Topic: BW - Tas - 2TB
2nd Tasmanian Bushmen
Map illustrating the activities of the 2nd Tasmanian Bushmen in South Africa, 1900.
[From: Chamberlain, M., The Australians in the South African War 1899-1902, Canberra, 1999.]
In 1911, Lieutenant-Colonel P. L. Murray, produced a marvellous Boer War reference detailing all the contingents sent from Australia to South Africa, giving a brief history of the formation and finally, listing all the soldiers who saw service in South Africa with that unit. The book was called, Official Records of the Australian Military Contingents to the War in South Africa. It is now the standard reference and starting place for any person interested in pursuing information about Australian involvement in the Boer War.
Murray, P. L., Official Records of the Australian Military Contingents to the War in South Africa, p. 551.
2nd Tasmanian Bushmen
AUTHORISED by the Tasmanian Government about February, 1900. It consisted of a half-squadron of Mounted Infantry. Establishment (leaving Hobart) -
Lieutenant-Colonel B.T. Wallack, Special Service officer, went in charge; and officers ware posted in South Africa.
Pay and equipment were as for former Contingent (see 1st Tasmanian Mounted Infantry), except (in regard to the latter), such slight changes as ware requisite in providing for mounted men.
Sergeant A. M. Boyes, promoted Lieutenant 18th November, 1900; Adjutant, 2nd January, 1901.
Lieutenants Lowther and Adams were promoted from lst Contingent.
Sergeant G. W. Kemsley became Lieutenant "C" Squadron, Australian Commonwealth Horse.
For promotions of N.C.O.'s and men, vide nominal roll.
Departure and Return
The Contingent embarked at Hobart, 5th March, 1900, comprising - 52 sergeants and real[ and file, 58 horses. One was killed; 2 struck off in South Africa; 1 officer commissioned in the Imperial Army; 1 Officer, 49 others returned.
The Bushmen's Contingent, consisting as before stated, of about a half-squadron of Mounted Infantry, was sent to the theatre of war, under charge of Lieut.-Colonel E.T. Wallack. They embarked at Hobart on the transport Antillian on 5th March, 1900; arrived at Cape Town on the 31st, and proceeded thence to Beira, where Captain A. H. Riggall took charge, he being the officer who had previously brought out the draft for the 1st Contingent.
Their principal operations, and Corps or Columns served with, were as follow:-
Formed part of General Carrington's Column, sharing in the operations in Rhodesia and Western Transvaal reader him.
Then under Lord Erroll in Transvaal Mounted Infantry Brigade afterwards, under Lord Methuen, in Western Transvaal, Griqualand, Orange River Colony.
Having crossed Rhodesia towards Mafeking, they took part in many operations, under the leaders named. They had several casualties near Ottoshoop in August, when Carrington was endeavouring to assist Colonel Hore.
The Contingent formed part of a complete Bushmen's Regiment, with "D" Squadron, 1st New South Wales, one Squadron of New Zealanders, and three of South Australians.
For a long time the Regiment did excellent work in the Western Transvaal, as part of Lord Methuen's Force. At Buffel's Hoek (21st August), there was a sharp fight. They were in stunts at Ottoshoop (12th September), and Lichtenburg (28th). About the month of September, Captain Riggall was invalided home, and Lieutenant Lowther took charge.
Throughout the latter part of 1900 and the first quarter of 1901, the composite Bushmen's Regiment was in many engagements, chiefly in the Western Transvaal, but also in Northern Orange River Colony. In several of these the enemy fought with considerable determination; and, consequently, losses were frequent. For many months the Western Transvaal was dangerously denuded of troops; thus there was considerable strain on those who ware there.
The Contingent embarked on the transport Aberdeen at Cape Town on 19th May, 1901, and arrived in Tasmania on 14th June; having called at Albany, Adelaide, and Melbourne on the way.
Disbanded on 16th July, 1901.
2nd Tasmanian Bushmen, Roll of Honour
Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920
Citation: 2nd Tasmanian Bushmen, Outline