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Sunday, 24 August 2003
1st Queensland Mounted Infantry, Outline
Topic: BW - Qld - 1QMI

1st QMI

1st Queensland Mounted Infantry



The 1st Queensland Mounted Infantry marching down Queen Street, Brisbane.

[From: The Queenslander, 4 November 1899, p. 906.]

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. 447:



Like the early Contingents in other States, the first despatched by Queensland was ordered to be raised from officers and others serving in the local defence forces, namely, 250 of the Queensland Mounted Infantry, and a Machine Gun Section from the Royal Australian Artillery (Queensland). They were to be equipped strictly in accordance with the Field Service Manual for the equipment of a Mounted Infantry unit. With regard to this, however, Lieut: Colonel Ricardo, who Commanded the Contingent, stated in his report:-

"Out of 262 of all ranks enrolled, 123 were then serving in the Queensland Mounted Infantry; but 46 men, who had served, also joined; this left 93 to be recruited from outside. Of this number, 25 N.C.O.'s and men of A Battery (Royal Australian Artillery), volunteered; they ware some of the best men we had, and their example had a very good affect an the Contingent. The remainder were made up of men who said they w or had been, members of the Queensland Defence Force."

The Contingent was practically enrolled, organized, and equipped with arms, clothing, horses, saddlery, transport wagons with fittings and stores, between the 13th and 28th October - a record of the indefatigable way in which the Staff, the Comptroller of Stores, the medical and veterinary authorities, and the embarkation officers must have worked. The horses were selected and purchased by Veterinary Major Irving, P.V.O.



One major,
1 Sergeant-Major;
1 quartermaster sergeant,
4 Privates;
total, 7;
with 4 riding and 4 draught horses; total 8.


Machine Gun Section (Royal Australian Artillery):-

One lieutenant,
1 sergeant,
1 corporal,
2 bombardiers,
5 drivers,
7 gunners;
total, 1 officer, 1 sergeant, 15 rank and file, with 6 riding and 14 draught horses;
total 20.


No. 1 Company:-

One captain,
3 lieutenants,
1 company sergeant-major,
4 sergeants,
1 sergeant-artificer,
3 artificers,
2 buglers,
6 corporals,
92 privates; total, 4 officers, 109 others, with 100 riding and 20 draught horses; in all 113 of all ranks, with 120 horses.


No. 2 Company:-

The like.



Two officers,
8 privates,
with 14 riding and 18 draught horses;
in all, 10 of all ranks, 32 horses.


Grand total:-

One major,
2 captains,
9 lieutenants,
1 regimental sergeant major, 1 quartermaster-sergeant,
2 company sergeant-majors,
9 sergeants,
2 sergeant-artificers,
6 artificers,
4 buglers,
13 corporals,
2 bombardiers,
206 gunners, drivers, and privates;
in all, 12 officers, 248 others, with 224 riding and 76 draught horses;
altogether, 260 of all ranks, with 300 horses.

Departure and Return


The SS Cornwall embarking from Brisbane with the Queensland Contingent

[From: The Queenslander, 11 November 1899, p. 957.]


The Contingent left on 1st November, 1899, comprising 14 officer's, 248 others, with 284 horses, besides machine game and wagons. Ten died or were killed, 1 officer was transferred, 1 commissioned in the Imperial Army, 7 were struck off in South Africa; 12 officers, 231 others returned to Australia.


Further Reading:

1st Queensland Mounted Infantry

1st Queensland Mounted Infantry, Roll of Honour

Boer War - Queensland

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920


Citation: 1st Queensland Mounted Infantry, Outline

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 9 May 2010 11:57 AM EADT
Saturday, 23 August 2003
1st Queensland Mounted Infantry, Nominal Roll
Topic: BW - Qld - 1QMI

1st QMI

1st Queensland Mounted Infantry

Nominal Roll


1st Queensland Mounted Infantry, "A" Company.

[From: The Queenslander, 4 November 1899, p. 908.]


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. 449 - 456.


