Lieutenant John Chard:What's our strength? Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead Seven officers including surgeon commissaries and so on Adendorff now I suppose wounded and sick 36 fit for duty 97 and about 40 native levies Not much of an army for you.
HomeHome  CalendarCalendar  GalleryGallery  PublicationsPublications  FAQFAQ  SearchSearch  RegisterRegister  Log inLog in  
Latest topics
» George Middleton
Yesterday at 10:05 pm by 1879graves

» Durnfords arrival at iSandlwana
Yesterday at 9:18 pm by rusteze

» 90th Foot. Did it go to the 1879 war from India or from England?
Yesterday at 8:49 pm by 1879graves

» Sir Thomas Keir Murray
Yesterday at 8:47 pm by 1879graves

» Last man alive
Yesterday at 1:16 pm by ymob

» Smith-Dorrien talk 26th January 2019
Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:52 pm by ADMIN

» Pte 1507 Edwin Lewis 2-24th
Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:13 pm by 1879graves

» A heads- up on the weather for visitors to Zululand
Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:40 pm by barry

» 140th Anniversary Events - January 2019
Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:16 pm by timothylrose

» Privates John Bly & James Dick 2/24th RD Defenders
Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:58 pm by Lee Stevenson

» Colonel Wilford Neville Lloyd, C.B., C.V.O., T.D.
Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:17 pm by 1879graves

» Studies in the Zulu War 1879 Volume V
Sun Jan 06, 2019 1:31 pm by Julian Whybra

» Festive Fun photograph quiz!
Sat Jan 05, 2019 6:31 pm by Kenny

» Artifact Sale
Sat Jan 05, 2019 12:12 am by 90th

» Petty Officer Tom
Fri Jan 04, 2019 3:45 pm by SergioD

Captain David Moriarity, 80th, KIA Ntombe
This photograph taken when he was in the 7th Regiment prior to his transfer to the 80th. [Mac & Shad] (Isandula Collection)
The Battle of Isandlwana: One of The Worst Defeats of The British Empire - Military History

Display results as :
Rechercher Advanced Search
Top posters
Frank Allewell
Mr M. Cooper
Fair Use Notice
Fair use notice. This website may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorised by the copyright owner. We are making such material and images are available in our efforts to advance the understanding of the “Anglo Zulu War of 1879. For educational & recreational purposes. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material, as provided for in UK copyright law. The information is purely for educational and research purposes only. No profit is made from any part of this website. If you hold the copyright on any material on the site, or material refers to you, and you would like it to be removed, please let us know and we will work with you to reach a resolution.
Top posting users this month
John Young
Frank Allewell
Most active topics
Isandlwana, Last Stands
Pte David Jenkins. 'Forgotten' Survivor of Rorke's Drift Returned to Official Records
Durnford was he capable.1
Durnford was he capable.5
Durnford was he capable. 4
The ammunition question
Durnford was he capable. 3
Durnford was he capable.2
Pte David Jenkins. 'Forgotten' Survivor of Rorke's Drift Returned to Official Records
The missing five hours.

Share | 

 Natal Naval Corps ( or Contingent)

Go down 


Posts : 885
Join date : 2011-10-21
Location : Algoa Bay

PostSubject: Natal Naval Corps ( or Contingent)   Thu Mar 29, 2012 7:06 am

Hi POTom,

Do you have any data on this unit, ie the Natal Naval Volunteers?


Back to top Go down


Posts : 7063
Join date : 2009-04-24
Age : 50
Location : Down South.

PostSubject: Re: Natal Naval Corps ( or Contingent)   Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:04 pm

Natal Naval Volunteers (1885 – 1904)

"The Natal Naval Volunteers (NNV) was established in 1885 as a coastal artillery unit tasked with defending the port of Durban. This unit was too small and poorly equipped to serve its intended purpose, but it nevertheless remained in existence and in 1899 it was called out on active service for the first time. War with the Boer Republics of the Transvaal and Orange Free State had been threatening for some time and the Anglo-Boer War finally broke out in October, 1899. Boer commandos from both Republics invaded Natal from the north and west.

All the Natal volunteer regiments, including the NNV, were called up for active service. The confused situation in the early stage of the war led to the NNV being split into two parts, with both attached to elements of the hastily assembled British Naval Brigade, which was made up of men and guns from Royal Navy ships in South African waters. One part of the Naval Brigade, including 73 men from the NNV, ended up in Ladysmith and it was besieged there from early November 1899 until the end of February 1900. The second part of the Naval Brigade, including 52 men from the NNV, took part in the operations to relieve the Siege of Ladysmith.

