The South African
Military History Society

Die Suid-Afrikaanse Krygshistoriese Vereniging

Military History Journal
Vol 1 No 5 - December 1969

The Journal of Lt.-Col. John Scott

We are indebted to Major J. J. Hulme for compiling, with the use of Lt.-Colonel John Scott's personal notes, this account of his (Col. Scott's) military service in South Africa during one of the most interesting periods in our history, viz., 1878-1890. Lt.-Colonel Scott was the first Commanding Officer of the Cape Town Highlanders. The entries dealing with the formation and early years in the life of this famous regiment, which is still in existence, make most interesting reading and will be of considerable value to historians and authors when compiling the history of the Regiment.

In 1956, through the kindness of Mr. W. Scott of Bulawayo and of his son, Dr. A. J. G. Scott of Thaba Nchu, the personal journal of Lt.-Colonel John Scott, grandfather of the former, was made available to the Cape Town Highlanders before being presented to the South African Public Library, Cape Town.

The journal is written in ink in a cardboard covered quarto-sized exercise book bound in leather. All the entries, with a few exceptions, are on the right-hand pages. The record fills eighty pages of the book, is written in continuous narrative form and begins "Notes from My Note Book". It was probably written as a record for Colonel Scott's family and was, as far as can be judged, compiled between 1901 and 1910.

John Scott was born on 8th April, 1844, while his father was serving in the 72nd Highlanders(1). In 1848 his father died and his mother returned to her native town, Inverness, where in time young Scott was apprenticed to a tailor for four years.

"On completion of my apprenticeship I at once struck out for myself and was very successful, but the greatest difficulty experienced was to prevent my being a soldier, having taken the queen's Shilling no less than three times and on each occasion my relatives paid the smart money(2).

"At last I made up my mind to visit Aberdeen, and after a few weeks there when for the first time in my life I saw a handsome Non-Comm. officer of the Scots Fusilier Guards(3) in full uniform recruiting. That fixed the matter. The military instinct was not to be overcomne; so there and then, for the fourth time (and last) enlisted as one of Her Majesty's Guards, on the 5th May, 1862, at the age of 18 years and barely a month, height 5 feet 10 and was told likely to grow."

Scott was then sent to Croydon Depot where he underwent recruit drill.

"Was detained there for over three months and eventually dismissed drill by the Adjutant to join my battalion then stationed at Wellington Barracks. Was promoted to the rank of acting Corporal when only 5 months a soldier, a position rarely made with such short service. Took a lively interest in drill, and the height of my ambition was to become a member of the Light Company which was composed of men selected from the central companies of the battalion for their smartness, character and soldierly bearing. I got my wish, was selected and posted, Lord Charles Kerr being the Captain. Soon after my battalion formed part of the Guard of Honour to receive the Princess of Denmark (now our queen) on her arrival to be married to the Prince of Wales (our King) and was also selected for the Guard of Honour for the marriage on the 10th of March, l863(4), which took place in the Chapel Royal, Windsor Castle. It was my battalion that opened Chelsea Barracks the same year as the Prince of Wales' marriage, viz. 1863."

Scott was then posted to the Royal Army Clothing Department for instruction although he remained on strength of the Scots Fusilier Guards. He mentions that his battalion was stationed at the Tower of London at the time. In 1869 he married Ellen Sophia Widdicombe(5).

"I was anxious to see foreign service and expressed the same to Colonel Herbert at that time Adjutant-General at Horse Guards. It was arranged and an exchange effected to the 90th Light Infantry (now the Scottish Rifles) on its return from India, and stationed at Edinburgh Castle on the 3rd of January, 1870(6). The happiest days of my life were spent in the above Gallant Regiment, commanded by Colonel Grey Rattery, C.B., of Blairgowrie(7), with Majors H. W. Palmer(8) and Sir Harry Goodrick. In fact there could not be a better lot of officers brought together in any corps. After 20 months at Edinburgh the regiment was transferred to Glasgow and fixed in the old Gallowgate Barracks. About the end of 1871 that famous soldier Field Marshal Sir Evelyn Wood, etc., etc., joined the regiment as junior major(9) and was on detachment duty at Stirling Castle. The Regiment in the Spring of 1872 was transferred to Aldershot and located on the North Camp."

From 1873 to 1876 the 90th underwent various moves: Aldershot to Dover, then to Dublin and then to Limerick, "which latter stay was of short duration, owing to the Marist Brothers School being broken into, and a valuable chalice being taken therefrom: the soldiers were blamed; the Marist School faced the barrack gate therefore no-one else could take it (so the public said). They would not wait. To try and convince them was quite out of the question, and nothing but a riot would satisfy them and in less time than it takes to tell the tale they were up in thousands. I was on the other side of the Shannon in mufti, in company with Bugle-Major Bullard(10) of my regiment, when we were warned to go no further as the public were up in arms against the soldiers, and right enough it turned out so. We decided that I should make Bullard my prisoner and lead him through the crowd, my holding him by the arm. As we approached the crowd opened out, the word was given that the culprit was at last secured and (we) passed through to barracks. With the exception of hissing and a few good Irish oaths we came off without a scratch. Inside on the barrack square the regiment was formed up under Major Rogers, VC(11), each man provided with 10 rounds ball ammunition, and marched out, prepared for street firing. The Riot Act (was) read out giving the mob 15 minutes to clear. It took less than 5 minutes, for in that short space of time the street was clear and the regiment returned to barracks."

The 90th was ordered to England in spite of a plea from the Mayor of Limerick that it be returned to that town after the real thief had been apprehended. Garrison duty followed in the Portsmouth forts and at Gosport. Early in 1877 Scott was told to be ready to take over as head of the cutting department of the Royal Army Clothing Department, but the officers of the 90th persuaded him to remain with the regiment a while longer.

In the meantime the 9th Kaffir War had broken out in the Cape Colony. At that time the General Officer Commanding at the Cape, Lieutenant-General Sir Arthur Cunynghame, had only one regular battalion of infantry on the frontier, 1st Bn., 24th Foot(12) and lacked artillery and mounted men. Stripping the Cape Peninsula defences he ordered the 88th Foot to the frontier. In December, 1877, the 90th was ordered to South Africa, the right wing (5 companies) for the frontier and the left (3 companies) which was sent to Luneberg in the Transvaal to bolster up the weak British Garrison in the newly annexed Transvaah and to assist in watching the Zulus. Scott was persuaded to go with the 90th on the understanding that he could take up the cutting appointment twelve months later.

"The 90th Light Infantry embarked on the 11th January, 1878, the right wing on the S.S. Nubian, the left on S.S. Danube, the former to Table Bay, the latter to Durban. On arriving in the bay early in February the Right Wing was ordered to Fort Beaufort where the Gaikas were on the eve of rebellion, and the other companies to Utrecht in the Transvaal.

