The regiment sailed on the Maplemore on 8th January 1901, and arrived in Cape Colony about the end of that month, in time to take part in the pursuit of De Wet, but without allowing time for men and horses to get into the campaigning condition essential for so arduous a task. This disadvantage notwithstanding, the regiment was able to be of great service. In his despatch of 8th March 1901, para 9, Lord Kitchener refers to their "timely arrival", and says that the 1st King's Dragoon Guards, Prince of Wales's Light Horse, with G Battery RHA, brought from Pretoria, to be joined later by the 3rd Dragoon Guards, were formed into a brigade which was placed under Colonel Bethune,— evidently the brigade whose doings are graphically described by 'Intelligence Officer' in 'On the Heels of De Wet'. After describing the exciting chase, Lord Kitchener says, "The close pursuit of the various columns had the effect of driving De Wet north to the Orange River, west of Hopetown, where, being hotly pressed by General Plumer, his 15-pounder gun and a pom-pom were captured by our mounted troops under Lieutenant Colonel Owen, 1st King's Dragoon Guards". De Wet eventually got across the river, but over 200 prisoners, all his guns, ammunition, and waggons fell into our hands. "He undoubtedly quitted Cape Colony with great loss of prestige".
Colonel Bethune's force, strengthened by six squadrons Imperial Yeomanry, was then taken to the north-east of the Orange River Colony, and along with other columns operated there under General Elliot for the greater part of 1901. At the end of July General Elliot arranged his columns for a sweep west of the Kroonstad Railway, the 1st Dragoon Guards and two guns being put in a separate column under Colonel Owen. "On 2nd August near Graspan Captain Quicke, King's Dragoon Guards, of Colonel Owen's column, with two squadrons of his regiment, effected the capture of a laager of 65 waggons and 4000 cattle". The regiment was constantly hard at work until the end of the campaign. They came late on the scene, but made up for lost time, always doing well.
Four officers and 1 non-commissioned officer who had been attached to other units were mentioned in Lord Roberts' despatches of 2nd April and 4th September 1901. Three officers gained mention in Lord Kitchener's despatches during the war, and in the final despatch 3 officers, 2 non-commissioned officers, and a private were mentioned.
See the forum posts on the 1st Dragoon Guards.
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