Australians in the Boer War
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Hint: This site is intended as a search aid - not a definitive source. It is essentially an index to documents that seem to relate to this person plus a very brief precis of relevant elements. Sources often conflict and I also flag things with a ? when I am unsure. So if the information below is important to you, then please check the original sources to see what else they contain (and in case I have inadvertantly introduced transcription and/or precising errors). There can be additional information that was not included in the database for both space and copyright reasons.


Surname ANTILL
Given Name(s) or Initial(s) John Macquarie
Regimental Number
Unit Name 2nd New South Wales Mounted Rifles
Extracts and Comments
(from Sources as shown)

Murray: 'A'Sqn. NSWMR Major 2NSWMR to 7.1901.
B5204: surveyor born 1866 Picton NSW.
URL2: WW1 AIF Brig. Gen. 3LH CB CMG.
URL3: soldier aged 48 from Picton NSW.
Roe: War Memorial The Oaks NSW.
URL6: photo #3 with departing 1ACH.
URL7: CB LG 19.4.1901.
URL8: Forbes NSW Tuesday 18.3.1902. Major ANTILL left Forbes yesterday afternoon after inspecting the local half squadron of Mounted Rifles. He was thoroughly satisfied with the men, of which there was a good muster in spite of the drought. During his stay here Major ANTILL was entertained at a smoke concert when a very pleasant time was spent. In reviewing the work done by the Forbes men in South Africa he read a list of the men who had gone from here on active service, numbering 48 of which 8 were officers.
URL9: Lieutenant-Colonel ANTILL, who was next called [by the Pay Royal Commission 14.6.1905], said that in October, 1899, he was connected with the general staff of the New South Wales forces. He was selected for service in South Africa, and commanded a mounted rifle unit, which he raised. He left for the front in the Aberdeen on November 3. Witness remembered reading General Order 112 shortly after it was published, and came to the conclusion that he would receive his pay as a permanent officer in New South Wales, in addition to the Imperial allowance. Before leaving Australia he made a disposition of the whole of his local pay and allowances, which were to be drawn in New South Wales, believing, having regard to the order referred to, that he would receive Imperial pay at the front. He did not provide himself with any funds, beyond a small amount of money he had in his pocket. On arrival at Capetown he received a month's pay at Imperial rates. Mr. BRERETON (representing witness) - When did you first hear that there was any question about your receiving Imperial rates? - I cannot give you the date. It was about the latter part of April or early in May. What was that? - I received a letter front Colonel SEATON-CHURCHILL, paymaster to the colonial forces, stating that he had received a letter from the authorities in New South Wales to the effect that certain officers were not to receive Imperial pay. He further said that he was unable to understand the instructions, and would be glad it I could throw any light upon them. What did you do for money? - I was compelled to borrow it, and as a matter of fact I had to go to some of my own men. Witness, continuing, said he replied to Colonel SEATON-CHURCHILL's letter, stating that he had been promised before he left New South Wales that he would receive Imperial in addition to colonial pay, but received no reply. In November, 1900, he saw Colonel CHURCHILL at Capetown, and asked him why his (witness's) money had been stopped. Colonel CHURCHILL said that he failed to understand the instructions, and that he had received no further communication from the Government about them. The Colonel further said that witness had earned the money and was entitled to it. Witness came back to Sydney and left shortly afterwards on his return to South Africa.
URL10: Lieutenant-Colonel ANTILL, who was further examined [by the Pay Royal Commission 15.6.1905], said it was necessary that a commanding officer should have funds in his possession in the field. In the case of a junior officer it did not matter, because he had no financial responsibility. Anyone over the rank of a lieutenant required funds. In answer to Mr. CURTIS, witness said, he had been loth to sue his own Government for his pay. His Honor - Would it not be regarded as an act of insubordination? - No; a soldier might sue for his pay. It is supposed to be a gratuity for his service. Permission was received from the Commonwealth Government to take action in this matter.
