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24th April 2004Trp. H. Garland - Victoria Mounted Rifles MID
By Edwad Garcia
Perhaps someone can help me with this.

In my collection have a cabinet photo of a member of the Natal Mounted Rifles that was taken around 1890 or so. When I first purchase the image a while back I believed it to show a member of the Natal Carbineers but am convinced now that shows a member of the former unit. The man pictured wears his 1879 South Africa medal and appears to be an officer based upon his uniform. The name on the back of the photo seems to read “Mr. H. Garland”.

After consulting “Rough but Ready: An Official History of the Natal Mounted Rifles and its Antecedent and Associated Units 1854-1969” (some title!) I found out that the Natal Mounted Rifles was created in 1888 by an amalgamation of various Zulu War period volunteer units. These include the Victoria Mounted Rifles (VMR), Stanger Mounted Rifles, and Alexandra Mounted Rifles etc.

Unfortunately the book does not give a muster list of the Natal Mounted Rifles at their 1888 inception so I have but it does list a Trooper Garland mustering with the Victoria Mounted Rifles on December 2, 1878. The book also states that Trooper H. Garland received a MID for his actions during the war but does not mention why he received one.

It is my belief that the Mr. H. Garland in my photograph is the same man that received the MID while serving with the VMF in 1879. My researcher at the PRO did a complete search of the Zulu War MIDs and found to entry for Trooper Garland of the VMR though they stated the mention might actually be in the Colonial Office records, which could prove as they put it a costly and lengthy search.

My question – did Trooper. H. Garland continue to serve with the VMR after the Zulu War and was still with the unit – as an officer – when it became part of the Natal Mounted Rifles and for what specific action did he receive his MID.

If anyone out there can shed a bit of like on this I would greatly appreciate it

26th April 2004Ian Castle
Dear Mr Garcia
Trooper Garland's M.I.D. is contained in Colonel Pearson's report on the activities of No.1 Column, dated April 9 1879, written from Fort Tenedos.

The incident, which took place in February, is covered on pages 115/116 of Fearful Hard Times - The Siege and Relief of Eshowe, 1879, by myself and Ian Knight, published in 1994. If you don't have access to a copy let me know.

I am afraid I do not know how long he continued to serve in the Volunteer Force. However, if you'd like to send me a photocopy of the photo, I will be happy to have a look at it for and see if I can add anything more.

Ian Castle
27th April 2004Edward Garcia

Thank you for the information. I will pick up a copy of the book I should add it to my library.

I can email scans of both fornt and back of the photo so you can have a look at it.

Thank you again,

29th May 2004Cameron Simpson
I have gathered many bits and pieces on Colonials serving between 1873-1906 and can provide the following details on A.H (H)Garland:

GARLAND Alpheus Howe (H). bVerulam, Natal 24.9.1854. Enlisted 1877. Trooper, Victoria Mounted Rifles , Zulu War 1879. In February, 1879 he was prominent during the operations around Eshowe, notably for ambushing Zulu scouts. Mentioned-in-despatches ’. Quarter-Master 30.10.85. (Served 18 years with the Volunteers) Kearsney Rifle Association c1900. Zulu Border Rifle Association cJuly 01. Not called out for active service during the Anglo-Boer War. Auctioneer. Resided Verulam, Natal. Died at the age of 85 years and buried in Stanger Cemetery, Natal. He was the son of William Garland MLA a Natal colonist of note.

Hope this helps out

Cameron Simpson