Mr.Alexander William Gower Hunter,is mentioned "Under fire at Talana being payclerk at
Railhead"(WO 100/279)He married-Kate Hodson.In documentation of communication between Post Master General and Mr.J.M.Hunter.Assistant General Manager, Requesting the name of the Station Master succeeding Mr.Hunter at Glencoe Junction.Documention mentions that Mr.J.Johnstone will be succeeding Mr.Hunter who is present Station Master at Wessels Nek.Letter continues to request appointment letters for Mr.J.Johnstone and Mr.A Hunter. Interesting to note that Mr J.Johnstone was appointed as Postmaster Glencoe Junction at a salary of 12 Pound per annum and Mr A.Hunter at a salary of 21 Pounds per annum at Wessels Nek.
As part of my Talana research, I have a report written by Peter Littlejohn, the District Superintendent in Newcastle about his time at Dundee, Pretoria and then Ladysmith. At the end of his report he gives the names of those from the district who stayed on to serve in Ladysmith while others "left for down country":
Campbell, M Station Master Charlestown
Porter, F Clerk Charlestown
Mills, J Guard Charlestown
Miller, W G Guard Charlestown
Hilder, J E J Guard Charlestown
Mason, M Guard Newcastle. Killed by a shell in Ladysmith Station yard
Mason, A Guard Joined the Natal Carbineers at Ladysmith
Mason, W Checker Joined the Natal Carbineers at Ladysmith
Moody Locomotive Department Charlestown. Joined the Natal Carbineers at Ladysmith
Creswell, H T Checker Newcastle
Gardiner, R Engine Driver Charlestown
Strachan, J Engine Driver Charlestown
Jackson, W Engine Driver Charlestown
Hibberd, C Engine Driver Charlestown
Axtelius, A F Passed Fireman Charlestown
Fletcher, J C Passed Fireman Charlestown
Richards, S Passed Fireman Charlestown
Jackson, C Passed Fireman Charlestown
Hay, C Fitter Charlestown
Grieveson, W A Fitter Charlestown
Parker, A Fireman Charlestown
Neil, R A Fireman Charlestown
Massey, W H Fireman Charlestown
Whitley, T E Cleaner Charlestown
Abbott, E Cleaner Charlestown
Emond, F J Cleaner Newcastle
Michaelson, C Cleaner Charlestown
Waublad, A A Examiner Charlestown
Hodgkinson, F Examiner Charlestown
Rayner, H Examiner Charlestown
Ritson, J H Engine Driver Newcastle
Angus, M Fireman Newcastle
Littlejohn does not mention anyone from Dundee or (or Elandslaagte for that matter) so presumably Dundee was a separate sub district of the NGR?
That long list of names gives some idea of the size and importance of the Natal Government Railways in what was a relatively small and under-populated Colony.
I have a presentation copy of the book 'The Battle-Fields of Natal Re-Visited', which was produced by, or on behalf of the NGR. Apart from being a valuable contemporary photographic record of the battlefields, it includes a section entitled 'The Natal Government Railways and the War.
There are some remarkable statistics. For example:
"The Indian contingent, consisting of 8,311 officers and men, 2,792 horses, 29 guns, 1,500 native attendants, stores, ammunition and equipment, requiring the employment of 27 transport ships, commenced to arrive at Port Natal on the 3rd October, 1899, continuing until 27th October. To illustrate the despatch given to these troops, it should be mentioned that from the time of the first five ships being berthed at the wharf (at and after 12 noon)the troops were all landed at Ladysmith - 192 miles distant - in less than 24 hours."
The total number of men transported by the NGR by the end of August 1900 was 166 195 (excluding women, children, Natives and Indians).
I think it is true to say that the NGR played a very significant role in the success of the Natal campaign.