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    “Owing to some bad scouting by the I.L.H., Mahon, after marching eight miles unmolested, walked into a trap, prepared for him by the Boers. The I.L.H. retrieved their mistake by two gallant charges up the ridge from which the Boers commanded the column.


    Nevertheless, Mahon, who was somewhat tardily reinforced by Hutton, was obliged to retire on Rietfontein with a total loss of thirty-five men, which would have been heavierif the Boer shells had been more effective”. Times History, Vol IV, p389 However, Gibson in “The History of the Imperial Light Horse”, p197, emphatically states that: “This account is inaccurate and singularly unfair to the I.L.H., doing poor justice to the gallantry displayed by them that day”. 

    This is followed by a more than 3-page detailed account of the action and on p201 he concludes “It will be seen from the foregoing that there was no question of ‘Bad Scouting’ or of ‘Walking into a Trap’.


    The position was that ‘B’ Squadron was ordered to occupy a hill and did their best to do so, but while the Boers supported their Burghers to an extent of some 250 to 400 men, the I.L.H. Squadron received no support and was compelled to fight it out alone against these very great odds.”

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