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Battle of Bakenlaagte – 30 October 1901

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  • Lukas Cornelius Fourie (1879 - d.)
    Prisoners Of War ABO Number: 27944 Surname: FOURIE Name: LUCAS CORNELIUS Age: 22 Address: NOOITGEDACHT District: ERMELO Captured Where: NOOITGEDACHT Captured When: 1902/01/11 Camp: ON...
  • Petrus Frederik Johannes Joubert (1884 - 1965)
    League Of Veterans ABO Surname: JOUBERT Full Names: PETRUS FREDERIK JOHANNES Date of Birth: 5.9.1884 Address 1899: ERMELO Name of Last Officer: GENL HANS GROBLER Date Surrendered / Captured...
  • Albertus Abraham Stoop (1873 - 1931)
    League Of Veterans ABO Surname: STOOP Full Names: ALBERTUS ABRAHAM Date of Birth: 18.12.1873 Address 1899: ERMELO Name of Last Officer: GENL HANS GROBLER Date Surrendered / Captured: JUNIE ...
  • Stephanus Johannes Grobler (1867 - 1921)
    Prisoners Of War ABO Number: 30702 Surname: GROBLER Name: STEFANUS JOHANNES Age: 35 Address: BANKPLAATS District: ERMELO Captured Where: HAMILTON Captured When: 1902/02/23 Camp: UM...
  • Willem Johannes van Aardt (1872 - 1945)
    League Of Veterans ABO Surname: VAN AARDT Full Names: WILLEM JOHANNES Date of Birth: 26.12.1872 Address 1899: ERMELO Name of Last Officer: GENL HANS GROBLER Date Surrendered / Captured: JUN...

Extract from an article titled Bakenlaagte Nogeens by Evert Dommisse that appeared in Die Huisgenoot of 12 May 1939:

General Louis Botha established his headquarters on the farm Roodepoort, some four miles south of Ermelo. However, he could not remain inactive for long. In the second week of October, he sent Piet Jooste, currently Chairman of the Diamond Control Board, and Fred Siemssen, both members of his staff, with the curt instruction "Go and find out what the enemy is up to.

They rode some sixty miles in a westerly direction without seeing the enemy. Near Trichardtsfontein, they found a telegraph wire, origin unknown. Piet Jooste, who also was a field telegraphist, climbed up the pole and tapped the wire with his vibrator. Remarkably, the message intercepted was from Col Benson, informing Lord Kitchener at Standerton that he [intended] leaving Middelburg for the High Veld on 20 October with a large convoy and 2 200 men.

Piet Jooste and Fred Siemssen immediately turned back and when they reported back to Gen Botha he formed his plans in an instant. Together with Hendrik Watkins and Dirk Dirksen, he climbed a koppie, taking a heliograph to contact Gen Coen Brits in the Standerton district. After a few moments of flashing in the direction of Bloukop, Hendrik Watkins said: I've got him, General. Gen Coen Brits immediately advanced in the direction of Bethal. The other commandos were ordered to do likewise. General Botha himself instructed the Ermelo Commando under Gen Hans Grobler and Comdt Willem Buhrman to saddle up and, after five forced night marches he reached the area where he intended to ambush Benson.

The Battle of Bakenlaagte was fought during the guerrilla phase of the Anglo-Boer war of 1899 – 1902. The battle saw the Eastern Transvaal Boer commandos of Generals Grobler, Brits, Viljoen and Louis Botha attack the rear guard of Colonel Benson's much feared No 3 Flying Column while it was in marching formation to its base camp.

The Column's rear guard were outnumbered 4 to one. These 210 Commonwealth troops set up a defensive position on Gun Hill and fought about 900 Boers in a close quarter twenty minute gun fight that ended only when the column rear guard was annihilated.

Although the battle became known as Bakenlaagte after a Boer farm in the vicinity, the position of the main camp was actually at the junction of the boundaries with two other farms – Schaapkraal and Nooitgedacht, and the action at Gun Hill took place wholly on land within Nooitgedacht.

Great bravery was demonstrated by the men on both sides with combined casualties numbering approximately 87 killed with 182 wounded. Colonel G.E. Benson died the next morning from wounds received on the battlefield.

