Natal Volunteer Ambulance Corps 6 years 7 months ago #25356
The Natal Volunteer Ambulance Corps 1899-1900
PART 1 – INTRODUCTION
This account of the Natal Volunteer Ambulance Corps (NVIC), and, incidentally, the Natal Indian Ambulance Corps (NIAC), is based largely on reports in the Natal Advertiser, a forerunner of the present Daily News, Durban’s evening newspaper. Most of the information came from a serving member of the NVAC, who started his reports after his arrival at the front and shortly before the Battle of Colenso on 15/12/1899. They ended after he was wounded at Venter’s Spruit on 21/1/1900. After he was removed to hospital, his reports ceased, so there is no detailed account here of the important battles of Spioenkop, Vaalkrans, and Tugela Heights, the Relief of Ladysmith itself, and of the subsequent disbanding of the NVAC. There are many local newspaper reports of these events, and the ones covered below, so a far fuller history of the NVAC is possible using these resources.
The name of the Natal Advertiser correspondent was not recorded, but he is believed to have been Charles Matthew Finlayson, an “Uitlander” from the Transvaal, who held the rank of ‘Leader’ in the NVAC. Finlayson had been a telegraphist in Johannesburg and after he had recovered from his wound, and the NVIC was disbanded, he served as a telegraphist with the Imperial Military Railways. He returned to Johannesburg after the War.
This account of the NVAC begins with a brief summary that explains where the NVAC fitted into the British Medical Services during the Anglo-Boer War, and why, where and when it was raised.
A SlideShare of the Annual Bisley Lecture on 20 August 2011 of the Historical Breechloading Smallarms Association, which in turn drew on the two-volume, A History of Military Medicine in the Anglo-Boer War by Professor J C De Villiers, included the following information:
In 1899, wounded British soldiers could expect to receive the attention of:
• A company NCO and two stretcher-bearers to take them to a dressing station.
• From the dressing station they would be taken by stretcher-bearers from a bearer company to a collecting station. [This was to be the role of the NVAC.]
• From the collecting station they would be taken by stretcher-bearers to a field hospital. [This was to be the role of the NIAC.]
• Where possible, mule-drawn ambulances were also used.
After the earliest set-piece battles of the Natal theatre of operations had taken place during October (Talana, Elandslaagte), and November (near Ladysmith), it was realised that the British army had inadequate medical services in place, and better provision needed to be made for the timely and efficient removal of casualties from the battles that were still to come. Colonel T Gallwey, Principal Medical Officer of Natal, was tasked with raising an ‘Ambulance Corps’ with volunteers drawn from able-bodied men who had thus far not been taken up in Natal’s volunteer regiments (e.g. Natal Carbineers, Durban Light Infantry), and the various irregular units that had been raised locally (e.g. Imperial Light Horse, Thorneycroft’s Mounted Infantry, Imperial Light Infantry).
Although Natal had provided sanctuary to many refugees from the Boer Republics, by December 1899 the number of men who were best suited for military service must have been considerably reduced. While those remaining may have lacked previous military service, and may have been neither skilled horsemen, nor marksmen, there were still enough able-bodied men prepared to aid the war effort. In a matter of days, between one and two thousand had joined the newly-formed non-combatant NVAC. To the refugee volunteers were added some residents of Natal who were without other military obligations. The men came from all walks of life, from gentlemen to labourers. They were commanded by officers who were seconded from Imperial regiments already in Natal. At least one of these men had already been in action, namely, Major H Wright, Gordon Highlanders, who had been wounded at Elandslaagte.
While the NVAC was charged with removing casualties from the battlefield, the NIAC under Mohandas Gandhi was raised to fill a complementary role in evacuating casualties to places of safety and field hospitals further behind the lines. A report in the Natal Advertiser, gave the numbers involved at the Colenso front as 1200 for the NVAC, and 600 for the NIAC. Soldiers named these men “the Body Snatchers”. They were to save the lives of many wounded men, and they also eased their pain by carrying them on stretchers, which were a more comfortable mode of transport than ambulances.
Atkins (1900) described the NVAC as an “oddly assorted body of men”, wearing an assortment of clothes, including “canvas shoes”, “yawning boots and clothes that must have seen service in the streets of a town”. Pakenham (1979) added that they “dressed in tattered khaki tunics, and a strange assortment of hats, helmets, bowlers and tam-o’shanters.”
