Monday, June 19, 2017

The Edendale Contingent of the Natal Native Horse

When the Government asked the Elders of Edendale to raise a mounted troop for the the upcoming Anglo-Zulu War, there was no hesitation. "We all know the cruelty and the power of the Zulu King", they told their people, "and if he should subdue the Queen's soldiers and overrun this land he will wipe out all the native people who have dwelt so long in safety under the shadow of the Great White Queen. Shall we not gladly obey her, when she calls for the services of her dark children?"

 Volunteers were quickly forthcoming. Within a few days a fine body of some one hundred young men, mounted, accoutred and uniformed at their Elders' expense, complete with boots and spurs, gathered to receive their Missionary's blessing at a solemn service in the Edendale Church.

I have used HaT Miniatures Natal Native Horse to recreate the Edendale Contingent of the Natal Native Horse (NNH), the most effective and famous mounted unit of native troops raised.

Front and back of box including mounted and dismounted troops.

Three sprues come with the boxed set allowing you to make 9 mounted and 9 dismounted troops.  As I am doing my forces for The Men Who Would be Kings these will be mounted Irregular Horse and will consist of 8 mounted figures.  I used one figure from the HaT Frontier Light Horse box to be the officer.

"Apart from having become loyal and reasonably good soldiers, who proved themselves throughout the campaign and remained intact and on service when other native units disintegrated and melted away, they remained devout Christians, who rose every morning before the first bugle-call to hold their service and sing hymns .... And at night, however late they were on duty, or however tired, they met again for their evening worship."

 This colour, donated by Mr Robert Topham, was presented by Major General Sir Evelyn Wood, VC, KCB, Governor of Natal, in the name of the Queen 'to the officers and troopers of the Edendale contingent of the Natal Native Horse' at Edendale on 15 December 1881. 'The flag having been unfurled, was delivered by the General to Sergeant Major Simeon Kambula, and Sergeants Simon and Enoch, who knelt before His Excellency. The choir sang the National Anthem' (The Natal Witness, Saturday 17 December 1881).
(Photograph by courtesy of the Killie Campbell Africana Library, University of Natal, where the Colour now rests)

1 comment:

  1. The history of the NNH is fascinating, and I've only just stumbled on it. You've included quotes here South African Military History Society, which writes of the other native units 'melting and disintegrating'. This was not because the men were of poor character, but poorly equipped and poorly managed by their white superiors, who did not exploit the mobility, local knowledge and self-sufficiency these men had as strengths. The danger of a one-sided story.