The Defending Victoria website was first created in 1997. It is frequently updated.
This webpage is just one of 74 on the Defending Victoria website - partial 



 First Victorian Contingent

1st VMR embarking Departure of SS Medic
Embarkation of the 1st Victorian Contingent and departure of SS Medic on 28 October 1899.
Photographs kindly provided by Craig Nielsen Little.
Departed Melbourne in SS Medic 28 October 1899
Special Service Officer -- Col. J. C. Hoad, AAG Victorian Forces

 1st Australian Regiment

Formed at Cape Town 26 November 1899 and including companies
from the First Victorian Contingent (above)
Attached for duty: Commander Colquhoun, Victorian Navy.
 Read about Cmdr Colquhoun at Paardeberg.
 Details about 1st Australian Regiment

 2nd (Mounted Rifles) Contingent

Departed Melbourne: SS Euryalus 13 January 1900.

Raised predominantly on the Mounted Rifle Regiment,
formed by Lt-Col Tom Price in 1885, and Victorian
Rangers, Militia including the battalions of the
Infantry Brigade and some from the Royal
Australian Artillery.
The Victorian 2nd (Mounted Rifles) Contingent
was the first unit to enter the city.
A large number of this unit were invalided back to
Victoria, having experienced starvation and extreme
exhaustion on some treks.
James Fox
Cpl James Peter Fox.
 More information about the 2nd Contingent

 The Third (Bushmen's) Contingent

Departed Melbourne in SS Euryalus 10 March 1900
Victorian nurses and 24 Cameron's Scouts sailed with this contingent
Maj John Parnell
Assistant Adjutant General,
Major John Parnell, was
responsible for the overall
organisation and preparation
of Victoria's first three official
contingents to the Boer War.
Born in Melbourne, he was
extensively trained in many
military skills including signals.
 More about the 3rd Contingent, VMR

 The Fourth (Imperial) Contingent

Enrollment for the 4th Contingent

Departed Melbourne 1 May 1900 in Victorian, arrived Beira 23 May.

Principal engagements: Ottoshoop, Malopo Oog, Wonderfontein,
Hartebeestfontein,Uitral's Kop, Doornbult, Wolmaranstad, Harteb,
Hoopstad, Zeerust, Matjesfontein, Philipstown, Read's Drift.
Laurie Marshall (left)
Laurie Marshall (left), Fred Peterson and 'Susie'.
Photo kindly provided by Craig Nielsen Little.

Extract from Divisional Order, 16 April 1901, by Lieut-General Lord Methuen:

'The Lieut-General cannot allow the occasion to pass without expressing
to his mounted forces his heartfelt gratitude for the splendid service they
have performed for their country. Their courage has been undeniable, and
there has been an entire absence of any discontent; the hardships of a campaign,
during which the division has trekked over 2,900 miles, having been cheerfully
 Fifth (Mounted Rifles) Contingent
Departed Melbourne in Orient, Argus and City of Lincoln 15 February 1901
photo of Fred Martin Shoeing-Smith Fred Martin.
He developed rheumatic fever after too many nights
in cold, wet conditions without blankets or even a tent.

