The South African
Military History Society

Die Suid-Afrikaanse Krygshistoriese Vereniging

Military History Journal
Vol 6 No 4 - December 1984

The Problem of Munitions Supply in the First World War and its effect on the Union Defence Force

by J.L. Keene

This article does not purport to be an exhaustive account of the arms of the South African troops used during the First World War. Its purpose is to illuminate certain facts which have emerged in the course of research, prompted by the acquisition by the South African National Museum of Military History of a 6,5mm Model 1904 Mauser-Verguiero rifle. The rifle was originally made for the Portuguese government by the Deutsche Waffen und Munitions Fabrik (DWM) but was stamped with the Union of South Africa government mark (an arrow within a U) and the initials of the Union Defence Force, which indicated that it had officially been taken on charge as a military weapon. Furthermore, at about the same time that the Museum acquired this weapon it had received several enquiries from small arms collectors requesting information on similarly-marked Portuguese Mausers in their collections. This suggested that weapons of the type were at some time held in numbers by the Defence Force and brought into question the assumption, usually held, that the Union Defence Force was armed entirely with British pattern weapons. This assumption was based on the fact that the Defence Force, brought into being in 1912, was not structured on the informal and flexible organization of the commandos of the former Boer republics which had, of necessity, to make use of equipment from every available source, but was instead structured on the British military organization implicit in which was a rigid chain of command, rank hierarchy, distinctive uniform and standard patterns of arms and accoutrements. Photographic and other published illustrative material of armed UDF troops of the period lent further support to the assumption.

Notwithstanding the fact that the newly-created body had adopted British usage, it would not have been surprising had weapons used by the Boer forces during the Anglo-Boer War been encountered bearing UDF marks. After the conclusion of hostilities, in June 1902, the Boers laid down their arms under British supervision(1) which meant that many thousands of 7mm Model 96 Mausers (the weapon used predominantly by the Boers), together with a representative number of Norwegian Krag-Jorgensens, 8mm Austrian Steyr ‘Guedes’ and Lee-Enfields ‘acquired’ during the course of the war, would have been available to the British with which to equip units being formed in the post-war colonies. Colonial units, e.g. those from the Cape and Natal, in being prior to the war and extant thereafter, most of which were absorbed into the UDF in 1912, were armed with either obsolescent or current pattern British weapons. The units which were raised in the Transvaal when the volunteer movement was resuscitated would have been logical candidates to receive ‘captured’ weapons had a shortage of British arms made it necessary. It is significant that neither the colonial units nor those that were later absorbed into the UDF were armed with these weapons. It is furthermore significant that no weapons used by the Boers during the war are found, to the best of the writer’s knowledge, bearing UDF marks. The conclusions that can be drawn from the aforegoing are, firstly, that there was no shortage of British weapons with which to equip the post-war units and, secondly, that it was not ‘policy’ to equip these units with ‘captured’ weapons. Had such a policy been considered or had it been thought that a contingency might arise in which the use of these weapons might have had to be resorted to, it is reasonable to believe that they would have been taken on charge and consequently would have been stamped with the government mark. The absence of Boer weapons bearing government marks is testimony to the fact that they were destroyed or otherwise disposed of — shortsightedly as subsequent events were to prove. The outbreak of the First World War in August 1914 found Britain ‘totally unprepared for land hostilities on a continental scale’.(2) The War Office was therefore beset by a volume of unprecedented problems with which it was hard-put to cope. Not least of these was the supply of rifles. Until the commencement of hostilities, the Expeditionary Force which the War Office had been charged to prepare for war consisted of no more than six divisions of all arms and a division of cavalry.(3)

