ABO (Burger P. J. Raats). City Coins November 2007
Saturday, 12 May 1900, saw Commandant Sarel Eloff (a grandson of Pres Kruger) with some 200 men making a last desperate attempt to take Mafeking. They succeeded in penetrating the outer defences of the town and captured the fort in which Colonel Hore had his headquarters. However, the backup and support promised by General Snyman did not materialise. Half of his men managed to escape, but Eloff with 109 officers and men (including Pieter Raatsl had to surrender. That night Eloff was invited to dinner with Baden-Powell.
The official Prisoner-of-War register makes for interesting reading. It contains names such as Capt. Victor Albert Du Framond (French Army), Lt. Carlo Bruno (Italian Navy), Lt. Friedrich Reichard (Germany) and Burghers Antonia Francisco (Oporto, Portugal), Alfred Giradet (Berne, Switzerland), Barend Gyswyt (Leeuwaarden, Holland) and Maurice le Gall (Paris, France). All the PoW’s were sent to St. Helena.
There were only a few well-defined engagements between Boer and Brit during the Siege of Mafeking. The last of these was on 12 May 1900 (5 days before the Relief) when Commandant Sarel Eloff made a surprise attack to finally take the town. His motley Commando, that contained a large percentage of foreign volunteers, penetrated the outer defences of the town and took the fort that was used by Colonel Hore as headquarters. However, the Boer backup force promised by Gen. Snyman, did not turn up. About half of the men managed to get back to the Boer lines, but Eloff and more than 100 officers and men (Including Pieter Raats) had to surrender. That night Eloff, who cut a dashing figure and was a grandson of President Kruger, had dinner with Baden-Powell.