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 the Relief of Kimberley on 15 February 1900 Gen. Cronje and his men faced British soldiers to their north and south of them. Their only alternative was to retreat to Bloemfontein along the Modder River, being dependant on the river to obtain water for their hundreds of oxen and other livestock. British forces caught up with Cronje’s commando at Paardeberg on 17 February, causing the Boers to dig themselves in both riverbanks.


    The next day (18 Feb) General Horatio Herbert Kitchener, in temporary command due to Roberts being ill, made a frontal assault on the Boer positions. The entrenched Boers mowed them down, with the Highland Brigade bearing the brunt of the attack. 

    By nightfall British losses amounted to 24 officers and 279 men killed and 59 officers and 847 men wounded: judged by British casualties it was the most severe reverse of the war and became known as ‘Bloody Sunday’. Roberts again took control on 19 February and launched an intense bombardment to force the encircled Boer 
    laager into surrender: he had 40 000 troops and 100 guns compared to the 4000 Boers with 5 guns. 

    The hail of bombs, alternated with infantry assaults, kept on for 8 days. Conditions in the Boer laager worsened as observers in balloons directed the British fire to destroy ammunition wagons. The heat, swarms of flies and the overpowering stench of decaying animals added to the hardship caused by lack of food and medical facilities for the sick and wounded.

    On 25 February the renowned Boer scout Danie Theron crawled through British lines with a proposal from Gen Christiaan de Wet to cover Cronje’s breakout from their desperate position. Due to the presence of women and children in the camp and the Boers’ reluctance to leave their wagons and belongings behind, it never materialised. Also, by this time a large number of Boers, including many officers, wanted to surrender.

    Early on 27 February 1900, a Canadian contingent advanced within 80m of the Boers: before they could attack, white flags went up all, and afterwards General Cronje surrendered his 4000 men to Lord Roberts.


    DCM (VR): 29 4 92 Gnr.G.H. Fox. R.A.;

    QSA, 3 clasps RoK, Paard, Drief: 29492 Gnr. C.H. Fox, 76th Bty. R.F.A.

    Gunner Fox was recommended to Lord Roberts by Major-General Clements:
    “I desire to bring to your Lordship’s notice the very gallant and cool behaviour of a young soldier of the 76th Battery R.F.A.: No. 29492 Gunner C H Fox and to express a hope that you may recommend this 
    man to receive the medal for Distinguished Conduct in the Field. On Feb. 18th the Battery was in action against the Boer laager. 

    About 4pm the Battery was fired into from behind by Boers who had occupied Kitchener’s Kopje; two sections were thereupon ordered to come into action in that direction. As the order was given a volley from a 1 pounder Vickers Maxim Q.F. [Quick firing] gun was poured on the Battery. One shell burst on the gun to which Gunner Fox belonged, knocking the detachment out of time. 

    Gunner Fox sprang to his feet and entirely by himself turned the gun around, loaded and laid it in the new direction. Gunner Fox had several marks from the effect of the shell. One man was killed and five wounded at the same time. Gunner Fox, I may add, has only 15 months service.”
    (War Office records refer, as per Spink Boer War Sale Catalogue, 1999).

    Fox died of enteric fever at Brandfort on 9.5.1900. He was posthumously Mentioned in Despatches by Lord Roberts. (Loudon Gazettes 8.2.1901, p847 and 10.9.1901, p5934).




    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.