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Auction: 18002 - Orders, Decorations and Medals
Lot: 295

(x) Maritzburg Rifles

Raised in 1861 as the Pietermaritzburg Volunteer Rifle Corps, from 1868 they were known as the Maritzburg Rifles. One of three infantry regiments formed in Natal, the other two being the New Germany Rifles and the Royal Durban Rifles, the Maritzburg Rifles under Lieutenant-Colonel the Honourable C. B. H. Mitchell, R.M.L.I., numbered 107 men and were tasked with defending Pietermaritzburg; this they achieved by the creation of an enormous laager, encompassing several city blocks, inclusive of complex barricades, blocked doors, shuttered windows and carefully placed loopholes.

Besides building this urban fortress, they were looked upon by the people as the backbone of the home defence. Fortunately, the Zulus never entered Natal but the Maritzburg Rifles did come to prominence for acting as the guard of honour to the body of the Prince Imperial of France, when it arrived at Maritzburg, en route to Durban.

South Africa 1877-79, no clasp (Pte. T. T. Harburn. Maritzburg Rifles), a late or duplicate issue with officially impressed naming, edge bruising and polished, good fine

The published roll states that the recipient served in the Pietermaritzburg Rifles, which unit was awarded 108 Medals, all of them without clasp. Perhaps he also served at one point in the Maritzburg Rifles.

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