Jump to content
Gentleman's Military Interest Club

Recommended Posts

This blue uniform was worn for full dress. The pigskin shoulder straps, which were called " leather epaullettes ", are visible in the photograph. The strength of the Cape Mounted Police was fixed at 78 officers and 1350 other ranks. Some members of the force were awarded a medal from the German Kaiser for operations along the German South West Africa border in 1907.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Will

These old photographs are so valuable for info. - I think it is the first time a have seen a close-up for CP in this detail. I bought yesterday a very nice group to Cape Police District 1 - Cape of Good Hope GSM - one bar , Bechuanland + 2 bar QSA and King's. I will post it when I sort the computer out.

Best wishes Mervyn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Will

These old photographs are so valuable for info. - I think it is the first time a have seen a close-up for CP in this detail. I bought yesterday a very nice group to Cape Police District 1 - Cape of Good Hope GSM - one bar , Bechuanland + 2 bar QSA and King's. I will post it when I sort the computer out.

Best wishes Mervyn

Mervyn, I've just joined the group and am keen to discover which of the South African Police forces may have had a silver horse as their insignia. I believe it will be in the Cape or Durban during the period 1900-1930 at least.

Brian Burdett

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brian

The book "Regimental Devices in South Africa 1783-1954" by H H Curzon includes the following entry under ' Cape Mounted Rifles':

"Brass horse (white horse of Hanover) worn on arm above chevrons of N.C.O.'s, both Mounted and Artillery. Authority to wear the device was granted by the War Office in 1902. In the C.M.R. the horse faced to the rear. Later it was adopted by the S.A.M.R. who wore the horse facing the front."

The CMR and SAMR were paramilitary police. There is a version of the white horse insignia that is surrounded by a belt on which is inscribed "Cape Mounted Rifles". A friend of mine once acquired a similar badge, but with the inscription "Frontier Armed and Mounted Police" (1855-1878), the forerunner of the CMR (1878-1913), which in turn was replaced by the SAMR (1913-1926). My friend's badge turned out to be an extreme rarity and is now in The Castle Museum in Cape Town.

The 'white horse' badges I have seen or seen described were in silver, not brass.

Brett

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In 1904 the Cape Police (founded in 1882) which were divided into three Districts became one Police Force the Cape Mounted Police.

Cape Police Districts Pre 1904

District 1 HQ King Williams Town (Eastern Cape)

District 2 HQ Kimberley (Griqualand West)

District 1 HQ Cape Town (Western Cape)

Cape Mounted Police HQ was Cape Town.

The Cape Mounted Rifles were a seperate Force and had started off as the Frontier Armed and Mounted Police in 1855 and were renamed Cape Mounted Rifles (Colonial) in 1878. They are not to be mistaken with an earlier Imperial Military Unit also called the Cape Mounted Rifles.

The Natal Mounted Police (NMP) were founded in 1874 and were based on the (FAMP/CMR) by their founder Col Dartnell who spent some time with the FAMP/CMR to get ideas. The NMP were renamed the Natal Police in 1894 when all Police Forces and Jails in Natal Colony were amalgamated into one Force the Natal Police under Dartnells command.

In 1913 1 April the South African Mounted Rifles were founded under the Union Defence Act. They were a military unit who in peace time would police the rural areas (inhabited by blacks mainly), also on 1 April 1913 the South African Police were founded under the Union Police Act, they were to be a police force and in war time to be conscripred into the military.

Generally speaking the SAMR were mostly the old Mounted Police units from the pre 1913 units Natal Police, CMP, CMR and Transvaal Police. The SAP were mainly the foot units as their main task was the urban areas. By 1927 the SAMR were disbanded and the SAP had absorbed most of their members and duties.

Edited by unit8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi - Garth. Nice that you have taken the trouble to write all of this valuable ref. on units and dates down. Always important - and yet not often found in one place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brian

The book "Regimental Devices in South Africa 1783-1954" by H H Curzon includes the following entry under ' Cape Mounted Rifles':

"Brass horse (white horse of Hanover) worn on arm above chevrons of N.C.O.'s, both Mounted and Artillery. Authority to wear the device was granted by the War Office in 1902. In the C.M.R. the horse faced to the rear. Later it was adopted by the S.A.M.R. who wore the horse facing the front."

