The Battle of Colenso was the third and final battle fought during the Black Week of the Second Boer War. It was fought between British and Boer forces from the independent South African Republic and Orange Free State in and around Colenso, Natal, South Africa on 15 December 1899. Inadequate preparation and reconnaissance and uninspired leadership led to a British defeat. Shortly before the outbreak of the war, General Sir Redvers Buller was dispatched to South Africa at the head of an Army Corps, and appointed Commander-in-Chief of all British forces in South Africa. On arrival, he found British garrisons besieged on widely separated fronts, with limited communications between the fronts.
Colensoactions at Colensoassaulted in December
TransvaalTransvaal ProvinceNorthern Transvaal
To its south it bordered with the Orange Free State and Natal provinces, to its west were the Cape Province and the Bechuanaland Protectorate (later Botswana), to its north Rhodesia (later Zimbabwe), and to its east Portuguese East Africa (later Mozambique) and Swaziland. Except on the south-west, these borders were mostly well defined by natural features. Several Bantustans were entirely inside the Transvaal: Venda, KwaNdebele, Gazankulu, KaNgwane and Lebowa. Parts of Bophuthatswana were also in the Transvaal, with other parts in Cape Province and Orange Free State. Within the Transvaal lies the Waterberg Massif, a prominent ancient geological feature of the South African landscape.
welfare reformsliberal reformsreforms
The condition of soldiers during the Boer War was considered unacceptable. The British government had trouble enlisting enough able-bodied recruits to the British army. Germany and the United States were overtaking Britain as economic powers – the success of social legislation in Bismarck's Germany made leading Liberals in the UK such as David Lloyd George and Winston Churchill want to put forward similar legislation. The emergence of public works schemes set up to improve living conditions which were often run by the Liberals raised the possibility that such schemes could occur on a national scale.
The monument is built near the site of the birth-house of Martinus Theunis Steyn, who was president of the Boer Republic of the Orange Free State. The town was the site of a concentration camp for women and children captured by the British Army during their scorched earth campaign during the Second Boer War. 355 children and 132 adults died in this camp due to malnutrition and contagious diseases, while kept in tents without any infrastructure or protection during the bitter cold winters of 1899 – 1901. The famous Boer General Koos de la Rey was born in the district of Winburg on the farm Doornfontein. General De La Rey was the leading Boer General of the Western Transvaal in 1899 – 1901.
Major John Strange Spencer-Churchill, DSO, TD (16 September 1880 – 23 February 1947), known as Jack Churchill, was the younger son of Lord Randolph Churchill and his wife Jennie, and the brother of former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Sir Winston Churchill. He was born at Phoenix Park, Dublin, Ireland, where his father, Lord Randolph, was secretary to Jack's grandfather, the 7th Duke of Marlborough, then Viceroy of Ireland. John was educated at Harrow School in England. Jennie's sisters believed that John's actual biological father was Evelyn Boscawen, but this is unlikely, given his strong resemblance to his father and brother.
Reginald Walter Ralph BarnesR. BarnesReginald W.R. Barnes
His first experience of war came in November 1895, when he was attached as an observer of guerrilla warfare to the Spanish Army during the Cuban War of Independence, together with his fellow 4th Hussars officer, a twenty-one-year-old Winston Churchill. Churchill was an accredited journalist for the London Daily Graphic newspaper, sending them dispatches from the front. But both officers were also under orders from Colonel Edward Chapman, the British Director of Military Intelligence to "collect information and statistics on various points and particularly as to the effect of the new bullet its penetration and striking power".
9th Duke of MarlboroughDuke of MarlboroughThe Duke of Marlborough
He was a nephew of Lord Randolph Churchill and a first cousin of Sir Winston Churchill, with whom he had a close and lifelong friendship. He was a fourth cousin twice removed of Diana, Princess of Wales. He was educated at Winchester College and Trinity College, Cambridge. Marlborough entered the House of Lords on the early death of his father in 1892, and made his maiden speech in August 1895. In 1899, he was appointed Paymaster-General by Lord Salisbury, a post he held until 1902. He was then Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies under Arthur Balfour between 1903 and 1905. He was sworn of the Privy Council in 1899.
The Duke of Marlborough7th Duke of MarlboroughDuke of Marlborough
Lady Sarah Isabella Augusta Spencer-Churchill ( 4 Jul 1865 – 22 October 1929), a war correspondent during the Boer War; married 21 November 1891 Lt. Col. Gordon Chesney Wilson (son of Sir Samuel Wilson, MP), by whom she had issue.
Harcourt's resignation briefly muted the turmoil in the party, but the beginning of the Second Boer War soon nearly broke the party apart, with Rosebery and a circle of supporters including important future Liberal figures H. H. Asquith, Edward Grey and Richard Burdon Haldane forming a clique dubbed the Liberal Imperialists that supported the government in the prosecution of the war. On the other side, more radical members of the party formed a Pro-Boer faction that denounced the conflict and called for an immediate end to hostilities.
Randolph ChurchillLord Randolph Henry Spencer-ChurchillLord
Lady Georgiana Elizabeth Spencer-Churchill (10 St James's Square, St James's, London, 14 May 18609 February 1906), married 4 June 1883 Richard George Penn Curzon, 4th Earl Howe, by whom she had issue. Lady Sarah Isabella Augusta Spencer-Churchill (186522 October 1929), a war correspondent during the Boer War; married 21 November 1891 Lt. Col. Gordon Chesney Wilson (son of Sir Samuel Wilson, MP). Spouse. Jennie Jerome. Children. Sir Winston Churchill. John Strange Spencer-Churchill. Notable Freemasons. Edward the Seventh. Volume I Full text at Archive.org. Volume II Full text at Archive.org.