In spite of appearances, and the fact that the pick of the young men in Natal had been taken up by fighting units, the “body snatchers” were tough and acquitted themselves well. The Natal Advertiser correspondent described the NVAC’s move towards the Colenso battlefield as follows:
“Many found the 10 mile march we performed that afternoon trying in the extreme, not as easy as lounging about West Street [in Durban] by a long way. Nevertheless, only one fell out from sunstroke.”
Most of the NVAC enlistments took place in Durban on 9 December 1899, with other men joining up until 13 December. The first to join soon left for General Buller’s camp at Frere, arriving there on Monday, 11 December. At noon on Tuesday, the NVAC joined Buller’s advance on Colenso by way of Chieveley. The Natal Advertiser correspondent reported that at “sundown, at a picturesque spot, where a beautiful stream ran through a large, tolerably level, grassy expanse, we rested for the night.” This was the calm before the storm that was to give men of the NVAC their first experience of the tasks they had undertaken to fulfil.
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Natal Volunteer Ambulance Corps 6 years 7 months ago #25357
The Natal Volunteer Ambulance Corps 1899-1900
PART 2 – THE BATTLE OF COLENSO
On Friday, 15 December, the long-awaited assault on the entrenched Boer line along the north bank of the Tugela River took place, and the Battle of Colenso was fought. The attack soon ran into fierce opposition, casualties mounted, and Buller’s army was effectively routed in a matter of hours.
The Natal Advertiser carried the following report on the activities of the NVAC:
“Now our work began in earnest. At 10 o’clock the first ambulance arrived from the battlefield with wounded men, and shortly afterwards the sections of [the NVAC’s] different Ambulance Companies were ordered to advance, with their stretchers. It was a long walk, varying from three to four miles to the firing line. I went out four times to the front, superintending the removal of the wounded. Some of these were badly hurt, but the majority of those who fell to my lot to bring in were shot through the extremities, the arms and legs …..”
The correspondent evidently worked on the right flank of the battlefield, where the Mounted Brigade attacked Hlangwane, the only position south of the Tugela River that was held by the Boers. The casualties in this sector included Colonials in the Composite Regiment, and Thorneycroft’s Mounted Infantry (TMI), an irregular Colonial regiment that had been raised in Pietermaritzburg during October. The TMI had five men killed, and 29 men wounded on that day. In a later report to the Natal Advertiser, their correspondent wrote:
“My section carried off a number of Thorneycroft’s men, and a pluckier set of fellows it would be difficult to imagine. Although wounded badly, they never uttered a sound, and one splendid fellow, badly shot through the liver, insisted on sharing his water with the bearers. Thorneycroft’s wounded behaved with great fortitude.”
The defeated troops began to retire at 2 pm, “but it was not until far into the night that the ambulance and stretcher parties left off work.” Amongst the last to return was Lord Robert Manners, who commanded one of the NVAC companies. “On that night he and his company were reported as having been taken prisoners, but just before midnight they returned to camp, having been engaged on the field until a very late hour.”
Although the official Casualty Roll of the Natal Field Force lists no casualties for the NVAC on that day, the Natal Advertiser correspondent later wrote that one man had been killed, and a seconded officer, Captain Goff, 5th Dragoons, was wounded, as were two other men. Apart from Captain Goff, the casualties remain nameless. Most of the NVAC had, however, been spared the bloodshed experienced by other regiments, as the following report indicates:
“During the whole of the morning the crack of bursting shell, the continued roll of the Maxim guns, and the loud artillery fire served, if I may so express it, ….. as background to our work in the rear.”
The NVAC would not be as fortunate in their next battle.
In his account of the events of the following day, the Natal Advertiser correspondent wrote:
“I was instructed to take charge of a party to go to the field to bury the dead. A guide took us the shortest way to do our gruesome work. While we were busy at one spot a party of four from the other side rode up, comprised of a clean-shaven Englishman from Johannesburg, two Boers, and a doctor. The doctor turned out to be the brother of Von Gerout*, some time entrusted with the management of the Rand Central Ore Reduction Co. On recognising me, I asked about the Boer loss, which he told me was very small, only four killed and twenty wounded.” These figures were later revised to eight killed and 30 wounded. By contrast, the British lost 143 men killed, 756 wounded, and 240 captured and missing. (Torlage 1999a).
* Actually Dr Rudolf von Gernet, a doctor at the Volkshospitaal in Pretoria when war broke out, and later in charge of the hospital at the Waterval PoW Camp. (Henk Loots, personal communication.)
