Fort Napier - Maritzburg - The Gage brothers

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1 week 5 days ago - 1 week 5 days ago #52670 by Frank Kelley
Hello Brett,
Well, I just wondered, I dare say the three of them might well have done in early 1900, I was thinking about them again today, in particular and about the Dublin's in general, the regiment had certainly left it's mark, both in Natal and Pietermaritzburg, even some seventy odd years down the line.
Happy St Patrick's Day.
Regards Frank


Brett Hendey wrote: David
I would never presume to blame the site for my inability to use it effectively! I am still trying to adapt to life in the 21st Century. I prefer the good old days, which is why I spend most of my alert moments involved with matters that happened in the 19th Century.

Frank
In my collecting of medals to the mounted soldiers of the Colony of Natal, I have often wondered if the comradeship of the men on active service lasted long afterwards. Veterans of the Natal Mounted Police and Natal Police formed an Association that flourished long after their units had ceased to exist.

Regards
Brett

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1 week 5 days ago #52672 by Brett Hendey
Frank
As far as I can judge, St Patrick's Day is no longer celebrated in this country. Irish ex-servicemen settled in Natal in great numbers during the 19th and early 20th Centuries. Perhaps their descendants celebrate St Patrick in private in order not to annoy their new neighbours.
Regards
Brett

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1 week 5 days ago #52673 by Brett Hendey
After posting my comment about St Patrick's Day, it occurred to me that my medal group to a RDF Sergeant wounded at Colenso, and who settled in Natal after his discharge, was an Englishman. I must search the records to see if I do have the medals of Irish settlers.

Brett

PS My two recent projects both involved Irish soldiers who served in the 45th Regiment in Natal during the 1840's and 1850's. One of them, a Captain, is known to have been involved in the building of Fort Napier. Neither of them settled in Natal, but many of their contemporaries did so, while others including deserters crossed the border into the Transvaal and settled there.

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1 week 4 days ago - 1 week 3 days ago #52703 by Frank Kelley
That is very sad news Brett, I can, however, tell you, the reverse is certainly the case here, moreover, after the odd Bushmill's or indeed, three, in O'Driscoll's, I can, also tell you, the song, was well and truly reprised (again!)
Evidence of the presence of the Dublin's, both in Natal, in general and in Pietermaritzburg, in particular, was still visible in the 1970's.
Interestingly, despite the scroll on their Field Service cap badges, which replaced their Glengarries circa 1897, their shoulder titles remained simply DF until they were replaced by War Office SPN 4855a/1903 which was only sealed, certainly from memory, on the 12th of October 1903.

"The Devil's come from Dublin and to judge from what I hears, they're demons of Militia men, the Dublin Fusiliers!"



Brett Hendey wrote: Frank
As far as I can judge, St Patrick's Day is no longer celebrated in this country. Irish ex-servicemen settled in Natal in great numbers during the 19th and early 20th Centuries. Perhaps their descendants celebrate St Patrick in private in order not to annoy their new neighbours.
Regards
Brett


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1 week 3 days ago #52707 by Brett Hendey
Frank

I really do enjoy seeing photos of higgeldy-piggeldy piles of badges from your collection! What can we do to tempt you to do this more often?

I have become somewhat nostalgic about the days when I was obsessed by the RDF. Their badges that were collected then have long since returned northwards, not to Dublin, but to a salesroom in England.

Regards
Brett

PS St Patrick;s Day might have passed largely unnoticed here, but the rugby match between Ireland and England on Saturday did not.

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1 week 3 days ago #52710 by Frank Kelley
Morning Brett,
They had certainly left their stain on PMB, they had originally arrived from India, so wearing their khaki drill, but, a couple of years at Fort Napier was actually quite a long time.
Even their fur cap grenades turned up on rare occasion, they bare Dublin's coat of arms and were withdrawn in 1914, with the outbreak of the Great War, when Great Britons "red little army" became a contemptible one according to wretched cousin Bill.
Whilst I really cannot see a member of the regiment in Home Service Dress whilst engaged on Foreign Service in Natal, I would think a permanent mess must have been established and run after their arrival and of course, I don't know what was actually being done on Her Majesty's birthday and indeed, on Review days, I dare say many ears, in Pietermaritzburg were left ringing from the battalions Feu de joie on many occasions.
Bloody well glad it was not me living "next" door.
Kind regards Frank

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