Sept. 29, 1899.—Orders received to mobilise.
Sept. 30.—Lieut. J. E. Anderton, with 30 P.O.s and men, two guns, 200 rounds ammunition each, 3,300 rounds of -303 in reserve, and 90 rounds per man, left for Colenso. Lieut. Chiazzari, 15 men, and 9-pounder, went to Est-court—all with ten days’ provisions.
Sunday, Oct. 1.—Commander Tatum, Surgeon-Captain Fernandez, Lieuts. Barrett and-Hoare, Master-Gunner Hall, and 62 men left.
Oct. 2.—Reached Ladysmith at 6 p.m. with one 9-pounder and two 3-pounder Hotchkiss.
Oct. 3.—Went into khaki and (11th) ‘Tintown.’
Oct. 13.—Lieut. Barrett, Master-Gunner Hall, and 34 men, with 9-pounder and Hotchkiss gun detailed for “ Cove Redoubt.”
Oct. 30.—Arrival at Gordon Post of 250 men from H.M.S. Powerful, under Capt. Hon. H. Lambton, with two 4'7in. and four 12-pounders. Shelled by Long Tom from Pepworth Hill.
Nov. 2.—Lieut. Barrett attached to Manches-ters at Ctesar’s Hill.
Nov. 13.—Engaged 6in. Boer gun on Middle Hill, to cover return of Mounted Infantry.
Nov. 30.—Shifted Hotchkiss gun, to silence snipers and pom-poms. Worked all night.
Dec. 2.—Boers shift gun during night.
Dec. 4.—Silenced pom-pom again—for good.
Dec. 6.—Nine-pounder ordered alongside of Hotchkiss. Worked for three nights.
Jan. 5, 1900.—Shifted Hotchkiss to brow of hill facing Bestcr’s. All night making pit.
Jan. 6.—Attack on Wagon Hill and Caesar’s Post. Lieut. Barrett and 20 men in hospital; Hall had charge of two guns, which, with Hotchkiss gun, under Lieuc. Hoare, did execution among snipers on Brooke’s farm.
Nov. 3 to Jan. 7.—Continually under fire. General Ian Hamilton complimented Lieut. Barrett, Instructor Hall, and men for good work and cheerful behaviour under trying circumstances.
Feb. 28.—The day of relief is engraved in the heart of every man who survived the siege.
On reaching Ladysmith dust heap, the site of our first camp, we were joined by Walker’s Hotchkiss detachment. At the end of October, however, Lieut. Walker went to Helpmakaar, Commander Tatum to Gordon Post, and Lieut. Barrett to Cove Redoubt. On the mournful Monday of Lombard’s Kop we discovered the sensation of standing at the muzzle of Boer guns. Capt. Lambton occupied Gordon Post, and a Powerful 4.7 was placed on Cove Redoubt. Enteric and dysentery made sad havoc among us, and our ever-genial doctor, Fernandez, made up for us a concoction of carbolic, &c. We had to take a wine-glassful after breakfast. Our Christmas fare was not Christmas feast. Sports were held amid bombardment. Firing began at 2.30 a.m. on January 6th, and by daybreak we were stormed at with shot and shell from all points—Caesar’s and Wagon Hills receiving the heaviest charges. Firing continued until 4 p.m. We were fortunate not to lose a man. Water, like everything, was khaki. Daily rations were a small biscuit, 1/2 lb. horseflesh, 1-16oz. tea, and teaspoonful of sugar. On alternate days we had a small mealie loaf.
Sensational rumour said the Durban Town Hall had been blown up by Boers, our Navy had mobilised on account of French activity, and the Russians had placed an army on the Indian frontier. But the men bore up gallantly. Most cheerful of all men was Colonel Frank Rhodes. Welcome hospitality was extended by the late Captain Welby and 18th Hussars. Narrow escapes from shells were of daily occurrence. Seven men died of enteric and dysentery, and six were buried at Ndombi cemetery. During February we were so often disappointed, we could hardly believe we saw British guns on Monte Cristo, and our shells bursting on hills quite close to Caesar’s Camp. Welcome sight it was indeed when Lord Dundonald and Major McKenzie crossed the flats. On 2nd March, when we saw Sir Redvers Buller at the head of his gallant troops, we felt our sufferings had not been in vain. We lined the roads and cheered
March 6.—Capt. Lambton, wrote in “sincere admiration of the detachment which helped to hold Gordon Post.”
