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QSAMIKE

THE FOUNDING OF A REGIMENT - MODERATORS' AWARD CERTIFICATE

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June 26th. 1900:

Following telegram from Sir Redevers Buller dated Headquarters Standerton:-

"Your fine regiment joined my force during the march to Standerton. I am very glad to have them. It is like being with old friends and they are most useful."

June 29th. 1900:

Lord Strathcona replied to Sir Redevers Buller as follows:-

"Much appreciate kind message. Regiment will greatly value your good opinion and being with you; hope may have opportunities showing appreciation and desire to serve the Queen."

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Vlaakfontein,

Transvaal,

6th, July, 1900.

Dear Sir,

Yesterday I was ordered to send Major Snyder and one hundred men to escort Lt. Harper whose troop of "A" in Major Snyder's Squadron was ordered to reinforce "C" Squadron at Greyingstad and they marched at 9:30 a.m. when the fog cleared off. The duty was performed and Major Snyder's on his way back.

I may mention Gen. Cleary sent an officer (Major Roycroft) to command the men of this Corps sent on the duty. Major Snyder was not aware of this when he started so his valuable experience as a scout etc. was lost. It is however fortunate that he did not go. although the action of placing in command an Officer of another regiment and not even of our brigade was unjustifiable in every sense.

The squadron scouting its way back was attacked at different points on the line by a party or parties of about three times their number; the maxim gun killed several and Lt. Ketchen who handled his troop with great skill accounted for at least ten besides some wounded carried off.

Six men of your corps were ordered by Major Roycroft to take a position on a kopje a mile from support. and that officer as you will observe by Major Snyder's report would not permit any attempt to be made to permit them to retire. Thus all splendid men were left in the lurch. Heavy firing was heard from them and their enemies as the poor fellows deserted by no fault of their own officers or comrades defended themselves no doubt against odds. They are still missing, but an effort is being made to get them or their remains.

If this had not happened the Regiment would have good cause for congratulation; the men behaved admirably. When Thornycroft's corps was ordered out I went with all the men in camp (35) and placed them with the supports, but unfortunately they did not require it. The men missing had been left long before that. Two (2) black scouts working on our left were wounded. Three other men who went without leave beyond the outposts are missing.

To-day 70 of the regiment are the escort of Gen. Buller with Thornycroft's Corps, and 80 will escort him from here to Botha's Kraal, a place some tem miles from here. I send you the official report of the day. Since I commenced this letter the men absent without leave have returned. They were attacked by a number of Boers and had to take refuge on a kopje where they were forced to remain all night. No tidings yet of the six left behind yesterday.

Hoping to have better news next time I write, I am,

Respectfully yours,

(Signed) S. B. STEELE,

Rt. Hon. Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal.

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WATERVAL DRIFT

16th. July. 1900

My dear Sir,

The Regiment at present is divided up in detachments but will be concentrated to-morrow, excepting 40 men at Standerton, 60 at Watervaal Bridge and Station, and 50 at Grout Spruit. I left Greylingstadt on the 12th, instant with one Squadron and Headquarters accompanying Lord Dundonald's brigade in advance of Lt. Gen. Cleary's division en-route to the North-East. We were in support of the guns and early were fired upon but the enemy was driven off. We halted at Platkop farm that night and marched the next morning as advance guard. The right of the advance was under Major Sangeneister of the Border Mounted Rifles. We proceeded cautiously for some time but finally ascended the kopje and received a volley from a large force of Boers concealed on the hill. His horse and those of four of the Strathcona's were shot and the five, including the Major, taken prisoners. Two men, Pvtes. Robinson and Dodd were wounded. We recovered them that night from where they were left in a farm house. The Boers took all of their personal property, gold watches, money etc. etc. They were not dangerously wounded.

A change of direction of the Column was ordered at this time on account of the guides misunderstanding the route intended at first; consequently, there was great danger incurred. Time was not sufficient to let the flank and the advance party swing around. I was ordered to move the reserve to the front of the Column which had already changed. On passing over to my place we got under a flanking fire from a party of the enemy on our proper front. I placed the horses under cover though one hundred men dismounted to the flank, which was smartly done by the men, and opened fire. The enemy was driven off without loss to us, but if the cover had not been smartly taken we would have suffered seriously. I sent scouts to where the Major was taken and in other directions. The work was done with great intelligence, each scout being able to clearly explain the whole situation. They were all several times under hot fire.

Lord Dundonald then advanced on the kopje with us in front. Artillery fire caused the enemy to retire to the right rear of their position. The brigade followed and came in contact with them near Holgat Fontein (a farm) and two of Thornycroft's M.I. and the R.H.A. were wounded. The enemy had 4 guns and a Vickers Maxim or Pom-Pom. We suffered none but if further to the right rear might. The enemy's shells went over us. We eventually retreated and we went into camp at Platkop (a farm).

The next morning, the 14th., T.M.I. was in turn to furnish the advance guard and the advance being troubled by the smoke of veldt fires burning on all sides was closer than usual. We were in support of the guns. The advance, and in fact the whole of us, got under rifle and Pom-Pom fire and two of T.M.I. were wounded and a horse killed. Our men took position on the ridge except four with the horses, but had not to fire to much. The enemy fell back after a heavy fire of artillery was brought to bear. We encamped at Holgat Fontein farm the same night. Major Sangeneister sent me news of the strength of the Boers, viz., 800 men and five guns on each occasion. Our force was only 500 all told and we might have made a capture.

The men were perfectly cool all the time and left nothing to be desired.

We are likely to march to-morrow having come here yesterday when our men formed the advance and left, surprises quite impossible.

Major Laurie and Lt. Stevenson are still in hospital. All the rest of the officers are well. Major Snyder and Jarvis, and all but some four officers, show good ability and energy. Major Belcher is of course capable in every way, plucky and careful.

Lord Dundonald is much pleased with the gun detachment and our armourer. The scouting was perfect and the loss on the missing is not the fault of the men. They obeyed the Major and he was apparently right at the time.

I will send the usual detailed report.

I hope your lordship is quite well and that the regiment will be able to prove themselves the right stuff.

Yours respectfully,

(Signed) S. B. STEELE

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S T R A T H C O N A ' S H O R S E

Leeuw Spruit

July 20th., 1900.