"The debarkation of the Right wing took place at East London and encamped at Panmure; a couple of days after saw the party on the Move to King William's Town, where they were inspected and addressed by General Cunningham (sic) prior to the march to Fort Beaufort and thence to Fort Fordyce (Mount Misery), Tini Macomo's country. The command consisted of five companies of the 90th, with contingents of Fingoes ... Hottentots, etc., etc. Arrived after a very tedious journey to Fort Beaufort amid occupied the Barracks for a few days.

"The march to the Waterklnof took place at night, passing through the Kat River up to the waist, besides a drenching rain, such as only can be experienced on the frontiers. Outspanned at the Blinkwater Hotel for an hour and then continued our march, coming in sight of Tini Macomo's Krawll early in the morning, opened fire at daybreak, killed a few and set fire to the village. We captured a large number of cattle, shelled the Schelm and Waterkloofs, brought out of the former about 200 old Men, women and children, with the usual following of Kaffir dogs. These people acted as commissariat Bearers for the rebels. While in charge of an advanced party I happened to get slight-injured in the field, but continued until the assembly sounded. I then closed on the centre, moved at the double, formed up on the left of the line and gave the order at three hundred yards ready (the regiment was firing volleys at the time)."

Scott was removed to Fort Beaufort Hospital to recover from his injury. He includes in the text of the journal two testimonials addressed to him by Colonel Palmer, dated 10th and 19th June, 1878. "While at Fort Fordyce it became known that our old and highly esteemed Commander, Col. H. W. Palmer(13), was about to retire from the regiment and to be succeeded by Col. Sir Evelyn Wood, VC" Rumour proved to be untrue. Wood's position in the 90th was that of junior major, supernumerary to establishment and in South Africa on special service. "To the disappointment of all ranks Col. Evelyn Wood, VC, this famous soldier did not take over command of our regiment although it was his greatest ambition, nevertheless we looked on him as our Commanding Officer. Shortly after we had the satisfaction of serving under him as a unit of his column. Of course he was the sole means of bringing this about, and in all his engagements we had a place of honour. The five companies just returned from the Waterkloof were stationed at Fort Beaufort when orders were received to join his column at Burns Hill. The companies on arrival at the above mission station had not long to wait."

The situation at this time was as follows: on the 9th March Sandile managed to escape from Griffith's encircling movements on the Thomas River and fled to the eastern Amatolas where he joined a large number of rebels. The terrain of this area consisted of mountains divided into numerous peaks by river valleys, the whole being heavily bushed. In the 6th, 7th and 8th Kaffir Wars the tribes had always concentrated there after defeat in the more open parts of the frontier, so much so that General Cathcart had taken particular trouble to clear it permanently after the 8th Kaffir War and to see that it was annexed to British Kaffraria. On the 18th of March the forces began scouring the bush and continued in this activity until the end of the month. For most of April operations were suspended as many of the burghers, serving for periods of six months at a time, became time expired and Seyolo went into rebellion. Attacks on rebels began again on 29th April.

"What with the Perie Bush, Tutu Bush, Buffalo Range and Intaba Indoda meant hard work but every man in the corps was "fit' and would miss nothing. At the attack on the latter our base was Burns Hill. The enemy composed Seyolo's, Macomo's and Sandillie's Kaffirs who were giving some trouble by destroying the huts of friendly natives. On the night of the 29th April we got instructions to hold ourselves in readiness to fall in at a moment's notice. About 3 a.m. the following morning the whisper came to fall in, and by four o'clock, we were in full swing, and by daylight the 90th was on the summit, but not without a few mishaps. The guns under Captain S. Smith were leading (without the usual escort of infantry) and on nearing the top of the old narrow wagon track were ambushed. A few casualties was the result, but soon after succeeded in gaining the top. The Musketry Instructor John Ross and myself were detailed to take up a position about a mile from the camp and instructed to keep a good watch on the krantz on our left. We took this duty as a position of great respomibility, and having been selected by Sir Evelyn Wood considered it an honour. We could only account for the selection owing to the two of us having represented the regiment at Browndown the previous year and both shot well, yours truly taking the Bennet Prize(14).

"We had not long to wait for at day-light a steady fire was directed upon us, by some of the enemy's best shots, the distance abouit 600 yards. We took cover at once, and returned the fire. We soon got the distance, and to draw them out we adopted the principle of firing well off the spot. Our scheme was successful. They (5 of them) came out from their cover and were lowering themselves from ledge to ledge. The following morning four of their moutches(15), with other articles of wearing apparel were to be seen in the camp. By the booming of field pieces and the continuous rattle of small arms, told us that hot business was going on, and that all the ranks forming the command were engaged. The column had a hard day's work as was predicted. Captain Stevens, commanding "G" Company, had the place of honour, was ordered to extend his men and advance and while doing so was hit in the neck by a Kaffir firing at chose range. He was the first to pass us on his way to the hospital tent. Lieutenant Saltmarshe then took over the company but only went a short distance when he met his death by being shot through the body(16). Colour-Sergeant Sammy Smith, immediately on seeing his two officers put out of action at once assumed command, and did good business urging his men on in a gallant manner, and for which he was afterwards decorated by Her Most Gracious Majesty at Windsor Castle with the Distinguished Conduct Medal.

"Major Apsley Cherry(17) was ordered by the commander to take the company over, which he did for the remainder of the day. Lieut. Saltmarshe stood about 6 feet 3 inches in height and shortly before his death came into a massive fortune. His body was sent to King William's Town for burial. The bodies of the rank and file were buried at the foot of a large fir tree on Burns Hill, the Colonel reading the service(18).

"Although first a Scots Guardsman, I was proud of the fighting qualities of the good old corps the 90th L.I.

"The column soon after shifted to Izellie(19) where Colonel Wood purchased a horse for me from one of the Cape Police(20). I was very fond of my horse Dick, more especially on account of the thoughtful donor."

Rebel resistance was slackening and largely ended with the death of Sandile on the 29th May, although the Cape Colonial Forces were engaged in restoring order until November.


The Zulu War of 1879 was the result of tension that had arisen from various causes: Sir Bartle Frere's determination to smash what he believed was a vast anti-White conspiracy, Zulu dislike of the Transvaal Boers, the existence of a large, unblooded Zulu army spoiling for a fight. Zulu resentments had been recently sharpened by Frere's reversal of an arbitration award in a dispute over land between the Zulus and the Transvalers, a decision initially in favour of the Zulus. The final straw was a raid into Natal territory by a Zulu impi and the removal therefrom to Zululand of fugitives from Cetewayo's justice. On Frere's instructions an ultimatum was presented to the Zulus on December 11th, 1878, allowing thirty days for final compliance with its terms.

Lord Chelmsford, who succeeded Cunynghame as GOC, South Africa, was making military preparations to support Frere. As part of these a column was sent up to Natal from the Cape frontier. Scott continues: "In the month of June Wood's column concentrated at Kei Road, consisting of the following: 5 companies 90th L.I., Buller's Frontier Light Horse, 4 guns, etc., etc., with the object of marching to Maritzburg thence to Utrecht which was duly carried out. Colonel Wood took me on his own responsibility, and against the wish of the doctors. Of course I was delighted with his decision and expressed my feelings accordingly to him. He informed me that a telegram was sent to Cape Town requesting my wife to proceed by boat to Durban, that I was to embark at East London for the same place where Mrs. Scott would be waiting for me.

