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The Boer War: Australians and the War in South Africa, 1899–1902


3. Raising and Supporting the Contingents

Image 4: Nomination of a priest to accompany the troops.

Image 4: Nomination of a priest to accompany the troops.
NAA: A6443, 2
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The tasks of raising and supporting the Australian contingents involved recruiting, identifying and training soldiers; clothing, equipping, paying and insuring them; conveying them to and from South Africa; and keeping in contact with them while on active service. These tasks were discharged by small groups of clerks, staff officers and instructors and, under contract, dozens of clothing, saddlery, shipping, insurance and other business firms. Many of the official records generated by this activity, notably nominal rolls and pay and medical documents, give personal details about soldiers much sought after by family historians. A sample of records generated by New South Wales, Victorian, South Australian and Commonwealth administrations and a good range of Queensland material have come into the care of the National Archives and the Australian War Memorial. What little else is held is grouped at the end of this chapter under Other records. Much of it relates to the raising of the only non-Australian unit in the war recruited (partly) on Australian soil, the Marquis of Tullibardine's 2nd Scottish Horse. The National Archives Melbourne office also holds a useful guide to the conditions under which contingents to the war were raised around the empire (see MP684/1 below).

RECORD OF CONDITIONS OF SERVICE OF SOUTH AFRICAN AND OVER-SEA CONTINGENTS EMPLOYED IN THE SOUTH AFRICAN WAR, 1901–03
Melbourne
A copy of Conditions of Service of South African and Over-sea Contingents employed in the South African war, 1899–1902, which reproduced Acts governing the raising and despatch of contingents from around the British Empire along with announcements of conditions of service and blank attestation forms, discharge certificates and statements of rates of pay. It thus documents the basic conditions under which Australians and other citizen soldiers around the empire served and the legal responsibilities of governments and soldiers.
Series: MP684/1
Quantity: 0.18 metres
Recorded by: Department of Defence [I] (CA 6)
Conditions of Service of South African and Over-sea Contingents employed in the South African war, 1899–1903 MP684/1, whole series

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Chapter 3
Raising and Supporting the Contingents