Sir: -

Since I last reported at Standerton we have been almost continually on the march. On the 1st of July, the second day out, whilst the regiment was on the advance, the enemy was discovered near Watervaal and a sharp skirmish ensued between our flankers and the Boers. It appears that on this occasion our men were fired upon at close range from a house flying the white flag. In this fight we lost one fine young fellow, Pte. Jenkins, who enlisted at Pincher Creek. He was shot and instantly killed. Capt. Howard, evidently mistaking the Boers for our men walked right into them and was taken prisoner. Pte. Hobson is also missing. The Brigade reached Greylingstad the following day and camped for two or three days. It was arranged here that 150 of the regiment should remain while the balance should go with the Division to Vlaakfontein some 12 or 14 miles on towards Heidlburg. We marched on the 4th, has a small skirmish and reached the place the same night. On our arrival at Vlaakfontein it was found necessary to reinforce our force left at Greylingstadt and on the 5th 50 men were send back protected by 100 men of ours under an Imperial Officer to return the same night. The fifty were seen safely through but on the return the Boers showed some strength and our men found some difficulty in getting through. A rapid retreat was ordered by the Officer in charge, [in spite of the remonstrances of Major Snyder] and we [consequently lost] had 6 men missing. The men had been sent to a distant kopje and could not get back.

Whilst at Vlaakfontein, "C" Squadron left at Greylingstadt were sent a few miles further back on the line to protect the railway bridge there and while patrolling on the 6th, Corp. Lee was shot and killed. About this time the draft under Lt. Anderson reached Standerton. About the 6th whilst acting as advance to the South African Light Horse, some 18 miles North East of Standerton they came in contact with a considerable force of the enemy and although they succeeded in driving the Boers from the position they lost in so doing 2 men taken prisoners and 3 wounded.

The remainder of the regiment returned to Greylingstad for the purpose of reinforcing the Garrison there but two days after we were joined by the 2nd Division under General Clery and started to march north. Since then we have been fighting nearly every day, meeting the enemy on two occasions with guns. The second day out the Regiment formed the advance and covered the flanks and rear of the column. A party of "A" Squadron were sent out to the right flank under Major Sangeneisten of the Border Mounted Rifles. This officer with four of the Regt. had their horses shot and taken prisoners. Two others were wounded.

We halted here for the day, but are under orders to move again tomorrow.

The work we are doing is very hard on the horses, there being only two mounted corps in the Brigade. We have our turn for duty every other day. The Canadian horses are standing it very well but we have had to have a second supply of Argentines. Members of the Imperial Guides, men who know the country well and who have gone right through the war, say that the Canadian horses are the best in South Africa to-day. Of course we know this to be the case.

Being under fire more or less every day has raised the men's spirits immensely. They have shown a good deal of daring and boldness in their work, but the circumstances in my opinion call for it, as without the enemy could not be discovered and the column often exposed to dangers.

Our next move will probably be northward in the direction of Bethel to operate on the flanks of the Boers. Those who seem to know are of opinion that the war will last at least 2 months. The Boers have possession of the railway throughout Portuguese Territory and have a good supply of ammunition.

I am very well pleased with the draft sent out, and with the horses brought with them.

Lt. Ketchen owing to urgent private affairs in England has asked for a leave of absence. He is a very good officer and will explain to you his reasons for leaving soon.

I was obliged to send Regtl. Sergeant Major Steele to Standerton some days ago. He received a strain which makes it impossible for him to ride. However, he will be useful there in looking after our supplies etc. Being without a Base has rather handicapped us in the matter of supplies, but we are doing very nicely.

I am advised that Mr. Taylor has sent out a lot of hats, but we are going to try and get along with our present ones until we get on the other railway where we will be able to get them up.

Since I last reported the following men of the regiment have died: -

Regt. No. 509, Pte. Jenkins, Killed in Action

" " 332, Corpl. Lee, Killed in Action

" " 171, Pte. Banks, Enteric Fever

" " 321, Pte. Cottrell, " "

" " 483, Pte. McNicholl, " "

I am,

Yours respectfully

(Signed) S. B. STEELE, Lt. Col.

Commanding "Strathcona's Horse"

Strathcona's Horse

Leeuw Spruit

July 20th, 1900.

Dear Lord Strathcona,

Your favour of the 1st., June has just come to hand, and with reference to the first paragraph I beg to say that as already reported the "Mohawk", "Maplemore", and the "Chicago"' only formed the advance of the regiment proceeding to Natal and Kosi River on an expedition, the object of which I have already reported to you.

The above transports sailed on the 25th May, but I did not cable you until the 28th, the day Headquarters left on the "Wakool" and "Columbia", on that day I sent you the following cable: - "We leave for Natal To-Day", but the censor, when it was presented, altered it so to read "We leave for the front to-day". This it appears did not reach you either, although I had the assurance of the censor that it would be sent.

The only communication I have had with General Hutton out here was a telegram sent through the Base Commandant at Cape Town asking for volunteer scouts from this regiment, to serve under Charles Ross, a North West Scout. The men, thinking that they would be transferred from the regiment and be separated, refused to volunteer. [Besides, I think that in the minds of some there was an undercurrent of feeling against Ross. Who although he mat be a very good scout, is a man of very poor reputation in the North West].

I am sending you by concurrent mail a report as to our late movements.

I am,

Yours respectfully,

(Signed) S. B. STEELE, Lt. Col.

Commanding "Strathcona's Horse"

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The Right Honourable Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal,

High Commissioner for Canada,

17, Victoria Street, London, England

Greylingstad,

25th July, 1900.

Dear Lord Strathcona,

The Regiment is still with Lord Dundonald's 3rd Mounted Brigade, General Clery's column. We are in ignorance of our further movements. The war is by no means over. No military man here thinks that it can end in less than three months. We are proving every day that we are good scouts and well disciplined, but all are anxious to get further north.

With regard to Gen. Hutton I have had no correspondence with him, nor have I said or done anything that should prejudice him against the corps. I should think he would have been very glad to have them under his command. Men just as capable as Gen Hutton or anyone in the service have the opinion that the regiment is the finest that has yet appeared upon the scene. I have no doubt about it myself. The only one that can in any way be compared with them as scouts and horsemen are the second Bttn. Canadian Mounted Rifles, composed of one half N.W.M. Police and the other half men from the stock districts of Alberta. There are a few men who ought not to be in the corps, but strict discipline keeps them in order. No one can avoid getting men who have made a mistake in joining, such men thought war was a picnic.

Hoping that your Lordship is enjoying good health,

I am,

Yours Respectfully,

(Signed) S. B. STEELE,

Edited by QSAMIKE

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Rt. Hon. Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal,

17, Victoria Street,

London, England.

Greylingstad

July 26th, 1900

My Lord,

At the conclusion of this war there will be some of the members of the Corps desiring to join the Police Force now being formed in the Transvaal and Orange River country. They have the opportunity of doing so now but have joined your Lordship's Regiment and considering that they are in honour bound to remain with it until the end of the campaign, they will not leave. This is of course the proper spirit. I would respectfully suggest to your Lordship that if at that time any of them wish to enroll in the Police that the Military Authorities be requested to give them an opportunity of doing so.

