The South African
Military History Society

Die Suid-Afrikaanse Krygshistoriese Vereniging

Published on the Website of the South African Military History Society in the interest of research into military history

© 2014 Boyd Robinson.

Alfred Robinson’s record of his service
with British forces in the Second Boer War
February 1900 – December 1901

Durham Light Infantry
Kitchener’s Fighting Scouts
Corp of Cattle Rangers



Alfred Robinson was my paternal grandfather. He served with British forces - Durham Light Infantry (DLI), Kitchener’s Fighting Scouts (KFS), and the Corps of Cattle Rangers - in South Africa during the Second Boer War. This is a transcript of the hand written dairies he kept during his service with the DLI and KFS. He left no written account of his time as a Cattle Ranger.

I have transcribed the diaries as presented with the exception that I underlined the date of each entry and I separated particularly long entries into paragraphs for ease of reading. Where required for clarification, I inserted my comments in italics in square parentheses in the body of the transcript. I used footnotes for supplementary information on people or events.

Photographs and army discharge papers are copies of originals held in my family. The map of South Africa is from the Australian War Memorial’s website and is used with their permission.

Boyd Robinson
Sydney, NSW 2014

Map of Southern Africa

© 2014 Boyd Robinson. This work is copyright. Apart from any use permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced by any process, nor may any other exclusive right be exercised, without the permission of Boyd Robinson, Sydney NSW ( 2014.

Alfred Robinson

Only a Volunteer

Twas midnight on the veldt
And a young man lay fast asleep
When a gruff voice awakes him
With turnout next relief
He springs to his feet in an instant
And with rifle in his hand
He is ready to go to his post
So at his post he takes his stand

Post correct - all's well
Sentries pass, Then alone
With two weary hours to watch
And with time to think of home
Then to home his mind wanders
Thousands of miles away
Then he thinks his past life over
And he starts from his boyhood days

He pictures the noisy old playground
Where many hard battles were fought
How then he wished he was bigger
So that he could wallop the lot
And then in his little cot at night
Oh how he loves to dream
Of the day when he would be a soldier
And fight for his country and queen

How he would ride a fine horse
And fight in a foreign land
And Father and Mother always smiled
Agreeing with every plan
Well he remembers the day he left school
For twas then his hopes did fade
For his Father apprenticed him to a trade

Time rolled on and he finished his time
And saw things in a clearer light
He saw we could not all soldiers be
But in other ways have to fight
So he slogged away at his trade
When back came the old idea
If I can't be a regular soldier
I'll be a Volunteer

So he joined the Volunteers
Learnt how to use a gun
Put his heart in the drill
After his work was done
But when he marched proudly to camp
People at home cast their sneers
At those humbugs and idlers of time
Those featherbed Volunteers

But a smile lights up his face
Though he's tired and hungry and cold
As he thinks of those folks at home
Who sneered at his pluck and were sold
So his heart is filled with pride
He answered his country's call
For he showed them it was not all game
And waste of time after all

Then he pictures a quiet old village
And in it his dear old friends
He fancies they've just read his letter
Which he had sent to let them know
He had tasted the bitter hardship
And a brush with the sneaky foe

How he knew his old Friends felt it
The day that he came away
And he knows there is never a night
When for him they forget to pray
But he knows his chums will cheer things up
And drive away worry and pain
They'll say the war’s nearly over
And he'll soon be back again

And so on his thoughts will wander
Till on his ears falls a slight sound
And sharp as a needle his eyes peer out
To search the hidden shadows
Then clear rings forth the challenge
And swift comes back the reply
Tis a bullet and finds its billet
And he falls with a gasping cry

His comrades aroused in a moment
In time their position to save
But too late to save that young life
From an honoured soldier's grave
He has done his duty nobly
Faithful his watch did keep
He has done his last sentry go
He has earned his long peaceful sleep

Now you people at home that look on
Be manly as he and confess
That he was not afraid to die
And he stood as well as the best
And perhaps now they won't be so hasty
In casting their nasty sneers
At those humbugs and idlers of time
Those featherbed Volunteers12

[23 February 1900 to 21 February 1901 – Notebook 1 of 3]

Private Alfred Robinson 8078
Volunteer Company
1st Durham Light Infantry

[February 1900]

Left Southampton Friday, February 23rd, 1900 at 4 PM [in troop transport SS Avondale Castle].4

Saturday 24th Past Cape Ushant - moderate weather.

Sunday 25th Past Cape Finisterre, weather good, up till about 1 PM when gale got up and continued all night. Very rough weather all night.

Monday 26th Still rather rough today.

Tuesday 27th A splendid day, nothing fresh.

Wednesday 28th Another fine day to day. Arrived at Las Palmas towards night. Wrote and posted letters and postcards home.

[March 1900]

Thursday, March 1st Very hot today, nothing occurred of any consequences. Friday 2nd - same.

Saturday 3rd Heat intense, more especially at night. Concert at night.

Sunday 4th Heat intense. Church parade today on after well deck at 10 AM.

Monday 5th Heat intense doctors inspection today for all hands.

Tuesday 6th Still very hot. Parade today with helmets, boots and valise equipment.

Wednesday 7th Very hot today. Nothing of importance.

Thursday 8th Still hot weather. Nothing new.

Friday 9th Still hot. Parade in marching order this morning. Concert at night.

Saturday 10th Cooler today. Good breeze up. Sports in the afternoon.

Sunday 11th Grand headwind all day. Church parade in forenoon.

Monday, March 12th Much cooler today. Inspection by ship’s doctor in forenoon. Sports in the afternoon. D.L.I.[Durham Light Infantry] beat 1st NFs and 2nd NFs in tug-of-war5. Had to attend hospital with arm.

Tuesday 13th Grand weather. Cool today. Drill. Khaki taken into wear.

Wednesday 14th Cool today. Packed today in readiness for disembarkation.

Thursday 15th Cool today. Parade with kits packed in readiness. Kit inspection for articles to be put in valise.

Friday 16th Cool weather, busy packing kits. Expect to reach Capetown tonight. Arrived outside harbour 12 midnight. Run alongside jetty in dock 12:30 PM.

Saturday 17th Disembarked at 2 PM and left wharf at 5 PM. Arriving in Camp Sea Point about dusk. Camp about 1½ miles from docks. Very hot and dusty.

Sunday, March 18th Very hot. Camp pitched on sandy ground. About 1 800 men of all branches of the service, wounded and sick etc. and 6 000 Boer prisoners.

Monday 19th Fine morning first thing but during forenoon heavy rain came on which continued until about 3 PM. Posted letters, photo of [SS] Avondale Castle6, view of camp. Served out with new equipment.

Tuesday 20th Struck camp this morning and embarked on R.M.S Guelph at 11 AM for Durban. Very hot and dusty marching from camp to the docks. York & Lanc [Lancashire] 1 company, 1st NF.1 coy, D.L.I. 1 coy, East Lancs 1 coy, West York 1 coy, Liverpool Kings 1 coy. Guelph belongs to the Union Line.

Wednesday 21st Beautiful weather, followed the coast all the way. CO's Parade at 10 AM in drill khaki and boots. R.B. broke his left arm.

Thursday 22nd Very hot. Arrived at Port Elizabeth during the night. Now lying in harbour about 2 miles from shore. It appears to be a very nice place. Splendid scenery. 160 miles to East London which is our next call.

Friday 23rd Fine morning. Arrived at East London about 8 AM and anchored off the harbour about 2 miles out until about 2 PM when we steamed into port and disembarked the NFs who are proceeding to De Aar. The[SS] Templemore was lying with about 500 men of the 14th Hussars who were busy disembarking in lighters. And before going into harbour another transport the [SS] Knight Templar lay alongside with the New Zealand Roughriders and bushmen on board. We are to lay alongside all night and discharge cargo tomorrow. Commenced to rain at night. Posted letters and paper home.

Saturday 24th Raining heavily. Discharging cargo all morning. Base for Gatacre’s Column here.7

Sunday 25th Left East London at 6 AM following the coast line all the way arriving at Durban on Monday the 26th at 11 AM. Flying the yellow flag as we have cases of Scarlet and Typhoid fever aboard. Lay off shore all day. Not allowed into harbour.

Tuesday 27th Lying at anchor all day. News came from Pietermaritzburg that we were to move up country at once.

Wednesday 28th Disembarked at 11 AM and left Durban by special trains ½ company at 3:35 PM arriving at Ladysmith 6 AM

Thursday 29th Past Colenso etc., crossed the Tugela [River] by a temporary bridge. Left Ladysmith at 9:15 and arrived at Elands Laagte about 11 AM. Railway here has been all destroyed and bridges blown up by the Boers. We marched 2½ miles in full kit from the station to the 1stBattn [Battalion] Durham L.I. Camp. Blazing hot - good lot fell out but I managed it all right.

We are encamped on the battlefield very near where the 5th Lancers made their charge. It is a very rough mountainous country and the Boers are only about 6 or 8 miles off on the hills. Great scarcity of water here and we have to go to the river for a wash and take rifles and ammunition with us. We are under orders to wait here till General Roberts8 gets forward.

Friday 30th Route march for Batallion [sic] at 6:30 AM returned at 8:30. Very hot, posted letters home. The greatest want here is water. The only water for drinking has to be carried a mile from the Sunday River and is thick, yellow and warm. Everything in the place is at tiptop price. 3rd K.R.R.[King’s Royal Rifles], 1st Durhams, 2nd Rifle Bde [brigade] & Scottish Rifles, West Yks [Yorks], R.H.A. [Royal Horse Artillery], Commissariat & Transport Service, 13th 14th Hussars and 1st Royal Dragoons are here. 4th Brigade Natal Field Force. This camp is called Sunday River camp.

Saturday 31st. Very hot. Parade 6:30 company drill. No.1 Section outpost all day. Remainder of Coy for outpost tonight at 5:30.

[April 1900]

Sunday, April 1st Still hot. Our company dismounted outpost duty at about 7 AM. Church parade 6:30.

Monday, April 2nd Still hot. Parade company drill. Two companies out supporting cavalry Picquets near the hills. About 3 PM a violent sandstorm came on followed by heavy thunder and rain which lasted several hours and left the air much cooler. Fine and calm through the night.

Tuesday, April 3rd Fine morning. Bathing Parade 7 AM. Inspection for Vol Coy [Volunteer Company] by Col [Colonel] Cooper, R.D. Fuis.[Royal Dublin Fusiliers], who is acting Brigadier, at 9:30. Got out very hot. Bayonet Exercise for Vol Coy at 5 PM.

Wednesday, April 4th Hot today. Parade at 6:30 AM coy drill. 5:00 PM bayonet exercise Vol Coy.

Thursday, April 5th Route march 6:30 AM. Returned 9:00 AM. Bayonet exercise 5:00 PM Vol Coy 144 officers & men joined Battn this morning. 2nd Class Reservists and details from home. Heavy lightning and a little rain at night.

Friday, April 6th Much cooler today. Parade at 6:45 AM. Compy [company] drill Vol Coy. A lot more troops arrived and encamped other side of Elands Laagte Station (Sir Charles Warren's 9division). Bayonet & manual exercise 5:00 PM Vol Coy.

Saturday, April 7th Bathing Parade 7 AM. No further parades. No news of any importance to hand. Hottest day we have had.

Sunday, April 8th Fine day. Very hot, Church parade 7:40. Nothing fresh expecting forward movement every day.

Monday, April 9th Very hot today. Parade 6:30 AM. Compy drill Vol Coy. No. 2 Section outpost all day. Remainder of company outpost all night. Brigadier walked through Camp this morning, was well pleased at tidiness etc. A lot of sick was sent from field hospital here to Colesberg in Princess Christians Hospital train. The whole plain is dotted with Camps of different regiments but cannot get to know the correct strength but think there will be between 30 and 40 Thousand.

Tuesday, April 10th Fine morning, everything as usual up to 7:20 AM when without any warning the Boers started a heavy shellfire from the hills. The first few shells fell in the West Yorks, Devons and Naval Brigade Camps, and then they directed their attention to the Durhams, who were camped nearest to them. The Regt was on Parade drilling. Our coy had just come off outpost duty and were waiting for practice and we were marched behind a small crest undercover where we lay down under arms and waited.

A good lot of shells burst in the air shrapnel and unpleasantly close and lucky for us lots did not burst. Lieut Ritson was hit in the foot by a fragment but fortunately it was spent and he was no worse. And Pte John Armstrong 2nd Durhams was hit on the hand and very slightly cut. Two Bluejackets killed, five wounded. Also two Durhams badly wounded.

We were marched up in skirmishing order by companies, and struck camp packing everything on wagons while those screaming shelves are singing a fine song all around. I was tent orderly and just got away with a dixie when a shell scattered the rest what were left and I got a start when one of our naval guns went off close to me behind a wagon. I gave the gunners a drink of coffee each then saw a shell shift the Boer gun fire.

We bivouacked for the night Waterproof Sheet Rifle & Ammunition Haversacks & Waterbottle a warm bed as the dew falls heavy. Everything quiet till midnight when we were fallen in and the Regt marched and extended along the railway line to protect it as an attack is expected in the morning.

Wednesday April 11th Dull morning. About 6 AM we retired from the Railway about 3 miles and took up another position for Camp Krugeman’s Farm. Fearfully uneven ground on a Kopje side, nothing but huge rocks, and a hard go on with the tents to get room to lie. We are quite in the dark as no lights are allowed. The artillery exchanged a few shots with the enemy during the afternoon.

Thursday, April 12th Hot today Parade at 10 AM. Battn dismissed & fell in with fatigue dress to clear the camp of rocks etc. Paraded 5:00 PM for same purpose. Enemy quiet.

Friday, April 13th Good Friday. Roused at 3 AM by orders to be in readiness to move at once. Packed up and all ready, and lay about till about 2 PM when the Battn fell in for different fatigues - rock shifting etc. No signs of any movement today as it is about tattoo. Lieutt Bowes returned from Capetown quite well again.

Saturday, April 14th Fine morning. Everything passed off all right last night, although we received orders to sleep with boots and putties on ready for the alarm nothing however occurred.

Sunday 15th Fine day. Church parade 10 AM. Left half company paraded for outlying picquet at 5 AM under Lieut Ritson. Right half paraded at 5 PM and went out to reinforce for the night.

Monday, April 16th Fine morning but rather dull. Compy returned 6 AM. Battn parade 9:30 AM. Fell out and fell in again fatigue dress for clearing rocks away from tents.

Tuesday, April 17th Fine morning. Reveille at 3 AM struck tents etc. Paraded at 6 AM and marched 6 or 8 miles and pitched camp again on a grand site. Long grass. This camp is near Modder Spruit.

Wednesday, April 18th Raining heavily almost all night. Nothing of any consequence. Battn on fatigue pulling grass in case of fire.

Thursday April 19th Rained last night. Battn parade 9:30 AM fatigue. Vol Coy Parade 4:30 PM drill order Skirmishing.

Friday, April 20th Fine morning. Battn Parade 9:30 AM. Coy on outpost from 5:30 PM nothing fresh.

Saturday, April 21st Fine morning. Battn Parade 9:30 AM marching order. Three men read out on parade. Field General Court Martial 6 months each hard labour for sleeping on their posts at last Camp. Kit inspection immediately after marching order. Heavy firing heard all day from the Biggarsberg. Boers firing on the Pits. Some Boer prisoners taken by our cavalry. Went over to Natal Carabineers camp to see Reg Schofield. He was down country sick. Had supper with his chums. Very enjoyable night, concert etc.

Sunday, April 22nd Fine morning. Very hot. Church parade 8:40 AM. Rather sickly, had to fallout from Church parade.

Monday, April 23rd Fine, hot. Went to hospital medicine & duty. Battn parade.

Tuesday, April 24th Still sick admitted to field hospital at Modder Spruit.

Wednesday, April 25th Still sickly.

Thursday, April 26th Sent to Station in Ambulance Mule Waggon [sic] to catch Hospital train but missed it and had to come back got much shaken by journey but feel rather better.

Friday, April 27th Fine morning. Left at 6 AM. Dark but very soon got daylight. Went to Elands Laagte station this time got Princess Christian hospital train all right rough journey with Ambulance Van but had a very cosy and pleasant journey down to General Hospital at Mooi River. Arrived there about 6 PM admitted into M Ward number 8 Marquee.

Saturday, April 28th Fine morning. Had a good sleep feel much better, well looked after by Sister M. Hayden. Have to stay in bed.

Sunday, April 29th Drill morning going on all right very hungry nothing to eat only Plain Milk diet.

Monday, April 30th Fine morning getting on well fearfully hungry would like something to eat. Doctor allowed 4 ozs bread per day and two hours out of bed when fine.

[May/June 1900]

Tuesday, May 1st Hot morning received two letters not feeling so well, very sickly, fainted. Sister very kind. Bread stopped and had to stay in bed again.

Wednesday May 2nd Hot morning. Not allowed up and very hungry.

Thursday, May 3rd Fine morning. Still in bed going on well. Nothing to eat yet.

Friday, May 4th Fine morning, still nothing to eat. Pte [Private] Lillies, Dub Fus [Dublin Fusiliers], got a good scholding [sic] for giving me a piece of bread. I got scholded for being out of bed.

Saturday, May 5th Lovely morning. Still in bed. Awfully hungry, would like something to eat. Also to be up.

Sunday, May 6th Fine morning much better allowed up two hours a day when fine and warm, also bread and 2 ounces butter.

Monday, May 7th Fine day, going on well. Had chance to go to England. Allowed a light diet chicken broth etc.

Tuesday, May 8th Fine day. Sister makes jellies, custards etc. Can eat anything.

Wednesday, May 9th Fine day. Getting on well but very weak and tired after a short walk.

Thursday, May 10th Very hot. Allowed roast chicken and one Bottle Beer. Sister makes nice puddings, custards etc. Can eat anything.

Friday and Saturday, May 11th 12th Fine hot weather. Roast chicken diet, two bottles beer a day. All right again now and want to go to Regiment again but can't yet.

Sunday, May 13th Fine day Roast beef diet. Well looked after by Sisters jellies, puddings and custards made by Sister Hayden.

Monday, May 14th Fine day. All right again. Marked out. Roast beef diet. Had chance to go to Convalescent Camp but chose the Regt.

Tuesday, May 15th Hot day. Left Mooi River Hospital at 2 PM for PM Burg [Pietermaritzburg]. Arrived there about 9:30 PM.

Wednesday, May 16th Fine day doctors inspection to see if fit for duty. 9 AM doing duty at Pietermaritzburg until June 17th. Glorious. Hot weather, guards Picquets etc. Governors House guard. Very good dinner – beer, fruit service and cigars. Officers Baggage Guard. Very good dinner. Show Ground guard twice. Attached to the Royal Welch [sic] Fusiliers. Went to Greytown, Estcourt, Chievely, Dundee etc, with Provisional Battalion. Found very good silver mounted stick in trenches at Talana Hill Dundee, also Boer letter. Had a fine time at PM Burg [Pietermaritzburg] during Relief of Mafeking Queen's Birthday etc., tea Parties and concerts. Fireworks etc., passes out to Sports, Races etc.

Sunday, June 17th Cold morning with wind and a little rain. Church parade cancelled 8 AM for doctors inspection to go to the front. Left PM Burg [Pietermaritzburg] at 9:30 PM arrived at 11 PM on Monday night. Nothing to eat but 1 slice of bread and butter and 1 cup of coffee at Ladysmith except 1 small loaf at Glencoe Junction which cost 9d [nine pence]. Bivouacked out that night.

June 19th Fine morning. Attached to Irish Fusiliers doing duty fatigues etc. until Friday June 22nd.

Friday June 22nd Fine morning. Reveille 4 AM to start on the March at 8 AM with Strathconas10 Horse, 1 battery of artillery and 500 infantry with about 200,10 span ox wagons of provisions also a field Hospital Corps with Indian Bearers etc. Durhams details found left flank guard. Very hot and dusty marching and saw Majuba Hill all day and never seem to get any nearer. Arrived at Ingogo about 5 PM and Bivouacked for the night.

Saturday, June 23rd Very cold morning. White frost. Reveille 5 AM. Very heavy road. Hot and dusty during day, very much delayed by wagon breaking down. Cavalry and Artillery pushed on, reached Laings Nek and Bivouacked for the night about 6 PM nearly dark.

Sunday, June 24th Very cold morning white frost, ice ½ inch thick. Coldest night I have ever seen. Sentry over Arms all night - got lots of Boer ammunition out of pools etc. Farms & Houses very much destroyed by Boers, lots of Grand trenches been on Majuba on the march again about 9 AM arrived at Volksrust about 12 PM. Bivouacked on the Green in the middle of Town. Stayed here until June 30th.

Bivouacking all the time with Pte Woodard, Pte Archbold and Pte Suttle of the Durhams. Have to do duty here on account of leaving men on the march at their various Regiments. Very frosty and cold nights. Charlestown was very much destroyed as we came through. Volksrust not much damage. Attached to I.L.I.11 Left Volksrust.

June 30th by train goods wagons at 6 AM. Very cold dark morning. Arrived at Standerton about 8:30 PM June 30th. Attached to D Coy East Surrey Regiment doing fatigues at Standerton bridge which was blown down by Boers.

[July 1900]

Seen General Buller12 almost every day. Fine hot weather during day but very cold and frosty at night. Left Standerton Monday, July 9th for Watervale as the Boers had blown a bridge up near there. Attached to 2nd Devons. Went up on Wagons as far as the line was good. Outpost same night. Very cold night frosty. On short rations from leaving Standerton July 9th.

Thursday, July 12th Cold frosty morning. Reveille at 3 AM had to surround a farm about 4 miles away from which one of Strathcona's men was shot. A white flag was flying from the farm, the man was going up to it with his rifle slung over his shoulder. About 200 of us 2nd Devons and details went out. Skirmishing order with two maxims expecting every minute to get a volley at us. Rather exciting but when we got to the farm the Boers had gone. We saw where about 50 had been sleeping. The women told us all the men were away fighting yet and yet we did not burn the Farm down far too lenient with them. We buried Corporal Lee Strathcona’s at 6 PM. Retreat.13

Left Watervall

Friday, July 13th for Graylingstad. Marches very hot. During day attached to 3rd K.R.R. [King’s Royal Rifles] Arrived about 6 PM nearly dark.

Saturday, July 14th Fine day. Kit inspection etc. Outpost at 5 PM got piece of bridge which was blown up.

Sunday, July 15th Cold morning. All quiet during the night, no attack as expected. Very hungry, ate all today's rations for breakfast. Got a bag of mealie from a Kaffir hut.

Monday, July 16th Reveille at 5 AM on the march back to Watervall to join Regiment. Very hot marching. Joined Regiment at Smiths Farm about 7 PM.

Monday, July 16th [two entries recorded for 16 July] Fine morning. Resting today. Coy dismounted outpost at 7 AM. Waiting here for rations etc. Draft joined at night. 2 naval 12 prs [12pounders] with Bluejackets14 and 1.5 inch joined also with more field and R.H.A.[Royal Horse Artillery], convoy etc.

Tuesday, July 17th Reveille at 6 AM Regt paraded at 8, moved across the drift about a mile and camped. A. Marshall, T. Rowe, Martin, Jefferson, and Foster left to be attached to Devons.

Wednesday, July 18th Battn paraded at 9 AM. Baggage moved off about 9:30. Enemy in touch all the way Vol Coy shelled on the extreme left flank, no one injured. Moved about 10 miles and pitched camp Vol Coy mounted outpost as soon as they got in no tents.

Thursday, July 19th Very cold during the night. White Frost on the long grass. Coy joined Battn and marched off about 9 AM. Baggage at 9:30. Enemy sniping all the way. Grass on fire Convoy had a narrow escape of being caught by the fire. Marched about 12 miles to Leeuwspruit and pitched camp.

Friday, July 20th Resting today until 2:45 we marched across the Spruit and camped again. Nothing occurred.

Saturday, July 21st March at 9 AM about 15 miles to Wessel’s Farm. Snipers busy all the way. A tiring March.

Sunday, July 22nd Cold morning stop Battn paraded at 9 AM. Baggage moved off about same time. Moved about 8 miles to Waterval Store and camped for the night oxen about worked out. Coy manned outpost at night.

Monday, July 23rd Rained heavily during the night. Battn paraded at 9 AM. Coy rejoined as they marched off. Marched about 8 miles to Grootspruit and camped for the night.

Tuesday, July 24th Fine morning Battn Paraded at 9. Baggage moved off same time. Marched about 6 miles to Greylingstad and pitched camp. This is the 3rd time at this place. Canteen in got a good supply of extras which is rather a change from ¾ rations.

Wednesday, July 25th Fine morning but got out very cold and windy. Vol Coy with other 3 companies went up the line to guard a working party of Engineers and wait for a party of Boers who were expected. went in Armoured train returned about 6 PM. Very wet at night. Mail in letter from E[Ethel].15

Thursday, July 26th Cold morning. A lot of rain fell through the night. Inspection of Rifles Ammunition feet, Emergency rations etc. at 10 AM. Paraded at 2 PM and marched across the Railway and pitched Camp again. The remainder of Brigade off to Vlakfontein except Durhams and Scottish Rifles.

Friday, July 27th Cold morning but got out fine later on. No parade today. Nothing particular occurred.

Saturday, July 28th Cold morning but fine Parade for Rifles inspection etc. at 12 PM no further parades washing clothes etc. remainder of day. Nothing occurred.

Sunday, July 29th Fine warm morning. Church Parade at 10 AM. No further parades.

Monday, July 30th Fine morning Parade 11 AM Inspection of Arms, Ammunition etc. at 1:30 PM we moved camp across the Spruit to our old camping ground as General Clery16 came back with Cavalry & Artillery and Hospital Corps. the S.R. and naval 12 pounders are left on the hill across the Spruit. Vol Coyout on outpost at 5:15.

Tuesday, July 31st Fine morning Company dismounted outpost about 8 AM. Parade at 12 for usual inspection.

[August 1900]

Wednesday, August 1st Fine morning Parade 10:30 AM for Btn [Battalion] Coy drill. Wrote to E[Ethel]. Nothing particular occurred.

Thursday, August 2nd Fine morning. Coy drill nothing fresh.

Friday, August 3rd Fine dayBattn Parade at 10:30 AM. Board of Officers sat on Articles to be condemnedCoy outpost at 4:15 PM. Mail in got letter from E[Ethel].

Saturday, August 4th Fine day Coy dismounted outpost about 7:50 AM. Kit inspection for Battn at 10:30. Inspected by Captain & dismissed no further Parades.

Sunday, August 5th Fine morning Church parade 10 AM very warm during day nothing particular. Paid out £1.

Monday, August 6th Cold windy morning BattnParade 10:30 AM. Route March. Wrote to E[Ethel]. Rumours of a move tomorrow. Hospital caught fire Two tents and a lot of Stores burnt.

Tuesday, August 7th Very cold morning. Moved tents in the morning to air ground. No move today. Very cold wind all day. No parade.

Wednesday, August 8th Fine morning Battn parade 10:30 AM company drill. Washing afternoon Coy mounted outpost 4:30 PM on one tree hill nothing occurred.

Thursday, August 9th Fine morning Coy dismounted outpost 7 AM. Battn Paraded 9 AM Baggage moved off about same time. Marched 16 miles to Grange Farm Camp. This is about the most weary march we have done in the Campaign. Never had a halt the whole distance.

Friday, August 10th Fine day. Half Battn including Vol Coy & Cavalry and Artillery went out on a reconnaissance in force at 9 AM returned about 6 PM nothing seen of the enemy.

Saturday, August 11th Marched at 9 AM Baggage same time came back to Greylingstad by a shorter route. An awful day for wind & dust. Everybody as black as sweeps. Arrived about 3 PM. Kits cut down to 1½ lbs [pounds] weight.

Sunday, August 12th Fine morning but still a cold wind up. Church Parade 10:50 AM Company mounted outpost at 4:30. Nothing occurred.

Monday, August 13th Cold morning Coy dismissed outpost 7:30 AM Battn Parade 10:30 Coy drill. Nothing occurred.

Tuesday, August 14th Fine morning Battn Parade 10:30 route March nothing fresh.

Wednesday, August 15th Fine hot morning. Shifted tents to clean the ground 9:30 AM Battn Parade 10:30 Coy drill. Mail in letter from E[Ethel]. English mail left at 6 PM. Tredale rejoined from PM Burg [Pietermaritzburg].

Thursday, August 16th Fine morning Battn parade 10:30 AM.Route March returned at 12 nothing fresh.

Friday, August 17th Hot day. Battn parade 10:30 AM coy drill, washing clothes etc. in afternoon. Coy mounted outpost at 4:30 PM nothing occurred.

Saturday, August 18th Hot day Battn parade at 10 AM for all hands. Coy dismounted outpost at 7:30 AM. Moved tents to air the ground kit inspection. Sergt Major Friel rejoined Battn today.

Sunday, August 19th Fine day. Church parade 9:50 AM. Nothing fresh.

Monday, August 20th Fine morning. Battn parade 10:30 AM. Company drill for Vol Coy. Nothing occurred.

Tuesday, August 21st Very windy dusty morning. Battn parade 10 AM with bugle band playing, returned 11:30 AM. Coy mounted outpost at 5 PM. Nothing occurred.

Wednesday, August 22nd Fine morning Coy dismounted outpost at 7:30 AM. Moved camp at 9 AM about 800 yards as the ground was getting dirty. No parade English mail closed at 6 PM.

Thursday, August 23rd Fine morning but got out very windy and dusty later on. No parade Garrison sports today.

Friday, August 24th Fine morning but got out very windy and dusty. Large grass fire occurred during the morning and as the Vol Coy was on fire picquet we had to turn out to put it out. No parade. Mail in letter from E[Ethel]. Very cold towards night.

Saturday, August 25th Fine morning Battn kit inspection at 10 AM. Very hot during the day. Nothing fresh.

Sunday, August 26th Fine morning Church parade 9:50, Searr & Brown rejoined from PM Burg [Pietermaritzburg]. Nothing occurred.

Monday, August 27th Fine morning Fine morning [repeated] Battn paraded at 8 AM and marched 18 miles to Vaal Bridge. Hot march. Coy mounted outpost where they got in.

Tuesday, August 28th Rained during the night & first thing this morning. Paraded at 9-15 and marched 20 miles to Standerton. Rained heavily at night.

Wednesday, August 29th Last night late on a terrific thunderstorm broke over the camp and torrents of rain continued almost all night. The lightning lit up the country like noon day. Rain continued all day on Guard at Krugers Brug tonight 24 hours. Mail in, letter from E[Ethel].

Thursday, August 30th Rained in torrents all night. Thunder and Lightning awful sump almost knee-deep at railway bridge deviation. Everything wet, rain continued almost all day but faired up towards night.

Friday, August 31st Finer morning Parade for inspection of Rifles by companies at 10 AM. Issue of presents got two pairs socks got out nice and warm during day.

[September 1900]

Saturday, September 1st Fine morning Battn parade 10 AM company drill. No further parades. Coy mounted outpost at 5 PM.

Sunday, Sept 2nd Fine morning Compy dismounted outpost at 7 AM Church parade 10 AM.

Monday, Sept 3rd Fine morning got out very hot during the day. Struck camp about 12:30 and moved about 2 miles across the Spruit. Hottest day we have had for some time.

Tuesday, Sept 4th Fine hot day. Mail in letter from E[Ethel]. Battn Parade 11 AM Route March. No further parades.

Wednesday, Sept 5th Hot day. Battn parade 10 AM nothing particular occurred.

Thursday, September 6th Fine day with a good breeze up. Battn parade at 10 AM Route March. Whether turning hotter. Nothing particular.