The 73 dead Commonwealth troops were buried on Gun Hill but later reinterred in Primrose Cemetery, Corner of Cemetery road and Beaconsfield road, Germiston in the 1960s.

Date: 30 October 1901

Location: Bakenlaagte; 35 kilometres north-west of Bethal, Eastern Transvaal

Result: Boer Victory

Boer Commandos

Commanders and Leaders

Strength: 900 men

Troops under General Louis Botha

A

B

C

D

E

J

K

L

M

P

R

S

U

V

W

Troops under General Johannes Nicolaas Hermanus (Hans) Grobler

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

J

K

L

M

P

R

S

V

Casualties and losses

14 killed

48 wounded

Casualties

B

E

J

N

P

Commonwealth Troops

Commanders and Leaders

Strength: 210

Troops

A

B

C

Casualties and losses

73 killed

134 wounded

Casualties

B

Lance Corporal J Bell, 2nd Scottish Horse, Killed in Action, 30 October 1901

Private W Buesden, 2nd Scottish Horse, Killed in Action, 30 October 1901

Private T Bradford, 2nd Scottish Horse, Killed in Action, 30 October 1901

Private W Bradshaw, 2nd Scottish Horse, Killed in Action, 30 October 1901

C

Private B Campbell, 2nd Scottish Horse, Died of Wounds, 5 November 1901

Private D Clark, 2nd Scottish Horse, Killed in Action, 30 October 1901

Private A Cunningham, 2nd Scottish Horse, Killed in Action, 30 October 1901

D

Lance Corporal David Wellington Davies, Victoria, 2nd Scottish Horse, Killed in Action, 30 October 1901

Saddler Corporal Morgan John Davis, Victoria, 2nd Scottish Horse, Killed in Action, 30 October 1901

Private G Duns, 2nd Scottish Horse, Killed in Action, 30 October 1901

F

Private Charles Ferris, Queensland, 2nd Scottish Horse, Died of Wounds, 31 October 1901

G

Private Robert G Grant, Victoria, 2nd Scottish Horse, Killed in Action, 30 October 1901

Private WG Grant, 2nd Scottish Horse, Killed in Action, 30 October 1901

I

Captain AW Inglis, 2nd Seaforth Highlanders attached 2nd Scottish Horse, Killed in Action, 30 October 1901

J

Private Alexander Jordan, Victoria, 2nd Scottish Horse, Killed in Action, 30 October 1901

K

  • Age: 31
  • Address: Victoria, Australia
  • Unit: 2nd Scottish Horse

L

  • Age: 29
  • Unit: 2nd Scottish Horse

M

Private H Marsh, 2nd Scottish Horse, Killed in Action, 30 October 1901

Private G Marshall, 2nd Scottish Horse, Killed in Action, 30 October 1901

Private M McGregor, 2nd Scottish Horse, Killed in Action, 30 October 1901

Private A McKenzie, 2nd Scottish Horse, Killed in Action, 30 October 1901

  • Unit: 2nd Scottish Horse

Lance Corporal A Murray, 2nd Scottish Horse, Killed in Action, 30 October 1901

Private A Munro, 2nd Scottish Horse, Died of Wounds, 2 November 1901

S

Sergeant JM Saunders, 2nd Scottish Horse, Killed in Action, 30 October 1901

Private J Shepherd, 2nd Scottish Horse, Killed in Action, 30 October 1901

Private J Simpson, 2nd Scottish Horse, Killed in Action, 30 October 1901

Sergeant GB Smith, New South Wales, 2nd Scottish Horse, Killed in Action, 30 October 1901

Lance Corporal W Smith, 2nd Scottish Horse, Killed in Action, 30 October 1901

  • Age: 39
  • Address: Canberra, Australia
  • Unit: 2nd Scottisch Horse

T

Shoeing Smith H Tringlette, 2nd Scottish Horse, Killed in Action, 30 October 1901

W

Private Francis Walker, Victoria, 2nd Scottish Horse, Killed in Action, 30 October 1901

Lieutenant Charles Woodman, Western Australia, 2nd Scottish Horse, Died of Wounds, 31 October 1901

[http://www.samilitaryhistory.org/vol112le.html]

[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Bakenlaagte]

[http://152.111.11.6/argief/berigte/volksblad/2001/10/31/11/1.html]