The Kimberley Town Guard was raised in October 1899 to defend the city from the possibility of Boer attack. By 26th November the strength of the Town Guard, which was to perform valuable service, had been increased to 130 officers and 2,520 non-commissioned officers and men.
During the siege there were very many skirmishes and sorties in which the mounted men did most of the fighting, while the infantry, including the Town Guard, held the trenches and defensive works. In the making of these works coloured labour, largely provided by the De Beers Company, was mainly employed. Very soon the defences were so strong that the Boers were afraid to face an assault indeed, all through the siege the defenders did most of the active or attacking work, the enemy relying mainly on artillery and long-range rifle-fire.
COLONEL KEKEWICH'S REPORT.—Major (local Lieutenant Colonel) T C Peakman was associated in early days of siege with organisation of Town Guard; his experience and local knowledge were of great assistance to me; subsequently he commanded a squadron of Light Horse, and on death of Lieutenant Colonel Turner was selected by me for command of all mounted corps; he has shown much courage under fire, and is a most deserving and excellent officer; wounded November 18th.
KlMBERLEY AND BEACONSFIELD TOWN GUARDS
Major J R Fraser, late Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, retired, at first as Staff-officer and later as CO, did excellent work, and has shown great energy and resource. Captain C A Blackboard did much good work in connection with interior economy of the Guard and keeping order in Beaconsfield. Captain W Nelson, valuable services in collection of information and procuring enemy's cattle for food of garrison. Lieutenant Colonel D Harris, VD, arrived when Town Guard was being raised, threw himself most heartily into work, and was of greatest assistance; much praise is due to him for his good work in looking after comforts and interests of Town Guard in works and redoubts, which entailed much hard work and fatigue. Captain B Richards, good work as Staff-officer. Captain B E A O'Meara performed duties of garrison-adjutant and quartermaster with much zeal and energy; rendered valuable services. Captain T Tyson performed duties of assistant military censor to my complete satisfaction. Captain W Pickering, rendering much valuable assistance from date of my arrival, and during a portion of siege commanded a section of defence with success. Captain T L Angel did good work in command of Cyclist Corps. Lieutenant E F Paynham, assistant to the Intelligence Officer, rendered very great assistance in dealing with correspondence of a confidential nature. The following officers also did good work:—Captains F Mandy, J R Grimmer, W S Elkin, H Pirn, J Adams, C E Hertog, J Morton, C Tabuteau, E H Moseley, G White, W H Faulkner, A Blum, H Rugg, J Armstrong; Lieutenants C D Lucas, H Tabuteau, J J Coghlan, T Callen, W G Wright, J A Carr, J Brander- Dunbar, S O'Molony. Sergeant Major J P Russell, late RE, as warrant officer, did much valuable work in connection with superintendence of native labour employed on construction of defence works. Sergeant J Russell, Cyclist Corps, is deserving of mention for good work.
LORD ROBERTS' DESPATCHES: 2nd April 1901.—Lieutenant Colonel D Harris, VD, who got the CMG, Captains T L Angel, F Mandy, B E A O'Meara, W Pickering, S Richards; Lieutenants C J Lucas, E F Paynham, Sergeant Major J P Russell, Sergeant J Russell.
4th September 1901.—Major J R Fraser, Captain W Nelson, Captain L R Grimmer, Lieutenant J Brander-Dunbar (Captain, 3rd Cameron Highlanders).
WlNDSORTON TOWN GUARD
Lieutenant W A Williams.
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