Friday, August[September?]7th Fine day but windy. Battn parade at 10 AM for coy drill. Compy mounted outpost at 5:30 PM.

Saturday, September 8th Cold windy morning Reveille at 3 AM. Company dismounted outpost at 3:30 AM. Battn paraded at 5 AM. Baggage moved off at 5:30 marched to Waterval 18 miles a tiring journey. A commando of 500 Boers reported in the neighbourhood.

Sunday, Sept 9th Fine morning Battn paraded at 8 AM. Baggage moved off about 9 marched about 10 miles to Grootspruit got out very hot during the day.

Monday, Sept 10th Fine morning resting today nothing particular occurred.

Tuesday, Sept 11th Fine morning Battn Paraded at 8:15. Baggage moved off at 8:30 AM. Marched about 10 miles to Drakfontein and pitched Camp. Boers in force in the vicinity Company outpost at 5 PM at about 10:30 PM some of T.M.I17 horses broke loose & stampeded causing an alarm in camp.

Wednesday, Sept 12th Coy dismounted outpost at 6:30 AM. Battn paraded at 8:15 AM. Baggage moved off 8:30 marched about 8 miles to Oudehoutraai, just in ORC18 and pitched camp, good water near camp. Very hot day. Oudehoutraai {Oudehoutdraai?} ORC.

Thursday, Sept 13th Resting today awaiting convoy with Rations which arrived at night 4 companiesinc Vol Coy out this morning as support to the T.M.1s. Burned down a farm and returned. Splendid waterVaal River.

Friday, Sept 14th Reveille 4 AM Battn paraded at 5:15 AM baggage moved off at 5:30 marched back to Drakfontein, about 8 miles arriving before the sun got very high. Very hot day Vol Coy mounted outpost at 5 PM. Boers on our old campground about one hour after we left and shot one of our native scouts Josey. Mail in letter from E[Ethel].

Saturday, September 15th Coy dismounted outpost at 6:30 AM not moving today, waiting for a convoy with rations which arrived at night. Nothing occurred.

Sunday, Sept 16th Not moving today Church parade 9:45 AM. Very hot day nothing Particular occurred. Rum at night.

Monday, Sept 17th Battn Parade 10 AM coy drill, hot day but a good breeze up. Col Fitzgerald came around camp at dinner hour. 6 months in Africa today. Football match at night Vols v Engineer Vols won 2 to 0.

Tuesday, Sept 18th Battn Parade 10 AM coy drill. Very hot during day. Nothing startling. Mail in letter from E[Ethel]. Vol Coy mounted outpost at 5 PM.

Wednesday, Sept 19th Coy dismounted outpost at 7 AM. Battn Parade 10. Vol Coy not for Parade football match at night Vol Coy v Engineer Vols won 3 to nil.

Thursday, Sept 20th Very hot day. Battn drill 10 AM. Nothing startling occurred. Rum at night.

Friday, Sept 21st. Hot at day a breeze got. Alarm at 10 AM Battn fell in and extended skirmishing order General Clery on parade. Company mounted outpost at 5 PM.

Saturday, Sept 22nd Reveille 5 AM compy dismounted outpost 5:30 AM Battn Parade 7 AM and marched to Waterval camp. Halted for an hour on the road. Very hot marching. Got into Camp about 1 PM. About 10 miles.

Sunday, Sept 23rd Fine morning, got out hot but a fair breeze up. Church parade 10 AM down river washing clothes in afternoon.

Monday, Sept 24th Fine morning Reveille 5 AM Battn Parade 7 AM. Marched to Vlaklaagte & pitched Camp. Very hot marching. Dismounted Quarter Guard at 6 PM Retreat. Very bad water the worst we have had yet. About 14 miles. Got fine Goose had a fine supper.

Tuesday, Sept 25th Very hot today. Reveille 5 AM Battn marched off at 7 AM to Standerton about 10 miles. A hot march. Mail in letter from E[Ethel]. Nothing startling. Rum at night. Got new tents.

Wednesday, Sept 26th Hot day but a breeze up causing plenty of dust. Parade by Companies at 10 AM inspection of Rifles, ammunition emergency Rations, feet etc. Rumours of a move tomorrow to Ermilo.{Ermelo}

Thursday, September 27th Hot day. No parade 2 companies moved to Vlaklaagte Station to relieve Devons. Board on clothing etc.

Friday, Sept 28th Hot day. Paraded 8:30 AM and marched to Railway Hill (2 miles) and pitched Camp by ourselves away from Headquarters.

Saturday, Sept 29th Fine morning, up at 4 AM As Capt Turnbull & Lieut Ritson went off to Pretoria on 10 days leave, leaving Lieut Bowes in command. We are occupied in Guarding Krugers Brug Railway bridge and temporary bridge across the river, we are within a few yards of the Railway.

Sunday, Sept 30th Fine day but very windy with plenty of dust all day. Divine Service at 10 AM for all creeds. Rum at night.

[October 1900]

Monday, October 1st Very windy and dusty all day. Parade drill order 9:30 AM. An awful day for dust & sand. We are within a few yards of Railway and see lots of trains going up and down Country.

Tuesday, October 2nd Cold and windy today. Parade 7 AM and Rifle inspection 9:30 AM a very cold windy miserable sort of day.

Wednesday, October 3rd Better sort of day. Parade 7 AM Rifle, amm, Emmergency [sic] Rations inspection at 9:30 AM. Mail in letter from E[Ethel].

Thursday, October 4th Fine day. Parade 7 AM. After breakfast, moved tents to air ground. English mail closes at 1 PM.

Friday, October 5th Fine day. Route March at 7 AM. Rifle inspection at 9:30.

Saturday, October 6th Fine day good breeze up. Parade at 7 AM for Physical drill Rifle inspection. Washing all afternoon. Very strong wind got up about 10 PM continued all night.

Saturday, October 7th High wind continued all night, very windy and dusty this morning. Church parade at 9:30 AM under Lieut Bowes. Part of Gen Rundle’s division under Gen Campbell came in today for provisions etc 19. On Guard on Kruger's Brug till 6 PM.

Monday, October 8th Fine day. Parade 7 AM. Rifle inspection 9:30 AM. Pass out in the Town. Capt & Lieut Ritson returned from Pretoria by train. Got orders to go down Country for England.

Tuesday, October 9th Fine day. Paraded 7 AM and marched to Railway Station. Left at 8:15 AM in coal trucks. Crossed the border into Natal at 1 PM. Stopped at Charlestown for an hour and continued all day. Traveling all night changed into carriages at Glencoe Junction about midnight. Arrived at Ladysmith about 2 AM. Left there about 6 AM Wednesday, October 10th and went on to Estcourt, where we got a piece of bread and butter, cup of coffee for Breakfast. Left there 11:30 next stop Willow Grange and then on to Highlands. Short stop at each place. Left Highlands 12:30 next stop Mooi River about an hour left there 2:30 got bread and cheese. Past Nottingham Road, arrived at PM Burg [Pietermaritzburg] about 9 PM.

Thursday, October 11th Very hot day, everything upside down, nobody knew we were coming. No rations till about 10 o'clock biscuits and bully Beef. Went and drew out Kits during afternoon and found a lot of deficiencies. A few more companies of Volunteers marched in during the day.

Friday, October 12th Very close and hot. Coy drill 6:30 AM nothing particular. PM Burg [Pietermaritzburg] lies in a basin surrounded by high hills on all sides. Lovely view.

Saturday, October 13th Very hot. Physical drill 6:30 AM gave in our ammunition today.

Sunday, October 14th Hot but nice breeze upChurch parade 8 AM. Mail in letter from E[Ethel]. Jack Lynch and I went to Cathedral at night. Fire alarm went at 12 midnight all had to turn out.

Monday, October 15th Hot day. Nothing particular occurred.

Tuesday, October 16th Very hot. Got orders to be in readiness to move back to Ladysmith. Paraded at 8:30 PM. Queen’s E [East] Surrey, Dorset & Durham Volunteer Companies and left about 9:15 PM, arriving at Van Reenen’s pass on Wednesday, October 17th and joined draft here.

Wednesday, October 17th, Arrived at Van Reenen’s Pass. Very hot place a lot of details of all sorts here.

[End of diary entries in notebook 1 of 3]

[Private Alfred Robinson was discharged at Pietermaritzburg (popularly called Maritzburg) on 21 February 1901 after one year and 29 days “in consequence of his being permitted to join Kitchener’s Fighting Scouts.”]

The following entries were recorded separately in the rear of notebook one:

2nd Brigade
West Surrey Regt.
East Surrey Regt.
West Yorks Regt.
2nd Devons Regt.

4th Brigade
1st Rifle Brigade
3rd King’s Royal Rifles
2nd Scottish Rifles
1st Durham Light Infantry

Colonel Cooper, Royal Dublin Fusiliers, in command 4th Brigade.
General Clery20 in command of 2nd Division.
General Buller21 in command of column.

Volunteer Company, 1st Durham Light Infantry.
No. 1 Section – Sergeant Berry, 1st V.B. DLI; Corporal Beavon
No. 2 Section – Sergeant Smith, 2nd V.B. DLI; Corporal Castling
No. 3 Section – Sergeant Dalton, 3rd V.B. DLI; Corporal J Hamilton
No. 4 Section – Sergeant Hunter, 3rd V.B. DLI; Corporal Metcalf
No. 5 Section – Sergeant Cuthbertson, 4th V.B. DLI; Corporal Mews

Copies of battalion orders
Battalion orders by Lieut Col Woodlands, commanding 1st Durham light infantry, Laings Nek, 15 June 1900

VIII. Special Natal Army order,
Headquarters, Laings Nek, 14.VI.00

The GOC has much pleasure communicating to the troops are following telegrams:-

from H.M. The Queen to General Sir Redvers Buller. Balmoral 10. VI. 00
Rejoice at your success. Trust wounded are doing well. V.R.I.

from Gen. Buller to Queen Victoria, Balmoral.
Gans Vlei. 11.VI.00
All the troops thank your Majesty for gracious telegram. All wounded progressing well.

From HM the Queen to General Buller, Natal.
Balmoral. 12.VI.00.
Am delighted at the good news you report to me and sincerely congratulate you and the troops under you on having freed Natal from the enemy after this long struggle of eight months. V.R.I.

From Governor of Natal to General Buller, Natal.
Pietermaritzburg 12.6.00
Accept my warm congratulations. Natal, which is now clear of the enemy will never forget the debt to you and the brave troops under your command.

From Prime Minister, Natal to Gen Buller, Verts Farm, Volkrust.
Pietermaritzburg 12.VI.00
Heartiest congratulations on your brilliant success. We are under a deep debt of gratitude to you for having driven the invaders from the Colony, and we are all proud of you and of the brave troops under your command.

From Governor of Victoria to General Sir R. Buller, South Africa.
Melbourne 14.VI.00.
Victoria recognizes fully the immense difficulties of your Campaign and your magnificent successes notwithstanding. Send warmest applause and congratulations for delivery of Natal.


It is notified for information that the Union Jack which was hoisted at the Court House at Standerton on Sunday is the one which was hauled down in 1881 when the Transvaal ceased to be British territory. The General Officer Commanding congratulates the Natal F. Force upon the successful result of their operations.

Copies of inscriptions on the monument on Amajuba Mountain taken June 1900

1stA large cross, almost in the center, inscribed

2ndA stone cross very near the above

3rd & 4th Two small wooden crosses, enclosed by a rough stone wall

The spot where General Colley fell is marked by a mound of rough stones, and on top a single stone inscribed “Colley Fell.”

Majuba is 6500 feet above sea level and from the summit there is a most magnificent view. Van Reenen’s Pass 5,550 feet above sea level.

Sunday’s River Camp to 3
Krugman’s Farm to 6
Modder Spruit to 7
Collins Farm to 13
Sunday’s River Drift to 10
Waschbank River to 10
Vanmaark’s Kraal Farm to 6
Stone Hill Farm to 12
Pieter’s Farm to 19
Weden to 14
Dannhauser to 22
Newcastle to 22
Ingogo River Drift to 12
Mount Prospect to 5
Laing’s Nek to 8
Charlestown (border) to 4
Total Natal151
Volksrust (border) to
Joubert’s Farm to 8
Dassie Klip Farm to 13
Paardekop to 12
Hattash Spruit to 22
Standerton to 8
Wessel’s Farm to 11
Waschout Spruit to 15
Greylingstad to 11
Vlakfontein to 11
Greylingstad to 13
Vitpoort {Witpoort} to 6
Platkop to 4
Holgate Fontein to 9
Waterval 12
Moved across drift to 1
Irenedale to 9
Leeuwspruit to 12
Moved across spruit to 1.5
Wessel’s Farm to 10
Watervaal Store to 8
Grootspruit to 8
Greylingstad to 5
Moved across spruit 1
Grange Farm Camp to 15
Greylingstad to 12
Vaal Bridge to 16
Moved across spruit 20
Watervaal to 2
Grootspruit to 18
Drakfontein to 9
Oudehoutraai to 8
Drakfontein to 7
Watervaal to 7
Vlaklaagte 10
Standerton 14
Railway Hill Standerton 2
Train to Pietermaritzburg
Train to Van Reenen’s Pass
Total212.5 [207.5]
Grand Total 513.5 miles

[End of notebook 1 of 3]

Discharge Certificate from Durham Light Infantry – Pietermaritzburg 21 Feb 1901

Certificate of Character during service in the Durham Light Infantry – Pietermaritzburg 21 Feb 1901

[21 February 1901 to 27 August 1901 – notebook 2 of 3]

Corpl A Robinson
B. Troop
F. Squadron [1st Battalion],
Kitcheners Fighting Scouts
Field Forces
South Africa

Received this Book on Easter Sunday, April 7th 1901 at Bethesda Road Station, Cape Colony22

[February 1901]

Thursday, February 21st 1901 Reveille at 5/30 AM. Fine morning. Attached to details 4th Brigade at Fort Napier Barracks, Pietermaritzburg, since leaving SS Company23, 1st Durham Light Infantry at Van Reenen's Pass. Doing duty drills, guards, picquets, outposts etc. Very hot day came on heavy thunderstorm at 4 PM. Got my discharge and joined KFS [Kitchener’s Fighting Scouts] and went to cavalry camp at the showgrounds24.

Friday, February 22nd Reveille 5/30 AM. Stables, fed & watered horses etc. Breakfast 8, drill 10, Dinner 1 PM, Drill 2 PM, Stables etc. 3 PM, Tea 6. Very hot day, fine night.

Saturday, February 23rd Fine hot morning. Usual duties, drills etc. Served out with fine new Kit. Fine clear night.

Sunday, February 24th Reveille 5/30 AM. Fine hot morning. Stables, usual duties. Church parade 10 AM. Very hot day. I went to cathedral at night. Fine night.

Monday, February 25th Fine morning. Reveille 5/30 AM. Stables, drills etc. Riding school etc. did well with horse. Fine hot day.

Tuesday, February 26th Fine morning, usual duties. Made Lance Corporal. On guard at night. Very hot day, fine clear night.

Wednesday, February 27th Reveille 5/30 fine morning, stables etc. On patrol at night had some bother with recruits, about a dozen in guard tent. Came on heavy rain at night.

Thursday, February 28th Reveille 5/30 fine morning, usual duties etc. Orderly Room 10 AM, two prisoners got 14 & 7 days respectively for breaking carriage windows etc. also fined £12-10s-0d. Made Corporal.

[March 1901]

Friday, March 1st Fine hot day busy getting ready for front. Paid 10/- [ten shillings] but no one allowed out in town. The showgrounds at 5 PM, heavy shower came on as we left. Posted letter to E [Ethel] at Station.

Saturday, March 2nd Travelling all last night and today in carriages. Arrived at Volksrust 5 PM. Bivouacked all night close to station. Fine hot day, clear night.

