Second Boer War
The 2nd Battalion was stationed in India in 1881 when the North Staffordshire Regiment was formed, and remained there until 1886. During this time period, it took part in an expedition to the Zhob Valley in 1884, thus making it the first battalion in the regiment to see active service. In 1886, it returned to England via Aden, and then deployed to Ireland in 1893. In 1899, 2nd Battalion mobilised and moved to South Africa, where it took part in the Second Boer War. Forming part of 15th Brigade in the 7th Division, the majority of the battalion saw little action throughout the conflict, being mostly occupied in garrison duties in Johannesburg in 1900. In 1901, the battalion was part of a mobile column under Brigadier-General Dartnell in the Eastern Transvaal which carried out a scorched earth campaign, and it also took part in the subsequent blockhouse occupation of the Transvaal.
More action was seen by the mounted infantry company of the regiment that had been formed on arrival in South Africa. In January 1900 Lord Roberts, commander of the British forces in South Africa, ordered that every infantry battalion in South Africa was to raise a company of mounted infantry. These companies were to be detached from their parent units and operate as part of eight independent mounted infantry battalions. The North Staffs company thus formed became part of the 8th Battalion, Mounted Infantry. This unit was involved in the pursuit of Koos de la Rey and was present when he was captured at Wildfontein. The militia and volunteer battalions also saw service in the Second Boer War. The 4th Battalion was deployed in the Cape Colony and later the Bechuanaland Protectorate before being replaced by the 3rd Battalion. Additionally, the two volunteer companies which formed from the 1st and 2nd Volunteer Battalions served alongside the 2nd Battalion at various times. As a result of these contributions and those of the two regular battalions, the regiment was awarded the "South Africa 1900–1902" battle honour.
At the war's end in 1902, the battalion returned briefly to England. In the following year, it returned to India, remaining there until 1919.
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