"The column left for the overland march the following day, the 26th June(21) and (I) took the precaution to send my horse with the troops in charge of our quarter-Master Sergeant (Duckworth). Sailed on the Dunkeld for Durban, on arrival found everything as described by the Colonel. In due course the column arrived at Kokstad, and on the 31st August at Pietermaritzburg, was there to meet them and found all ranks in the pink of condition and all thoroughly fit for any emergency. A shooting match was arranged between a gentleman who had a reputation of beating all comers (a Mr. Button) and yours truly. Both tied with a possible at 200 yards. At 400 I was leading by 3 points, at 600 I lost by 2. A return match squared matters.

"Early in September the last company to leave P.M.Burg for Utreeht was 'A' Company under Captain Apsley Cherry(22), and (I) was ordered to overtake them at Eagle's Nest the day after. At 4 p.m. sighted the tents, arrived an hour later, handed dispatch bag and was pleased to learn that it contained the information that my friend Sergeant Musketry Instructor John Ross was gazetted Lieutenant in his own regiment." Scott at this time learnt a small amount of Zulu.
"Utrecht is a nice little village nestled in a hollow nearly surrounded by rugged mountains. It also boasts of a Landdrost (magistrate) and a laager sufficiently large for the detachment stationed there and was made by the men of the 90th Light Infantry. The entrenchment was about seven feet deep and fully six feet wide, with receding walls, a comfortable height for infantry fire. On the left front a stone section was built where the Dutch refugees put up, and in my opinion might be used for a better purpose. They came for protection but would do nothing to assist the military authorities, nor even help themselves, until Piet Uys(23) and sons came forward. The Landdrost, Mr. Rudolph, a fine specimen of humanity and looked the character suitable to his position. We became great friends, and as we heard so much about the Dutchmen's shooting, a match was arranged between them and a team from the 90th L.I. The first prize was a double barrelled gun, second two guineas, third one. The members of my regiment secured the lot, the gun to yours truly.

"The column was about three months in Utrecht before an advance was made. The first move was carried out with two companies of the 90th being sent about the middle of October to a mission station called Luneberg, which proved afterwards to be an outpost of importance.

"The usual camp sports, readings, lectures, etc., were kept up during the months of inactivity. The Officers, Non-Comm.-Officers and men vied with each other in producing the different functions. Major Rogers, VC, took the palm, for he never seemed tired, and carried out his part in the programme to the satisfaction of all ranks.

"About the end of November we heard that the 13th Light Infantry was to form part of the Flying Column which afterwards turned out to be correct, and our colonel(24) was pleased at the augmentation to his command. On Boxing Day one company of the 13th and one of the 90th were ordered with a convoy to Balte Spruit, distant 18 to 20 miles. On the 3rd January the Flying Column moved from Utrecht to join the above detail, taking with it every able bodied man of the above corps, with 4 guns, the Frontier Light Horse and others. All went well on the march and after a rest for man and beast, crossed the Blood River on the 6th. We heard that the Zulus were warned that the time allowed them to decide as to whether they meant fighting or otherwise would expire on the morning of the 11th January. We were anxiously waiting for news all that day, when at last we heard that a large number of cattle were captured by Colonel Redvers Buller."

Chelmford's plan at the opening of the campaign was to invade Zululand with four columns of which Wood's based on Utrecht, was the northernmost. The destruction of the bulk of the second and third columns in the centre and the bottling up of the first in Eshowe threw the whole plan out of gear and Wood had to carry out diversionary activities in his sector while Chelmsford reorganised.

"January 22nd, Capt. Gardner of the Hussars(25) rode into Utrecht in a deplorable state, poor fellow, with an old shirt and something resembling breeches. His horse was about done up. He desired to know who was in charge and when informed that Lieutenant Justice of the 13th Light Infantry was in command, he shouted, "Up with your draw bridge, the General's camp is taken and every man slaughtered.' We at once put him down as mad, he had nothing to show that he was a military man, but after being closely examined (we had to be particular) he proved himself to be a captain in the regiment of Hussars mentioned to us and even thanked us for putting him through his pacings. It was a great shock to us to hear of the disaster, a regiment - the lst Battalion 24th with whom we shared the trying times of the Gaika and Galeka War of the previous year, Colonels de Gasher (sic) Durnford, Puleen (sic) and other officers, together with other ranks with whom we fought side by side. You can imagine our feelings. The Bandmaster (Harry Bullard) of the gallant 24th was a particular friend of mine and only got the appointment a short time before his death. He was Bugle-Major of the 90th, Was sent to Kneller Hall and passed first class. He... was killed on that ever memorable day, defending the amunition wagons. It brought back memories of the past, he was a good fellow.

"About the middle of March we heard of the disaster to a company of the 80th Regiment.

"That very night it was my turn for duty, to parade at sunset and return at sunrise the following morning. The party consisted of 16 privates, one corporal and two so-called tamed Zulus; our position to take up was about a mile from the camp, covering the east face. The men as a rule extended at intervals of 20 paces, with a Zulu on each flank. The latter were at all times alert on duty, and (I) never had to complain of their conduct. They as a rule stick their assegais into the ground, place their ear to them and the slightest noise detected even to the tread of a foot at a distance.

"About midnight all of a sudden a disturbance (happened) as if tin cans were beaten by some one on our right flank. We at once closed on the centre and changed front to the right; advanced and the Zulus pointed to the place. We naturally thought we had something when it became louder and more distinct as we approached. Creeping up to the position, and prepared to fire, so as to warn the camp. Our orders were if attacked to fire and retire slowly. Still I was not satisfied and got close up to the moving object when we found to our great disgust that it was a milch cow, captured by the men of the 13th regiment and tied to a tree, with a few paraffin tins, no doubt meant to keep fodder, etc. These got about the animal's feet so hence the noise.

"Calling the roll found the Zulus gone, never to return again. They became scared and bolted. Of course I was very much annoyed, for having to report their desertion (I) would also have to report the reason why. I can only say that the incident caused a good laugh in camp that morning but some one got into trouble for the milch cow being there.

"About the middle of March we heard of the disaster to a company of the 80th Regiment when on the march under Major Moriarty to strengthen the troops at Luneberg(26). There were also several companies crossing the Intombe River, some distance up, when Umbeline commanding in chief of the Zulu army, swept down upon them, assisted by another induna. With the exception of a few who escaped the others were assegaied or drowned(27).

"During our whole stay in Utrecht we had only one serious crime, viz.: drunk in the field. The culprit was duly tried and sentenced to 50 lashes and administered next morning(28). He was sent to Luneberg as a punishment. A few days after Colonel Wood turned up and (was) of course made acquainted with the crime and punishment. He at once ordered the man to be brought back as soon as possible, to join the column at Kambulla. At the attack poor Brown met a soldier's death.

