Queen Nandi Mounted Rifles

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Natal Mounted Rifles
Queen Nandi Mounted Rifles
SANDF Natal Mounted Rifles emblem
SANDF Natal Mounted Rifles emblem
Country South Africa
Allegiance Colony of Natal
 Republic of South Africa
 Republic of South Africa
Branch South African Army
 South African Army
RoleArmour / Tank and Mechanised Infantry Regiment
Part ofSouth African Armoured Formation
Army Conventional Reserve
Motto(s)Rough but Ready
AnniversariesRegimental Birthday - 23 March each year.
EquipmentMarmon Herrington Mk1V / Ferret armoured cars / Olifant mk1 A and B tanks
Boot and SpurPrancing Horse
Beret ColourBlack
Armour Squadron emblemsSANDF Armour squadron emblems
Armour beret bar circa 1992SANDF Armour beret bar

The Queen Nandi Mounted Rifles (formerly the Natal Mounted Rifles) is an reserve armoured regiment of the South African Army.



The original and accepted parent unit of the Natal Mounted Rifles is the Royal Durban Rangers which was formed at a meeting of the public in the town of Durban, at Boltbee's Hotel on 23 March 1854. Other ante-cedant units that were then subsequently amalgamated into the NMR since 1854 are as follows:

  1. 1854–1869: Royal D'Urban Rangers
  2. 1888–1869: Victoria Mounted Rifles
  3. 1875–1887: Stanger Mounted Rifles
  4. 1865–1888: Alexander Mounted Rifles
  5. 1878–1879: Isipingo Mounted Rifles
  6. 1873–1888: Durban Mounted Rifles
  7. 1884–1888: Umzimkulu Mounted Rifles


In May 1868 the Regimental Committee of the Durban Mounted Rifles, presided over by Captain WH Addison, held a meeting to discuss the forming of the Natal Mounted Rifles. The formation of the regiment would entail the amalgamation of four Volunteer Units; Royal D'urban Rangers (1854), Victoria Mounted Rifles (1862), Alexander Mounted Rifles (1865) and Durban Mounted Rifles(1873).[1]

Anglo-Boer War[edit]

The regiment was re-activated in Durban during February and March 1901 for service in the South African War. It was originally called the 2nd Natal Volunteer Composite Regiment but the name was soon changed to Natal Mounted Infantry. The unit was armed and equipped by the Natal Volunteer Department and horsed by the Imperial Remount Department. The first depot was at Dundee, but, on the unit changing its name, this was transferred to Newcastle.[2]

World War I[edit]

At the outbreak of World War I, the regiment became the 3rd Mounted Rifles and was attached to the 8th Mounted Brigade with the Central Force in the German South West African Campaign. On 1 July 1913 the Regiment was re-amalgamated with the Border Mounted Rifles, renamed the 3rd Mounted Rifles (Natal Mounted Rifles) and transferred to the Active Citizen Force of the Union Defence Force.

World War II[edit]

In 1932 the Regiment's name was simplified to The Natal Mounted Rifles and in 1934 it was converted to infantry. The regiment was mounted for 80 years until July 1934 when horses were entirely dispensed with and NMR converted to a machinegun unit. In January 1934 the regiment was re-mustered as an armoured reconnaissance regiment of the 6th South African Armoured Division.

In addition to the campaigns in which its various constituent units fought in before the Regiment's formation, the Natal Mounted Rifles served in the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899–1902), the Zulu Rebellion (1906–1907), World War I (specifically in South-West Africa from 1914 to 1915), World War II (See 1st SA Infantry Division and South Africa's post-war internal conflicts and the South African Border War).[3][4]

Post World War II[edit]

Border War[edit]

Post 1994[edit]

Since the 1994 Democratic Elections, the NMR has undergone several training exercises and continues to recruit members into its ranks. It boasts a Regimental Pipe Band and is affiliated to The King's Own Hussars.

Name change[edit]

In August 2019, 52 Reserve Force units had their names changed to reflect the diverse military history of South Africa.[5] The Natal Mounted Rifles became the Queen Nandi Mounted Rifles, and have 3 years to design and implement new regimental insignia.[6]



NMR Badge Plaque

Regimental mottos:

  • 1888–1913: Just and frank
  • 1913 – Present: Rough but ready

Previous dress insignia[edit]

UDF and SADF eras Natal Mounted Rifles insignia


  •  United Kingdom - affiliated 9 April 1930 to The Queen's Royal Hussars (The Queen's Own and Royal Irish)
  • Glenwood Boys High School affiliated to NMR on 17 February 1936
  • South African School of Armour affiliated to NMR on 21 March 1997
  • Durban Metro Police Equestrian Unit affiliated to NMR on 25 March 2000
  • South African Air Force No.15 (Helicopter) Squadron, Durban, affiliated to NMR

Battle honours[edit]


Natal Mounted Rifles Leadership
From Honorary Colonels To
1900 Col Godfrey T Hurst DSO OBE VD 1901
13 June 2021 Vacant 13 June 2021
From Commanding Officers To
2001 Lt. Col. Donald P Hobson 2002
13 June 2021 Lt. Col. Denis Currie 4 September 2005
4 September 2005 Lt Col Mike Rowe 23/03/2018
23/03/2018 Lt. Col. S. Cele[8] present
From Second in Command To
2004 Maj. F. A. M. van Schaik Present
From Regimental Sergeants Major To
13 June 2021 MWO Bobby Freeman Present



  1. ^ "Ladysmith History and the Boer War". Natal Mounted Rifles. Archived from the original on 6 May 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
  2. ^ "Natal Mounted Infantry". AngloBoerWar.com. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
  3. ^ "Natal Mounted Rifles". SA Armour Association. Archived from the original on 18 September 2012. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  4. ^ Kleynhans, E.P. (2014). Armoured Warfare, The South African Experience in East Africa, 1940-1941 (MMil). Faculty of Military Science, Stellenbosch University. hdl:10019.1/95919.
  5. ^ "New Reserve Force unit names". defenceWeb. 7 August 2019. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  6. ^ "Renaming process has resulted in an Army structure that truly represents SA". IOL. 16 August 2019. Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  7. ^ See 1st SA Infantry Division
  8. ^ Cole, Barbara (26 March 2018). "Sword of command for NMR's Cele". Daily News. Retrieved 4 June 2019.