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3rd January 2005Pulleines Rangers
By Bob Webb
I have a South Africa, 1877-79 medal with the 1877-8-9 Bar inscribed to Sergeant Major J. Holmes of the Pulleine's Rangers. Does anyone have any information about this man. I also have the Egypt 1882-89 medal inscribed to Sergeant J. Holmes, No. 85, New South Wales Contingent, together with the Khedive's Star, all of which I purchased from a Holmes family member, who unfortunately could give me no information about them. I wonder if they could all be to the same man or possibly a son. Has anyone any ideas or suggestions.
Bob Webb
3rd January 2005Martin Everett
dear Bob,
From 4 Jan 04, the National Archives at Kew are offering a new research service - charge £1 per minute. You can always go to Kew - depends how much value you put on your time. However, I expect that you wish someone to do the research for free. I sure someone visiting this site will tell you whether Holmes is on the SA 1877-79 campaign medal roll.
4th January 2005ray
Dear Bob
I have a book written in 1901 by Sir evelyn Wood V.C. Which contains several sections on the Zulu wars. I'll see if I can trace anything for you .
4th January 2005Greg King
Hope this is of some help, Quote from Ian knights "Zulu, Isandlwana Rorkes drift by woodrow & greene. Chapter 5 pg 53.Pulleinehad spent some time on detachment duties in South Africa.He had been Partly responsible with Lt Fred Carrington of his battalion for raising a tough irregular cavalry unit the Frontier light horse;and also raised an infantry unit known as "Pulleines Rangers".These had been raised from the dross of the settler society,and had proved as much trouble as they were worth.Hamilton Browne who had served with them nicknamed them with heavy sarcasm"Pulleines lambs".When the 1/24th arrived in Natal Pulleine petitioned lord Chelmsford to be returned to his regiment.I hope the above is of some use, it does seem to reflect some of the sentiments felt towards some of the colonial troops in the Zulu war and I`m sure some of those troops later earnt the respect they deserved.
4th January 2005Keith Smith
According to Tylden's "Armed Foirces of SA", Pulleine's Rangers were formed in 1877, "mainly from Briths navvies working on the railway from Kingwilliamstown". They were largely used on lines of coommunications work. I have no evidence of their use in 1879, thinking that they had been disbanded but Tylden asserts that by 1880 thay were known as the Transkei Rifles.

They were indeed raised by Lieutenant-Colonel Pulleine, while Fred Carrington went on to create Carrington's Horse. So much for Pulleine being only an admministrator! :)
25th February 2005Shirley Walsh
My g-grandfather, George Ashby also had a medal the same.
His only had the dates and Pulleine's Rangers inscribed on it.
It had a young Queen Victoria with a hair bun.

There was a write-up in the newspaper here when he died, and his best friend stated that he had been in the Zulu War.

We think he may have lived in Natal and worked on the railway as in 1881 he went back to England and visisted the parents of his friend who had been killed. He married his friend's sister and they went back in January 1882 to live in Ladysmith where some of their children were born. He worked on the Natal railways before coming to Australia.

It irks me that he and his relatives and friends, most of whom were killed have been called "riff-raff" and "ross of the settler society" and other downgrading names in books and in other places.

If it was good enough for them to give their lives for fighting for the Queen, then they should have been given more respect.

If their relatives and dependants knew that this is how they would be remembered, then one could imagine how bitter they felt.
25th February 2005Shirley Walsh
My g-grandfather, as a soldier from the Zulu War, was settled at "New Era Village" or "New Era Village Settlement" (1893-1909) on the River Murray, South Australia at Caloot.
This is where my grandmother was born in 1894, bap. Adelaide Diocese, Church of England Mission, River Murray. They may have lived on a Mission in South Africa as Emma, wife of the Zulu War soldier, had been an organist at the Baptist tabernacle in Croydon Surrey for the famous Sturgeon for many years. Both were quiet christian people, he was hardly "riff-raff" and "dross of society" as written in books. This assumption was probably taken from off-hand flippant remarks about a few of the men from the railways.

Perhaps the Australian or South Australian Government may have records of soldiers war record for those it settled on the soldier settlements. He belonged to the Rosewater R.S.L. after the settlement in Caloot failed
and was invited to a dinner with the Duke in 1913 when he visited Australia.

At least he was treated with decency and respect by all those at the R.S.L. and by the South Australian government.