South African units
No. 2 Troop A Sqd Colonial Scouts, Raised in P.M.Burg Nov. 25th 1899 and disbanded in P.M.Burg March 15th 1900.
Leader A. R. Pierson
Sergt 1 H. Snodgrass [H. G.]
Corpl 2 J. H. Sykes
Trprs 3 Abernethy [J. W.]
4 Bailie [S. M. H.]
5 Geo. Bosse
6 Cummings [W. W. Cummins?]
7 Coombs [C. R.]
8 East [L. M.]
9 Edmonds [A.]
10 Fraser [J. A.]
11 Forder [W. G. S.? or A. J.? or C. E.?]
12 Garson [M.]
13 Ingiis [A. B.j
14 Texas Long [W. Long]
15 Larard [A.]
16 Ogilvie [G. G.]
17 Rattray [G.]
18 Russel [G. or S. Russell]
19 R. Sykes
20 Seeton [G. Seaton]
21 Sutherland [R. T.]
22 J. C. Williams
23 St. J. Williams
24 Wright [E. J.]
25 Wormwold [R. Wermald?]
Nov 25th, 1899 C. Scouts Corpse being Raised joined on with same pay 6/-day, every man to find own Horse, Saddle & Bridle. Camped in Show Ground PMBurg.
Nov 26th Doing Fatigue duty clearing up Etc.
Nov 27th Bought Horse from R. B. Hudson for £20-0-0 Horse insured for £30-0-0 doing Fatigues in getting equipment from Military Stores Fort Napier.
Nov 28th Getting Equiped & preparing to get ready
Nov 29th Camped in Show Ground.
Nov 30th Everything in readiness prior to making a Start for Greytown
Dec 1st General inspection by Gen Wolf Murray [Brigadier- General Wolfe-Murray] after which A Squad 100 men (Capt A FI Walker) in Charge left P.M.Burg Headed by College Cadet ba[nd] . . . Greytown proceeding by . . . Alfred & Boshoff & Church . . . band left us at . . . Bivouached at Umgenfi] . . . Lunch and arrived Sterk ... 5 P.M. Bosse went on . . . distance PMB to S Spruit.
... [a portion of this page has been torn off.]
Dec 2nd Went on Patrol to Farms round about Camp No. 1.3.4 Troops went on as far as Greytown, 2 Troop left to commandeer Wagons, distance 15 Miles.
Dec 3rd Went on Patrol up to Seven Oaks and back distance 22 Miles.
Dec 4th Went Patrol over to Noodsberg & Rietfontein also to WA Clarkes (Hettys) where we had lunch distance 35 Miles [Mrs. Hetty Clarke was George Bosse’s eldest sister.]
Dec 5th Went Patrol to Ravensworth Anguses Farm distance 25 Miles
Dec 6th Went Patrol over to Moe Bros Tom Hill [writing difficult to decipher.] . . . distance 20 Miles Dec 9th Had General Drill distance 8 miles Dec 8th Struck Camp and went as far as Seven Oaks halted for night 11 Miles
Dec 9th Left Seven Oaks and arrived at Greytown in Morning and met other Sqdrons again Found everyone I knew in Greytown all well and pleased to see me 11 Miles Dec 10th Had Field Drill went to see the Ralphs Chisholmens etc & Chisholms and others visited Camp near Cave. Took 2 Sykes Edmonds and Snodgrass and self to see Mr and Mrs Ralph.
Dec 11th Struck Camp and went as far as Riet Ylei where off saddled for night distance 25 miles Dec 12th Struck Camp at Riet Vlei and went as far as Weeston [Weston] Mooi River where it was bitterly cold and no tents distance 20 Miles Dec 13th Struck Camp Mooi River & marched as far as about 10 Miles and Camped on J. Wallace Esqs Farm. Bitterly cold and Bosse on Guard—10 Miles Dec 14th Struck Camp and arrived at Weenen where it was very hot like an oven, came off Guard, and heard Gen Bullers Guns on Tugela near Colenso 15 Miles
Dec 15th Camped out all day nothing doing in Camp went to see Stores
Dec 16th Went & moved to a new Camp 6 [?] Miles from Village Picquets sent out on Top a large Hill to right of Ween overlooking BlawKrantz Range 6 Miles
Dec 17th Fatigue Building stone Fort
Dec 18th Patrolling to Weenen 6 Miles and back 12 Miles
Dec 19th Patrolling Comandeering Wagons round Farms at Weenen Distance 20 miles
Dec 20th Stayed in Camp all day and doing Fatigue General Clean up.
