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The EK1

The South African Engineer Corps under the command of Lieut-Colonel Collins, had the construction, repairs and operating of the railways, the provision of landing and disembarking facilities at Walvis, Swakopmund and Luderitz Bay, the removing of mines laid by the enemy on the line of advance, the providing, conservation, and distribution of water, and the construction of blockhouses along the lines of communication.
Of these the most important duty was the providing of drinking water. From Luderitz Bay to Garup, every gallon of water had either to be carried from Cape Town or condensed from sea water, while for the Eastern Force every gallon had at certain stages of the march to be provided by motor car from wells or bare holes sunk by the Engineers in the desert. For the Northern Force wells had to be dug in the Swakop River bed, pumping machinery provided and troughs to water the thousands of horses and transport animals.
For the technical details of the engineering work reference is directed to the attached valuable paper by Major Beaton on Railway Construction during the campaign 1914-15 (Transactions of the South African Society of Civil Engineers July 1916) which also records the other work besides railway construction. (Note, this paper was no longer attached. C.B.)

These were by line and wireless telegraph, telephone, visual signals, despatch carrying patrols, mounted orderlies, motor car and cycle and message dropping from aeroplane.
In spite of all efforts, the nature of the country and the great distances frequently caused a want of communication at critical times. The 1st Mounted Brigade and the 2nd and the Right Wing 3rd Brigades (see diagram No.6) were out of communication for several days before reaching their objectives. In these cases despatch carrying by motor car proved to be the best means of restoring communication.
The Field Wireless sets that were attached to the outflanking columns were of the pack pattern and very liable to break down. Although the enemy wireless sets, both permanent and mobile, were of much greater power than the Union sets, defects or want of adjustment of their receiving apparatus gave them considerable trouble. It was no unusual occurrence for two enemy stations to be asking for repetition of the message long after the Union operator - twice as far away as the enemy stations were from each other - had taken down the message complete in spite of its being in a foreign language to him.

Medical Services
As the country was very healthy and casualty small, no great demands were made on this service. The provision, however, to meet a heavy casualty at any time was there, and the Mounted Brigade Field Ambulance kept up and sustained the same marching records as the Brigades to which they were attached.
Well built hospitals were found in Swakop, Luderitz Bay, Karibib and Windhuk. The evacuation out of these was to Cape Town by hospital shop.