Topic: BW - Vic - 2ACH
2nd ACH (Vic)
2nd Australian Commonwealth Horse, Victoria
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. 307.
The Second Battalion Australian Commonwealth Horse. Victorian Units.
This Battalion was raised after Federation, to represent Australian troops, upon the same principles as the first battalion. It consisted of three Victorian units (or companies), one from South Australia„ and one (half-company) from Western Australia, together with the battalion staff.
Preference was given to men who had had experience in the war, but candidates were also eligible who were acquainted with country life in Australia, also the management of horses, and were good shots. As a matter of fact, almost the whole of the staff, the company officers, and the N.C.O.'s and men had served in previous Contingents. Some had belonged to South African regiments. Married men ware not selected except for N.C.O.'s of exceptional merit.
Uniform consisted of F.S. jacket, pants, puttees, F.S. hat, F.S. cap, greatcoat, together with boots and a full kit of underclothing, necessaries, etc.
Equipped with rifles and bayonets, and bandolier belts; fully horsed and provided with saddlery. Vide Appendix II (Murray).
Regimental transport was also provided.
Up to date of embarkation, this was at Imperial cavalry rates. After embarkation as follows:
Colonel or lieut.-colonel, £1 5s. per diem, with 4s. field allowance; major, £1 3s., and 4s.; captain, £1 1s., and 3s.; lieutenant, 15s., and 2s. 6d.; adjutant, as for captain or lieutenant, according to rank; quartermaster, as for captain; paymaster, if captain, same; medical officer, £1, and 3s., veterinary officer, £l, and 3s.; chaplain, £1 1s., and 3s.; regimental sergeant-major, 9s.; quartermaster-sergeant, 8s. 8d.; farrier-sergeant, 8s. 6d.; farrier staff sergeant, 8s. 8d.; company sergeant major, 8s.; company quartermaster-sergeant, 8s; sergeants, 7s.; corporals (if paid lance-sergeants), 6s. 6d.; corporals and paid lance-corporals, 6s.; buglers, 6s.; privates, 5s. N.C. officers not above the rank of sergeant, acting as farrier sergeant, or farrier staff-sergeant, and privates, acting as buglers, saddlers, or shoeing-smiths, 1s. per diem extra.
Officers were allowed £30 to provide equipment, &c.
Detail of a company :-1 major or captain, 4 lieutenants, 1 company Sergeant major, l company quartermaster-sergeant, 1 farrier-sergeant, 4 sergeants, 3 shoeing-smith, 1 saddler, 2 buglers, 6 corporals, 97 privates; total, 5 officers, 6 staff sergeants and sergeants, 5 artificers, 2 buglers, 103 rank and file; total, 121, with the like number of horses.
Add battalion staff:- 4 officers, 3 staff-sergeants, with 8 horses. Total of staff and three companies - 20 officers, 21 staff-sergeants and sergeants, 15 artificers, 6 buglers, 309 rank and file; in all, 371, with 401 horses, including 30 spare.
A chaplain accompanied the battalion.
Departure And Return.
The staff and Victorian unite left 12th February, 1902, comprising-21 officers, 351 others, with 401 horses, One died, 2 officers, 77 others were struck off in South Africa; 19 officers, 273 others returned.
Further Reading:Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920
Citation: 2nd Australian Commonwealth Horse, Victoria, Outline