I have never done a head count or even thought about the numbers until now, Natal was a huge area from a geographical point of view, so I just wondered what sort of figure we were talking about here, I am aware that there were many natives employed, but, it would be their European policemen that would interest me.
The numbers you quote here are not great ones, are they, 500 is not, moreover, the defence and relief men are, I would suggest, really rather rare.
Thanks and kind regards Frank
Brett Hendey wrote: Frank
I found the NP QSA list and, of course, I had not remembered the total number correctly. The 500 was in fact the approximate figure for the Natal clasp only. The total number of men represented was about 932.
This figure was arrived at by adding the following clasp numbers:
Natal - 474
Defence of Ladysmith - 90
Relief of Ladysmith - 205
South Africa 1902 - 163
The clasps Transvaal, Orange Free State, Talana, Tugela Heights, Laing's Nek, Belfast and South Africa 1901 are always found in conjunction with one or other of the above clasps.
I cannot guarantee the numbers, which were compiled many years ago, but they must be approximately correct.
I should have made clear that the 900+ number represents the minimum number of men who served in the Natal Police during the whole of the Boer War. For example, after Ladysmith, many men left to join other units and they were not necessarily replaced immediately. Judging from the NP HQ Order Book, men came and went at frequent intervals. Also, there was a big intake after the Natal campaign to boost numbers (i.e. closing the stable door ....). It may not be possible to know the actual number of men serving at any one time, although there may well be records in PMB of approved strengths.
I suppose it is safe to say that the number of Natal Policemen on active service and doing normal policing in Natal during the Boer War at any one time amounted to about one army battalion.
During the Natal Rebellion in 1906, 1166 Natal Policemen qualified for the medal, so numbers had grown a little.
Of course, as you have already mentioned, these were WHITE policemen.
Latest Baldwin's Catalogue that it just up..... Lots of QSA's......
A Scarce Boer War & Natal 1906 LSGC Group of 3 awarded to Colour Sergeant G. S. Graham, 3rd South African Mounted Regiment, late Natal Police, comprising: Queen’s South Africa Medal, 1899-1902, 3rd type reverse, single clasp, Natal (2167 Tpr G. S. Graham.
Natal Police), Natal Medal, 1906, single clasp, 1906 (2 C. Sgt: G. S. Graham, Natal Police.), Permanent Forces of the Empire Beyond the Seas Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, GVR (No.1122. 2nd Cl. Sgt. G. S. Graham. 3rd S.A.M.R.); the first two medals officially impressed, the latter officially engraved, medals swing mounted with reverse pin for wear. Group lightly toned, some light contact marks on rims from medals either side, otherwise good very fine, and scarce. (3) £450-500
Military Historical Society
I do not believe the maximum number can be much more. Adrian's post of the unusual NP QSA with a single 'SA 1901' clasp is an example of one that would have been missed by my method of counting. There are also those medals with 'Transvaal' clasps (e.g. on the medals of the Talana POW's), but again I do not believe they are a significant number.
That is a fine group. Coincidentally, a similar one surfaced locally a month or two ago.
This combination may be less common that the QSA, Rebellion, WWI trio, Perm Forces LSGC, which was also awarded to men who served in the NP and SAMR. The reason is that I believe there were many more SAMR men on active service in the GSWA Campaign, hence the WWI trio, than there were SAMR men who did not see active service. They would have been men excluded by ill-health or the nature of their jobs. The example of this grouping in my collection went to a Court Clerk. His group is shown below, as well as another that has the WWI trio.