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    The Cyferfontein action is also referred to in the ILH History as “Frederikstad” and also “Naauwpoort Nek”. 


    The ILH suffered a serious setback on this date when 2 squadrons under Colonel Wools-Sampson set out as part of General Babington’s column of some 1600 infantry, cavalry and guns to intercept Generals de la Rey and Kemp’s Commandos some 50 km west of Krugersdorp.


    A number of Boers were noticed on the hills on the farm Cyferfontein and Babington ordered Woolls-Sampson to drive them off. The latter set off impetuously without sending out advancing scouts and at such a pace that his two horse-drawn pom-poms under Captain Brierly could not keep up with him.


    When he eventually sent out 4 scouts, he still followed them too closely and his party ran into the withering fire of more than 700 dismounted Boers concealed in long grass on the hill-top, some 100m away. The left squadron under Major Briggs managed to deploy in time, but the right squadron, with the rash Woolls-Sampson at their head, galloped straight for the crest.

    Men and horses were mowed down, but those who survived the first volley leapt from their horses and, taking whatever cover they could find, returned the fire. After 10 minutes the still-mounted Woolls Sampson realised the hopelessness of the situation and ordered the retirement of his men.


    Brierly however, on instructions from Briggs, only moved the pom-poms to a better location and poured rapid fire into the remounted commando, thereby causing the Boers to retire. In this ill-fated charge the ILH lost 18 killed and 32 wounded. In addition, of the Imperial Yeomanry attached to the ILH, 7 were killed and 7 wounded. .

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