3rd New South Wales Mounted Rifles

The 3rd Regiment of the New South Wales Mounted Rifles was established in Sydney along the same lines as the two previous regiments. The 3rd Mounted Rifles consisted of five mounted rifle squadrons and a machine gun section. The preference for recruits was for trained men who were “good shots and riders”. They needed to be between the ages of 20 and 40, 5 foot 6 inch or taller, and have a chest measurement of 34 inches or larger. They also needed to be unmarried. The total strength of the regiment was 37 officers and 980 other ranks, with 1,000 horses. Nearly all of the officers had previously served in South Africa. The 3rd Mounted Rifles was the sixth and final contingent sent by New South Wales to the war.

The regiment travelled to South Africa in three group: B and D Squadrons were the first to leave Australia, sailing from Sydney on 15 March, on board the transport Maplemore; A, C, and E Squadrons, and the regimental staff, followed six days later on the British Princess. The machine gun section also left on 21 March, travelling on the transport Ranee. B and D Squadrons disembarked at Port Elizabeth on 12 April, while the rest of the regiment disembarked at Durban on 17 and 23 April. Another draft was also sent from Australia to reinforce the regiment. These men travelled on board the Antillian, leaving Sydney on 5 April and arriving at Durban on 12 May.

From 2 May 1901 to 28 April 1902 the regiment served in the eastern Transvaal and in eastern Orange Free, attached to Colonel Remington’s column. In early 1902 it took part in several drives, the principal one being the Harrismith drive, which resulted in the capture of 251 prisoners, 26,000 cattle, and 2,000 horses. In February 1902 the regiment was in action during the Boer breakthrough at Langverwacht.

In May the regiment embarked at Cape Town for Australia, leaving on 4 May and reaching Sydney on 3 June, after having stopped at Albany, Adelaide, and Melbourne.

Casualties

  • 7 killed or died of wounds, 32 died of disease

For more information please see the Roll of Honour and Boer War Nominal Roll databases.

Decorations

  • 1 DSO
  • 1 DCM

For more information please see Honours and Awards database

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