The Mounted Police of Natal

Cover of book The Mounted Police of Natal
Categories: Fiction » Literature

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ARLY DAYS There being some dread, on the part of the colonists, at the idea of employing too many armed and disciplined natives?the Hottentots in the old Cape Mounted Rifles had mutinied in Cape Colony some years before?it was decided to reduce the numberof blacks in the Natal Police from 150 to 50. At the same time the full strength of the Europeans in the force was raised to 115. The Defence Committee had recommended that the Europeans should number 150, but on financial grounds this suggestion was not adopted. Although powers were granted to bring the strength up to 115, the actual number of men enrolled did not come to anything like that figure for a very long time. Suitable members of the corps could not be got at the price. At the close of 1874 the strength all told was 45, and it only reached 72 by the end of 1875. Even the men who offered their services and were chosen could not be relied upon to remain with the force. A few enlisted each month, but there were constant desertions, and nearly every month one or two were dismissed for misconduct, or as being physically unfit. Several members died or were killed during the first eighteen months of the force's history. Gun-running had at this time become a profitable pastime, and early in 1875 Sub-Inspector Campbell with three troopers, had a long chase after a man34 A WILY GUN-RUNNER who left Greytown with a wagon supposed to contain firearms. The wagon had gone three days before the police heard of the affair, but they caught it up near the Buffalo River. There was some delay, owing to the difficulty of getting a search-warrant, and when the police pounced on the wagon it was empty. Afterwards it was discovered that the man had had fifty guns in his cart, but while the police were being detained ...

The Mounted Police of Natal
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