Dec 21st Fatigue Party Building (Fort Walker) all day Picket at Night.
Dec 22nd On Picket all day
Dec 23rd On Guard all day (Special)
Dec 24th Stayed in Camp
Dec 25th Xmas day. had Camp Sports won Fugitive Race and Donkey Race. Fine times all day & plenty of good things.
Dec 26th On Picket all day on Hills 6 Miles from Camp.
Dec 27th Moved Camp to within 6 Miles of Frere Camp. Very heavy Thunderstorms nearly washed out of Tents.
Dec 28th Went on a Patrol to Ween and Farms round about getting Wagons distance 30 miles
Dec 29th On Picket all day 12 Miles from Camp Wrote Bertha Effie and Chisholm Very heavy rain at Night Wet Through distance Camp and back 24 Miles [Mrs. Bertha Shackleford and Mrs. Effie Coyne were George Bosse’s younger sisters.]
Dec 30th In Camp all day
Dec 31st On Guard in Camp all day.
January 1st 1900 Sir Chas Warren paid a visit to Camp at Hodsons Hill. Went for Patrol to beyond Weenen and back Went on Guard 10 to 12 distance 30 Miles Jan 2nd Fine day on Guard all day. Patrols out Nothing to report B Sqd arrived and camped alongside of us Saw [R] Snape and Charlie Colling [Handwriting difficult to decipher, but probably C. Couling.]
Jan 3rd Went on a Patrol to Weenen very dark night and raining hard got lost in Weenen Thorns arrived Weenen midnight
Jan 4th Got back from Weenen and BlauKrantz Patrol 50 Miles arrived in Camp 8 P.M.
Jan 5th Stayed in Camp all day playing Cards.
Jan 6th Rifle Shooting at Rocks 5 shots Each.
Jan 7th Went as Post Orderley with Snodgrass to Escourt 6 Miles 12 to 1400 Troops in Escourt Jan 8th Raining all day came back to Camp with Letters and back again to Escourt with F. Stockhill back to Camp distance 18 miles Jan 9th Raining all day. Went on Guard.
Jan 10th Came off Guard nothing doing
Jan 11th Raining all day Drew pay of £3-00 pr Man Went to Escourt at 4 A.M. Entrained Horses and Men A and B Sqd & Left Escourt at 9 a M arrived PMB 7PM and Durban 12-15 on way to Tugela and had nothing to eat till we got to Stanger with horses and Men 3 A.M.
Jan 12th Arrived at Bonds Drift Zululand 8 a M. [Bond’s Drift is on the Tugela.] oft' Training horses etc. saw old Rodall from Krantz Kop Mileage from Escourt to Bonds Drift 230 miles Crossed horses etc over in punt [pont] and camped on Zululand Side
Jan 13th Fatigue Partys getting provisions over River on Punt [Pont]. Drew 5 days Rations 10 Biscuits 1 Tin . . . Bulley. i oz Coffee | Tea 4 ozs Sugar making preparations for going up to Waschbank Bridge.
Jan 14th Left Tugela Camp at 5.30 aM. Went by native paths as far as Fort Yollon 30 Miles [This is the Fort Yolland of Zulu War days. It was an earthworks capable of holding 250 men. It is about 13 miles north-west of Eshowe].
Jan 15th Left Fort Yollon & went as far as Insuzi River camped for Night Distance 20 Miles
Jan 16th Fine day. Left Insuzi River & crossed it 4 Times Slept near the N Kandhla Bush. Went on Picket for the night. Turned misty during Night Distance 25 Miles.
