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    At this point in time here is much uncertainty in Pretoria about continuing the war. Kruger has left Pretoria to the east, but on 30 May gold, cash and government papers are still in Pretoria. (State Attorney Jan Smuts and Gustav Preller handle the clearing up).


    Botha forms a thin defensive line with some 3000 Boers along the Hennops River from Irene station to Swartkop. One Long Tom and other heavy guns are used but some 
    withdraw before British arrive. Roberts rests for a few days in Johannesburg and then advances to Pretoria.

    On 4 June he launches small attacks on the Boers along the Hennops River with skirmishes along the whole drawn out front. Although De la Rey holds a strong position on the Quagga Poort Ridge, he is forced to 
    fall back during the afternoon: the Boer aim changing from stopping the British to delaying them while Smuts and officials continue clearing Pretoria.


    Roberts stays for the night at Six Mile Spruit and advances the next day to ‘Roberts Heights’ while the Boers leave Pretoria, retreating to the east. Roberts triumphantly takes Pretoria on 5 June.
    DTD: Veldkornet M.H.O. Preller; with a length of Wound Riband (LvW) 

    Mauritz Preller served as Field Cornet in the Pretoria Commando, seeing action in the Colesberg vicinity (Arundel Station 13 Dec 1899, Suffolk Hill 6 January 1900) and Sannas Post. He suffered a serious headwound, resulting in the loss of his right eye, at Quagga Poort but from that point onwards his Boer War record becomes murky.


    When he applied for the DTD, ABO and LvW in March 1921 Preller stated that he was taken Prisoner of War on 4 June 1900. However, in the official “List of Burghers who have Surrendered their Arms in the Transvaal and OFS”, Preller is recorded as 
    surrendering without arms in Pretoria on 29 June 1900.

    The application was turned down with a note written on Vorm “A” by a member of the Medal Advisory Commission pointing out that Preller could hardly claim exemplary war service if he took parole in Cape Town with his wife for the duration of the war. In August 1924 Preller re-opened the matter. His Boer War C/O, Commandant Liebenberg, stated in a letter that, due to the loss of his eye “I consider that he was rendered totally unfit for further military service”.


    Eventually, in February 1925, the award of 
    Preller’s DTD was approved with a Notice in the Government Gazette. 


    It is a pity that the whereabouts of the Minutes of the meetings of the Medal Advisory Board are not known as it could make for some very interesting reading!
    Preller has an entry in the SA Who’s Who of 1908: on the accompanying photo his right eye is not visible. He died in 1926 (Transvaal Estate No 59109).

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