The South African
Military History Society

Die Suid-Afrikaanse Krygshistoriese Vereniging

Military History Journal
Vol 12 No 4 - December 2002

Anglo-Boer War Centenary Commemorations, 1999-2002

The Rustenburg Military History Study Group organised and participated in a range of events which commemorated various aspects of the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) during the recent centenary of this war. In this photo-article, JOHN PENNEFATHER highlights someof the group's activities.
Photographs by courtesy, John Pennefather.

The Battle of Botha's Pass

The impressive mounted Flag Party at the
ceremony held at Botha's Pass, 8 June 2000.

Boer commandos from Lydenburg and Carolina resisted the entry of British forces from Natal into the Transvaal and Orange Free State at the Battle of Botha's Pass in the Drakensberg, 8 June 1900. In commemoration of this battle, a memorial was unveiled by Peet Coetzee and Lukas Snyman on 8 June 2000.

The unveiling of the Botha's Pass Memorial
to the Lydenburg and Carolina Commandos by
Peet Coetzee (left) and Lukas Snyman (right).


The Battle of Quaggafontein took place on 31 August 1900, when Boer forces under General J H de la Rey attacked a British column. A memorial to the members of the Kaffrarian Rifles who fell in this action was unveiled by the regiment's OC.

The dedication was performed by the Rev Mike Chapman
of the Rustenburg Methodist Church

The Memorial to the Burghers under General de la Rey
who fell in the action was unveiled by Mr Peet Coetzee.

The Siege of Elands River Post

The Elands River Staging Post was garrisoned by some 500 British Colonial troops and was besieged by Boer forces under General J H de la Rey from 4 to 16 August 1900. To commemorate the siege, memorials to the various participants were unveiled on 9 January and 6 August 2000.

Kgosi Mabelane unveils the Memorial to the Blacks killed at Elands River
More than 100 team leaders and workers were involved in the defence of the Post.

Lt Col D Steyn of the Marico Commando
lays a wreath at the memorial to the Boer Forces.

The Memorial to the members of the Rhodesian contingent
who played a conspicuous part in the defence of the Elands River Staging Post.

Miss Pixie Annat MBE OAM, flanked by her hosts,
Ron and Kaye Gilbert, at the memorial to her grandfather,
Lt J W Annat, 3rd Queensland Mounted Infantry, killed in action at
Elands River Post on 6 August 1900. The unveiling ceremony was conducted
by the Rev Mike Chapman of the Rustenburg Methodist Church.

The Memorial to the Australians who took part in the Anglo-Boer War.
This magnificent bronze plaque was designed and created by Dr Ross Bastiaan.

The unveiling of the Memorial to the Queensland Mounted Infantry
by Lt Col Miles Farmer, 9 January 2000.

Unveiling the memorial to the Boer forces at Elands River Post.
(this photograph is on the Contents page of the original Journal).

The Battle of Nooitgedacht, 13 December 1900

A combined force under Generals de la Rey, Beyers and Smuts, successfully attacked the British defences and overran the camp at Nooitgedacht under the command of General R A P Clements on 13 December 1900. This can be rated as one of the most successful actions of the Anglo-Boer War, coming as it did after the destruction of a British convoy at Buffelspoort on 3 December by the commandos under Generals de la Rey and Smuts.

The Magaliesberg at Nooitgedacht, showing the view from the British camp.
After the Northumberland Fusiliers' pickets on the mountain top had been
captured by the Boers, the camp came under fire from the cliffs east and west.

The new memorial at the site of the Nooitgedacht battle. This memorial
replaced the original erected by Maj Gen Clements, which had been vandalised.

The Breedt's Nek Cemetery Memorial to the Burghers who fell at Nooitgedacht.
These were men of the Waterberg Commando, under General F C Beyers, who fought
brilliantly against the Northumberland Fusiliers on the mountain top.

The Battle of Syferfontein 5 January 1901

The original stone, with the 'ILH V Jan 1902' carved thereon, was
relocated after the erection of the new memorial at Syferfontein.

Present at the unveiling: Lt Col Marks, OC, Light Horse Regiment;
Roger Scheublé; Peet Coetzee; Major John Pennefather; and Sgt Heinrich Janzen, LHR.

Mr Roger Scheublé, Chairman of the Light Horse Regimental Association,
at the unveiling, on 6 January 2001, of the memorial to the officers and
other ranks of the Imperial Light Horse and Burghers who fell at the battle.


It is proposed that memorials be erected at Doornkom in 2003. Plans are underway to erect a memorial to the Boer commandos, including the Rustenburg Commando, who were active in this area during the guerilla phase, in the Garden of Remembrance, Elands River.

Peet Coetzee gives a talk at the site of the kraal which appears on a photograph
taken by J F Naude, which shows General de la Rey standing beside it.

Dr Koos Olivier and helpers cater
South African-style with special
Swartruggens boerewors.

A lecture in progress at the original farmhouse which was burnt down in the
Anglo-Boer War by the British troops. This is where, on 6 June 1902, the Rustenburg,
Krugersdorp, Pretoria West Commandos, the Staatsartillerie, and the ZARPs under
General J H de la Rey laid down their arms to Maj Gen F W Kitchener in terms of
the Paece Treaty.

Battle of Kleinfontein 24 October 1901

Peet Coetzee lectures a tour group at the Boer memorial at Groot Marico. This visit
took place in July 2002. A Boer force under General de la Rey attacked a British column
under Col Stanley von Donop, one of Lord Methuen's column commanders.

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