The reports of General Forestier Walker in October 1899 show that this corps was embodied at that time, and had a battery of artillery, strength 116, and a battalion of infantry, 339, afterwards increased to 500. The battery remained for a considerable time about Cape Town and the line between that and the Orange River, the infantry at the same time being the garrison of Port Elizabeth, and afterwards guarding the railway. The greater portion of the corps were mounted in January, when it was seen that mounted men were required. In the latter half of February 1900 the mounted squadrons of the corps were employed, under Major General Clements, about Arundel, and did good work, particularly on the 20th, when they assisted to repel an attack in force, and on the 24th. On the latter date the two squadrons were sent out to reconnoitre towards Kuilfontein—a position which the enemy had been occupying in great strength. Suddenly they were fired on from both flanks and front, and had to take refuge in a gully which they held for three hours, but from which they had eventually to retire owing to the enemy placing a gun so that it enfiladed the shelter. The officer in command, Captain Lascelles of the Australian Regiment, ordered a retirement, which was well carried out with a loss of 2 men mortally wounded and 6 taken prisoners. General Clements issued an order as follows: "The GOC noticed with much satisfaction yesterday the courageous manner in which the Cape Colony Mounted Volunteers held the enemy in front of Kuilfontein farm, and retired under a very heavy fire in good order, covering the retreat of their comrades who were without horses". On the 27th it was found that the Boers had retired, and General Clements' force, including Prince Alfred's Guards, moved forward.
In April a portion of the corps were employed about Bethulie, and on 25th April Private King was killed on patrol duty. A mounted detachment of the corps joined the main army at Brandfort about 4th May, and then took part in the advance towards Pretoria, generally acting as part of General Tucker's mounted screen. On 15th May Lord Roberts telegraphed as follows from Kroonstad: "Two officers and 6 men of Prince Alfred's Guards were out foraging yesterday a few miles from Kroonstad. They had visited a farm flying the white flag, the owner of which surrendered himself, his arms, and his ammunition. They then approached another farm from which was also flying the white flag. When within 40 yards of the enclosure they were fired upon by 15 or 16 Boers concealed behind the farm wall. Private A E Goldsmidt and Private James Coltherd were killed. Lieutenant E B Walton received a slight flesh wound in the thigh, and Lieutenant W B Everton, Corporal W B Sagar, and Lance-Corporal E George were taken prisoner. The owner of the farm states that the Boers threatened to shoot him when he protested against their making improper use of the white flag".
A detachment of Prince Alfred's Guards also took part in the operations for surrounding Prinsloo, and a detachment 93 strong formed part of the escort to a large convoy which, under the command of Colonel Brookfield, was, on 25th June 1900, sent out from Kroonstad to General Paget, who was near Lindley. The convoy was fiercely attacked, but got through after heavy fighting. This squadron was also engaged on 3rd July 1900 in General Paget's sharp action at Baken Kop or Leeuw Kop. They were also in the pursuit of the Boers who crossed to the north of the Vaal. In August and September 1900 a portion of Prince Alfred's Guards were employed in the Johannesburg and Krugersdorp districts. In Lord Roberts' telegram of 20th October he spoke of an attack on some Boers near the railway, and said "Much credit is due to Lieutenant Walton and Prince Alfred's Own Volunteer Guards for their steadiness, 14 of them keeping off 100 Boers. Colonel Bullock, who was in command, specially mentions also Sergeant Holmes, who brought up his party from Honing Spruit, placing the Boers between the cross fire".
In the second phase of the war the corps was chiefly employed in Cape Colony, but one detachment long remained in the Kroonstad district. About the last days of December 1900 a party of about 60 of the corps were in a train which was derailed in Cape Colony. They promptly got out, and fired till their ammunition was exhausted; 2 were killed and about 5 wounded. On 17th March 1901, near Strydenburg, 2 men were killed, and Lieutenant E V Morgan wounded. In May and June a detachment of the mounted infantry was about Kopjes Station, in the Orange River Colony, where Captain Leeds and 2 men were wounded on 20th May 1901. Lord Kitchener's despatch of 8th July 1901 shows that 200 of the corps were, in May and onwards, in the column of Colonel Crabbe, which did an immense amount of work in the operations for clearing Cape Colony (see Marshall's Horse). Both they and Marshall's Horse had casualties on many occasions. Captain Walton and several men were wounded about 17th to 21st July. In August this body assisted to drive Kritzinger out of Cape Colony; and in September, while still under Colonel Crabbe, they did good work at the defeat of Van der Merwe on 9th September. A few days later they had further fighting, when Captain E B Walton was again, for the third time, wounded. On the 27th Captain A J Annison and 1 man were killed and several wounded.
The battery of the corps continued to do useful work throughout the campaign, and in 1901 was at Kimberley, Warrenton, Koffyfontein, and other places in the Orange River Colony and Cape Colony. They returned to Cape Town in January 1902.
The Mentions gained were—
As already noted, Lieutenant, afterwards Captain, Walton was specially mentioned in Lord Roberts' telegram of 20th October 1900.
LORD ROBERTS' DESPATCH: 2nd April 1901.—Captain F W Leeds and Lieutenant E C Olerenshaw.
LORD KITCHENER'S DESPATCH: 23rd June 1902.—Battery Sergeant Major M Mullins, Artillery (awarded DCM)
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