South Australia Boer War Contingents

Ten contingents departed from the Colony and State with the last being Commonwealth forces raised in South Australia.? The military supplied six contingents, a total of 1430 men—all volunteers.

The 1st and 2nd Contingents were financed by the SA Government and the men received an appropriate remuneration. The 3rd (Bushmen's) was privately (and relatively poorly) financed and the remaining Contingents were financed by Britain.?

The 1st Contingent departed Adelaide on the Medic 2 November 1899 with six officers and 121 men as infantry but became a mounted force in South Africa. The 2nd Contingent of six officers, 112 men, 120 horses and a machine gun departed 26 January 1900. The Bushmen’s Contingent of six officers and ninety-three men served from June 1900 to April 1901. The Imperial Bushmen’s Contingent comprised twelve officers and 222 men. The balance of men served in the 5th and 6th Contingents which formed into a regiment in South Africa.

‘Pictured: Great enthusiasm prevailed at Adelaide on the departure of the colonial troops for South Africa. Before the men embarked on the Medic, a public reception was given at the Town Hall to the Victorian, Tasmanian, and South Australian units. Of the scene on that occasion we reproduce a photograph. When the Medic sailed, a flotilla of tugs with about a thousand people on board gave the contingent a hearty send-off.?’ Source: Illustrated London News, Page 293 3 Mar 1900.

10 contingents departed Adelaide as listed:

1 South Australian Mounted Rifles 2 Nov 1899 30 Nov 1900
2 South Australian Mounted Rifles 26 Jan 1900 12 May 1901
3 South Australian Bushmen's 27 Feb 1900 25 Jun 1901
4 South Australian Imperial Bushmen 1 May 1900 27 Jul 1901
5 South Australian Imperial Bushmen 9 Feb 1901 27 Apr 1902
6 South Australian Imperial Bushmen 6 Apr 1901 27 Apr 1902
7 Australian Army Medical Corps SA from 11 Feb 1902
8 2nd Bn Australian Cwlth Horse SA 29 Feb 1902 31Jul 1902
9 4th Bn Australian Cwlth Horse SA 1 Apr 1902 24/31 Jul 1902
10 8th Bn Australian Cwlth Horse SA
A Squadron—Adelaide area
B Squadron 1 Troop—Mt Gambier area
B Squadron 2 Troop—Burra area
B Squadron 3 Troop—Wallaroo area
B Squadron 4 Troop—Pt Pirie area 26 May1902 24 Jul 1902

• Chapman /ISO place codes used for places outside South Australia
• DCM ~ Distinguished Conduct Medal
• DSO ~ Distinguished Service Order
• KIA ~ Killed in Action
• POW ~ Prisoner of War
• [?] ~ unconfirmed

Data provided by Graham Jaunay.