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    A force of some 600 men under Capt. W.J. McWhinnie sets out on 2 April 1900 from Dewetsdorp, bound for Reddersburg. Early the next morning his advance scouts come under Boer fire when they reach a ridge on the farm Mostertshoek, some 6 km east of Reddersburg.


    De Wet sends a note to the British demanding their surrender and claims to have three Krupp guns and reinforcements on the way. McWhinnie refuses and opens fire even before the messenger has reached safety.


    The Boers then prove themselves good marksmen, inflicting heavy casualties at long range, even though the British had fortified their position. At nightfall, the battle subsides. The burghers’ numbers have increased to more than 800 and they light fires and eat roast mutton. The McWhinnie’s force spends a cold, cheerless night with a dwindling water supply. 


    At dawn on 4 April McWhinnie’s thirsty men crowd around the water carts, only to be dispersed by rifle fire from the surrounding Boers. De Wet then orders some of his burghers to storm the hill and by the time they reach the dead ground at the foot of the hill, some of the British are already surrendering. Other pockets of resistance still hold out but by noon all resistance ends.


    British losses amount to 10 killed, 35 wounded and 540 taken prisoners: the worst case of surrender by the British Army during the Boer War. The Boers lose only 3 men killed and 3 wounded.

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