Jump to content
News Ticker
  • I am now accepting the following payment methods: Card Payments, Apple Pay, Google Pay and PayPal
  • Latest News


    Recommended Posts

    After a long-range attack on Wagon Hill on 7 November 1899 it was permanently garrisoned by three companies of the 1
    st King’s Royal Rifle Corps and two squadrons of the Imperial Light Horse.


    Early on the morning of 6 January 1900 some 1000 burghers from the Heidelberg and Harrismith Commandos with a number of foreign volunteers launched a determined attack on the Wagon Hill end of the Platrand. At that time, in addition to the normal garrison, there was also a working party building a gun emplacement and positioning a 4.7 in naval gun comprising Royal Engineers, sailors from the Naval Brigade, some 170 men of the 2nd Gordon Highlanders as escort as well as 50 men from the 1st Manchester Regt. 

    The burghers gained the hill and a confused battle took place in which attackers and defenders became intermingled. At daylight the Imperial Light Horse arrived soon followed by eight companies of the 1st and 2nd King’s Royal Rifle Corps and later by the 18th Hussars. About midday another Boer attack led by acting Veg-Gen C J de Villiers and Field Cornet Z de Jager charged over the crest, but a determined defence forced the burghers back.


    The situation on Wagon Hill was now critical for the defenders and three squadrons of the 5th
    Lancers and two of the 19th Hussars were also sent to Wagon Hill. Later in the afternoon, three companies of the 1st Devonshire Regt under Lt-Col C W Park arrived to make a bayonet charge through a raging storm over open ground and eventually forced the burghers to retire. Lt J E I Masterson, 1st Devonshire Regt, Lt R J T Digby Jones, RE, and Tpr H Albrecht, ILH, were each awarded the Victoria Cross for gallantry on this section of the Platrand. 


    In the middle of the Platrand overlooking Ladysmith is the Burgher Memorial, unveiled in 1979 in honour of 781 Burghers who died during battles in Natal during the Anglo Boer War. The group of massive hands, six reaching up in faith and the seventh pointing downwards to symbolise “here” (see illustration attached). 
    The communal crypt in the centre contains the remains of 310 re-interred Burghers.


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an account

    Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

    Register a new account

    Sign in

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now
    • Create New...

    Important Information

    We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.