The Australian Boer War Memorial
Anzac Parade Canberra

The New South Wales Lancers arrive in South Africa 2 November 1899

In 1899, the New South Wales Lancers had a squadron training at Aldershot in England; the funds to send the troops had been raised by the community with only token (NSW) Government assistance. On 10 October the squadron set sail for home in the Steam Ship Nineveh. On 11 October the British Government declared War on the Boer Republics in South Africa.

The squadron arrived at Cape Town on 2 November, and found orders from the British and New South Wales Governments. The Lancers became the first overseas volunteers to take part.

The sub-unit served under British Regimental command, and fought with lances in some skirmishes. The New South Wales Lancers proved invaluable with superior capacity to navigate in open spaces.

The squadron remained in South Africa until 26 October 1900, and was involved in 46 engagements. Two NCOs (Sergeant-Major Morris and Sergeant Houston) were awarded the DCM, and one officer (Captain Cox) was awarded the CB. The squadron was reinforced three times; a total of 331 all ranks served. 7 Lancers paid the ultimate price.

REF: PV Vernon (ed) The Royal New South Wales Lancers 1885 - 1985

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John Howells


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RUSI of NSW Boer War Battlefields