Port Elizabeth of Yore: Prince Alfred’s Guards Baptism of Fire

The Port Elizabeth Volunteer Rifle Corps was founded in September 1857 in response to Sir George Grey’s request for volunteer regiments to be established. In I860 the Corps provided a guard of honour for Prince Alfred during his visit and with his consent then took the name “Prince Alfred’s Guard”. Twenty years later in 1877, PAG was involved in its first battle at which it would earn its first battle honours.

This blog is based upon excerpts of a booklet entitled “The First Four Months of the Kafir War of 1877 and 1878” by Acting Quarter-Master Sergeant H. Stahlschmidt of the 2nd Detachment Prince Alfred’s Guard. This is his eye-witness account of the action during which he was severely wounded. No biographical details of the author have been found except that he was employed as a clerk from about 1875 to 1885 and lived at 9 Constitution Hill.

Main picture: Umzintzani – Prince Alfred Guard’s baptism of fire

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