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Anglo Boer War (1899-1902) New Zealand Contingent .

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  • Captain Donald John Polson (1870 - 1930)
    Birth New Zealand : __________________Surname: polson Reg No: 0Given Names: dContingent: fifth Rank: lieutenant Unit: No. 12 company (wellington section_ County/City: marlborough Occupation: storeman S...
  • George Mcleod Polson (1872 - 1927)
    george mcleod polson Surname: polson Reg No: 5822 Given Names: george mcleod Contingent: Eighth Rank: private Unit: South Island Regiment - F Squadron County/City: christchurch suburb Occupation: store...

Soldiers from New Zealand that served and died in the Angloa-Boer War ( 1899 - 1902 )

GENERAL FRENCH'S DESPATCH: 2nd February 1900.—NZMI: Major A W Robin, commanding, deserves special mention for the frequent occasions on which he and his men have performed signal service during these operations. Captain Madocks and his company mentioned in body of despatch for work on 15th January.

LORD ROBERTS' DESPATCHES: 31st March 1900.—NZMI, with Cavalry Division for Relief of Kimberley, and advance to Bloemfontein, Major A W Robin.

2nd April 1901.—Lieutenant Seddon, Roughriders, one of Lord Roberts' Colonial ADC's, "performed duties loyally and well"; Lieutenant Colonel S Newall (5th Contingent); Majors M Cradock' (2nd), A AV Robin (1st); Lieutenants J G Hughes (1st), T J M Todd (2nd); Majors R H Davies (4th), T Jowsey (3rd); Captains C T Major (4th), D Polson (5th); Lieutenants A Bauchop (4th), S H, Bradburne (3rd), G H R Rolleston (4th); Sgt-Majors W J Burn’, W H Fletcher (5th); Sergeant Major Harpur; Sergeants W Cassidy (2nd), E Hazlett, Luck; Pioneer-Sergeant Harris; Corporals. Harler, Hogg; Troopers Gallaway, Holroyd; Private W B Wade.

4th September 1901.—Sergeants Bennett, Ebbs; Gunner Kelly, 1-pr battery. Nursing Sister J M N Williamson, who got the Royal Red Cross.

Lord Roberts, in despatch of 1st March 1902, announced that Private H D Coutts, NZMR, had been awarded one of the four woollen scarves knitted by Queen Victoria for distribution to the four most distinguished private soldiers in the forces of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.

LORD KITCHENER'S DESPATCHES: 8th March 1901.—NZMR: Lieutenant Colonel Cradock (2nd); Captains G Crawshaw (2nd), E W C Chaytor (3rd); Surgeon Captain S C Godfray (3rd); Lieutenant C L Somerville (2nd); Quartermaster Sergeant Stephenson; Sergeant P Tudor; Troopers E Hille, H Harper, J Stevens, H Windgate.

8th May 1901, from General Babington's despatch as to capture of guns and convoy in Western Transvaal, 24th March.—4th New Zealand: Captains G H Walker, DSO, and B Arthur, for excellent services; Corporal O'Dowd, promoted Sergeant; Privates Rumble and Drinan, promoted Corporals. Private Rumble charged a gun, closely followed by Drinan and O'Dowd. They were met by a heavy fire from the gunners, Rumble's coat being shot through, and Drinan's hat. They took the gun. Private Thurlow (promoted Corporal), conspicuous for his energy in turning round waggons of convoy under fire, and sending them to the rear. Private Wylie (promoted Corporal) charged a gun by himself; it was defended by four of enemy, two of whom he killed and then captured the gun. Private D Langham, conduct in capture of guns. 5th NZ: Lance Corporal Turnbull (promoted Corporal), near Dwarsvlei, Krugersdorp, 23rd April, went with Major Brown, Border Regiment, into a dark cave and succeeded in getting out six armed Boers.

GENERAL PLUMER'S DESPATCHES: 6th April.—6th NZMI: Farrier-Sergeant G Rouse and Private A Free (promoted Corporal), on April 5, near Pietpotgeitersrust, captured 12 armed Boers and 2 waggons with arms and ammunition. 8th July 1901.—NZMR: Surgeon Captain E J O'Neill (6th), on June 16, under heavy fire, went three times to the wounded and succeeded in getting Lieutenant Ryan and three men. 4th.: Captain A Bauchop, at Spitz Kop, Feb. 11, for plucky action in rescuing a wounded man. Farrier-Major W J Hardman, near Cypherfontein, June 21, brought a wounded man out of fire on his horse, himself running beside him (mentioned in Army Orders). Farrier - Major Hardman got the Victoria Cross for another act of gallantry.

8th August 1901.—7th NZ Regt.: Lieutenant E Hecklar, at Witkop, Transvaal, July 22, with two men, brought two dismounted men out of action under heavy fire, Sergeant Major Callaway and Lance Corporal Vicoe assisting in this.