The report concludes:
“As night fell and our work finished, we slowly wended our weary way back to camp, a glorious moon lighting up our road.”
The Natal Advertiser later reported that the NVAC, “justified its existence at the battle of Colenso. Not only was it specially thanked by General Buller, but various military officers expressed their admiration at the courage and coolness displayed by the corps under fire.”
The British army’s last major venture into the field in South Africa was during the Anglo-Zulu War, 20 years earlier, and in that war it also suffered an early spectacular defeat, that one at Isandlwana, which is about 70 kilometres north-east of Colenso. On that occasion there were also more than 1 000 British casualties. In both battles, British officers made the serious mistake of underestimating the abilities of their enemy.
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Natal Volunteer Ambulance Corps 6 years 7 months ago #25358
The Natal Volunteer Ambulance Corps 1899-1900
PART 3 – REORGANISATION AND TRAINING
The NVAC returned to Durban, where it undertook a re-organisation of its ranks, and much of the equipping that had not been possible in the frantic week between its first enlistments and its first battle. Their commanding officer, Major Montague Stuart Wortley CMG DSO, “procured what looked almost like a pyramid of boots, from which any size from 6’s to 11’s could be selected by those needing them.” Time was also occupied “in the supplying of knives, forks, water bottles, etc.”
The NVAC under Major Wortley was then made up “of four companies, comprising 12 sections of 25 men each, with 13 regulars attached to each. The officers [were] the following:-
A Troop – Surg. R Manners, King’s Royal Rifles.
B Troop – Lieut. Holford, 19th Hussars.
C Troop – Capt. Goff, 5th Dragoons.
D Troop – Major Wright, Gordon Highlanders.
A smaller and better equipped NVAC returned to Frere, where their camp was “situated a few yards away from the scene of the armoured train incident, where Winston Churchill showed his bravery.” The correspondent then describes the monument erected at the site by men of the Border Regiment, which still exists today. When he saw the monument, “there was a pretty wreath among others lying on the grave from the Connaught Rangers.” Later, the NVAC moved back to Estcourt, where “they camped a mile from the station, on a beautiful rise from the [Bushman’s] river’s bank.” Whilst there they “buried a poor fellow named Thomson, from Johannesburg, who had drowned whilst bathing in the river.”
The men were kept busy with long marches, regular drills and stretcher exercises. They were told that in future battles each stretcher was to be accompanied by eight men, rather than the 12 used during the Battle of Colenso. Another innovation was to be the creation of a mounted ambulance corps to accompany mounted infantry and cavalry regiments. There were many volunteers for this unit. Recreation included games of football. A promise of a ration of beer disappointingly turned out to be two barrels to be divided between 1 000 men. The end of the 19th Century was celebrated relatively quietly, and the 20th Century started with stretcher drills at 6 am and 11 am.
A batch of new recruits from Durban joined the veterans, and they added more variety to the already varied dress of the NVAC. The correspondent described the scene as follows:
“Men in striking costume, fraternising together, can as a consequence be seen in our ranks, the gradation change from white duck, through khaki, to dark blue serge being grotesquely picturesque.”
On a less cheerful note, there were cases of dysentery and enteric amongst the men, and the Natal Advertiser correspondent recorded that four had died. As was the case with the Colenso casualties, these fatalities were not recorded on the official Natal Field Force Casualty Roll.
Numbers were also reduced by the weeding out of undesirable characters in the ranks. These included “a journalist well known in Johannesburg in connection with two scurrilous rags”, who was arrested. It was later rumoured “that this unfortunate and sensational journalist has now had the opportunity afforded him by Her Majesty of passing the next five years of his existence in cogitating over the mutability of things mundane.”
The monotony was relieved on 6 January 1900 when the Boers attacked the defenders of Ladysmith at Wagon Hill and Caesar’s Camp – ‘Platrand’ to the Boers.
The sounds of the battle were distinctly heard from the NVAC camp, and it “seemed to us as loud and continuous as that which took place at the Tugela a month ago. ….. How we all did long to have a chance to help our gallant men!” In fact, their opportunity to help again was fast approaching.
After the retreat from Colenso, the NIAC, “consisting of …. free and indentured Indians, raised from Natal tea and sugar estates by the Indian Immigration Department, together with the 26 volunteers who acted as officers have for the time being been disbanded ….. They have, however, been ordered to hold themselves in readiness for further orders.” Those orders were to come before the next attack on the Boer line, when both the NIAC and NVAC would again be put to the test.