"I had the honour of being selected to proceed to Newcastle along with Lieutenant Justice of the 13th Light Infantry, to bring from the Bank Manager, Mr. MacKeller, the Colours of the 80th Regiment entrusted to his care.

"As we were nearing the above place going at a good canter, in our shirt sleeves, rifle slung over our shoulders, and the usual quantity of ammunition, we perceived at a great distance as we got over the bend, bayonets glistening in the sun. It was a hot day and our horses would be the better of a rest. As we drew nearer we could see that it was a British regiment in full swing coming to the relief.

"We knew that questions would be put to us as we passed, so made up our minds to go at full gallop, and passed the corps, took no heed of their shouts. When we got to our destination and off-saddled at the Plough Hotel, we learned that it was the 4th Kings under Colonel Bray, on its way to the place we left (Utrecht).

"There was such a large number of refugees in the hotel that all beds were taken up. We made no bones about that as long as we could get sufficient space to stretch our limbs. Lieutenant Justice secured the billiard table, made his bed on the top, and yours truly underneath, out of the way of people's feet. We required no rocking, and crept from our "beds" fully dressed in the morning, and quite refreshed.

"Lieutenant Justice was deputed to purchase some light wagons and mules so we had another day in the village and transacted good business, going through the same ordeal at night. We started on our way back early in the morning, but before leaving paid our last call on Mr. MacKellar (sic) to hand over the precious property we were sent for, and received the same with religious sanctity. Lieut. Justice increased his bulk by wrapping the colours round his body and were in due course handed over to the rightful owners.

"On the 22nd March (I think it was) we were informed that O'ham (or Uham) and brother to the ruling monarch Cetewayo surrendered(29), and would arrive in Utrecht the same day. In the afternoon we observed a number of natives coming towards us. On their nearer approach we discovered that the majority were women, carrying their usual household goods and chattels on their heads, and in charge of them a chief induna.

"O'ham was to be seen at the Landdrost's Office, Mr. Rudolph attending carefully to his wants. The induna and his charge were provided with tents just over the drift.

"March 29th before daybreak the attack on the Inhlobane Mountain took place. Mr. Rathbone, an old salt and resident of Utrecht for many years, was appointed war correspondent for the Natal Witness. He became a great favourite with all ranks. He could "spin a yarn" with the next best man.

"The Battle of Kambula took place the following day, and the two days after Mr. Rathbone stated openly that the attack on the Inhlobane (Hhobane) Mountain was most decidedly a reverse, but as luck would have it that enemy attacking Kambula in force the day after saved the situation of the Officer in Command. While watching the advancing Zulu Army, Sir Evelyn Wood asked Rathbone's opinion regarding the attack on the Inhlobane. He replied that the result would depend on the day's work whether he, the Colonel, would be recalled or receive a "Cocked Hat.' Directly the Zulus retreated he said he could not contain himself and shouted out at the full extent of his voice - he (Colonel Wood) has won the "Cocked Hat', and by the powers that be, he shall have it, if he has anything to do with it. He would go further and say that there were only a few men in it, viz.: Colonel Wood, Colonel Buller, and the "fellows" in charge of the Guns, and that Sir Evelyn Wood before many years would carry a Field Marshal's baton, and so it has transpired.

"During the encampment at Kambula a camp follower, for selling whisky, square face, and other intoxicants to the men after being warned as strictly prohibited, was sentenced to receive 24 lashes, his hair and whiskers cut close, and expelled from camp, his name posted at the Landdrost's Office, stating the reason for expulsion. On his arrival at Utrecht he desired to see the Officer in Charge so as to lay a complaint as to the treatment received. He stated that it was his intention to have satisfaction and would not cease until Colonel Wood who sanctioned the punishment be recalled.

"He was ordered out of camp. He turned and squared up for fighting. "He got it in true British style," which added more to his disfigurement. He cleared and that was the last seen of him(30).

"In the month of May we had the pleasure of the Prince Imperial of France with his attendant being attached to the Column, and at the same time Mr. Longcast, an interpreter, who could throw an assegai with the best. The Prince used to commission Mr. L. to stand at a distance and deliver the weapon, the Prince guarding each throw. This exercise was carried out for some time, in fact, until he became quite an expert in self defence, and yet he was doomed to die on the field by being pierced with several of those weapons of defence. He became a great favourite with all ranks.

"I shall at all times remember Sir Evelyn Wood introducing me to a countryman of mine who was at the time laying the Field Telegraph, viz.: Mr. James Sivewright (now Sir James) who afterwards became by my own recommendation Lieutenant-Colonel of my own Regiment the Cape Town Highlanders. I was at that time Major Commanding.

"On the 1st June the Prince Imperial met his death. We heard the sad news the following day. Apparently he went out on duty with a small escort under the command of Captain Carey whom we believe lost his presence of mind and left the Prince to his fate.

"A party was despatched to the scene on the 2nd and discovered the body, which was found on inspection to have been pierced with no less than 18 assegai wounds. Two of the party were also killed and the bodies recovered and buried in the usual way.

"The officer was tried for misbehaviour in front of the enemy; and heard after that he died of a broken heart -- such are the fortunes of war!

"In the month of July an order was received (for me) to proceed to Pietermaritzburg thence to D'Urban, and to embark on board the troopship Orontes, with the view of undergoing an operation, but afterwards received permission to have it carried out in the regimental hospital. Capt. Lysons, VC, called and informed me that Sir Evelyn Wood gave instructions that I was to have any surgeon I liked. The result was that I selected a civil surgeon, a namesake who was strongly recommended by my friends, viz., Dr. Scott of the above city and he was most successful in carrying out his task.''

Inset from the left-hand page: "Just a few words, take them for what they are worth but I cannot allow this opportunity to pass without placing on record my appreciation of that gallant Commander, whom I have had the honour to serve under viz.: Field Marshal Sir Evelyn Wood, VC, etc., etc. He is in my humble opinion the Beau ideal of a soldier. To state that we felt quite safe while he was with us, was the unanimous voice of all ranks.

"As a tactician his ability is known all over the world, and I quite endorse my old friend Rathbone's remarks after the Battle of Kambula: that he was worthy of the rank of Field Marshal and now that he has attained that high position let us trust that he will long live to enjoy it.

"I was soon after granted permission to proceed to Cape Town to join my wife and family, and allowed Colonial leave pending my discharge from the Army. Arrived in the above named town the last week in September, was attached to the 91st Regiment, stationed at the Main Barracks for a short time. Had a good look round the city and suburbs and decided to purchase a building in Claremont, at the entrance to Grove Avenue, and named it Inverness House and started business in January, 1880. The same year Sir Evelyn Wood arrived from England with the Empress Eugenie and party, (and was) put up at Government House for a short time and proceeded on their long journey to visit the spot where the Prince Imperial fell, but before leaving the General sent for me to see him at Government House at once. I drove in, saw my old commander and was presented to the Empress. The Gentleman who attended to the Prince while attached to us at once recognised me, and (I) can assure you that we were delighted to see one another again. Sir Evelyn informed me that I would get my full pension with Long Service and War Medals, which turned out to be correct(31).

