The regiment sailed on the Orotava on 18th November 1901, and arrived in December. In Lord Kitchener's despatch of 8th February 1902 it was stated that a brigade was being formed under Colonel the Honourable R T Lawley, consisting of this regiment and the 7th Hussars, to operate in the Winburg district. The brigade was for some time in the north of the Orange River Colony. They took part in General Elliot's great drive in the last half of February, which was the most productive of the very numerous operations of that nature. It was during this drive that Steyn and De Wet with some followers broke the line near Vrede, but the bulk of the enemy were driven back by the New Zealanders under Garratt, who held their ground with magnificent determination and inflicted very heavy loss.
The drive resulted in over 800 prisoners, 25,000 cattle, 2000 horses, 200 waggons, and 50,000 rounds of ammunition.
In March 1902 Lawley's brigade was moved to Springs in the Transvaal, and on 1st April had severe fighting. In his despatch of 8th April Lord Kitchener says that Colonel Lawley sent out Colonel Fanshawe with three squadrons Queen's Bays and 30 National Scouts to make a detour preparatory to co-operating with his own advance. At 3.15 am Fanshawe surrounded a farm, where several Boers were captured; he then went on and tried to surround a laager, but the enemy were on the alert and he "was received by a very heavy fire, and realising that he was in presence of superior numbers, ordered a gradual retirement upon Leeuwkop. Close fighting then went on for several hours. The Bays, who were skilfully handled, retired steadily by alternate squadrons, whilst the Boers followed, pressing the withdrawal with the greatest determination and persistence". Leeuwkop was found to be in the enemy's hands, and Fanshawe had to make for another ridge, "where he received the timely support of the 7th Hussars and Lieutenant Colonel Lawley's guns". The Boers then fell quickly back. "In this affair, although the Bays were capably handled and displayed steadiness and gallantry in face of superior numbers, their losses were, I regret to say, heavy. Two squadron-leaders and 10 non-commissioned officers and men were killed, and 5 officers and 59 men were wounded".
During the short time the regiment was in the campaign 1 officer and five non-commissioned officers and men were mentioned in Lord Kitchener's despatches, apart from Colonel Fanshawe, referred to in the body of the above-quoted despatch. Two officers who had been employed with other units were mentioned in Lord Roberts' despatch of 4th September 1901; and in Lord Kitchener's supplementary or final despatch 3 officers and 3 non-commissioned officers were mentioned.
See the forum posts on the 2nd Dragoon Guards.
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