Orange River Scouts

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Orange River Scouts

Postby cr1tical » 18 Oct 2017 16:36

Researching a Royal Sussex man who went with 1st Bn to South Africa in 1901, I find he joined the Orange River Scouts in May 1902, serving with them until they disbanded in Jun 1902.

I was struck by the number of other men on the medal roll who appear to have all previously served in various British units and by the fact that the unit appears only to have been formed in Feb/March of 1902 so was relatively short-lived. Apart from the name of its commander Major John Nolan-Neylan who previously served in the Cape Mounted Police, I can find little about the unit. The Sussex returned home in July 1902. Was the transfer of men to the unit something ordered from above? Any more to find anywhere?

Max
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Re: Orange River Scouts

Postby RobD » 18 Oct 2017 17:41

If you visit angloberwar.com and search for Orange River Scouts, they have the nominal roll of those who served.
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Re: Orange River Scouts

Postby SWB » 19 Oct 2017 08:28

Hello Max

Do you have the service papers for your Sussex Rgt man?

I would have thought he volunteered for the ORS after being discharged from the Army.

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Meurig
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Re: Orange River Scouts

Postby cr1tical » 19 Oct 2017 11:23

It was the nominal rolls I got the info from about joining/leaving dates. You'll note that there is no information there about the unit.

His papers have not survived although his medal roll entries, both on the Sussex rolls and also on the Orange River Scouts roll are totally clear, they even cross reference his service number in each. He was one of the Sussex Volunteers who had been embodied in 1899 and who supplied men in 1901 for the 1st Battalion.

I should have said I have read "Two years on Trek" the account of the Sussex in the war which suggests that there was little fighting after March 1902. The volunteers didn't leave for home until mid June so my reading is that he and others took advantage of the period before peace on 1 June to do something more useful than just hanging around.

It is the lack of material on the Orange River scouts that is frustrating!

Max




nuteers din't retrun home . The copy I have seen has vital pages missing We can only presume he went straight from the Sussex to the Scouts
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Re: Orange River Scouts

Postby SWB » 19 Oct 2017 12:27

Hello Max

As volunteer he only signed for a year in SA, and as is not uncommon took discharge in SA to pursue a new life (and continue fighting).

The lack of information on the ORS is typical of a small short-lived unit, look on it as an opportunity to break new ground and produce the first unit history.

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Meurig
Researcher. Owner: The Register of the Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902. Interests: 24th Foot/South Wales Borderers/RRW/RW. South Africa generally. War memorials
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Re: Orange River Scouts

Postby cr1tical » 19 Oct 2017 16:14

Thanks Meurig, the key must be the volunteer time frame. I'll give your idea some thought!

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