Natal Mounted Rifles

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Natal Mounted Rifles
Active 1854–Present
Country  South Africa
Allegiance South Africa
Branch  South African Army
Type Armour
Role Armour / Tank and Mechanised Infantry Regiment
Size Regiment
Part of South African Armoured Corps
Garrison/HQ Durban
Motto Rough but Ready
Anniversaries Regimental Birthday - 23rd March each year.
Battle honours See list
Lt Col M.J. Rowe
Colonel of
the Regiment
Lt Col M.J. Rowe

The Natal Mounted Rifles is an armoured regiment of the South African Army. As a reserve unit, it has a status roughly equivalent to that of a British Territorial Army or United States Army National Guard unit. It is part of the South African Army Armour Formation and is based in the city of Durban.



The original and accepted "Parent / Unit" of the Natal Mounted Rifles is the "Royal D'Urban Rangers" which was formed at a meeting of the public in the town of Durban, at "Boltbee's Hotel" on the 23rd March 1854. Other ante-cedant Units that were then subsequently amalgamated into the NMR since 1854 are as follows:

  1. 1854–1869 – Royal D'Urban Rangers
  2. 1888–1869 – Victoria Mounted Rifles
  3. 1875–1887 – Stanger Mounted Rifles
  4. 1865–1888 – Alexander Mounted Rifles
  5. 1878–1879 – Isipingo Mounted Rifles
  6. 1873–1888 – Durban Mounted Rifles
  7. 1884–1888 – Umzimkulu Mounted Rifles

Timeline events[edit]

  • 1888 – Units amalgamated into a new unit known as the Natal Mounted Rifles
  • 1894 – The NMR was split into two units, namely the Border Mounted Rifles and the Natal Mounted Rifles
  • 1913 – Just prior to World War I the BMR and NMR once more amalgamated and became the 3rd Mounted Rifles (N.M.R.)
  • 1925 – The East Griqualanad Mounted Rifles amalgamated into the NMR
  • 1932 – Another name change, to the Natal Mounted Rifles
  • 1940 – At South Africa's entry to World War II, the NMR was re-formed into two units, namely: The 1st BN (V) N.M.R. and the 2nd BN (V) N.M.R.
  • 1945 – The two units amalgamated once more, into the Natal Mounted Rifles,and has remained such to this day


In May 1868 the Regimental Committee of the Durban Mounted Rifles, presided over by Captain WH Addison, held a meeting to discuss the forming of the Natal Mounted Rifles. The formation of the regiment would entail the amalgamation of four Volunteer Units; Royal D’urban Rangers (1854), Victoria Mounted Rifles (1862), Alexander Mounted Rifles (1865) and Durban Mounted Rifles(1873).[1]

Anglo Boer War[edit]

The regiment was re-activated in Durban during February and March 1901 for service in the South African War. It was originally called the 2nd Natal Volunteer Composite Regiment but the name was soon changed to Natal Mounted Infantry. The unit was armed and equipped by the Natal Volunteer Department and horsed by the Imperial Remount Department. The first depot was at Dundee, but, on the unit changing its name, this was transferred to Newcastle.[2]

World War I[edit]

World War II[edit]

On 1 July 1913 the Regiment was re-amalgamated with the Border Mounted Rifles, renamed the 3rd Mounted Rifles (Natal Mounted Rifles) and transferred to the Active Citizen Force of the Union Defence Force. In 1932 the Regiment's name was simplified to The Natal Mounted Rifles and in 1934 it was converted to infantry.

In addition to the campaigns in which its various constituent units fought in before the Regiment's formation, the Natal Mounted Rifles served in the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899–1902), the Zulu Rebellion (1906–1907), World War I (specifically in South-West Africa from 1914 to 1915), World War II (See 1st SA Infantry Division and South Africa's post-war internal conflicts and the South African Border War.[3]

Post World War II[edit]

Border War[edit]



NMR Badge Plaque

Regimental mottos:

  • 1888–1913 – Just and frank
  • 1913 – Present – Rough but ready


  •  United Kingdom - affiliated 9 April 1930 to The Queen's Royal Hussars (The Queen's Own and Royal Irish)
  • Glenwood Boys High School affiliated to NMR on 17 February 1936
  • South African School of Armour affiliated to NMR on 21 March 1997
  • Durban Metro Police Equestrian Unit affiliated to NMR on 25 March 2000
  • South African Air Force No.15 (Helicopter) Squadron, Durban, affiliated to NMR

Battle honours[edit]

Roll of Honour[edit]

  • 1900 – ASH,V.G., Tpr [4]:5132
  • 1944 – Baillie,J.P., Lt [4]:35061
  • 1944 – Bell,W.J., Pte [4]:35133
  • 1900 – CLAPHAM,WMJ, Lt [4]:8815
  • 1945 – Coetzee,A.C., Pte [4]:36480
  • 1939-1945 – Constable,J.A., Pte [4]:36049
  • 1900 – CRICKMORE,JR, Tpr [4]:9218
  • 1942 – Dovey,C., Pte [4]:34741
  • 1900 – GRICE,G.V., Tpr [4]:14560
  • 1900 – HARROP,S, Tpr [4]:15758
  • 1900 – INMAN,PE, Tpr [4]:17767
  • 1900 – PARKHILL,J, Cpl [4]:24763
  • 1939-1945 – Putterill,I.W., Pte [4]:36048
  • 1900 – SCHRAM,GH, Tpr [4]:27803
  • 1900 – THOMAS,G, Tpr [4]:30410



  1. ^ "Ladysmith History and the Boer War". Natal Mounted Rifles. Retrieved 18 October 2010. 
  2. ^ "South African Units". Natal Mounted Infantry. Retrieved 18 October 2010. 
  3. ^[dead link]
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Dovey, John. "SA Roll of Honour:". Just Done Productions Publishing. Retrieved 4 November 2014.