The Border Horse was raised in the Eastern portion of Cape Colony in February 1900, their commander being Colonel Crewe, and when General Brabant was driving the Boers from about Dordrecht, 200 of the corps joined Major Maxwell at Labuschagne's Nek on 5th March. On the 4th Maxwell's Colonials had established themselves on a mountain 1500 feet high on the east of the Nek, but the troops in front of the position had been held up, and indeed withdrawn. 'The Times' History, vol iii p 491, mentions that the two squadrons of the Border Horse, when they arrived on the 5th, "proceeded to storm the Boer schanzes. By noon the whole Boer force was in full retreat towards Aliwal North", to which place Brabant and Maxwell followed. On the 5th the Border Horse lost 2 killed and several wounded. Their casualties were not so severe as the Cape Mounted Rifles or Frontier Mounted Rifles.
The Border Horse were stationed at Aliwal North in April 1900, and were reviewed there by General Brabant, under whom they were to act in the operations for the relief of Wepener (see Cape Mounted Rifles). In the advance to Wepener they were in the forefront, and several times had sharp fighting with casualties. Their work was highly spoken of by those who witnessed it.
After Wepener was relieved the Border Horse was a component part of the Colonial Division under General Brabant (see Cape Mounted Rifles), and in the advance to the Brand water Basin the whole of the Division often had fighting. The scouting and patrol work was constant, hard, and, from the nature of the country, very dangerous, and casualties were frequent. Of the work and the losses the Border Horse had their full share, but they had the satisfaction of helping to hem in Prinsloo and his 4000 men. Lieutenant L G Longmore was severely wounded near Hammonia towards the end of May, and on same occasion 3 men were killed and several wounded.
At Doornhoek, on 26th August 1900, the corps was heavily engaged, and had Major M W Robertson severely wounded and about 20 other casualties. Towards the close of 1900 the Border Horse were with Colonel Crewe in the Winburg district (see Kaffrarian Rifles), and at Tabaksberg, on 29th January 1901, they had 10 casualties, including Captain Cameron wounded. They took part in further fighting about Winburg towards the end of February. Under Colonel Crewe a portion of the corps were engaged in the pursuit of De Wet in Cape Colony, and the very arduous work by which he was driven back across the river and through the central district of the Orange River Colony in February and March 1901. Sergeant Major Cruden and 1 man were wounded at Petrusburg in that district on 9th March. Throughout the remainder of the year the Border Horse operated chiefly in Cape Colony under various column commanders, and saw much fighting.
The Mentions gained by the corps were as follows:—
LORD ROBERTS' DESPATCHES: 2nd April 1901.—Majors C P Crewe, M W Robertson, Regimental Sergeant Major E Burgess, Trooper H E Rutherford.
LORD KITCHENER'S DESPATCHES: 8th March 1901.—Lieutenant M G (or J) Foxcroft, Company Sergeant Major Johnston promoted 2nd Lieutenant, Lance Corporal A J Shout promoted Sergeant
8th July 1901.—Corporal J Stevens, promoted Sergeant, in Cape Colony, April 23rd, held a kraal alone and covered retirement of party; in every engagement has behaved most gallantly.
Colonel Crewe got the CB and Major Robertson the CMG. Private G, Doyle the DCM in April 1901.
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