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TOPIC: Elandslaagte

Elandslaagte 6 years 3 months ago #11877

  • djb
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A clasp inscribed "Elandslaagte" will be granted to all troops at Elandslaagte on October 21st, 1899, who were on the right bank of the Sunday River and north of an east and west line through Buys Farm.
Dr David Biggins

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Elandslaagte 5 years 9 months ago #16102

  • Jon
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The QSA is to Private H Stevenson of the Manchester Regiment who was killed at Elandslaagte on 21 October 1899 (as confirmed by the Natal Field Force Casualty Roll, page 152 line 7).
The Manchesters were very much at the front end with their Adjutant being "the first of the attackers to breast the ridge". He wrote "Then we charged again, and again they hooked it and took another position, which we cleared them out of." *

The ABO medal is to Burgher van Tonder of the Johannesburg Commando. He was taken prisoner at Elandslaagte on 21 October 1899 and, per his medal application form, was sent to St Helena and only returned in September 1902 - so a prisoner of war for 3 years.
Although a few Boers surrendered after the crest of the ridge had been rushed the "mass of them mounted their ponies and rode northwards", to be subject to the terrible charge of the 5 Lancers and 5 Dragoons "which now turned the veld into half a mile of butchers shop" *
"The bearing of the prisoners was the same in every case. They seem to have been completely cowed and almost stupified by what they had undergone. The men who a few days previously had entered on the campaign with light hearts, confident ... were brow beaten and dumbfounded by their awful experience at Elandslaagte". +

He would have been one of the captured Boer survivors that "marched through the streets of Ladysmith past crowds of Africans, many of whom were ex-miners from the Rand. "Upi pass, upi pass?" ("Where's your pass, where's your pass") the Africans shouted derisively. .. The Johannesburg Commando had been annihilated." *

* The Boer War by Thomas Pakenham + Times History

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Elandslaagte 5 years 9 months ago #16104

  • Frank Kelley
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Hello Jon,
I am always rather saddened by people who think that the British cavalry did something "terrible or shocking" on the 21st of October 1899, it is, in my opinion, a rather sad and complete lack of understanding as to why they were actually on the battlefield.
What did the enemy think they were there for, just to make it look more interesting on the day in question? :unsure:
No, they were there to kill, wound and seize control, moreover, they were, as always, quite magificent!

I like both your medals in particular the Manchester's, very sort after around here!

Kind regards Frank

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