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Natal Transport Service
Posts : 6
Join date : 2020-10-11
Location : Port Elizabeth, South Africa
|Subject: Natal Transport Service Sun Mar 14, 2021 6:26 pm|| |
Here's a question for the collective brainpower of the forum. Elsewhere I posted a question about Lt. Frank Williams of the Diamond Fields Horse - he had the clasps 1877-8-9 on his SAGS (apparently only 4 with that clasp to the unit) - the roll indicated that he had seen action against Pokwane, the Griquas AND the Zulu although this last was impossible for me to determine as it must have been with another outfit as the DFH didn't see direct service in Zululand.
Fast forward to today, a friend alerted me to the fact that Williams had been an officer with the Natal Transport Service, and that he was apparently in the Cape recruiting wagon and mule drivers for the Commissariat.
Can anyone shed light on this? Could this explain why he is regarded as having fought in the Zulu War?
Posts : 947
Join date : 2011-10-21
Location : Algoa Bay
|Subject: NTS SAGS Sun Mar 14, 2021 7:55 pm|| |
One clue may be that the Natal Government had to employ many private contractors to haul vast quantities of supplies such as hay and animal fodder and other basics, for the Commissiariat, from central Natal to fuel the war machine at Isandlwana. Many of these contractors were in fact Boers who saw that there was a fast buck to be made and offered their services. They were all however very bush-wise with ears close to the ground and fled at the first inkling of trouble. Officially they were not however combatants , so any awarding of medals to them seems a bit odd, ....unless of course there was some arrangement catering for their special status. In reality, however, every Boer wagon was well armed and as a result of that thieves, brigands, highwaymen, and any other neer-do-wells knew that they were to be given a wide berth.
Last edited by barry on Wed Mar 17, 2021 7:47 am; edited 2 times in total
Posts : 10734
Join date : 2009-04-07
Age : 66
Location : Melbourne, Australia
|Subject: Natal Transport Service Tue Mar 16, 2021 10:07 pm|| |
The Natal Transport Service ....no unit as such is mentioned in either of the Forsyth or Dutton Rolls , Terry Sole mentions ' Transport Corp and Imperial Commissariat in his ' For God , Queen & Colony ' ..but , it does seem they were mostly Native or Boer drivers as Barry has mentioned , so , unfortunately , I have no idea how you can solve that riddle .
Natal Transport Service
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