Cape Colonial Forces

Cape Colonial Forces

Cape Colonial Forces

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The Cape Colonial Forces (CCF) were the official defence organisation of the Cape Colony in South Africa. Established in 1855, they were taken over by the Union of South Africa in 1910, and disbanded when the Union Defence Forces were formed in 1912.

1855–1877

The colonial forces were established after Britain granted the Cape Colony "representative government" in 1853. The colony was encouraged to assume some of the responsibility for its own defence, and in 1855 three separate military organisations were formed: the para-military Frontier Armed and Mounted Police (FAMP); the Burgher Force; and the Volunteer Force.

The FAMP was responsible for maintaining law and order in the districts along the frontier with the Xhosa territories in the Transkei. The Burgher Force was a district-based militia, whose units could be mobilised when necessary to maintain order in their home districts. The Volunteer Force was also district-based, but consisted of privately-formed and self-financed units which placed their services at the government's disposal.

About three dozen volunteer units were formed between 1855 and 1861. They included the Cape Rifle Corps (later the Duke of Edinburgh's Own Volunteer Rifles) (1855- ); the Port Elizabeth Rifles (later Prince Alfred's Guard) (1856- ); the Cape Town Artillery (later Prince Alfred's Own Cape Field Artillery) (1857- ); and the Port Elizabeth Volunteer Artillery (1860-1879).

In 1858, the FAMP was mobilised to restore order in...
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