The CMR and SAMR were paramilitary police. There is a version of the white horse insignia that is surrounded by a belt on which is inscribed "Cape Mounted Rifles". A friend of mine once acquired a similar badge, but with the inscription "Frontier Armed and Mounted Police" (1855-1878), the forerunner of the CMR (1878-1913), which in turn was replaced by the SAMR (1913-1926). My friend's badge turned out to be an extreme rarity and is now in The Castle Museum in Cape Town.

The 'white horse' badges I have seen or seen described were in silver, not brass.

Brett

Hi Brett, many thanks for your reply and apologies for my delay in return. The reason for my original query was to try and discover some background to my wife's paternal grand-father, John Frederick Webb..

He left UK to go to the Boer War and liked SA so much he got transferred via the British government to serve in tje SA mounted police; we believe he was an active member as we saw his spurs which have since disappeared. He had annual leave in UK but spent all his working time inSA.

He was serving overseas from approx. 1895/6 to 1930.

If you have an idea as to how I could investigate further it would be most appreciated.

Brian Burdett.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brian

I suggest you contact a researcher in South Africa, giving all the information that you have to hand. A good starting point would be with the records of the South African Mounted Rifles, which are in Pretoria. The researcher I use is Audrey, whose e-mail address is rhino.research@icon.co.za. I hope this helps.

Regards

Brett

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Following onto Will's excellent thread on the Cape Police - I am showing one of the Victorian Crown pattern cap badges. I don't think it is the same as the one in the photo - they had in fact, several different styles over the years. This thread has a great deal of useful info. and should be marked for the future.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brian

I suggest you contact a researcher in South Africa, giving all the information that you have to hand. A good starting point would be with the records of the South African Mounted Rifles, which are in Pretoria. The researcher I use is Audrey, whose e-mail address is rhino.research@icon.co.za. I hope this helps.

Regards

Brett

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anyone know anything about a Geoffrey O'Connell SCOTT whom also served with C.M.R.(Imperial) and the S.A.M.R. (I believe he went on to become a Police Inspector in British BETCHUANALAND

(BOTSWANA)).

I am not sure if the C.M.R. Police became the British BETCHUANALAND Police and or if they had the Rank of Inspector in the C.M.R. Police?

I believe he had another 6 brothers whom also served, and that they served with a certain Maj. C.P. NEL (M.B.E. V.D.)of BEAUFORT-WEST - probably with the OUDTSHOORN Volunteer Rifles; as I have an article at the death of one brother: H.Raymond SCOTT, written by Maj. NEL.

There is further mention of brothers Charlie, Johhny, Willie and Dan in addition to Raymond and Geoffrey.

Four are said to have Volunteered durtng the 1897 BETCHUANALAND Campaign under a detachemnet of a Lt. J. BAWDEN, escorted by the O.V.R. Band on taking their leave.

Four also served with the O.V.R. during the Boer War - one being wounded in the VLAKTEPLAAS fight against Kommandant THERON's Kommandoe.

Maj. NEL also believed that Raymond may have also served some time in EAST AFRICA.

I also have an Embroidered Orange C.M.R. Badge with the CMR Beetle thereupon.

http://www.oudtshoorninfo.com/fauna.php?action=show_fauna&id=36&category=40

There seems to be a Museum in OUDTSHOORN in the name of Col. Charles Paul NEL

(I suspect that this is the Author of the Article I have for my Great Grampie G.O. SCOTT and his brothers)

http://www.oudtshoorninfo.com/culture.php?id=2&category=21

I am curious to know if Lieutenant Colonel (Sgt. at the time of his V.C. achievement) Robert George Scott VC DSO (22 April 1857 – 3 October 1918), whom earned his V.C. with the C.M.R. might be a relation of my Great-Grampie's family?

If anyone can assit me in any way I would be most grateful.

I also would like to share the Photo of the Badge that I have, as I have not seen any others like it Online.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anyone know anything about a Geoffrey O'Connell SCOTT whom also served with C.M.R.(Imperial) and the S.A.M.R. (I believe he went on to become a Police Inspector in British BETCHUANALAND

(BOTSWANA)).