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Natal Volunteer Ambulance Corps 6 years 7 months ago #25359
The Natal Volunteer Ambulance Corps 1899-1900
PART 4 – PRELUDE TO THE BATTLE OF SPIOENKOP
On Tuesday, 8 January, the men of the NVAC rose early and, in heavy rain, struck camp and marched soaking wet in ankle deep mud to the Estcourt Station, where they entrained for Frere to “the very same location as that we had occupied before we went to fight at Colenso.” Early the next morning, they were on the march again, not towards Colenso as they had expected, but westwards towards the Upper Tugela to take part in the next phase in General Buller’s plans to lift the Siege of Ladysmith.
The going was “very exhausting, and the wagon transport almost indescribable; yet, after three hours’ steady work, we arrived at Pretorius’ Farm, where we rested.” The rain ceased “and the fierce, burning midday sun, which now burst out after the rain, drying, almost scorching, us up in a very few minutes.” It was not until mid-afternoon that the wagons caught up with marchers, and bully beef and biscuits were handed out. “We fell to with such ravenous appetites that our ordinary rations disappeared almost as if by magic.”
While the NVAC men rested, “immense bodies of troops, column after column, without count, trains of transport without end, were continually moving past. Accompanying them could be seen, here and there, immense, ungainly monsters, puffing, snorting, screeching, with slow and solemn stride, like leviathans of a period long remote. These, I may tell you, were not animals imbued with the breath of life; they were traction engines moving by the power of steam, by the will of man. Heedless of obstacles they went on. A blind man could have seen, I almost think, some big move was pending, for all around, from hill top to hill top, the sun obeying man’s command was, with never ceasing flashes, telling tales we could not read.”
From that day until 15 January, the NVAC remained in camp. The only thing of interest that occurred “was a little bit of Boer cheek”. “On Sunday [14 January], just after church parade, which was attended by some thousands of our troops, a man dressed in the uniform of a Gordon Highlander, was detected trying to drive some of our cattle away. Following him closely up, he was found to be a Boer, and, when challenged, he tried to escape. Needless to say, he got his desserts – sweet, short, and decisive!”
On 15 January, the NVAC, which was attached to Major-General A F Hart’s 5th Brigade, crossed the Little Tugela River and marched onwards to Potgieter’s Drift on the Tugela River. The mood of the men was one of optimism about the outcome of the coming meeting with the Boers. The correspondent wrote: “[we] feel that the abominations of days gone by are coming to an end, and that the cruelties, the robberies, the intrigues, the extortion, the cant, so long reigning in the Transvaal, will soon be things of the past.” Events in the days ahead would prove otherwise.
Buller’s second assault on the Boer lines was perhaps better conceived, but as badly executed as the first one at Colenso a month earlier. This time the British Army crossed the Tugela with minimal opposition from the Boers, and it was hampered only by logistical difficulties. On 18 January, the Mounted Brigade advanced northwards outflanking the right wing of the Boers, and an advance party of Colonials from the Composite Regiment successfully ambushed a Boer patrol at Acton Homes. This potentially opened the road to Ladysmith from the west. Such an advance would have left Boer Commandos occupying the high ground between the Acton Homes road and the Tugela River facing the British on two fronts, and under the threat of being cut off from Colenso. Lord Dundonald’s request for reinforcements to exploit this opportunity was rejected. Instead, the Mounted Brigade was recalled to join an attack from the south on the Boer positions occupying the high ground of Thabanyama. As a result, instead of being confronted by the British both north and south of their line, the Boers now occupied a commanding position ahead of an attack only from the south. The single British success in Buller’s campaign thus far, the Acton Homes ambush, was relegated to a footnote in history, and a chance of an earlier lifting of the Ladysmith siege was lost. The next six weeks would be difficult and bloody ones for the British.
The march on Thabanyama started on 17 January 1900. The NVAC’s involvement began with a difficult night march towards Trichardt’s Drift on the Tugela River. The Natal Advertiser correspondent reported that, “we soon began to experience the disadvantage of belonging to the rear guard of the army, the position occupied by our brigade. Every now and then we had to halt suddenly, and then just as suddenly march again without any warning at all. It was exceedingly tiring, more especially as the rain was falling steadily, although it ceased after a while. On, on we trudged and tramped up hill and down until we lost all idea of the situation, and could have sworn we were travelling in a circle. ….. we marched, footsore and weary, until at last just before dawn we halted.