1st Queensland Mounted Infantry

Lieutenant Alfred George ADIE

166 Private Albert Edward ALLEY

189 Private Edward ANDERSON

216 Private Ralph Andrew ANDERSON

Lieutenant Cecil Henry ANDERSON-PELHAM

90 Private Thomas Henry ARMSTRONG

243 Private John Henry ARNOLD

Lieutenant Henry BAILEY

182 Private John Henry BANFF

156 Private Joseph BANKS

46 Private James Frederick BARKER

115 Shoeing Smith George BARNES

82 Private William BARRON

138 Private George BAUDINET

211 Private Henry BAULCH

11 Gunner Edward BEARD

101 Private George BETTS

Lieutenant Cecil Herbert BLACK

83 Private Charles Henry BOURNE

109 Lance Corporal Buglar William BOWDLER

75 Private Matthew Devine BRADY

111 Private Thomas Farrer BRAITHWAITE

92 Private Albert BREEZE

4 Company Sergeant Major Richard BREYDON

134 Private Edmund St. John Vincent BRODRICK

155 Corporal John Cornelius BROSNAN

44 Private John William BROWN


160 Private William Joseph BROWN

120 Private Thomas BROWNE

95 Private William Henry BRYCE

23 Driver Henry BUCKBACK

151 Private John Edward Newell BULL

80 Private Joseph BURGE

192 Private Bedford BUTLER

29 Private William Melville BUTLER

237 Private John CAIN

50 Private Arthur Archibald CAMERON

218 Private William CAMMACK

220 Private Colin Clyde CAMPBELL

93 Private James John CASEY

33 Private John CATHCART

174 Private Edward Andrew CHADWICK

217 Private Allan CHALMERS

124 Private William Allen CHAMBERLAIN

Captain Henry George CHAUVEL

225 Private James Walter CHRISTENSEN

175 Private William James CHRISTIE

142 Private James Ernest CLARK

133 Private Joseph COLQUHOUN

56 Corporal George Bertram CONLEY

253 Private John James CONROY

202 Private James COOGAN

51 Lance Corporal Frank COOPER

102 Private Samuel Welsby COOPER

168 Private James Frederick COUNTER

38 Corporal Henry Horton COVELL

195 Private William COX

126 Private Charles CRUMP

Lieutenant Charles Alexander CUMMING

180 Private Thomas CUMNER

242 Private William Alexander DAMROW

118 Private John DANIELS

199 Private John Macintosh DAVIDSON

39 Private Nivel DE VERDON

177 Trumpeter William DEVITT

246 Trumpeter Thomas DIMMOCK

Captain Joseph Espie DODS

Lieutenant Richard DOWSE

45 Private Conway Lovett DREW

169 Private James DURHAM

188 Private William EDWARDS

89 Private Michael EGAN

241 Private Walter James EVANS

129 Private Edward Henry FARMER

214 Private Isaac FELLOWS

178 Private Ernest Victor FIELDING

15 Private William FOX

210 Private Charles FRASER

69 Private William FRENCH

105 Private Albert Charles FRY

154 Private William Henry GALE

163 Private Alexander GLASGOW

Lieutenant Thomas William GLASGOW

88 Private William GOODCHILD

Lieutenant Robert GORDON

249 Private Archibald GRAHAM

157 Private James Roderick GRAY

106 Private James GRAYSON

233 Private Richard GREENWELL

6 Corporal Herbert HARRIS

16 Driver Herbert George HARRIS

152 Private William HARRIS

186 Private James HART

248 Private Arthur Douglas HENRY

136 Private Frederick Charles HERMANN

231 Private Charles HILL

158 Trooper Sydney Edward HILL

110 Trooper Herbert Gerald HINTON

190 Private John Henry HITCHCOCK

28 Sergeant Frederick James HOCKEY

145 Private William George HODGKINSON

176 Private James David HOLCOMBE

198 Private John Stanley HUGHES

84 Private George Lionel HUTTON

113 Private George Percy INGARFIELD

9 Gunner Thomas IRWIN

238 Private George James ISZLAUB

231 Private Edward JACKSON

257 Private WHG JACKSON

49 Private Augustus JOHNSON

62 Private Harold JOHNSTON

139 Private George Richard JONES

219 Private Victor Stanley JONES

