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state library of queensland
John Oxley Library

Digitised @SLQ – Boer War Diary describes Queensland troop movement

By JOL Admin | 16 January 2015

Officers of the 5th Queensland Contingent taken on the day of their return, May 1902. Front row: Captain Dodds, Major Toll, Lieutenant Loynes -- Back row: Lieutenant G. Koch, S. Hunter, B.W. Cook, F.B.T. Koch. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 54984

A newly digitised Boer war diary of the 5th Queensland Imperial Bushmen by Major F.W. Toll shows “actual movements and marches of the unit whilst attached to Genl. Plumers’column” from April 1901 through May 1902.  It is  in the John Oxley Library as part of Collection OM84-11.

OM84-11 Major F W Toll Diary 1901-1902, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

The Toll diary immediately transports one through time and space, providing priceless description of how troops arrived in South Africa and their activities for more than a year. Toll noted that troops from Queensland sailed into Port Elizabeth on 1 April 1901, where they were issued equipment and were entertained by ladies at Feather Market Hall. Horses were branded and sick men sent to hospital. The next day, troops moved out to Kroonstadt, with three trains needed for all the men and the horses. The diary continues through to May 1902, when the British declared victory,  and the Queensland troops' work thus was finished.  They returned to Australia by ship, landed in Brisbane on the 7 May “with no bands to meet us” and dispersed.

OM84-11 Major F W Toll Diary 1901-1902, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

In addition to recording daily movement, Toll also provided a list of names at the back of the diary, as well as records detailing number of men killed in action, discharged and more. Follow Major Toll’s description of the troops’ activities by accessing the digitised content in One Search, State Library of Queensland's catalogue.

C. Cottle - Digital Collections Curator, State Library of Queensland



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