Guns of the besieged Naval Brigade remained in service throughout the siege and kept the Boer commandos out of easy reach of Ladysmith. The NNV were armed with one 9-pounder and two 3-pounder Hotchkiss guns and played a small part in the Naval Brigade's activities. Only once did the Boers attempt a frontal assault on the British lines and that was at the Battle of Wagon Hill on 6 January 1900. Men of the NNV, including the Hotchkiss detachment, were engaged at both Wagon Hill and further east at Caesar's Camp. In his dispatch after the siege was lifted, the British Commander in Ladysmith, General Sir George White, wrote:

"The Natal Naval Volunteers have proved themselves worthy comrades of the land forces of the colony."

The force assembled to relieve the Siege of Ladysmith was under the command of General Sir Redvers Buller. The NNV in the relief force were armed with two 9-pounders and their first task was to build two outposts at Colenso, Fort Wylie and Fort Nicholson. After being shelled by the Boers on 3 November 1899, the NNV were ordered to evacuate Fort Wylie, spike their guns and leave their ammunition. This order was disobeyed and the men and all their equipment returned to Estcourt. Thereafter, they were based at Frere as part of the Naval Brigade and they took part in shelling the Boer lines north of the Tugela River.

After the defeat of the British at the Battle of Colenso on 15 December 1899, the NNV moved westwards with Buller's army, which was to cross the Tugela River at Potgieter's Drift. Since the Boers were not entrenched close to the river in this area, the crossing was not contested, but the river itself caused problems. Effecting river crossings was the preserve of the Royal Engineers but at Potgieter's Drift they failed in this duty and it fell to a detachment from the Naval Brigade under Lieutenant Chiazzari of the NNV to rescue the situation. The events were described by W K-L Dickson in his book, 'The Biograph in battle: Its story in the South African War', as follows;

"January 16th …… Our soldiers looked wretchedly wet and bedraggled as they wound their way over and around the kopjes. We could see them slowly approach the river and test the crossing, two men going up to their middles and wading round to make sure there were no entanglements for their feet. Then the troopers followed one by one, while others tried to engineer the ferry, which they ultimately abandoned to our naval men, the handy boys, who are signalled for from the valley. Soon a party of thirteen was made up under the command of Lieutenant Chiazzari, with Chief Gunner Instructor Baldwin assisting. They managed quickly to repair the ferry and sent the troops across, toiling all evening and throughout the night until dawn. General Buller sent word to Captain Jones next morning that his men were worth their weight in gold. Baldwin's account of this feat is most entertaining. I abbreviate it somewhat for convenience sake: "We got orders to repair and handle the ferry just as it was getting dark, so we nipped down the hill and were soon at work, the Colonel of the Engineers passing it over to us. Lieutenant Chiazzari took the ferry while I remained on this side, and soon had things going in good shape. It is a wonder what a bit of rope will do with plenty of willing chaps. We were six from [HMS] Terrible and seven Natal Volunteers, including Lieutenant Chiazzari …… Before dawn we had taken nearly all over at a rate of 126 horses and three wagons in forty-two minutes, and this we repeated for two nights."

In addition to the gratitude of General Buller, Lieutenant Chiazzari was thanked by Major-General N G Lyttelton and was mentioned in despatches.

In spite of the successful river crossing, the British went on to loose the Battle of Spioenkop and, later, the Battle of Vaalkrans, and they again retreated to their former positions near Colenso.

The climactic battles to relieve the Siege of Ladysmith were fought along the Tugela Heights, east of Colenso, over the period 12 to 28 February 1900. Following their success at Potgieter's Drift, Lieutenant Chiazzari and men of the Naval Brigade were again called upon to repair and operate a ferry, this one at Colenso, after the town had been taken by Major-General A F Hart's brigade on 21 February. The ferry was operating within three and one half hours and Chiazzari again received a General's thanks and a mention in despatches.

The commander of the Naval Brigade in the relief force, Captain E P Jones RN of HMS Forte, reported to Rear-Admiral R H Harris as follows:

"Lieutenant N W Chiazzari, Natal Naval Vols., has been most useful, especially in getting into working order and working the punts across the river, both at Potgieter's and at Colenso, by which all the troops crossed."

Source: Brett Hendey
Back to top Go down

PostSubject: Re: Natal Naval Corps ( or Contingent)   Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:29 pm


What scant information I know about the Natal Naval Volunteers is their involvement in the Boer War, which is covered in "littlehand's" post.

Since they did not participate in the Zulu War, I have not yet had any time to do much research on them. The only naval volunteers in 1879 were the two men from Durban who were members of the Royal Naval Artillery Volunteers - Jennings and Ogilvie.

Petty Officer Tom
Back to top Go down
Sponsored content

PostSubject: Re: Natal Naval Corps ( or Contingent)   

Back to top Go down
Natal Naval Corps ( or Contingent)
Back to top 
Page 1 of 1

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Jump to: