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    Boschbult is 27 kilometres from Ottosdal on the Delareyville road. Two British columns, about 1 800 men strong with four field-guns, under Lieutenant-Colonels Cookson and Keir, with Cookson in command, leaves camp at 02:00 on 31 March.


    They move along the Brakspruit with Damant’s Horse and the Canadian Mounted Rifles leading.


    At about 10:00, they pick up the tracks of a party of horsemen and Damant’s Horse follow at a stiff pace towards Boschbult with the Canadians waiting for the transport.


    Suddenly their quarry who has reached support, turns around and the British draw fire from the front, as well as from both sides of the spruit. 


    Cookson immediately orders his force to form camp at Boschbult’s two homesteads, on the bank of the Brakspruit. The British dig in and form a screen of mounted men in a semicircle towards the north.

    General De la Rey’s men are encamped at Roodewal, the neighbouring farm. The burghers, commanded by Generals Liebenberg, Kemp, Du Toit and Celliers, are quickly reinforced to a strength of about 2000.


    At 13:30 Kemp and Celliers’ horsemen emerge from the thicket on the north bank and advance at a walking pace in an extended line.


    At the same time their artillery, four field-guns and a pom-pom, open up from a scrub-covered rise to the south-west. They immediately score hits on the target around the farmhouses, while the British artillery make no impression on the thin line of advancing horsemen. The mule drivers panic and in their attempts to get away, the mules stampede, causing confusion in the camp and upsetting part of Cookson’s mounted screen.


    Trying to exploit the disarray on the eastern side, Liebenberg, galloping from the Boer field-guns, crosses the spruit upstream of the British position, swings left and launches a spirited attack from the north-east.


    He is repulsed and falls back northwards to join Kemp and Celliers’ line. At about 15:30 Cookson orders his screens to fall back on the main position which has been completely fortified. 


    Their retreat signals a general Boer charge in all sectors, but the British resist furiously from their strengthened positions. General De la Rey arrives late on the battlefield and assesses the situation.


    Convinced that little can be gained by further charges, he calls off the attack at 17:00 and the burghers disappear.


    Kitchener sends Lowe’s column from Driekuil, but they meet bewildered fleeing stragglers and mule drivers and when they hear the firing diminishing, they are convinced that Cookson has been overrun and they return to their camp.


    According to WO 108/372 (SA Surrenders) the British lose 1 Officer and 13 men killed, 8 Officers and 78 men wounded, and 3 Officers and 80 men taken prisoner. About 400 horses and mules were killed.


    The Boers lose 6 killed with some 15 men wounded.
    Anglo-Boer War: A Chronology by Pieter G. Cloete.

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