Sunday, March 3rd Left 4/40 AM on three goods trains 20 men. Sergeant, two corporals on each train all trains travelling close together. Fine hot day, fine scenery. Nothing occurred. Saw wrecked trains just outside Standerton. Arrived at Elandsfontein 7:30 PM. On guard at night. Fine clear starlight night.

Monday, March 4th Busy drilling etc. Inspected by Lord Kitchener25 and General Baden Powell26. Fine hot day.

Tuesday, March 5th Left 6 AM travelling all day on trucks. Fine hot day. Stayed night at Kroonstad.

Wednesday, March 6th Left 6 AM. Fine hot day. Delayed by waiting on sidings for trains to pass. Stayed all night at Jaggersfontein Road Station.

Thursday, March 7th Left 6 AM. Fine hot day. Travelling very slow & much delayed. Stayed all night at Colesburg Junction. Fine clear moonlight night.

Friday, March 8th Left 6 AM. Very hot day. Usual slowness & stoppings. Stayed night at Naauwpoort. Fine & clear night.

Saturday, March 9th Left at 6 AM. Very hot day. Arrived at De Aar 12 PM. Stayed on siding until daylight.

Sunday, March 10th Fine hot day. Had several hours to wait. Called on Harry Garry. He was very well and pleased to see me. Had lunch, wash & brush up with him. Left about 11:30 AM. Travelling all day & night. Arrived at Beaufort West 2/30 AM March 11th. Saw lots of ostriches.

Monday, March 11th Fine morning. Detrained at 6 AM. Went to Camp close by, drew tents etc., rations. Fine night.

Tuesday, March 12th Fine hot day. Reveille 5/30 AM. Stables got very wild. Unbroken horses to mount refused by other regiments. Many thrown. On guard at night.

Wednesday, March 13th Fine morning, stables etc. Usual carry on with rough horses. Many not had a saddle on or bridle, only used to tie up with halters. I got nasty throw. Soon all right again.

Thursday, March 14th Reveille 5/30 AM. Fine morning. Usual stable, parade drill etc. Packing wagons with provisions for trek. Fine town Beaufort West. Plenty of good water, fruit etc. and shady trees on each side of streets. Also channels of clear water running down.

Friday, March 15th Fine hot morning. Usual duties, drills etc. On guard at Remount Kraal. Fine clear night.

Saturday, March 16th Fine morning. Reveille 4 AM, on march 5 AM. Very hot. Outspanned 10 AM for feed, breakfast etc. Water scarce. On March again at 2 PM. Very hot. Camped at 6 PM. Very rocky & sandy. Fine night.

Sunday, March 17th Reveille 4 AM. Fine morning. Advance guard, no water until 3 PM then very little and bad. Fine clear night on guard.

Monday, March 18th Reveille 4 AM, on March 5 AM. Very hot & sandy, only short bush scrub, red sand & rocks insight. Only water to get a digging holes in dry river beds and waiting for water to come up - then very little & dirty. Outspanned 9:30 AM until 2:30 PM. Camped at 5. Fine night.

Tuesday, March 19th Reveille 4 AM, fine morning. On March 5 AM. Outspanned 10 AM. Very hot, no water in Karoo Desert, no grazing for horses. On March again at 2 PM. Camped at 6 PM. Fine night.

Wednesday, March 20th Fine clear morning. Reveille 4 AM, on March 5 AM. Very hot now. Outspanned 9 AM, small wells. On March at 2 PM. Came to fine lake of water at 5 PM. Camped for night. Fine clear night. On guard.

Thursday, March 21st Fine morning. On March 5 AM. Outspanned 10 AM. Country more mountainous, good water. Saw lots of ostriches, lots of scrub & bush. On March again 2 PM. Arrived back at Beaufort West 7 PM. Horses very much tired and done up.

Friday, March 22nd Reveille 6:30 AM. Fine morning. Stables etc. Vet inspection. Very hot day, fine clear night.

Saturday, March 23rd Reveille 6:30 AM. Fine morning. Usual duties etc. Very hot day, fine night

Sunday, March 24th Fine hot morning. Stables etc. Church Parade 10 AM. I am orderly Corporal. Went to Wesleyan Chapel at night. Fine clear starlight night.

Monday, March 25th Reveille 5:30 AM. Stables etc. Getting ready to move. Entrained at 4 PM and left for Graaff Reinet. Fine night.

Tuesday, March 26th Travelling all night, arrived at De Aar 4 AM. Went to see Harry Garry at daylight, had a few hours to wait. Had breakfast, wash & brush up etc with Harry. He is very well. Glad I called. Left De Aar 11:30. Stayed at Naauwpoort all night.

Wednesday, March 27th On again at daylight. 5 AM on the first train with horses & 25 men. Very hot day. Engine broke down, had to wait several hours. Had sports etc to pass time away. One long distance race to top of steep kopje. Geary27 1st, Queen28 2nd, myself 3rd. 19 started. Officers gave prizes (money) for flat races, long & high jumps etc. On again a little further then stayed nearly all night to wait for other trains come up. Did not come, on again until 4:30 AM.

Thursday, March 28th About 5:30 AM, train began to rock very much from side to side then line tore up. Got down from train just as volley went over us. Saw lots of Boers about 1500 yards away. Laid down ready for them to come on. Lots of bullets came over us. Two horses hit in same truck as mine then armoured train came up and fired a few shots with maxim. Boers did scoot then, repaired line and went on to Graaff Reinet. Detrained, very busy remainder of the day feeding & watering horses, drawing rations etc. Very hot day. I had a very fine supper at Mr Mogridge’s, also as many fine grapes as I could eat. Very fine clear starlight night. Went to bivouack close by at 2 AM. Corporal Alexander29 on guard. We then had more grapes, bread, jam etc. (Received 9 letters here).

Friday, March 29th Reveille 5 AM. Marched off 6 AM. Col [Colonel] Colenbrander30 & Major Wilson’s31 column. R.A. [Royal Artillery] 15 pounder Pom Poms etc. Hot day, rough bush country. Off saddled 10 AM, breakfast, feed etc. On March at 12 again until 4 PM. Camped for night, fine clear moonlight night. On outpost picquet at night. Was left flanking all day, rugged scenery, water scarce.

Saturday, March 30th Fine morning. Reveille 4 AM, marched off 5 AM. Advanced guard, off saddled 10 AM, breakfast feed etc. On again 12 noon. Seen lots of fine ostriches, Springboks, tortoises. Found one ostrich egg, four of us had it for supper. Camped 4 PM, fine warm clear moonlight night.

Sunday, March 31st Reveille 4 AM, marched off 4:30, outspanned 10 AM at Farm & store. Very hard now, water scarce & dirty, long way from camp. Close on Boers now. Rested for 2 hours, dinner feed etc. F Squadron went after Boers at 12 (noon) through very mountainous country, up very steep path full of thick bush. We had to lead horses all afternoon, could not ride. Just got up mountains as dark was coming on. Close on Boers. Got 1 sick prisoner & 4 worn out horses. Camped overnight at 7:30 PM, fine clear night.

[April 1901]

Monday, April 1st Reveille at 1:30 AM, fine moonlight morning waning moon. Had to wait for daylight after moon went down - we could not see rough country, full of deep holes & drifts etc. Came in sight of Boer's rearguard at 10:30 AM. Halted & dismounted among rocks & hills. Formed up dismounted for attack, had feed, breakfast etc. On again at 12 noon. Came on to rain and very heavy mist like a sheet. Turned out very wet afternoon, had to camp at 5PM. Lost sight of Boers. Very wet cold night. On guard at store & Hotel.

Tuesday, April 2nd Reveille 5 AM, on march 6 AM. Very dark, cold, wet morning. Offsaddled 11 AM, on march again at 12 noon. Forage for horses (lucerne) at 2 PM. Riding all day until 8:30 PM. Wet and foggy all day, could not see 100 yards. Missed seeing some fine scenery as we passed along.

Wednesday, April 3rd Reveille 5/30 on march 6. Off saddled at 9 AM for breakfast and feed. On march again at 10 until 1 PM when we rejoined column. Outpost at night. Very wet & cold night, could not keep warm.

Thursday, April 4th Wet misty morning, came off picquet at 6/30 AM. Marched off at 10 AM, rearguard. Very mountainous country had to walk and lead horses most of the way. Off saddled 2 PM for feed, dinner etc. On observation post - marched off again at 4 PM. My horse broke away from man holding him in and went with troop. I had to walk 12 miles as all wagons had gone on. Got out fine & clear, arrived in Camp at 8/30 PM just as patrol was starting out to look for me. Lovely clear moonlight night now.

Friday, April 5th Reveille 4/30 AM, marched off 5/30 fine morning. Off saddled at 8 AM for breakfast, feed etc. on march again at 10. Passed through Bethesda at 2 PM, a very pretty little town in the valley, surrounded by very high mountains. Fine trees on each side of streets, lovely scenery very mountainous. Camped outside town 2:30 PM. Came on to rain at 4 PM. Terrific thunderstorm and lightning, rained in torrents. Fixed up a bivouack, very cold & wet night.

Saturday, April 6th Reveille 6 AM. Dull, damp, misty morning, washed clothes etc. Got out fine 10 AM. Marched out back through town again then over mountains to right of road we came yesterday. On connecting link duty from scouts to advanced guard. Very mountainous country, fine rough scenery. Very bad roads, slow travelling, one wagon turned completely over. Camped at 5/30 PM near to Bethesda Road station. Telegraph wires cut down by Boers. Convoy joined us here

Sunday, April 7th (Easter Sunday). Reveille 5/30 AM. Fine morning (got several letters including book32). Marched off 9 AM rearguard. Very rough roads, had to wait two hours to let wagons get up mountains. Three Ox teams to be put on one wagon. Got to top at 4 PM, off saddled, feed and tea. On March again at 5, very cold now. Camped at 8 PM for night. On guard, fine clear frosty moonlight night.

Monday, April 8th Reveille 4 AM, very cold. E & F Squadrons and 1 Pom Pom left camp at 5 after Boers. Off saddled at 10 AM, feed, on march again at 11. Came in sight of Boers rearguard at 12 noon. Very hot now. Some sniping. I was on advance guard. Off saddled at 1 PM, horses very tired and done up. On March again at 2 PM. Did not see Boers again. Camped for night at 10 PM. Very dark after 6 PM until 8:30 PM when moon rose. Fine clear night.

Tuesday, April 9th Reveille 5:30 AM, march off at 6. Fine hot morning, arrived at Fish River 10 AM. feed horses, drew rations etc. Had a fine swim, third wash since leaving Graaf Reinert [March 29th]. Inspections of horses, rifles etc. during afternoon. Heavy thunder & lightning, rained in torrents, then got very windy but fine clear cold night.

Wednesday, April 10th Reveille 3:30 AM, saddled up and at station 6 AM. Entrained at 8 AM. Corpl of Headquarters guard on the last train. Left Fish River Station at 4/30 PM, very cold night. Guard much crowded in truck - 20 men with saddles & kit.

Thursday, April 11th Fine morning, arrived at Colesburg Junction 8 AM. Had breakfast. On again, arrived at Norvals Pont 11 AM. Took out horses & mules for water & feed. Had dinner. Corporal of Horse Kraal Guard. Had a swim in Orange River, fine swift river ¼ mile wide. Loaded up train with horses & mules at 7 PM, left at 11 PM.

Friday, April 12th Fine morning. On first train now (Headquarters). Corporal of Guard all the way, arrived at Springfontein Junction at 8 AM. Breakfast, very hot now, arrived at Bloemfontein 4 PM. Watered & fed horses etc took them off train. On guard, fine clear night.

Saturday, April 13th Train started at daybreak, 5:15 AM. Arrived at Brandfort at 8 AM, had breakfast, very hot fine morning. On again, past Smaldul at 10 AM. Came on dull and very windy at 10:30 AM. Arrived at Kroonstad at 3:30 PM. Watered & fed horses & mules, had tea & supper. Fine clear night.

Sunday, April 14th Dull cold morning. Train started 5:30 AM. Delayed 2 hours on account of line torn up near Jordaan. Cold dull day, arrived at Viljoens Drift at 3:15 PM. Fed & watered horses & mules. Left 5 PM, stayed all night at Vereeniging at 6. Stayed all night fine clear. Corporal of main guard.

Monday, April 15th Reveille 4:30 AM. Fine morning, watered & fed horses & mules. (5 trains of cavalry details on sidings besides our trains - had good consert [sic] last night). Train left at 6:30 AM, arrived at Elandsfontein 10 AM. Stayed two hours, had coffee etc. arrived Irene 2 PM, a Large Women and Childrens Camp Refugees. Stayed here two hours. Arrived at Pretoria 4:30 PM. Watered & fed horses & mules, on again at 9 PM. Stayed all night remainder of night at Warm Baths.

Tuesday, April 16th Fine morning, fed horses & mules. Left Warm Baths at 7 AM, arrived at Nylstroom 9:30 AM. Passed through fine country, trees & bush, and then fine open grazing spaces, tall grass etc. Drew rations, had breakfast, on again at 11 AM. Arrived at Piet Potgieters Rust33 station at 5 PM. Detrained, fine night.

Wednesday, April 17th Reveille 4:30 AM, march off at 6 AM. Our mounted men who arrived attached to A Squadron. Men whose horses had not arrived going with ox wagons. My horse with F Squadron has not come yet. First time I have been with wagons. Fine country, all farms deserted. Plenty of Lemons, Bananas, Watermelons, Sugar Canes. plenty of Water. Very hilly country. Outspanned 12 noon for feed and dinner, very hot. On March again at 2 PM. Country now flat, full of Prickly Hook & Stick Bush, open spaces of high grass 8 to 10 feet high. Water scarce. Camped 5 PM. On outpost.

Thursday, April 18th Reveille 4:30 AM, fine morning. Came off outpost at 5:30 AM on march at 6 AM. Bush very thick now bad travelling, only very narrow Wagon track, deep sand. Blazing hot, no water on march. Outspanned at 1 PM where we came to creek of good water. Drew rations on march again at 4 PM. Camped for night at 7:30 PM, fine night. Orderly Corporal. Warned guards & outposts.

Friday, April 19th Reveille 5:30 AM, fine morning. Marched off at 8 AM, very hot, thick bush. Many places bush meets overhead, just room for wagons to pass through. Very deep sand, hard to pull wagons through. Outspanned at 1 PM on open space near good water in grazing patch. On March again at 4 PM. Fine night, camped at 8:30 PM. Posted guards & outposts.

Saturday, April 20th Reveille 3 AM. On march at 4 AM until 8:30 AM when we joined Plumer’s34 column in the Impi Mountains. Very dense bush. Seen lots of buck game etc. Took over Prisoners of War and Refugees. Very hot day, water scarce and 4 miles away. Marched off again to Pietersburg35 at 2:30 PM. Camped for night at 8 PM. Fine night, no water.

Sunday, April 21st Reveille 5:30 AM, march off at 6:30 AM. Dense bush & deep sand. Outspanned 9:30 AM. Very hot, good water. Lots of dead horses & cattle laid about, stink very bad. Inspanned 3 PM, on trek until 7:30 PM. Camped for night. Mountainous country now, fine clear night new moon.

Monday, April 22nd Reveille 3 AM. On treck [sic] 4 AM, through very mountainous country & pass. Very rough thick bush. Outspanned 8AM, issued rations, orderly room etc. On treck at 2 PM. Boers in sight at 3 PM. Lagered [sic] up wagons ready for attack. Went on outpost picquet at 5PM on large kopje. Very bad climb up. Fine moonlight night. Boer prisoners & refugees making much noise in camp, singing etc. I had to send word to Sergt of Prisoners Guard to make them keep quiet. All passed off quiet.

Tuesday, April 23rd Fine hot morning. Picquet stood to arms at daybreak. No enemy in sight. Two squadrons + 1 Pom Pom went out on Patrol heavy Pom Pom firing heard at 8 AM until 9 AM. Refugees crying very much now. Patrol returned at 11:30 AM. Inspanned 1 PM country not so dense now, after 3 PM fine open country. Camped 5:30 PM. On outpost again. Fine clear moonlight night. Countersign Sheffield.

