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 Schermbrucker's Horse

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johann engelbrecht



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PostSubject: Schermbrucker's Horse   Schermbrucker's Horse EmptyMon Jun 07, 2010 10:14 am

Can anybody assist me with the names of the members of Schermbruckers Horse, who were present during the Hlobane Battle? [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
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PostSubject: Re: Schermbrucker's Horse   Schermbrucker's Horse EmptyMon Jun 07, 2010 7:06 pm

Commandant Friedrich Schermbrucker of the Kaffrarian Rifles recounted: "I took the extreme right, Colonel Buller led the centre and Colonel Russell with the mounted infantry took the left. For seven miles I chased two columns of the enemy. They fairly ran like bucks, but I was after them like the whirlwind and shooting incessantly into the thick column, which could not have been less than 5,000 strong. They were exhausted, and shooting them down would have taken too much time; so we took the assegais from the dead men, and rushed among the living ones, stabbing them right and left with fearful revenge for the misfortunes of the 28th inst. No quarter was given.
It was later calculated that Schermbrucker's men had killed at least 300 Zulus. Buller's party had accounted for 500 warriors, while Russell's mounted infantry and the Natal Native Horse had killed at least 200 Zulus. It was not this slaughter that incensed the anti-war lobby in Britain, but a letter written by Private John Snook of the 1/13 on April 3 to a friend, which was subsequently published in The North Devon Herald on May 29, 1879. Snook wrote, On March 30th, about eight miles from camp, we found about 500 wounded, most of them mortally, and begging us for mercy's sake not to kill them; but they got no chance after what they had done to our comrades at Isandlwana.


Source: Anglo-Zulu War: Battle of Khambul This extract was taken from Military History. The article was written by John Young and originally published in the March 1998 issue of Military History.

I'm hoping Friedrich Schermbrucker is part of Schermbrucker Horse.
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PostSubject: Re: Schermbrucker's Horse   Schermbrucker's Horse EmptyMon Jun 07, 2010 7:18 pm

SCHERMBRUCKER, COL. the HON. FREDERIC, M.L.A., of Friedrichs Ruh, Wynberg, C.C., who died in April, 1904, was born at Schweinfurth, Bavaria, in 1832, and was son of the Hon. Christopher Schermbrucker, one of the Judges of the Appellate Court of the Province of the Palatinate. He was educated at the Jesuit Institute of Neuburg, on the Danube, was a Latin prizeman at that academy, and entered the ranks of the Bavarian army as a private, but with the privileges of a gentleman cadet. He fought on the Royal side in the disturbances of 1 850-2, and was made a Sub-Lieut. in recognition of services in the field ; he volunteered to serve in the Crimea with the German Legion. He went to the Cape in 1857 with the rank of Ensign ; was for some time a teacher of German before being appointed German Interpreter in the office of the R.M. at King Williamstown. Later he started as an auctioneer, and from 1859 to 1866 took an active part in opposing the annexation of Kaffraria to the Cape Colony. He was one of the accused in the famous Calabash case, and was fined 100 for shooting a Kafir sheep-stealer. He was elected a member of the Cape Assembly in 1868. In 1872 he failed in business and went to the diamond fields, to Lydenburg, the Limpopo and Matabeleland, eventually be- coming editor of the Bloemfontein " Express." He left Bloemfontein (having been burned in effigy there), and returned to King Williams- town ; volunteered for service in the Frontier War ; was appointed Comdt. of the Amatola Division ; volunteered for service in the Zulu War, arid commanded at Luneberg, being present at the engagements of Zlobane and Kambula, and distinguishing himself at the Pemvani River. In 1880 he accompanied Sir Gordon Sprigg to Basutoland to raise a police force, but retired when the Sprigg Ministry was overturned. In 1882 he was elected M.L.C. for the Eastern Circle ; was re-elected two years later, and in the same year joined Sir Thomas Uppington's cabinet as Commissioner of Crown Lands and Public Works, and continued this office in the second Sprigg Ministry. He successfully contested King Williamstown at the General Elections for the Cape House of Assembly in 1888, 1894, and 1904, and was also a life member of the Executive Council of the Cape of Good Hope. Col. Schermbracker was a keen Imperialist, a clever speaker, a great admirer of Cecil Rhodes, a loyal supporter of Dr. Jameson, and a tower of strength to the Progressive party. He was decorated with the Pope's Order, "Pro Pontificeet Ecclesia," and wore the medals for the Gaika War, the Basuto-land Rebellion, and the Zulu War. He married Lucy, second dau. of the late Patrick Egan, and has had a large family of children.
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johann engelbrecht