"At this time I was in full swing with my business at Inverness House, and most successful. As customers I had the honour of serving the Governor, Sir Bartle Frere, the Military and the elite of the Peninsula.

"In 1881 I was returned as a member of the first Village Management Board for Claremont, and the following year, when authority was granted by the Government, at the request of the Ratepayers for a Municipality (to be termed the Liesbeek Municipality) I was returned as a member, and remained as such for some time. In 1882 the small pox epidemic took place and I was appointed along with Mr. H. R. Arderne, Sanitary Commissioner for Claremont and Newlands, and had on many occasions most disagreeable duties to perform, having to inspect the dirty hovels belonging to Malays and others. We found that the dirty slops were thrown out in front of their doors, and as a rule the wells were in front and lower than the foundation,which caused the dirty water to percolate into and destroy the water for drinking and cooking purposes. The remedy was at hand by the authority vested in us, and (we) took proceedings against a number, with satisfactory results.

"1883 opened a branch business in Wynberg, Argyle House, engaged R. A. Finlayson, Assistant Station Master, Newlands (now Lt.-Colonel Finlayson, CMG), a brother-in-law of Barnie Barnato. The following year, 1884, opened another branch in Church Street, Cape Town, and Finlayson became General Manager of my whole business. Just as I was about to make a reduction in my staff Mr. J. D. Logan of Matjiesfontein, gave an offer to Finlayson to join him. These two were close friends for many years prior to this.


"In February, 1885, meetings were held by the leading Scotsmen in Cape Town and suburbs for the purpose of forming a Highland Corps. I naturally took an interest in the formation of a corps representative of my country, but had no intention of taking an active position, having only a few years before left the army. Other gentlemen were offered the Command, but would not take the responsibility. At last I was reminded of the question put by my old Commanding Officer Sir Evelyn Wood: "What are you going to do regarding the defence of your adopted country?" Well, after due consideration and a unanimous vote, and advised by Colonel Southey (who was in the chair), I gave way and accepted the position with Captain W. Thompson second in Command. 150-odd names were taken that night and many others promised. We at once submitted that number to the Government. Soon after it appeared in the Government Gazette that by the advice of the Executive Council the services of the Corps were accepted to date from the 24th April(32). The first parade of recruits took place the following week, and altho' the public turned out in great force to witness the first parade, when the roll was called only 16 men and three officers answered to their names. It looked for the moment to be a complete failure, and we were so disgusted at the unlooked for disappointment that it was discussed whether we should proceed any further.

"It was freely stated by the spectators that they knew from the first that there was no room for another corps(35), and of course predicted that it would be a failure, and such remarks as even if Scotsmen went in for it it would only last at the outside six months.

"That was enough. I formed up in single rank, opened to the usual intervals for squad drill, and proceeded with the Balance step without gaining ground(34), etc., etc. At the expiration of an hour marched the men into the side room of the Old Exchange Buildings, a large crowd following and after being dismissed enquired if there were any gentlemen present intending to join, to be good enough to remain, the others to withdraw.

"To my agreeable surprise they all remained, together with a large number outside who could not gain admittance. There were Thompson, Smith, Jack Edwards and myself taking the names and other particulars till 10.30 p.m. When finished we had 23 names over the number accepted by the Government.

"We therefore could pick our men. The next parade proved beyond doubt that the Highlanders were to be an established fact, for over 160 fell in, and they were men any Corps would be proud of.

"On the 8th of June (1885), I was gazetted as Captain Commanding, yet although in command, I kept my position as Captain of No.1 Company, Captain Thompson No.2. We only intended to have that number of companies. But owing to such a large number of men offering themselves for attestation, and Captain C. A. Dickson commanding No. 10 Company, of the Duke of Edinburgh's Regiment(35) having stated that it was the wish of his men and officers to withdraw from that corps and become No. 3 of the C.T.H. ...(36). The application was made for the transfer and in August of the same year it was granted. They proved to be a most valuable addition to us as the company possessed a fair number of first class shots, and they took a lively interest in instructing the young idea how to shoot.

"At this time we were expecting our clothing and equipment, which was on its way out. The following were the Dress Regulations adopted:

Helmet: dark green home pattern.
Glengarry: dark blue, Blackcock tail and Badge.
Doublet: dark green no facings, buttons as "Scots Guards".

Kilt: Gordon tartan(37).
Trews: "
Wing plaid: "

Sporran: Sutherland Highlanders.
Spats: "
Hose: "

Buttons: white metal, Scots Guards design.
Badges: Scottish Star, Thistle in centre and Cape Town Highlanders in Garter(38).

Officers, Non-Comm.-Officers and Band: plaids, sashes, etc., as other Highland Regiments.

"The next thing to be placed before us was the formation of an Administrative Battalion, under the Command of Sir Thomas Upington, the Cape Town Highlanders becoming the second unit.


"The Malay Riot, of January, 1886, was the means of the Brigade receiving orders to be in readiness to turn out at the shortest notice possible, the signal to be the firing of three guns from the Castle, and all hands to fall in on the Parade Ground. Matters at this time were becoming serious and the Government was determined to put it down with a strong hand. Of course the members of the different corps were anxiously waiting for the signal of "Three Guns'. Early in the morning the Town and suburbs were aroused by hearing the "Three Bangs". I can assure you that the events of that day were most amusing although they showed beyond doubt that all ranks were prepared to do their duty. For instance it was very often the case in Table Bay for a heavy fog to rest over the sea in the early morning for hours together and so dense that the shipping in the Docks even could not be seen. Therefore the usual fog signals from the craft at anchor in the bay and from the shipping coming in were resorted to, but that was considered nothing. But on the alarm, as stated above, you could see men (Volunteers) in all manner of garb running here, there and everywhere, causing quite a commotion. The public, from the oldest to the youngest, were up wondering what was going to happen. Bugles sounded the Assembly at different parts of the city, men and women shouting.
"The suburban members of all corps, including officers, hastened to Cape Town from Wynberg, Claremont and other villages en route, and taking possession of all Vehicles they could place their hands upon. Officers could be seen on Fish Carts, others on Scotch Carts, waggons, etc., urging the drivers to hasten so as to be in time to fall in with the other men.
"The great disappointment experienced on entering the parade ground, was to see the men who were there before returning home with crestfallen countenances, giving vent to their feelings in no unmeasured language, "somebody was to blame". The cry went round, demanding who fired the "Guns" and when told that it was a steamer from England making its way into the bay, firing fog guns as she approached, it did not satisfy them a bit, and tended to make them more vindictive against the Malay fraternity for causing all the trouble(37).
"However, it did not finish there. The Malays were determined to defy the authorities in closing their burying ground at Green Point, for such was the cause of the riot.
"They assembhed in large numbers on the hillside, just under the signal station and round about their ground. The Police tried to disperse them but without avail and some of the Policemen got roughly handled, in fact to such an extent that the Government decided to call out the Volunteers by regiments, each to take their 24 hours of duty, to be encamped on the Common opposite the burying ground.
"The Cape Town Highlanders were the last corps to parade and turned out to a man for the first time on the 6th of January in full dress uniform, with Pipes and Drums, and marched to the encampment with a fine swinging pace, the pipers playing the regimental quick step "The Campbells are Coming". The Malays knew by the presence of Sir Thomas Upington and the Magistrate, Mr. Crosbie, that a stop was to be put to the riot before the morning.
"During the night the "Alert' was sounded to see how quickly the men could turn out. It was done in such a short space of time that it was pronounced most satisfactory.
"At 8 a.m. the following morning I sent Captain C. Smith with No. 3 Company with 10 rounds ammunition per man as escort to Mr. Crosbie, the Magistrate, who intended to read the Riot Act. The advance party was supported by the remainder, the Corps as a reserve at the usual distance in rear. Fifteen minutes were granted to clear the ground and in less than half the time, there was not a Malay to be seen. This practically finished a riot which in the first instance looked very determined and only for the attitude taken by the Government would no doubt have developed into something more serious. Ever since then the Malays gave no further trouble, and became a law-abiding people(40).


