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25th June 2003Commandant Raaf
By Justin Young
While researching a SA 1877-9 medal I picked up some time ago to a member of the Transvaal Rangers. I've delevoped a real interest for these Irregular horsemen, who played such an important part in the campaigns against the Zulu's and other tribes. Does anyone know of a good sourse for finding out more about the Transvaal Rangers Commandant Piet Raaf (or Raaff)- I've found various pieces of information here and there but not much. He certainly seems to have been quite a 'colourful' man, apparently opening a butchers shop after serving in the 1st Boer War and being captured at Potchefstroom.
I'm also looking for sources for information on another unit; Ferreirars Horse who served with Rowland against Sekukuni
Any help on this would be much appreciated.
25th June 2003Martin Everett
Dear Justin,
You might find Ian Castle's new book on the Volunteers, Irregulars & Auxiliaries published by Osprey useful. There is also Sergeant Major Frederick Cheffin's diary - he served with Raaff Rangers - unfortunately this was published 2 years ago as limited edition of 50 - copies may be hard to find.
25th June 2003John Young

Ron Lock did a piece on Raaff, about two years back in 'Military Illustrated'. I'll try and find the issue number for you.

Raaff was indeed colourful, gaining the C.M.G. for his services, but having his 1879 bar medal refused due financial irregularities, as due his Paymaster.

Ron Lock has also published material on Sekhukhune in 'Military Illustrated'.

By the way I haven't forgotten your earlier e-mail, things have been rather hectic of late, so mt apologies.

25th June 2003John Young
Sorry some faux pas above, 2nd paragraph should read '...refused
25th June 2003John Young
Now the machine's playing tricks:

2nd paragraph should read'...refused due to financial irregularties as did his Paymaster.

We get their in the end.
25th June 2003Justin Young
Hi Martin & John

Thanks for getting back to me on my questions (again!).
I've actually got Ian Castles new book- it is very useful (infact mines beginning to get worn already!) and I'd love to have got a copy of Cheffins diary but they recently published part of it in the latest AZWHS, which was a pleasant surprise.

John No worries about not getting back to me yet, we can get my enquiry sorted when you have a moment. The pieces in Military Illustrated sound very interesting, I'd really appreciate the numbers, so I can get them as back issues.

As to Raaff and Capt Jullien not getting their campaign medals- I was really surprised to read that this happened, especially after Raaff being mentioned by Buller and Wood so favorably. Was it not supposed to be down to some petty rivalry?

Thanks again