Article Index

The contingents supplied from West Australia were:




Arrived in SA

Left SA

West Australian 1st Mounted Rifles Contingent



Nov 1899

Dec 1900

West Australian 2nd Mounted Infantry Contingent



Feb 1900

Nov 1900

West Australian 3rd Bushmen Contingent



Apr 1900

May 1901

West Australian 4th Mounted Infantry Contingent



May 1900

Jul 1901

West Australian 5th Mounted Infantry Contingent



Mar 1901

Apr 1902

West Australian 6th Mounted Infantry Contingent



Apr 1901

Apr 1902

2nd Battalion Australian Commonwealth Horse



Mar 1902

Jul 1902

4th Battalion Australian Commonwealth Horse



Apr 1902

Jul 1902

8th Battalion Australian Commonwealth Horse



Jun 1902

Jul 1902






West Australia furnished contributions to the Commonwealth Troops.  Only the first squadron were in time to take part in the closing drives.

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

Honours and awards gained by the West Australia Contingents:

Lieutenant F W Bell, West Australian MI (5th and 6th contingents) won the VC.

Regimental no: 
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(130 Records)

 Surname   Forename/inits   Regimental no   Rank   Notes 
AbbottA373PrivateDangerously wounded. Roodebank, 1 February 1902
Source: South African Field Force Casualty Roll
AdamsF T385PrivateKilled in action. Grobbelaar Recht, 16 May 1901
Source: South African Field Force Casualty Roll
AldayR168PrivateKilled in action. Roodebank, 1 February 1902
Source: South African Field Force Casualty Roll
AshmoreT81PrivateSlightly wounded. Palmietfontein, 19 July 1900
Source: South African Field Force Casualty Roll
BedwillA50PrivatePrisoner. Driefontein, 26 May 1900
Released. MI
Source: South African Field Force Casualty Roll
BellF W8PrivateSeverely wounded. Palmietfontein, 19 July 1900
Source: South African Field Force Casualty Roll
BeresfordG RLance CorporalSeverely wounded. Willowmore, 19 January 1901
Source: South African Field Force Casualty Roll
Bessell-BrowneAlfred JosephLieutenantBESSELL-BROWNE, ALFRED JOSEPH, Lieutenant, was born 3 Sept 1877, son of William H Bessell-Browne, of Sydney. He served in South Africa with the West Australian Contingent, 1899-1902, and took part in operations in the Orange Free State, including actions at Vet River and Zand River; operations in the Transvaal in May and June, 1900, including actions near Johannesburg, Pretoria and Diamond Hill; operations in Natal; operations in Orange River Colony. He was mentioned in Despatches [London Gazette, 29 August 1901]; received the Queen's Medal with four clasps, and was created a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order [London Gazette, 31 October 1902]: "A J Browne, Lieutenant, West Australians. In recognition of services during the operations in South Africa". (Warrant altered to A J Bessell-Browne.) He became Major 28 August 1911, 13th Australian Field Artillery Brigade, 5th Military District. Major Bessell-Browne served in the European War from 1914 to 1918. He was appointed ADC to His Excellency the Governor General of Australia 1 April, 1917; became Temporary Brigadier General, Australial Imperial Force. For his services he was given the Brevet of Lieutenant Colonel 24 September 1917; was made a CMG in 1915, and a CB in 1918. He had the Volunteer decoration. He married in 1903, Muriel Maud, daughter of Henry E Manning.
Source: DSO recipients (VC and DSO Book)
BissettC166PrivateSeverely wounded. Grobbelaar Recht, 16 May 1901
Source: South African Field Force Casualty Roll
BlanckH339PrivateDangerously wounded. Grobbelaar Recht, 16 May 1901
Died 18 May 1901. MI
Source: South African Field Force Casualty Roll
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The Honours and Mentions gained by the West Australians were as follows:

LORD ROBERTS' DESPATCHES: 2nd April 1901.—WAMI: Lieutenant Colonel W L Pilkington, 2nd contingent, Reserve of Officers; Captains J Harris, F M Parker; Lieutenants H F Darling, J C De Castilla, R R C Vernon, S A Olliver; Sergeants J Barry, E H Draper, P M Edwards; Corporal W H Clarkson, Lee.-Corporal J Burley; Privates R Corkhill, H Force, M A Spiers. Bushman's Corps: Major H G Vialls.

11th September 1901.—Lieutenant C H Ord.

1st March 1902.—Major H G Moor, Royal Artillery, commanding 1st contingent (killed in action). WA Medical Staff: Surgeon Lieutenant Colonel F J Ingoldsby.

LORD KITCHENER'S DESPATCHES: 8th March. 1901.—Major Vialls.

8th May 1901.—From General Plumer's of 7th April.—WA Bushmen: Sergeant W George, DCM, on April 6th, near De Berg Pass, Pietesberg (Pietersburg) district, when in advance with 8 scouts held his own on most difficult ground against 40 Boers. He displayed conspicuous personal bravery, as he has done to my personal knowledge on several previous occasions. Private F Angel, DCM (since dead), one of scouts above-mentioned, and was very severely wounded in going forward to assist another wounded man.

8th July 1901.—Lieutenant F W Bell, awarded VC. Captain J Campbell for assisting Lieutenant Bell. Lieutenant. S Reid at same place and date remained with his men, though severely wounded early in fight. Lieutenant A A Forrest (killed) and A J Brown, conspicuous gallantry on same occasion. (All foregoing brought to notice of Australian Government). Surgeon Captain F B Reid showed absolute disregard of danger in performing his duties on same occasion.
8th December 1901.—WA 6th MI: Major J R Royston, for single-handed capture of 2 armed Boers, November 8, 1901, and for saving a man's life on same occasion.

8th March 1902.—WAMI: Lieutenant P J Daly, along with Lieutenant Archer Shee, 19th Hussars, gallantry in pursuit of a superior force of the enemy near Kromdrai on 28th February; both very severely wounded, but captured 7 of the enemy. Corporal P J Daly (promoted Sergeant), for gallant services on three occasions with scouts when parties of Boers were taken. Lieutenant E S Clifford, DSO, for conspicuous service in December and January. Lieutenant Colonel J R Royston, DSO, Captain A J B Brown, 5th, and Lieutenant R Clifton, 6th, for conspicuous good services, General Bruce Hamilton's operations in Eastern Transvaal, in December and January.

23rd June 1902—Captain H F Darling, DSO, 5th; Lieutenants J L Ochiltree, 5th; A E Maley, 6th; Sergeant J G Dale; Privates Forrest, A P Abbot, G Robinson.


West Australian Infantry


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