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    Due to the reported southward advance of Gen Beyers’ Commando from the Waterberg district in May 1901, Lt-Col Grenfell tasked two columns (the one under Lt-Col A E Wilson at Naboomspruit and the other under Maj H McMicking at Nylstroom) with the protection of the railway line to Pretoria.


    Wilson’s column (540 strong, including 300 Kitchener’s Fighting Scouts) acted on intelligence reports about Boer commandos in the Warm Baths vicinity and moved down to Roodeberg to round them up.


    On 1 June two of Wilson’s squadrons had a sharp engagement with 500 Boers under Commandants Uys and Pretorius. Both sides suffered significant losses but in retreating the Boers came within reach of the rest of Wilson’s column.

    “He fell upon them heavily on the 2nd, and after a stubborn combat which continued all day, utterly routed them, killing and wounding many and taking forty prisoners, with loss to his own force of only eleven.” “The History of the War in South Africa”, Vol IV, p441:

    The incident is not mentioned in the Times History of the War but is fully covered in “After Pretoria: The Guerilla War” Vol II, p608-610, albeit with highly inflated numbers of Boer casualties. 

    The SAFF Casualty Roll has a combined listing over the 2 days’ skirmishing “near Pienaar’s River” of 8 men from KFS as KiA or DoW with a further 23 men wounded.

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