223 Private Patrick Joseph KAVANAGH

21 Private James KELLY

79 Private Thomas KENNEDY

108 Corporal Alexander KIDD

87 Private William Gillespie KING

162 Private Peter KNUDSEN

147 Private Frank Berners KNYVETT

117 Private Julius KRAUT

73 Private Ernest LACEY

213 Corporal John LACEY

121 Private Edgar LAMBERT

7 Bombadier George Egbert LAMBERT

20 Private George James LE MARCHAND

167 Private Thomas Broadford LEE

170 Private James LLOYD

86 Private Jack LOCKE

187 Private Thomas James LOGAN

65 Sergeant James LOYNES

254 Private Arthur LUKE

203 Corporal William Michael LYONS

74 Sergeant John MACARTHUR

13 Private Albert William MACKENZIE

27 Corporal Frederick MADDICKS

70 Private Miles MARLEY

148 Private Thomas Bram MARTIN

149 Private William MASON

67 Private Thomas Robert MAXWELL

205 Private James Joseph MCCARTHY

226 Private Peter MCCONKEY

171 Private Joseph MCDONALD

59 Private John MCDOUGALL

222 Private Donald MCINTOSH

52 Private Robert MCINTYRE

31 Private Richard MCKENZIE

64 Company Sergeant Major Kenneth MCLENNAN

91 Private David Cumming MCLEOD

43 Corporal William MCLEOD

94 Private Hugh MCNEVEN

26 Gunner Frederick James MENAH

98 Private George MICHAEL

228 Private William MILES

131 Private Alexander MILLAN

112 Private William Holdsworth MILLARD

161 Private Herbert Henry MISSING

239 Private Eugene Graham MONTAGUE

72 Private James Alfred MOORE

208 Trumpeter John Crisop MORRIS

40 Lance Corporal John James MORRIS

185 Private William Arthur MORRIS

600 Private DE MORRISON

60 Private Donald Rogers MORRISON

193 Private George William MOSS

210 Private Forrest MUIR

194 Private Joseph William MUNDEY

24 Gunner Henry MUNGALL

143 Private Alexander MUNRO

250 Private James MUNRO

207 Private Arthur MUSSETT

255 Private Ernest William NEALE

96 Private John NEILSON

58 Private George NEVILLE

234 Private John O'BRIEN

146 Private Richard Nicholas O'BRIEN

236 Private Thomas O'HAGAN

68 Private Frank O'MAHONEY

212 Private Robert ORTON

103 Private William PALFREY

81 Sergeant Harry PATEN

230 Private Stephen PAYNE

127 Private William PENHALIGON

30 Private Adolph PHILIPOFSKI

Captain Phillip William Grant PINNOCK

206 Private Robert Hill PIRIE

179 Private Robert Samuel PITT

99 Private Daniel POPE

5 Sergeant Frederick PRICE

1 Regimental Sergeant Major James George PRICE

114 Private Victor PRIMROSE

150 Private Thomas PUNCH

12 Gunner John RASMUSSEN

165 Private Herbert Llewellyn REECE

71 Private Harold REED

Lieutenant David Elder REID

Major Percy Ralph RICARDO

19 Gunner Peter RIDDELL

97 Private George RIDLEY

240 Private Albert ROSE

215 Private John Smith ROSS

193 Private William ROSSITER

104 Private Christian RUNGE

153 Shoeing Smith George Edward RUSSELL

66 Sergeant James Bernard RYAN

18 Driver Thomas RYAN

164 Saddler Sergeant William Walter SAVILLE

22 Driver Charles Frederick SCHULTZ

184 Trumpeter Charles John SCOTT

57 Private George Archibald SCOTT

77 Private George SEYMOUR

107 Private Charles Octavius SHARP

220 Private William SHAW

235 Private Ernest SMITH

227 Private George Thomas SMITH

14 Gunner James SMITH

63 Private Ralph Gordon SMITH

181 Private Robert SMITH

130 Private William SMITH

224 Private Robert SOLWAY

204 Private Thomas Henry SOLWAY

61 Private Benjamin SPURWAY

132 Private Raymond Henry STAINES

53 Private Edward Robinson STARKEY

41 Private William Johnstone STEVENS

47 Private Charles Rupert STEWART

78 Private Wallace Highton STEWART

296 Private Walter Hall STEWART

55 Private Charles Joseph STRONG

125 Private William George STRONG

251 Private Louis SUMMERS

