Captain Alfred James "Bulala" Taylor DSO

Discussion in 'Military Biographies' started by liverpool annie, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Captain Alfred James "Bulala" Taylor DSO (1862-1941) was a soldier and elected Member of the Southern Rhodesian Legislative Assembly.

    Alfred Taylor was born in Dublin in 1862. According to his unpublished memoirs that are retained with the Pioneer Association in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, he was a Ship's Engineer that sailed to India, and on its second trip from India stopped in Cape Town where he disembarked and disappeared. It is also reported that he arrived as a youth in South Africa in 1886, and took up a post assembling machinery at the goldmines in Tati, Bechuanaland. It is also reported that he preceded the Pioneer Column to Rhodesia where he befriended Lobengula the son of Mzilikazi and a minor wife. In 1889 he witnessed the Rudd Concession signed between Lobengula and the British South Africa Company.

    During the First Matabele War of 1893 he acted as a guide to Cecil Rhodes and according to his unpublished memoirs and the "Plumtree Papers" by Mrs. Clarke, he had an argument with Rhodes whilst escorting him secretly to Bulawayo, and threatened to abandon him. Fortunately the argument was settled and the trip proceeded. In the Matabele Rebellion of 1896 he was the Commanding Officer of a portion of Colonel Plumer's Column.

    Captain Taylor served in intelligence during the Second Boer War and assisted in the Relief of Mafeking. He was also Lord Kitchener's aide-de-camp and was involved in the Breaker Morant saga, as he served in the Bushveldt Carbineers. For services rendered Queen Victoria awarded him with Avoca Ranch in Bulalima Mangwe (Plumtree, Zimbabwe).

    During the First World War he served in France and was awarded the DSO. It is reported in the "Plumtree Papers" that he modestly said that he was awarded the King and Queen's medals. Besides being the first Native Commissioner in Rhodesia he was also an elected Member of the Southern Rhodesian Legislative Assembly.

    Taylor died in 1941 and is buried in Bulawayo cemetery.

Share This Page