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sabrigade

Conventional Forces of the Boer Republics Display: 1874 to 1902

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This was part of a display that I presented at the SA National Museum of Military History in Johannesburg.

The collection now forms an integral part of my displays at home.

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A member of the foot police of the ZARP, uniform is dated to 1896.

ZARP UNIFORM 1895

The Staats Artillerie uniforms and the later ZARP patterns were influenced predominantly by artillery regiments of the German, French and Dutch-speaking countries, while the influences from the British Royal Artillery were also noticeable. From approximately 1890, a unique police uniform began to appear and was recorded. In 1895, a contract was signed with a British firm, Gordon Mitchell of London, for the manufacture of uniforms. The tunic on display is made from dark blue serge wool edged with black mohair. It is fastened with hooks and ties. The letters “ZAR” on the right collar are made from brass. The cap is based on the British pattern 1871 shako or forage cap and bears the brass monogram “ZAR”. The trousers and boots that form part of this display are unfortunately not original but the trousers are an early SAP issue and the boots are black British ankle length hobnail boots similar to the hobnail boots originally issued to the members of the Foot Police. A brown leather belt with an ornate brass buckle with the “ZAR” monogram was worn.

Edited by sabrigade

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3RD BATTERY Z.A.R. STAATS ARTILLERIE BUSBY:

The “Busby” is the English name for the Hungarian headdress that was made from fur. It has a coloured bag hanging from the top and the end was attached to the shoulder as a defence against sabre cuts. In the Hussar form, this form of military headdress reached its popularity in the years before the First World War. This is one of the few original busbies known to have survived from the unit.

ZARP FORAGE CAP

A forage cap is the designation given to various types of military undress, fatigue or working headdresses. In the British military, the forage cap was given a peak to give it a smarter appearance. The foot police were issued forage caps similar to the British Pattern 1871 forage cap. The cap has a dark blue band and has a brass “ZAR” monogram.

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ZARP “BRITISH COLONIAL PATTERN” HELMET

In June of 1877, a white helmet was authorized by the British authorities for use and wear throughout the Empire. It is this pattern helmet that was adopted and uses by the ZARPs. Known as the Foreign Service helmet, the helmet was made of cork covered in white cloth with six panels. Peaks and sides were bound in white cloth. The spike is fitted into an acanthus leaf base. The spike, chin scales and helmet plate are all made of white metal. This specific helmet plate was worn prior to 1901 and, according to Curzon, was worn on “a white helmet by Foot Police”. Several manufacturers produced these helmets so “subtle” differences in design do exist

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Broad rimmed original field wide-brimmed hat as wron by members of the Johannesburg Vrijwilligers or Volunteers Corps. This headdress became their distinguishing feature. It was worn from 1893 to 1899.

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MEMBERS OF THE ZAR VRYWILLIGERKORPS JOHANNESBURG 1898

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: (SEATED) KORPORAL DANIE WAHL; (STANDING) SERSANT DANIE BRINK AND KAPTEIN J.P.JOOSTE- WEARING HIS SWORD THAT IS ON DISPLAY; (SEATED) KORPORAAL MANIE BREYTENBACH

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ZUID AFRIKAANSCHE REPUBLIEK POLITIE (ZARPS)

This force was the mounted and foot police of the Transvaal. From 1881 to 1896 the ZARPS were part of the Artillery and then began a separate existence as an independent entity. In 1899, the force consisted of 10 officers, 100 NCO’s and 1400 men. The majority of the force was foot police but they all took to the field and entered the Anglo-Boer War as mounted forces. The ZARPS fought well and earned a reputation for their tenacity, skill and courage. In peacetime they carried swords, carbines and revolvers. During the Anglo-Boer war the ZARPS carried the Mauser rifle. Mr L.S. Amery stated that “the police were first-class fighters, combining the skill of the Boer with the courage and self-sacrifice of the disciplined soldier”. The “fighting” ZARPS accompanied the Boer forces from the Transvaal that invaded Natal. They participated in many major and minor engagements but gained enduring fame at the Battle of Dalmanutha or Diamond Hill where they were destroyed as a unit. Individual members as well as the last contingent of the ZARPs continued to fight in the Eastern Transvaal during the guerrilla and final stage of the Anglo-Boer War.

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STAATS ARTILLERIE VAN DE ZAR 1874 TO 1901

The Transvaal Artillery initially consisted of the Battery Dingaan and was armed with four Krupp mountain guns and two mitrailleuses. The battery had been founded in 1874 by Captain Otto H. Riedel. In 1881, it was restarted under a captain and had 30 artillerymen and 30 police. It served in five minor wars from 1882 to 1894 when the strength was 124 other ranks commanded by Commandant J. Wolmarans and five other officers. A band had been in existence since 1888. In 1896 during the Jameson Raid, Commandant Trichardt only had 70 men and the same aging ordnance at his disposal. Immediately after the raid, the establishment was increased to 23 officers and 295 other ranks with a Field Telegraph and Medical sections. The armament in 1900 was four 6-inch Creusot oxen drawn, four 4.7 inch Krupp howitzers, eight 2.95 inch Krupp Quick Firing howitzers, two Maxim Nordenfeldt and 22 one pounder Maxims (Pom-Pom) horsed. In 1901, the corps, now without guns, was reorganised as a mounted corps. The strength at the start of the Anglo-Boer was 400 with a further 400 reserves. There were three field batteries and their reputation was very good. Their handling of the heavy Creusot guns in open warfare was especially noteworthy.

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STAATS ARTILLERIE VAN DE O.V.S. 1857 TO 1900

During the period 1857 to 1864, 12 field pieces were imported by the O.F.S. government. Two of these field guns saw service in the 1858 Basotho War. The force was commanded in 1864 by Captain Goodman, a former member of the Royal Artillery. He had been made Commandant and had a staff of seven members. During the Basotho Wars from 1865 to 1869, the strength of the force was increased and five guns were in the field. In 1880, Major Albrecht of the German Army took over with one officer, 55 other ranks and 300 reservists. Albrecht had 12 modern Armstrong guns; four horsed and was responsible for policing the borders of the state with 20 men. In 1896 the Artillery was relieved of this duty and reorganised. The new equipment included 14 7.5-cm Krupp guns. With these guns and five officers and 159 other ranks the force entered the Anglo-Boer war. At the outbreak of the war, the other ranks were increased to 400 men. The Staats Artillerie of the O.V.S. did good service until the beginning of the guerrilla war phase of the Anglo-Boer War. Major Albrecht fought in the Anglo-Boer War and was captured at Paardeberg.

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J.P. Jooste was a close friend of H.S. Pretorius, so it ties in 100% with the DSO, DTD group.

I hope to get of the rest of the stuff this week, you will find a copy of a letter from Jooste, describing their duties in the war in there

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Hi Chris,

Not sure about the skulls.

Jooste himself seems to have become a legend during the War.

The more I research and learn the more humble I become regarding my personal knowledge in the varied and vast fields when collecting and researching militaria.

Regards,

Will

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