"Took place on Sunday, 31st January, 1886, in full dress uniform, the parade state showing Non-Comm.-Officers, rank and file including band to be 164 with 7 officers, or 171 all ranks. The officers present were Capt. John Scott, commanding, Capt. W. Thompson, No. 2 Company, Capt. C. W. Smith, No. 3 Company, Lieutenants Brodie, Brown, Christison and Rawbone. We marched to St. Andrew's Church. The sermon was conducted by our own chaplain, the Rev. John Russell(41).

"The above parade was the means to a great extent of a rush of fine young fellows to join, and we found it necessary for the maximum to be increased to 300 all ranks. The application was granted, and even then in less than a month we exceeded that number.

"The corps now devoted much of its spare time to shooting, and was encouraged by receiving valuable prizes from friends, who took a lively interest in its welfare. We had many matches with the Imperial troops in the garrison and as a rule came off best.

"This Military did everything in their power to assist us, for which we had reason to be thankful. Several of our officers availed themselves of a generous offer to be attached to the regiment stationed at the time in the Main Barracks for instruction, which proved to the men that the officers were determined to know their duties.

"Brought more recruits to such an extent that the maximum was again increased by the Government, this time to 400 all ranks, which entitled the Corps to a Major Commanding and I was gazetted accordingly.

Scott in the uniform of a mounted field officer.
Black boots, scarlet doublet with silver lace and yellow facings.
Blue glengarry bonnet with red and white dicing.
Taken about 1890.


"Sir Donald Currie of Garth, while on a visit to this country, was agreeably surprised to witness a Highland Corps of Volunteers in Cape Town, parading in full force under the electric light by the side entrance of the Railway Station (our usual parade ground). After the regiment was dismissed I was informed by note, from Mr. R. Maclean of the Currie Company, that Sir Donald Currie would like to meet me at his office the following morning at 10.30. I was there to time and so was Sir Donald. He expressed a wish to get the whole particulars regarding the formation, etc., and that he would consider it an honour to be accepted as an honorary member, and stated anything he could do for the regiment he would be only too pleased to comply with out wishes.

"A Highland stag was mentioned to lead the regiment. And at once he said, 'By jove, a good suggestion. You shall have it." He carried out his promise and in due course this fine animal arrived safe and sound, and was comfortably stabled in Buitekant Street(42), a keeper appointed, Pte McDonald. He became very much attached to the stag and in a short time he could do anything with it.

"It was named 'Donald' after the donor (Sir Donald Currie). It was trained to take up its position in front of the Corps caparisoned in harness of black patent leather with silver mounts. It behaved itself well, and was a real pet with all ranks.

"Presented with Sword, Cross Belt, Sabretache and Silver Spurs: At a full dress parade Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Thomas Upington, commanding the 1st Administrative Battalion(43), of which the Highlanders were the second unit, presented on behalf of the Officers, Non-Commissioncd-Officers and the men of the Cape Town Highlanders to Major John Scott, on his promotion to the above rank. There was a large muster of members of other corps and the general public present.

"The inscription on the sword is as under:
"Presented to John Scott. Major Commanding the Cape Town Highlanders, by the Officers, Non-Commissioned-Officers and men of the Regiment, as a mark of their Esteem and Recognition of His Services, as Captain Commanding the Corps since its formation. Cape Town, December, 1887.

"(Inset on the left-hand page): Pipes presented by the Ladies of Cape Town: Mrs. McMeekan and other Scotch ladies of Cape Town subscribed 70 for the purpose of presenting the Corps with Bag Pipes.
One set handsomely mounted in silver for the Pipe Major.
Five sets for the other pipers, with ivory mounts.
The presentation was made by Mrs. McMeekan on behalf of the Lady Subscribers.

(Continued on the right-hand page):
1888. "ROB ROY"
"The National Operatic Drama of 'Rob Roy'. I had the honour of performing in England, Scotland and Ireland in the title role and was on the boards at Aldershot when ordered out to South Africa. It was fresh in the minds of the military and therefore taken up by the public, hence the performance for three nights to overflowing houses. No drama was ever better patronised in the old Theatre Royal, Burg Street. The second night's performance was the means of a scene never to be forgotten. At the capture of Rob Roy our Pipe Major, Gillis, without warning vaulted into the orchestra destroying a valuable drum while springing on to the stage to assist in preventing Rob being taken prisoner and was encouraged by a number of Jack Tars in the gallery supported by a number of the audience, and only for Sir Thomas Upington who was behind the slips who dragged him off the stage, something serious might have happened. But that did not complete the night's amusement for at the escape of Rob after the dive over the bridge a lady stood up and shouted out, "Thank God he is saved." The third night's performance and last was on a Saturday and finished without any extras as far as the public was concerned.

"During the early hours of Sunday morning the theatre was ablaze and was not extinguished until the forenoon. All the wardrobe, including many rifles, swords and other valuables, was destroyed. The theatre stood on the very spot where the Metropolitan Fire Brigade Station is now in Burg Street.

"The press gave a glowing account of the performances, singling out each character and urging us to continue for some time which, but for the fire, we intended to do.

"Presentation of the Drum-Major's Staff and Belt by the Ladies of Cape Town and Suburbs:

"On the 26th November (1888) at a Special Parade ordered for the purpose of presenting a Drum-Major's staff and shoulder belt subscribed for by the Scottish Ladies of Cape Town and suburbs, the presentation was made on the Grand Parade by the Hon. Mrs. Tudhope, wife of the Colonial Secretary. The full band for the first time turned out in feather bonnets.

