Topic: BW - Qld - 1ACH
1st ACH (Qld)
1st Battalion Australian Commonwealth Horse Queensland
Map illustrating the activities of the Australian Commonwealth Horse in South Africa, 1902.
[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. 522.
First Australian Commonwealth Horse Queensland Unit.
Constituted "D" Company of the 1st Battalion, Australian Commonwealth Horse, consisting of three companies New South Wales, one Queensland, and one Tasmanian.
For details of establishment, pay, clothing, and equipment, &c., vide 1st Australian Commonwealth Horse (New South Wales), p. 166.
The Queensland officers of regimental staff were Lieut: Colonel J. S. Lyster, commanding battalion, and Captain J. Gillies, Army Medical Corps. The company was short of one officer, in consequence of the resignation of a subaltern before embarkation.
Many of the N.C.O.'s and men had served in previous Contingents.
Departure And Return.
The company left Brisbane 26th January, 1902; Sydney (with New South Wales Contingent), 18th February, 1902; with 7 officers, and 116 others; 124 horses. Of these, 1 officer resigned, 2 privates died, 1 officer 37 others were struck off in South Africa; 5 officers, 77 others returned.
By rail from Brisbane, 26th January, 1902; embarked on transport Custodian (Sydney), 18th February, 1902. With Colonel De Lisle's, also Colonel Williams' Column. Took part in driving operations in Western Transvaal, in the former officer's Column, which formed part of a force consisting of 13 columns under Lieut.-General Sir Ian Hamilton. (vide 1st Australian Commonwealth Horse, New South Wales),
This battalion proceeded on 19th March, 1902, by train from Durban to Newcastle, and thence to Klerksdorp on 10th April, arriving at the latter place on the 13th. Joined Column under the command of Colonel De Lisle, which formed part of Thorneycroft’s brigade.
This Column was inspected by Lord Kitchener on 22nd April, who expressed himself as pleased with the appearance of men and horses.
The Column was employed clearing the district north of Klerksdorp, and took part in a drive which commenced on 7th May, moving westward to the Kimberley - Mafeking railway blockhouse line. In this, 251 prisoners, including General De la Rey's brother, were captured, also 300 horses, 144 rides and bandoliers, 6,000 rounds ammunition, and a large quantity of stock.
Colonel De Lisle, who was leaving for England, handed over his command to Colonel Williams. The Column then returned to Klerksdorp, reaching that place on the 21st May, where the regiment remained until the declaration of place, when they were ordered to Elandsfontein to prepare for return to Australia.
The regiment proceeded by rail to Newcastle on 29th June, and to Durban on 9th July, for embarkation.
Extract from Field Order
"12th May, 1902.
“The following telegram hoe been received from General Sir Ian Hamilton, K.C.B., D.S.O.:"The following is the general result of recent operations. Killed, 1; prisoners, 354; rifles, 212; horses, 326; mules, 95; donkeys, 20; wagons, 175; Cape carts, 81 ; cattle, 3,500; sheep, 13,000; small arm ammunition, 8,340 ; trek oxen, 106. Amongst prisoners is Jan de la Rap, elder brother of General.'
“Since telegraphing this information to Pretoria, General Ian Hamilton has received the following telegram from Lord Kitchener:"Capital result. Tell troops I highly appreciate their exertions and consider result very satisfactory. We have now since Methuen's mishap taken 880 out of De la Rey's forces.'
“As there is a considerable proportion of new troops in the command, the General Officer Commanding Mobile Columns, W.T., thinks that Column Commanders would do well to explain to them that the General Officer Commander-in-Chief is not in the habit of bestowing indiscriminate praise; and that, on the contrary, the compliment which has been paid this force is a very rare occurrence."
The Company embarked at Durban on 11th July, 1902, in transport Drayton Grange; touched at Albany, 30th July; Melbourne, 7th August; Sydney, 10th; Brisbane, 13th.
Disbanded on 19th August, 1902.
Further Reading:Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920
Citation: 1st Battalion Australian Commonwealth Horse Queensland, Outline