Wednesday, April 24th Reveille 5 AM, came off outpost 6 AM. Dull cold morning. On treck 6 AM, fine open country. Arrived at Pietersburg 11:30 AM, drew rations etc. Got out very hot during afternoon. Fine clear moonlight night. Captain Kyle36 gone to Cape Town sick.

Thursday, April 25th Reveille 5:30 AM. Stables, mounted Parade 7 AM. Sergt Major Hart sent my horse away to Left Wing. Watered & fed horses, drew rations. Very hot day, inspection of horses. On picquet at 5:30 PM. Fine clear moonlight night.

Friday, April 26th Fine morning, came off outpost 6 AM. Breakfast, drew rations, watered & fed horses. Inspection of arms 11 AM, very hot day. Fell in at 7 PM and marched out to Klipdam River. I got another horse, a Grey mare, as I could not get my own back from left Wing. I was out scouting in front of advanced guard. Fine & moonlight until 2 AM when moon went down. Very rough ground, full of ant hills & holes, rocks etc. Very frosty & heavy dew at 3 AM. My horse took colic very bad through eating wet grass. She looked like dead once, but came round again. Vultures &jackals around but no more Scouts near. Waited for advance guard. Soon after we joined our Squadron and at daybreak galloped into Van Rensburgs Laager.

Sunday, April 27th At daylight galloped into and captured Laager after artillery had put a few shells in. The Boers were completely surprised. The sentries were half asleep over fires and some just getting out of Blankets. Fine cold morning. We captured 41 Prisoners, also lots of Cattle and Wagons, Arms & 38,000 rounds of S.A. ammunition. 7 Boers were killed. On march at 2 PM. Very hot now. Camped at 4:30 PM close to Klipdam River. Very good water, had a good wash and Bathe. Fine clear moonlight night, hilly country.

Sunday, April 28th Reveille 5:30 AM, morning. D Squadron out on patrol. B troop, F Squadron warned for patrol at 5 PM. fine cool Breeze but got out very hot afternoon. Patrol cancelled for 5 PM. On Guard at 5:45 PM, fine clear moonlight night.

Monday April 29th Reveille 4 AM, marched off at 5 AM. F Squadron with the main body. Dull cold morning but got out hot at 10 AM. No water on March until 1:45 PM, with only one or two little halts 5 minutes to rest horses near good water. On Grazing guard, lot of trouble with horses breaking away for water. 3 lost but I found all again by 9 PM. Fine clear moonlight night. Thick clumps of bush all around and deep dongas37.

Tuesday, April 30th Reveille 4 AM, march off 5 AM. F Squadron advance guard. Very cold dull misty morning, got out very hot at 9 AM. Camped 9:30 at Outboschdorp. Boers in force on Houtbosch Kop a few miles away entrenched with their last Long Tom & Maxim Nordenfeld guns.

Our Pom Poms opened fire on Boer outposts at 11 AM. We saddled up and advanced through very rough mountainous country. Lots of natives joined in with Rifles, Martini Henry, Remington's, elephant and buck guns, assegais etc. The Boers had looted all their stock. As we advanced hundreds joined in and kept up with us increasing as we went on up very steep rough hills and over deep swift drifts and fords and swampy bogs.

The sun was blazing hot and at 1:30 PM Long Tom opened fire on us. We extended and advanced at a gallop under very heavy fire for one gun. Then Rifle fire commenced. My horse was hit on the hock by shrapnel bullet and the horse close behind me killed as we were galloping down a steep hill. And at 2:45 PM they blew up Long Tom and scooted at 3:10 PM. I was up at the gun. It was a 6 inch gun Blown into three large pieces and lots of small ones. They had made a very good job of it. There were 37 shells unfired and rifle trenches all round the gun. A splendid position to defend.

We captured 3 prisoners who had blown the gun up and then went on after the convoy. We got 3 Doctors and 2 wagons but had to return at 4:30 PM as night was coming on and the country very rough. We arrived at the Boer laager and camped at 7:30 PM. A fine cold moonlight night.

[May 1901]

Wednesday, May 1st Reveille 6 AM. Fine breezy cold morning. Stable parade etc. Resting until all squadrons get in, as some are out burning farms and bringing in Refugees. Fine cold moonlight night.

Thursday, May 2nd Reveille 5 AM, moved off at 6. Rearguard, fine clear cold morning. Very dense bush, forest & jungle. Very rough mountainous country. Had to lead our horses most way could not ride. Offsaddled at 12:30 at Kaffir Kraal, then saddled up again and went to a Dutch farm, arrived there 1:30 PM and offsaddled. MacDonalds farm, Rosendale, Hautbosberg, captured 10 prisoners, arms, ammunition, cattle, mules, carts, Women & children. I was Corporal of Main Guard. Searched prisoners and found passes from Viljoen, Papers, knives etc but nothing valuable. Relieved from guard at 6 PM.

At 7 PM, F Squadron saddled up to capture a farm a few miles away. Marched off at 7:30 PM, a fine clear moonlight night. Very rough march through bogs, dense bush, tall grass, then over very steep rocky hills and dales. Many times we had to dismount and lead our horses the ground was so bad only a native footpath to follow. A very swift drift to cross, some horses got swept over it was waist deep. We had to wait for half an hour for all to get over, very cold waiting. Arrived at farm at 9 PM and surrounded house. Got two native prisoners drunk who told us the Boers were at the next farm two miles away.

I was left in charge of a guard of five men and some of our natives to guard the house & still. There was peach brandy, dop whiskey etc. Searched the house and got some letters, Photographs, Pocket Books, but nothing valuable. All was quiet from 10 PM when F Squadron marched to next farm. We kept a sharp lookout as I thought it was a trap to leave so many casks of whiskey etc there. I wanted to go with Squadron but was left as a steady reliable Corporal in charge. I complained to officer in charge at being left behind, but he said he picked me as one he could trust. The Squadron returned at 3:30 AM Friday May 3rd.

Friday, May 3rd Squadron returned at 3:30 AM fine clear warm morning, with Prisoners, Arms, Ammunition, Cattle, Wagons, Refugees. They burnt down the farm. Every man got as much dop as he could carry away, also a good drink, but had not to get drunk. We put 6 casks on wagons then burnt the remainder it made a grand bonfire. We marched off at 5 AM daybreak to rejoin column. Had a lot of trouble to get some men mounted as they got drunk. Very rough journey over rocky hills & deep bogs. One wagon overturned at a drift at 7 AM two Refugees badly injured, cut and bruised 1old man and one little girl. I was at the rear to keep all stragglers up and had to get natives to lift some of our men into wagons (helplessly intoxicated). Outspanned until wagon was got right again.

On march again at 11:30 AM. I was advanced guard now with only two men, no more could be spared. Very rough steep journey over hills and boggy land and deep swift drifts at first we lost our way a bit but soon found road again, then up very steep hills & thick bush. Arrived at McDonald's farm, which we captured yesterday, at 2:30. Main body of F Squadron with wagons, Prisoners etc arrived at 3 PM. Outspanned. Very hot and scorching now. Men suffering very much from thirst had no Rations but plenty of good water, fresh Killed meat and mealies. Acting Orderly Sergeant as some of the NCOs were unfit for duty.

Inspanned at 6 PM, on track at very steep mountains through thick bush, jungle etc with open spaces here and there. very bad roads, wagons sticking every 20 yards, then we had to help them out. Soft breeze sprang up and it came on very dull and cloudey [sic]. At 11 PM we stuck fast in the forest and could not move. Very dark now, we outspanned and waited for daylight. Lots of glow worms in the bush. I was Corporal of the guard.

Saturday, May 4th Very dark morning at 2 AM commenced to rain, also a thick cold mist. Rained in torrents at 3 not breaking daylight until 6:30 AM. I woke officer up, inspanned and started again. Children in awful state for cold. Scarcely had clothing to cover them. They were wet and crying awfully. Pitiful sight to see with no rations for them. Got out of bush at 12 noon open grass space. Outspanned, killed and cooked goats. On track again at 2 PM will stop getting along well now, better road and open space but still very steep mountains. Met a mule wagon at 4 PM sent to meet us. Came on to rain now, heavy misty cold night. Arrived in camp at 8 PM and handed Prisoners & Refugees over to Main Guard.

Sunday, May 5th Reveille 4 AM. Cold wet morning on march at 5. F Squadron left flanking. Very hard work over mountains and Kopjes, through bogs, drifts, sluits, dongas etc. Outspanned at 10 AM. Got fine and hot had dinner etc only half rations. On march again at 2 PM. Country more level now, horses very much knocked up. Camped at 5 PM. Find clear moonlight night, very fine comet seen in west.

Monday, May 6th Reveille 4 AM, on march at 5, Rearguard. Dull morning, good roads now. Arrived at Pietersburg at 10 AM. Very heavy thunderstorm at 11 AM. Got out very hot after inspection of men & horses. Warned for Patrol at 3 AM tomorrow. Dull night.

Tuesday, May 7th Reveille 2:30 AM fed horses etc marched off 3:30 AM. Fine clear cold moonlight morning. Offsaddled at Klip River 9 AM, breakfast, feed etc. On march again at 1 PM. Camped at 5 PM, cold misty night.

Wednesday, May 8th Reveille 2:30 AM on march 3:30 AM, very cold and misty morning. Galloping most of way through bogs etc, over high mountains. Offsaddled at 8 AM. On Trek again until [?] at 1 PM until 5 PM. Offsaddled, very cold misty night.

Thursday, May 9th Saddled up at 2 AM. F Squadron went out and extended advance guard. Very hilly and boggy country. At daybreak we galloped into and captured Louis Strichard38with slight resistance. Lots of Arms and ammunition, cattle, Wagons and Prisoners captured. Camped just outside town. round Iron fort on hills with old cannons, swords, rifles etc. We lost our way and had to go a long way round. Horses dead beat. Fine clear cold night.

Friday, May 10th Reveille 6 AM. Find cold morning, stable parade etc. Shot Van Der berg on Margarto’s Mountains behind town of L.S. Brought his wife and daughter in very sad and pitiful sight. Very hot day, fine clear cold night. Comet still showing39.

Saturday, May 11th Very dull cold morning, drizzly rain. Got out warm at 10 AM. Drew rations, stables etc. Cold night.

Sunday, May 12th Fine clear cold morning. Church Parade 10 AM, very hot. Fine clear cold night, comet still showing. On guard.

Monday, May 13th Very cold frosty morning. On guard all day, very strong gale blowing. Some Squadrons out on patrol bringing in Prisoners, Wagons, Refugees etc. Relieved from Guard at 5 PM. Fine clear cold night comet still showing.

Tuesday, May 14th Reveille 6AM. Cold frosty morning Stables etc. F Squadron out on Patrol. Got out very hot during day had any amount of fine oranges at a fruit farm, left at 1 PM arrived in camp at 5 PM, fine clear cold night.

Wednesday, May 15th Reveille 6 AM, find cold morning, left with escort for 124 wagons of Prisoners & Refugees at 8 AM. Outspanned at 12 noon, on trek at 4 PM. Camped for night at 8 PM. Fine cold frosty night on guard.

Thursday, May 16th Very cold morning, reveille 4 AM on trek at 5. Good roads through slightly bushy country. Plenty of water and firewood. Outspanned 9 AM, drew rations etc. On guard, got out very hot on trek at 1 PM, camped for night at 5 PM. Relieved from guard, fine clear cold night.

Friday, May 17th Very cold frosty morning, reveille 3 AM on trek at 6 until 11 AM. Outspanned until 3 PM on trek until 6:30. Camped for night. Our Squadron riding by the side of Wagons two men at each wagon. Very cold frosty night.

Saturday, May 18th Reveille 5 AM on trek at 6 very cold frosty morning. Outspanned at 10 AM on trek at 1 PM again, arrived in Pietersburg at 4 PM. Fine clear cold night, on guard at Norlt Fort.

Sunday, May 19th Very cold damp morning, got out hot at 9AM. On Guard all day, very hot, relieved from guard at 5 PM by Corpl McIntyre40 who had also come in yesterday with Prisoners, Refugees etc. Fine new moon, comet still faintly visible, fine clear cold night.

Monday, May 20th Very cold frosty morning, all covered with white frost. Got out very hot during day busy getting ready for Convoy going out tomorrow morning. Fine clear cold frosty night.

Tuesday, May 21st Very cold frosty morning, white frost. Reveille 4 AM on March at 5, each man taking 3 horses. Bitter cold riding, got out hot 9 AM outspanned 10 AM. Water scarce and a long way off. Open country, sandy roads. On march again at 11 AM, very hot. Camped for night at 4 PM at store flying German flag. Good water but no firewood. Very cold and clear frosty night.

Wednesday, May 22nd Reveille 4 AM, very cold frosty morning. Had a lot of trouble finding our 3 horses in the dark. On March at 5 AM, very cold riding got out hot at 9AM. getting into thick prickly bush country among the hills, lots of prickly cactus trees. Good road but very deep sand. Offsaddled at 10 AM at a German Mission Station, good water. On March at 2 PM again until 6:30 PM. Camped at Leeuw Kraal. Cold clear moonlight night on horse guard.

Thursday, May 23rd Reveille 4 AM, very cold frosty morning, everything covered with white frost. On March 5 AM. Awful cold saddling up and riding until 6 AM when sun rose. Got out very hot at 9 AM. Grand scenery through very high rough kopjes. Offsaddled at Dwars River Store Post Office etc. at 10 AM. Everything looted and the houses all pulled down. On trek at 2:30 PM, very hot fine night not so cold, moon rather overcast with white fleecy clouds. Camped at 8:30 PM.

Friday, May 24th Reveille 4 AM, march off at 5 AM. Fine clear cold morning, got out hot at 9 AM. Offsaddled at 9:30 AM at a fine fruit farm. We got any amount of fine ripe oranges, Lemons, Loquards [loquats], etc. Filled haversacks, saddlebags, nosebags & great coat pockets.

On March again at 2:30 PM through lovely country. Splendid rugged scenery, good roads and plenty of good water. More open country with fruit farms and long grass as high as a man on horseback, then through deep drifts and river between very high hills. Camped at 6 PM, fine moonlight night nice and warm, a very bright star rises in East at 7:45.

Saturday, May 25th Reveille at 4 AM, fine warm morning on march 5. Very fine mountainous scenery, very good roads. Not too hot, nice breeze up & cloudy. Plenty of oranges to eat. Outspanned at Sterkstroom River at 9:40 AM. Very steep banks to get down before crossing the river. Lot of trouble getting wagons over.

Saddled up at 5 PM, horse guard lost 4 horses. We had to look for them before going and did not get away till 6 PM and we had a rough job in getting Past [sic] Wagons in dark with 3 horses through high grass & bush. Narrow roads now, fine moonlight night when moon rose lot of fine sheet lightning. Bright star rose again at 7:45. Camped for night at 8:15 PM close to good water.

Sunday, May 26th Whit Sunday. Reveille 4 AM, fine warm morning. March off at 5 fine rugged wild mountainous scenery. Good roads but very dusty, high grass and bush at each side. Outspanned 8:20 AM at a fine Hotel, Farm & Store good water inspection of horses. On March at 11 AM, very hot and dusty arrived at Shrindy River and joined column at 2:15 PM. Very fine camp with plenty of good water in deep pools with crocodiles in. Had a good wash and bathe. On horse guard at night. Fine clear warm moonlight night very heavy thunder and lightning. We could see it raining a few miles away among the mountains but we had none.

Monday, May 27th Whit Monday, reveille 6 AM. Fine morning with a very heavy dew. Fed horses and turned over remounts. Inspection of horses, arms, drew rations, had a fine swim in clear deep pool among high grass and reeds 10 or 12 feet high. Fine clear moonlight night.

