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In parts of the globe during the nineteenth century, particularly those quarters incrementally being coloured red by the growth of the British Empire, many new police forces were formed and their services were as varied as their locations and the native peoples who populated them dictated. Sometimes that meant the activities of the force were virtually military for long periods of time and they were always certainly far removed from the duties of a ‘Bobby’ of the home country in every way. Never was this more true than for the subject of this book, ‘The Mounted Police of Natal.’

Formed in 1874 in South Africa it came into being at a time of violence and unrest with which it was involved until the eve of the Great War. Wars and uprisings among the Kaffir tribes of the Cape were raging long before the creation of the NMP, but, naturally, they immediately became embroiled. Everyone who knows of the period is aware of how in 1879 war against the Zulu nation broke out and shook the security of the colony to the core. Brave men of the NMP fought against and died under the assegais of the Zulu impis at Isandlwhana and in many other bloody engagements related in these pages.

This riveting account goes on to describe the part played by the force in two Boer Wars, various tribal uprisings, the Zulu Rebellion of 1906 as well as the activities of lone policemen whose ‘beat’ covered hundreds of square miles and who had to deal with smugglers, witchcraft and murders in remote corners of the empire. This is a highly readable and comprehensive work and is recommended.

Softcover, 312 pages, Published 2011


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