There are three officers who wish to be appointed to Commissions in the Police, but prefer to stay with the Regiment until the war is ended.

They are very capable men, and should, if appointed, obtain at least captaincies. They are: -

Major Snyder

Lieut. Harper

Lieut. Fall

Major Snyder has 15 years experience in the North West Mounted Police. Lieut. Harper has 20 years experience in that force, 13 of which he held a commission. Lieut. Fall belongs to the Canadian Militia and is a good man of good standing in his community and is one of the best officers in the Regiment.

Major Snyder and Lieut. Harper have been Magistrates for some years past and Lieut. Harper was Sheriff of the Yukon for two years.

If your Lordship could do anything for these gentlemen, I am sure they would be very grateful for it.

I have the honour to be,

My Lord,

Your obedient servant,

(Signed) S. B. STEELE, Lt. Col.

Commanding, "Strathcona's Horse"

Edited by QSAMIKE

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The Right Hon. Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal

17, Victoria Street,

London, England

Paardekop,

4th August, 1900.

Dear Lord Strathcona,

I received to-day your kind favour of the 5th ulto. which gave me great pleasure and encouragement. Sir Redvers Buller was very kind to send such a flattering cable to you. Your reply gives me much pleasure.

We arrived here yesterday on our march from the North. The troops are concentrating here for an important move. Gen. Rundle's division and another, all under Sir Redvers Buller will make a long march North some day through Swaziland. Lord Dundonald's brigade consists now of the South African Light Horse, the Strathcona's, "A" Battery, R.H.A., and three other corps, now enroute from the South. We guarded the train all the way from Greylingstadt, a very considerable responsibility, the supply column being at least three miles in length. From Standerton to here it was increased by the addition of one hundred mule teams. I put out a very strong rear guard and it was fortunate that I did so for the right rear was threatened by a couple of hundred of the enemy who seeing the rear guard did not venture to attack, but satisfied themselves with firing (without effect) upon our flankers. Poor Sergt. Parker who wrote you re his commission was killed on the 29th. He was with 18 men under Lt. White-Fraser sent by the Commandant at Watervaal Bridge to get the arms of some Boers who sent in word by two others that they wished to surrender, but preferred the others to think that they were taken prisoner. This was a "ruse de guerre". The men went out with two black scouts and at the house named the two blacks and Parker, who were sent on in advance were shot dead, and Pte. Arnold dangerously wounded from fire of about seventy Boers behind a breastwork near the house, which by the way, had a white flag flying. The Boers are a very treacherous people, and unfortunately are trusted too much. They are allowed into the camps to sell stuff on any excuse as long as they have passes to show they have given up their arms and taken the oath. These are their spies and so are the women. One of the latter near hear is reported to have employed her black servant to cut the telephone line. I quite believe it. Pte. Arnold was brought in and his wound was a severe one. He may lose his leg. Sgt. Parker was a dead shot, but rash. He had killed two of the enemy a few days ago at a very long range when he and one of the men were surrounded. He forced the enemy to retire. Both of the men killed on this sort of duty in "C" Squadron were ex officers of the army. The regiment continues to work well. Their scouting is excellent. The papers have, in Canada, said things against the horses of the Corps, purchased by Dr. McEachran. All of it is untrue, very few of the horses have died; they are the best in this army - everyone wants them. They are a good advertisement. I have already used up and received at least four hundred Argentines and others since I left the Cape, while only three or four Canadians have succumbed. They are really very fine and much more intelligent than many others.

We expect to march tomorrow and hope we shall do good work. We did not blow up the bridge. It was considered too difficult an operation, the enemy having got information of our movements.

The correspondent is Richmond Smith, who went out for the Star, with the 1st contingent, and then wrote of our presence with the other Canadians at Bloemfontein. It is a pity that such statements are made!

Hoping that you are enjoying good health, I am,

Respectfully yours,

(Signed) S. B. STEELE

Edited by QSAMIKE

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Think that this section from the August 4th 1900 letter / report is quite interesting.......

Poor Sergt. Parker who wrote you re his commission was killed on the 29th. He was with 18 men under Lt. White-Fraser sent by the Commandant at Watervaal Bridge to get the arms of some Boers who sent in word by two others that they wished to surrender, but preferred the others to think that they were taken prisoner. This was a "ruse de guerre". The men went out with two black scouts and at the house named the two blacks and Parker, who were sent on in advance were shot dead, and Pte. Arnold dangerously wounded from fire of about seventy Boers behind a breastwork near the house, which by the way, had a white flag flying. The Boers are a very treacherous people, and unfortunately are trusted too much. They are allowed into the camps to sell stuff on any excuse as long as they have passes to show they have given up their arms and taken the oath. These are their spies and so are the women. One of the latter near hear is reported to have employed her black servant to cut the telephone line.

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The Right Hon. Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal

17, Victoria Street,

London, England

Paards Kop,

August 5th, 1900.

Dear Lord Strathcona,

"A" and "B" Squadrons of the Corps have been almost continually on the march for the last month. We had a couple of days halt at Greylingstad on the way back from Vlaakfontein on the 9th ulto. but on the 11th we were rejoined by the Brigade and the 2nd Division under General Clery. On the 12th the Division marched North coming in touch with the enemy almost at once. The day after we set out and while the Regiment was on the advance our flankers on the right came on a large body occupying a strong position on what is called Lone Tree Hill. Major Sangeneister of the Border Mounted Rifles attached to your Regiment was in charge of the troop on this flank and it appears that he was rather in-cautious in approaching the position with the result that he himself fell into the hands of the enemy together with four of my men whilst two were wounded - the names will be found in the casualty returns enclosed. Almost simultaneously with this affair on the flank the main body of the advance drew the enemy fire from the front. Very hot firing ensued and at comparatively short range. The guns of the Royal Horse Artillery ("A" Battery), The Colt Battery S.A.L.H., Thornycroft's Mounted Infantry, and Strathcona's Horse with the Pom-Pom were engaged. The enemy were driven out of their position and followed until sundown.

The object of this march was to allow the Railway to be opened through to Johannesburg. This was apparently accomplished by the time we reached Leenspruit, near Standerton on the 19th, as after a day's halt here we returned to Greylingstad taking a route closer to the railway. During the whole of this march we were subjected to the sniping of the Boers and occasionally met them in force with guns. We were joined at Watervaal by the draft under Lieut. Adamson. I was very much pleased with their appearance and their conduct since has proved them to be a good class of men and interested in the work.

