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    “At 9.30pm on the 24th July reports were received that Commandant Liebenberg, with a commando, had arrived “2½ hours” north of the town. Lieutenant White, in his evidence before a Court of Inquiry assembled on 7th September 1900, spoke to receiving such reports from two different sources on the evening of the 24th and immediately reporting the fact by letter to Captain Lambart, who acknowledged its receipt.


    The latter, however, gave witness no special instructions, as he did not consider there was any urgency in view of the fact that “at present only a small rumour has come in, which is nothing to be alarmed at.” There would appear to have been no verbal communication as to the course to be adopted in the event of attack.

    Captain Lambart subsequently issued orders for all troops, including the civilians, to parade at 4am on the 25th in the market square. At that time no further news had come in, and two natives who had been sent out had not returned. Lieutenant Sheppard, with two men, was out on patrol to the north, having started on the morning of the 24th, but no news had been received from him.


    Captain Lambart ordered Lieutenant Blagden, with 11 men of the Kimberley Mounted Corps, to go to the north-west kopje, and Lieutenant Purves, with the remainder of the Kimberley Mounted Corps (16 men), to go to a kopje situated a short distance south of Lieutenant Blagden’s and on the other (south) side of the Hartebeestfontein Road.

    At daylight, about 250 Boers were seen north-west of the town, and a few (about 20) advanced against the kopje occupied by Lieutenant Blagden and came to a point within 200 yards of it, neither side firing. The remainder, passing behind a kopje some distance to the west of Lieutenant Panes’ kopje, then advanced within 300 yards’ range to the foot of this kopje, and the kopjes to the south of, and commanding it. 

    Lieutenant Purves would not allow his men to open fire, and retired, thinking he saw Boers coming down the road in his rear. He sent a man in this direction who stayed there for 20 minutes but saw no Boers on the road. 


    Meanwhile Lieutenant Blagden, seeing Lieutenant Purves had retired, became uneasy at the close approach of the small party of Boers referred to above, also retired. Although the party of Boers offered an excellent target, he did not open fire, his excuse for not doing so being that he thought they might be Yeomanry. 


    Both Lieutenant Purves and Lieutenant Blagden then rode back to the market square and met Captain Lambart there. A Boer with a white flag came in with Lieutenant Blagden and gave a note to Captain Lambart demanding the surrender of the town. Captain Lambart at once rode out to the Boer Commander and surrendered the town. No shot was at any time fired on either side, and the enemy apparently had no guns though Captain Lambart says he saw two. Lieutenants Blagden and Purves were permitted to resign their commissions.”

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