The following article relates to the Matatiele District Defence Force, 1901-1902.  It is presumed it is the same unit as the one to which QSAs were issued, the Matatiele European Reserve.

This was a special service mounted corps raised at Matatiele, East Griqualand, early in 1901. Their role was the protection of that part of the country, during the absence of the East Griqualand Mounted Rifles on war service elsewhere, against raids by the Boer forces then operating in the northern part of the Cape Colony.

The unit was raised and commanded by Major Charles Tod, other officers being Captains W. Harley and D. Johnstone, with Lieutenants A. McDonald and Dan B. Menne. The European strength of the corps was about 100, with head' quarters at Matatiele. A native troop of about, 50 under Capt. H. Davis, formed part of the unit. They were known by the nick-name of "The Matatiele Lambs," an appellation not always descriptive of the regiment.

The MDDF operated about East Griqualand and parts of the Barkly East district of the Cape and of Basutoland, and the corps performed very valuable services.

The regiment was armed and equipped by the Cape Government, but each member provided his own horse, saddlery and other field necessaries. The corps was armed with the .303 Martini-Henry single loader rifle, with bandolier and the state provided some other items of field equipment. No regular uniform was worn, each man turning out in his own clothing and gear. The unit was organised much upon the old South African commando system, extremely economical, elastic and singularly efficient. The members drew pay on the scale of other mounted units of the Cape Colony, which also covered home allowance.

The Matatiele District Defence Force came to an end in 1902, upon the cessation of hostilities, their services being no longer needed, the regular regiment of East Griqualand having returned.

The corps sustained no casualties during its short life, despite numerous brushes and affairs with the enemy. No individual distinctions were conferred on members.

Source: Short History Of The Volunteer Regiments Of Natal And East Griqualand, Past and Present. Compiled by Colonel Godfrey T Hurst, DSO OBE VD, Honorary Colonel of the Natal Mounted Rifles.

See also the Matatiele Native Contingent.

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(74 Records)

 Surname   Forename/inits   Regimental no   Rank   Notes 
AndersonJ44TrooperWO100/247p64. QSA (0)
BellairsW JNALieutenant ColonelWO100/247p64. QSA (0)
BoldWilliam John43TrooperWO100/247p64. QSA (0)
BoothR W29TrooperWO100/247p63. QSA (0)
BrickhillC38TrooperWO100/247p63. QSA (0)
BrickhillW ENABuglerWO100/247p64. QSA (0)
BrownGeorge24TrooperWO100/247p63. QSA (0)
BrownH20TrooperWO100/247p63. QSA (0)
BusseOscar35TrooperWO100/247p63. QSA (0)
ChippsJ H17TrooperWO100/247p63. QSA (0)
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