Camden N.: Investiture of Military Officers. His Excellency the Governor-General of Commonwealth, Lord Tennyson, invested the following gentlemen, amongst others on Saturday night [18.4.1903] at government House, Sydney. The gathering was a brilliant and distinguished one. ... Lieutenant-Colonel JM ANTILL CB, comes from a military family. He is second son of the late Mr JM ANTILL, of Picton, and grandson of the late Major HC ANTILL (73rd Regiment of Foot), who, for many years ADC to Governor MACQUARIE, and brigade major of the local forces in the early -part of the last century. The lieutenant colonel formed and commanded the Picton Squadron of Mounted Rifles in 1888, and retained charge until 1893. He was then sent to India for training in the Imperial troops, and on his return in 1894 was appointed adjutant of the Mounted Rifles on the general staff. In 1899 he was selected to command the first contingent of Mounted Rifles for South Africa. On the contingent being recalled, he returned in 1901, and again went to the front two months later. Since that time he was promoted major and brevet lieutenant-colonel on the staff, and chief instructor of the NSW mounted troops. As a result of his admirable services in South Africa, he was mentioned in dispatches on several occasions for distinguished services. A fact worthy of note is that he was never absent a day from the column during his period of active service.
Evg. News: The returned officers, sergeant-majors, and sergeants of the 2nd NSW Mounted Rifles, were entertained at a harbor picnic yesterday [6.6.1902] by Colonel LASSETTER (OC 2nd NSW Mounted Rifles). The following were present - Colonel LASSETTER, Major C LYDIARD, Major AA MCLEAN, Major ANTILL, Captains HOLLMAN and MCINTOSH and Lieutenants MURRAY, TEDDER. CT GRIFFITHS, OK GRIFFITHS, DJ STEWART, L MOLLOY (transport officer), C EADIE, COYLE, BREEZE. Regimental Staff - Warrant-Officer WASSON (R.S.M.), Sergeant-Major SCANLON, Quartermaster-Sergeant CLAYTON. 'A' Squadron - Quartermaster-Sergeant JONES, Sergeants COTTERELL, WATSON, WALKER, Farrier Sergeant YOUNG. 'B' Squadron - Squadron Sergeant-Major MONRO, Quartermaster-Sergeant STEVENSON, Sergeants GRIFFITH, Bert WHITE, COOK, MATTERSON. 'C' Squadron - Squadron Sergeant Major SUTHERLAND, Quartermaster-Sergeant WITT, Sergeants LEAR, CHARLTON, Farrier-Sergeant C CROWELL. 'D' squadron - Squadron Sergeant Major WEBSTER, Sergeants HAMILTON, GEORGE, MILLER, HOYLE. 'E' Squadron - Squadron Sergeant-Major DIGBY, Quartermaster-Sergeant STEVENS, Sergeants WILKINS, C ARTHUR, JOHNSON and GLENFIELD. Army Medical Corps - Sergeant RAY. After a trip up the river as far as Drummoyne, the launch returned to Circular Quay, where it picked up Mr. SEE, and then proceeded to Pearl Bay. ...
Source References
Murray: Official Records of the Australian Contingents etc. page(s) 109 110
Wallace1: The Australians at the Boer War page(s) various
Source:# Oz-Boer contributed source number 13
B5204: National Archives of Australia series B5204
West Australian: West Australian newspaper date(s) 3.9.1901
B2455: National Archives of Australia series B2455
Town&Country: Aust. Town and Country journal date(s) 15.2.1902
Syd. Herald : Sydney Morning Herald newspaper date(s) 22.4.1901, 19.3.1902, 18.4.1903 & 15, 16 & 19.6.1905
Camden N.: Camden News newspaper date(s) 23.4.1903
Evg. News: Evening News (Sydney NSW) date(s) 6.7.1902
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Please email me if you can contribute any other relevant information about this person (eg any other military service, where in Australia they came from or when/where they died). Also, if you find an external link broken.

Apology: For some time now it has been difficult to keep up with the newly available sources (especially the Trove newspaper site) plus the flow of contributions and queries. So I have been forced to prioritise maintenance and data entry over replying to correspondence. Nevertheless, your contributions are being added to the database and acknowledged on the contributions page and, although my replies are many months behind, I will attempt to get to them more often.
Colin Roe

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