Topic: BW - SA
Boer War - South Australia
Contingents sent, 1899 - 1902
South Australia Prefatory.
Like the Contingents despatched from other territories those sent to the war by South Australia may be divided into three classes; namely, the early ones, paid by local Government or by private subscription; the Imperial Bushmen, subsidised by the Imperial War Office; and the Commonwealth Contingents, raised after Federation, but also under British pay. The earlier companies were drawn from citizens and members of territorial forces, but (except in New South Wales), none of them were composed of drafts from such troops. In all cases, volunteers were desired, and preference was given to men with military service; but no whole units proceeded to the front. Afterwards, bushmen were unrolled; men accustomed to the exigencies of rough life in the backwoods, daring riders, expert shots, experienced in finding their way in tangled country, and hardened against privations. Then, as time went on, and the war still proceeded, the male of the Contingents became leavened with men who had already heard the click clack of the Mauser, and the snarl of the pom-pom; and officers and others presented themselves who had tried conclusions with the Boers and wore desirous to do so again. Finally, the Commonwealth Horse. These were, in the first instance, constituted of squadrons from separate States united in battalions, and afterwards of battalions enrolled upon a territorial basis, as already set forth. Only the first and second battalions, of eight that proceeded, were in time to join in the operations.
South Australia embarked six Contingents for the front, and contributed her quota to the Australian Commonwealth Horse. The pay of the First and Second Contingents was debited to the revenue of South Australia. The Third Contingent (Bushmen's) was entirely equipped and partly paid from private contributions. The pay of the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Contingents (other than paid by the Imperial Government in South Africa) was refunded to South Australia by the Imperial Government. It ranged from 25s. and 4s. field allowance per diem to major in command, to 5s. per diem to trooper.
The officers and members of all the six Contingents were also paid war gratuities as under, by South Australia; the amount being afterwards refunded by the Imperial Government.
Special War Gratuity For Services in South Africa
£. s. d. £. s. d. Colonel and graded as A.A.G. 40 shares at 5 0 0 200 0 0 Colonel 32 shares at 5 0 0 160 0 0 Major 16 shares at 5 0 0 80 0 0 Captain 12 shares at 5 0 0 60 0 0 Lieutenant 7½ shares at 5 0 0 37 10 0 Quartermaster 2½ shares at 5 0 0 12 10 0 Sergeant-Major 2½ shares at 5 0 0 12 10 0 Sergeant 2 shares at 5 0 0 10 0 0 Corporal 1½ shares at 5 0 0 7 10 0 Lance-Corporal 1¼ shares at 5 0 0 6 5 0 Trooper 1 shares at 5 0 0 5 0 0
Additional to all Colonial officers serving in South Africa at £100 per annum paid by the Imperial Government. Plain clothing allowance to all men in Imperial contingents, 25s. each.
Third South African Contingent South Australian Bushmen's Corps.
Daily Rates Of Pay.
Captain-Imperial, 13s.; Colonial, 10s. 6d.; total, £1 3s. 6d. Lieutenant, Lieutenant-Surgeon, and Lieutenant Veterinary-Surgeon-Imperial, 7s. 8d; Colonial, 11s. 4d.; total, 19s. Sergeant-Major and Quartermaster-Sergeant-Imperial, 4s.; Colonial, 5s.; total, 9s. Sergeant - Imperial, 2s. 8d.; Colonial, 6s. 4d.; total, 8s. Corporal-Imperial, 2s.; Colonial, 5s.; total, 7s. Trooper — Imperial, 1s. 2d.; Colonial, 3s. 4d.; total, 4s. 6d.
The pay issued by the Imperial Government to the Imperial Contingents has already been quoted in the New South Wales and Victorian Contingents.
Uniform consisted of brown F.S. jacket, cord pants, puttees, F.S. hat and cap. Great coats and boots were also supplied, together with a full kit of working clothes, under garments, and necessaries. Rifles, bayonets, and bandolier-belts were issued. Fully horsed and supplied with saddlery; and (the early Contingents) regimental transport.
The training camp for the Contingents was at the old Exhibition Grounds, Adelaide.
Further Reading:Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920
Citation: Boer War - South Australia, Contingents sent, 1899 - 1902, Outline