The rifle on current issue to the British Army at the time was the Short Magazine Lee Enfield of which there were 750 000 available, supplemented by a monthly production of 8 000. Although this number, at first glance, ought to have been adequate, an immediate problem was the fact that many of them were in the process of being re-sighted in order to accept the Mark VII ammunition which had recently been introduced. To add to this, it was soon realized that rifle losses in the war would be greater than had been foreseen. Both of these problems were compounded by the response to the appeal for volunteers to replenish the Expeditionary Force. The establishment of ‘Kitchener’s Army’ was very soon several times the ‘First Hundred Thousand’ that was called for. To provide for this multitude, obsolescent Magazine Lee Enfields (the type used during the Anglo-Boer War) were returned to service after having been re-sighted for the new ammunition. There was, however, only a quarter of a million of ‘long’ Lee Enfields available and many recruits had until well into 1915 to undergo training without rifles.(4) Their predicament was recorded in the song:

Where are our uniforms?
Far, far away.
When will our rifles come?
P’raps, p’raps some day.
And you bet we shan’t be long
Before we’re fit and strong
You’ll hear us say ‘Oui, oui, tray bong’
When we’re far away.(5)

Renowned author J.B. Priestley, a recruit at the time, commented thus, ‘... it was only in musketry that we were far behind the regular army, simply because we had to wait for months for the rifles we would eventually use.’(6)

It was obvious that British arms manufacturers would have to increase production but that to do so — to the required level — would take some time. The War Office was consequently obliged to seek other sources of supply. Orders were placed with American firms to produce the .303 in. Pattern 14 Enfield in large numbers; 1 117 850 of these rifles eventually arrived in Britain but too late to have been able to alleviate the critical shortage.(7) So desperate was the necessity to procure additional rifles that the War Office was prepared to buy them from any country willing to sell. Weapon trials, sealed patterns, all the procedures which had hitherto characterized British small arms acquisition were no longer prerequisites. So long as sufficient quantities of rifles, and ammunition to go with them, could be obtained, the War Office was prepared to buy them. Its attempts in this regard for the purposes of the British Army at any rate, proved unfruitful. Japan was the only country which could supply a quantity that could be considered in any way significant and only 150 000 rifles were acquired from that country. German diplomatic pressure on potential suppliers in neutral countries, furthermore effectively precluded the War Office from tapping these sources to any noteworthy extent.(8) As far as South Africa was concerned, however, the War Office’s effort to procure arms from foreign countries was not entirely unsuccessful.

Although South African troops were to serve in various theatres of the war, the initial commitment of the UDF was to the campaign in German South West Africa. As early as 1911, at the Imperial Conference in London, the South African Prime Minister, Gen Louis Botha, had expressed the opinion to David Lloyd George, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, that sooner or later there would be war with Germany. When asked by Lloyd George what he would do in such an event, Gen Botha stated that, ‘as soon as war was declared [he] would lead 40 000 horsemen into South West Africa and clear out the Germans’.(9) While his prediction proved correct, and he was to be true to his word, it is evident that Botha’s foresight did not persuade him to ensure that there were sufficient rifles in South Africa to equip a force of that size. When the First World War broke out therefore, South Africa, like Britain, was confronted with the problem of a shortage of rifles. The Imperial Government was not in a position, for the reasons already stated, to supply South Africa from her own arsenals. It was nevertheless instrumental in procuring for South Africa, towards the end of 1914, 20 000 Model 1904 Mauser-Verguiero rifles and 12 million rounds of ammunition from the Portuguese government.(10) This accounts for the Portuguese Mausers bearing the Union government mark and UDF stamps.

6.5mm Model 1904 Mauser-Verguiero

The Union government fully expected to have to pay the Portuguese government for the rifles and ammunition but, for some reason, the latter insisted that they be regarded as a gift, the value of which was estimated by the Quartermaster-General UDF(11) at £140 000 (£4 per rifle and £5 per thousand rounds of ammunition). In spite of the Portuguese insistence that no payment was required, the South African government was determined to discharge the obligation under which it considered the gift had placed it. Payment was to be in kind and was made by the presentation to the Portuguese of four sets of wireless equipment valued at £4 500, 500 horses valued at £12 500 (£25 per animal), 2 000 Mausers and two million rounds of ammunition valued at £18 000 (£4 per rifle and £5 000 per million rounds of ammunition). The balance of the obligation after this presentation amounted to £105 000 which was to be liquidated in the form of foodstuffs.(12) The inclusion of rifles and ammunition seems curious in the circumstances and provides an interesting aside to this account.