"Mrs. Tudhope in presenting the above took the opportunity of stating that this being the second presentation to the Highlanders within a very short time, viz., 6 sets of Bag Pipes, and now the staff and belt, subscribed for entirely by the Ladies, showed beyond all doubt their appreciation of the good and soldierly bearing of all ranks. 'Your smartness at drill has been remarked upon by the highest military authorities, and we trust you will always maintain that high standard, which can only be done by assisting those officers in authority. Major Scott, it is a pleasure to me, I can assure you, to convey to you the hearty good wishes of the subscribers and trust you will remain for a long time with the gallant corps you have the honour of commanding and have trained to such a state of perfection. We are proud of being the means of presenting to your regiment the staff and belt.'

"The belt was placed on the Drum-Major's shoulder (Tom Henderson) and the staff placed in his hand. The presentation which was witnessed by thousands of the public, was carried out with the same precision which characterised all our other movements.

"General Torrens on his departure from South Africa referred to the Highlanders as a credit to South Africa.


"At the annual meeting it was resolved to adopt scarlet doublets as the full dress for the Corps next year (1889).

"Sir Donald Currie, M.P., was made a life member of the Corps. On his departure a Guard of Honour was detailed to see him on board on his way to England. All the officers were present and partook of his hospitality.

"The annual ball proved a great success. The Wapenshaw and the shooting during the last twelve months showed progress. A large number of members resigned owing to the opening up of the Transvaal Gold Fields.

"August 1st, the Corps headquarters were removed from Buitenkant Street to the Drill Hall, Caledon Square.

"January 21st. Unveiling of Her Majesty's Jubilee Statue. There were two guards of honour, one of Regulars and one of Cape Town Highlanders. The whole was drawn up in the form of an angle near the steps of the Parliament House. I was in command of the party furnished by my corps. His Excellency Lord Loch and Lady Loch, with Sir Gordon Sprigg and Lady Sprigg, Admiral Wells, the Chief Justice, Sir Henry De Villiers, Sir David Tennant and members of both Houses of Parliament. His Excellency proceeded to unveil the statue, the band playing the National Anthem with the firing of guns and the cheering of the people bringing the function to a close.

"Funeral of Piper MacDonald: On the 28th January the remains of Piper A. MacDonald who met his death by falling from the top landing of the Mutual Building in Darling Street took place. The circumstances under which the deceased met his death lent a special feature to the occasion. A large number of people congregated in the neighbourhood of the Mutual Hall to see the procession start. The windows and roofs of the various business houses adjoining were filled with spectators. Shortly after 4 o'clock the funeral set out in the following order:

"First the firing party under Sergeant James Ingram with arms reversed, consisting of members of No. 3 Company to which the deceased belonged. Then following in order the full band of the Volunteer Engineers playing the Dead March in Saul; the pipers of the High landers, the gun carriage draped with the Union Jack. Then came Donald the Stag (whose keeper the deceased had been), his antlers wreathed with crepe, with a necklet of the same material; two mourning carriages; officers and other ranks of Highlanders, Engineers, Dukes and representatives of all other Corps in garrison, the whole under the charge of Major Scott.

Scott in Mess Dress. Scarlet mess jacket with
yellow facings and silver lace and buttons. The sporran
was a personal item and was not the regimental pattern.
Taken about 1890.

"February 4th. His Excellency the Governor, with the advice of the Executive Council: the Cape Town Highlanders became known as the 1st Corps, 1st Administrative Battalion from 1st January, l890(44).

"May 26th. Annual Sports at Plumstead Ground (Whit Monday).

"June 6th. Anniversary Ball.

"November 22nd, 1890. A Special General Meeting of the members of the Corps was held at the Drill Hall, Sir Thomas Upington presiding. There was a very large attendance both of officers and men. The proceedings were conducted in private but a representative was afterwards informed that the resignation of Major Scott was announced as having been accepted.

"Resolutions were passed to the effect that the Cape Town Highianders remain a unit of the Administrative Battalion as heretofore, that the Corps proceed to the election of a Major and that the Government be requested to provide a paid Adjutant for the Cape Town Highlanders.

"The following resolution was agreed to unanimously:
"The Cape Town Highlanders have received with great regret the intimation that Major Scott has resigned his commission, and the command of the Corps.
They further desire to place on record the high appreciation of the great services rendered by Major Scott in organising and promoting the efficiency of the corps.

At this point the Journal ends, but not the serving career of Scott with the Cape Town Highlanders. An unsuitable appointment to command of the Regiment led to the internal strains to which Volunteer units of the time were only too prone. The then commanding officer resigned and Scott served a further period in command from 26 October, 1891, to 30 May, 1892, when he again resigned. At the request of the Rt. Hon. C. J. Rhodes he resumed command for a third period from 11 May, 1894, to 28 June, 1895. His business continued to do well. In 1908 he took over and managed the Round House at Camps Bay and retired finally from business in October, 1925. He died two months later in Pretoria where he is buried. There still exists in that city a tailoring firm which he founded(45). His obituary appears in the Cape Times of 25 December, 1925, and states that at the time of his death he left 19 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.

The references to Wood are from Field Marshal Sir Evelyn Wood, VC, 'Midshipman to Field Marshal", Methuen & Co., 5th Edition, 1907.

(1) Subsequently 1st Bn Seaforth Higlanders.
(2) Paid to redeem a recruit from the recruiting authorities.
(3) After 1877 the Scots Guards, the third senior regiment in the Brigade of Guards.
(4) This is the only indication of the time when the journal was written, i.e., any time between 1900 and 1910.
(5) Sister of Canon John Widdicombe, an Anglican missionary who did outstanding work in the Orange Free State and in Lesotho and was the author of "In the Lesotho", S.P.C.K., 1895.
(6) The punctuation is confusing and might here refer to the date when the 90th went into garrison or to the date when Scott joined them.
(7) Correctly, James Clerk Rattray, C.B. Born Perth, 31 October, 1832, and enlisted at the age of 18.
Ensign 90th Foot by purchase, 17 January, 1851; Lieutenant 90th, without purchase, 11 August, 1854;
Captain 90th, without purchase, 9 September, 1855; Major 90th, without purchase, 14 January, 1862;
Lieutenant-Colonel 90th, by purchase, 3 June, 1864.

  • Siege of Sevastopol November, 1854.
  • Assault on the Great Redan 18 June, 1855, and 8 September, 1855.
  • India Relief of Lucknow 29 September, 1857.
  • Defence of Lucknow 18 November, 1857.
  • Defence of Alum Bagh November, 1857, to March, 1858.
  • Capture of Lucknow 9 to 16 March, 1858.
Commanded 90th Foot from June, 1864, to May, 1872. Retired as Lieutenant-General, K.C.B.

(8) Born at Pallaght House, County Dublin, on 18 June, 1828, and enlisted at the age of 18 years and two months.
Ensign 19th Foot, by purchase, 7 August, 1846. Exchanged to 74th Highlanders 29 December, 1846;
Lieutenant 74th, without purchase, 10 November, 1848; Captain 74th, without purchase, 17 August, 1852;
Brevet-Major 74th, without purchase, 8 August, 1864; Major 74th, by purchase, 9 September, 1864;
exchanged to 90th on 4 October, 1864; Lieutenant-Colonel 90th, without purchase, 1 April, 1873.

