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TOPIC: Help with the battle[s] of Tabanyama - Bastion Hill, Three Tree Hill, etc

Help with the battle[s] of Tabanyama - Bastion Hill, Three Tree Hill, etc 4 days 11 hours ago #69329

  • Rob D
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I am steadliy making progress researching to write a book on the actions which preceded and immediately followed Spion Kop on the upper Tugela, from 17-26 Jan 1900.
The enormity of loss at Spion Kop means that it is written about as if it's one day in isolation, rather than one disastrous day among several days of continuous fighting, and I'm trying to correct the balance.
The area is large, about 30 sq km of veld; the skyline is known by several names, like Bastion Hill, Childe's Hill, Sugarloaf Hill, Rangeworthy, Tabanyama, Three Tree Hill, Picquet Hill, Connaught Hill etc. I have managed to get hold of most official accounts, and have walked the ground again and again for quite a few years. I've also collected oral histories from local farmers, black and white, and done a fair bit of battlefield archeology, with permission.
But I am still seeking any eyewitness accounts, published or unpublished, in letters, newspapers, or diaries; and also after some individual regimental histories; and also any unpublished images of the area.
I'd be most grateful for any suggestions - don't worry if you suggest something I already have, it'll only reassure me!
many thanks in anticipation.
My email is robdavidson303@gmail.com
Rob
PS: If anyone is visiting those battlefields and I am there, I'd be delighted to assist!
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Help with the battle[s] of Tabanyama - Bastion Hill, Three Tree Hill, etc 3 days 20 hours ago #69332

  • LinneyI
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Rob
That would be a good project. As you say, too much emphasis on the Kop without giving the overall picture. Since the 2nd West Yorks became a "unit of interest" for me, I can suggest you get a modern reprint of "Extract from the Digest of Service of the 2nd Bn., PoWO West Yorkshire Regt.". Between 17-26th January, 1900 it gives an account of events down to individual Coys. and a quite good account (in my opinion) of what it took the sharp- end to qualify for a "Tugela Heights" clasp on their eventual medal. Another publication I do have some reticence of recommending is "A Peep Over the Barleycorn" (In the Firing Line with the PWO WY through to the Relief of Ladysmith"). Obviously, the author, "Jack the Sniper" was there and he is a great raconteur. Nevertheless, sifting the text, it gives a view of the opinions of an experienced Tommy. My reproduced copy of Jack's memoirs came from the N@MPress (no connection apart from buying over the years) and I recall the "Digest of Service" was also available in reproduction form from the same source.
Reading many accounts of the Tugela battles over the years, I have often thought a really informed opinion of the ground from the point of view of an infantryman would assist. Good on you for walking over the actual ground and I hope your planned book comes to fruition.
Regards
IL.

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Help with the battle[s] of Tabanyama - Bastion Hill, Three Tree Hill, etc 3 days 16 hours ago #69335

  • Rob D
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Dear Linneyl,
thank-you very much indeed for both those excellent suggestions - I knew they existed, but hadn't realised they had been re-printed.
Naval & Military Press have both available [and at a discount!] so I have ordered them.
Do please rack your brains for any more suggestions!
thanks again, and best wishes
Rob
email robdavidson303@gmail.com
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