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August 27th 1 month 2 weeks ago #78227

  • QSAMIKE
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I am still working on the Lynn Diary, it is taking me a bit longer than expected, I am sure any of you who have had to transcribe hand writing can appreciate that......

I found this though.....

Monday August 27th, 1900
Got up at 7.30. Breakfast at 8.30. Did not have any parades today. At Soldiers Home most of evening. Went to see A. Cramm at rest camp. Went to station after buns for Soldiers Home. Get news in camp that Gen. Oliver & his 3 sons along with a number of burgers were captured. Hans Cordua leader of the plot in Pretoria to kidnap Lord Roberts shot at daybreak. To bed at 9.

Tuesday August 28th, 1900
Got up about 7. Very warm day. No parades today. Reading in tent most of day. Went to station for load of buns. Was cutting wood at Soldiers Home. Bed at 9

Wednesday August 29th, 1900
Got up at 7.30. Thunderstorm in morning. Ordered to bridge but order canceled. Heavy rain most of day. Gen. Oliver and his sons go down line, fine looking man. Very heavy rain at night. Soldiers Home tent blown down and much damaged.

I have not heard of this Hans Cordua or the attempted kidnaping..... Has anyone else.....

Mike
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August 27th 1 month 2 weeks ago #78228

  • LinneyI
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Mike
Certainly have! See Times History Vol.IV page 392-393. Cordua was a German officer on parole and hatched a plot at Pretoria for kidnapping Bobs and other senior officers. There was also another plot in Johannesburg to celebrate the taking of the Bastille on 14th July by overpowering the officers of the garrison while they were at a race meeting (!) and then handing the town over to a waiting Commando. Cordua's plot was discovered a month later , when he was arrested and shot after trial by Court Martial. The Johannesburg plot was discovered in time and 400+ of those concerned were arrested and deported on Lord Roberts's orders. It is not said if the two plots were related.
Regards
IL.
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August 27th 1 month 2 weeks ago #78230

  • BereniceUK
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....We publish above a portrait of Lieutenant Hans Cordua. The evidence at the trial showed that he was a young German who came to Pretoria in 1896 and tried to get into the Staats Artillery, but failed, owing to his not being naturalized. He was some time afterwards appointed an assistant in the Pretoria Museum and, having become a burgher, joined the artillery on the outbreak of the war. The rank of hon. lieutenant was given to him and he is said to have displayed conspicuous bravery. When Lord Roberts entered the capital Hans Cordua was left behind by General Botha to hand over the Wonderboom Fort to the British and his parole was accepted.
....Another account states that he was a native of Hamburg and was twenty-six years of age. He had had a stormy youth and served for a term in the 76th Regiment and went to the Transvaal in 1896 as a clerk to his uncle, who had a business there. It adds that his family came from Mecklenburg-Strolitz, where his mother lived, and his father founded the Mercantile Museum at Lubeck.
Reynolds's Newspaper [London], Sunday 2nd September 1900


THE PRETORIA PLOT.

INTERVIEW WITH GANO.
["Daily News" and "Dundee Advertiser" Correspondent.]
Port Elizabeth, Tuesday.......
....Gano, the military detective whose investigations led to the arrest of Cordua, has been interviewed here. He is an American by birth, and saw several months' service in Montmorency's Scouts. People, he said, were making too much of the plot. He did not profess to be a hero, but had simply done his duty. He received orders to investigate a plot supposed to be brewing. He managed to become acquainted with several of the ringleaders, including Cordua, who seemed to be the moving spirit in the affair, and whom he described as "the deepest man he ever met." Notwithstanding his comparative youth, under a quiet exterior there lay a most determined spirit. Gano did not think the instigators of the plot meant to murder any of the British officers whom they hoped to entrap, unless resistance was offered. In that case, if the plot had succeeded, some of them might have been killed. The idea was to kidnap Lord Roberts, hold Pretoria for a few hours, loot it, and then decamp. This, it was thought, would be an object-lesson for Europe, showing that although England had captured Pretoria her hold on the conquered town was so insecure that the army was even unable to protect the person of its Commander-in-Chief. The conspirators thought this might give grounds for the intervention of some foreign Power. Gano admitted that he had never fully secured the confidence of the plotters.
The Evening Telegraph [Dundee], Wednesday 12th September 1900


