a fair reception from the people en route. The train moved off at 11 am. During the journey there were many delays, and more rations had to be obtained, but eventually, after four days and three nights in the train, we arrived at Enslin, a siding on the railways about 18 miles south of Modder River, lat on the night of Sunday, 10 December 1899.

All consequent halting places on the line were occupied by troops, as many as could be provided for by the local water supply. Troops on the trains can always have hot water for tea, and washing water also, got ready at any place where there are troops by sending a wire ahead.

At Enslin we were met by Colonel Hoad, Commander what has been named the Australian Regiment, and went under canvas.

Enslin is only a railway siding near a farm owned by a Boer of the same name, and the Australians have been holding this point on the railway line, which from Modder River to Orange River is liable to attack on either flank. Every seven miles there is a camp similar to our own, and here we have even been strengthened since by 2 guns Royal Horse Artillery, a detachment Royal Engineers, and part of the "Gordons" who were rather badly knocked about at Modder River. There are many graves here of those who fought in the Graspan - Enslin engagement.

The country is undulating Veldt with may Kopjes. Four of these near the railway are held by piquets day and night, and the Veldt around the camp and well is encircled. The Australian Regiment consists of the NSW, Victorian, South Australian, West Australian and Tasmanian Companies, five in all, 125 each except Tasmania which is only 80, and also the Victorian Mounted Rifles attached, with 3 Medical Officers from Victoria, South Australia and West Australia, in all about 700.

The day after arrival we sorted out kits and sent away to Cape Town a number of things that the Commanding Officer decided would not be required by us.

In accordance with the advice of Imperial Officers in Cape Town I had arranged for an agent to act for us in every capacity, AR MacKenzie & Co. This IO found afterwards had been also done by other Colonial troops. A number of our spare stores and kits are now in charge of the above firm, and any money matters may be arranged through them also. The equipment of the Company now consists of - Arms, accoutrements, tents (outer bell only), blankets and water proof sheets, camp kettles, 1 suit of uniform 2 shirts 2 pair socks, 1 pair puttees, 2 pair boots, 1 bowl, 1 great coat, 1 hat, 1 cap and 2 flannel belts each. The rest is in Cape Town in charge of AR MacKenzie & Co., who are large forwarding and general agents.

All the troops here are in puttees, while those raised locally or in other colonies nearly all wear the felt hat.

The rest of the Australians had Martini Enfield rifles and were rearmed with Magazine Lee Metfords, but so far have not been allowed by the Commanding Officer to fire a single round to test their rifles. Of course our men, excepting the Volunteers, have done 2 years' musketry with theirs, and even the Volunteers fired at Randwick before leaving home.

Since coming here we have had plenty of work, fatigues and drill by day, and a good deal of night work. In every four days we get 24 hours outpost duty on the kopjes, and 2 nights standing to arms from 3 am till 5 am, one night only being unbroken. Several nights we have had alarms also.

The health of the Company is good. Private Coxhead was left in Hospital at the Cape with rheumatism, and Private Bright has been sent down from here to hospital at Orange River with the same complaint. There has been a good deal of dysentery and other bowel complaints, caused partly by water, and even more by sour bread supplied by the Army Bakery Column at Orange River.

As we have no medical comforts or station hospital here I am spending a little of the incidental money on fresh milk from the Kafir camp here, which I give the sick men boiled and allowed to cool, and with rice if possible. This gives them relief and takes the place of the bad bread they would have otherwise to eat. The Commanding Officer will not arrange for a Regimental canteen, so I have advanced some money for a Company canteen, where we sell groceries at a small profit, out of which we provide little luxuries for the men, such as curry etc.

On Christmas Day I issued groceries (mostly tinned provisions) free to the Company, and charged same to Incidental money. I should be glad to have this expenditure approved. Twice we were fortunate enough to obtain from a trader a barrel of beer, which was retailed to the men not exceeding 1 quart per diem.

After a few days here I came to the conclusion that the present constitution of this Regiment was very unsatisfactory for many reasons. The units themselves were none of them equal to ours in discipline or training, and in fact were in part formed of recruits and none of them were familiar with the rifle. Party feeling was rife and jealousy everywhere more especially as the Commanding Officer, Major, Quartermaster, Squadron Sergeant Major, Squadron Quartermaster Sergeant Major, Butcher, Hospital Attendants etc were all Victorians, the Adjutant alone being an Imperial Officer and he not a man of strong will (Lascelles, a Captain of the Royal Fusiliers), lately Aide de Camp to the Governor of South Australia.

This disproportion did not affect me so much as the fact that the Victorian contingent were outrageously favourites in everything, even rations, at the expense of the others, that all the officers were disunited, and the Commanding Officer seemed altogether different to Regimental Commanding Officers in Imperial Service.

I therefore, after carefully considering the situation, sent in to the Commanding Officer a very respectful letter, asking that the Company might be attached to an Imperial Regiment, and that my letter might be forwarded. At a private interview with him, in which I was invited to speak out, I frankly told him my reasons, and that I feared the result of taking such a combination into action.

After keeping the letter a day the Commanding Officer came to me and gave me the option of withdrawing it. I understood indirectly from what he said, that the NSW Company would be sent to the base. It was a very difficult position, but he undoubtedly held the stronger hand, and anything he might say would no doubt carry more weight with the General Officer Commanding than anything I could say. Rather than allow the Company to do such I finally consented to withdraw the letter, but I fully expect that when we get in a tight place it will be left for this Company to pull some of the others out.

The matter being settled however I have done my best and I think that the NSW Officers are now in a fair way to being popular all round and that they are helping to bind others together.

There is no doubt that when it comes to solid fighting some of the Companies will be very difficult in fire discipline, but I hope NSW will keep things going. Already up here the 28 Lancers under Osborne, who were detached with Lord Methuen's Column have been known as the "Fighting Twenty Eight" and I hope we may earn something of the same ourselves.

This report has been written in a very disjointed fashion, as it has to be done on several days, and with many interruptions.

Sir, Your obedient servant
JW Legge, Captain
Commander NSW Infantry Unit

PS. Our mails arrive in a very scrappy fashion, and many letters we know should come have no yet done so. If the GPO would make up bags for each unit separately and add to our "Australian Regt", then would be much more regularity. This is already done now by some Colonies. JHL.

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 December 1899

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EAST
Updated: Sunday, 10 April 2011 9:36 AM EADT

View Latest Entries

Full Site Index

powered by FreeFind
Let us hear your story: You can tell your story, make a comment or ask for help on our forum.

Desert Column Forum

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.

Please Note: No express or implied permission is given for commercial use of the information contained within this site.

A note to copyright holders

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.


Australian Light Horse Studies Centre

eXTReMe Tracker