Saturday, May 11, 2013

Souvenir Saturday: Natal Border Mounted Rifles 1899 Ladysmith

Border Mounted Rifles 1899: officers who served in Ladysmith. Back Row: Lieut J Gold, Lieut L Trenor, Lieut Qtr Master W D Smith, Lieut H B Andreasen, Lieut R G Archibald, Vet. Officer Lieut W M Power. Middle Row: Lieut F L Thring, Capt R Vause, Major J F Rethman Officer Commanding, Adj. Major W Sangmeister, Capt W Arnott. Front: Lieut Jack Royston, Capt H T Platt Med. Officer

Capt Arnott was wounded at Bester's Kop. Lieut Quartermaster William Dixon Smith died of enteric at Intombi Camp in January 1900. Major W Sangmeister and Captain J R Royston received the D.S.O. Major Rethman was promoted Lieut Colonel in December 1900 and retired from the Regiment in1904; he died in 1936.

For a list of BMR serving in the Anglo-Boer War see Mole's Blog at


Steve Hayes said...

Thanks for posting that. Several of those are in my and my wife's family tree -- Vause, Thring and Arnott for a start. I must just check where they all fit in!

Mole said...

Hi Steve, thanks for yr comment. William Dixon Smith (QM Lieut of Border Mtd Rifles) was with all the chaps you mention during the Siege of Ladysmith. We should discuss sometime! cheers Mole

Steve Hayes said...

A lot of the families seemed to intermarry, and so were related to each other in some way. F.L. Thring, for example, was born in Ladysmith, but was a solicitor in Ixopo, so it was interesting that he was back in Ladysmith for the siege. His son Frederick James married Agnes Eleanor Raw, whose brother William Maughan Raw married Beatrice Marjorie Rethman and so it goes.

Those names just keep cropping up.

Mole said...

Yes, colonial circles were tightly-knit. The Natal volunteer regiments were almost a district club: a member was elected to join by agreement with other members of the unit. As a result, relatives would belong to the same regiment, and in-laws would also be invited to join. William Dixon Smith’s stepson Alexander O Anderson became a trooper with William’s regiment, the BMR and, like William, died during the Siege of Ladysmith. J F Rethman was their C.O., W Arnott the Adjutant, Richard Vause a Captain, F L Thring a Lieutenant, H Rethman was a Sergeant. There were 5 members of the Gold family serving in the BMR during the Anglo-Boer War, several Archibalds, Bazleys, Bakebergs, Hoggs, Shuttleworths, Hulleys etc. Trooper A Peddie was married to Alexander Anderson’s sister.