We reached Greylingstad on the 24th., and marched for Zwickerbosch Spruit on the 26th. halting for one night at Vlaakfontein. The following day General Cooper's 4th Infantry Brigade marched for Heidelburg and "B" Squadron were detailed to accompany him. In the meantime, the 3rd Mounted Brigade received orders to proceed to Paardekop to join General Buller in his proposed advance on the 29th., we marched back picking up "C" Squadron at Watervaal Bridge. Lord Dundonald, commanding the Brigade, having left for Johannesburg on the 29th., I was in command until we reached Standerton on the 1st. We reached here on Friday and "B" Squadron joined us yesterday, so we are all together again.

I wish to supplement my report by telling you what "C" Squadron has been doing at Watervaal Bridge during the month it has been on duty here. This is a very important post on account of the large bridge that crosses the Vaal River here, and there are some very good positions some miles to the North and South occupied by the Boers. The patrols have been subjected to the fire of the enemy every day they were out, and have been doing very good work indeed. Two unfortunate affairs occurred here. On in which Corp. Lee was killed and which has already been reported to you. The other occurred on the 30th., ulto., under the following circumstances:

Two Boers came in in the morning and reported that a large number of the enemy were some four miles to North ready to surrender but were afraid to come in and wanted someone to go out and meet them. The Commandant of the post immediately detailed 17 men of Strathcona's Horse under Lieut. White-Fraser. The troop reached a point a short distance from the house which was flying a white flag when they were fired upon. Sergt. Parker and Private Arnold were in advance of the troop and had got within a few yards of the house. They were called upon to surrender and refusing were shot. Sergt. Parker was killed and Private Arnold lies in Hospital at Standerton in rather a critical condition, the bullet which hit him being an explosive one.

The men of the regiment have conducted themselves in a satisfactory and intelligent manner. Lord Dundonald commanding the Brigade has expressed himself so to me and thinks the corps a very fine one.

I have the honor to be, Sir,

Your obedient servant,

(Signed) S. B. STEELE, Lt. Col.

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Copy of paragraph in the "Times":-

"The Queen has been graciously pleased to signify her intention to confer the decoration of the Victoria Cross on Sergeant Arthur Herbert Lindsey Richardson of Lord Strathcona's Corps, who claims have been submitted for Her Majesty's approval, for his conspicuous bravery at the action at Wolve Spruit.

On July 5th. at Wolve Spruit, about 15 miles north of Standerton, a party of Lord Strathcona's Corps, only 38 in number, came into contact, and was engaged at close quarters, with a force of 80 of the enemy. When the order to retire had been given Sergeant Richardson rode back under a very heavy cross-fire and picked up a trooper whose horse had been shot and who was wounded in two places and rode with him out of fire. At the time when this act of gallantry was performed Sergeant Richardson was within 300 yards of the enemy and was himself riding a wounded horse."

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The Right Hon. Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal

17, Victoria Street,

London, England

TWYFREAAR COURT

August 16th, 1900.

Dear Lord Strathcona,

I have been notified that Her Majesty wishes to have representatives of the different Colonial Corps now serving in South Africa parade before her at the termination of the war. In the regiment there are 26 officers and 459 men who desire to return home to Canada via England, and to take part in the review before Her Majesty.

I do not know how many will be permitted to go to England, but perhaps your Lordship would be able to ascertain from Horse Guards.

The great majority of the men are Canadians by birth and I think in a case of this kind they should be given first chance.

I would be obliged if your Lordship would let me know as soon as convenient.

We started our advance Northward on the 7th inst. The enemy was entrenched with guns in the Rooi Kopjes, not far off, and it was intended to take these and occupy Amersfoort that day.

The 3rd Mounted Brigade covered the left and left flank of the advance and Strathcona's Horse formed the advance guard of the Brigade. The regiment had a very trying time of it as it was found necessary to change the front so often that the advance guard sometimes became the flanking patrols. In fact, at one time so many were out screening the Brigade that only one troop remained with headquarters. The object was carried out and "B" Squadron marched through Amersfoort and had picquets placed on the heights before the Army arrived. The losses in the Infantry were 25 wounded, 2nd Cavalry Brigade 5 wounded, our own 1 man, Regl.No. 304, Pte. Menteth, W.E.S., shot in the face and jaw. The men behaved splendidly displaying great caution.

On account of grass fires the baggage and supplies did not arrive until the following morning, and we halted for the day. On Thursday the regiment again found the advance guard covering, with the 3rd Mtd. Brigade, the right and right front of the advance. There was heavy firing on this flank all day. One of the Imperial Guides attached to the Brigade being shot. The Pom-Pom under Lt. Magee did excellent work, killing four of the enemy. Two others were also killed by our rifle fire. 4 prisoners were taken. Lt. Pooley's troop did good work with his troop in driving a party of Boers who had taken shelter in a donga. We had a long march back to camp and the next day were kept in reserve. The next day in marching Begin-der-lyn we experienced a South African dust storm. One Squadron under orders from Lord Dundonald was sent forward to seize Ermelo, if possible. This was done. The telegraph and other public offices were taken possession of the posts established in the town under Major Jarvis. The army did not arrive until the day after. The town is a very pretty place and a good many of the people seemed to be well disposed and all viewed our men with considerable curiosity, being the first Canadian troops they had seen. The Brigade halted here on Sunday. Monday night was spent at Klipstapel, the source of the Vaal River. Tuesday was another interesting day for the regiment. About noon Lord Dundonald ordered me to send a squadron and one troop of "A" to go forward and search the town of Carolina. I sent Major Belcher in command. He was fired upon from stone walls close to the town. He advanced the men in skirmishing order, drove the enemy out of the position and through the town. The place was held long enough to allow the Provost Marshal to complete the work of searching. The contents of the magazine were blown up before leaving, and a lot of ammunition and two prisoners taken. Three of the men on the right flank arrived in the town after the squadron had withdrawn and were forced to stay there owing to the darkness and the condition of their horses. They pretended to the inhabitants, who were mostly hostile, that they were part of a big force which had surrounded the town. Before leaving in the morning they succeeded in getting a lot of valuable information as to the whereabouts of the enemy, the number of guns in their possession, etc. Our force had been fired upon by the enemy to cover the withdrawal of a number of wagons belonging to General Prinsloo's train. They also learned that a Field Cornet had been shot by our men in the afternoon affair.

One man, Regl. No. 30, Pte. Nicks, Jno., was shot through the lungs in the afternoon but will recover.

We are to remain here four or five days waiting for supplies before continuing the advance.

I am,

Yours very truly,

(Signed) S. B. STEELE

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VLUCKSFONTEIN

August 31st. 1900.