....Trooper Gilbert Rawson, of the South Notts. Hussars, writing from Pretoria on October 1st to his parents at Metheringham Vicarage, says :—"lt is a long time since I wrote or received a letter. As I expect you are aware, I was taken prisoner at Lindley, and had very hard times of it, much worse than when fighting, and, after being a prisoner for months, they put me over the border—the Natal border of course—in the mountains, and told me I could go. It took me three days to find my way out, and nothing to eat. At last I found my way to Ladysmith, and was then sent up to Pretoria and put in the police. I have not seen the South Notts, since Lindley on Juue 1st ; have not seen or heard of poor Willie. The last time I saw him was on June 1st just before we commenced fighting at Lindley, but I hear up here that he was wounded and died at Kroonstad, which I do not believe. I know he is not with the South Notts., who are still at it with Methuen. I wish I had never been taken prisoner, then I could have looked after him. I shall be out of the police soon, in less than a fortnight any way, but do not know where they will send me. We have lost an awful lot of Captain Birkin's troop. I went to the funeral of one man, who died in the hospital here only a week ago. I was very nearly dead myself at Vrede with inflammation of the bowels, but got better in a sort of way, but am very weak. It has been a terrible time. You in England must be disheartened and sick of it, but yet you have no idea of the terrors of a war. I was one of the firing party who shot Cordua, and I am sure if I was Lord 'Bobs' I would shoot all the lot of them. They are the lowest of the low, and the most brutal men I ever saw. There are exceptions, but few."
The Grantham Journal, Saturday 3rd November 1900.......'Willie' was presumably William Rawson, also of the South Notts. Hussars


"The Tintagel Castle was the ship that brought over two of the Devon Imperial Yeomen, Trooper S J Cox, of Tiverton, and Sergt H J Bird, of Southmolton. Trooper Cox looks remarkably well, and has been fortunate not to have been attacked with serious illness, or to have received a serious injury. He was slightly attacked with fever on three occasions, and lightly struck with a fragment of shell in the right leg, but on no occasion had he to go to hospital. He was one of the party selected to shoot Cordua, the author of the plot to kidnap Lord Roberts. He expressed himself as willing to again serve his country on the veldt if called on."
The Western Times, Friday 21st June 1901


From an account of the 27th (Devonshire) Company Imperial Yeomanry in South Africa :—
....On June 17th [1900] many of our men joined the Pretoria Mounted and Dismounted Police, whilst those who remained with the Battalion were formed into a composite regiment, operating in turn in the neighbourhoods of Middleburg, Balmoral and Krugersdorp, chiefly as patrols. Those of us who had undertaken police duties were called upon to, amongst other things, guard Kruger's house, where Mrs. Kruger and her daughters were staying.
....Trooper S. Cox (who had become Sergeant Cook) and Trooper Ware, of our Company, took part in the shooting of Lieutenant Cordua, for the part he played in the attempt to kidnap Lord Roberts.
The Western Times, Wednesday 26th June 1901.......Samuel Ware was from Plymouth


....Colonel John William Godfrey, King's Own Scottish Borderers, has been appointed to the command of the Twenty-Fifth Regimental District in succession to Colonel Ravenhill, whose time expires on the 5th September. Colonel Godfrey has just returned from South Africa, where he commanded the King's Own Scottish Borderers. He was Judge-Advocate in the trial of Hans Cordua for conspiracy against Lord Roberts, and he was mentioned for distinguished service.
The Southern Reporter, Thursday 4th September 1902
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August 27th 1 month 2 weeks ago #78234

  • QSAMIKE
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See that is the greatest thing about this forum..... You learn something new every day......

Thanks Berenice and Linney.....

Mike
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August 27th 1 month 2 weeks ago #78235

  • BereniceUK
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What number of men would have comprised a firing squad?

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August 27th 1 month 2 weeks ago #78236

  • QSAMIKE
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Not sure Berenice but somewhere in the back of my mind I remember being told once that it had to be an odd number.....

Mike
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