12 January 1915, The Union (of SA) Defence Force move in strength into German SWA. The forces include the Kimberley Regiment.
DID YOU KNOW
By the end of the Boer Rebellion, generally dated in January 1915, additional SA Field Post and Telegraph Corps Post Offices had been at the following towns in the Northern Cape region: Namies, Narries, Schuitdrift, Boesmanspruit (west of Kuruman), and Rooidam (near Upington). Some had opened for a few days only.
Christmas time at war in South Africa in 1914 saw the military post offices as follows:
GHQ in Cape Town
No 1 Field Base Post Office in De Aar
No 2 FBPO in O’okiep with a Field Post Office at Steinkopf for the region including Port Nolloth, Pella, Springbok and Raman’s Drift.
No 3 FBPO in Upington with a Field Post Office at Kakamas serving Keimoes and region.
No 2A FBPO in Kroonstad with Field Post Offices at Bethlehem and Kroonstad serving the entire Orange Free State.
No 4 FBPO in Luderitzbucht serving German SWA
No 5 FBPO in Johannesburg
No 1 Field Post Office in De Aar for exchange purposes and general storage depot
Miltary Section under civilian control in Kimberley .
Some 52 members of the Postal Corps were fully active at this time.
The Field Base Post Offices then transferred their attentions to the campaign in German SWA and moved with and close to the various operational forces within that country.
Identification Discs, known to all as “Dog Tags” were introduced during the Great War. Initially there was just the one red circular disc made of vulcanized fibre, and the purpose was twofold: it was taken from the body of the dead soldier so as to advise the next of kin; and also to make sure that his pay was stopped virtually immediately. However, in the carnage of the trench warfare, all this did was to ensure that there were many soldiers buried with the caption on their stones reading “Known unto God”. By September 1916 a second disc was introduced being of the same material but coloured green, the red to be taken, the green to remain so that if and when the body was buried his name could be inscribed on the memorial stone.
The standard rifle carried by most if not all the Imperial soldiers was the short-magazined Lee Enfield, known to the Quartermaster’s stores by the acronym SMLE and to the soldiers as SMELLY! This rifle would remain in service with the British army until the early 1960s.