Umvoti Mounted celebrates 150th

2014-05-13 00:00

THE Umvoti Mounted Rifles will be building on its long and illustrious history this month, as it celebrates 150 years of existence with parades in Pietermaritzburg and Durban (in Pinetown) over the May 15 to 17 weekend.

The parades will consist of a marching column as well as a motorised column and an equestrian troop. The parade in Pietermaritzburg will start at 2 pm on Thursday and proceed down Church Street, where the mayor will bestow the Freedom of the City on the regiment and take the salute as the regiment exercises its Freedom of the Entry into Pietermaritzburg. In Pinetown, the parade will start at 2 pm on Saturday, proceeding down King’s Road, where the mayor will bestow the Freedom of the City on the regiment and take the salute as the regiment exercises it Freedom of the Entry into that city.

Members of the public are invited to come and view the parades as they march past the various dignitaries in the two centres, said Staff Sergeant Johann Kruger of the SANDF. He said the regiment had a colourful history in the province from May 16, 1864, when a band of settlers galloped their horses into Greytown at the behest of the Lieutenant-Governor of Natal, Sir John Scott.

“This was the birth of the Umvoti Mounted Rifles.

There were some 45 men in the original small unit under the command of Captain A.S. Wyndham who was also the magistrate of Greytown at the time. The newly formed unit was known as the Greytown Mounted Rifles,” said Kruger.

After a few years the Greytown Mounted Rifles was affiliated with the Natal Hussars and in 1893 the Umvoti Mounted Rifles was formed under commander Captain H. von Bulow.

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