Jan 17th Very Misty all day. Camped at Boyces Store. Went up to Mgorge Store Edmonds Mirrilles [Handwriting difficult to decipher, but probably Leader W. J. Mirlees] and self got lost in the mist and returned to Camp 3 am distance Stores apart 3 Miles Travelled 25 Miles
Jan 18th Fine day Left Boyces Store Saw Isandhlawana on our left 300 yards away. Slept 2 miles from Nqutu Magistracy Travelled 20 Miles
Jan 19th Fine day. Horses resting and nothing doing in Camp all day. Left Nqutu Camp at 7 PM. and arrived at Boyces Store return journey at 3 A.M. in Morning Travelled 20 miles very slow march indeed no one allowed to talk or Smoke as 700 Boers with big Guns had been seen about and Nqutu expecting attack.
Jan 20th Fine day. Left Boyces Store and went as far as Misty Hill where we camped for the day Provisions ran dry and Eating hard boiled mealies no Sugar Tea or Coffee all finished Went on guard 6 to 8 P M. distance 8 Miles
Jan 21st Fine day Came off Guard 2PM Eating Mealies and Meat no Biscuits or Bread. Very heavy Thunderstorm in the night everyone wet through the Skin Snodgrass very bad all night with Colic
Jan 22 Fine day. Each man served out with 1 Biscuit a very severe Storm with hail in afternoon all got wet to the skin and singing “Why did I leave my little back Room” Very Misty and dreadfully cold at night Snodgrass still very bad and no better Still eating mealies good old grup” when you are hungry
Jan 23rd Very Cold and Misty rain all day all wet Through. Went on Picket for 6 Hours without relief 2 Sykes and Self made a Tent out of oil sheets and slept sound all night through. Dreadfully cold during Night. Plenty of Mealies.
Jan 24th Very Misty all day during which struck Camp and marched back to Boyces store distance 8 Miles 2 Sykes and Self bought a Goat Killed same in double quick time and had jolly good feed along with mealies Lieft [Lieutenant] Pierson got sick. Rheumatic Fever and went to stay at Boyces store where I was told off to go and Nurse him he got very bad during night no Flour at Store only Rice and Stamped mealies. Rain at night
Jan 25th Fine day Stayed at Boyces store coloum struck Camp and went as far as the Hlazagaza distance 6 miles Pierson slightly better and got over his wanderings. Plenty Rice and stamped Mealies and also Coffee first tasted for several days went down A 1 or O.K. Rain at Night
Jan 26th Fine day. Very cold and Raining in the afternoon still at Boyces Store. Any amount of Rumours about Boer Patrols being close to us. Mrs. Foreman and 2 Children arrived at store 9PM from Calverlys place at upper Insuzi (Calverley’s Store], poor Woman to have to come to a place like that, absolutely no Comforts whatever
Jan 27th Cold and Cloudy day. Left Boyces store for Camp 6 Miles rain at night and all wet through like drowned Rats. Mealies again. Heard from Lieft Frank Holliday who had returned from Eshowe that Henry had died Saturday week poor Henry. Mealies in Galore [Henry was George Bosse’s only brother. A member of the Natal Police, he became ill in Zululand and died in Pietermaritzburg.]
Jan 28th Fine day nothing doing in Camp all day. Went on Guard 10 to 12 P M. rain at Night and got a good soaker plenty Mealies.
Jan 29th Fine day Storm in evening and the usual wetting Fatigue party carrying ammunition to a place of safety 10 miles there and back to Camp as reports Boeis were close at hand and too many for us. Plenty Mealies
Jan 30th Cloudy and Raining hard all day absolutely nothing doing in Camp & sent on Special Picket all day mealies still going.
Jan 31st Very Cold and Raining in afternoon Struck Camp and went 12 miles lower down towards Misty Hill Camp. Left Camp at 2 P M and arrived at 10 P M. very dark night and everyone falling over each other. Very cold and all wet through, off saddled on edge of presipice and did not know until next morning. Mealies still
Feb 1st Broke fine but misty at intervals, Heard the Boers had attacked the Ngutu and taken all prisoners Several Refugees along with Mr. Pught [?] and several others following and caught us up as they were from Vants and Rorkes Drift. Travelled 12 miles turned very cold during the night Mealies again [On the 1st February, 1900, the commando, about 400 strong, had appeared. The magistrate buried the money which was in his safe in the garden, where it remained until the officials returned months later. The position was hopeless and the magistrate surrendered. The police and other officials spent the night in their own cells and were later taken to Pretoria as prisoners of war. In the meantime the commando continued to harass the district.]