54 Private George SUNDMACHER

173 Private Herbert SUTHERS

141 Private Nickolai Theodor SVENSON aka Nicholas Theodore SWENSON

35 Corporal George Henry Lumsden TANCRED

245 Private Charles TEASDALE

144 Private Ray Tabor THOMAS

140 Private William THOMAS

36 Private Robert Samuel THOMPSON

32 Private Robert Jenson THOMSON

34 Private Joseph TODD

159 Private George William TOMLINSON

119 Private James Campbell TURNBULL

209 Private Arthur Gus VOLKMAN

247 Private August WAGNER

Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant Albert Harvy WALES

196 Private George William WALKER

42 Lance Corporal Gilbert Ramsay WALKER

172 Sergeant Harry Frederick WALKER

3 Company Sergeant Major James John WALKER

25 Private Sydney WALKER

10 Private Walter WALSH

48 Private Sydney WASHBOURNE

137 Private Heinrich Carl Gustav WEISE

100 Private Thomas James WHELAN

122 Private Albert Joseph WHITE

256 Private Henry Saxon WHITEHORN

8 Bombardier George Frederick Gardles WIECK

17 Driver Albert WILLIAMS

200 Private Percy WILLMETT

197 Private Walter WILLMETT

116 Corporal George WRIFORD

192 Farrier Sergeant George WRIGHT

37 Private William Cardinal WYNNE

1st Queensland Mounted Infantry, "B" Company.

[From: The Queenslander, 4 November 1899, p. 909.]



Further Reading:

1st Queensland Mounted Infantry

1st Queensland Mounted Infantry, Roll of Honour

Boer War - Queensland

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920


Citation: 1st Queensland Mounted Infantry, Nominal Roll

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 26 August 2011 11:24 AM EADT
Friday, 22 August 2003
1st Queensland Mounted Infantry, Roll of Honour
Topic: BW - Qld - 1QMI

1st QMI

1st Queensland Mounted Infantry

Roll of Honour


Poppies on the Roll of Honour, Australian War Memorial, Canberra


The Roll of Honour contains the names of all the men known to have served at one time with the 1st Queensland Mounted Infantry and gave their lives in service of Australia, whether as part of the 1st Queensland Mounted Infantry or another unit.


Roll of Honour


Edmund St. John Vincent BRODRICK, Died of Disease,  25 June 1900.

George Bertram CONLEY, Killed in Action, 31 March 1900.

Thomas CUMNER, Died of Disease, 20 March 1900.

William Alexander DAMROW, Died of Disease, 19 December 1900.

William DEVITT, Died of Disease, 12 May 1900.

Victor Stanley JONES, Killed in Action, 1 January 1900.


David Cumming MCLEOD, Killed in Action, 1 January 1900.

Herbert Llewellyn REECE, Killed in Action, 31 March 1900.

Sydney WALKER, Died of Disease, 25 June 1900.

George WRIFORD, Missing, presumed Killed in Action, 11 March 1901.


Lest we forget

Further Reading:

1st Queensland Mounted Infantry

Boer War - Queensland

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920


Citation: 1st Queensland Mounted Infantry, Roll of Honour

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 9 May 2010 12:04 PM EADT
Thursday, 21 August 2003
1st Queensland Mounted Infantry, A Proclamation
Topic: BW - Qld - 1QMI

1st QMI

1st Queensland Mounted Infantry

A Proclamation


Supplement to the Queensland Government Gazette Published as General Order 358, 18 October 1899


After the outbreak of hostilities in South Africa, on 14 October 1899, the Queensland Government issued the following proclamation.


A Proclamation

By His Excellency the Honourable Sir Samuel Walker Griffith, Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George, Chief Justice of the Colony of Queensland, and Administrator of the Government of the said Colony and its Dependencies.

