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Re: Bronze QSA's for black soldiers in Natal 9 years 10 months ago #7445

  • Brett Hendey
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Samuelson gives an account of the gallantry of Kambula and Molife during the Zulu War and details of the loyalty of the Natal Zulus to their Colonial masters.

Samuelson had not endeared himself to the Natal Government and, even when he suggested raising the Natal Native Horse to fight for the Colonists during the 1906 Rebellion, he had opposition. Interestingly, many of the Guides who were so shabbily treated after the Boer War, refused to join the NNH in 1906 as a protest against the withholding of their QSA's.

The Natal Government did a little to redeem its tattered reputation in the matter of medals for black men in uniform by awarding the Natal Rebellion Medal, with and without clasp, to ALL who had served on the Colonist's side. A few examples are shown below.

Brett








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Re: Bronze QSA's for black soldiers in Natal 9 years 10 months ago #7446

  • Frank Kelley
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Hello Brett,
You have managed to pre-empt my next question, which was going to be a long the lines of what your thoughts were on 1906's issued to natives.
You have some really nice examples, very scarce medals too, these days.
Regards Frank

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Re: Bronze QSA's for black soldiers in Natal 9 years 10 months ago #7452

  • Brett Hendey
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In earlier posts on this thread (#6998 & #7004), David indicated that the 10000 bronze QSA's sent to South Africa were later forwarded to India, with only about 100 unaccounted for. Perhaps the unissued 2000 medals that ended up in the hands of Natal's Secretary for Native Affairs were amongst those returned. Whatever their fate, there should be a record of it in the PMB Archives, so the digging will continue.

Brett

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Re: Bronze QSA's for black soldiers in Natal 9 years 10 months ago #7884

  • Brett Hendey
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I have now received copies of the contents of most of the files in the Pietermaritzburg Archives that relate to the QSA and the Native Scouts of the Colony of Natal.

There are two 'medal rolls' for which, as it turned out, no medals were issued. The first was a "LIST of NATIVES who served as SCOUTS during the late War. (1899/1902.) Compiled from Returns supplied by the Magistrates in the Northern Districts of the Colony". This list is made up of single forenames that are sometimes linked to a tribal chief. The list is clearly incomplete (e.g. For Klip River [i.e. Ladysmith District] it states, "No record was kept of these Natives.").

The second list, which was compiled by R C Samuelson "late O.C. Native Scouts", is far more helpful and contains a great deal of information about the men concerned, and their activities during the War. For example, for the first time, I now know the names of some of the "Native spies", who carried messages in and out of Ladysmith during the Siege. Many of the Native Scouts men were, in fact, the spies that served the British so well during the War, and not simply guides and interpreters 'behind the lines'.

Samuelson was assisted in compiling his list by the "Chief Native Scouts". Information on these men and some of those who served under them is new to me and some, or perhaps all of it may not have been previously published. Perhaps it would be best to start a new thread devoted specifically to the 'Native Scouts of Natal' and tell some of their stories there.

One such account that took my eye was written by Scout Stephan Molife:
"At Brakenlaagte (sic), Transvaal, I being alone in a hole as a sentinel and under the command of Colonel McKenzie, a Boer and Kaffir both armed came to spy out the camp, and I shot both, the kaffir dead and wounded the Boer who was subsequently taken over by the ambulance.
On parting with the Marquis Tullibardine he called the Scouts up and thanked us much for our work."

Brett

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Re: Bronze QSA's for black soldiers in Natal 9 years 10 months ago #7896

  • David Grant
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Now that is something to run with. Congratulations.
I previously managed to find the Hospital Admissions in the PM Archives for No 69 Native Field Hospital, Ladysmith that gives lists of injured and killed natives ( and their worldly assets)1/LDS Vol3/3/14 Ref L195D/1900. It is 10 years since I have looked at them (and it was for an Indian Cook for the hospital), but it may be of use to you now on this project.
Again well done
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 10 months ago #7901

  • Brett Hendey
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David

Thank you for your encouraging comment and for the information on the hospital admissions, which I will follow up.

I am looking forward to proceeding with this project and I will post some parts on this forum. Hopefully, it will end with an interesting annotated roll of men who were denied their QSA's on the whim of a petty civil servant, who hid behind the skirts of colleagues and politicians who tacitly supported him.

Regards
Brett

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