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Last Outpost on the Zulu FrontiersFort Napier and the British Imperial Garrison$
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Graham Dominy

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040047

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040047.001.0001

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The Garrison and the Wider Society

The Garrison and the Wider Society

Placing the “Rough and the Respectable” in the Colonial Context

(p.108) 9 The Garrison and the Wider Society
Last Outpost on the Zulu Frontiers

Graham Dominy

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the reflection of the British military hierarchy in the class relations in settler society by comparing the “respectable” actions of soldiers taking their discharge and becoming settlers with the “rough” actions of drunkenness and desertion. It first considers the garrison's influence in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and in Natal before discussing the social side of the garrison that emphasized class differentiation. It then explores the reinforcement of the colonial “middling” class by the recruitment of respectable soldier-settlers and how the Christian converts of Edendale, the amaKholwa, provided the new reference points for a community attempting to define itself in terms of middle-class respectability. It also looks at the role of drunkenness in acts of indiscipline and low morale among British troops in the garrison at Fort Napier, along with the hunting ideology that fed into broader concepts of masculinity, aggression, and images of warriors. The chapter shows that garrison activities were integral to the wider social and cultural life of settler society in Natal.

Keywords:   garrison, class relations, settler society, drunkenness, desertion, Natal, soldier-settlers, amaKholwa, British troops, British military hierarchy

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