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    In August 1901, after a “Krygsraad” by the Boer leaders, a commando under Botha moved southeast toward Natal.


    The cold spring rains made the march difficult for the Boers’ horses, and on 14 September, Botha let his 1000-man commando camp near Utrecht to permit the horses to recover. 


    Meanwhile, Gough’s 24th Mounted Infantry (MI) moved by train from Kroonstad (OFS) to Dundee in Natal.


    After receiving reports that Botha and 700 Boers were nearby, Gough led his MI from Dundee to De Jager’s Drift, a ford on the Buffalo River.


    Dismissing the intelligence reports as ‘exaggerated’ he led three companies on a reconnaissance across the river. Through his field glasses, he spotted some 300 Boers who dismounted at a farm near Blood River Poort.


    Leaving Lieut-Col H K Stewart with 450 MI in the rear, Gough moved forward into a plain in the early afternoon, planning to surprise the Boers at the farm.


    Unknown to Gough, Botha was moving around his right flank with 700 men. Botha’s mounted attack completely swamped Gough’s outnumbered force. 


    Lieutenant Llewellyn Price-Davies, KRRC, won the Victoria Cross for valiantly defending the two field guns of the 69th Battery, RFA. 


    Gough was captured but managed to escape on foot when night fell. On the British side, 4 officers and 19 men were killed or mortally wounded, 21 wounded and 240 captured. 

    According to Boer policy at this stage of war, when supplies were very hard to get, the captives were stripped of their rifles, any useful gear and most of their clothing but were allowed to walk to the nearest British post. 

    The Boer “bag” consisted of the two field guns, 180 rifles and a large quantity of small arms ammunition. 


    The 200 captured horses turned out to be in poor condition and of little use to the raiders. Boer losses were light.

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