The NVAC remained where it was for the entire day and that night the men camped in sight of the Tugela River. The next morning they watched the army crossing the Tugela on pontoons, and they followed suit in the afternoon. The next day, Friday, 19 January, the NVAC advanced to a position near Venter’s Spruit, in sight of the Boer lines. There was intermittent firing during the afternoon, and several wounded men were brought in at sunset.
The account of the Venter’s Spruit battle by the Natal Advertiser correspondent is given below almost in full, since it tells in some detail of the dangerous and arduous duties of the NVAC stretcher bearers in action. In spite of being another failed attack that resulted in many British casualties, the Venter’s Spruit battle has all but been forgotten, since it was soon to be overshadowed by the far greater disaster at Spioenkop
“The next day, Saturday [20 January], I shall remember as long as I live. We awakened at dawn and told we were to go into action with our Brigade at once. After breakfast we moved out, marching straight to a big hill in front of the Boer position …… The battle had already commenced, but we had to wait until our Brigade got engaged. …… I walked over the hill and watched the fighting. The enemy’s position was in the form of a horseshoe, and they were firing continuously from every direction. Our shells were bursting in beautiful white puffs all along the ridge, and directly in front our men could be seen swarming over a biggish hill and steadily advancing. ….. The fight was now getting warmer, and the bullets went whizzing past our heads every moment.” It was then that one of the seconded officers, Lieutenant Stuart, Gordon Highlanders, was wounded, another officially unrecorded casualty of the NVAC.
“Our time came at last, the 5th Brigade advanced. Suddenly, the bang-bang of the Maxim-Nordenfelt was heard for the first time. …… Soon …. our work commenced in earnest, and such work it was! We had, very carefully and slowly, to carry out under fire our wounded men, and thus clamber down the almost precipitous kopjes with the utmost care in order not to jar them, and then three miles more to the field hospital. The ambulance waggons could not be used, the ground was so rough, in fact, a single journey with one wounded man took an hour and a half to perform.”
“When we returned to the field we were stationed just behind two Maxims, and as these attracted the pot shots of the enemy the corner soon became warm indeed, the bullets humming all around, flattening on the rocks and ricochetting away in all directions. We did not care, use became second nature, although now and then, when the whiz seemed a little too close, we gave a duck. Soon, however, our services were again wanted. This time, we had to go down an almost breakneck precipice, and work up a deep gully, under the kopje that formed the extreme right of the Boer position. Here we could see the hills towering above us, tier after tier, ridge after ridge, to a seemingly inaccessible height, and we could well appreciate the terrible task our poor soldiers had before them. Soon we found a wounded man, and brought him in, and as by this time it was dark, we were halted at the hospital and got something to eat.”
“After a short rest we returned to the field, but as it was dark, and no lanterns were allowed for fear of drawing the Boer fire, our passage was painful and slow. The scene was impressive. Here and there the poor wounded fellows could dimly be seen lying about, but, a solemn stillness reigned over all, broken only by the popping of the Boer rifles as they sniped away at our sentries. Moving the wounded in the daytime was hard enough, but the night work was simply terrible, and how we managed to get them down the rocky kopjes will for ever float as a nightmare before me. We worked until 3 o’clock, and having finished our task dropped down at once to sleep.”
“Next morning (Sunday [21 January]) at daybreak we were up again. Firing had recommenced, and we could see at once that we still had some work to do. We soon found some wounded in a kafir kraal, which had been used as a temporary hospital, and carried them to a new field hospital, six miles away, another terribly fatiguing task. On our return we were told to halt awhile. We took advantage of this, and lay down, utterly worn out, in the shade of some trees, and tried to snatch some sleep. The bullets came whistling past, but so accustomed had we become to them that we did not even stir. Here, one or two of our fellows got wounded, and it soon got a very warm corner. I was fast asleep when a sharp burning pain in my right shoulder rudely awoke me, spinning me round like a top. On turning over I soon found that a bullet had passed through the fleshy part at the back of my shoulder, and consequently I was a wounded man! My wound was quickly dressed, and I was taken to the hospital myself, a change in position that I had not bargained for. Next day I was sent further to the base, and expect to be sent still further down.”
That brought to an end of the correspondent’s reports to the Natal Advertiser.