The breech of a Portuguese Mauser showing UDF marks over the receiver

In March 1916, the Portuguese Consul-General submitted a request to the South African authorities for 1 000 Mausers and half a million rounds of ammunition on behalf of the Governor of Mozambique who was ‘anxious to acquire them at once’.(13) Although Gen Botha consented to the release of these weapons, he did so with a measure of reluctance, fearing that the UDF’s rifle stock might thereby be unduly depleted. Why a further 1 000 rifles and 1 500 000 rounds of ammunition should have been added to this number is not clear but must have had, no doubt, something to do with the Governor of Mozambique’s anxiety to acquire the first 1 000. Whether or not the possibility of a German invasion of Portuguese East Africa had, at that early stage, been anticipated by the Mozambican authorities is a moot point. However, Gen Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck, in command of German forces in East Africa, recorded in his ‘Reminiscences’ that ‘a number of Portuguese chiefs had immigrated into German territory out of hatred for their oppressors’. From them the Germans ‘were able to get at least an approximate picture of the [Mozambican] district east of Lake Nyasa’ which was to be useful when the occasion for the invasion of Portuguese East Africa arose in November 1917.(14) It is possible therefore that the emigration of the chiefs took place early in 1916 and was followed by an eruption of dissidence which the Governor of Mozambique was anxious to suppress. Whatever the reasons were for his requiring the weapons, the 2 000 Portuguese Mausers were despatched but only several months after the original request for them had been received. The decision to issue the weapons was made by the Department of Defence in March 1916.

The actual issue was recorded on five separate variously-dated vouchers, which indicated that the consignment of the rifles and ammunition was made in two batches. A thousand rifles (with clearing rods and oil bottles) were consigned on a voucher dated 5 September 1916. The ammunition which must have accompanied the rifles (1 500 000 rounds) was released on a voucher dated 7 September 1916. The date of issue of the additional 1 000 rifles (with clearing rods, oil bottles, bayonets and scabbards, 200 complete pull-throughs and 800 weights and cords) was not recorded but can be deduced from two consecutively numbered vouchers for 490 000 and 510 000 rounds of ammunition respectively, both dated 3 November 1916.(15) It is immediately evident from the aforegoing that the quantity of ammunition eventually delivered to the Portuguese was two million rounds in excess of their original request and 500 000 in excess of the two million which the Department of Defence had decided would form part of the payment in kind for the Portuguese ‘gift’. A possible reason for this will emerge later in this account.

Rifle returns submitted by the Quartermaster-General UDF to the Secretary of Defence(16) in 1915 show that, with the exclusion of the Portuguese Mausers, the bulk of the rifles in the UDF arsenal were .303 in. Magazine Lee Enfields (the ‘long’ Lee Enfields of the pattern used by the British Army in the Anglo-Boer War). There were approximately 20 000 of these weapons on charge and the returns reveal that they were issued solely to ACF (Active Citizen Force) units, the South African Police and the VCTA.(17) Of considerable significance is the small number of current pattern Short Magazine Lee Enfields that were in stock, especially in the light of observations made with regard to the arms found in the possession of anti-government forces during the Rebellion. A special correspondent to Nongqai, reporting on the capture of rebel commandos wrote in December 1914: ‘The main feature which struck one and all was the large number of the latest pattern Imperial Army short rifles in possession of the rebels. These were of exceptional quality and one would be interested to learn how they came to be served out. The majority on inspection proved to be unnumbered and unstamped, only a very few bearing the Defence mark ...’.(18) The rifle returns for 1915 record a total of 1 586 SMLEs on charge to Defence depots, none of which number were on issue to units (this total was later swelled by a consignment of 4 000 SMLEs sent from Britain in February 1916). What the ‘large number’ to which the correspondent referred was, is not known but unless these rifles were immediately re-issued to government forces upon capture without such issue being recorded, it may reasonably be assumed that by 1915 they would have been assembled and taken into stock and would therefore have formed a large portion, if not the whole, of the 1 586 SMLEs recorded in the rifle returns. This was highly likely as the returns also include 1 699 7,92mm German Mausers which were obviously captured either from rebels who had joined the Germans, such as Maritz’s group, or from the Germans themselves.