From Lt. Leckie,

Strathcona Horse

To Officer Commanding

Strathcona Horse

Sir,

I have the honor to report that yesterday I went with 6 men to obtain information with regard to the movements of the enemy and of the released prisoners.

I left the regiment on the heights North of Nooitgedacht. The descent into the valley is very abrupt but I found a trail over which we could lead our horses. Horses had been brought over this trail a short time previously. There is a drop of about 2000 feet to the valley.

My first intention was to go to Nooitgedacht if possible, but was informed by a Kaffir that there were Boers there and along the line to Watervaal Ouder. He said that they had chased him and his horse showed signs of hard riding.

We hid our horses and I took one man with me and we went on carefully until I could get a good view of the country. We got up high in the direction of Watervaal Ouder and parties of the enemy could be seen riding along the road to Nooitgedacht and Watervaal Ouder. They seemed to have small parties stationed at different points on the road. I could see no guns or wagons in Nooitgedacht. I could see about 150 men drawn up in fair order apparently waiting for some movement.

At 5.p.m. a train came into Nooitgedacht from the East. Some men rode up to it and then 50 of them rode off Eastward. I could see no guns or wagons there.

At 6.30 the train was run into the station which is concealed by trees. The remainder of the troops rode off to the East and in a few minutes flames were seen about the station. I am of the opinion that either the train or the station was set on fire, possibly both.

As it was then dusk I took my men to Steyn's farm near the line. The house was surrounded and entered but no one found but two women, two children and a kaffir.

Double sentries were put on and we spent the night there. A party of Boers were camped at a section house across the river from us. They were on the move all night.

At daybreak we left Steyn's Farm and made for the railway. The wagon road runs beside it to Watervaal Ouder. We followed it on to Watervaal Ouder, arriving there at 9.a.m. I could see no damage done to the railway on the way. No persons were seen and I heard no shots fired.

We reached Watervaal Ouder at the same time as a party of French's Scouts who came from the North. They returned to camp about three miles to the North and we followed. A few shots were fired to the East of the town but I could see no signs of the enemy.

I reported to General Buller at Gen. Pole-Carew's camp and then came on here, reaching camp about 7.p.m.

The released prisoners were escorted to Watervaal Ouder by parties of Boers.

The prisoners report that about 2000 Boers passed through the town going to the Eastward. Within the past few days. They had six or seven guns, but no big ones. There were numbers of wagons and a lot of women and children.

President Kruger and Mr. Steyn passed through two days ago.

The imprisoned officers with a few exceptions and some of the Yeomanry were taken to Barberton.

The wagon road to Nooitgedacht, excepting one or two places is in good condition.

I have the honor to be, Sir,

Your obedient servant,

(Signed) J. E. LECKIE, Lt.

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The Right Hon. Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal

17, Victoria Street,

London, England

BADFONTEIN,

September 3rd. 1900.

Dear Lord Strathcona,

My last report was dated the 16th. ult., from Turffelaar.

On the 17th. the regiment was on duty and supplied the outposts for the protection of the camp. Some firing occurred and No. 1 picquet but there were no casualties.

The army marched on the 21st., the 3rd. Mtd. Brigade covering the right and rear. The 2nd Cavalry Brigade with the Gordon Highlanders suffered rather severely, the Gordon's losing 4 killed and 9 wounded.

The force halted at Van Wyks Vley and remained there for the 21st. and 22nd.

On the 23rd. we marched to Gelutt, the Brigade covering the right and rear. The S.A.L.H. had 4 wounded and the Liverpool's 80 killed, wounded or missing. The regiment picqueted the kopjes to the right rear of the camp.

The next day a heavy artillery fire took place between the enemy's guns and ours, some of the shells bursting in camp. The enemy also directed a very heavy Pom-Pom fire and rifle fire on the S.A.L.H., picqueting the rocky kopje to the right rear. In the afternoon the fire was so hot on this kopje that 2 guns of the Royal Horse Artillery were unable to reply and remained undercover until dark.

On the 26th. the force marched towards Machadodorp. The regiment had to cover the movement on the right rear, occupying six trenches which had been held by the Infantry the day before.

A continual fire was kept up between us and the enemy from dawn until 5 o'clock in the afternoon, when Lord Dundonald ordered up Field and Machine guns to enable us to withdraw, which was done very well. Only No. 1 picquet had any casualties, 4 being wounded, though not dangerously, in withdrawing. We then moved into camp at Vogelstruitpoort, arriving long after dark.

All day the main column was heavily engaged on the right where the enemy held a strong position several thousand yards in extent. The artillery and rifle fire was of a very heavy character and continued until after dark.

The following day the regiment guarded the left rear and left flank of the column which moved very slowly to Bergendal. The fight of the previous day was resumed and towards night the infantry under cover of the artillery carried the position of the enemy at the point of the bayonet. Our losses, principally in the Rifle Brigade, was 85, 14 being killed.

Due credit must be given to the enemy for their tenacious defence.

On the 28th. our Brigade covered the advance the regiment supporting the Royal Horse Artillery. The movement to the front was rapid and about ten miles from camp we came in contact with the enemy. The regiment was under shell fire and was employed dismounted in moving from our position to another which finally resulted in the village of Machadodorp being carried by "A" Squadron under Captain Cartwright.

The regiment was assembled in the village while the rest of the Brigade moved to the next ridge. We then pushed forward supporting the advance and remaining close to the front undercover.

A very heavy artillery fire was kept up by the enemy and our own guns. The casualties in the regiment amounted to two slightly wounded by a shell. We were very fortunate in having so few.

The following day it was our duty to cover the advance of the Brigade which was the advance guard of the army.

The work was well done by every squadron sent out. "B" Squadron, under Major Jarvis, moved over the mountain range in front, which had been occupied by the Boers the previous day, and it was supposed that they were there still. They were supported by troops of the other squadrons, some of which entered the village of Helvetia before any other troops arrived, except a small patrol party of General French.

At this time our advance troops were two miles beyond the town.

The regiment was assembled here and took the right hand road towards Watervaalboven, "C" Squadron in advance. The leading troop was under rifle fire for a time but reconnoitred towards Watervaal Onder and Watervaal Boven, until General French came up. We then returned to Helvetia and encamped.

On the 30th. a portion of the army marched to Nooitgedacht, S.A.L.H. in advance. We halted on the heights some distance from the station and found that the British prisoners who had been at a laager at this place were released, and were streaming along the railway towards Watervaal Ouder.

Lieut. Leckie was sent to reconnoitre the town of Nooitgedacht and to communicate the fact to General French that the Brigade was on the heights. He took six men. The work was well done and Lt. Leckie and two of the men will get honourable mention. I enclose a copy of his report which pleased Gen. Buller very much. Lt. Leckie met General Buller who expressed his satisfaction with the work well done.