Whereas the Government of the Colony of Queensland lately offered, in the event of hostilities breaking out between Great Britain and the South African Republic, the services of a Contingent of Troops, consisting of 250 Officers, Non Commissioned Officers, and Men of the Queensland Mounted Infantry, together with a Machine Gun Section of the Queensland Regiment of Royal Australian Artillery, for field duty with the Imperial troops employed in South Africa; And whereas on the nineteenth day of October, instant, the Legislative Assembly of the said Colony resolved as follows:-

That this house renews the assurance of its loyalty and devotion to the Throne and Person of Her Most Gracious Majesty The Queen, and as evidence of its sympathy with Her Majesty's subjects in the South African Republic, who have for so long a period suffered burdensome disabilities and grievous injustice, desires to support the determination of Her Majesty's Advisers to secure the immediate recognition of British rights in that Republic. This House therefore views with approbation the proposal of the Government to equip, despatch, and maintain a Military Force volunteering for service with Her Majesty's Army in South Africa, consisting of 250 Officers, Non Commissioned Officers, and Men of the Queensland Mounted Infantry, together with a Machine Gun Section of the Queensland Regiment of Royal Australian Artillery.

And whereas Her Majesty has authorised a Force of Volunteers to be raised in the said Colony for the purposes aforesaid, and has directed that such Force shall, as from the embarkation thereof, be deemed to be serving with Her Majesty's Regular Forces: Now, therefore, I, Sir Samuel Walker Griffith, the Administrator of the Government aforesaid, do hereby proclaim and declare that a Military Force of Volunteers shall be and is hereby authorised to be raised and enrolled for Service with Her Majesty's Army in South Africa, consisting of 250 Officers, Non Commissioned Officers, and Men of the Queensland Mounted Infantry, together with a Machine Gun Section, there detailed establishment whereof is more particularly described in the Schedule hereunder set out.

Given under my Hand and Seal, at Government House, Brisbane, this nineteenth day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ninety-nine, and in the sixty third year of Her Majesty's reign.

By Command, James R Dickson.

God Save the Queen!


The Schedule referred to in the Proclamation.


The Schedule

        Distribution Staff Machine Gun CompanyNo. 1 Coy, MI. No. 2 Coy, MI. Supernumeraries Total 
        Major1    1
        Captain  11 2
        Lieutenants 13329
        Sergeant Major1    1
        Quartermaster Sergeant1    1
        Company Sergeant Majors  11 2
        Sergeants 144 9
        Sergeants Artificers  11 2
        Artificers  33 6
        Buglers  22 4
        Corporals 166 13
        Privates, Gunners, and Drivers41492928210
        Total Officers1144212
        Total NCOs and Men6161091098248
        Horses - Riding4610010014224
        Horses - Draught41420201876
        Grand Total - All Ranks71711311310260
        Grand Total - Horses82012012032300


Extracted from: Queensland General Orders, Order 358, 18 October 1899.


Further Reading:

1st Queensland Mounted Infantry

Boer War - Queensland

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920


Citation: 1st Queensland Mounted Infantry, A Proclamation

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 9 May 2010 12:05 PM EADT
1st Queensland Mounted Infantry, Embarkation
Topic: BW - Qld - 1QMI

1st QMI

1st Queensland Mounted Infantry



The farewell speeches

[From: The Queenslander, 11 November 1899, p. 956.]


The following description of the departure by the 1st Queensland Mounted Infantry at Pinkenbar Wharf, 4 pm, Wednesday 1 November 1899 was carried by the Brisbane Courier, 2 November 1899, p. 5:









When the history of Queensland comes to be written, the event of yesterday will stand out prominently as one of the most patriotic movements ever made by one of Britannia's colonies. It is unnecessary to outline even briefly the circumstances which led up to the Queensland Government offering the Imperial authorities the services of a volunteer force, nor is it needful to point out how spontaneous was the response on the part of our soldier citizens. It has been proved beyond doubt that not only do we live under one flag, but that we have one destiny and one aim, and when the present struggle in South Africa is finished, and the British flag reigns supreme there, one of the happiest episodes of the whole campaign - the silver lining lighting up the sombre black of the dark war cloud - will be the confidence in and loyalty to the Throne and the noble woman who occupies it shown by not merely one but all the colonies.

