The 1st WAMI (W.A. MTD INF) was raised in mid-October 1899 and trained throughout October and November at Karrakatta Camp before departing for South Africa on the S.S. Medic on the 7th November 1899. The contingent consisted of 5 Officers, 2 Warrant Officers, 15 NCO’s and 106 enlisted ranks totalling 130 men under the command of Major Hatherly G Moor. It consisted of an attached machine gun section of 8 men with 2 Maxim Machine Guns.
To join men had to be between the age of 20 & 35, be unmarried and most had previous service in the Australian colonial military forces.
Each soldier was given the following:
2x Khaki drill jackets
3x Khaki drill trousers
3x Flannel shirts
3x Pairs of woollen socks
1x Slouch hat
1x Glengarry cap
1x Pair of ankle-boots
1x Blue Guernsey
1x Shoe polish tin
1x Pair of braces
1x Set of brushes
1x Button Holder
1x Supply set of (1x comb, knife, fork, spoon, holdall, clasp-knife, soap, sponge and 2 towels)
1x Kit set of (1x lanyard, canvas kit bag, razor with case)
1x M.L.E. Rifle and bayonet
1x Infantry valise equipment
1x Set of entrenching tools.
Each soldier was paid the following per day: Note: currency is present day $AU and not historical British pound.
Captains and above – 23.6 shillings ($173 per day) ($66,778 for deployment)
Lieutenants – 19 shillings ($140 per day) ($54,040 for deployment)
Warrant Officers – 9 shillings ($66 per day) ($25,476 for deployment)
Sergeants – 8 shillings ($59 per day) ($22,774 for deployment)
Corporals – 7 shillings ($51 per day) ($19,686 for deployment)
Lance Corporal – 5 shillings ($36 per day) ($13,896 for deployment)
Privates – 4.6 shillings ($33 per day) ($12,738 for deployment)
The contingent arrived in Cape Town on the 26th Nov 1899 and was immediately attached to the “Australian Regiment” which conducted operations in a relatively safe part of the Cape Colony from Nov 1899 – Feb 1900. Throughout all of February around Slingersfontein and Arundel, the 1st WAMI was continuously engaged and fought the well known battle of W.A. Hill. Throughout most of March and April the 1st WAMI only saw some action as they were mostly restricted to marching. May & June saw a major Imperial offensive and the West Australians saw numerous actions, most notably at Vet River, Johannesburg, Pretoria and Diamond Hill.
From Jul – Nov 1900 the 1st WAMI saw many action in many engagements throughout the Transvaal and Orange Free State. The contingent departed back for Australia on the 13th December 1900. The 1st WAMI suffered 6 Killed and 26 non-fatal casualties. Members of the contingent had received 3 Distinguished Service orders, 5 Distinguished Conduct Medals and 6 Mentioned in Despatches.
1. W.A. Hill 9/2/00
2. Vet River 4/5/00
3. Vaal River 29/5/00
4. Johannesburg 30/5/00
5. Pretoria 5/6/00
6. Diamond Hill 12/6/00
7. Roodeval Station 27/6/00
8. Bethlehem 9/7/00
9. Palmietfontein 19/7/00
10. Stinkhoutboom 24/7/00
11. Wittebergen 29/7/00
12. Waterval Onder 3/9/00
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