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Re: Bronze QSA's for black soldiers in Natal 9 years 11 months ago #7026

  • Brett Hendey
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It has become clear from the preceding posts that only black Guides with the FID were given medals. There has been no mention of the black men who served in the Natal Police and Zululand Police. The latter had a strength of 600 NCO's and men. They were on active service throught the war and had men killed and taken prisoner. They took part in the attack on Mount Prospect, where Sgt Gumbi was Mentioned in Despatches. An added insult to these medalless men came in 1904, when the Zululand Police were disbanded. The unit was re-established in 1906 to fight in the Rebellion and this time the men were given service medals.

All the volunteer and irregular regiments that served in Natal employed black men in menial capacities, but also as guides and interpreters. They were also not given medals, although men in similar capacities in the 1906 Rebellion did receive medals.

So, if the FID Guides were rewarded, why not the NP, ZP and others?

I suspect that the fault lies with Major-General Sir John Dartnell, who was head of both the Police and Reserve forces in Natal. From a very early stage in the war, he played a very active and distinguished role, eventually commanding the Imperial Light Horse Brigade in the eastern Orange Free State, late in 1901. In December 1901, the British Forces in the eastern OFS suffered reverses and Dartnell asked for reinforcements, Kitchener refused, so Dartnell resigned his command and returned to Natal. However, he did not take up the posts he had occupied at the start of the war, but instead took a year's leave of absence and he was away from his desk for the whole of 1902.

Dartnell was a man of great influence and he secured the unjustified award of the KSA to himself and his staff. Natal and Zululand Policemen, who remained on active service in Zululand up to the end of the war, were denied this medal. (I have written about this elsewhere on this forun and will try and post a link later.)

Long before I became aware of Dartnell and the KSA debacle, I already had doubts about him. In mid-November 1899, two Natal Police Troopers, Tarrant and Elgie, while on patrol ahead of the advancing Boers, managed to capture two of them, an achievement that elated members of the Natal government and civil service. Following an enthusiastic endorsement of the action by the Attorney General, Dartnell wrote:

"Minister of Lands & Works
The plucky conduct of these men was reported to me by Insp. Mardell and I propose to recommend them along with other men who have distibguished themselves for the Colonial Medal for Meritorious Service.
JG Dartnell
C.C. of Police.
22/11/1900."

In fact, not a single member of the NP/ZP received either the Natal DCM or the MSM. Initially events overtook Dartnell and he can perhaps be excused from rewarding the performances of the Colony's policemen. However, from January 1902, he had plenty of time to contemplate his men's actions and his obligations to them. He did secure KSA's for himself and his staff and a KCB for himself, but nothing for other men under his command.

The only excuse that can be offered is that Dartnell was old and tired. He did, however, manage to return to Natal in 1906 and earned the Rebellion Medal without clasp.

Brett
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Re: Bronze QSA's for black soldiers in Natal 9 years 11 months ago #7030

  • David Grant
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Correspondence on the bronze medal for you.

discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/details?Uri=C3764141



The following should keep you out of mischief for some time

discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/details?Uri=C3764064
Looking for Salutries, Salootries and Veterinary Duffadars.
I collect primarily QSAs to Indian Recipients.

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Re: Bronze QSA's for black soldiers in Natal 9 years 11 months ago #7033

  • munroe
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Hi All

I found my Silver QSA to a black guy. Its a no bar QSA named to 26 Tpr ...W Jagger Matatiele ER. The 1st initial has been removed. It came together with his son ww2 medals to N (for native)42823 HWA Jagger.

He is not on the roll for the Mattatiele ER on this site. ?

kind regards

Munroe

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Re: Bronze QSA's for black soldiers in Natal 9 years 11 months ago #7049

  • Brett Hendey
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David

Many thanks for going to the trouble of providing that link.

Regards
Brett
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Re: Bronze QSA's for black soldiers in Natal 9 years 11 months ago #7054

  • SWB
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munroe wrote: Hi All

I found my Silver QSA to a black guy. Its a no bar QSA named to 26 Tpr ...W Jagger Matatiele ER. The 1st initial has been removed. It came together with his son ww2 medals to N (for native)42823 HWA Jagger.

He is not on the roll for the Mattatiele ER on this site. ?

kind regards

Munroe


Hello Munroe

Do you have the WO100 ref for this medal?

Thanks & regards
Meurig
Researcher & Collector
The Register of the Anglo-Boer Wars 1899-1902
theangloboerwars.blogspot.co.uk/
www.facebook.com/boerwarregister

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Re: Bronze QSA's for black soldiers in Natal 9 years 11 months ago #7057

  • Rory
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Albert William Jagger was easy to find using his number - 26. He is on the rollof the Matatiele European Reserves forming part of the East Griqualand Field Force and was "white" at the time of his service.

As was common in that area at that time Jagger must have been abed with one of the indigenous locals who thereafter qualified for the "N" prefix on his WWII medals....

Jagger died in 1934 and his Estate file is in the Cape Archives - the reading of which could be revealing...!

Regards

Rory

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