It has been said that history, invariably repeats itself, and such most assuredly is the case. Yesterday was a counterpart in every way of that memorable day In 1884 when the Now South Wales troops left Sydney Harbour to go to the assistance of the Mother-country in the Soudan. It was then that Great Britain first recognised that in her colonies she had something more than children to be suckled and spoonfed. She, realised that in her dependencies she had allies ready and willing to step in to her assistance in the time of extremity and need, and, if needs be, sacrifice even life itself in defending the honour of the Empire. The feeling of patriotism which prompted the Now South Wales Government to offer troops during the earlier Soudan War has, however, grown in intensity, and as a result we find at the present time one united cry going up from the whole of Britain's sons, and one can readily imagine that as the other nations of the world stand gazing at the scene, they cannot but be impressed with the fact that Britain's solidarity is something which in the future will carry more weight than even her "first line of defence" - her navy.

Yesterday was a perfect day. A few white clouds were floating about; but otherwise the sky was a brilliant blue, and a soft breeze from the north-east tempered the heat, and made the weather faultless. It was fitting that Nature should wear nothing in the shape of a frown on such an occasion, and if there is anything in omens, either good or bad, the smiling manner in which Nature bade farewell to the contingent should augur well for their career in South Africa.

As early as 11 o'clock in the morning people began to assemble in the vicinity of the wharf, and as each train arrived, the numbers rapidly swelled. By 2 o'clock an immense crowd had congregated, and every point of vantage along the line, and on the river bank, was taxed to the utmost. A number of refreshment booths had been erected on the vacant ground at the side of the railway station, and as in addition to these there were fruit-hawkers almost without number, the wants of the general public were fairly well catered for. The Brisbane agents of the Federal Steamship Navigation Company (Messrs. Birt and Co., Limited), had a special marquee erected on the space between the wharf and the cattle-yards, for the entertainment of the many friends, the managing director (Mr. Hood) and his hospitable wife had invited down to witness the departure of the troops.

Shortly after 3 p.m. the troops arrived, headed by the Headquarters and the Volunteer bands and a number of pipers. Their appearance was the signal for a spontaneous outburst of enthusiasm. The cheering, which commenced on the outer fringe of the crowd - the point where the troops arrived - travelled like wildfire through the vast assemblage, until every voice had joined in the grand chorus of enthusiasm. The scene as viewed from the deck of the Cornwall was a picturesque one, and full of animation.

The troopers' bed bunks on the SS Cornwall

[From: The Queenslander, 11 November 1899, p. 957.]


The level ground stretching away on cither side of the wharf and extending back to the line was one huge sea of faces, broken here and there with sunshades as varied in colour as was Joseph's coat. Not a spot was left unoccupied. The youngsters, determined not to be outstripped by their elders, clambered up on to a high pile driving derrick which stood close to the bank some distance from the wharf, on to the loading race, and on to the tops of the railway carriages and the various sheds standing in the railway enclosure. Farther away, on the opposite side of the line, was a heterogenous collection of vehicles, ranging from the shakiest of carts and other ramshackles to the smart Victorias and waggonettes of the elite. Additional colour was lent to the scene by the gay bunting which floated over the wharf, and the bright garlands bearing appropriate mottoes - which had been stretched with artistic carelessness between the poles erected to carry the bunting. The hills stretching away in the distance made an extremely effective background to the picture - a picture which will last long in the memories of those who had the privilege of gazing on it. On the river the same animation existed. Along the bank, both above and below the wharf, were moored numberless boats of all descriptions, whilst steaming about in the stream opposite the Cornwall, profusely decorated with flags, were almost all the small steamers of the port. The larger steamers, including the Otter, Lucinda, Garnet, Pippo, Grazier, Albatross, Minar, und one or two of the Government steam barges were completely packed, whilst many of the smaller craft seemed almost dangerously crowded.


The horse stables on the SS Cornwall

[From: The Queenslander, 11 November 1899, p. 955.]