Tuesday, May 28th Reveille 6 AM. Fine warm morning, lovely climate here. On Grazing guard, fine hot day. A little nigger boy got killed by a crocodile in a pool while bathing. Fine clear moonlight night.

Wednesday, May 29th Reveille 5 AM, fine morning. March off at 6 AM. A, C, D and F Squadrons going with column while B and E Squadrons and the Wilts41 & Gordons42 remained with ox convoy and, Prisoners, Refugees etc. Very fine country rough and Swampy in places very high trees and kopjes thick prickly bush etc. in most places but here and there open spaces and Mealie Patches, Sweet Potatoes, Melons, Pumpkins. We got some wild dates. Offsaddled at 10:45 AM on march again at 1 PM. Camped for night at 5 PM among trees close to good water. Plenty of firewood, fine moonlight night.

Thursday, May 30th Reveille 5 AM on march 6 fine clear morning very dusty roads through woods & open spaces of country. High grass, fine grazing ground. Offsaddled 9:30 AM at Mataba River close to Elington gold mine. Very hot day had a grand swim in the swift deep river. Saddle up at 5:30 PM, marched off at 6. Fine moonlight night nice breeze up. Camped for night at 10 PM.

Friday, May 31st Reveille 3:30 AM, marched off at 4. Fine starlight morning, good roads. Offsaddled at 9 AM, very hot now. Marched off at 2 PM again. Camped for night at 3:30 PM at Koodoo River, fine clear water. Had a grand smoking concert. Fine moonlight night. Store and farm close by. German, his wife and daughter at concert.

[June 1901]

Saturday, June 1st Reveille 6 AM, fine morning. Stable Parade, inspection of horses at 10 AM. Large patrol of 4 squadrons - A, C, D & F left at 4 PM. On trek until 9 PM through long grass. I was Rear Guard with 10 men. Offsaddled at a Farm house, fine moonlight night. Saddled up at 9:30 PM and went to another Farm house, through long grass and over drifts & dongas for 3 or 4 miles, where some Boers were among high rocky mountains. We surrounded Farm and waited for daybreak, one man holding 8 horses in a donga. Very cold laying among high grass, although we had great coats lovely full moon. I was Regimental Orderly Corporal.

Sunday, June 2nd Made a charge on Farm house at first break daylight and captured it with slight opposition. Took Prisoners, Arms, Ammunition, also Refugees women and kids brought all back to camp at 10 AM. Very hot day. I got a very fine Zebra skin but could not be bothered to carry it so I gave it to Q.M. Sergt Coles43. Patrol of 100 men left camp at 3 PM, including F squadron. Very rough road among high hills.

F squadron left main body at 4:30 PM and we came to a Farm among mountains at 5 PM. A very fine view of country below. Surrounded farm house at the gallop in extended order through prickly bush and high grass. A white Flag was quickly hoisted when we got near the house. We took two Prisoners, with Rifle Magazines and Bandoliers full of expanding bullets, and brought them into camp where the remainder of Patrol had captured Maxim Gun, Wagons, Arms, Ammunition, Prisoners, etc. cattle. We also brought away the women, who were terrified that we were going to shoot them.

Arrived in camp at 7:30 PM. A Lovely view among hills, plenty of good water close by. Lovely moonlight night, full moon. I was on Main Guard, lots of Refugees. Women came to our fire to boil their kettles and have a chat. They were glad we had brought them in when we treat them so well. They had been told such awful lies about how bad we use them and give them no Rations. They all say that had they known the truth they would have come in long since as they are all sick of this war.

Monday, June 3rd Reveille 5 AM, fine morning. Patrol of 6 men out & Corpl Stonehouse,44 clearing Farms a few miles away and bringing in Refugees. We were destroying S.A.A [small arms ammunition] and dynamite until Patrol returned. Saddled up at 11 AM for Column. Very slow travelling with ox Wagons, Prisoners & Refugees. Rough mountainous roads arrived in camp 4 PM. Fine night F squadron advance Gd [guard].

Tuesday, June 4th Reveille 5:30 AM, fine morning on march 7 AM. Flanking, very rough country. We went to three farms for Refugees outspanned 10 AM for breakfast & feed. On march again at 1 PM arrived in camp at 5 PM. Fine night, very mountainous country, lovely scenery. Saddled up 11:30 PM fine clear moonlight night. Very cold riding.

Wednesday, June 5th Very cold riding up lovely Valley between very high mountains and through dense bush and over rough mountains, drifts etc. Lovely moonlight but very cold & frosty. Came up with Boers at top of mountains at 7:30 AM. Pom Pom opened fire and we extended and galloped to attack. Dismounted, got cover and fired two volleys at 11 & 13 hundred yards. We saw lots of Boers scooting.

We then got mounted and followed them up. We found 6 killed and 1 wounded but galloped after the others that were getting away. Very hot day now. We had to offsaddle at 10 AM as our horses were completely done up. Had breakfast, wash and rest very hot day. Saddled up 1 PM, on march again. Brought Refugees away from several farms. Got lots of fowls etc then burnt farms. F squadron advance guard. Arrived in camp at 5:30 PM, fine night.

Thursday, June 6th Reveille 6 AM. Stables, inspection of horses 9 AM. Very hot day. Saddle up 1 PM, marched off 1:30. Advance guard very hilly country lovely scenery. Camped 5 PM, fine night, on outpost duty.

Friday, June 7th Reveille 5:30 AM. Brought in the outpost at 6. Cold morning marched off at 8 AM. F Squadron Right Flanking outspanned at 11 AM, very hot now. Rough country clumps of trees and bush then open spaces. Fine hot day. Camped, and flankers got in at 11:30 AM.

Saturday, June 8th Reveille 5:30 AM, very cold morning. On march 6-30 got out hot at 9 AM. More open country now. Camped at 11 AM at Muarays Farm.

Sunday, June 9th Reveille 5:30 AM march off at 6:30 AM. Dull cold morning, came on to drizzle & rain at 11 AM. Arrived at Pietersburg at 12 noon. Wet afternoon.

Monday, June 10th Cold dull wet morning. Could not sleep for cold and wet, raining all day. No tents inspection of Arms and horses. Very wet night.

Tuesday, June 11th Reveille 5:30 AM cold wet morning stables etc. Capt Kyle back again and he got us tents. Inspection of arms, horses etc. Orderly Corporal at 5 PM.

Wednesday, June 12th Dull misty morning. Orderly Corporal. Cleared up a bit at 10 AM but very heavy showers at times. Got out fine, clear cold night. Relieved by Corpl Talbot45at 5 PM.

Thursday, June 13th Reveille 6 AM, stables etc, breakfast. Got out hot day, fine night on Horse Guard.

Friday, June 14th Reveille 6 AM, stables mounted Parade 7:30 AM. Drew rations, inspection of arms at 11 AM. Fine hot day, did some washing and had a good bath and swim. Fine clear night.

Saturday, June 15th Reveille 6:30 AM, stables mounted Parade 7:30 AM, drew rations etc. Fine hot day. Regimental Orderly Corporal at 5 PM, on duty until 11 PM. F squadron had a very good smoking concert. Captain Kyle paid for some cases of whiskey. Fine night.

Sunday, June 16th On duty at Orderly Room at 7 AM. Paying Regt, very busy all day, very hot. Relieved at 5 PM by Corporal Marmion46. Fine clear Starlight night. I went to hospital to see W. Bell47 and found him going on all right.

Monday, June 17th Reveille 6 AM, fine morning. Mounted Orderly for Col [Colonel] Grenfell48. Very hot day, lot a riding about. Paid up to May 31st. Had a very busy morning. Moved off at 12 noon. F Squadron Rear Guard and got off at 1 PM. Very hot and dusty march. Passed a very pretty village (Marabastadt). Camped for night at 6 PM. Clear night, fine new moon.

Tuesday, June 18th Reveille 5:30 AM, moved off at 7. Main body offsaddled at 11:45 AM on march again at 2 PM. Arrived at Piet Potgieters Rust at 3:30 PM. Fine hot day, dusty roads and prickly bush.

Wednesday, June 19th Reveille 6 AM, fine clear warm morning. Stables & got my horse shod. (Chestnut – Jim) on fatigue at station with 12 men loading up our wagons with bags of sugar, coffee, potatoes, onions, oats, tea, biscuits, bully beef etc. Fine clear moonlight night.

Thursday, June 20th Reveille 6 AM, fine morning. Stables, drew rations etc, had a good bath and did some washing. Column under orders to move at once. Very hot day. Smoking concert in Wilts lines. Fine moonlight night. Rearranged Troops in F Squadron.

Friday, June 21st Reveille 3:30 AM. Fine starlight morning but rather dark to saddle up. Moved off at 4:30 AM. Very dusty & narrow road, thick bushy country. Robt Palmer49 very badly hurt through his horse falling while galloping. He had to be taken back to Hospital. Offsaddled at 10 AM. Very hot now, drew rations. Horse Guard, lost my horse but I found him. Marched off at 1 PM and camped at 5 PM near a very large Kaffir kraal, the largest I have seen. On Horse Guard, fine clear moonlight night.

Saturday, June 22nd Reveille 3:30 AM, moved off at 4:30 AM. Very dark cloudy morning, 5 horses lost from lines at night. Horse Guard had to stay behind to find horses. We found all ours & several more at daylight then followed on F squadron left flanking. Offsaddled at 10 AM, got out very hot. On Grazing Guard fine deep clear River lovely scenery among mountains. Had no time to take wash or swim, moved off at 1 PM. (I found a fine big chestnut horse and called him Mack and kept him for myself. Gave Jim [old horse] to Miles50 as his was done up). Left flanking over very rough high hills, drifts, Rivers through very high grass and Prickly mimosa bush. Saw some Boer scouts at 2 PM. Laagered up, relieved from horse guard by Corpl Johnstone51 at 5 PM. Fine night, all quiet.

Sunday, June 23rd Reveille 5 AM, moved off at 6 AM Main body. Fine scenery through lovely valleys and over high mountains. Offsaddled at 9:30 AM among trees at foot of large mountain. Made a bridge over spruit with stones, branches, grass etc. Had a hard fatigue getting guns over and up the mountain then on fatigue pulling up wagons with drag ropes. Came on to drizzle and rain. Saddled up and got to the top of the mountain at 4 PM. Camped at 5. Fine country on top Bestards Nek. Good grazing, lovely view of scenery. Dull cloudy night.

Monday, June 24th Reveille 6 AM, fine morning. Stables etc, drew rations, breakfast. Left Wing out on Patrol, Right Wing on fatigue pulling up ox wagons of convoy. (got my fresh chestnut horse shod, Mac). Fine night.

Tuesday, June 25th Reveille 5:30 AM. Fed horses then on Fatigue at daybreak pulling up more wagons. Relieved at 9 AM by mounted infantry52. Drew rations. Saddled up at 1:30 PM, moved off at 2 PM. On march through fine country, bush and trees. Camped at 5 PM, fine clear moonlight night.

Wednesday, June 26th Reveille 4:45 AM, very cold dull morning. Marched off at 5:45 AM, F Squadron Right Flanking. Got out hot at 9 AM, fine mountainous scenery. Offsaddled at 10 AM, good water. Saddled up at 1 PM, on March until 4:30 PM. Just going to camp for the night when news came about a Laager a few miles off. M.I. [mounted infantry] camped and K.F.S went on at the gallop for 8 or ten miles and captured Laager killing 3 and captured 2 prisoners with arms, ammunition, wagons and 600 head of cattle. The other Boers scooted. Returned to camp at 6:30 PM, fine moonlight night. Arrived in camp at 10:15 PM.

Thursday, June 27th Reveille 4:45 AM cold frosty morning. Got out hot at 9 AM. Outspanned at 10 AM at Laager we took last night at 12 noon. 12 of us went to bury the dead Boers. We had buried one, and could not find the others on account of a grass fire where they were laid and were returning to camp when we saw two Boers riding up among the trees. We held them up but they scooted and some shots were fired they got away and none of us were hit. It was a bushy place and lots of trees we returned to camp at 2:30 PM just as the last wagons were leaving. Camped at 4:30 PM fine clear moonlight night. Read out in orders that who catches Beyers53 dead or alive will get 200 head of cattle.

Friday, June 28th Reveille 4:45 AM moved off at 5:45, very cold frosty morning. Came to end of pass (Zand River Poort) very rough high rocky kopjes covered with trees and thick bush two 15 Pounders and two Pom Poms opened fire. F Squadron was advance guard. We extended and advanced up kopje and held pass (the Boers fled on guns opening fire) until our convoy got through then came down and camped at 3 PM with Major McMicking’s54 force. Two or three prisoners captured and some reported killed and wounded.

Saturday, June 29th Reveille 4 AM, very cold dull misty morning. Moved off at 5 AM on march until 9:30 AM. Saddled up at 1 PM on March until 5 PM when Boers were sighted. We Laagered up and prepared for attack. I was on Main Guard. All passed off quiet. Fine cold moonlight night.

[End of notebook 2 of 3, start of notebook 3 of 3]

Sunday, June 30th Reveille 4-45 AM, saddle up 5-15 march off 5:45. Cold dull frosty morning , on main Guard, all passed off quiet. Very heavy sandy road through thick bush. F Squadron advance guard. Main Guard with ammunition carts. One broke down but soon was amended again. Got out very hot at 9 AM. Offsaddled at 9:30 AM close to fine clear river, close on Boers track had breakfast etc. Saddled up at 1:30 PM, march off at 2. lots of signs of Boers just passed on with lots of Cattle. Outspanned at 5:30 PM, fine clear moonlight night relieved from main guard at 6 PM. All F Squadron out on Picquets. Saddled up at 10 PM again, marched up at 10:30 PM. Fine clear cold moonlight night. On March until 2:30 AM.

[July 1901]

Monday, July 1st Offsaddled at 2:30 AM fed horses, drew rations, laid down until 5 AM when we saddled up. Marched off at 5:30 very cold morning F Squadron advance guard. Came up with two or three Boer wagons and at 7 AM we extended into thick bush and captured first Boer Laager with Prisoners, Arms, Cattle, Wagons etc.

F Squadron advanced at the gallop to next Laager when I was knocked out by having a nasty fall, my horse got his foot into a hole and rolled over me. I was picked up on a stretcher and found myself in Field Hospital wagon badly shaken & sore. Stayed there all day. Moved off at 6 PM in Bearer Company's wagon. Outspanned at 10 PM, fine moonlight night. On Trek again at 4 AM.

Tuesday, July 2nd Outspanned at 4 AM until 8 AM fine cold frosty morning reached same place we were at on Sunday night, outspanned. I joined F Squadron when they came in at 10 AM. They had been guarding Boer wagons in fine breezy day (Malmarna Camp). Some Boers came in and surrendered. Fine clear moonlight night.

Wednesday, July 3rd Reveille 6 AM, very cold morning. Column under orders to march at 1 hours notice. Some Mounted Infantry out on Patrol, Rifle firing heard. F Squadron saddled up at 1 PM with stripped saddles to go out but order cancelled. Very hot day. Pretorious55 was in camp asking for terms to surrender. All quiet, fine moonlight night.

Thursday, July 4th Reveille 3 AM, march off at 4. F Squadron advance guard and flankers. Fine moonlight morning but very cold riding until 7 AM when sun rose. Very thick bush and trees to flank through. Offsaddled at 8:30 AM. 6 men & myself went out on verdette56 [vedette] 2 men left at the bottom of high kopje while the remainder to look after horses, remainder went up on lookout. Lovely view of country and Camp below. Hot day but nice cool breeze up. Column moved off at 12:45 PM we had to stay until last of mule Transport moved away at 2:30 PM, then ox convoy had to move off with Wilts [Wiltshire Regiment] as guard arrived in camp at 4:15 PM. Fine clear moonlight night.