March 8.—Capt. Jones, R.N., wrote of the N.N.V.’s “uniform good behaviour, hard work, and most valuable services. I especially mention C. W. Jewitt, C.P.O.; W. C. Bargate, gunner; A. Trim, leading gunner; J. J. Abbott, gunner; and W. J. Chisholm, gunner. The following showed up well: C. Stafford, 2nd P.O.; J. L. Farrell, leading gunner; F. Hulme, gunner; D. Williams, gunner; F. Pye Smith, leading gunner; H. Appleton, J. B. Hoyle, and E. H. Tamplin. Of the officers I cannot speak too highly. Their unswerving devotion and self-sacrifice are worthy of the highest praise.”
Oct. 1.—Lieut. Anderton at Colenso.
Oct. 2.—Began (with D.L.I.) building Fort Wylie. P.O. Jewitt ditto, Fort Nicholson.
Oct. 30.—Lieut. Anderton escorted Powerful men to Ladysmith.
Nov. 2.—Shelled from Grobler’s Hill.
Nov. 3.—Ordered to evacuate Fort Wylie, spike guns,leave ammunition. Disobeyed orders; brought everything away except gun-carriage, broken in lowering. Reached Estcourt.
Nov. 5. — Lieuts. Anderton and Chiazzari handed useless g pounders to O.C., Fort Napier.
Dec. 9 —Two officers and 47 men reported to Capt. Jones, Frere.
Dec. 12.—Marched to Chieveley.
Dec. 13.—Opened fire with 4.7 on Boers.
Dec. 15.—Colenso. Fired at 5.30. Hot work and no water. Returned to Gun Hill at 1.15 p.m.
Dec. 17.—Chieveley. Stood to arms all 18th.
Dec. 19.—Rt. Hon. Commander Escombe here. Shot away Tugela road bridge.
Dec. 20.—N.N.V. took charge 4.7 gun.
Dec. 21,24,26, Jan. 5, 1900.—Shelling trenches.
Jan. 6.—We shelled heavily. 7th to 8th do.
Jan. 10.—Left Chieveley. Raining. Guns stuck.
Jan. 11.—Joined Warren’s column.
Jan. 12.—Mount Alice. Shelled 13th and 14th.
Jan. 16.—Lieut. Chiazzari worked the punt at Potgieter’s Drift.
Jan. 17.—C.P.O. Jewitt relieved him.
Jan. 19-24:—Spion Kop. 25 to Feb. 4: Shelling.
Feb. 6.—Knocked spots off Long-Tom, and blew up his ammunition.
Feb. 6 and 7.—Battle of Vaal Krantz.
Feb. 8.—Signal: “Don’t fire; troops retiring.”
Feb. 9: —Retired, 11th, Chieveley. 12-18, action.
Feb. 19.—Lieut. Anderton, with Lieut. Chiazzari and Midshipman Ledgard, took command of two 47 platform guns, with N.N.V., 16 men H.M.S. Philomel and Tartar, and soldiers.
Feb. 20-24—Marched to front Pieter’s Hill.
Feb. 25.—Rigged sheer-legs to mount guns. Enemy saw lanterns; heavy rifle fire. Hung lanterns in trees; lanterns smashed.
Feb. 26.—We fired on white flag—placed on gun dragged by armed men Enemy retired.
Feb. 27.—Pieter’s. Mentioned in dispatches.
March 6.—C.P.O. Jewitt and 41 men rejoined main body from Relief Column, under Capt. E. P. Jones, H.M.S. Forte. Capt. Jones told Commander Tatum that services rendered by Lieut. Chiazzari in the “pontoon business at Colenso”were invaluable.
March 13.—Commander Tatum and men left for Highlands; a third granted 14 days’ leave.
April 7.—Colonel Royston’s funeral.
April 14.—Lieuts. Anderton and Barrett, with 25 men, rejoined Naval Brigade at Elandslaagte. P.O. and 6 men transfer to B.M.R.
