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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'Loyalty's fair reward': the Natal Native Horse in the Zulu Rebellion of 1906
Author:Thompson, PaulISNI
Periodical:South African Historical Journal (ISSN 1726-1686)
Geographic terms:South Africa
Subjects:black soldiers
Bambatha rebellion
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/02582473.2014.934272
Abstract:'Oh may we receive loyalty's fair reward?' is the penultimate verse of The Path of Duty, also called the 'Natal Native Horse Refrain'. The Natal Native Horse was a mounted corps raised among related Christian communities in the British colony of Natal during the Zulu Rebellion of 1906. The idea was that they would demonstrate their loyalty to the government, and be rewarded for it accordingly. Neither government nor congress were keen on African militia fighting against African rebels, but the corps was raised, trained, and sent to Zululand. They saw little fighting, but the militia commander (who typified colonial racial prejudice) reported that they were 'a most keen, soldierly lot of men, who if they had had more opportunity, would have done most excellent work'. The unit was ordered back to Natal, where it completed its service policing the turbulent Umsinga Division, hard, dirty work, which required discipline and perseverance, and they did it well. This article describes the background of the organisation and its service in the field, and concludes that, apart from medals, their manifest loyalty received no reward at all. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]