8th October 1901.—7th NZ Regt.: Captain C Simpson greatly distinguished himself in night capture of Spannerberg's laager near Honingspruit, August 16. 6th NZMR: Lieutenant P L Tudor, with only 12 men, crossed the Caledon on 16th Sept., and kept touch with 200 Boers for three days, and displayed great gallantry on 27th, holding position for three hours against 50 Boers. Major A W Andrew, Indian Staff Corps, in command during action at Mokari Drift, Caledon River, Sept. 27, and handled his troops very well. Captain J Findlay, East Kent, attached, and Captain L C E Knight, for excellent service in command of detached troops in Orange River Colony in September. Private J E Baigent, one of a party which volunteered to carry despatches, ambushed and fired on at very close range, and the corporal's horse being shot, waited under heavy fire for him, and brought him away safely; Bastard's Drift, Orange River Colony, 27th September. 7th NZ: Sergeant Major E Lockett, for most gallant rescue of a prisoner in the Hosberg,

August 23. He was severely wounded, and lost an arm in consequence.

8th December 1901.—4th MR: Sergeant J Walker, for capture, single-handed, of three armed Boers, in a farm near Standerton. 7th: Lieutenant J D G Shera, for gallantry in attack on laager in Pongola Bosch, October 23. Sergeant J Davidson, Lance Corporal W Rutherford, for gallantry in bringing wounded men out of action under close fire, October 5.

8th March 1902.-7th: Major A Baudiope; Lieutenants P T Emerson, P Overton, for good service in Colonel Byng's capture of laager at Fanny Home February 2. Lieutenant D A Hickey, for marked good service in action at Witkoppies on night of December 27. Farrier Sergeant Quinn, for recovering stampeded horses which had gone through enemy's lines, under a hot and close fire, and closely pursued, December 27. Sergeant W Kent, at Holnek, December 21, when with 20 men, was charged by 50 Boers, dismounted his men and repulsed enemy by volleys.

8th April 1902.—NZMR: Lieutenant Colonel T W Porter.

1st June 1902.—7th: Lance Corporal Gregory, promoted corporal, for coolness and grasp of situation which enabled officer commanding regiment to make effective dispositions to repulse attack, 24th February 1902.

23rd June 1902.—New Zealand Forces: Nursing Sister D Peiper; Colonel R H Davies, CB; Majors F W Abbott, E Bartlett; Captains R Stevenson, C L Somerville, H R Potter, G R Johnstone; Lieutenant W C Morrison;

Timaru Herald Wednesday 25 October 1899

   The Times estimates that there were 40,000 people present and though this is probably over the mark, the demonstration must always live in the memory of those who beheld it as a most remarkable and patriotic display. The Contingent had marched to the ship's side. The sight while the Waiwera was slowly steaming was viewed by thousands massed on the wharves and along the central frontage, and dense wings were spread out into the dim distance on either side. In addition the steamers themselves carried 10,000. Some of them were like beehives. One little boat licensed by the Customs to take 400, was filled far beyond that limit, and others in proportion. The troopship received a great send off from them. Besides the firing of bombs, flags were dipped and all on board waved handkerchiefs and little banners. To make an harmonious ending the weather at the last minute relented. Since the Contingent first entered camp it has been persistently cold and wintry, with a fair amount of rain, but when the Waiwera headed out into the straits the evening sun was shining brightly, and the water was almost smooth. Captain Ward, who came to the colony as Aide-de-Camp to Lord Ranfurly, left for the front by the Waiwera on Saturday.

Timaru Herald Thursday 21 December 1899

   The Waiwera will probably be again employed as a troopship. Carpenters were to dismantle her on her way back but the operations will be intercepted at Albany if possible.
   97% of the members of Parliament have signified their approval of sending another Contingent. The Government requires 250 horses, bays, blacks, or browns, 15 to 15.3 hands and five to ten years old. Mr G.G. Stead of Christchurch has presented ten. Trooper Bradford of Paeroa, was killed while skirming at Arundel, Dec. 19. [Timaru Herald Friday 22 December 1899 Bradford, the New Zealander, was not killed. He was wounded and taken prisoner.[
   Other NZ troopships during the South African War: Brittanic, Manila, Tongariro.
   New Zealand troopers returned from South Africa:
   First Contingent left S. Africa Nov. 1900
   Second and Third and Contingents arrived back at Port Chalmers 8 May 1901
   Fourth land fifth left May 1901
   Sixth and Seventh left 22 May 1902 and July 1902
   August 1902 
   The Eighth Contingent left Durban 5 July 1902
   The Ninth Contingent left Durban 9 July 1902
   The Tenth Contingent left Durban 15 July 1902

Other New Zealanders served with South African Regiments. Leonard Edward John WORTHINGTON, from Pleasant Point, was too young for the Boer War so Len and a minister's son stowed away and jumped off the ship at Cape Town and swarm ashore and joined 2nd Brabant's Horse South African Regiment, as Trooper 5073, which was raised from colonial volunteers in South Africa. Later he was drafted from the Temuka Rifles with the Eighth Contingent - E Squadron and as Trooper 5617 Len was attested at Addington on 6 January 1902. He was awarded the Queen's South African Medal 1902 and Orange Free State Clasp and obtained the rank of lance-corporal.

Many volunteered again. "Harry" Henry Thackeray HECKLER b. 1861 at Waikouaiti, Otago. Harry volunteered for the Fourth Contingent.�He left as a Corporal, was made a Lieutenant, later a Captain after he again volunteered for the North Island Regiment, Tenth Contingent. He had been working as a farm manger south of Hastings. On the voyage over on the S.S. Drayton Grange in 1902 he became good friends with the Hon. Richard John Seddon, the Prime Minister of NZ, who had been invited to visit South Africa. Seddon's son was with the Eighth Contingent.