April 16.—Owing to the formation of a Garrison Artillery Corps, most of the men were dismissed. Col. Dartnell’s order read; “The N.N.V have earned for themselves a name for steadfastness and cheerful submission to the hardships of the campaign, of which they may well be proud.”
April 16.—Lieuts. Barrett and Anderton, with 21 men went to the front.
April 21.—Our guns knocked the enemy out.
May 23.— Dannhauser. Leading - Gunner Anthony and Gunner Druce mentioned in dispatches: all night repairing gun carriage.
May 24.—The whole army cheer her Majesty.
May 25-27.—Passed through Newcastle.
May 28.—Crossed the Buffalo into Transvaal.
May 31.—Utrecht surrendered. Retired.
June 7.—Van Wyk’s farm. Got guns up hill.
June 8.—Shelled Botha’s Pass. Moved down in mist, dark, and cold; two oxen killed.
June 9.—Moved through Botha’s Pass.
June 11.—Alleman’s Nek. A sultry 2 hours.
June 12.—Enemy cleared from Saudspruit.
June 13.—Do. Lang’s Nek. Lieuts. Anderton . and Barrett mentioned in dispatches.
June 17.—Wakkerstroom surrendered.
June 19-20.—Cleared for action. Enemy remembered important engagement elsewhere.
June 22.—Capt. E. Pitcairn Jones, O C. Naval Brigade, wrote: “Lieut. Jas. Anderton has always been unremitting in his devotion to duty, and has rendered valuable service. The spirit of the officers was reflected in the men. Mr. Anderton had command of two 4.7 guns during the battle of Pieter’s Hill—at which they materially affected the result.”
June 23.—Guns handed to R.A. at Volksrust.
June 24.—Dublin and Dorsets’ bands farewell.
June 25.—Dismissed at Durban. Capt. Jones again wrote: “The Natal Naval Volunteers have had very arduous work, especially during the last six weeks, and were in all the fighting there has been with General Buller’s force. Their conduct has been on all occasions irreproachable, and their services invaluable. I shall always be proud of having commanded such an active body of men, and grateful of their loyalty and ever willing services.”
The port base was in charge of Paymaster Rainsbury, the Bluff and Beach batteries being under guard night and day, with assistance from H.M.S. Terrible; and he also recruited reinforcements and forwarded supplies. Every able reserve had answered the call, and old members rejoined — the revered and noble founder, ex-Commander and ex-Premier, “Harry Escombe,” being under fire at Talana and “restored to the active list;” while among recruits, E. Hornby Tamplin, C.P.O. of the old London R.N. Artillery Volunteers, received mention.
Lieutenant Nicholas Chiazzari, Natal Naval Volunteers, was in November, 1900, granted the Distinguished Service Order, for working the punts across the Tugela at Potgieter’s Drift and Colenso, and for service at Hlangweni Hill. He is the first volunteer in the Empire to win the D.S.O. At the Upper Tugela he ferried across the Rifle Brigade (Scotch, Royal, Royal Irish, and the Durham Light Infantry), in tempestuous weather, despite the attentions of “Long Tom" posted, in grand position, in a cleft on the ’Ntabamnyama range, at the base of the Spion Kop. Gen. Lyttleton mentioned in dispatches the excellence of his service, for which he received the personal thanks of Gen. Buller. At Colenso the Royal Engineers failed, after several days’ work, to establish practical connection with the north bank of the Tugela, and Gen. Hart requisitioned Chiazzari. With his men the Naval Volunteer responded gallantly, and within three-and-a-half hours the punt was working, and Gen. Hart’s anxiety for the safety of his positions was lelieved. Lieut. Chiazzari was again thanked, and mentioned in. despatches.
Crown and Anchor.
Strength on mobilisation : 123. Strength on disbandment: 127.
BESIEGED IN LADYSMITH
Commander G E Tatum, commanding
Lieutenant N Barrett
Lieutenant F Hoare
Staff-Surgeon H E Fernandez
Master Gunner C Hall
Quartermasier-Srgt J F Bartlett
Orderly Secretary A Bellengere
Carpenter W Ballantyne
First-class Petty Officer F Lord
Musketry Instructor G P Franklin
Second-class Petty Officer C Strachan
Second-class Petty Officer C J Beaumont
Second-cla s Petty Officer (Bugler) A Adrain
Second-class Petty Officer H L Kisch.