The country was very rough resembling parts of the rocky mountains, though not so lofty, but nearly so.

The General's object having been effected the Brigade returned as far as Vlucktfontein and halted there the next day.

On the 1st. inst. we commenced the march on Lydenburg, the 3rd Mtd. Brigade covering the front with the regiment in advance of the Brigade.

We came in contact with the enemy at Crocodile River. The Pom-Pom was brought up and the Boers pressed back.

We halted here for the night to enable the rest of the army to catch up. During the day the flankers of the corps captured several prisoners and gained valuable information regarding the enemy's movements which has since proven correct.

Yesterday the army was ordered to continue the march. The 3rd. Mtd. Brigade was again in advance with the S.A.L.H. in front. Strathcona's Horse moved in support of the guns. The Brigade, under Lord Dundonald, successfully reconnoitred the enemy's position, the Boers being forced to develop their strength. It is considered one of the best pieces of work of its kind in the campaign.

During the day we were exposed to one of the heaviest artillery fires of the war, as many as 300 high velocity shells falling.

Fortunately only one in the regiment was wounded. The Royal Horse Artillery has two men wounded and 19 horses, the 4th Division Mounted Infantry, one killed and 4 wounded, and the S.A.L.H. one man wounded.

The object having been attained the Brigade returned to camp after dark when the artillery fire ceased.

I have to report that the conduct of the men since my last report (under fire) has been admirable.

I have been informed that some of the men on baggage guard in the rear have been guilty of looting but so far I have not been able to get the names of the delinquents. I have, however, issued strict orders to prevent such a thing in future and have placed an officer and non-commissioned officer in charge of the men on duty in the rear.

Properly speaking it is not for me to say much about the behaviour of the regiment but I am satisfied that when you hear more from those higher in authority you will be pleased with the conduct on the whole.

I have the honour to be,

My Lord,

Your obedient servant,

(Signed) S. B. STEELE, Lt. Col.

Commanding, "Strathcona's Horse"

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OMG I forgot to post the reports...... Here they are all caught up......

Mike

 

SPITZKOP

12th. September, 1900

Dear Lord Strathcona,

We have been very busy ever since we marched from Badfontein, where I wrote my last report of our doings. Sergt. Brothers Logan and six men were killed and one man wounded. The men were out to the right to take post on a hight some thousands of yards off. So many killed with each small arms and there being Boer shells within a few feet creates the impression that any wounded were shot dead in cold blood. The infantry had to take the height. Since that we have been in Lydenburg and reached here yesterday after a constant fight over lofty mountains and being under heavy rifle, shell and machine gun fire for four days.

Sir R. Buller complimented us highly two days ago at Devils Knuckles where we advanced under fire and seized positions which were afterwards occupied by our guns. We had seven horses shot and two men wounded. Captured an ammunition wagon; a crane or gym for raising big guns and forcing the enemy to withdraw. All of the men have behaved well. Our horses are in a bad plight as the railway is not able to carry them any food. We carried the left of this position yesterday and saw the enemy in full retreat on Pilgrims Rest. A flag of truce was sent out by Botha to-day. We have not seen the bearer yet. It is to be hoped that this will end the war.

The men are in good spirits and admirable in their conduct, of which I as sure your lordship will be glad. The fighting has been as heavy as any in the war. Great experience has saved the troops from heavy losses such as took place at other times during the war. We have had a good many casualties from the beginning of our march, and the men need no longer complain of inactivity.

I hope you are enjoying good health and that some members of the Strathcona's at least will have the pleasure of being seen by your lordship.

Yours faithfully,

(Signed) S. B. STEELE

 

S T R A T H C O N A ' S H O R S E

Spitz Kop

Sept. 14th. 1900

Dear Lord Strathcona,

The following is taken from the Regimental Diary and covers the period from the date of my last report.

Badfontein,

Tuesday,

Sept. 4th, 1900

The Regiment was ordered to place picquets on the high ridge to the right of the camp. The orders were transmitted to Captain Cameron who commanded the outposts on the left flank.

Lieut. Leckie was sent to occupy a post on the high ridge to the right and Sergt. Logan, it appears, was sent with a section to a post on the same ridge still further to the front. Lieut. Leckie succeeded in getting to the ground, but found the enemy in considerable force. He then sent in to say that in order to hold the place support would be necessary. Lord Dundonald then ordered two troops of the Regiment to go out to his support.

In the meantime it was reported that Sergt. Logan and three men were missing. Pte. McDuff one of his men, who remained some distance in rear returned to camp with this information.

Two troops were ordered to carry out Lord Dundonald's orders, but unfortunately Lieut. Kirkpatrick, who was the Officer in Charge did not carry out the instructions which had been given to him through Major Jarvis and advanced to the rocky kopje which had been the cause of Sergt. Logan's party being missing, with the result that the troops became entangled among the snipers. Sergt. Brothers and Pte. Cruickshank were found to be missing. The troops were forced to return to camp. In the meantime Lieut. Leckie had to retire from his post.

During the morning Sergt. Nelles and the scouts were sent out to examine the country to the right front and to take a sketch of it. He was also to see it if was possible for the enemy to place guns on the right front. A report was made that it was possible to mount guns and it looked as though they were doing so on the point to the extreme front of the ridge to right of camp. Private Garner of the scouts was wounded in three places but not dangerously.

Badfontein,

Wednesday,

September 5th.

The information which Sergt. Nelles and the scouts gathered yesterday proved to be correct. This morning a "Long Tom" opened on the camp from the ridge and shelled us from 9 to early noon. Lord Dundonald ordered a shift of camp and the horses and saddlery were moved to a point under the ridge.

Our artillery shelled the ridge and the Infantry proceeded up, reaching the summit after meeting with considerable opposition. The Boer gun ceased fire about noon and towards evening the horses etc., returned to camp.

Late at night the Infantry reported that the bodies of Sergt. Brothers and Private Cruickshanks had been found and arrangements were made for their burial in the morning before marching.

Badfontein to Schuman's Farm

Thursday

September 6th.

The Regiment marched this morning at 9 o'clock, 4th Division M. I. leading, Strathcona's Horse following.

Before marching, word was received that the bodies of Sergt. Logan, Ptrs. Jones, West and Wiggins had been found. A burial party, accompanied by the Brigade Chaplain, Rev. Mr. Webb-Peplow, was sent up.

The position occupied by the enemy was carefully scouted, and found to be safe. The Brigade then ascended the long hill and proceeded through the valley to Schuman's Farm where it encamped.

General Hamilton's Force which came up by the Belfast Road could be seen on our left moving towards Lydenburg.