 See 5th Victorian Mounted Rifles page


 Victorian recruits for Scottish Horse

Departed Melbourne 15 February 1901
Accepted for service, 2nd Bn Marquis of Tullibardine's Scottish Horse
Principal engagement: Defence of the guns at Brakenlaagte
Primrose Cemetery Memorial     Inscription on Memorial
Memorial to the Victorians who fell in defence of the guns
at Bakenlaagte (30 October 1899) as members of the 2nd
Battalion, Scottish Horse. The Memorial, erected by the
government of Victoria, now stands in Primrose Cemetery
in Johannesburg. The ceremony pictured here took place
on the centenary of the battle. Flowers were placed on the
Memorial by members of the local Parktown & Westcliff
Heritage Trust. Photographs kindly provided by Flo Bird.
(The men's names are also inscribed on the large Boer
War Memorial in Ballarat, Victoria).
Commonwealth Army Medical Corps
(Victorian section)
    Cade, David Duncan Lieutenant (Hon. Captain)
    Formby, Henry H. Lieutenant (Hon. Captain)
    James, William A. Lieutenant (Hon. Captain)
1320. Sellwood, William Staff-Sergeant
1398. Jackson, Henry George Sergeant
1311. Vernon, Wm. Francis John Sergeant
1297. Hutchings, Thomas Stawell Corporal (Lance Sergeant; Sergeant, 1.4.02)
1299. Kemp, James Corporal
1306. Langhran, Gerald Henry Corporal
1300. Beulke, Auguste Edward Private
1301. Smith, Alfred John Private
1302. Suter, Thomas George Private
1303. Murray, John Waderburn Private
1304. Phillips, Reginald Stewart Private
1305. Stein, James Laurie Private
1307. Bailey, Percy Francis Private
1309. Chandler, Albert Private
1310. Balmer, Frederick William Private
1312. Doonan, John Private
1313. Hay, Walter Stewart Private
1314. May, Joseph Private
1315. Bisset, Ernest George Private (Lance-Corporal)
1316. Chapman, Alick Private Private
1317. Currie, Albert John Private
1318. Fulford, Charles Edward Private
1319. Bade, Alfred Private
1321. Roughton, William Private
1322. Emmerson, Walter Thomas Private
1355. Stone, William Charles Private
1356. Thorpe, Frank Clarence Private
1265. Nixon, Clyde William Pemberton Private
 2nd Bn Australian Commonwealth Horse
6th Victorian Contingent: (3 Victorian Companies)
Departed Melbourne 12 February 1902 in St Andrew.
Was brigaded with 1st Australian Commonwealth Horse,
in Colonel De Lisle's Australian Brigade. Lord Kitchener
inspected the 2nd Battalion on 22 April. Under Gen. Sir Ian
Hamilton, took part in a drive to the Hartz River leading to the
surrender of Bazendekout's Commando of 191 men and 200 horses.
A further 52 men also surrendered shortly thereafter to Captain
Mark Kirby, a veteran of the 2nd Victorian Contingent now in the
2nd Battalion.
 4th Bn Australian Commonwealth Horse
7th Victorian Contingent: (Battalion staff & 2 Victorian Companies)
Departed Melbourne 26 March 1902 in transport Templemore
The Battalion did not see action before news of peace reached
it at Elandsfontein on 1 June.
 6th Bn Australian Commonwealth Horse
8th Victorian Contingent: (An exclusively Victorian Battalion)
Departed Melbourne 19 May 1902 in Manchester Merchant (and
an earlier detachment left in Menelaus on 16 May)
Within days of arrival, orders for immediate return to Australia
were received. The Battalion arrived back in Melbourne on 7 August.

