Rifles of the Ladysmith Town Guard

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Rifles of the Ladysmith Town Guard

Postby terrylee » 10 Sep 2017 16:44

It appears that the Ladysmith Town Guards were armed with Natal Pattern Martini Metford Mk.II Rifles. These had been previously used by the Natal Volunteers until replaced by Martini Enfield Mk.Is.
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terrylee
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Re: Rifles of the Ladysmith Town Guard

Postby RobD » 17 Sep 2017 11:37

Just to add a couple of points to this interesting thread, which we've discussed. In http://samilitaryhistory.org/vol161wd.html you record there were 1030 of these MM Mk II rifles imported by Natal in 1895 and 1897, so they are rare. They were replaced by the far superior Martini Enfield Mk I rifle for use by front-line troops shortly before the ABW broke out (Oct 1899). The Natal armoury in Pietermaritzburg must have sent the MM Mk II’s, by now considered less-than-desirable, up the railway line to Ladysmith for use by the Town Guard shortly before the town was besieged. I attach a picture of my MM Mk II (No. V 625), which interestingly indicates the subsequent fate of the MM Mk II’s: mine entered ownership of the Union of South Africa Defence force some time after 1910 (acceptance stamp: broad arrow in U) and then was sold-out-of-service (diamond in U), the latter stamp can also be made out on the receiver of your rifle no. V 307.
The Ladysmith Town guard are affectionately depicted in The Leaguer of Ladysmith by Cpt Clive Dixon, the ADC to Gen Sir George White VC – I see they wear red rosettes as their distinguishing sign in the painting, though not in the photos.

I note more information about the LTG can be obtained from https://www.angloboerwar.com/unit-infor ... town-guard
The Medal Roll for the LTG was only 172, so perhaps the remaining MM Mk IIs were distributed to other Town Guards in Natal? It would be interesting to keep an eye open for other photographs.
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Re: Rifles of the Ladysmith Town Guard

Postby terrylee » 17 Sep 2017 14:48

It appears likely that the Martini Metford Mk.IIs were indeed issued to town guards other than those at Ladysmith, though I cannot say to what extent and where. Some time back I came across a photo in the Johannesburg War Museum Library of a single town guard armed with a Martini Metford. So far as I can remember, the caption indicated that he was from Kokstad.
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