1900 - "The following telegram from Lord Kitchener has been received at the War Office :— ....Pretoria, Aug. 19.—Aug. 18. Yesterday morning a party of South African Constabulary and Morley's Scouts, about 150 strong, under Captain Wood, reconnoitring towards Bronkhorstspruit, surprised strong Boer laager near Middelsburg, killing 23. Owing to greatly superior strength enemy, estimated 600 to 800, Captain Wood was unable to follow up success, and during retirement lost one killed, six wounded, including Captain Morley severe, and enemy must have lost more than the 23 seen dead." Stamford Mercury, Friday 23rd August 1901
1902 - A letter to Australia from Philip de Kock, "a field cornet in the Boer army." ...."The following letter, from a field cornet in the Boer army, addressed to a friend in Sydney, will be read with interest as showing how kindly the Boers are taking to the new conditions of things :— .
18th August, '02.......
Mr. Norman L. Gardiner, ......"Abingdon," ............418 Crown-street, Surry Hills, ..................Sydney, Australia. ....Dear Friend,—Your welcome and interesting letter is to hand, for which I thank you sincerely. ....I must first congratulate you in reaching home in good health and in safety. I was never more surprised to learn that you had returned so speedily ; it seems like a few weeks only back since you were here. I thank you for your kind welcome, and trust that we shall all work in unity and love for our Mother Country—Old England. ....It is needless to say how we appreciate being part of the greatest empire, as well as subjects, especially if you could only have seen and have an idea of the good will and energy each one took in decorating and illuminating his home in honour of the crowning of our new King, Edward VII. We have need to be proud, and I am sure the whole Empire will have good and loyal subjects, and true brothers and sisters in time of need, and good ones too, as have been shown during the past war. No doubt you are tired out of all dissipations and have, ere this, put your hand to work again. ....The receptions you received on your return were only due to you, especially as "we who live here" know what you have gone through and endured for your country's sake. Remember, and do not feel too conceited, when I tell you that all men who surrendered state that the Australians were undoubtedly the best in the field and in kindness also. I do hope that you have had rains by this. We are just changing to Spring now, and, to all appearances, will have a prosperous year, which will make all the difference in starting the country once more. ....Stock of all descriptions is very very scarce, horses realizing from £10 to £50 each, and oxen £15 to £20, cows ditto, but all in very poor condition. Sheep are altogether out of the question, as are pigs and poultry. I have seen my brother Harry. He is quite well, and is at present at Frankfort on the Repatriation Commission trying to settle the farmers, and assisting them to start once more. ....I am pleased to state that business has been very brisk, and hope it will continue so. ....Several new colonists are settling in the country, and I trust that, in the course of a few years, the war will be spoken of as a thing of the past, long ago. ....With kindest regards from Miss Heppell, Mrs. de Kock and our baby,
Your sincere friend,......
Philip de Kock.......
....P.O. Box 39, Heilbron." The Watchman [Sydney], Saturday 27th September 1902
Part of a photo of "B" Squadron - 3rd and 4th Troops, Second Regiment of N.S.W. Mounted Infantry, for service in South Africa, which appeared in the Australian Town and Country Journal (2.3.1901). Number 23 is H. G. (or S. G.) Gardiner, and 26 is N. L. Gardiner - Norman and "brother Harry"?
Photo No.23 is that of "129 Stanley George Gardner" (note, no i). He is recorded in Murray as "129 Hunley George Gardner" of 2NSWMR. Photo No.26 is a bit of a mystery. I cannot see an N.L.Gardiner/Gardner on the roll of 2NSWMR in Murray. There is, however, one "3719 Norman Leslie Gardner" in the drafts attached to 3NSWMR. I cannot offer any explanation for this difference in units; other than to say that 2nd and 3rd NSWMR departed from Sydney within a month or so of each other and the 3NSWMR draft left in 4/1901. NLG could well have been intended to leave with 2NSWMR but for some reason got back listed.
The letter from Phillip De Kock of Heilbron (dated after the conclusion of the war) is most interesting; especially for the friendly tone.
Here in OZ, we are very fortunate in that the members of many of the contingents had group photographs taken and they can be found on Trove.
We'll probably never know how Philip De Kock and Norman Gardiner met and became friends, but it seems to me that the ABW may have a comparatively greater amount of recorded articles, reports and letters in contemporary English-language newspapers than any other war.