 Portrait of Lt Col  E. C. Bethune
Lt-Col E. C. Bethune, commanding 
Bethune's Mounted Infantry. Bethune
was an unusual cavalryman having lost
his right hand earlier in pre-war India.
(From Robinson's Celebrities of the Army, 1900).
An irregular British South African Unit. Victorians, unable to enlist in any of the official
Victorian Contingents, rushed to South Africa to join any unit they could find. There were
many. Bethune's was one such unit. It included Americans, Scandinavians and Australians.
Among them were at least 39 Victorians (judging by the addresses of their next of kin) on
the nominal roll, including one from the prosperous Melbourne suburb of Toorak and
another whose father was in Pentridge Gaol (probably as a warder) . . .
Formed October 1899 in South Africa
CO Edward Cecil Bethune, 16th (Queen's) Lancers
next CO Col S. C. H. Monro, Seaforth Highlanders
Lt D Crawford (formerly Trooper B Sqn, August 1900) High Camp Plain, Victoria
No. 9 Sergeant W McMillan C Sqn (19. 10. 99) Mansfield, Victoria
No. 85 Tpr L Casrotti A Sqn (19. 10. 99) Carlton, Victoria
No. 389 Farriers' Sergeant J. Cock D Sqn (19. 10. 99) Daylesford, DOW Vryheid
No. 548 Tpr Twomey D Sqn (28. 10. 99) Frankston, Victoria
No. 651 Tpr J Fitzgibbon B Sqn (Jan 1900) South Melbourne
No. 656 Tpr John W Locke D Sqn (13 Dec 1900) Melbourne
No. 817 Tpr H Knudson E Sqn (illegible) Footscray, wounded Vryheid
No. 842 Tpr H. Ward E Sqn (5. 5. 00) Hillside, Victoria
No. 842a Tpr G. J. Sandford E Sqn (May 1900) Geelong, Victoria
No. 843 Tpr Eric Arthur Wilson E Sqn (May 00) Geelong, died Pretoria
No. 844 Tpr Wm F Clark E Sqn (May 00) Toorak, Victoria
No. 850 Tpr Paul M Tennick E Sqn (May 00) Footscray, Victoria
No. 889 Cpl Alfred Bray F Sqn (April 1900) Ballarat, discharged to Menne's Scouts
No. 915 Tpr Alfred Glassborow (Aug 00) Richmond, to Menne's Scouts
No. 997 Tpr Francis H. D. Hand A Sqn (Aug 00) Hawthorn, killed by lightning
No. 1009 Tpr Henry J Oldham E Sqn (Aug 00) St Kilda, Victoria
No. 1022 Shoeing-Smith Archibald Grey A Sqn (Aug 00) Hamilton, Victoria
No. 1027 Tpr A F Anderson (Aug 00) South Melbourne
No. 1056 Tpr J T Lowe D Sqn (Aug 00) Kew, Victoria
No. 1061 Tpr J L McClean C Sqn (Aug 00) South Melbourne
No. 1132 Tpr Geo F Lancefield B Sqn (Nov 00) East Malvern (prom. Saddlers' Sergeant)
No. 1160 Tpr Charles Griffiths A Sqn (Sept 00) Clifton Hill, Victoria (prom. Cpl)
No. 1167 Tpr C Southee E Sqn (Sept 00) Mildura, Victoria
No. 1195 Tpr Jas Weatherhead E Sqn (Dec 00) Williamstown (prom. L/Cpl)
No. 1223 Tpr Wm F Watt E Sqn (Jan 01) Coburg (prom. Cpl)
No. 1253 Tpr A J Lilford C Sqn (Feb 01) Tongala, Victoria
No. 1255 Tpr Wm Peet C Sqn (Feb 01) Carlton, Victoria
No. 1262 Tpr Collingwood McKinnon D Sqn (Feb 01) E. Melbourne (prom. L/Cpl)
No. 1288 Tpr A E Johnson D Sqn (Mar 01) South Yarra, Victoria
No. 1290 Tpr F W Stocks B Sqn (Mar 01) Warrigal, Victoria
No. 1302 Tpr W F Egan A Sqn (Mar 01) Kilmore, Victoria
No. 1319 Tpr A F Yorke E Sqn (Mar 01) father: Pentridge Stockade, Coburg
No. 1324 Tpr Sydney Geo Ross B Sqn (Mar 01) Newport, Victoria
No. 1342 Tpr R Barton A Sqn (Mar 01) Melbourne
No. 1346 Tpr Christopher Jorgensen D Sqn (May 01) Kerang, Victoria
No. 1349 Tpr W A Horsfield D Sqn (May 01) Melbourne
No. 1391 Tpr G W Mallett B Sqn (Aug 01) Ballan, Victoria
No. 1394 Tpr W E Russell B Sqn (Aug 01) Naval Dockyard, Williamstown

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

DVDs including memorable Australians at war movies
(check them out without leaving this site)




Sir William Angliss's meat works, located in Footscray, first exported frozen meat to the
goldfields of Western Australia, later to the imperial forces fighting in South Africa.
[This information kindly provided by Frank Noonan]

Do YOU have photos, letters, diaries of someone who served in the Victorian Contingents?



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