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PostSubject: Re: Schermbrucker's Horse   Schermbrucker's Horse EmptyMon Jun 07, 2010 7:32 pm

Thank you for your reply! In your second message you give a description of the Khambula engagement! Were any of Schermbruckers Horse killed or injured during the Hlobane incident? I'm still looking for the names of his 40 troops! In what capacity was Heinrich Filter involved?
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PostSubject: Re: Schermbrucker's Horse   Schermbrucker's Horse EmptyMon Jun 07, 2010 8:03 pm

Johann. I you talking about the Reverend Heinrich Filter. Or the Filter was on Hlobane Mountain acting as an Interpreter for Wood's No: 4 column.
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Schermbrucker's Horse   Schermbrucker's Horse EmptyMon Jun 07, 2010 8:16 pm

Kaffrarian Riflemen, or Vanguard, was formed by Schermbrucker in the Eastern Cape at the onset of hostilities and sent to Luneberg by Chelmsford, and served at Hlobane.
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Saul David 1879



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PostSubject: Re: Schermbrucker's Horse   Schermbrucker's Horse EmptyMon Jun 07, 2010 8:23 pm

Just out of interest. There was a Larsen's who was with Schermbrucker with Number 4 Column under Col: Wood. He was killed in action outside Luneburg I believe with Heinrich Filter.
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johann engelbrecht



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PostSubject: Re: Schermbrucker's Horse   Schermbrucker's Horse EmptyTue Jun 08, 2010 5:53 am

Thank you for the comments. I refer to Heinrich Filter Jnr, the son of Pastor Filter. Larsen was killed near the Enthombe River, while on patrol with Capt Schermbrucker and Lt. Moore. Heinrich Filter Jnr was killed later during a seperate incident. My question , more specifically to the Hlobane engagement, asks whether Heinrich Filter Jnr was with Col Wood or was he with Schermbrucker on the mountain? Idea
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90th

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PostSubject: Schermbrucker"s Horse   Schermbrucker's Horse EmptyTue Jun 08, 2010 7:18 am

hi Johann.
There arent any casualties listed to Schermbrucker's horse ( Kaffrarian Rifles ) in Tavender"s roll.
This group was with Russell"s Force , that left about noon on the 27th.
In Tavenders roll for the war 1877 - 79. There is a Lt . J.Manley , Died of wounds , and Pvt. W.Blakeway , KIA
they are under " Kaffarian Volunteers " . There is no date given . In Who's Who in the zulu war Vol 2 , it doesnt say
if Johann was with wood or at Hlobane . Hope this helps .
cheers 90th.
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johann engelbrecht



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PostSubject: Re: Schermbrucker's Horse   Schermbrucker's Horse EmptyTue Jun 08, 2010 2:48 pm

Thank you 90th. Still hoping somebody can help me with the names. I know that Lt C I Müller and Lt Pogge were part of the Kaffrarian Vanguard. Müller later became the teacher at Lüneburg. after the death of Pastor Filter on 23 December 1879.l
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1879graves

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PostSubject: Re: Schermbrucker's Horse   Schermbrucker's Horse EmptyTue Jun 08, 2010 7:47 pm

Hi johann engelbrecht

and welcome to the forum.

I am getting lost here folks scratch

Where should I be looking for the forty names? What was the unit called? or what would they have been recorded as?