Atkins (1900: 233, 234) wrote the following about the stretcher-bearer’s at Venter’s Spruit:
“The work of the stretcher-bearers on all these days deserves a chorus to celebrate it. ….. The private soldier may be cool, but he could not be cooler than ‘the body-snatcher’ ….. How many of you, I wonder, have had your own bodies snatched by the fate from which you went to rescue others? A good many, I know, but people do not consult the casualty lists anxiously for your names.”
The Natal Field Force Casualty Roll records the NVAC casualties for the Venter’s Spruit battle as three killed and five wounded, the latter including Charles Finlayson, whose rank is incorrectly given as ‘Bearer’, the date as ‘22 January’, and the place as ‘Natal’. It is clear that this roll is an unreliable and incomplete record of NVAC casualties.
One of the men killed at Venter’s Spruit was Bearer George Charles Robert Doble, who had enlisted in Durban on 9 December 1899. He was evidently a resident of Durban, and in 1898 he had applied for a piece of government land on the Bluff. The only other fact that emerged from an investigation was that his wife, Elizabeth Phoebe, pre-deceased him in 1926. A photograph of his QSA will be given at the end of this series of reports.
By 23 January it was clear that the Thabanyama attack, which had cost the British nearly 500 casualties, had stalled, and the British generals then turned their attention to nearby Spioenkop.
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Natal Volunteer Ambulance Corps 6 years 7 months ago #25360
The Natal Volunteer Ambulance Corps 1899-1900
PART 5 – THE BATTLE OF SPIOENKOP AND AFTERWARDS
The Battle of Spioenkop on 24 January 1900 was another of the epic disasters in the history of the British Army. The British casualties were given by Torlage (1999b) as approximately 322 killed, 563 wounded, and 300 missing/prisoners. By contrast Boer losses were 58 killed and 140 wounded.
There was clearly an immense amount of work to be done by the stretcher-bearers in clearing the wounded from the summit of Spioenkop, and this began while the battle was still intense. The path to the summit was long and restricted in width and Torlage (1999b) reported that reinforcements “making their way to the summit complained that their advance was hindered by the wounded being brought down and soldiers who were leaving the battlefield.” The day after the battle, the surviving wounded men were brought down and the dead were buried on the summit.
Both the NVAC and NIAC were involved in the battle and its aftermath, and there may well be surviving accounts of their actual deeds, but none were to hand while compiling this report. According to the Natal Field Force Casualty Roll, eight members of the NVAC were wounded on 24 January. There is no casualty record for the NIAC.
The involvement of these Corps in the Battles of Vaalkrans and Tugela Heights are excluded here, owing to the lack of any relevant information. The Ladysmith siege was lifted on 28 February 1900, and the re-organisation of the British forces thereafter saw the demise of the NVAC and the NIAC. The men of the NVAC were discharged on 23 March, and many joined the Imperial Bearer Corps, which was raised in Natal during March to replace the NVAC and NIAC.
The lack of reliable information on NVAC casualties is one of the flaws in their history that was revealed in this review. Not already mentioned were the six men who died of disease during February and March. The totals identified in these reports are four men killed in action, one drowned, 10 died of disease, and 17 wounded. These figures are almost certainly incorrect, and some are of men not named. Local contemporary newspaper reports may offer the best chance of compiling a more complete and accurate list. Memorials of various kinds may also be helpful. For example, the Boer War Memorial in Estcourt, which records the names of men who died in the town, mostly of disease and wounds, has two names, Privates C Brown and W Davis, under the name ‘Voluntary Ambulance Corps’.
These reports on the NVAC are concluded with photographs of the QSA’s awarded to two of its members, both of whom were residents of Natal. They were Bearer George Doble, who was killed at Venter’s Spruit , and Bearer William Tennison, who enlisted on 9 December 1899 and who was discharged on 12 March 1900, thus having served with the NVAC for nearly the entire period of its existence.
Atkins, J B. 1900. The Relief of Ladysmith. London: Methuen & Co.
Pakenham, T. 1979. The Boer War. Johannesburg: Jonathan Ball.
Torlage, G. 1999a. The Battle of Colenso 15 December 1899. Randburg:
Torlage, G. 1999b. The Battle of Spioenkop 23-24 January 1900. Randburg:
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Natal Volunteer Ambulance Corps 6 years 7 months ago #25362
Is this another hobby horse of yours then, you have never mentioned it before to me.
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