Members of Sutherland Commando in German South West Africa with Portuguese Mausers. This unit was probably allocated to Southern Force.

It is, of course, possible that many more SMLEs were, as has been suggested, taken from rebels and retained by loyalist commandos without records having been kept or returns having been submitted to the Defence Department. Laxity in the latter regard was characteristic of the Defence Rifle Associations and commandos during the war and was the cause of considerable inconvenience and uncertainty to the Quartermaster-General. In a minute to the Secretary of Defence detailing the rifle situation in January 1916, the Quartermaster-General reported: ‘... continuous efforts to obtain information regarding issues to Defence Rifle Associations and members of War and Rebellion commandos have signally failed and it is evident that such issues are not recorded in any reliable form in most of the military districts. The only hope of obtaining this information is a tour of the Districts by Major van Velden.’(19) What is particularly noteworthy, however, is the fact that the ACF units which were supposed, in terms of the Defence Act of 1912, to form the ‘backbone’ of the UDF, were not at any stage prior to or during the campaign in German South West Africa, equipped with SMLEs.

The Portuguese Mausers were issued to the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th Mounted Brigades which were components of Gen Botha’s Northern Force,(20) and to the Southern Force under command of Col (later Lt Gen Sir) J.L. van Deventer.(21) The individual units allocated to the brigades were: 1st Mounted Brigade — Krugersdorp, Potchefstroom, Lichtenburg, Marico, Wolmaransstad and Bloemhof Commandos; 2nd Mounted Brigade — Heidelberg, Standerton, Ermelo, Carolina and Middelburg Commandos; 3rd Mounted Brigade — Wakkerstroom, Utrecht, Vryheid, Paulpietersburg, Piet Retief, Lydenburg, Pietersburg, Waterberg, Rustenburg and Pretoria Commandos; 5th Mounted Brigade — 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th Regiments.(22) The strength of this force was 8 868 men. Van Deventer’s Force, made up of twenty-nine commandos and the 10th Mounted Brigade which contained ACF units, viz. Hartigan’s Horse, 17th (Western Province) Mounted Rifles and 14th Dismounted Rifles, numbered approximately 5 000 men.(23) By January 1915 all but 60 of the 20 000 Mausers had been issued to these two forces and their reserves without a stock being retained for future contingencies — an act of logistic improvidence which was to affect the posting of troops to these forces.(24) The situation was complicated by the fact that the rifles had been issued largely to commandos in which, as has been indicated, inadequate records (if any) of issue were kept, and whose members were permitted to keep their rifles when leaving the commando for whatever reason. An example of the problem which arose out of these shortcomings was encountered when 1st and 14th Dismounted Rifles, who were armed with Lee Enfields, were posted to Southern Force. Because no Portuguese Mausers were available with which to re-equip these units, the possibility that they should be diverted was suggested.(25) The problem was eventually solved by Ministerial intervention. In reply to a message in which the Quartermaster-General intimated that these units might have to be diverted, the Secretary of Defence wrote on 26 January 1915: ‘The Minister does not want 1st and 14th D.R. diverted from Southern Force. There should be plenty of Mauser rifles for them eventually as the commando portion of that force has already been much reduced and will be still further reduced before long. Minister wishes you issue in his name to Col van Deventer and impress upon him imperative necessity carefully taking back all rifles from men who leave cdos whether temporarily or on permanent release.’(26) The listing of Portuguese Mausers on subsequent rifle returns confirms that the Minister’s instructions in this respect were complied with and that henceforth a reserve stock of these rifles was held in various depots. The incident also illustrates the logistic complications inherent in having forces armed with rifles of different calibre.

