Several years ago I stumbled across a 'Lieutenant G.H. Brown', the Quarter Master of the Cape Town Volunteer Engineers receiving cattle prize money for the Gun War (Basuto) 1880-81 and thought to myself that it seems unlikely its George Hamilton 'Maori' Browne.
Well yesterday whilst scanning through the Colonial Forces Orders (King William's Town, No196, 22.11.80) for the Gun War I came across the following entry:
CAPE TOWN VOLUNTEER ENGINEERS (Service Department).
Sapper George Hamilton Brown to be Lieutenant, from November 15th 1880.
My initial thoughts are:
1. Its 99% Maori Brown albeit Browne it's spelt without an 'e'. Its not uncommon in the colonial arena for men to be officers in one unit and and later serve in the ranks for another unit.
2. Its been written by a Rhodesian pioneer 'Jack Carruthers' that Maori served in the Diamond Fields Horse during the Gun War as a Squadron Commander however this is not true and Maori doesn't feature in the Pay Records, General Orders, Officers Lists, Medal Roll or the Cattle Prize Money for the period. Maori only went to Kimberley after the Gun War and is confirmed as a Captain and Squadron Commander in the 3rd Mounted Rifles 1.1.85 for the Bechuanaland Expedition 1885. He's later given a commission as a Lieutenant in the Diamond Fields Horse on 1.1.90 when Cecil Rhodes commanded the regiment.
3. He also mentions in his book Lost Legionnaire in Africa that he was in the Gun War but states he doesn't want to go into it; most probably because Commandant to Sapper isn't going to be a thrilling read.
Additionally, whilst I'm onto 'Maori'; the South African Police journal, The Nongqai (April 1916, page 270) states in a half page obituary: The old warrior died in harness, being Colonel in command of the Remount Camp near Aldershot. - Cannot be true. There is also a photograph of him wearing a military uniform (Looks like General Service Buttons) with four campaign medals; Maori War, SAGS and clasp, Cape of Good Hope and BSAC Medal with two clasps. The first medal no doubt procured by himself.