Friday, July 5th Reveille 3 AM, marched off at 4 main body fine clear cold moonlight morning. Very dusty & sandy road. Offsaddled at 8:30 AM close to good river, had good wash also did some washing at Deep Pools in River. A mule got knocked in and could not get out on account of being knee altered57 [haltered]. He made a good fight to get out and I got hold of his head to pull him out but before I could cut rope he plunged again and was drowned. Saddled at 12:30 PM and marched off at 1 PM. Offsaddled at Zand River Poort at 3 PM. Very hot now good water in river mile away. Fine clear moonlight night.

Saturday, July 6th Reveille 5:30 AM cold frosty morning, ¼ inch of ice on water. Stables, breakfast etc inspection of horses & arms. Waiting for convoy fine scenery, a flat place surrounded by high hills with only 4 places to get out. No one allowed to bathe in pools on account of crocodiles. Had a good bath and boil of clothes, also washing. Got out very hot day. 40 time expired men left with empty ox wagons for Nylstroom58, including JT Thomas59 of F Squadron. Fine clear moonlight night.

Sunday, July 7th Reveille 5:30 AM very cold frosty morning. Stables etc, breakfast, drew rations, inspection of horses, arms and greatcoats. Very hot day. Saddled up at 12:30 marched off at 1 PM. Very fine rugged scenery through Pass. High stony kopjes on each side, good sandy road. I and two men riding with Col [Colonel] Collenbrander [Colenbrander] burning down farms as we went along. Camped for night at 7:30 PM at Modder Nek. No firewood and very little water, cold night.

Monday, July 8th Reveille 5 AM, very cold morning march off at 6, Rear Guard. I and 20 men on Cattle Guard rounding up captured stock. Arrived in Nylstroom at 11 AM. On cattle grazing guard until 5 PM, very cold night.

Tuesday, July 9th Reveille 3 AM march off at 4 AM. Rear Guard cold morning had a lot of fancy movements on march galloping over very bushy ground and lots of sand bar holes in moonlight before daylight. Offsaddled at 10:30 AM near good water. Very hot day. Saddled up at 1:30 PM move off at 2 through very rough country and thick bush. Camped at 4:30 PM, fine clear cold night.

Wednesday, July 10th Reveille 5 AM march off at 6 cold frosty morning. F Squadron advance Guard and Left flanking, very thick bushy country and boggy. Offsaddled at 8:30 AM very hot day. Saddled up at 11:30 AM, march off 12 noon. Country more open, lots of Game. Bock in two’s three’s and four’s seen dozens, also ducks, Partridges, Quail etc. Camped for night at 5PM, fine night.

Thursday, July 11th Reveille 5 AM, cold morning, march off at 6 AM. Offsaddled at 8:30 AM under high kopje, close to good water. Waiting for instructions from Col [Colonel] Grenfell by heliograph. Very hot day, fine clear warm night.

Friday, July 12th Reveille 5:30 AM marched off 6:30 AM in front of Pom Poms. Thick bushy country. Offsaddled 8 AM saddled up at 9 AM for verdette [sic] 1000 yards from camp. Nice cool breeze up. 4 NCOs and 12 men from F Squadron supplying verdette. Very hot saddled up at 2 PM on march until 2:30 PM when we had to return to old camp (got dispatch by native runner) on verdette at 3:30 PM. 4 more men strengthened us at 5 PM for outpost. Very cold frosty night.

Saturday, July 13th Reveille 5 AM brought in outposts at 5:30 AM march off at 6 AM. Main body good roads, bushy country, offsaddled at 9:30 AM in clump of trees near good water. Saddled up at 1 PM through bushy, rocky and hilly country. Camped for the night at 6 PM water a long way off. Fine cold night.

Sunday, July 14th Reveille at 5 AM, march off at 6 AM very cold morning. F Squadron left flankers very high stony kopjes, dongas, dry river beds, thick bush etc to get through. Got to Nylstroom at 8:45 AM, very hot now. On fatigue with 6 men from 11 to 12 drawing stores. Saddled up at 12:30 PM as Helio message was received that Boers were a few miles away. Marched off at 1 PM going at a gallop most of the way over very stony & dusty roads. Offsaddled at 3 PM. I was on Main Guard at 5 PM, fine night. Captain Kyle and Lieutenant King Hill left us at 9 PM.60

Monday, July 15th Reveille 5 AM march off at 6 fine morning. I was riding with ammunition carts. 3 men on Guard had to join Squadron to strengthen them and come back to carts when outspanned. F Squadron Rear Guard at 8:20 AM. Boers opened fire at us from high rocky kopjes. Pom Poms & 15 Pounders shelled the hills and bush, then KFS advanced and cleared the hills. Sergt Marley61& Hugh Smith62 wounded.

We limbered up and advanced again at 12 noon. I was with Guns & Pom Poms all the time. Very boggy, hilly and rough rocky roads. Outspanned at 3:15 PM at a fine farmhouse in the valley, surrounded by high mountains. We took one Prisoner which I had charge of until 6:30 PM when I was relieved. Fine night.

Tuesday, July 16th Reveille 5:30 AM march off at 7 AM, fine morning. F Squadron left Flankers, through very thick trees and over rocky hills. Nice cool breeze blowing. Boers sniped at us again from high rocky kopjes at 9 AM. Our Guns & Pom Poms shelled them while we galloped across plain covered slightly with trees but full of rabbit holes. Several men had falls. We took the hills and stayed there until 11 AM when we advanced again. Very hot now outspanned at 1:20 PM. Hugh Smith died63 and was buried at sundown 5 PM. Fine night.

Wednesday, July 17th Reveille 5:30 AM, cold frosty morning. Stables, and drew rations etc. Saddled up at 11 AM moved off at 11:30. Main Body left Flankers. Sniped at from high rough kopjes at 1:20 PM. Pom Poms opened fire we galloped across open plain and dismounted among trees then took kopje. Stayed there about 1 hour then came down and marched to Zand River Poort pass. Camped here at 5 PM cold night fine clear night new moon.

Thursday, July 18th Very cold frosty morning. Reveille 5:30 AM march off 9 AM. Nice breeze up, roads very dusty. Pom Poms opened fire on Farm house where Boers were running from at 1:20 we galloped up and were fired on. Dismounted and had a lot of firing, then came back and camped at 3:45 PM. At 4:30 PM Boers were seen getting away a few miles away among hills we saddled up and galloped after them. Pom Poms opened fire again at 5 PM. Sun was very dazzling. We dismounted and fired volleys and independent until nearly dark when we came back to camp. Arrived there at 7 PM. Fine clear night new moon on picquet.

Friday, July 19th Reveille 5:30 AM. Brought in Picquet at 6. Cold morning, Saddled up at 7:30 AM and went out, extended in sections, and advanced on Farm waited round there as we heard Mack Meickings [McMicking’s] force fighting on the other side of very high Kopjes. Squadron went out after burning down Farm Houses. Miles & I waited with 8 horses belonging to verdette on top of kopje until 4 PM when Squadron returned and we went into camp arrived there at 5 PM. Laagered up, fine night.

Saturday, July 20th Reveille 5 AM cold frosty morning stood to arms at 5:30 AM. Saddled up at 9 AM, Advance Guard and Flankers. Joined McMicking’s force at 11:30 AM very hot but nice breeze up. Reitvlei Camp, Waterberg Mountains. Saddled up at 1:30 PM. Marched off at 2 PM main body through very mountainous country covered with Sugar Bushes and Rocks very dusty roads. Camped at Grobblers Farm at 5:30 PM fine moonlight night.

Sunday, July 21st Reveille 5:30 AM moved off at 7 AM very cold frosty morning. F Squadron advance Guard and flankers. Special duty, all wagons, carts etc left behind, very rough mountainous rocky country, very high Kopjes covered with Sugar Bushes. Column halted at the mouth of pass at 9 AM to reconnoitre moved through at 9:30 AM halted with Pom Poms at 10 AM at foot of very high kopjes.

F Squadron went round to draw fire extended in bush, advanced on three farms. Captured them with cattle, sheep etc. turned Women & kids out then killed, fowls, Pigs etc and burned down houses and wagon and returned and rejoined column at 1:30 PM. Offsaddled, had dinner, feed for horses saddled up and moved back to camp at 2:30 PM. Arrived at Grobbler's Farm camp at 4 PM. Fine clear moonlight night.

Monday, July 22nd Reveille 6 AM fine morning Saddled up at 8:30 AM moved off 9 AM left Flanking, very stony mountainous country then through trees, Sugar Bushes and over bogs and drifts etc. Offsaddled at Reitvlei Camp 12 noon. Very hot day Reit Vlei Camp native Boer spy shot at 2:30 PM. Fine moonlight night.

Tuesday, July 23rd Reveille 4:15 AM Boot & Saddle 4:45 AM. March off at 5:15, fine clear frosty morning. Rear Guard with Flankers. Offsaddled at 8:15 AM under high kopje good grazing in Wheat field. Boers seen on kopje at 10:30 AM. Saddled up and extended over kopjes heavy firing on right front. Captured 200 head of cattle and retired from kopjes at 2 PM. Very hot day. F Squadron Rear Guard and set fire to all grass and Farms as we went along. Joined General Bloods64 Column at 7:30 PM. Fine clear moonlight night. P.S Boers set fire to veld at 11:30 AM we had to charge through very high flames which scorched our hair and eyelashes and burnt horses badly.

Wednesday, July 24th Reveille 6 AM. Mounted Infantry out on Patrol. Inspection of horses at 7 AM, drew rations etc did some washing and had a good bath fine clear water. Rifle firing heard at 11 AM. M.I. [Mounted Infantry] brought in 3 prisoners during the afternoon also killed two Boers. Very hot afternoon on Picquet at 5 PM. Countersign Iris. Remainder of Mac Meikings M.I. [McMicking’s Mounted Infantry] returned at 8 PM with captured Provisions, S.A. [small arms]ammunition and 3 Cape carts. Fine clear moonlight night.

Thursday, July 25th Reveille 5 AM very cold frosty morning brought in Picquet at 6 AM daybreak. Column moved off at 6. Picquets saddled up and galloped after column under Lieutenant Morris65 very hilly country. Offsaddled at 9:20 AM very hot day, had to guard Ca The following entries were recorded separately in the rear of notebook one: 2nd Brigade

Friday, July 26th Reveille 6AM march off at 7. Very cold frosty morning F Squadron Advance Guard and flankers, over very rough kopjes, high stony and thick bush at 8:20 AM Boers started to snipe at us from high rock kopjeys [sic]. We took cover on high kopje overlooking valley with several fine farm houses. Firing very heavy until 15 pounders & Pom Pom arrived from [Colonel] Grenfell and opened fire. Some squadrons advanced and drove Boers away we stayed with guns and got lots of grand oranges until 5 PM when we left for Nylstroom. F Squadron had to remain until all was gone then rear Guard arrived at Nylstroom 7:30 PM fine clear cold moonlight night.

Saturday, July 27th Reveille 7 AM very cold frosty morning, got 12 letters. Marched off at 9 AM, two or three miles out and camped. Lots of time expired men leaving. Got out a very windy day, blowing a gale all day until sunset 5 PM fine moonlight night.

Sunday, July 28th Reveille 5:30 AM, frosty morning. Inspection of horses, drew rations. Went into Nylstroom for Parcel, wrote letters, very hot day, fine moonlight night.

Monday, July 29th Reveille 5:30 AM for Cossack outpost. Very cold frosty morning then got out hot. On outpost all day and brought in outpost at 5 PM fine moonlight night. Orders came at 9 PM to be ready to march at 10 PM had just turned in. Saddled up and all ready by 10 PM then had to wait for orders. Marched at 11 PM very cold night. On march until 4 AM next morning. F Squadron left flanking over very rough ground Bogs, Drifts, Swamps, mealie fields etc. News came that Piet Elis [?] with 400 men was coming to railway near Krantz Kop. All Grenfell's Column out with Guns, Pom Poms etc.

Tuesday, July 30th On march until 4 AM when we halted and lay down for a rest, but did not offsaddle. Fine moonlight morning but very cold and frosty. Near kopje and high line of hills at 5:30 AM daybreak we extended and advanced to bottom of kopje then dismounted and went up kopje. Did not see any sign of Boers. Returned from Hill at 9 AM, offsaddled at 9:30 AM had no water, very hot now. On march back to Nylstroom at 1 PM, F Squadron rearguard. At Krantz Kop 2:45, arrived in camp 5 PM fine moonlight night, issue of Rum.

Wednesday, July 31st Reveille 6:30 AM fine morning, hot day, had good bath and did some washing. Very hot day. Census taken at 11:45 PM fell in for Roll call, Rum issue. Fine clear cold moonlight night.

Thursday, August 1st Reveille 6:30 AM, cold frosty morning. Inspection of Arms and Horses. Very windy and dusty day. Fine moonlight night.

Friday, August 2nd Reveille 6:30 AM went to doctor with very bad veld sore on right thumb through getting scratched last Monday night. Medicine & duty. Very hot day. At 9:30 PM order to saddle up. March off at 10:30 PM. Fine moonlight night cold and frosty. On march until 6 AM Saturday Aug 3rdoffsaddled. F Squadron A.G. [Advance Guard]

Saturday, August 3rd Offsaddled 6 AM feeling very sick. I had to hand over my horse and ride on wagon by Lieutenant Henderson's66 order. Saddled up and marched off at 11 AM. Very hot day through thick bush, bad roads. Camped at 2 PM at Naboon Spruit. Fine night, ox Convoy, Guns, Infantry etc gone another way. Only Right Wing KFS here.

Sunday, August 4th Reveille 6 AM. Myself and Tpr Rolfe67 sent with kit bags etc to Nylstroom. Went in mule wagon to Naboon Siding at 7 AM arrived there 7:45, got my thumb dressed. entrained at 10:30 AM arrived at Nylstroom at 12:30 PM. Very hot day. Handed over kits etc to QMS Rintoul68 and reported at detail camp. Fine night.

Monday, August 5th Attended hospital 7 AM got medicine & thumb dressed. Light duty at station with 6 men on fatigue. Hosp again at 4 PM hot day, fine clear night.

Tuesday, August 6th Reveille 6:30 AM fine morning. Hospital 7 AM & 4 PM. Hot day. On fatigue at station with 6 men unloading trucks. Fine night. Rum.

Wednesday, August 7th fine morning usual duties on Cattle Guard. One sick horse for 1 corporal & 3 men fine clear night. At hospital 7 AM & 4 PM.

Thursday, August 8th Reveille 6:30 fine morning. Hospital 7 AM a 4 PM. Excused duty, thumb Blood Poison.

Friday, August 9th Reveille 6:30 fine morning. Hospital 7 AM 4 PM. Excused duty fine night Rum.

Saturday, August 10th Reveille 6:30 fine morning. Hospital 7 AM & 4 PM thumb dressed & medicine. Excused duty fine night. Firing heard up line.

Sunday, August 11th Fine morning. Armoured train in action up line firing all day. 33 Boer casualties. Hot day, fine night.

Monday, August 12th Reveille 6:30 AM fine morning. Hospital 7 AM & 4 PM. Thumb dressed Medicine Excused duty. fine night.

Tuesday, August 13th Reveille 6:30 AM dull morning. Hospital 7 AM. Thumb dressed medicine & duty. Station fatigue at 2 PM with 6 men unloading Potatoes, onions, oats and mealies. Dull day, little rain during night. Rum.

Wednesday, August 14th Reveille 6:30 AM Hosp 7 AM. Thumb dressed. Duty. Dull day on outpost at 5 PM fine night.

Thursday, August 15th Brought in outpost at 6 AM. Hosp at 7. Duty. Cloudy day. New moon fine night.

Friday, August 16th Reveille 6:30 AM Hosp 7 AM. Thumb dressed nice cool breeze dull day. fine moonlight night. Rum.

Saturday, August 17th Reveille 6:30 AM dull morning Hosp 7 [AM]. K.F.S came in with empty wagons at 8 AM at 2 PM all K.F.S. details joined their squadrons. Dull night, got some washing done during day.