The bands which marched on to the wharf playing a lively patriotic tune were followed closely by the troops, headed by their commander. Colonel Ricardo. The dismounting of this officer was the signal for another display of enthusiasm. Amidst the cheering the men frantically waved their hats, while the fair sex joined in the enthusiasm with the aid of handkerchiefs and sunshades The first of the contingent to march on to the wharf was the detachment of the Queensland Royal Australian Artillery (the machine-gun section), and then came the A and B Companies of the Mounted Infantry, under Captain Chauvel and Captain Pinnock respectively. The men were lined up on the wharf four deep, and in their full uniform they looked a particularly fine lot of men. In front, in the centre of the line, were three officers, the centre one of whom, Lieutenant Adie, held the flag which had been presented to the contingent by some of Queensland's patriotic womenfolk. In forcing their way through the crowd on to the wharf, the troops became rather disorganised, but by "doubling" they quickly resumed their places, a fact which spoke volumes to the training which the men have received since the camp was formed at Meeandah.


About a quarter to 4 his Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor (Sir S. W. Griffith) arrived, accompanied by Sir Edward Richardson, Sir H. M. Nelson (President of the Legislative Council), the Hons, J, R, Dickson (Premier), F. T. Brentnall, M.L.C., A. Rutledge (Attorney-General), R. Philp (Treasurer), J. F. G. Foxton (Home Secretary), Mr. H. S. Dutton, and a number of others. His Excellency was received by the Commandant (General Gunter), and was escorted to a position on the wharf just opposite the men. His appearance on the wharf was tho occasion for further cheering, and it was some time before the enthusiasm had sufficiently exhausted itself to allow of his addressing the men.


Sir Samuel Walker Griffith

[From: nla.pic-an23398523]

Comparative quiet having been restored, his Excellency, facing the men, said: "Colonel Ricardo, officers, non-commissioned officers, and men of the Queensland contingent for South Africa, It is my privilege to be here as the representative of her Majesty to say a word or two to you before you embark on this ship to take a part in the wars of the Empire to which we all belong. First of all, I have a message from her Majesty herself. After thanking the people of her colonies for the aid they are willing to give her in South Africa, she concludes with a message to you. She wishes you godspeed and a safe return. (Applause.) Next, I have a message from his Excellency Lord Lamington, sent at the moment of his leaving Australian shores at Albany. He asks me to extend to you his best wishes and earnest hope for your success in South Africa. I have also a message from the late Governor, Sir Henry Norman, from London. The message reads: "Please convey to the Queensland troops on embarkation hearty congratulations and good wishes from Lady Norman and myself." (Applause and cheers.) I will now add a few words for myself. You know that as soon as you embark on the Cornwall you will be, in effect, soldiers of her Majesty's regular army. (Applause.) Her Majesty has been pleased to instruct that from embarkation you are to be deemed to be serving with her forces. You will be subject to all the rules and regulations Of her Majesty's army. It is not necessary for me to say anything about courage or duty. Courage is a quality, not a duty, and I am satisfied that, as Queenslander, you all have it but the first duty of the soldier is obedience. It is not yours to reason why, not yours to make reply, but to obey. It is no concern of a soldier what may be the nature of the quarrel for which he is fighting; but for all that it is true that "thrice is he armed that hath his quarrel just." You are all volunteers, going of your own free will to take a part in the wars of the Empire, and you have the satisfaction of knowing - and it is great satisfaction - that the war in which you are going to take part is one that is necessary for the preservation and maintenance of the Empire. For reasons that are only too apparent to those familiar with the facts, it has become necessary for the British Government to declare a state of war in South Africa. The alternative would be to have allowed the prestige of the British Empire in that portion of her Majesty's dominion to fall and what the consequence of that would be, no one could tell. You are going to take part in what I believe will be an arduous work. I am satisfied you will do your duty. You know that you represent Queensland. You carry in your hands the honour of Queensland and of Queenslanders, and I am satisfied that Queensland will not suffer at your hands. (Applause.) You will have with you the best wishes of all the people in this colony, and not only of this colony, but of the whole of Australia, and the whole of the British Empire. Remember that you will be supported by all that absent men can do. You will have our prayers and good wishes for your success in the field and your safe return. I conclude. Colonel Ricardo, officers, non-commissioned officers, and men, in the words of her Majesty, in wishing you godspeed and a safe return. (Applause and cheers.)

