3rd New South Wales Imperial Bushmen

Unit New South Wales contingents
Battle Honour South Africa 1899-1902
Commanding Officer South Africa 1899-1902
Decorations 1 DSO; 1 DCM; 4 MID
Conflict South Africa, 1899-1902 (Boer War)
  • Official records of the Australian military contingents to the war in South Africa(Melbourne : A.J. Mullett, Govt. Printer, 1911)
  • Wilcox, Craig, Australia's Boer War : the war in South Africa, 1899-1902(Melbourne : Oxford University Press, 2002)
Category Unit
Conflict South Africa, 1899-1902 (Boer War)
Unit hierarchy

The 3rd New South Wales Imperial Regiment was raised at Klerksdorp, Transvaal, on 4 May 1901. It was formed with men drafts of 230 officers and other ranks who were intended for the New South Wales Imperial Bushmen and the Citizens' Bushmen but who were instead formed into a separate regiment under the command of the Honourable Rupert Carington. Operating as part of Lieutenant Colonel E.C. William's column, the bushmen took part in all of the column's engagements, except Karanafontein, serving in the Transvaal and marching over 4,000 miles.

From May to October the column operated in west Transvaal, where it captured many prisoners and supplies. For example, after a running fight of 12 miles with the Boers at Koldersdrai on 24 May 1901 and a skirmish the column captured 19 prisoners, 600 cattle, and 1,000 sheep. On 20 August, after a 50 mile night march, the column skirmished with the Boers near Wolmanstadt. One hundred wagons were captured, so too was livestock and "many" wounded Boers. In October the column moved to the east Transvaal, where it took part in General Hamilton's operations against the Boer.

In January 1902 a new squadron for the regiment was formed in Cape Town from Australians already in the country, as was another squadron in February. This brought the strength of the regiment to over 500. About 1,000 men in total are thought to have served in the unit, although it had no more than 600 at any time.

In May some of the men whose time had expired returned to Australia in the transport Ansonia but many more, and all the officers, volunteered for further service. Those who stayed were reinforced by 200 Victorian Riverina bushmen, raised by J.S. Horsfall.

The regiment spent the remainder of its time serving with Williams' column in west Transvaal, until peace was declared in June 1902.

On 12 July 1902 the regiment sailed from Durban, Natal, for Australia, on board the transport Drayton Grange, and arrived in Sydney on 11 August.

Related information