Siege of Ladysmith

Ladysmithdefence of LadysmithRelief of Ladysmithsiege118-day siegeattack on Wagon Hillbesiegedgarrison of Ladysmithbattle of Platrandbattle of Wagon Hill
The Siege of Ladysmith was a protracted engagement in the Second Boer War, taking place between 2 November 1899 and 28 February 1900 at Ladysmith, Natal.wikipedia
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Second Boer War

Boer WarAnglo-Boer WarSouth African War
The Siege of Ladysmith was a protracted engagement in the Second Boer War, taking place between 2 November 1899 and 28 February 1900 at Ladysmith, Natal.
In the first phase, the Boers mounted preemptive strikes into British-held territory in Natal and the Cape Colony, besieging the British garrisons of Ladysmith, Mafeking, and Kimberley.

George White (British Army officer)

Sir George WhiteGeorge WhiteGeorge Stuart White
Lieutenant General Sir George White was appointed to command this enlarged force. Early in the siege an agreement between George Stuart White and Piet Joubert led to the creation of the neutral Intombi Military Hospital some 5 km outside Ladysmith.
He commanded the garrison at the Siege of Ladysmith: although instructed by General Sir Redvers Buller to surrender the garrison he responded "I hold Ladysmith for the Queen" and held out for another four months before being relieved in February 1900.

Battle of Ladysmith

LadysmithLombard´s Kopbattle
The result was the disastrous Battle of Ladysmith, in which the British were driven back into the town having lost 1,200 men killed, wounded or captured.
The Boers did not follow up their advantage by proceeding towards the strategically important port of Durban, and instead began a Siege of Ladysmith, which was relieved after 118 days.

John French, 1st Earl of Ypres

John FrenchSir John FrenchFrench
Major General French and his Chief of Staff, Major Douglas Haig escaped on the last train to leave, which was riddled with bullets.
He won the Battle of Elandslaagte near Ladysmith, escaping under fire on the last train as the siege began.

Colony of Natal

NatalGovernor of the Colony of NatalLieutenant-governor of the Colony of Natal
The Siege of Ladysmith was a protracted engagement in the Second Boer War, taking place between 2 November 1899 and 28 February 1900 at Ladysmith, Natal. As war with the Boer republics appeared likely in June 1899, the War Office in Britain dispatched a total of 15,000 troops to Natal, expecting that if war broke out they would be capable of defending the colony until reinforcements could be mobilized and sent to South Africa by steamship.
The Siege of Ladysmith lasted until 28 February 1900, when the town was relieved by forces under Redvers Buller.

Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig

Douglas HaigSir Douglas HaigHaig
Major General French and his Chief of Staff, Major Douglas Haig escaped on the last train to leave, which was riddled with bullets.
French and Haig were ordered to leave Ladysmith as the four-month siege began, to take charge of the new Cavalry Division arriving from the United Kingdom – the two men escaped on the last train to leave Ladysmith (2 November 1899), lying down as it passed through enemy fire.

Heliograph

helioheliographic stationheliography
White knew that large reinforcements were arriving, and could communicate with British units south of the Tugela River by searchlight and heliograph.
During the early stages of the war, the British garrisons were besieged in Kimberley, Ladysmith, and Mafeking.

Hubert Gough

GoughSir Hubert GoughHubert de la Poer Gough
The first party of the relief column, under Major Hubert Gough and of which Winston Churchill was a part, rode in on the evening of 28 February.
In mid-January he was sent to reconnoitre Potgeiter's Drift, a crossing of the Tugela River, with a view to outflanking the Boer position at Colenso – which Buller had assaulted in December – from the west in an attempt to relieve Ladysmith.

Paul Kruger

KrugerPresident KrugerPresident Paul Kruger
The Transvaal government under President Paul Kruger considered launching an attack in September, but President Steyn of the Orange Free State, who would later become the spiritual heart of the Boer resistance, dissuaded them for several weeks while he tried to act as intermediary.
The Boer commandos, including four of Kruger's sons, six sons-in-law and 33 of his grandsons, advanced quickly into the Cape and Natal, won a series of victories and by the end of October were besieging Kimberley, Ladysmith and Mafeking.

Winston Churchill

ChurchillSir Winston ChurchillChurchill, Winston
The first party of the relief column, under Major Hubert Gough and of which Winston Churchill was a part, rode in on the evening of 28 February.
He did not return home, and in January 1900 he was appointed a lieutenant in the South African Light Horse regiment, joining Redvers Buller's fight to relieve the Siege of Ladysmith and take Pretoria.

Arthur Stark

Stark
Arthur Stark, author of The Birds of South Africa, was killed after being hit by an unexploded Boer shell in the Royal Hotel.
He lived in (the British colonies of) South Africa during the last 7 years of his life and died during the Siege of Ladysmith at the age of 53. He is best known for initiating an ornithological work, The Birds of South Africa.

