From Lt Col P L Murray
The detachment of this regiment undergoing a course of training at Aldershot at the outbreak of the war volunteered for ac tive service in South Africa; the offer being accepted, they embarked on 10th October, 1899, and arrived at Cape Town 2nd November, 1899.
In order to complete and maintain the service establishment of the unit, detachments embarked at Sydney on transport Kent on 28th October, arriving at Cape Town 1st December; on transport Moravian on 17th January, arriving at Cape Town on 18th February; and on transport Australian on 16th February, arriving at Cape Town 19th March, 1900.
The Aldershot detachment after its arrival was attached to General French's command, and was employed on patrol duty in the Colesberg district. On the 6th December, the detachment, under Major Lee, with remounts for the whole squadron, arrived at Naauwpoort, Major Lee assuming the command of the squadron.
Present at capture of Arundel on 8th December, and took part in several minor actions in the vicinity.
A detachment of 28 men, under Lieutenant Osborne, temporarily attached to Lord Methuen's command, took part in the battles of Belmont, Grasspan, Modder River, and Magersfontein, and afterwards rejoined the squadron.
On 2nd January, 1900, a supply train was, by some means started from Rensburg Siding, and ran on a down grade close to the Boer position ; the squadron was ordered to recover or burn the trucks. As some of them were derailed, it was found impossible to recover them; they were, consequently, burned under a very heavy fire from the enemy.
On the 16th January a troop of Lancers and Australian Horse, under Lieutenant Dowling of the latter regiment, when returning to camp at Slingersfontein, was surrounded; and after a sharp fight, in which Sergeant-Major Griffin of the Australian Horse was killed, Corporal Kilpatrick of the Lancers mortally wounded, and Lieutenant Dowling and Trooper Roberts severely wounded, the patrol surrendered.
On the 7th February the squadron proceeded to Belmont, and on the 13th were attached to Scots Greys, forming part of the lst^Cavalry Brigade.
Present at the relief of Kimberly on 15th February, action at Dronfield on 16th February, and at the operations which led to the surrender of General Cronje at Paardeburg. Took part in the battle of Poplar Grove on 7th March, and assisted to turn the enemy's left flank.
Present at Dreifontein on 10th, and at the occupation of Bloemfontein on 12th March.
Captain Nicholson, with a detachment of 40 N.C. officers and men from New South Wales, joined on 5th May.
The squadron was now attached to the Inniskillings, under Major Allamby and took part in the advance on Pretoria. Kroonstadt was occupied on 12th May ; the Vaal River crossed on 24th May. Took part in heavy fighting at Klip River on 28th May, when Major Lee was complimented by General French on the excellent work of the squadron while with the advance guard.
Took part in operations in the vicinity of Johannesburg, including the severe action at Valkheuvel Poort on 3rd June, when the Australians were again thanked by General French for their gallant conduct.
Present at the release of prisoners at Waterval on the 6th June. On the 9th July reinforced General Hutton at Oliphantsfontein, and was engaged with the enemy on 11th and 12th.
Took part in various engagements in the eastern Transvaal, including LangKloof and Swartz Kop, also in the operations in the Carolina and Barberton districts.
The squadron embarked at Cape Town on transports Harlech Castle on 11th November, and Orient on 13th December, and arrived in Sydney on 6th December, 1900 and 8th January, 1901, calling at Albany, Adelaide, and Melbourne en route.
Belmont 23rd November, 1899
Grasspan 25th November, 1899
Modder River 28th November, 1899
Magersfontein 11th December, 1899
Arundel 13th January, 1900
Reit River 12th February, 1900
Klip Drift 13th February, 1900
Relief of Kimberly 15th February, 1900
Dronfield 16th February, 1900
Paardeburg 18th February, 1900, to 5th March, 1900
Poplar Grove 7th March, 1900
Dreifontein 10th March, 1900
Bloemfontein 12th March, 1900
Brandfort 29th March, 1900
Ventersburg road 10th May, 1900
Vanwyksrust 27th May, 1900
Doornkop 29th May, 1900
Valkheuvel Poort 3rd June, 1900
Diamond Hill 11th and 12th June, 1900
Olifantsfontein 11th and 12th July, 1900
Lang Kloof 26th August, 1900
Swartz Kop 27th August, 1900
Wartburg Hills 12th September, 1900
Barberton 13th September, 1900
Lake Chrissie 16th October, 1900
Mooiplaats 17th October, 1900
Ermelo 18th October, 1900
Reitvley 19th October, 1900
Bethel 20th October, 1900
Rooipoort 22nd October, 1900
Winklehadt 23rd October, 1900
Kaffir Kuil 24th October, 1900
Witkop 25th October, 1900
War Services and Honours.
Lee, Major, G. L.—Relief of Kimberley. Operations in Orange Free State, Transvaal, and Cape Colony, February, 1900, to November, 1900. Actions at Colesberg, Paardeburg, Poplar Grove, Driefontein, Zand River, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Diamond Hill, Lang Kloof, and Swartz Kop. Despatches, London Gazette, 10th September, 1901. D.S.O. Queen's Medal with six clasps.
Cox, Captain and Hon. Lieutenant-Colonel C. F.—Relief of Kimberley. Operations in Cape Colony, Orange Free State, and Transvaal, January, 1900, to November, 1900. Actions at Colesberg, Paardeburg, Poplar Grove, Driefontein, Karee Siding, Zand River, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Diamond Hill, Lang Kloof, and Swartz Kop. Despatches. London Gazette, 17th June, 1901. London Gazette, 26th June, 1902. C.B. Queen's Medal with six clasps. King's Medal with two clasps. (Lieut. -Colonel Cox subsequently commanded the 3rd New South Wales Mounted Rifles. Operations in Orange River Colony and Transvaal, 1901-1902.)
Nicholson, Lieutenant and Hon. Captain C. E.—Operations in Orange Free State and Transvaal, February, 1900, to November, 1900. Actions at Zand River, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Diamond Hills, Lang Kloof, and Swartz Kop. Queen's Medal with five clasps.
Allan, Lieutenant G. H.—As above. Queen's Medal with four clasps.
Osborne, 2nd Lieutenant S. F.—Relief of Kimberley. Operations as above, November, 1899, to August, 1900. Actions at Belmont, Modder River, Magersfontein, Paardeburg, Poplar Grove, Dreifontein, Karee Siding, Zand River, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Diamond Hill, Lang Kloof, and Swartz Kop. Queen's Medal with five clasps.
Roberts, 2nd Lieutenant C. W. P.—Relief of Kimberley. Operations as above, February, 1900, to April, 1900. Paardeburg, Poplar Grove, and Dreifontein. Queen's Medal with three clasps. Commission in Imperial Cavalry.
Heron, 2nd Lieutenant R. M.—Relief of Kimberley. Operations as above, February, 1900, to November, 1900. Actions at Paardeburg, Poplar Grove. Dreifontein, Karee Siding, Zand River, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Diamond Hill, Lang Kloof, and Swartz Kop. Queen's Medal with four clasps. (Lieutenant Heron served subsequently with 3rd Mounted Rifles as Captain.)
Melhuish, Vet. Lieutenant F. W.—Relief of Kimberley. Operations as above, February to November, 1900. Actions at Paardeburg, Karee Siding, Zand River, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Diamond Hill, Lang Kloof, and Swartz Kop. (Served subsequently with 2nd Mounted Rifles as Vet.-Captain.) Queen's Medal with five clasps. King's Medal with two clasps.
There were no promotions in South Africa.