Sunday, August 18th Reveille 6:30 AM Stables & usual duties. Dull day, cloudy, cool night a little rain.

Monday, August 19th Reveille 6:30 AM fine morning time expired men handed over horses saddlery & spare Bandoliers fine cool Breeze up. Cloudy day fine clear moonlight night. Concert at night.

Tuesday, August 20th Reveille 4 AM at station 5:30 AM fine morning, had to wait until 1 PM for train, left Nylstroom then got out hot, arrived at Pretoria 8:30 PM fine clear moonlight night. Bivouacked on market square close to station.

Wednesday, August 21st Went to Mounted Infantry Camp past Racecourse 2 miles away at 9 AM. Very hot after 9 AM got no rations for 2 days. Fine clear moonlight night.

Thursday, August 22nd Reveille 6:30 AM got Ration of Biscuit and Bully Beef. Parade to answer Roll call 8:30 AM dismissed Parade 9:30 AM gave in kit at 11. Got discharge & Pay from 11 AM to 5 PM. Got into civilian clothes at 6 PM went to British Imperial Hotel engaged Bedroom then had good supper and strool [stroll?] round the town until 9 PM then went to Room.

Friday, August 23rd Got up 7 AM had bath and walk out. Breakfast at 8. fine morning. Redmond69, Miles and myself then did some shopping, had dinner. Then I took lodgings at Ayrshire Restaurant, wrote letters after Miles got away at 3:20 PM very hot afternoon, had tea and strool round town then turned in and had a good sleep.

Saturday, August 24th Got up at 8 AM had Bath & Breakfast went out to Director of Supplies Office on business, then dinner and walk out in Park. Came on a terrible dust storm at 4:30 PM. Came in and had tea then went out with friends Sergt Alexander, A Battn, 2nd Gordons. Came on a wet night went in at 10 PM to Bed. Very wet night.

Sunday, August 25th Got up at 9 AM very wet night had bath and Breakfast then went out for a walk & went to Dutch Church in Market Square. had dinner then it came on very wet afternoon raining torrents also hailstones stayed in room all afternoon, had tea then went to Church of England at night (Cathedral) had walk, fine moonlight night then turned in at 9:30 PM had Supper and went to Bed. P.S. I could not understand a word at Dutch Church but enjoyed singing.

Monday, August 26th Got up at 8 AM had breakfast fine morning went to Albion Hotel for Murton70, Wood71, McKenna72 as arranged had drive round Town and visited Museum some fine specimens but seen most on the Veldt. Went to Swimming Baths then had dinner at 2 PM we went to Zoological Gardens and spent the afternoon then had Tea and walkout in Town at night turned in at 8 PM fine moonlight night.

Tuesday, August 27th Got up at 8 AM had Breakfast fine morning. went to Cattle Rangers Stores drew Blankets and Waterproof Sheet Rifle & ammunition had dinner then Packed up kit and left it at Bodega Hotel for Waggon [sic]to take to Station.73 Wrote letters and Posted this : [notebook 3] [End of notebook 3 of 3]

The following addresses were recorded in the cover of book two.

William Miles
48 Gwendoline Street
Princes Park, Liverpool, England.

William Bell
c/o Mr. Thomas Bell
Black Swan Inn
Morpeth, Northumberland, England.

J.L. Bean
c/o Mrs L.W. Bean
General Post Office, Port Elizabeth, Cape Colony

[Trooper William Miles 1125, enlisted Durban 23 Feb 01, discharged Pretoria 24 Aug 01
Trooper William Bell 1012, enlisted Bulawayo 20 Feb 01, discharged Pretoria 29 Aug 01
Trooper John Louis Bean 882, enlisted Pretoria 18 Feb 01, discharged Pretoria 22 Aug 01

Miles and Bell were mentioned in the diary and can be presumed to be friends. All are listed in the 1 KFS nominal roll and were discharged ‘completion of service’ at the same time and place as Alfred Robinson]

Discharge Certificate from Kitchener’s Fighting Scouts – Pretoria 24 Aug 1901

{Front of} Discharge Certificate from Corps of Cattle Rangers – Pretoria 30 Dec 1901

{Back of} Discharge Certificate from Corps of Cattle Rangers – Pretoria 30 Dec 1901


1 This poem was recorded in the rear of book one of the diary and presumably was composed by Alfred Robinson. Internet search of the title and first paragraph did not reveal any matching published poem.

2 When the Durham Light Infantry (DLI) was formed in 1881 it included not only regular soldiers who made up the 1st Battalion (formerly the 68th Light Infantry) and the 2nd Battalion (formerly the 106th Bombay Light Infantry), but also the Militia and Volunteers of County Durham. The first Volunteers of County Durham were amateur soldiers who formed local defence units during the Napoleonic Wars. These Volunteers, who bought all their own uniforms and equipment, saw no action and were disbanded by 1815. In 1859, fear of France led to a revival of the Volunteers. In County Durham, these new Volunteers were organized as rifle clubs (nineteen units were formed) with members paying a subscription. These part-time soldiers were formed into Volunteer battalions of the DLI in 1881. [see ‘The English Light Infantry’ website -]

3 Alfred Robinson enlisted on 24 January 1900 at Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham, England

4 The London Times, Sat. 24 Feb 1900 reported the following [underlining and bold added]. "Dateline Southampton, Feb 23. The Avondale Castle sailed shortly after 2 o’clock today for the Cape with 1 020 men in all. These were volunteer service companies, each with 3 officers and 113 men. The officers and regiments were:
Derbyshire Regiment, Captain Turner Lee and Lieutenants Kingdom, R K Ellis, and F A C Wright.
Yorkshire L I, Captain T W Simpson and Lieutenants F Head and R H Ellis.
Liverpool Regiment, Captain J J Thomas, and Lieutenant W H Kenyon and another.
South Lancashire Regiment, Captain F M Appleton and Lieutenants H H Lewis and E Robson.
Northumberland Fusiliers, 1st V B, Captain R C Hedley and Lieutenants G F Fisher and W J Rickers-Stephenson; 2nd V B & 3rd V B, Captain R H Atkinson and Lieutenants F Manford and H Beale.
Durham L I, Captain J Turnbull, and Lieutenants H Bowes and J R Ritson.
West Yorkshire Regiment, Captain C E Wood, and Lieutenants H D Bousfield, A W Lupton and C S I Stableford."

5 1st and 2nd Volunteer Battalions, Northumberland Fusiliers

6 SS Avondale Castle – 5530 tons, single funnel, four masts. Built for the Castle Line in 1897

7 Lieutenant General Sir William Forbes Gatacre KCB, DSO

8 Field Marshall Lord Frederick Sleigh Roberts, VC, KP, GCB, GCSI, GCIE, PC

9 General Sir Charles Warren, GCMG, KCB, FRS

10 Donald Smith (Lord Strathcona) raised and equipped a mounted regiment in western Canada at his own expense to serve in the Boer War.

11 Probably the Imperial Light Infantry which was on garrison duty around Volksrust and Newcastle from June to October 1900.

12 General Sir Redvers Henry Buller VC GCB GCMG

13 The ‘retreat’ is the bugle call and/or ceremony to mark the end of the day in a military camp.

14 Bluejacket is a term used to describe members of the naval brigade, a temporary unit formed by marines and sailors for operations ashore. Most famously, the naval brigade participated in the relief of Ladysmith by transporting 12 pounder naval guns some 200 miles overland from Durban.

15 Ethel Tomlin (Alfred’s bride-to-be), of Great Aycliffe, Durham.

16 Lieutenant-General Sir Francis Clery

17 Might be Tasmanian 1st Contingent that had converted to mounted infantry.

18 The British annexed the entire Orange Free State in October 1900 as the Orange River Colony. The Boers simultaneously maintained full government of the Orange Free State until the Treaty of Vereeniging in 1902.

19 16th Brigade under Major General Barrington Campbell was part of the 8th Division under General Sir Henry Macleod Leslie Rundle.

20 Lieutenant-General Sir Francis Clery

21 General Sir Redvers Henry Buller VC GCB GCMG

22 See diary entry for 7 April 1901. Presumably he made a temporary record of his activities from 21 Feb to 7 Apr 1901 and transcribed it to the notebook.

23 Alfred Robinson served in the Special Service (volunteer) Company, 1st Durham Light Infantry from 24 January 1900 to 21 February 1901.

24 Certificate of discharge records that Alfred Robinson enlisted in Kitchener’s Fighting Scouts at Pietermaritzburg on 20 February 1901 and discharged at Pretoria on 22 August 1901. Separate records show that he was in the 1st Battalion,KFS(KFS formed two battalions in the months after he joined).

25 General (later Field Marshall) Horatio Herbert Kitchener, Lord Kitchener of Khartoum (later the Earl Kitchener KG KP GCB OM GCSI GCMG GCIE ADC PC), Commander-in-Chief British Forces in South Africa.

26 Major General (later Lieutenant General) Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell CB (later 1st Baron Baden-Powell OM GCMG GCVO KCB) had been garrison commander at Mafeking during the siege. He later founded the Boy Scout Movement.

27 Trooper Will Geary 1032, enlisted 25 Feb 1901, discharged Pretoria 24 Jul 1901 completion of service.

28 Corporal JA Queen 1134, enlisted 25 Feb 1901, transferred to 2KFS 29 Apr 1901, discharged 25 Aug 1901 time expired.

29 The nominal roll ( shows two men by this name in 1KFS during this period. Trooper Andrew Ross Alexander #10 and Trooper Digby Cayley #437. Either could be the corporal in question because the roll appears only to show rank at time of enlistment.

30 Lieutenant Colonel Johan W Colenbrander AO287, joined 23 Nov 1900, resigned 21 Sep 1902. Veteran of the Zulu and Matabele Wars. Commander of the Order of the Bath 1902. Died 10 Feb 1918 from drowning on the set of a film about the 1879 Zulu War battle of Rourke’s Drift (in which he had participated).

31 Major Alfred Ernest Wilson AO326, joined 1KFS 30 Nov 1900, transferred to 2KFS 29 Apr 1901 as OC and soon after promoted to Lieutenant Colonel (referred to as such in Kitchener’s despatch of 8 July 1901. Wilson received the DSO in 1902.

32 Meaning the blank ‘diary’ notebook. A note in the cover of the second diary records "Received this Book on Easter Sunday, April 7th, 1901 at Bethesda Road Station, Cape Colony." I presume he kept a temporary diary record for the period 21 Feb to 7 Apr 1901 and transcribed it into the book upon its receipt.

33 Officially renamed from Potgietersrus to Mokopane in 2003

34 Colonel Herbert Charles Onslow Plumer later Field Marshall and 1st Viscount Plumer GCB,GCMG,GCVO,GBE

35 Officially named Polokwane in 2005

36 Captain AJK Kyle, joined 1KFS 28 Dec 1900.

37 A donga is a steep-sided gully created by soil erosion

38 Louis Trichardt

39 Most likely the Great Comet of 1901, recorded as observed by the Royal Observatory, Cape of Good Hope.

40 The nominal roll records a Trooper George McIntyre 1688 in 1 KFS at this time.

41 2nd Battalion, Wiltshire Regiment (Duke of Edinburgh’s)

42 2nd Battalion, Gordon Highlanders

43 Quartermaster Sergeant Gilbert Coles 133 in 1KFS at this time.

44 Farrier Corporal William Henry Stonehouse 1060, enlisted 17 Dec 1900, discharged Pretoria 28 Aug 1901 completion of service.

45 The nominal roll records a Sergeant Victor Talbot 1005 and a Trooper Benjamin Talbot 1054 in 1KFS at this time.

46 The nominal roll records a Sergeant Henry Marmion 1176 in 1KFS at this time.

47 Trooper William Bell 1012, enlisted Bulawayo 20 Feb 1901, discharged Pretoria 29 Aug 1901 completion of service.

48 Lieutenant Colonel Grenfell commanded 1 KFS, presumably from the time 2 KFS was formed in April 1901 under Major (later Lieutenant Colonel) Wilson at which point Lieutenant Colonel Colenbrander assumed overall command of KFS.

49 The nominal roll records that Trooper Robert Mansbridge Palmer 1006 was discharged medically unfit at Pretoria on 31/8/01 – perhaps as a result of this fall.

50 Trooper William Miles 1125, enlisted Durban 23 Feb 1901,discharged Pretoria 24 Aug 1901, completion of service.

51 Most likely Corporal Gordon Frank Hope Johnstone 374, enlisted Bulawayo 21 Feb 1901, discharged Pretoria 24 Aug 1901 completion of service. But there was also a Corporal Johnston, a Lance Corporal Johnston and several Trooper Johnstons and Johnstones recorded in the 1 KFS nominal roll.

52 May have been a mounted infantry company of the 1st Battalion, Gordon Highlanders that was acting under General Elliot in the north-east of the Orange River Colony, May to July 1901.

53 Christiaan Friedrich Beyers was Assistant Commandant General for the Zoutpansberg and Waterberg regions

54 Major G McMicking, ex RA, Civilian Imperial Volunteer Battery

55 There is no corroborating record of this event. Pretorious was a respected Boer family – Andries Pretorious established Transvaal and his son, Marthinus Pretorious, was the first President of the South African Republic – so a member of this family could well have been a local Boer leader.

56 Vedette - a mounted sentry stationed in advance of an outpost

57 A knee halter is a line from the halter to the knee of a foreleg to permit grazing but prevent free movement.

58 Nylstroom was the site of a British concentration camp for Boer women and children. Over 500 internees died. The name of the town was changed to Modimolle in 2002.

59 The nominal roll records that Farrier Corporal John Thomas was discharged from 1KFS for ‘completion of service’ at Cape Town on 25/7/01.

60 The nominal roll records that Lieutenant CW King Hill "resigned 18/7/01" and that Captain AJK Kyle left for "private affairs 18/7/01."

61 The nominal roll shows no Sergeant Marley but does record a Lieutenant William Arthur Marley AO446.

62 The nominal roll shows Trooper Hugh Smith 692 was discharged 15/7/01 at Pretoria on completion of service.

63 The nominal roll has no record of Hugh Smith being “killed in action” or otherwise dying but his date of discharge is coincidentally the date he was wounded. The only deaths of KFS members named Smith recorded in the nominal roll is Josuah Smith 2KFS, killed at Tweefontein on 14 Nov 1901, and John Smith 1KFS who died at Reitfontein on 16 Jan 1902.

64 Lieutenant General (later General) Sir Bindon Blood KCB (later GCB and GCVO).

65 The nominal roll records a Lieutenant David Bruce Morrison, but not a Lieutenant Morris

66 The nominal roll records a Captain David E Henderson AO535.

67 Trooper Kelly Rolfe 637

68 Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant David Thompson Rintoul 628.

69 Trooper Charles Clifton Redmond 1136, enlisted Durban 25 Feb 1901, discharged Pretoria 24 Aug 1901, completion of service.

70 The nominal roll records Trooper Alfred Murton 1128, 1 KFS, was killed at Haenertsburg 16 Apr 1902. The nominal roll of the Corps of Cattle Rangers shows Ranger Alfred Murton 98, enlisted at Pretoria 22 Aug 1901 and discharged on unit disbandment 30 Dec 1901.

71 Trooper Lewis B Wood 1146, 1 KFS, enlisted Durban 23 Feb 1901, discharged Pretoria 24 Aug 1901, completion of service. Ranger Lewis Wood 99, enlisted in the Corps of Cattle Rangers at Pretoria 23 Aug1901.

72 Trooper William James McKenna 1014, 1 KFS, enlisted Bulawayo 12 Jan 1901, discharged Pretoria 29 Aug 1901, medically unfit. Ranger William J. McKenna 407, enlisted in the Corps of Cattle Rangers at Pretoria 24 Aug 1901.

73 Ranger Alfred Robinson 100, enlisted in the Corps of Cattle Rangers at Pretoria on 23 August 1901 and served until discharged upon the unit’s disbandment at Pretoria on 30 December 1901.

South African Military History Society /