It was not only from the point of view of logistics that the use of Portuguese Mausers presented difficulties; technical problems with them were to be a cause for concern. In comparison with the Lee Enfield which was an extremely robust service rifle, the Portuguese Mauser had to be handled with a greater degree of care to avoid it being damaged. The bolt in particular was vulnerable. The commander of Gen Botha’s bodyguard, Lt Col H.F. Trew, evaluated the rifle thus: ‘... it proved to be a good shooting rifle, but the lug on the bolt was inclined to break with rough handling.’(27) (The lug referred to was not in fact a lug but the ‘cocking cam’, a protrusion at the base of the rear of the bolt which cocked the rifle by a ‘camming’ action when the bolt handle was turned down.) The construction of the bolt, unlike that of other Mausers, was such that while it could easily be stripped, it was almost impossible, without expert knowledge, to reassemble. The safety catch, furthermore, being integral with the cocking piece, moved with it upon firing and was thus prone to damage.

To exacerbate these faults it was found that the ammunition supplied with the rifles left much to be desired. This emerged when elements of Gen Botha’s force underwent rifle practice in January 1915 prior to embarkation for German South West Africa. So concerned was Gen Botha about the matter that he wrote to Gen Smuts: ‘... some of the rifles are not good but they will serve; but the ammunition is very bad — the cartridge-case is cracked, the bullet fits loosely in it and easily falls out, and there is no greased rag or wad between bullet and powder as is usual and so the powder falls out with the bullet. When one loads the rifle and then pulls the cartridge back again, the bullet remains lodged in the rifle, and I do not feel easy. I have asked Collyer to make a thorough officer’s enquiry. I have myself seen that four out of five in a clip of cartridges are cracked — but of this more after the enquiry.’(28) What the outcome of the enquiry that Gen Collyer was instructed to institute was, is not certain. However, on 28 October 1919 at the Conference of Heads of Military Sections, the question of defective small arms ammunition was raised. The ammunition involved included three million rounds of 6,5mm Portuguese Mauser, which was all that remained of the original twelve million that had been received as a gift and constituted the entire UDF stock. The Inspecting Ordnance Officer who attended the conference reported that he had inspected the ammunition and found it to be unserviceable and dangerous, and recommended that the whole stock should be condemned. It is reasonable to assume that Collyer’s earlier enquiry came to the same conclusion; the exigencies of war would, however, have mitigated any call for the condemnation of the ammunition. The fact that the ammunition was so poor furnishes a probable reason for the Defence Department’s willingness to allow the additional 500 000 rounds mentioned earlier to be issued to the Mozambican government; this would have reduced the South African ‘obligation’ by a further £2 500. When it is considered that 3 million rounds were still in stock in 1919, that 2 1/2 million were issued to Mozambique and a significant percentage of the remaining 6 1/2 million of the original 12 million supplied were unserviceable, and also that the members of 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th Mounted Brigades were permitted to take their rifles home with them(29) after the campaign (obviously with a supply of ammunition), interesting speculation on the actual expenditure of this ammunition on service is possible.

A UDF machine gun section in German South West Africa. The weapons in the foreground are Danish Madsens

