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    The action of Slingersfontein, named after the farm 15 km south-east of Colesberg, was the first engagement of the Worcester Regiment, exactly one month after landing in South Africa. 

    On 12 February 1900 the right flank of the British at Slingersfontein came under a strong attack by the Boers commanded by General De la Rey. The key to the British position at this point was a kopje held by three companies of the 2nd Worcester Regiment.


    Upon this the Boers made a fierce onslaught but were as fiercely repelled. They came up in the dark between the set of the moon and rise of sun and the first dim light saw them in the advanced sangars. The Boer generals were fond of using darkness for taking up a good position and pushing onwards as soon as it is possible to see. 

    The occupants of the sangars were all killed to a man, and the assailants rushed onwards. As the sun topped the line of the veldt half the kopje was in their possession. Shouting and firing, they pressed onwards. But the Worcester men were steady old soldiers, and the companies upon the hill (later named Worcester Hill) contained many marksmen.


    Their fire was so accurate that the Boers found themselves unable to advance any
    further and through the long day a desperate duel was maintained between the two lines of riflemen.



    The Worcestershire Commander Lieut.-Colonel Charles Cuningham was killed, and his 2/IC Major Stubbs fell killed while making a gallant attempt to re-take a position with the bayonet. Hovell and Bartholomew continued to encourage their men, and the British fire finally succeeded in dominating that of the Boers.


    Under the direction of Hacket Pain, who commanded the nearest post, guns of J Battery were brought out into the open and shelled the portion of the kopje which was held by the Boers. The latter were reinforced but could make no advance against the accurate rifle fire with which they were met. The Bisley champion of the battalion, with a bullet through his thigh, expended a hundred rounds before sinking from loss of blood.


    With the coming of darkness, the Boers withdrew, with a loss of 8 men killed and 19 wounded. The British loss in the action was 37 killed and 81 wounded, most of which was incurred when the sangars were rushed in the early morning.


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