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Ken Gillings



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PostSubject: Re: Schermbrucker's Horse   Schermbrucker's Horse EmptyTue Jun 08, 2010 9:48 pm

Take care not to confuse Commandant Schermbrucker's Kaffrarian Vanguard with the Kaffrarian Rifles. The former was raised by Schermbrucker in 1879 with members of the German Legion who had settled in the Eastern Cape. They had a strength of 42.
On the other hand, the Kaffrarian Rifles were formed on the 20th December 1883 (which is, of course, 4 years after the outbreak of the Anglo-Zulu War). Another Unit - the Kaffrarian Rifle Volunteers was formed in July 1870 in King Wiliam's Town, and 'lived' until September 1880. While they participated in the 9th Frontier War (in ther Eastern Cape) under Commandant Rupert de la Tour Lonsdale, as far as I am aware, they were not a force as such during the AZW.
The Kaffrarian Vanguard had no link with the Kaffrarian Rifles. The confusion exists because they are listed in the Official History as the Kaffrarian Rifles, and not as the Kaffrarian Vanguard.
To recap, therefore, Commandant Frederich Xavier Schermbrucker (who was born in Bavaria in 1826) raised the Kaffrarian Vanguard in 1879. The Unit participated in the Battles of Hlobane and Khambula. He entered politics in 1882 and became a member of the Cape Legislative Assembly. He was Minister of Public Works from 1884 until 1890. Schermbrucker died in Cape Town on the 27th April 1904 while still a Member of the Cape Legislative Assembly.
Enough history - I'm going to bed.
Ken
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PostSubject: Re: Schermbrucker's Horse   Schermbrucker's Horse EmptyTue Jun 08, 2010 9:56 pm

In a summary of this account of the Colonial units, a number of important points should be observed. First, one may well question the validity of the term ‘regiment’ in the foregoing discussion, when the numbers of many of the units were so small. One may justify the use of such a designation by reference to the definition of the term in ‘Jane’s Dictionary of Military Terms’ (comp. by Brigadier P H C Hayward. London, Macdonald & Jane’s, 1975). The definition states:
‘It has no tactical significance as such, but is the military home of its members and enshrines their loyalty and traditions.’

Numbers are therefore irrelevant, the essential characteristic being homogeneity of tradition.

Second, the bracketed dates refer to the duration of the regiment as a homogeneous unit, irrespective of change of name. Third, the subsequent histories of those units which continued in existence after the campaign of 1879 have been omitted, with a view to confining the discussion to the Zulu War. Fourth, it will become apparent from the foregoing discussion that there was a distinct lineal relationship between those Colonial regiments which first advanced into Zululand, and those formed after Isandlwana. To reiterate, the Durban Mounted Rifles, Alexandra Mounted Rifles, Victoria Mounted Rifles, and Stanger Mounted Rifles, sent contingents to the composite force known as the Natal Volunteer Guides; many of the NCOs of the Natal Native Contingent transferred to Lonsdale’s Horse; the Natal Light Horse was formed from the Frontier Light Horse. Moreover, a unit known as the Natal Horse (also Bettington’s Horse) was formed from the NCOs of the disbanded 3rd/NNC. The Natal Horse was disbanded during the course of hostilities.

Fifth, the record of many of the regiments during the course of the campaign should dispel the impression that they were composed of ‘comic opera’ soldiers. This observation applies equally to those units which did not survive, or did not long survive, the close of hostilities, One thinks of the courage and tenacity displayed by Buller’s mounted troops at Hlobane, and specifically of Uys’s Commando, Baker’s Light Horse, the Frontier Light Horse, and the Border Horse. Further, the fact that two members of the Frontier Light Horse gained the VC during the War (Captain D’Arcy and Sergeant O’Toole, in the reconnaissance before Ulundi) characterizes the general calibre of these units.

Sixth, the composition of the Natal Native Horse, including dissident Zulus, Basutos, and Swazis, should lead one to reconsider before categorizing the war as a racial conflict. It was, rather, a conflict between opposing powers. (One should note that, in discussing this unit, the usual bracketed dates have been replaced by single ones. This procedure has been followed as this force did not possess any continuous existence as a homogeneous unit, but was raised in response to specific military emergencies).

Seventh, one should note the existence of a regiment which, although raised at the outset of the war, did not advance into Zululand with the invading columns. This was the Kaffrarian Vanguard, formed by Frederick Schermbrucker in the Eastern Cape. At the outset of hostilities he collected together 42 of his German neighbours, equipped them as infantry, named them the Kaffrarian Vanguard, and brought them to Natal. Chelmsford sent them to guard their German compatriots in the Luneburg area and, after Isandlwana, had them mounted. It served in the attack upon Hlobane.

