Topic: BW - NSW - NSWCBC
New South Wales Citizens Bushmans Contingent
Map illustrating the activities of the New South Wales Citizens Bushmans Contingent in South Africa, 1900-01.
[From: Chamberlain, M., The Australians in the South African War 1899-1902, Canberra, 1999.]
In 1911, Lieutenant-Colonel P. L. Murray, produced a marvellous Boer War reference detailing all the contingents sent from Australia to South Africa, giving a brief history of the formation and finally, listing all the soldiers who saw service in South Africa with that unit. The book was called, Official Records of the Australian Military Contingents to the War in South Africa. It is now the standard reference and starting place for any person interested in pursuing information about Australian involvement in the Boer War.
Murray, P. L., Official Records of the Australian Military Contingents to the War in South Africa, pp. 70 - 74.
New South Wales Citizens’ Bushmen
The New South Wales Contingent of Citizens’ Bushmen was raised in the first instance by public subscription; whence the name. The object was to enrol a regiment of countrymen acquainted with the vicissitudes of bush life; good shots; good riders, and of sound physique – such a class of men, in fact; as would be fitted to cope with the enemy, according to the methods of the latter. Preference, therefore, was given to men who had previously served in South Africa, and those having experience of country work in Australia, management of horses, and bush travelling.
The following establishment was approved:-
One Lieutenant Colonel;
1 Veterinary Officer;
1 Regimental Sergeant-Major;
1 Transport Sergeant;
1 Orderly-Room Sergeant;
1 Orderly-Room Clerk;
1 Cook; and,
Total Regimental Staff: 5 Officers, 15 NCO’s and men, with 14 riding and 4 draught horses.
For each Squadron:-
Two Second Lieutenants;
1 Squadron Sergeant Major;
1 Squadron Quartermaster Sergeant;
2 Shoeing Smiths;
1 Saddler; and,
Total:- 6 officers, 120 NCO’s and men, with 117 riding and 8 draught horses, besides 4 pack and 9 spare.
Grand Total:- 25 Officers; 495 others; 482 riding horses; 38 draught; 16 pack; and 36 spare.
Pay was issued at cavalry rates up to disembarkation and afterwards from 25s. with 4s: to Commanding Officers, to 15s, and 2s. 6d subalterns; and from 9s. to sergeant-majors to 5s. to privates; buglers, saddlers, and farriers, 1s. per diem extra. Colonial allowance to all officers, 3s. per diem; on AS Corps duty, 6s.per diem additional. Separation allowance was also paid to wives and families of soldiers at the front:
The Contingent left Sydney as the 28th February, 1900, at a strength of 30 officers and 496 of other ranks, with 570 horses and 10 carts. Of these, 1 officer and 29 others died or were killed, 6 officers and 8 others were transferred, 3 officers and 49 others were struck off the strength in South Africa, 1 officer and 1 other were commissioned in the Imperial Army; 23 officers and 404 others returned to Sydney. The 4 officers additional in the total accounted for were appointed in South Africa.
Further Reading:Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920
Citation: New South Wales Citizens Bushmans Contingent, Outline