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    On 24 Dec 1899 Dordrecht, which had been in Cape Rebel hands for some time, was occupied by a British force under Col Dalgety.“But on the 29th Gatacre came to the conclusion that Dordrecht, forty miles from Sterkstroom, was too far out to be permanently tenable, and ordered Dalgety to draw in to Bird’s Siding, seventeen miles nearer and within supporting distance from Penhoek.


    Before retreating, however, Montmorency with the Dordrecht force successfully engaged some 500 Boers with a gun at Labuschagne’s Nek, north of Dordrecht, on the 30th, renewing the fight before daybreak next morning in order to rescue a 
    party of 35 men who had been left behind in a donga” (Times History, Vol III, p119/120)

    This note about the action is in contrast with the detailed descriptions in Cassell’s History of the Boer War (Vol 1, p 531-7) and in “With Seven Generals in the Boer War” by Major A W A Pollock (p99-107) of the gallant conduct of Lt Milford (FMR) and his party who retreated with the severely wounded Lt Warren (CMP) and
    refused to leave him although under attack. 


    Pollock stated, “The defence of their post in the donga by Milford and his thirty-five men against some 800 Boers with two guns was a fine performance, and contrasts somewhat sharply with many cases in which parties that had been “cut off’ have surrendered without much ado.”


    DSO (VR), complete with top riband bar; 
    QSA, one clasp CC: Lieut A Milford, D.S.O. Frontier M.R. 

    Alfred Milford served as a Trooper in the Frontier Mounted Rifles in the early 1890’s and was commissioned as Second Lieutenant on 12 June 1894. In a Divisional After Order (2 January 1900), the General Officer Commanding 3rd Division placed on record his appreciation of the conduct of the party of 2 Cape Mounted Rifles, 22 Frontier Mounted Rifles and 13 Cape Mounted Police under Lt Milford. 

    The Order concludes with: “Lieut.General Gatacre congratulates Lieutenant Milford, F.M.R. and his party on the courage displayed and the work done.” Milford was Mentioned in Despatches in the London Gazette of 16 April 1901 and created a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order in the London Gazette of 19 April, 1901.

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