[BOER WAR] Private Joseph Mander, 1st South Australian Mounted Rifles, and Trooper Leslie Champness, 5th South Australian Imperial Bushmen.
Adelaide, S.A. : Frühling Studio, [probably late 1899 and early 1901, respectively]. Two albumen print photographs, standard cabinet card format (mounts 165 x 106 mm), both with the imprint of Frühling Studio, 63 Rundle Street, Adelaide, and with a later family member’s identifying captions in pen recto and verso; the full figure portrait of Champness is in fine condition; the head and torso portrait of Mander has some water staining at the bottom edge of the mount and the albumen print is foxed.
Joseph George Mander (1882-1946), Service no. 110, Private, 1st S.A. Mounted Rifles, and Leslie “Les” Champness (1881-1944), Service no. 234, Trooper, 5th S.A. Imperial Bushmen, both served in South Africa in the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902). Although their tours of duty did not coincide, we know from the inscription on the back of the portrait of Champness that the two men were close friends. Both portraits were most likely taken shortly prior to embarking for South Africa, so they probably date to November 1899 (Mander) and February 1901 (Champness). The photographs were sourced together, and appear to have come through the Mander family.
The 1st South Australian Mounted Rifles were formed initially as a company of infantry, but became a mounted company in South Africa. Preference was given to men who were or had been serving in the local or other military forces. They were also required to be good shots. The company embarked at Port Adelaide on the transport Medic on 2 November 1899, and disembarked at Cape Town on 25 November. A brief history of its role in the campaign against the Boers can be found at the RSL Virtual War Memorial. The company was disbanded the day it arrived home at Port Adelaide on 30 November 1900. Its men were all granted a bonus of one month’s full pay.
The 5th S.A. Imperial Bushmen’s Contingent was raised in early 1901. Its men were selected from the Mount Gambier, Naracoorte, and Millicent Districts. The Contingent embarked at Port Adelaide in the transport Ormazan on 9 February 1901, and disembarked at Port Elizabeth on 23 March. A summary of its part in the campaign can also be found at the RSL Virtual War Memorial. The Contingent returned to Port Adelaide on 27 April 1902.