AsquithAsquithianHerbert Henry Asquith
Winston Churchill succeeded Lloyd George as President of the Board of Trade, entering the Cabinet despite his youth (aged 33) and the fact that he had crossed the floor to become a Liberal only four years previously. Asquith demoted or dismissed a number of Campbell-Bannerman's cabinet ministers. Lord Tweedmouth, the First Lord of the Admiralty, was relegated to the nominal post of Lord President of the Council. Lord Elgin was sacked from the Colonial Office and the Earl of Portsmouth (whom Asquith had tutored) was too, as undersecretary at the War Office.
Aldershot Military TownAldershot TattooAldershot Stadium
Many famous people have been associated with the Military Town, including Charlie Chaplin, who made his first stage appearance in The Canteen theatre aged 5 in 1894, and Winston Churchill, who was based there in the late 19th century during his time in the Army. The area also houses various military and regimental museums, including the Aldershot Military Museum, housed in a red-brick Victorian barracks. Until December 2007 the Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces Museum was in Aldershot. It has since moved to the Imperial War Museum Duxford.
Lloyd GeorgeRt Hon. David Lloyd GeorgeBritish Prime Minister David Lloyd George
Winston Churchill – Minister of Munitions (appointed 17/7/17). Neville Chamberlain, and then (from 1917) Sir Auckland Geddes – Director of National Service. David Lloyd George — Prime Minister. Lord Birkenhead – Lord Chancellor. Lord Curzon of Kedleston – Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Lords. Andrew Bonar Law – Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Commons. Austen Chamberlain – Chancellor of the Exchequer. Edward Shortt – Secretary of State for the Home Department. Arthur Balfour – Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. Lord Milner – Secretary of State for the Colonies. Winston Churchill – Secretary of State for War and Air.
The Battle of Kraaipan was the first engagement of the Second Anglo-Boer War, fought at Kraaipan, South Africa on 12 October 1899. On 11 October 1899 President Paul Kruger of the South African Republic in alliance with the Orange Free State declared war on the British. That night 800 men of the Potchefstroom and Lichtenburg commandos under General Koos de la Rey (one of General Piet Cronjé's field generals) attacked and captured the British garrison and railway siding at Kraaipan between Vryburg and Mafeking, some 60 km south west of Mafeking. Thus began the Second Anglo-Boer War. Under the orders of Cronjé the Mafeking railway and telegraph lines were cut on the same day.
Model 1895Mauser M1899, M1899/07 and M1908Mauser Model 1895 rifles
Orange Free State. 🇵🇾 Paraguay. South African Republic. 🇺🇾 Uruguay. List of firearms. Second Boer War. Swedish Mauser.
Battle of Sanna's PostSannasposSurprise of Sanna’s Post
Korn Spruit) was an engagement fought during the Second Boer War (1899-1902) between the British Empire and the Boers of the two independent republics of Orange Free State and South African Republic. In early 1900, the British army, in overwhelming strength, had occupied Bloemfontein, capital of the Orange Free State, and were preparing to drive north to Pretoria, capital of the Transvaal. Field Marshal Lord Roberts, commander in chief of the British forces, believed that with the capture of the capitals of both republics, the war would be all but over.
Mafekingrelief of Mafekingat Mafeking
The Siege of Mafeking was a 217-day siege battle for the town of Mafeking (now called Mahikeng) in South Africa during the Second Boer War from October 1899 to May 1900. The siege received considerable attention as Lord Edward Cecil, the son of the British prime minister, was in the besieged town, as also was Lady Sarah Wilson, a daughter of the Duke of Marlborough and aunt of Winston Churchill. The siege turned the British commander, Colonel Robert Baden-Powell (often, and below, refereed to as "B-P"), into a national hero. The Relief of Mafeking (the lifting of the siege), while of little military significance, was a morale boost for the struggling British.
Modder Rivercapture of Cronje's laager on the Modderlost
Historical Dictionary of the Anglo-Boer War. Lanham, Md: Scarecrow Press, 2009, ISBN: 9780810860919, pages 285-288. * Lord Methuen and the British Advance to the Modder River Military history of South Africa. Battle of Paardeberg.
21st Regiment of Foot21st Foot21st
The regiment was not fundamentally affected by the Cardwell Reforms of the 1870s, which gave it a depot at Churchill Barracks in Ayr from 1873, or by the Childers Reforms of 1881 – as it already possessed two battalions, there was no need for it to amalgamate with another regiment. Under the reforms the regiment became The Royal Scots Fusiliers on 1 July 1881. It became the County Regiment of Ayrshire, Dumfriesshire, Kirkcudbrightshire, Roxburghshire, Selkirkshire and Wigtownshire in South-West Scotland. This made them a Lowland Regiment and forced them to adopt trews. The regiment saw action at the Battle of the Tugela Heights in February 1900 during the Second Boer War.
De la ReyGeneral De la ReyGeneral Koos de la Rey
Jacobus Herculaas de la Rey (22 October 1847 – 15 September 1914), better known as Koos de la Rey, was a Boer military officer who served as a general during the Second Boer War. De la Rey also had a political career and was one of the leading avocates of Boer independence. Born on Doornfontein Farm in the Winburg District of the Orange Free State, Koos was the son of Adrianus Johannes Gijsbertus de la Rey and Adriana Wilhelmina van Rooyen. De la Rey was a Boer of Spanish, French Huguenot and Dutch descent. His grandfather, a school teacher and the patriarch of the de la Rey family in South Africa, came from Utrecht, Netherlands.
Sir Charles WarrenWarrenGeneral Sir Charles Warren
Goodbye Dolly Gray: The Story of the Boer War, 1959. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Pakenham, T.The Boer War(1979). Palestine Exploration Fund page on Warren. Jack the Ripper Casebook article on Warren. Large excellent photograph of Warren.