Relief of Ladysmith

Ladysmith Relief ForceLadysmithrelieve Ladysmith
Relief of Ladysmith
Britain meanwhile transported thousands of troops both from the United Kingdom itself and from elsewhere in the Empire and by the time the siege of Ladysmith had been lifted, had a huge numeric superiority.

Clive MacDonnell Dixon

Clive DixonClive Macdonnell Raylton Dixon
Clive MacDonnell Dixon
Major Clive MacDonnell Dixon (10 February 1870 in Middlesbrough – 5 November 1914 in Ypres) was an English illustrator and soldier, best known for the charming images in his book The Leaguer of Ladysmith, created during the four-month Siege of Ladysmith in South Africa.

Bovril

Bovril Ltdbeef teaBovril Company
Towards the end of the siege, the garrison and townsfolk were living largely on their remaining draught oxen and horses (mainly in the form of "chevril", a meat paste named after the commercial beef extract "Bovril").
During the Siege of Ladysmith in the Second Boer War, a Bovril-like paste was produced from horse meat within the garrison.

Herman Albrecht

There were four Victoria Crosses awarded during the siege: John Norwood on 30 October 1899, at Wagon Hill on 6 January 1900, Herman Albrecht and Robert James Thomas Digby-Jones (who both died), and James Edward Ignatius Masterson.
On 6 January 1900 during the attack on Wagon Hill, near Ladysmith, South Africa, Lieutenant Robert James Thomas Digby-Jones of the Royal Engineers and Trooper Albrecht led the force which re-occupied the top of the hill at a critical moment, just as the three foremost attacking Boers reached it. The leader was shot by the lieutenant and the two others by Trooper Albrecht.

Robert Digby-Jones

RJT Digby-Jones
There were four Victoria Crosses awarded during the siege: John Norwood on 30 October 1899, at Wagon Hill on 6 January 1900, Herman Albrecht and Robert James Thomas Digby-Jones (who both died), and James Edward Ignatius Masterson.
On 6 January 1900 during the attack on Wagon Hill (Ladysmith), South Africa, Lieutenant Digby-Jones and a trooper (Herman Albrecht) of the Imperial Light Horse led the force which re-occupied the top of the hill at a critical moment, but both were killed in the ensuing mêlée.

David Bruce (microbiologist)

David BruceSir David BruceBruce
This was run by Major General (later Sir) David Bruce and his wife Mary.
When the Second Boer War broke out in 1899, accompanied by his wife, he ran the field hospital during the Siege of Ladysmith (2 November 1899 until 28 February 1900).

Shell (projectile)

shellshellsartillery shell
On Christmas Day 1899, the Boers fired into Ladysmith a carrier shell without fuze, which contained a Christmas pudding, two Union Flags and the message "compliments of the season".
Famously, on Christmas Day 1899 during the siege of Ladysmith, the Boers fired into Ladysmith a carrier shell without a fuze, which contained a Christmas pudding, two Union Flags and the message "compliments of the season".

Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal

Ladysmith LadysmithEmnambithi/Ladysmith
The Siege of Ladysmith was a protracted engagement in the Second Boer War, taking place between 2 November 1899 and 28 February 1900 at Ladysmith, Natal.
This led to the battle of Platrand (or Wagon Hill) south of the town.

William Henry Wright

Bill Wright
William Henry Wright
He served through the Second Boer War and survived the siege of Ladysmith.

G. W. Steevens

G.W. Steevens
While Buller made repeated attempts to fight his way across the Tugela, the defenders of Ladysmith suffered increasingly from shortage of food and other supplies, and from disease, mainly enteric fever or typhoid, which claimed among many others, the life of noted war correspondent G.W. Steevens.
Caught in the siege of Ladysmith, he kept up morale during the early months with his mordant witticisms appearing in Ladysmith Lyre (e.g. "a strange sideway out of Ladysmith" for death by disease or starvation).

Devonshire Regiment

11th Regiment of Foot11th Foot11th
, Being a Regimental History of the 1st Battalion Devonshire Regiment during the Boer War 1899–1902.
The Record of a Regiment of the Line Being a regimental history of the 1st Battalion Devonshire Regiment during the Boer War 1899-1902, by M. Jacson, from Project Gutenberg. Deals extensively with the Siege of Ladysmith.

Piet Joubert

Commandant-General JoubertCommandant-General Piet JoubertGeneral Joubert
Early in the siege an agreement between George Stuart White and Piet Joubert led to the creation of the neutral Intombi Military Hospital some 5 km outside Ladysmith.

War Office

War DepartmentBritish War OfficeOld War Office Building
As war with the Boer republics appeared likely in June 1899, the War Office in Britain dispatched a total of 15,000 troops to Natal, expecting that if war broke out they would be capable of defending the colony until reinforcements could be mobilized and sent to South Africa by steamship.

Presidencies and provinces of British India

IndiaBritish IndiaBritish
Some of these troops were diverted while returning to Britain from India, others were sent from garrisons in the Mediterranean and elsewhere.