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Victorian Mounted Rifle Regiment
Departed Melbourne in SS Euryalus 10 March 1900.
10 Victorian nurses and 24 Cameron's Scouts sailed with this contingent.
 230 of the Bushmen were farmers or involved in primary production.
The only Victorian contingent to wear 'Garibaldies' (a long jacket).

Principal engagements: Koster River, Eland's River, Rhenoster Kop,
2nd De Wet Hunt, Wolvekuilen, Pietersburg.

Photo of departure of Euryalus.
Departure of SS Euryalus.

Third Contingent at Langwarrin Members of the Third 'Bushmen's' Contingent at the Langwarrin Training Camp outside Melbourne, prior to departure for South Africa.


by Robin Droogleever

‘That Ragged Mob’ is the story of the Victorian 3rd and 4th Contingents sent to the war in South Africa in 1900. In the campaign they rode into battle with Western Australians, New South Welshmen, Queenslanders, South Australians, Tasmanians, New Zealanders and Imperial Yeomanry. Over 200 descendants have assisted the author in some way to complete this book. It is as much a tribute to those families as it is a glorious chapter in Australia’s military history. The reader will be able to follow the campaign and learn about a period in history which has long been overlooked. ‘That Ragged Mob’ is 720 pages in length, in hard cover format with dust-jacket, indexed, and profusely illustrated with photos not seen before. Included is a detailed biographical roll on each man who served with the two Victorian units and Cameron’s Scouts. There are relevant references to the Victorian nurses that accompanied the 3rd Contingent. It should be of value to local historical societies, libraries, archives, genealogical societies, military history groups, medal collectors, military historians, and of course, the families of those who served. The Genealogical Society of Victoria has described the publication as "meticulous research and precise writing...complemented by maps and a generous supply of illustrations...The text...portrays with graphic intensity the guerilla war in South Africa..." (see The Ancestor, Vol. 30, Issue 1, March/April 2010, page 21). [isbn: 9780646518169] $64.90 which includes postage throughout Australia (in the 3kg red bag). Cheque or money order to Robin Droogleever, P.O.Box 42, Bulleen, Victoria, 3105. SOLD OUT


Farrier-Sergeant Roderick McSwain

Photo of Rory McSwain
Roderick McSwain was a blacksmith
by trade. After completing his twelve
months of active service with the
Victorian Bushmen's Contingent,
Farrier-Sergeant R. McSwain was
transferred to the South African
Constabulary and soon gained
promotion as a sergeant in that
Police Force.

No. 418 Trooper Sam Oliver

Killed in action
Photo of Sam Oliver
22 July 1900
The Bushmen's contingent
was in action facing 900
Boers at Koster's Farm,
Rustenburg. Trooper
Sam Oliver of Milawa,
Victoria,was among a few
men to take charge of the
horses, a primary target
of the Boers. 'Your son',
his Lieutenant wrote to
Oliver's parents, 'behaved
with great gallantry in
trying to save some horses
and was surrounded by the
enemy and shot down. His
body was riddled with bullets'.
Photo and information provided
by his proud grand nephew.

Books about Australia's part in the Boer War
(have a peek without leaving this site)

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