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    I don't have a lot of modern material - particularly overseas forces - however, we must keep the momentum of the new sub-forum going. This is an original print from an Illustrated London News from 1879. The Natal Mounted Police were a small force of some 140 men at this date, and they sent a contingent to fight in the Anglo-Zulu War of that year. They were only formed in 1873 - Brett Hendey's (Hi,Brett) Uncle was a gaoler with this Force and it would be nice if he could add some details.

    I hope the caption is readable - if not it is some unfortunate policemen pushing a large vehicle up a steep hill. The story of our lives !!! Note the full uniform, incl. the standard white topee of the time. (- are you watching this Stuart ??) The officer - or, senior NCO on horseback is also well defined.

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    Mervyn, thanks for the mention of my family connection with the Natal Mounted Police and the Zulu War.

    My great grandfather, Albert Elkington, was amongst the earliest recruits (No. 18) into the Natal Mounted Police after the unit was formed in 1874. He left the NMP in 1876 to become the Gaoler at Msinga, an outpost near the Zululand border about 25 km from Rorke's Drift. After the Battles of Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift on 22 January 1879, there was panic amongst the inhabitants on the Natal side of the Buffalo River. A British supply convoy had halted at Msinga and it was decided to improve the defences of the settlement to create a place of safety for the district's inhabitants. The Msinga Gaol was emptied of prisoners and it was fortified. Since Gaoler Elkington no longer had prisoners to guard, the Magistrate, Henry Francis Fynn, allowed him and his pregnant wife, Annie Sarah, to leave and seek refuge in Ladysmith. A week after the Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift battles, their first child, a son, was born. A further family link with Isandlwana was the escape from the battlefield by Trooper Charles Lennox Stretch of the Buffalo Border Guard, who was the elder brother of Annie Sarah Elkington.

    In the 1880's Albert Elkington became a transport rider carrying goods by wagon between the port of Durban in Natal and the Johannesburg goldfields in the Transvaal. The family eventually settled in Vryheid, Transvaal, where their eighth and last child, a daughter, was born in 1895. This daughter died during the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902, when the family also lost their Vryheid property.

    A postscript about the Elkington son born during the Zulu War came with his enlistment for service in the South African Infantry Brigade, which was fighting in France and Flanders during World War I. After the heavy losses suffered by South Africa during the Somme battles of 1916, a wave of patriotic fervour led to these losses being replaced by men like the 38-year-old Albert Henry Charles Elkington. He was to die of wounds in Flanders on 21 September 1917 during the Battle of Menin Road, which was part of the 3rd Ypres offensive. (I will post a picture of relics of 'young' Albert in a more appropriate place.)

    A few years later, in 1921, the patriarch Albert Elkington also died, but his redoubtable wife, Annie Sarah Elkington (nee Stretch) lived for another 20 years, finally dying aged 83 in 1941.



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    I apologise for all the blank spaces above. I couldn't get my post to load, only to discover later that it had loaded half a dozen times. I would be grateful if a Moderator could eliminate the blank spaces to save me from further embarrassment!

    Brett :speechless:

    Edited by Brett Hendey
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    Hi - Brett. Been there, done that !! I think the older members just have to put up with mistakes from us newish members.

    I'm so glad you were able to enter the detasils of your Grandfather (I had remembered him as your uncle) - that is living history. Hope to see you one day soon.


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