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DateOriginal Topic
27th February 2005Pay.
By Graham Mason
To expand the pension item raised by Kris can anyone tell me if the 24th ( and others ) were actually paid on campaign in local currency or sterling ? . I believe there was something called " CATTLE MONEY " that the men got , i have seen this mentioned on effects papers at Kew but have never known how ( if at all ) the men were paid whilst serving abroad , thank you , Graham
27th February 2005Peter Ewart

Was the "local currecency" not sterling?

With regard to the "cattle money", I'm sure someone has more detailed knowledge than I do, but it sounds as if the bounty payments arising from the theft of Zulu cattle are being described. Both the auxiliaries and the imperial forces were, I believe, promised the payment of bounties commensurate with their cattle raiding achievements. Some did better than others, but most eventually received less than they apparently thought they deserved.

It certainly seems that, at times, both the colonial auxilaries and imperial units of Wood's column considered the sale of captured cattle to be more important, almost, than fighting the Zulu.

Cattle raiding and the destruction of homesteads was a constant aim of the northern column (as well as the whole force during the 2nd invasion later on) and in his "Blood on the Painted Mountain", Ron Lock covers these activities of the campaign in the north more than one sees in most other accounts.

Wood & Buller no doubt did well financially from cattle sales out of the campaign. How far the payments reached down to the rank & file I don't know. Do soldiers' service papers (or other regimental sources at Kew) reveal these payments?

27th February 2005Martin Everett

Yes - the pay and muster rolls do include this. Also the quarterly payments to Pte William Griffiths 2/24th. Sorry TNA references are WO16/1573 onwards.
27th February 2005Keith Smith
The following is taken from General Order No. 196, Times of Natal 15th November 1878:

"The following rules, having reference to the capture of cattle or other prize, will be adhered to by all Forces serving under the orders of the Lieutenant-General Commanding. On any cattle or other prize being taken, the Officer Commanding the Corps, or party making the same, will at once report the circumstances and number or nature of the prize to the Officer in command of the operations, who will thereupon determine what troops should share, and will appoint prize agents to arrange for the disposal of the cattle &c., and to distribute the proceeds according to the following scale, viz.:–
Trooper or Private, one share.
Non-commissioned Officer (including lance ranks), two shares.
Captain or Subaltern, three shares.
Field Officer (including Brevet rank, when performing Field Officer’s duty), four shares.
Officer in command of a mixed Force actually engaged, in addition, one share.
Officer in chief command of the Operation, six shares.
Officers of the Staff and Departments will share according to their relative ranks.
The above scale will be applicable to Native Levies also, who, if considered desirable, may receive their share in kind.
Without including too large an area, all Troops who directly or indirectly have been instrumental in effecting, or in assisting in, the capture should be included among those entitled to share."

The practice was stopped by order of the British government about mid-1879, presumably because it was getting out of hand (can't put my hand on that reference).

27th February 2005Keith Smith

I have been able to locate the reference to the stopping of payment of prize money: Secretary of State for War to Lord Chelmsford, 1st May 1879: PRO, Kew, WO 33/34, No. 113.
"The attention of Her Majesty’s Government has been called to the question of the rules to be observed in the disposal of cattle captured from the enemy in the course of your military operations.
The present system of handing over the whole, or a portion, to the troops engaged is open to grave political and military objections. It is not only a temptation to colonial levies, which are not under such strict control as the regular forces, to make predatory attacks, as appears to have been the case in the capture of Oham’s cattle, but it offers a strong inducement to such forces in the field to make the captured cattle their first consideration, instead of devoting their whole energies to inflicting loss on the enemy. The hope also on the part of their late owners that they may recover captured cattle, probably tends to a prolongation of the war.
This, I think, has been your own experience in the war on the eastern frontier of the Cape, and has certainly been that of officers in command of troops in former Cape wars.
I have therefore to instruct you to put a stop to the present system at as early a date as possible, and to dispose of the cattle, either by immediate slaughter or by handing them over to the Commissariat, as you may think best."
28th February 2005Phil Pearce
I have n issue of the Natal Witness dated 23rd January 1879. In this issue there is an advertisement stating..
On February 5th , 1879
will be sold by undersigned at Ladysmith
Captured from the ememy by Col. Woods column

For further particulars apply to

Not exactly talking about small numbers here are we ! Nor are we talking about insignificant sums of money where a private was concerned. With this amount of livestock being ' captured ' ( visions of them being marched away at gunpoint lol ), tis no wonder the Zulu were a tad miffed & the above order posted by Keith was issued.
Wonder what happened to WALTON & TATHAM & were they the main outlet for 'captured' cattle in this local ? Anyone know ?