Although listed in the Official History as the Kaffrarian Rifles, this latter corps has no connection whatsoever with the unit which served in the Zulu War of 1879.

Source:The South African Military History Society.
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PostSubject: Re: Schermbrucker's Horse   Schermbrucker's Horse EmptyWed Jun 09, 2010 7:32 am

On the 17th of September a patrol of seventy men of the Cape mounted rifles was sent out from Mafeteng to make a reconnaissance towards Lerothodi's kraal, and was
surrounded on the march by some twelve hundred Basuto, when it was obliged to cut its way through the circle, which it did with the loss of an officer — Lieutenant
Clarke — and two men killed.

Four days later Mafeteng was attacked by a Basuto force estimated to be fully five thousand strong, that during the whole day endeavoured to get possession of the place, but at nightfall was obliged to retire discomfited.

It was now evident that a very large force would be needed to suppress the insurrection, and yeomanry, volunteers, burghers, and Bantu and Hottentot auxiliaries were
sent forward as rapidly as possible. Brigadier- General Charles M. Clarke was appointed commandant-general, and Commandant F. Schermbrucker was directed to equip the "loyal Basuto," that is those who had surrendered their guns, and add them to the forces in the field. The difficulty of obtaining and forwarding food and other necessaries was very great, the nearest railway station being at Queenstown. At the same time also there was a widespread rebellion in Griqualand East and Tembuland,
an account of which has already been given, so that the resources of the colony in men and money were strained to the utmost.

Mr. William Henry Surmon, the magistrate at Mohali's Hoek, who with only ten or twelve white men and a few loyals had defended his post gallantly against repeated attacks, being surrounded by the enemy and in urgent need of assistance, on the 4th of October Colonel Southey was sent to his aid with a strong party of yeomen and
volunteers, supported by a few Cape mounted riflemen, that succeeded in reaching and relieving him with a loss of two men killed and ten wounded.

On the 10th of October Maseru was attacked by about five thousand Basuto under Masupha. It was defended by Colonel Bayly with two hundred and thirty-nine Europeans and two hundred and fifty-six Bantu under Commandant Schermbrucker, among these being Nehemiah, Georgo, Tsekelo, Sofonia, and some other sons of Moshesh
of minor rank.
Masupha's force was formed in three columns, which attacked in a desultory way from early morning until four o'clock in the afternoon, when real
fighting commenced. The military camp, which was named Fort Gordon, the residency, the public offices, Irvine's store, and Trower's store were the points specially aimed
at. The public offices with Trower's store and several detached buildings were taken and burned, but the other places managed to hold out, and before midnight the
insurgents retired, having suffered, it was believed, considerable loss. Three Europeans were wounded, and two



1880] Resistance of the BasiUo to Disarmament. 63

men of Commandant Schermbrucker's force were killed
and two others wounded.
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johann engelbrecht



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PostSubject: Re: Schermbrucker's Horse   Schermbrucker's Horse EmptyWed Jun 09, 2010 4:09 pm

Thank you for all the comments! It really is confusing with all the Kaffrarian units! Just to recap I have the following information from a German article, which appeared in the "Illustrierter Süd Afrikanische Volks Kalender 1913" written by Lt C I Müller who formed part of Schermbruckers Kaffrarian Vanguard. He states that a Corps of 112 ( Take note Ken Gillings) men including all ranks left East London for Durban towards the end of Nov 1878. They arrived in Pietermaritzburg on the 26 November and the marched towards Utrecht, where they arrived on 11 Dec 1878. From there they left for Lüneburg where they arrived on 23 Dec 1878. Some time in Feb 1879 they were then recalled to Kambula where they were going to get horses and become a mounted unit. According to all reports on the Kaffrarian Horse involved at Hlobane, Schermbruckers Force only consisted of 42 mounted men. According to some German records from Lüneburg, Pastor Filters son, Heinrich and three other German (Lüneburg) settlers, Beneke, Meyer and Küsel also joined this force at some stage! This brings me back to my original question; i.e. What happened to the other (112 - 42 = 70) 70 men and what are the names of the 42 involved at Hlobane and Khambula ? In a letter Pastor Filter wrote to the Mission Organisation in Germany on 23 July 1879, he states that his son arrived back in Lüneburg on 4 April 1879, being the first white person to tell about the turn of events taking place at Hlobane and Khambula!!
Thanks for your effort Littlehand, but all your information refers to events happening a year and a half later!
P. S. Pastor Filter was my Great, great Grandfather, ie My Grandmother Christine Filter was the daugter of Pastor Filters second son Jakob!!) Even more confusing!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Schermbrucker's Horse   Schermbrucker's Horse EmptyWed Jun 09, 2010 6:21 pm