8th Kaffir War
  • Operations at Theopolis, Albany District 26 to 28 June and 2 July, 1851.
  • Kroomie Heights and Waterkloof, 18 September, 1851.
  • Kroomie Heights and Fuller's Hoek, October, 1851.
  • Waterkloof 6 November, 1851.
Commanded 90th from April, 1873, took it to South Africa and commanded it during the Zulu War. C.B.
Retired on full pay, Hon. Major-General, November, 1878.
Wood makes it clear that Palmer's command was nominal only.

(9) Born at Cressing, Braintree, Essex, on 9 February, 1838, and entered the Royal Navy as a midshipman on 15 April, 1852.
Served in the Crimean War in the Black Sea from January, 1854, to October, 1854, including the bombardment of Odessa.
In the Naval Brigade from 1 October, 1854, to 20 June, 1855. Left the Royal Navy.

13th Light Dragoons, granted for service in the Crimea, 7 September, 1855;
Lieutenant, by purchase, 1 February, 1856; appointed to 17th Lancers, 9 October, 1857;
by purchase, 16 April, 1861; Captain 73rd Foot, by exchange, 21 October, 1862;
1st Bn., 17th Foot, by exchange, 10 November, 1865; transferred to 2nd Bo., 29 December, 1869;
Major unattached, by purchase, 22 June, 1870; 90th Light Infantry, by exchange, 28 October, 1871;
Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel, by brevet, 19 January, 1873;
Colonel 90th, 1 April, 1874.

  • Odessa April, 1854.
  • Inkerman October, 1854 (recommended for VC).
  • Assault on the Redan 18 June, 1855 (recommended for VC).

Central India
  • Rajgluer 15 September, 1858 (recommended for VC).
  • Sairwako 19 October, 1858.
  • Kurai 25 October, 1858.
  • Baroda 1 January, 1859.
  • Sindhoa 28 December, 1860 (gazetted VC).
  • 1873 to 1874 Commanded Wood's Regiment and then Right Column at Amoaful, at Kumasi.

(10) Killed at Isandlwana, Zululand, on 22 January, 1879, while serving with 1st Bn, 24th Foot.

(11) Born Dublin on 12 September, 1834. Ensign 44th Foot, without purchase, 21 February, 1855; Lieutenant, without purchase, 3 August, 1855; Captain, unattached, without purchase, 20 November, 1860; Captain 90th, without purchase, 12 March, 1861; Major, without purchase, 1 April, 1873; Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel, 29 November, 1879; Lieutenant-Colonel, 15 December, 1879.

  • Sevastopol 8 September, 1855.
Zulu War

Left 90th in December, 1882, and held in turn a Regimental District and a brigade in India.
Major-General, retired pay, 1889.
Died 5 February, 1895.

(12) Later 1st Bn, South Wales Borderers.

(13) See note 8 above.

(14) Scott subsequently captained the Cape Colony rifle team to Bisley, c 1895.

(15) Obscure, possibly the apron worn by Xhosa males.

(16) See Wood, pp.316, 317.

(17) Born at Denford Park, Hungerford, on 1 September, 1832.
Ensign 90th Foot; by purchase, 11 May, 1855; Lieutenant, without purchase, 18 January, 1856;
Captain, by purchase, 29 October, 1861; Major, without purchase, 10 September, 1874;
Lieutenant-Colonel, 11 November, 1878. Retired on half pay, 2 December, 1882.

  • Sherazpore September, 1857.
  • Alunshagh Oct.-Nov., 1857.
  • Relief of Lucknow 12-17 Nov., 1857.
  • Alumbagh Nov., 1857-March, 1858.
  • Capture of Lucknow March, 1858.
  • Campaign in Oudh 1858-1859.
  • 9th Kaffir War 1878.
  • Zulu War 1879. Including Ulundi.

Retired on half pay, 2nd December, 1882.

(18) See Wood, p.316, 317.
(19) More usually spelt Izeli.
(20) Scott probably means the Frontier Armed and Mounted Police.
(21) The date agrees with Wood, p. 322.
(22) See note 17, where Cherry is referred to as a major.
(23) Later killed at Hlobane on 28 March, 1879.
(24) Scott here means Wood.
(25) 14th Hussars was on the Staff of Glyn's No.3 Column for General Staff Duties. See Official Narrative, p. 143.

(26) and (27) See Official Narrative, p.69-72. The date of the disaster to Moriarty's column was 12th March.
(28) This is probably one of the last instances of the use of the lash in the British Army.
(29) Properly spelt Uhamu, who was later made one of the thirteen kinglets in Wolseley's Zululand settlement.
(30) See Wood, p. 390-391.

(31) Scott's medals are in the possession of the Cape Town Highlanders and are the South Africa General Service Medal with clasp, 1877-78-79, and the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.
(32) This is the correct date of the raising of the Cape Town Highlanders. Statements appearing in various places that this regiment was raised on 15 July, 1885, are not correct.
(33) Cape Town at that time had a number of other well-established Volunteer units:
The Duke of Edinburgh's Own Volunteer Rifles,
Prince Alfred's Own Cape Volunteer Artillery, the Cape Town Cavalry and the Cape Town Irish Volunteer Rifles.
(34) Presumably "Mark time".
(35) i.e. Duke of Edinburgh's Own Volunteer Rifles. The Scottish Company of this unit was raised in 1882 and had never enjoyed a happy relationship with the rest of the corps.

(36) This is the basis of the oft repeated fable that the Cape Town Highlanders were raised from the Dukes.
(37) The reason for the adoption of the Gordon tartan is not known. It is possible that the excitement prevailing at the time over the gallant death of General Gordon at Khartoum may have had something to do with the matter.
(38) See Curson "More Military and Police Devices from South Africa, 1790-1962", p.17.
(39) A percipient remark, made by a regular about amateurs.
(40) The matter was not as simple as Scott suggests. Cape Malay religious custom requires that a corpse be carried on the bier by the mourners from the place of death to the grave. The closure of the burial ground used for nearly two centuries on the slopes of Lion's Rump was a serious matter and the question was only solved by granting a new graveyard at Observatory, adjacent to the present Groote Schuur Hospital, which is still used by the Malay community.

(41) For many years minister of the St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Somerset Road and Chaplain to the Highlanders until his death. Russell was an Hon. Lieut.-Colonel in the CTH and held the Colonial Auxiliary Forces Officer's Decoration. He was for many years a member of the Senate of the University of the Cape of Good Hope.
(42) At the first headquarters of the CTH until the Regiment moved to the Old Drill Hall in 1889.
(43) This was a temporary amalgamation of the CTH and two other small corps to try to produce some order out of the usual chaos of the Cape Colony Volunteers system (or lack of it).
(44) See note 43.
(45) "There cannot be many officers in the Permanent Force who have not owed money to John Scott", a remark made to the writer by a senior and distinguished officer.

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