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SA2203 Trooper Albert Morgan – 5th Contingent,  New Zealand Mounted Rifles 
 
Albert Morgan was born on 26th June 1879, the seventh of ten children and the third of five sons born to Matilda and Thomas Morgan.[i] The Morgan family had arrived in Wellington New Zealand in 1842 on the ‘Birman’ and then moved out to farm in the Takapau Valley, Tawa Flat. Albert and his siblings were born in the Takapau Valley and later attended the Tawa Flats School.
 
Albert enlisted as a Trooper in the Heretaunga Mounted Rifles and served with this voluntary unit for 12 months prior to enlisting the New Zealand Mounted Rifles, on 31st March 1900  for service in South Africa. Albert is listed as working as a farmer in Takapau Valley, probably for his father. Albert is listed as being of the Primitive Methodist faith and prudently invested 2 pence per day from his Trooper’s pay into his account at the ‘Penny Savings Bank’ at Porirua, and the rest of his pay he received ‘in the hand.’
 
SA2203 Trooper Albert Morgan sailed on the same day he signed his enlistment papers, with the 12th Company, 5th Contingent of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles. Also sailing with the 12th Company on the SS Waitemata were SA2222 Trooper Alfred (Alf) Cook from Pauatahanui and SA2679 Trooper William Hume from Johnsonville.[ii]
 
The 5th Contingent landed at Beira, Mozambique in April 1900 joining the 4th New Zealand Contingent, the 6th New South Wales Imperial Bushmen, the 5th New Zealand Contingent formed the 2nd Brigade of the Rhodesian Field Force.[iii] Private Cook was awarded the Rhodesian clasp for the time spent crossing Rhodesia and also he was paid 5 shillings a day during the time spent ‘crossing Rhodesia' between 1 April until 9th May 1901.[iv] The 2nd Brigade entered Northern Transvaal, initially moving towards Mafeking with the two NZ Contingents then moving towards the Elands River where a large Boer force was laying siege to Braikfontein Drift held by a force of Australian and Rhodesians. The 4th & 5th NZ Contingents were to the north of Braikfontein when a relieving column, lead by Lord Kitchener reached Braikfontein from the south.
 
 
 
A sergeant of the 5th Contingent on the Veldt
 
 
 
The 5th Contingent were then involved in operations in Western Transvaal from  August 1900 through to the end of May 1901 with engagements like Ottoshoop, Buffelshoek, Ventersdroop Vyeborg and Harteestfonteing.
 
 
 
At the end of May and beginning of June 1901 the 4th and 5th contingents sailed for home, and in recognition of their splendid work were allowed to take with them a captured gun and a pom-pom (pom-pom cannon).[v]
 
 
 
Trooper Morgan returned with the 4th and 5th Contingents and was welcomed back to civilian life with a celebration at Tawa as reported by the Evening Post on 8th August 1901.
 
            ‘Trooper A. Morgan, of the Fifth Contingent was
            welcomed  back by the  residents of Tawa  Flat
             at  a “social” and dance.  The hall was  packed,
            and apologies for abscence were read from the
            Premier and Mr W H Field, M.H.R. A pretty and
            unique proceeding  was  the presentation to the
            ex-trooper  of a gold watch and chain and  pen-
            dant  by  Daisy Windley, three and a  half  years
            of age, granddaughter of Captain Taylor. Songs
            were given by Messer   Twiss, Cook, W. Moore,
 A Green, and C Morgan, Trooper J. N. Cumings
 and Miss E Morgan, and some recitations, which
 were  highly  appreciated,  by Mr  A Morgan. The
 Pahautanui Band rendered selections during the
           concert,   after  which   the   ladies  served   the
           refreshments, and a dance followed.’
 
Trooper John Nathaniel Cumings served as SA 84 Shoeing Smith in the 1st Contingent and like Albert Morgan was a Primitive Methodist.
 
Albert Morgan was awarded the Queen’s South Africa medal with clasps for Rhodesia, Transvaal, Cape Colony and date clasp1901.
 
Two of Albert’s older brothers, twins Edward and Henry, and a younger brother David also served in later New Zealand Mounted Rifle Contingents sent to South Africa.
 
While he had been discharged from the Army Albert was allowed to retain the carbine he had used in South Africa. On 4th May 1903 Albert Morgan signed for a rifle, New Zealand number 945 with factory number 5697, agreeing to keep it in good order and to return it to the New Zealand Defence Store when requested to do so by the New Zealand Government.[vi]
 
In 1903 Albert married Charlotte Ellen Hope the couple had at least five children.
 
Albert Morgan’s death in Ellerslie, Auckland was reported as 3rd March 1955 by his widow Charlotte.
 
 
References:
Papers past Online
NZ Units in South Africa 1899-1902: NZ History Online
Archway Archives New Zealand – Military Files: SA2203 Trooper Albert Morgan
 
Photos:
Sergeant of the 5th Contingent: Google online
 
[i] Births 1879/5633: Births, Deaths & Marriages Online
[ii] Archway Archives New Zealand – Military File: SA2222 Trooper Alfred (Alf) Cook
[iii] NZ Units in South Africa 1899 – 1902 – The contingents: NZ History online
[iv] Archway Archives New Zealand- Military Files: SA2222 Private Alfred Cook
[v] AngloBoerWar.com
[vi] Archway Archives New Zealand – Military Files: SA2203 Trooper Albert Morgan
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 A Sergeant of the 5th Contingent on the Veldt