Below is an overview of the various Tasmanian units deployed in the Anglo Boer War. It was the first conflict in which the Colonial Government and later the Commonwealth Government became involved in.
Before Federation in 1901, Tasmania sent four contingents to the war. After Australia federated to become the Commonwealth of Australia, the State contributed a half company to the First Australian Commonwealth Horse; a company to the Third; and a squadron to the Eighth. Select one of the following to view military portraits published in the Weekly Courier.
Departed 28 October 1899, returned 7 December 1900
Original strength of 80 followed by 47 reinforcements (nine fatalities in all)
The first contingent was a company of Infantry, which was mounted in South Africa, and became part of the Australian Regiment. They were in General Clements' Force and engaged in operations round Colesberg; were in the advance upon Bloemfontein; joined Colonel Henry's brigade and participated in the march to Pretoria, and thereafter to Komarti Poort.
The third contingent were in operations in Eastern Orange Free State under General Paget; and also under him in Northeast Transvaal and Western Transvaal. Operations in Cape Colony with General Plumer.
The fifth contingent served with the Australian Brigade under the command of, first of Colonel De Lisle and later of Colonel Williams. The strength of the Brigade was 560 with four and a half mounted rifle squadrons: half a unit from Tasmania, one from Queensland and three from New South Wales. The Tasmanian unit participated in operations in the Transvaal and the great final push that ultimately ended the war.
Joined the Battalion at Kitchener's Kop. Remained in camp there awaiting orders. Engaged in exercising the squadrons, recuperating the horses and marching expeditions through the adjacent country until the termination of war.
After departure, the Tasmanian contingent arrived first at Port Adelaide and then Fremantle before reaching its destination at Durban on 19 June 1902. The battalion remained in South Africa 11 days, departing on 1 July 1902. The Tasmanian contingent arrived at Hobart on 28 July 1902 after calling at Albany, Adelaide and Melbourne en route.