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Zulu Dawn:“Excuse me, my Lord, there's something I must convey to you. I rode along the track down to Rorke's Drift. The sky above is red with fire. Your orders my Lord? Do we move to the drift?”
 
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 Natal Transport Service

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RoryReynolds



Posts : 6
Join date : 2020-10-11
Location : Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Natal Transport Service Empty
PostSubject: Natal Transport Service   Natal Transport Service EmptySun 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?

Regards

Rory
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barry

barry

Posts : 943
Join date : 2011-10-21
Location : Algoa Bay

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PostSubject: NTS SAGS   Natal Transport Service EmptySun Mar 14, 2021 7:55 pm

Hi Rory,
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.

regards

barry


Last edited by barry on Wed Mar 17, 2021 7:47 am; edited 2 times in total
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90th

90th

Posts : 10359
Join date : 2009-04-07
Age : 65
Location : Melbourne, Australia

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PostSubject: Natal Transport Service    Natal Transport Service EmptyTue Mar 16, 2021 10:07 pm

Hi Rory
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 .
90th Shocked
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