Information received that Boers have "Long Tom" trained on road from right of Lydenburg.

Schuman's Farm to Lydenburg

Friday,

September 7th.

The Regiment was in advance to-day covering the right front and front.

Outside of Lydenburg picquets were sent out to protect the right front. These were furnished by "B" Squadron and 1 troop of "A". During the afternoon Mr. Fall's troop and a force under Major Belcher met with a hot fire.

The enemy are in position on the heights to the right of Lydenburg and shelled the town and camp all afternoon. Headquarters reached camp after dark.

Owing to a mistake in the transmission of orders the troops covering the right were left till a late hour and resulted in the whole Regiment being on duty to-night.

Camp N. of Lydenburg

Saturday

September 8th, 1900

Reveille was made very early this morning as it was supposed that the camp would be again shelled. This proved to be correct and the Regiment was fortunate in being ready when ordered to take shelter in a donga on the left.

The 3rd Mounted Brigade covered the left of an attack on the enemies position which was on the ridge of hills to the Eastward and was very strong. The S.A.L.H., supported the advance the other Regts. of the Brigade and the Battery being held in reserve.

The position was taken with small loss

Lydenburg to Knuckle Spruit

Sunday

9th. September

The force moved at 7.30 this morning. The horses were led from the first ridge to the 2nd and assembled behind a rocky kopje. We were the moved over to cover the artillery which at this time was under heavy fire from Pom-Poms, rifles and artillery. This subsided for a few minutes and we were ordered forward moving with troops extended. When the Regt. got out of cover the Pom-Pom fire became very hot and we were ordered back. Again the Regt. was brought forward and a troop of "C" Squadron under Lieut. Leckie was sent out to scout in front. Captain Cameron with the remainder of "C" Squadron going in support. Later on that portion of the Regt. in reserve and finally the whole of it took positions on the rocky range. The maxims, which were along, did excellent work.

The scouts on the right flank discovered the Army's convoy in retreat. This was reported to the General with the result that the whole of the 3rd Mounted Brigade was ordered forward.

The enemy covered the retirement of the convoy and a heavy rifle and Pom-Pom fire principally directed at the S.A.L.H., Strathcona's Horse being under cover in reserve.

Later a party was sent out under Lt. Tobin for the purpose of covering the right flank and succeeded in discovering a large cache of provisions and other supplies amounting to something over 50 tons in weight. A guard was placed over it and the Regt. returned to camp after dark.

Knuckle Spruit to Devil's Knuckles

Monday,

September 10th.

The Regiment was taken out to left of camp this morning. Some wagons were found with women and children left behind by the enemy.

The Regt. was then ordered down to the advance with directions to report to General Kitchener. This was done and the Regiment assembled under cover near where we were last night. Later on we advanced by Squadrons to the ridge on which the guns were placed.

It was reported here that one of the enemy's "Long Toms" was disabled and the Regiment was pushed forward rapidly, taking cover under the high kopje to the right. From there the regiment again pushed forward to the stony kopje about 2 miles to the front and in advance of all the rest.

"B" & "C" Squadrons were finally sent to the 2nd kopje in front and two troops of "A" to the high rocky kopje on the right. The other 2 troops of "A" went to the lower one to cover the flank.

The rifle fire of the enemy was subdued and the positions held until the guns were brought forward to the kopje in rear of us, which was supposed to command the enemy's position.

A wagon of the enemy was captured by us loaded with ammunition and supplies. A crane was also found.

They had to abandon these owing to our rapid advance.

A fire was kept up on the enemy as long as was necessary.

I sent to General Sir Redvers Buller to say that we held the farthest advanced position that it could be safe to hold without support and he sent word back that we had gone far enough, and to withdraw with care.

Private Nicholson and Corporal Flintoff were wounded.

General Sir Redvers Buller and General Kitchener both expressed themselves as pleased with the work of the regiment to-day.

Devil's Knuckles to Spitz Kop

Tuesday,

September 11th.

Sir Redvers Buller sent for the Regiment, which he had previously ordered to wait for the 3rd Mounted Brigade, to come forward to the front. This was done, and he directed us to carry the left of the position while the K.R.R. did the right. He expected serious opposition at the time.

The Regiment was sent forward by Squadrons and held the different points while it moved successively to the ridge.

It was found that the ridge was only occupied by some snipers and on the left some outposts could be seen retiring.

The Regt. covered the left as far as Spitz Kop and then halted for further orders. Sir Redvers Buller came up to the ridge occupied by us and from which the Boer Army could be seen in full retreat on the low ridge lying between Spitz Kop and ourselves. They passed through the village of Spitz Kop and retired north.

Spitz Kop,

Wednesday,

September 12th.

The Regt. was on the move with force at 9 and ascended the high hill. At the top the Force returned but the Regt. sent forward 100 men under Major Jarvis to guard the mine and village some 8 miles further on where the Boers left over 100 tons of supplies.

Two troops were sent as escort for convoy proceeding to Devil's Knuckles and returned late to-night.

Every available man in Regt. was on duty to-day. In addition to those mentioned the Regt. supplied an outpost on high kopje to front of camp and another to guard the cross roads 3 miles to south.

Spitz Kop,

Thursday

September 13th.

The Squadron is still on duty at village. Major Jarvis reported some Boers having surrendered to him yesterday.

I am,

Yours respectfully,

(Signed) S. B. STEELE, Lt. Col.

Commanding, "Strathcona's Horse"

The Rt. Hon. Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal, C.G.M.G.

High Commissioner for Canada

London, England

SPITZKOP

20th. September 1900.

 

My Dear Lord Strathcona,

Many thanks for your kind message of congratulatiuons to Sergt. Richardson on his being awarded the Victoria Cross. He wishes me to thank you most sincerely for the trouble you have taken to let him know.

I may add that the whole regiment are pleased with the message, and hope that some of them may yet be so fortunate as to have such an opportunity. The Regiment will no doubt have a number of men recommended for the medal for Distinguished Conduct in the Field. I intend to submit some names to Lord Dundonald who is himself very anxious to see that justice is done to all.

Hoping that you are enjoying the best of health, I am,

Respectfully yours,

(Signed) S. B. STEELE

Lydenburg,

October 4th, 1900

Form O.C. - Strathcona's Horse

To - The Right Hon. Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal

London, England.

My Lord,

I have the honour to recommend that Lieut. Col. Biggar be attached to this Corps as a Special Service Officer.

I may say that Col Bigger was sent out to South Africa to take a course of training with the Army Service Corps. He sailed with us on the "Monterey" and since his arrival at the Cape has been acting nearly altogether in the interests of the Regiment, looking after the stores, our sick, and in fact everything we required at the Base he has been most painstaking to attend to.