Feb 2nd Cloudy and Misty all day. False alarm Boers supposed to be getting ready to attack. Rode out Bravely but found not any distance 6 miles went as far as Nqudeni Bush and very pretty Bush it is Joining Rev Tittlestaads mission mealies still on the bill of Fare.
Feb 3rd Left Nqudeni Bush and went out on Hills for Picket all day. Returned to camp distance 12 Miles there and back Picket to Camp last lap for Mealies. Went on Guard 6 to 8 P M. rain at Night
Feb 4th First Beautiful day for a long time Went to meet Wagons coming from Eshowe only met 1 the other 3 our Chaps burnt near Nkandhla as Boers tried to take them from them distance 16 miles plenty of Biscuits Coffee and Sugar, a treat I must say and appreciated by everyone.
Feb 5th Fine day had another False alarm which proved nothing rode 12 Miles there and back Wrote letter to Effie and sent a Wire to Eshowe by native Carrier Camped at the Entingue Bush [Ntingwe] for Night Feb 6th Fine day. Left Etingue Bush and got into the Insuzi Valley crossed Insuzi River 5 times Distance 15 Miles Camped for night Refugees with us.
Feb 7th Left Insuzi River and camped near Jacksons Fort Yollon distance 20 [or 2? The number is difficult to decipher.] Miles rain at Night and wet through crossed the Insuzi River 12 times.
Feb 8th Fine day. Left Fort Yollon and arrived in Eshowe distance 30 Miles Eshowe people very good plenedid spread of Bread and Butter Tea Cakes Cigarettes Etc and by Jove didnt it go down fine Everyone in high spirits at reception and worth going through privations for the welcome we had. Went on Guard 10 to 12 P M.
Feb 9th Came off Guard at 4 P M. Fine day nothing doing in Camp Self Garson and Dr. Sutherland went in to the Town of Eshowe very pretty place.
Feb 10th Fine day. Went up Fatigue Party to Military Camp for provisions Went to Town in afternoon nothing doing in Camp.
Feb 11th Fine day. Church parade 7 30 aM. Bishop Carter preached good sermon Struck Camp and went as far as Entumeni M Station off saddled there, distance 14 Miles in the saddle for 9 hours, first up to Military Camp.
Feb 12th Dull and Cloudy also Rain got soaked Camped out all day. C Squadron refused to go on March untill wagons with rations returned up C Sqdron proceeded to Fort Yollon had a sing song in evening
Feb 13th Left Camp and went back to Eshowe 14 Miles arrived Eshowe 3 P.M. Fine day.
Feb 14th Very Windy day. Natal Royal Rifles arrived Eshowe with part of Navals from H S. Terrible 2 Guns. Party of 50 Men from A and B Sdrons Scouts picked out to excourt Natal Field Artillery guns (2) to Melmoth. self included left Eshowe at 4 P M. and arrived at Umhlatuzi [River] 3 a. M. distance 22 miles very hilly road & had to leave horses for Men to lead and help pull guns up the Hills beastly hard work
Feb 15th Fine day arrived in Melmoth 6 a M. distance 8 Miles from Umhlatuzi [River] Saw Sergt Greenshields N.P. [Natal Police] glad to see me also Herbert Ireland who was in G. Sdron
Feb 16th Fine day nothing doing in Camp, walking about Melmoth, Arthur Nicholson and self. Met Brettain N.P. also Frank McGlew in Melmoth Post office.
Feb 17th Fine day. Special Guard of 4 hours. Received 23 letters from Gutridge pay Master [presumably Captain W. Gutridge, who was O/C Colonial Scouts, when they were disbanded in March, 1900] also Wires Etc re Henrys death Received part of pay £10-9-6 nothing doing in Camp all day saw Cricket Match.
Feb 18th Fine day Went on Picket all day Sergt Blarney in charge Wrote to Hetty and Bertha and several others.
Feb 19th Fine day Went on Picket all day. Returned to Camp 6 PM.