Ken Gillings wrote:

The Kaffrarian Vanguard had no link with the Kaffrarian Rifles. The confusion exists because they are listed in the Official History as the Kaffrarian Rifles, and not as the Kaffrarian Vanguard.

I am still unclear on were to look for the 42 names on the medal roll scratch

On the medal roll the Kaffrarian Rifles = 13 names

Lieutenant A Schwarzkoff
Farrier Sergeant F Richards
Quartermaster Sergeant J Foster
Sergeant J.G Wilson
Corporal J Davies
Private F Birkoltz
Troopers W.W Bell
W Buchler
G Enders
W Gombert
J Johnson
G Selzwedel
J.C.O. Wilkie

13 medal issued
1877-8-9 x 2
1878-9 x 5
1879 x 6

6 Medal and claps returned to the mint

On the medal roll for Schermbuckers Horse = 3 names

Commandant F Schermbucker
Quartermaster Sergeant J Foster
Corporal W Staude (1878 Clasp)

3 Medals issued and 1 returned to the mint
1877-8-9 x 1
1878 x 1
1878-9 x 1

Where do I look next scratch ???
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PostSubject: Re: Schermbrucker's Horse   Schermbrucker's Horse EmptyTue Jun 15, 2010 7:52 am

Found an interesting report written by said Lt C.I. Müller on the recruitment of a 100 men for the Caffrarian Vanguard Corps. I give a brief summary translated fron a longer article: " I was tasked by Capt Schermbrucker to recruit a 100 men who would leave for the Northern Transvaal to fight Sekukuni of the baPhedi. In the evening a distributed some flyers and also had an advertisement printed in the local newspaper. On the set date the recruitment started at 09h00 and by 11h00 had enough men. The interest being overwhelming , I could be quite choosy and the recruits had to prove their rilfle handling abilities and preferably should have some riding expereience. On my way to one of my inspection rounds to the lager that had been set up along the Buffalo River out side of King Williams Town a man adressed me in French, saying that he was sorry for not being a German and not being able to speak either German or English. He however felt that he could be of valuable service to me and the Corps, since he was a trained Chef from Paris. Since, at that stage I had recruited 99 men , I felt that fate was sending me the 100th!! During the whole campaign I never regretted having recruited him, since he always created something very special out of nothing. His name was Phillipe Olivier.

To be continued.........!
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90th

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PostSubject: Schermbrucker"s Horse   Schermbrucker's Horse EmptyTue Jun 15, 2010 10:11 am

Hi Johann.
Nice one , looking forward to the next posting .
cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: Schermbrucker's Horse   Schermbrucker's Horse EmptyTue Jun 15, 2010 7:07 pm

Historic Route

Piet Retief Mpumalanga South Africa

Piet Retief was named after the early Voortrekker leader Piet Retief. The town itself was established in 1883, but but long before that a number of historic events took place in this area. (See photos of monument in the Piet Retief Photo Galery)

Going back to the first inhabitants of this area there are three known sites of bushman paintings, namely at Tafelberg,on the farm of Mr.Roodewalt between Bergen and Anysspruit and on the farm of Mr Guido Freise - Outdoor Heartbeat on the route to the Mahamba Borderpost (Borderpost between South Africa and Swaziland).The first missionaries from Sweden erected a missionary in Piet Retief in 1905 and is today known as THE MISSION HOUSE.

