Regiments of the Expeditionary Forces of the Union of South Africa

Discussion in 'World War 1' started by Quintin, Dec 10, 2015.

  1. Quintin

    Quintin New Member

    Hello everyone.
    I'm a newbie here, although I have been receiving emails for some time now.

    I've been busy with my family tree for sometime now and have acquired some information of my great grandfather, which come as a result of my sister inquiring from our DoD about a regiment he was in, written on the back page of a pocket sized New Testament bible supplied by the YMCA War League.

    We received a package containing copies of his military attestation,and discharge.

    The regiment he was assigned to was the 10th South African Horse (10th S.A. Horse), yet in the bible he wrote he was in the 48th Artillery. From what I can make out on a stamp on the paybook, is that he was stationed in Tanzania. The stamp notes he left the Union on July 29, 1917.

    Is there anyone able to shed some light on the 10th S.A. Horse, and its connection to the 48th Artillery. The attached letter from our DoD suggests that the 48th Artillery was a British Regiment.

    Feel free to request additional info as needed.

    Thanks, Quintin
  2. tri-n-b-helpful

    tri-n-b-helpful New Member

    I've read a number of factual novels on World War One throughout my life and more recently some eBooks using either primary sources, written up at the time, or using recently released documents and footage.

    I understand that the South African Regiments all fought under British command or control from pretty much the beginning, due to the actions of a General Botha, from memory. Throughout the British Empire, or Commonwealth, it was common practice for enlisted men, either volunteers or conscripts, to begin in an artillery or a horse regiment only to be broken up into serving as cannon fodder, err, foot soldiers, for example, as the need arose. This is precisely what happened to our Light Horse Regiments. Being skilled in the art of shoot-and-ride held apparently little weight after the reality of trench warfare set in.

    I trust this answers your question regarding the association between the 10th SA Horse and 48th Artillery regiments?
  3. Quintin

    Quintin New Member

    Thanks, you've confirmed what I've suspected for some. My great grandfather did make it back to South Africa. He spent time recovering from dysentry at three different hospitals in Durban. Sadly both he & his wife never survived the 1925 flu epidemic. They left behind my grandfather who was 6 years old then. Oddly, both father and son served Africa north of the equator. My grandfather served in Egypt, based in Alexandria and Port Said, as a Military Policeman.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2016
    tri-n-b-helpful likes this.

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