The shortage of munitions throughout the Empire was not confined to rifles; it was manifest in almost every category of equipment. A prominent feature of the trench war in Europe was the decisive role played by machine guns. In combination with barbed wire obstacles, these weapons had a devastating effect on massed infantry attacks and were, understandably therefore, special targets for the artillery. Heavy demands for replacement and additional weapons were placed on the arsenals of both sides. The scale of issue of machine guns in the British Army at the outbreak of war was two per 1 000 men. This was increased in November 1914 to four per 1 000 men which, with the strength of the army at the time, would require 2 214 weapons, a number simply not available. Although orders were placed with Vickers and BSA for the manufacture of 3 292 machine guns to be delivered in July 1915, only 1 643 were ready on that date.(30) As was the case with rifles, Britain was not in a position to supply South Africa with machine guns. Evidence for this is provided by photographs of UDF machine gun detachments in German South West Africa. In none of these do the standard weapons used by the British Army, viz, the Lewis, the Vickers and the Hotchkiss, appear. In the photograph of a UDF machine gun detachment accompanying this article one observes, mounted on the vehicle, a Maxim gun. The first recorded use of this type of weapon in action was during the Matabele War of 1893. The Maxim was later used by the British Army in the Battle of Omdurman in 1898 and in the Anglo Boer War (1899-1902).(31) By 1913 the Maxim was obsolete in the British Army. Whereas it is not surprising that the UDF should have been equipped with Maxims in spite of their being obsolete, that it was equipped with machine guns of Danish origin certainly is. The machine guns observable in the foreground of the photograph are Danish Madsens. How the UDF came to be in possession of these machine guns and in what quantity is not recorded. Madsens were not in service in the German Army and it is unlikely therefore that the weapons in the photograph were captured.

In addition to the information which the photograph provides concerning the machine guns used by the UDF in German South West Africa, observations can be made on the accoutrements worn by South African troops in the campaign. Although uniformity may have been an aspiration in the UDF when it was established in 1912, it was not a reality in 1915. The photograph shows inter alia six different types of headgear, three patterns of bandolier equipment worn in various manners, two patterns of leggings, and pimlico of differing material and cut, worn haphazardly.

Unlike other campaigns in which South African forces participated the execution of the German South West African Campaign was the sole responsibility of the Union Government. Responsibility for the supply of munitions in the other campaigns fell on the Imperial Government. Since South Africa was able to provide her troops with basic equipment for service in the other theatres, especially the East African Campaign, the need for the maintenance of large reserve stocks became unnecessary. This provides a reason for the disposal of large numbers of Portuguese Mausers towards the end of the German South West Africa Campaign. Mention has already been made of the fact that the members of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th Mounted Brigades which served under Gen Botha were allowed to keep their rifles upon release.(32) The rifles were in fact given to these men as a reward for their service. The gift of the rifles was unconditional, no loan or obligation to account for them was implied. The number of rifles involved in the gift was 8 757. These were written off in terms of Government Notice 1366 of 1915.

The generosity of the government in this respect was not however extended to all veterans of the campaign who had used Portuguese Mausers, a factor which occasioned a great deal of discontent. In his address to a parade of Enslin’s Horse, the Northern Transvaal Rifles and Celliers’ Left Wing Scouts on the occasion of their release from service in German South West Africa, Gen Smuts alluded to the feeling of discontent and attempted to assuage it. He is reported to have said that ‘... there had been a certain amount of feeling owing to a misunderstanding because he had asked them all to hand in their rifles. The object was not to deprive them of the rifles they had used. Every man who had fought in German territory wished to have his rifle for the rest of his life. The Government wanted to go through the rifles and see that they were put in order. These rifles had been used in the Rebellion and for months in GSW and the intention was to overhaul them and return them to their owners ...’.(33) What transpired was that the rifles were kept for issue to Defence Rifle Associations in the Transvaal and Orange Free State. Veteran reservists were not entitled to them ipso facto and were obliged to join a Defence Rifle Association in order to obtain a rifle. Although the rifles could be purchased from the DRA they remained Government property and the owners were responsible to the Government for them.(34) The condemnation of the ammunition in 1919 rendered the Portuguese Mausers redundant as service rifles and those that were on issue were withdrawn and replaced with Lee Enfields.