One of the most decisive battles in the early history of the Zulu nation took place at the Ndolowane hill about 30 Km south west of Piet Retief. Here king Chaka's army defeated the army of the Ndwandwes in September 1826.

Piet Retief used to be known as a kind of "wild east" during the 1800's, being a buffer area between different land grabbing people There were constant infringements and hostilities between Zulu and Swazi Impies. Then to the north were the boers looking to extend their farming interests and to the south the British were looking to extend their Emipre. Not may people today know that there used to be a little independant repulic called the "Klein Vrystaat Republic". Seen as a little chunk cut out of the rounded border of Swaziland , this land was bought from Swazi king Mbandini in 1876 for the price of blankets, picks,beads etc. to the value of 180 Pounds Sterling as well as 14 horses. The land was ruled by a three-man committee acting asexecutive and judicial officers. It became part of the Transvaal Republic due to popular demand of it's citizens in 1892.( A coat of arms and map can be seen in the local ABSA bank).

During the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 a number of historic events also took place in the area. The area known as the 'diputed territory' was the site of several skirmishes during the war. The most important incident was the Battle of Entombe Drift wich took place at dawn on 12 march 1879. A convoy of 18 wagons , carrying ammunition and supplies from Derby , camped along the swolen Entombe river, was attacked by a large number of Zulu irregulars. One British officer and 60 men , acivil surgeon, 2 white waggon conductors and 15 black drivers were killed. Colur-sergeant Booth was awarded the Victoria Cross for his heroic action. The battle site, a monument and war graves can be visited near the Entombe Mission Station.

Some weeks later on the 6th of June 1879 the son of Pastor J.Filter of Lüneburg was also involved in a heroic deed. While trying to stop Zulu warriors from stealing the cattle of German settlers , he was killed on the banks of the Pongola River not far from the bridge crossing the Pongola River on the road leading from Braunschweig to Paulpietersburg. Also on Patrol with Commandant Schermbrucker, another young Danish soldier named Larsen , was killed on 18 May 1879 near the Entombe River. A monument has been erected along the road leading from Braunschweig to Lüneberg, to commemorate the heroic deeds of these two young men.
At Lüneburg the remains of the British Fort Clery can still be seen as well as the graves of several British soldiers who fell during the Zulu War - including those of two soldiers who got killed long after the end of the war in September, probably the last casualties of the Zulu War !

Although no battles or skirmishes took place in this area during the Anglo-Boer War , both Boer and German settlers were involved , many of the woman and children being interned in concentration camps in Volksrust. The men taking part in action further south.

Piet Retief .. Mkhondo ..Mpumalanga .. South Africa
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PostSubject: Re: Schermbrucker's Horse   Schermbrucker's Horse EmptySun Jun 20, 2010 5:11 pm

Hi All!
Continuing my translation of Lt C.I. Müller:
" My old friend and Boer Enemy, Buller often had meals with me, whenever he was in my proximity, because he knew I had a propper French chef with me , who could always create something special for the palate and the stomach.
The Corps was then called the Caffrarian Vanguard Corps. Together with Capt Schermbrucker our journey took us, with firstly the "Teighmouth Castle" and later with the " Courland", via East London to Durban. Here we were told that the war against Sekukhuni was over and that we would marchto Lüneburg, along the Pongola River instead, since this area was threatened by at first the Swazi and later by the Zulus.
In this way Müller also played his role in the Zulu War having been present at the battles of Hlobane, Khambula, and Ulundi. After the end of the war he spent a short while in Hermannsburg (near Greytown) as a teacher. It is here that he met his future wife, Maria Volker, the daughter of missionary Friedrich Volker. The following year (1880) he
returned to Lüneburg to take the place of Missionary Heinrich Filter Snr, as teacher, since the latter had passed away on 23 Dec 1879.
The following year he moved to Bloemfontein, where his brother had started a lucrative business. During the Boer war he was interned in Cape Town. From 1904-1907 he again returned to Northern Natal as a teacher at Braunschweig (near the Enthombe Battlefield site) and later taught at Glückstadt (near Vryheid) where his Father-in -Law had been Pastor for many years. He died on 23 July 1922 in Vryheid and was burried in the Glückstadt Church cemetry.
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