Tasmanian Citizens Bushmen

The second contingent sent to the Boer War from Tasmania was authorized by the colonial government in c. February 1900 and was a half-squadron of mounted infantry. The half-squadron was established with strength of 52: one sergeant-major, two sergeants, one farrier-sergeant, four corporals, and one farrier. When the contingent left Hobart on the transport Antillian on 5 March 1900, it came under the command of Lieutenant Colonel E.T. Wallack for the voyage to South Africa, which was reached at the end of the month. Wallack then took the contingent to Beira, where Captain A.H. Riggall took charge. Riggall, who had served with the first Tasmanian contingent, had two other officers who now also joined the half-squadron.

The Tasmanians formed part of General Carrignton’s Column, participating in many operations in the Rhodesia and the western Transvaal. In the Transvaal they joined Lord Erroll’s Mounted Infantry Brigade, later serving under Lord Methuen in the west Transvaal, Griqualand West, and the Orange River Colony.

The Tasmanians were involved in many actions as Methuen’s force crossed from Rhodesia to Mafeking. In August, while at Mafeking, the half-squadron joined the Composite Bushmen Regiment. The regiment continued to operate in the west Transvaal with Methuen’s force, and were engaged in the actions at Buffel’s Hoek on 21 August, at Ottoshoop on 12 September, and Lichtenburg on 26 September. The Composite Bushmen Regiment was regularly in action for the rest of the year and into 1901, mainly in the western Transvaal but also in the Northern Orange River Colony.

On 19 May 1901 the Tasmanians embarked on the transport Aberdeen at Cape Town for the return voyage to Australia. After stops at Albany, Adelaide, and Melbourne, Aberdeen reached Tasmania on 14 June. The contingent was disbanded on 16 June.

Casualties

  • 4 killed or died of wounds, 5 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