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    “On August 24th reports were received that Olivier, with 1000 men and two guns had suddenly appeared north of Winburg and had surrounded a British force about nine miles from that town.


    This party, which consisted of 190 mounted men and thirty infantry, was under the command of Lieut.-Col Ridley (16th battalion I.Y.), who had been sent out by Major-General Allen on reconnaissance towards Ventersburg. Bruce Hamilton was immediately ordered to proceed to his aid… and succeeded in extricating him at 9am on the 26th.


    The relief came only just in time. For two days and three nights Ridley’s men had withstood, almost without cover, shrapnel and common shell from three guns and the unceasing fire of a thousand rifles. Twice they had been summoned to surrender; but surrounded though they were by vastly superior numbers they held out with deter-mination, losing thirty-two officers and men.”
    “Official History” Vol III, p333.

    “…what a sight met our gaze. I shall never forget it. 100 ponies had been shot dead; some were piled up to form a breastwork for the Queenstown fellows. Five men were killed and 21 wounded, their Maxim gun was smashed to pieces and only 30 rounds of rifle ammunition remained to them”
    “The Boer War Diaries of No 18405 Bombardier Walter Mitton” p53.

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