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July 21st 9 years 1 week ago #4700

  • djb
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1900 - Advance of Lord Roberts to Komati Poort begins. Bruce Hamilton captures Spitzkrans. Methuen forces Olifant's Nek. Attack on post at Zuikerbosch repulsed. De Wet crosses the railway at Serfontein.
1901 - Garratt in action at Lindeque Drift with Smuts, proceeding south to invade Cape Colony. Kritzinger attacks Crabbe at Jackalafontein, near Cradock. Lategan's commando broken up by Col. Lukin in Cape Colony drive.
1904 - Mr. Lyttelton announces self-government for the Transvaal.
Dr David Biggins

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July 21st 1 week 2 days ago #77491

  • BereniceUK
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1901 - RSM James McGillivray, of the South Australians, was killed today.

....The affair in which Sergt.-Major McGillivray lost his life occurred near Vlakfontein on the Rhenoster River, and the Register's special correspondent's version is as follows:—The left flank captured three Cape carts and the right caught two waggons, and while these were being turned Sergt.-Major McGillivray and Lieut. Miell set off after another cart containing three women which was following a Boer and a horsewoman, who were galloping up the succeeding ridge in an attempt to reach a force of the enemy who were hiding in the next valley. What occurred then may be put in few words. Sergt-Major McGillivray passed the cart, and was then shot dead, it is supposed by one of the women. Sergt. Ewens then came up, and the woman fired at him, but luckily the bullet whistled harmessly by, and the cart was stopped. It is believed that the women in the cart surrendered to him [McGillivray], and he, being satisfied, was riding on after the Boer, who, by the way, escaped—when one of the women took up a rifle and shot him from behind through the heart; and so, in such a treacherous manner, died as brave a man as ever fought this war. When the cart was stopped the woman was found with a bandolier containing 48 cartridges and a Lee-Metford rifle, which she had just fired at Sergt. Ewens. When accused of killing McGillivray she became confused, and stated, first, that her brother fired the shot, and then blamed her father for the deed, but both tales were improbable. The only Boer within range was he who was racing for dear life up the hill, and it was certain that none of the prisoners could have fired the shot. In fact, the evidence against her is so strong that it is intended to try her for murder. The body of our late comrade was buried on a peaceful little farm at Driefontein. Major Shea read the burial service in the presence of nearly every officer and man in the brigade. A neat stone was erected at his head, and on this Trooper F. Drury inscribed the following epitaph:—"James McGillivray, Regimental Sergeant-Major, South Australian I.B.C., 21/7/01." That night the subject was referred to in orders as follows :—" The C.O. much regrets to announce the death of Regimental Sergeant-Major McGillivray, who was shot whilst riding down the enemy. He was a brave man, with a sound sense of duty, and a strong fighter. Whilst he leaves us to deplore his loss, he also leaves behind him a soldierly record of which any man might be justly proud."
The Millicent Times, Saturday 7th September 1901

An extract from a letter home by Trooper Bruce May.
Klerksdorp, Transvaal, July 27.......
....On the morning of the 21st at 3 a.m. D squadron and 2 Company of the 6th M.I. moved out of camp to try and intercept some waggons and carts which were known to be about. We travelled together until dawn, when the 6th M.I. under Major Sladen stopped at a big farm near the Rhenoster River, and D squadron under Captain Watt went about two miles further on to a drift, where we surprised half a dozen Boers who were in laager with their wives and families, and before they had time to move we were amongst them. One of the Boers made a gallant attempt to escape, but Regimental Serg-Major McGillivray, who met such a treacherous death later in the day, was soon after him, and after firing a couple of shots at him the Boer surrendered. One of the women made a bit of a dash for liberty also but when she saw how many were after her she stopped. I can tell you things were a bit exciting for the time, as we did not expect to find so many Boers at this drift, in fact we were sent there to guard it as the Boers wouldn't cross when the column advanced. Instead of that they had crossed in the night and camped. Fortunately the Boers hadn't any pickets out, which enabled us to get almost to them before they saw us, and then there was a scatter, but we had them beaten and our march proved successful. The capture consisted of five Cape carts, a lot of cattle and real good horses, half a dozen Boers and six women and about 12 children. This capture was D squadron's (our's) and Captain Watt has put another feather in his cap for good work. The prisoners told Captain Watt that several Cape carts and waggons were on ahead, so with great precision the Captain sent back to the column for reinforcements and away he set after these other runaways. Our troop under Lieutenant Maurice, or at least eight of our troop, took the prisoners back to a farm and waited for the column to come up. Colonel DeLisle had in the meantime galloped up with the reinforcements, and after galloping about eight miles he came up with the rest of the waggons and carts, and although the Boers fired a few shots they made a poor resistance, and the second capture of the day took place, which consisted of six Boers, five carts, and three waggons, and also a lot of stock. It was about the last shot of the day which caused Sergeant-Major McGillivray's death. He had been doing splendid work that day, and when he was shot he was riding after a Boer, and a woman, if you can call her such, killed him while galloping away at the head of the carts. It appears that he had headed a Cape cart containing a woman, and then sighting these two galloping away he set after them, but owing to the treachery of the woman in the cart he had just headed he never reached them, as the woman seeing him galloping after the two ahead, raised a rifle which she had in the cart and shot him dead. Thus ended the life of one of England's best soldiers. Sergeant-Major McGillivray's place will be well nigh impossible to fill. The woman is to be tried at Johannesburg for murder. It is terrible to see the prisoners and women and children we capture now; a more degrading and miserable looking race it would be hard to find. The woman who shot McGillivray had a baby at the breast, in fact they all seem to have plenty of children, and the kaffirs are clothed almost better than the Boers. I don't think the war will last much longer now; we meet, taking it on the whole, with very poor resistance. The Boers don't seem to have any big guns and their small arms are also getting pretty short. After burying poor McGillivray at Driefontein at 8.30 a.m. on the 22nd July we struck camp at 10 a.m. and marched until 5 p.m., crossing the Vaal River at Cole's Drift, and camped just the other side, our first camp on Transvaal territory.
The Bunyip, Friday 13th September 1901

Mount Gambier, February 13.......
....Mr. P. Ewens has received a letter from his brother. Sergeant A. E. Ewens, from Bloemfontein, stating that the girl, Johanna Goldenhins, who was tried for shooting Regimental Sergeant-Major J. A. McGillivray, at Kroonstad, was acquitted, but she was sentenced to twelve months imprisonment for having fired at Sergeant Ewens.
The Advertiser [Adelaide], Saturday 15th February 1902
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July 21st 1 week 2 days ago #77512

  • LinneyI
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According to Haggett and Smith's "A Jam Tin of Mosquitoes" and the OZ-Boer source, "419 RSM James McGillivray, 5th South Aust. Imperial Bushmen" was listed as Killed in Action at "Vankollensfontein' on the indicated date. RSM McGillivray had previous service with the 1st South Aust. Mounted Rifles and had been a member of the 1897 Jubilee Contingent to the UK.
Concerning the incident mentioned in the press, there must have been a question of doubt as to which of the women had fired the fatal shot. There seems to have been no question of doubt about her shooting at Sgt. Ewens.
Had the shooter been a male, very probably rough justice would have occurred.
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