Second-class Petty Officer (Signaller) D Deeves
Leading Gunner A Duncan
Leading Gunner J Russell
Signaller T E Godwin
Signaller D C Kenny
Signaller T Phoenix
Gnr G Ambler
Gnr J Bennett
Gnr J S Bennett
Gnr W Brown
Gnr J Burnett
Gnr T Cairns
Gnr J Cunningham
Gnr H C Clegg
Gnr H N Dumaresq
Gnr C R Dunning
Gnr G Elston
Gnr R Ellis Brown
Gnr A Frost
Gnr C FIarcus
Gnr A Gordon
Gnr G T Harmer
Gnr M Higgins
GnrJ R Hamilton
Gnr C J Hamilton
Gnr W A Hatch
Gnr J Hutcheon
Gnr J Jones
Gnr R Jordan
Gnr J Kirby
Gnr R D Kisch
Gnr M Lawrey
Gnr C K Marillier
Gnr M B McDermott
Gnr E P Oliver
Gnr W G Plowright
Gnr H Poole
Gnr N V Pigg
Gnr W Pattison
Gnr H B Rowse
Gnr J Rickerby
Gnr G Strachan
Gnr A Stafford
Gnr F M Sivil
Gnr W J Shearer
Gnr J W Smith
Gnr A Stehn
Gnr E Sparnon
Gnr A H Sutherland
Gnr W Thomson
Gnr C R Turner
Gnr W Trim
Gnr R M Toppin
Gnr V S F Turnley
Gnr H Velkoop
Gnr W H T Venner
Gnr W Whitehouse
Gr D G Winton
Gnr W Wark
Died of Sickness
Second-class Petty Office (bugler) A Adrain
Second-class Petty Officer (signaller) D Deeves
Gnr V S F Turnley
Gnr A Stehn
Gnr J S Bennett
Gnr J Jones
Gnr C J Hamilton
WITH BULLER’S RELIEF FORCE
Lieut J E Anderton, Commanding
Lieut Nicholas W Chiazzari, D.S.O.
Chief Petty Officer C Jewttt
First-class Petty Office J Fawcett
Second-class Petty Officer E Stafford
Second-class Petty Officer R G Bruce
Second-class Petty Officer W G Roadknight
Leading Gunner W Anthony
Leading Gunner J L Farrell
Leading Gunner J Wade
Leading Gunner H J Salter
Leading Gunner F Pye-Smith
Leading Gunner A Trim
Gnr H Appleton
Gnr A S Adams
Gnr G V Benson
Gnr W Bargate
Gnr H Burford
Gnr T Currie
Gnr W Campbell
Gnr O Champion
Gnr W Chisholm
Gnr W Coleman
Gnr R Doyle
Gnr J Duke
Gnr T Druce
GnrJ C Durno
Gnr E H Dowling
Gnr R Dickens
Gnr B D Goble
Gnr M T Holt
Gnr G Higgins
Gnr F H Hulme
Gnr A Hanson
Gnr J B Hoyle
Gnr S Harford
Gnr W Hewett
Gnr W Imrie
Gnr E James
Gnr J FJohnstone
Gnr H Middlebrook
Gnr T H Prideaux
Gnr J Robertson
Gnr D Riddle
Gnr P Ross
Gnr C Smith
Gnr J Steele
Gnr E H Tamplin
Gnr H G Wilson
Gnr D Williams
GnrJ F Watkin
Died in Durban
Gur Sydney Harford, October 16, 1900.
In Charge at the Base
Paymastet E C Rainsbury (Hon Captain)
First-class Petty Officer E M Francis
First-class Petty Officer A Wykesmith
Leading Signalman A G Goulding
Gnr C Adcock
Gnr R Lucien
Gnr W Mackenzie
Gnr T Pike
Gnr G D Sinclair
Durban Batteries were on 8th October, 1900, manned by First-class Petty Officer Francis, Gunners Watkin, Plowright, Pigg, Rowse, Harford, and Marillier.