Welcome, Guest
Username: Password: Remember me
  • Page:
  • 1
  • 2

TOPIC: New England Mounted Rifles

New England Mounted Rifles 5 years 10 months ago #15296

  • Faskally
  • Faskally's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Fresh recruit
  • Fresh recruit
  • Posts: 2
  • Thank you received: 0
Hi All

Im interested in finding out any history of the New England Mounted Rifles based in the Barkly East district area, especially the skirmish on 23 Sept on the farm Lauriston. However any information would be welcome.

Thanks
Fiona

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

New England Mounted Rifles 5 years 10 months ago #15301

  • Frank Kelley
  • Frank Kelley's Avatar
  • Away
  • Senior Member
  • Senior Member
  • Posts: 6359
  • Thank you received: 801
Hello Fiona,
Welcome to this forum, so what is your interest in the Cape volunteers and the NEMR?
You will find that their medals were issued without the Cape Colony clasp from their roll in WO100/263, the original is at Kew, they do appear in the published casualty returns in 1901 and in particular for the last quarter of that year.
From memory around forty men or so are shown with most men on the 23rd of September 1901 being taken prisoner and subsequently released by the enemy.
Their very handsome silver slouch hat badges were made in King Williams Town by a very fine and competent silversmith, they never received or indeed sort the recognition that they perhaps really deserved either, though, that was very common in the Cape back then.
Again, welcome here, but, why the interest?
Kind regards Frank Kelley

Faskally wrote: Hi All

Im interested in finding out any history of the New England Mounted Rifles based in the Barkly East district area, especially the skirmish on 23 Sept on the farm Lauriston. However any information would be welcome.

Thanks
Fiona

The following user(s) said Thank You: djb

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

New England Mounted Rifles 5 years 10 months ago #15349

  • Faskally
  • Faskally's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Fresh recruit
  • Fresh recruit
  • Posts: 2
  • Thank you received: 0
Hi Frank
I live in the Barkly East District, and most of my husbands family ( Sephton, Giddy, etc) were members of the NEMR. I have also recently taken over the custodianship of the farm Lauriston from Mr John Morris on which the skirmish on 23 September took place. There are also the boer war graves on the farm for Harvey who has killed in the action.
What I find interesting is that they were called the New England rifles, but the area of New England is fairly small and I wonder why they called it that, especially as they attracted people from Moeshesford, Maclear and Clifford areas. I can see from the names of the members that they were all local farmers and many of their descendents are still living or connected to the area.
I have found record that Mr Giddy the owner of Lauriston at the time of the war had letters of complaint written about him regarding the upkeep of the camp and the NEMR then moved their camp to the farm Roslyn ( about 10km down the road). John Morris is keen to find out where the camp was located on the farm. We have found various possible areas but dont have any description. John has it on memory from what his Grandfather told him ( Mr Giddy) that the skirmish took place early in the morning and that the Boers had surrounded the camp and waited for them to wake up, Harvey was the first one to leave the bell tent.
The Boer commando also raided the house taking all of Mrs Giddys preserved food ( of which John says there was a substantial amount).
The interesting thing about this very local group of farmers is that they were fighting their neighbours ( the Barkly East rebels?) and this awkwardness between English and Afrikaans speaking people of the area is still vaguely there to this day.
When the NEMR were taken prisoner, where were they taken? Who was the leader of the Boer group that they were fighting ( I see there was also a skirmish at Orpendale which is also part of New England). Who was the leader of the NEMR? When were they established as I have found some records that they were involved at fighting in Mount Morosi in Lesotho in the 1880's.
The NEMR were a group of farmers fighting to protect their land and finding out about them I think will honour the hardships that they experienced.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

New England Mounted Rifles 5 years 10 months ago #15355

  • Brett Hendey
  • Brett Hendey's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Senior Member
  • Senior Member
  • Posts: 2841
  • Thank you received: 553
It is very encouraging to read of a local resident taking such a deep interest in the area's 'home guard' during the Boer War. This is the only way the history of such a unit will come to be written. The fact that there are local families with links going back to the Boer War means there is some hope of finding hitherto unknown letters, diaries and other records preserved in their farmhouses. The NEMR may not have played a profound part in the Boer War, but it is significant in the record of the war as a whole.

While there may be little direct assistance in this project from members of this forum, I feel sure that we all wish you well and look forward to reading of progress in the research and, ultimately, the final outcome.

Regards
Brett

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

New England Mounted Rifles 5 years 10 months ago #15357

  • Frank Kelley
  • Frank Kelley's Avatar
  • Away
  • Senior Member
  • Senior Member
  • Posts: 6359
  • Thank you received: 801
Hello Fiona,
The answers to your questions are all in your own country, I am in Great Britain so I cannot really offer you any help.
From memory I think it was Captain Norton who was in command during the Anglo Boer War, although, I am sure he delegated much to Captain Sephton, he was senior I think.
The NEMR were not part of the "Cape" SAMIF class D1 and D2, moreover, they were not attested as such and were merely enrolled in way of the District Mounted Troops.
As a result there are no papers for them in WO126 and no nominal roll in WO127 at Kew.
You should note that this unit only existed with this title for the Anglo Boer War, however, both the New England Volunteers and the New England Contingent had been raised by the Cape Government for the Ninth Kaffir War and the Basutoland campaign in 1880.
You should consult the Cape Government Gazette, the Argus and Cape Times for the period, notices were placed in all.
We do have a small number of returns in CO48 at Kew for these Campaigns that do give some detail for a particular given man.
So, date and place of enlistment, date and place of discharge, along with the name of the resident magistrate etc.
These were filled in and returned to the AAG Cape Colonial Forces, who then sent them to the Governor of the Cape Colony, who then forwarded them to the Colonial Secretary, here in Great Britain.
I think I would also, if I were you, pop over to Kimberley and have a look at the Diamond Fields Advertiser for the period in question.
Again welcome here and good luck to you, I regret not being able to help you.
Kind regards Frank Kelley
The following user(s) said Thank You: djb

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

New England Mounted Rifles 5 years 10 months ago #15360

  • Henk Loots
  • Henk Loots's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Senior Member
  • Senior Member
  • Posts: 694
  • Thank you received: 326
Hi Fiona

The Court of Enquiry held on the matter concerning 2 officers and 30 men of the NEMR under Lt Giddy stated:
Posted at Winter's nek, near Barkly East, to scout and patrol, with orders to retire, if attacked, into Herschel Mountains or Barkly East. They, however, moved to Lauriston to get better grazing for horses. Camp rushed in the early morning
The 2 officers and 30 men were not exonerated: The Court consider there were insufficient sentries, scouting etc, and post should not have been moved.
There is a reference to a War Office paper WO 0103/2344 : if this could be traced at the National Archives there is bound to be a full account of the enquiry.

Henk
The following user(s) said Thank You: djb

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Page:
  • 1
  • 2
Moderators: djb
Time to create page: 0.540 seconds
Powered by Kunena Forum