1. C.F.J. Muller (ed), Five Hundred Years: a History of South Africa, (Pretoria, Academica, c1969), p. 319
2. D. Lloyd-George, War Memoirs of David Lloyd-George, (London, Odham’s Press, 1938), Vol 1, p. 75
3. B. Collier, Arms and the Men, (London, Hamish Hamilton, 1980), p. 98
4. The War Office, Statistics of the Military Effort of the British Empire During the Great War, (London, HMSO, 1922), p. 473 5. P. Vansittart, Voices from the Great War, (London, Jonathan Cape, 1981), p. 31
6. Ibid., p. 32
7. M.I. Baldwin, ‘The Pattern 1914 Rifle’, Army Museum ‘83. (London, National Army Museum, 1984), p. 38
8. The War Office, Op. cit., p. 473
9. D. Lloyd-George, Op. cit., p. 1024
10. SADF Information Centre, DC (Defence Council) 22332B Box 842, Minute D3011439/9199 re Liquidation of obligation to Portuguese Government.
11. Col M.C. Rowland, CMG, MC
12. SADF Information Centre, DC 22332B, Box 842, Minute D30/1439/9199
13. SADF Information Centre, DC 22332B, Box 842, D5/1978/9199
14. P.E. von Lettow-Vorbeck, My Reminiscences of East Africa, (London, Hurst and Blackett, n.d.), p. 190
15. SADF Information Centre, DC 22332B, Box 842, Memo from Chief Clerk, Standard Stock Branch to Chief Ordnance Officer UDF
16. H.R.M. Bourne; SADF Information Centre, DC 1963/9199, Box 754, Rifle Returns From QMG, UDF to Secretary of Defence
17. The formation designated VCTA has not been established.
18. Nongqai, Vol II No 6, December 1914, p. 399
19. SADF Information Centre, DC 1963/9 199, Box 754, QMG to Secretary of Defence, D5/196319199, 29 Jan 1916; Maj D.O. van Velden, DTD, DSO
20. SADF Information Centre, DC 1101/9199, Box 709, Secretary of Defence to QMG, 27 May 1915
21. SADF Information Centre, DC 115/9199, Box 607, Chief Ordnance Officer to QMG, 25 Jan 1915
22. J.J. Collyer, The Campaign in German South West Africa 1914—1915, (Pretoria, Government Printer, 1937), pp. 96, 97; Details of the men in 5th Mounted Brigade have not been found
23. J.J. Collyer, Op. cit., p. 56; The individual commandos in Southern Force are not listed in this source.
24. SADF Information Centre, DC 115/9199, Box 607, Chief Ordnance Officer to QMG, 25 Jan 1915
25, SADF Information Centre, DC 115/9199, Box 607, QMG to Secretary of Defence, 25 Jan 1915
26. SADF Information Centre, DC 115/9199, Box 607, Secretary of Defence to Chief Ordnance Officer, 26 Jan 1915
27. H.F. Trew, Botha Treks, (London, Blackie, 1936), p. 60
28. W.K. Hancock and J. van der Poel, (eds.), Selections from the Smuts Papers, (London, CUP, 1966), Vol VIII, p. 236; Brig Gen J.J. Collyer, CE, CMG, DSO, Chief of the General Staff; Examination of the 6,5mm Portuguese Mauser ammunition in the Museum collection indicates that it was manufactured in the years 1911, 1912 and 1913. Gen Botha’s comments on the ammunition have been confirmed by examination.
29. SADF Information Centre, DC 1101/9199, Box 709, Secretary of Defence to QMG, 26 May 1915
30. The War Office, Op. cit., p. 473
31. F.W.A. Hobart, Pictorial History of the Machine Gun, (London, Ian Allen, 1971), p. 40
32. SADF Information Centre, DF 12 1/407, Box 1000, CGS to Secretary of Defence, CGS No 11/40136, 30 Oct 1919
33. Rand Daily Mail, 26 May 1915, ‘Back to their Farms’
34. SADF Information Centre, DC 1101/9199, Box 709, Secretary of Defence to QMG, 27 May 1915; DF 121/407, Box 1000, CGS to Secretary of Defence, CGS No 71/40136

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