Cheers were then given for the Lieutenant Governor, the contingent, and Colonel Ricardo.


The troops march on board.

[From: The Queenslander, 11 November 1899, p. 956.]


Immediately upon the conclusion of the address. General Gunter reported to his Excellency that the men were ready, and Mr Samuel Griffith having given the orders to proceed, the work of embarkation was commenced. As the first men mounted the gangway leading up to tho vessel the Headquarters Band struck up "Soldiers of tho Queen," and, the men taking up the chorus another wave of enthusiasm passed over the vast crowd of spectators. It was not long before the whole of the men had embarked At about half-past 4, the gangway leading from the wharf to the ship was lowered, and the springs having been let go, and the orders of Pilot Cloherty who had been selected for the responsible work of piloting the vessel to sea, the ship steamed gradually out into the stream, and anchored some little distance below the wharf. When it was seen that the vessel was on the move the crowd were spurred on to make one more and final effort, with the result that the cheering and shouting were almost deafening. When the din, for the cheering could be called by no other name, had subsided somewhat, the band struck up "Auld Lang Syne," and as the transport steamed slowly away from the wharf, not a few eyes were moist, and more than one, no doubt, was reminded of the words of the Irish poet -

Home to your chambers - home, and pray
For the bright coming of that day
When blessed by Heaven, the Cross shall sweep
The Crescent from the Aegean deep,
And your brave warriors - hastening home
Shall bring such glories in their track
As shall, for many an age to come,
Shed glory round their name and home.

Colonel Ricardo.

[From: The Queenslander, 28 October 1899, p. 857.]


Just prior to the departure of the Cornwall from the wharf, Colonel Ricardo gave to a representative of the "Courier," who was wishing him godspeed, a message for all the wellwishers of the contingent. "Tell them," he said, "that I regret sincerely that I have not had time to reply to the many communications I have received. I am deeply conscious of the earnestness with which these messages of godspeed have been sent, and I sincerely trust that success will attend us, and that we will achieve all the hopes of our comrades."

Some diversion was caused by a number of the men, five in all, who had been doing guard duty at the camp, turning up when the vessel was some fifty or sixty yards from the wharf. A small boat was secured, however, and it was not long before they had joined their comrades on the Cornwall.

The transport steamer, which, as has already been stated, anchored in the stream some distance below the wharf, remained in the river all night; but it is expected that everything will be in readiness for her to put to sea this morning. The vessel, which left the wharf quite three hours before high water, was drawing 23ft. 2 in. aft, and 22ft. 8 in. forward.

A special marquee erected for the managing director (Mr. Hood) and his hospitable wife.

[From: The Queenslander, 11 November 1899, p. 955.]



Major Browne did not join the vessel yesterday. He leaves by the mail train this morning for Sydney, where he will embark on the Cornwall.

The tents at the camp at Meeandah were left, when the troops marched out yesterday, to be taken down by the men of the Permanent Artillery, and returned to the store.

The members of the contingent have been remarkably well supplied with clothes, boots, &c. In fact, one men was heard to say yesterday that they had received every conceivable article necessary.

The enormous crowd at Pinkenba was well managed by a large squad of police, whose duties were arduous The absence of accident speaks well for their work The police were personally superintended by the Commissioner (Mr Parry-Okeden), who had with him Chief Inspector Stuart, Inspector Urquhart, Sub-Inspectors White and Galbraith


The Commandant was asked last night if he desired to make any statement in connection with the remarks in the House concerning the rifles supplied to the contingent.

"Oh, no," he replied, "the Chief Secretary will have it." It may be stated that it was mentioned at the camp at Meeandah yesterday that, on arrival at South Africa, the men would be supplied with magazine rifles; but the truth of the statement could not be established.


Further Reading:

1st Queensland Mounted Infantry

1st Queensland Mounted Infantry, Roll of Honour

Boer War - Queensland

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920


Citation: 1st Queensland Mounted Infantry, Embarkation

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 9 May 2010 12:07 PM EADT

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