During the voyage over Col. Biggar was very popular with the men and if it could be arranged to attach him to the Regt. I am sure it would meet with general approval and be a fitting reward for the trouble he has taken in the interests of the Regiment.

I have the honour to be,

Sir,

Your obedient servant,

S. B. STEELE, Lt. Col.

Commanding "Strathcona's Horse"

Lydenburg,

October 4th., 1900

From - O.C. Strathcona's Horse

To - The Rt. Hon. Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal

 

My Lord,

I have the honour to quote for your information extracts from the Regimental Diary from the 22nd September.

Spitz Kop,

Saturday,

September 22nd.

Part of "C" Squadron returned from Nel Spruit with convoy to-night. Nothing to report.

Spitz Kop,

Sunday,

September 23rd.

Church parade this morning, owing to "C" Squadron returning late last night they were excused.

The force shifted camp this afternoon, commencing at 2 p.m. A road was taken over the rise to the right of Spitz Kop and a camping ground chosen on the high road.

Near Spitz Kop,

Monday,

September 24th.

Force halted to-day. The Regiment furnished a patrol of 50 men to proceed down the Nel Spruit road to meet an ox convoy as firing had been heard last night the patrol was sent as a precaution and to reinforce the infantry. No trouble was met with.

Sabi Drift.

Tuesday

September 25th.

We marched this morning at 10.30, reaching Sabi Drift early in afternoon and reported to G.O.C., 3rd Mtd. Brigade who marched several days to this point from Devil's Knuckles via the Sabi Valley.

Wednesday,

September 26th.

Reveille at 4 a.m. On the move at 6.15. "B" Squadron which has been on duty at Glyn Lydenberg Mine since the 12th rejoined the Regiment before marching. The 4th Division Mounted Infantry was in advance. The enemy was reported to be in position on the rise where the road makes a sharp turn to the left towards Pilgrims Rest. When the advance reached this point the enemy opened fire with rifles and from one small quick firing gun. "A" Battery R.H.A. opened from the and the heavier guns farther back. The Devons supported by our guns attacked the left of the position and ascended the high kopje without loss.

Blinde River,

Thursday

September 17th.

The Regiment was on duty to-day marching in advance of Brigade at 5.45 a.m. The advance and flankers were occasionally sniped at but nothing of importance occurred until a point was reached 2 miles from the ridge overlooking the town of Pilgrim's Rest. Here the C.O. got orders from Sir Redvers Buller and Lord Dundonald that the column would bivouac at the place. The C.O. then sent back to Lord Dundonald for 50 men of the 4th M.I. to support the advance in scouting forward to the ridge over Pilgrim"s Rest. These men were required owing to the fact that our supply of men was exhausted. Lord Dundonald having withdrawn the support under Major Belcher and placed it on the high range some miles to the right and Mr. Christie's troop had been placed on the left. A support of two squadrons of the S.A.L.H. was sent under Major Brooks. Previous to this Sergt. Nelles with the scouts had been sent forward and accompanied by Capt. Phillips asst. Provost Marshal and Capt. Mackie, pushed into the town, which lay nestling in a deep ravine. They entered at a rapid pace through an extremely heavy fire but was fortunately without casualties. The mauser fire was the heaviest since Bergendal. The Town was taken possession of. Col.Chicester, Provost Marshal entered soon after with his Police and protected by "B" Squadron, held it all night.

The work of all ranks to-day was excellent and especially that of Capt. Mackie, Sergt. Nelles and the scouts. Lord Dundonald expressed himself as particularly well pleased with it.

Near Pilgrim's Rest

Friday

September 28th.,

With the exception of "B" Squadron, which was still on duty over the town the Regt. was on rear guard to-day and remained in our last night's bivouac until after nightfall, the marched in rear of transport to bivouac two miles beyond town at foot of long hill on Lydenburg road.

A troop under Mr. Leckie was in town all day guarding the prisoners and attending to other duties all of which they performed to the satisfaction of the Provost Marshal.

Morgengen

Saturday

September 29th.

The Regiment was again on rear guard and remained at foot of hill until last of Transport had left.

Morgengen

Sunday

September 30th.

The force halted to-day to rest the transport animals. There was a church parade this morning.

Kruger's Post

Monday

October 1st.

We marched at 6 o'clock and the 3rd Mtd. Brigade in advance the Regiment as advance guard. The hills were picquetted on both sides as far as the Forks in the road. Here the reserve and support of the regiment being exhausted a support from the 4th Division M.I. was sent. They picquetted the two points south of the two farms.

Part of the Regiment under Capt. Cartwright was on rear guard and the picquets on the hill were with drawn as the last of the transports passed.

The column halted at Kruger's Post and as Capt. Cameron reported that the hills were picquetted by the 2nd cavalry Brigade and the infantry who had come in from Lydenburg. He was ordered to withdraw from his position beyond the town to camp which was in an open space commanded by a range of hills 5000 yards away. The hills look dangerous and the C.O. was on the point of bringing it to the notice of the G.O.C. 3rd Mounted Brigade when shells began to fall in the camp. Guns had been placed on the hills by the enemy. The horses were sent out to herd in as safe a place as possible. We then got orders to take shelter behind a low kopje on the left of the camp, which was done.

The shelling of the Infantry continued until dark. After nightfall we were ordered back to camp. Supper was about ready when the shell began to fall again. Pte. Lord Edward Seymour of the Regt. was severely wounded by a shrapnel bullet and several horses were killed.

This shelling necessitated the column moving on a couple of miles. The shelling not having ceased when we were ordered to move the C.O. directed the Regiment to march over the open ground to the right of Kruger's Post where the enemy had not thrown any shells.

A force was sent out in the night to take the enemy's guns, but it was found, as expected, that they had been withdrawn.

During the shelling two officers of the Devons and two men of the S.A.L.H. were killed. In all the casualties amounted to 18 killed and wounded.

The behaviour of the men under such trying circumstances was very creditable it being one of the most awkward positions in which a mounted corps can be placed as there is no chance of retaliating and there is great danger of in bringing the horses into camp to saddle up.

Lydenburg

Tuesday

October 2nd.

Marched this morning at 6 a.m. the M.I. in advance. The day was without incident and we went into camp at 11.30 a.m.

Lydenburg

Wednesday

October 3rd.

It started to rain last night and continued all day, making it miserable for the men. We were under the impression that remounts would be ready here but we are only to be allowed our share of a lot, the whole of which would be inadequate. It is now believed that the Regiment will return to Canada.

I have the honour to be,

Sir,

Your most obedient servant,

S. B. STEELE, Lt. Col.

Commanding, "Strathcona's Horse"

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