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Can anyone help decipher some handwriting? 2 months 1 day ago #71281

  • Rory
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Bldgs = Buildings
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Can anyone help decipher some handwriting? 2 months 1 day ago #71282

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As ever, I can see it now. Many thanks, Rory.
Dr David Biggins

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Can anyone help decipher some handwriting? 1 month 4 weeks ago #71341

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Can anyone help with this word please? Inf(antry)?



"conspicuous coolness when in charge of the Maxim gun under a tremendous fire in the attack on Cannon Koppie, this gun being mainly instrumental in repelling the ______ attack by the Boers'.
Dr David Biggins
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Can anyone help decipher some handwriting? 1 month 3 weeks ago #71348

  • LinneyI
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David
Well, "Infantry" is what it LOOKS like, I suppose! The cut you posted appears to be a report to Lt.Col. Hore who was with the Prot. Regt. in Mafeking. Stirling, commenting on the action at Cannon Kopje, 31st October 1899, says amongst other things, that : "After half-an-hours' shelling, the enemy advanced to the attack and our people manned their parapets and got their Maxims up". And that "the casualties among the rank and file fell chiefly upon the BSAP" Although members of the PR also featured in the casualties. . So it very much sounds like the Boer assault was carried out by men on foot. That contention is supported by an entry in "Mafeking, a Diary of the Siege" by Maj. Baillie (p.40) - who specifically refers to the Boer attack at 4.40 AM as being an "infantry attack".
Is it possible that the individual who was reported to Lt.Col. Hore was MiD's or Decorated? Any citation might tell us more.
Best regards
IL.
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Can anyone help decipher some handwriting? 1 month 3 weeks ago #71349

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Thank you, IL.

This is Corporal George Samuel White of the Protectorate Regiment, later SAC. The full text from his attestation paper relating to the action on 31 October 1899 reads:

Noted, 31 October 1899, for 'conspicuous coolness when in charge of the Maxim gun under a tremendous fire in the attack on Cannon Koppie, this gun being mainly instrumental in repelling the infantry attack by the Boers'.

He was made a Corporal on 15 October 1899 and Sergeant 18 December 1899. I cannot see any other recognition of this act. There is no MID for him.

Infantry fits well if they anticipated another attack.
Dr David Biggins

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Can anyone help decipher some handwriting? 1 month 3 weeks ago #71354

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Though it is strange for Boers to be called "infantry", the Times History supports the impression of an infantry attack. The Maxims seem to have made all the difference to the outcome:

"As daylight broke on the last morning in October, Cronje concentrated a very heavy cross-fire with his guns on Cannon Kopje. On the high ground to the south were to be seen several men holding a large number of riderless horses, the riders not being visible and evidently
hidden in the long grass in front of them. As the light became better, from the town men could be seen rising and running forward and dropping in the grass. These were burghers of the Potchefstroom commando, which Cronje had chosen for the attack. During their advance a heavy artillery and rifle fire was directed on the fort, and the telephone connection with headquarters was cut. When they were within 400 yards, the shell fire still continuing, Colonel Walford called to his men to come from shelter and man the parapets. Though standing out practically without cover the little garrison of forty-five men opened with their magazines and two Maxims on the foremost line of Boers, who had hastily dug themselves a shallow trench from which they kept up a vigorous rifle fire, At the same time BadenPowell, perceiving another party advancing more to the south-west, to take the fort in flank, opened fire on them from the town with two 7-pounders under Lieutenant Murchison. It only needed about five minutes of this gun play to check and disperse the enemy. The Boers rose all together out of the long grass, appeared for an instant to hesitate, formed one long thick line in a semi-circular formation round the kopje, and then turned and fled towards their horses."
The past is not dead. In fact, it's not even past.
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