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TOPIC: Natal Volunteer Composite Regt

Natal Volunteer Composite Regt 6 months 1 week ago #51303

  • RoyS
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Welcome Jon,

And thank you for sharing this information which I read with great interest. Thanks also Mike for enlarging it.

The list of units that comprised this Composite Regiment is much more extensive then I had realized, so especially interesting to see such a varied contingent and will be something to ponder.

Jon, welcome again. I'm rather new here myself but must say I have been very moved by the generosity in both spirit and deed of the members here. In this day an age, it is nice to be in the company of real gentlemen, so I'm sure you will enjoy your time here.

Cheerio,

Roy

Collecting/wanted ABW insignia if anyone has some spares?

My website: www.wilkinsonfscollection.com

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Natal Volunteer Composite Regt 5 months 1 day ago #52154

  • Frank Kelley
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Hello Ian,
I have often pondered over that, given that it was painted in 1902, it does appear rather a coincidence!
Regards Frank


LinneyI wrote: Roy
The motto "All that was left of them" was the title of one of Caton Woodville's ABW paintings; involving the 17th lancers. I have never seen such a slouch hat badge before (perhaps no big surprise, seeing my location) - would it be unofficial? Stirling (The Colonials In South Africa) says that in 9/00, Lord Roberts encouraged the formation among the Natal Volunteers of a composite Regt. of 300 men to take over the duties of the Volunteer Brigade. Stirling them goes on the describe the activities of the later activities of the Volunteers and Composite Regiment.
I have no doubt that Brett would be able to tell you much more.
Regards
IL.

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Natal Volunteer Composite Regt 5 months 23 hours ago #52166

  • LinneyI
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Frank
Re the motto "All That Was Left of Them" - I think it was a catch-phrase of the time, able to be used as the situation appeared to merit. The phrase itself appears in the Vth stanza of "The Charge of the Light Brigade" (penned long before the Boer War) and "All That Was Left of Them" was also used by Caton-Woodville as a title for his painting of The Black Watch after Magersfontein. Perhaps it is not at all surprising that the phrase might be used for the motto of a re-formed unit with some original members?
Regards
IL.

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Natal Volunteer Composite Regt 5 months 14 hours ago #52175

  • Brett Hendey
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Roy

If you do want to know more about the formation of the VCR and its early service, the information is available in 'Natal Volunteer Record', which was published in 1900 by Robinson & Co, Durban. The initial nominal roll is on pages 95 - 101, and its early service on pages 186 - 187. Of course, most of it service was in northern Natal and the south-eastern Transvaal during 1901 and 1902. There was a high turnover of men in this regiment, and some (or even much) of it was due to dissatisfaction with enforcing the "scorched earth " policy. Many of the men in the VCR were farmers themselves and the destruction of farms and the sending of women, children and farm workers to concentration camps was an unpleasant duty.

Regards
Brett

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Natal Volunteer Composite Regt 2 months 2 weeks ago #53356

  • Frank Kelley
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Hello Roy,
I had meant to reply quite some time ago and I see I had not done, what a absolute relief we do not appear to have been dismissed from the forum following the (your) infamous Sable antelope thread!

To be quite honest, my thoughts would simply be that if you collect SAMIF these days, the stuff is relatively scarce and only seldom appears for sale, the other drawback are the awful prices now being sought, the badge that is the subject of this thread, for example, had been on the market here, gathering dust for quite some time and was certainly not a bargain.
On the plus side, it is, a fairly scarce little piece, there are a finite number in existence and it is a particularly attractive example that appeals to me, both as a Natal collector, in particular and as someone who is fascinated by the war itself.

From an official point of view, the regiment were known as both the Natal Volunteer Composite Regiment, as well as, simply the Volunteer Composite Regiment and their official motto was "Ad Finem" both this and the word "Natal" were used on their badges and accoutrements, a great many of which were actually made for and retailed here, in Great Britain, via messrs Hobson and Son and certainly not just in South Africa, which, I think, would actually rather surprise a lot of people.

In short, I think it is a very good badge and I would be very pleased with it, if I were you.
Regards Frank

RoyS wrote: Hello Frank,

Thank you for asking and a good question.

I guess the simple answer is 'all of the above', assuming a particular badge 'speaks' to me. I'm certainly open to examples by any nation but find the badges that interest me the most are those unofficial and/or locally made - the sheet brass/wire loop type. See a quick pic attached to show this type.

However I'm quite open and if a more official or professionally made badge catches my eye, I certainly would consider it. I think one of the details I like about these local made examples is that they are really specific to the conflict and demonstrate a real need/desire by the men who wore them.

Cheerio,

Roy

Collecting/wanted ABW insignia if anyone has some spares?

My website: www.wilkinsonfscollection.com

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Natal Volunteer Composite Regt 2 months 2 weeks ago #53465

  • Frank Kelley
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Hello Ian
I think it was indeed, a good catch phrase, in use across society, throughout the Empire, in this particular case, it features on the regiments coat of arms, so to see it used on their badges should not come as a great surprise, or, perhaps I should say the bulk of the phrase does.
In full, certainly from memory, it was actually "All that was left of them, until further orders"
Regards Frank

Ad Finem, seems so much easier!


LinneyI wrote: Frank
Re the motto "All That Was Left of Them" - I think it was a catch-phrase of the time, able to be used as the situation appeared to merit. The phrase itself appears in the Vth stanza of "The Charge of the Light Brigade" (penned long before the Boer War) and "All That Was Left of Them" was also used by Caton-Woodville as a title for his painting of The Black Watch after Magersfontein. Perhaps it is not at all surprising that the phrase might be used for the motto of a re-formed unit with some original members?
Regards
IL.

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