I am not sure if the C.M.R. Police became the British BETCHUANALAND Police and or if they had the Rank of Inspector in the C.M.R. Police?

Just to clarify the various units mentioned :

- the Cape Mounted Riflemen (sometimes called 'imperial' to distinguish it from the unit below) was a British Army regiment which disbanded in 1870

- the CMR (sometimes called 'colonial' to distinguish it from the above) was a Cape Colony regiment which existed from 1878 to 1913 and then became the 1st SA Mounted Riflemen in the new Union Defence Forces - disbanded 1926

- the Cape Mounted Police was a para-military police force formed in 1882, renamed 'Cape Mounted Police' in 1904, and absorbed into the defence force as the 5th SAMR in 1913 - disbanded 1920

- British Bechuanaland formed a police force c1885 - I don't know what happened to it after British Bechuanaland was incorporated into Cape Colony in 1895..

The CMP had the rank of inspector (equivalent to captain), but the CMR used army ranks.

According to the National Archives of SA website, there is a file in the Natal Archives for the deceased estate of Geoffrey O'Connell Scott, born in Oudtshoorn - surviving spouse Marthina Dorothea Maria Scott - 'no trace'. The file is dated 1970-71 : .

http://www.national....F81&DN=00000001

Here's a photo of his grave in Newcastle, Natal :

http://www.eggsa.org...2_itemId=756923

And one of Henry Raymond Scott's grave in Oudtshoorn :

http://www.eggsa.org..._itemId=1341312

And of Daniel O'Connell Scott's grave in Oudtshoorn :

http://www.eggsa.org/library/main.php?g2_itemId=1525175

According to the Anglo-Boer War website ( http://www.angloboer...99-oudtshoornvr ) :

* Ptes D.C. Scott, H.R. Scott, J. Scott and W.J. Scott served with the Oudtshoorn Volunteer Rifles in the Bechuanaland campaign. So did Cpl C.P. Nel.

* Ptes D.Scott, G. Scott, H.R. Scott, J. Scott and William James Scott served with the OVR in the Anglo-Boer War.

Edited by Arthur R

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello all

A first post for me.

I just aquired a Webley Mk I* with possible Cape Police markings.

I could not help but post a picture as I read with great intrest in the above postings.

aa.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Definitely not an expert on this but I believe the first marking to be to the "Cape Police District 2" and the second to be the "Cape Government".

I concur with Chris, please post more photographs!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is a fantastic piece of history. Thank you for showing it.

For many reasons you are fortunate that you do not live in South Africa, one being that it would be a nightmare trying to get that revolver licensed and thus legally owned.

Regards

Brett

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Things are pretty tight here in Canada also.

This Webley MkI* is classified as "Antique Status" here in Canada, no permit required.

I am not sure of the history of how it made itself to North America.

All that I know is at some point in its life it was sold to someone in the State of Texas in the U.S.A. , then up to Alberta, Canada and now to me in Ontario, Canada.

All the best,

Garth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Garth,

I may have a spare holster for this revolver with the Cape Markings.

Will have a look when I get back to South Africa.

Regards,

Will

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brett

"Kloof, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa"

I just noticed your location.

My Father who just passed away on Sept 16 2012 was in the Canadian Merchant Navy WW2.

He had many wonderful stories of Durban - Pinetown and the surrounding areas.

They also docked in Cape Town and somewhere in Mozambique.

I was just looking into his address book from back then, I wonder if these girls still exist!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Garth

The girls probably do not, but their daughters might! However, depending on your age, it would be the granddaughters who would be the more interesting. It was all a long time ago.

I was born in 1939 so I have only fragmentary memories of 1939-1945. It must have been in 1945 that my family hosted two Royal Marines on their way to the Far East and for many years afterwards they were remembered by some photographs in the family album and a Bofors cartridge case they left behind.

Durban, and indeed South Africa, is no longer what it used to be, so the hospitality shown to uniformed men and women in the 1940's is unlikely to be repeated now.

Regards

Brett

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×