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The 2nd contingent, about 162 all ranks, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel K Hutchison, left Brisbane on 13th January 1900, and arrived at Cape Town in February. They were at once hurried to the front, and a portion were able to take part in the advance after Cronje's surrender. After Paardeberg the Queenslanders (called in the despatch the 1st and 2nd Queensland Mounted Infantry) were put into the 3rd Brigade of Mounted Infantry, the commander of the brigade being Lieutenant Colonel C G Martyr. The remainder of the brigade were regulars. The brigade had several times very stiff work on the way to Bloemfontein, and bore its share of the fighting with credit. In the despatch of 31st March 1900, giving the names of those who had distinguished themselves in the advance, Captains Reid and Browne of the Queensland 1st Contingent were mentioned. The strength of the Queenslanders who marched into Bloemfontein on 13th March 1900 was officially stated at 16 officers, 312 men, and 369 horses.

At Sannahs Post, 31st March 1900, when Broadwood's force was ambushed (see Roberts' Horse), the troops of Colonel Martyr were about Boesman's Kop, on the west side of the spruit, and they fought hard to relieve the pressure on Broadwood. The Queenslanders, who were under Colonel Ricardo, lost 2 killed, 3 wounded, and 5 taken prisoners.

In the advance to Pretoria the Queenslanders, now about 400 strong, were in the 3rd Mounted Infantry Corps under Pilcher, the other regiments in Pilcher's corps being the 3rd Mounted Infantry (Regulars) and the 1st and 2nd New Zealand Mounted Rifles. Pilcher's corps were part of the Mounted Infantry Brigade which distinguished itself during the next few months under General Hutton and other leaders. They operated on the left in the advance from Bloemfontein northwards, and frequently earned praise from the Commander-in-Chief (see Canadian Mounted Rifles and Royal Canadian Dragoons and New Zealand Mounted Rifles). At the crossing of the Yet the Queenslanders had several casualties, and again, after the Vaal was crossed, they had some sharp brushes with the enemy and suffered some losses. In Lord Roberts' telegram of 2nd June 1900 he remarked: "Very few guns were left in the Johannesburg forts, only one 6'3 muzzle-loading howitzer, made at Woolwich in 1878, and two 65 mm Krupps. On May 30 the Queenslanders captured a Creusot gun and waggon, 11 waggons of military stores and ammunition".

After the occupation of Pretoria the Queensland Mounted Infantry, along with the other Mounted Colonials, under Hutton, operated to the east of the capital. They were present at the battle of Diamond Hill, 11th to 13th June, and afterwards had much outpost work, generally in that direction.

In the beginning of August 1900 Colonel B Mahon left Pretoria with a column containing the Imperial Light Horse, Lumsden's Horse, New Zealanders, 1st and 2nd Queensland Mounted Infantry, and the 4th Queensland Imperial Bushmen, which had landed at Cape Town in June, and some Yeomanry. The column operated towards Rustenburg in conjunction with Ian Hamilton, then by the north of Pretoria back to the capital. Lieutenant G Newton of the 4th Queensland Imperial Bushmen was wounded on 12th August. Mahon left Pretoria again on 30th August and made a forced march to Wonderfontein, and after assisting a post, held by 125 Canadians, who had been pressed, Mahon struck south and joined General French at Carolina (see Imperial Light Horse). After a wonderful march through most rugged country, and after no little fighting, in which the Colonials did well, Barberton was captured on 13th September. Mr Goldmann, in his 'With General French and the Cavalry', gives a good account of the fine work accomplished by Generals French and Mahon and their troops.

When Mahon left Pretoria on 30th August the Queensland Mounted Infantry, now much reduced in numbers, and one squadron of the 4th Queensland Imperial Bushmen, commanded by Captain F L Jones, accompanied him. The remainder of the 4th joined General Ridley's mounted column. The Queenslanders who had been with Mahon returned to Pretoria in October.

After the departure of the 1st Contingent, the 2nd contingent were next employed in the central portion of the Transvaal, chiefly north of Pretoria and on the Delagoa Railway. A portion of the 2nd contingent was in the Belfast district, on that line, in January and February 1901; and at Schwartz Kopjes on 13th February they were in a stiff brush, and suffered several casualties.

On 31st March 1901 Captains Harris and Thompson, with 3 other officers and 76 men of the 2nd contingent, sailed for home. Some time previous to that the remnant of the 1st contingent had been released from further service.

Captain Robert Gordon, DSO, of the 1st Queensland Mounted Infantry, who as a colonial officer had been attached to the 1st Battalion Gordon Highlanders in India, and with that battalion had served in the Tirah campaign, was, after the battle of Magersfontein, again attached to the 1st Gordons, and with them fought at Paardeberg. He was then appointed to command the MI company of the 1st Gordons, a portion of the famous 6th Mounted Infantry which, under De Lisle, was in many a hard-fought action. This command he retained until 18th January 1901, when he was wounded at Doom River, Western Cape Colony. On this occasion the Gordons had Lieutenant Clowes and some men killed. As to De Lisle's work, see 1st NSW Mounted Forces and 2nd NSW Mounted Rifles.

Click on the icon to read the account of this unit from Lt Col P L Murray's 1911 'Official Records of the Australian Military Contingents to the War in South Africa' pdficon_large

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(166 Records)

 Surname   Forename/inits   Regimental no   Rank   Notes 
BakerArthur66PrivateSource: OZ-Boer database
BarnesAWVeterinary CaptainSource: OZ-Boer database
BatesJohn Robert89PrivateSource: OZ-Boer database
BennettWilliam95PrivateSource: OZ-Boer database
BerryWilliam Henry27SergeantSource: OZ-Boer database
BirkbeckFrederick George115PrivateSource: OZ-Boer database
BlackRalph Wemyss65PrivateSource: OZ-Boer database
BluntRobert Henry Theodore43PrivateSource: OZ-Boer database
BothamleyAlfred102PrivateSource: OZ-Boer database
BradyWilliam Jnr.125PrivateSource: OZ-Boer database
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Category: Queensland
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