Feb 20th Raining all day and very Cold. Went and saw Commandant Maxwell with Arthur Nicholson re discharge Pierson and self disguised ourselves and went out to some dutch farms for information but none to be had laught to Kill ourselves at disguises
Feb 21st Cold and Raining all day Wet through as per usual, Remounts of horses arrived from Eshowe some very good others very poor
Feb 22nd Cold and Raining all day Went out on Picket all day. Sergt Davey in charge Wrote to Effie Anna and J. G. Ralph
Feb 23rd Left Melmoth 6 am for Nkandhla Slept on the New Republic side untill 12 P M when we saddled up and arrived at Nkandhla 6 a.m. Travelled from Melmoth to Nkandhla 35 Miles.
Feb 24th Very Cold and Raining like old Boots all day. arrived at Nkandhla at 6 a M Wet through as usual all day met the remainder of A and B Sdrons who had come round Entumeni way from Eshowe
Feb 25th Very Cold and Raining all day Wet as per usual. On Fatigue clearing up remains of Boers loot Went on Guard 8 to 10 P M. Rained heavily all night.
Feb 26th Cloudy all day. Left Nkandhla and arrived back at Melmoth 4 P.M. distance 35 Miles Came off Guard 6 P M Wired to Effie and Bertha heard we were going to be disbanded.
Feb 27th Drizzling all day long. Heard of Lord Roberts capturing Cronje and had a Big Bon Fire in honour of it. each man giving 10/- nearly every one Blind Drunk very few exceptions Major Maxwell presiding.
Feb 28th Cloudy all day heavy storm during afternoon went on Picket all night Sergt A Jackson in charge very misty during night hardly see each other got wet through and through
March 1st Very hot day indeed and beastly hot Wind Left Melmoth to go to Eshowe at 3 P M. Got caught in the Worst storm I ever remember Lightning Wind Hail Etc got to Umhlatuzi River 8 PM. then had to let horses swim across and ourselves carry saddles over at 8 P M. Roads very greasy and dark as pitch night Waded over river water up to Waists.
Mar 2nd Fine day left Umhlatuzi and arrived in Eshowe where our men Joined the other squadrons Melmoth to Eshowe 30 miles
Mar 3rd Very hot day got leave and went to N R Rifles Camp saw B. James and any amount of other Chums in N R R, went with B James and had Dinner at Taverners hotel and then to a smoking concert very good.
Mar 4th Stayed in Camp all day lots of N R Rifles down to see us all.
Mar 5th Fine day Took 2 Saddles up to Hancock saddler to get restuffed played Football match against N R R and Won
Mar 6th Cloudy all day Went up town in Morning played Football match against Eshowe lost by Goal.
Mar 7th Went up town played Football match against B Sdron 2 Goals Each
Mar 8th Fine day On Guard all day. nothing doing in Camp
Mar 9th Came off Guard nothing doing went up town all day.
Mar 10th Raining hard all day nothing doing in Camp Self sent to a native Kraal to get a wagon to take Kit Etc down as far as Bonds Drift.
Mar 11th Cloudy day Left Eshowe to go to P M Burg. W. Nicholson and self driving remounts down beastly nuisance off saddled and had lunch at Amatikulu Drift arrived at Tugela Bonds Drift with evening Neuralgia very bad distance Eshowe to Bonds Drift 28 Miles
Mar 12th Very hot day. Entraining horses at Tugela and left there at 2 P M. had a splendid spread by the Verulam people Cakes Tea Cigarettes Etc and Girls by the doz arrived in Durban 11.30 P M
Mar 13th Left Durban 12 P M and arrived in PMBurg 8AM very tired of rail Journey 10 men in our 3rd Class Carriage Distance by Rail Tugela to P M B 140 miles All went down to Show ground and got leave and went out to Berthas and had a right good welcome from her also other Shacklefords slept there that night, and oh dear had to Cut and Shave off my beard before Bertha would let me have any Tea ! [Mrs Bertha Shackleford, George Bosse’s sister, lived in Scottsville on the corner of what are today Oribi and Shackleford Roads.]
Mar 14th Went back to show ground, getting ready to hand in all arms Etc
Mar 15th Really got disbanded and got all discharges Etc finished up with the Colonial Scouts A Squadron 2 Troop.
[ end ]
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