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Medals to the Eastern Province Horse 2 years 2 months ago #70796

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The Eastern Province Horse was raised in the eastern portion of Cape Colony in early 1900. By February 1900, they were in action at Arundel. The corps remained in the field throughout 1901. They operated in CC, OFS and Tr.





George Gordon Lundie joined the Eastern Province Horse on 3rd January 1900. At the time, he was 24 and worked as a clerk. He gave his address as Dunell, Ebden and Co, Port Elizabeth. On 17th February 1900 he was promoted to Corporal and reverted to the ranks on 12th July 1900. He was discharged from the Eastern Province Horse on 24th October 1900 when he transferred to the JMR.


Picture courtesy of DNW

QSA (3) Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal (55 L. Corpl: T. A. Yates Eastn: Prov: Horse);
KSA (2) (Agent T. A. Yates. F.I.D.).

Together with a South African 1898 Penny, this pierced, a white metal ostrich cap badge; and an order from Field Marshal Lord Roberts, handwritten by Colonel Commandant Mackinnon and delivered by the recipient to General Broadwood and Colonel Little.

Thomas Arthur Yates was born in Aston Parish, Nechells, Warwickshire in 1874. He enlisted in the Eastern Province Light Horse on 31 January 1900, aged 25 years, stating his nationality to be English and trade to be that of traveller. Yates was a despatch rider of the Eastern Province Light Horse, sent by Colonel Mackinnon on 20-21 July 1900, to relay orders (original order with lot) from Lord Roberts to General Broadwood and Colonel Little, in an attempt to co-ordinate the capture of De Wet, who had escaped through the British cordon.

Mackinnon’s Journal of the C.I.V. in South Africa contains particular entries which appear to relate to Yates despatch:

20 July: A wire received from Lord Roberts to send four messengers in different directions to find Little and Broadwood, urging them to catch up De Wet, who is supposed to be taking Steyn with him north-east to the Pretoria-Delagoa line.

22 July: The two despatch riders whom I sent on 20th to try to find Broadwood returned; they went twenty-five miles out and back, but could not get through, and only just escaped after eight miles.

The despatch reads as follows:

‘To General Broadwood and Colonel Little, Heilbron 21 July 1900. 5pm.
I am directed by F.M. Roberts, &c, to forward you following message (Dated July 20th, Pretoria) “from information received here I gather that De Wet is endeavouring to take Steyn through to join Kruger on the Delagoa Railway East of Middleburg (?) (Stop). If this is the case he will as far as possible avoid our troops (Stop). Orders have been sent directing General Clery with his brigade to be at Grylingstadt on or before Sunday morning and ?? have these supplies for your Force if require (Stop). Supplies will also be available for you at Heidelburg or Standerton, both of which places have been warned to head off De Wet’s if he approaches them (Stop). I understand that De Wet’s force has a considerable number of wagons which cannot move with great rapidity and I shall be much disappointed if you do not manage to keep touch with and overtake him within the next few days,” Message ends.
Kindly acknowledge. W Mackinnon, Col. CG Heilbron.’

Yates was discharged on the termination of his engagement on 15 November 1900 at Krugersdorp.
Dr David Biggins
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Medals to the Eastern Province Horse 1 year 10 months ago #73081

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From the next City Coins auction, November 2020

Blaauwberg, 26 May 1900

On 20 May 1900 MajGen Sir H E Colvile received an order from the Chief of Staff: “From Ventersburg the Highland Brigade march to Lindley and thence to Heilbron… Brigade will be concentrated Ventersburg twenty-third, reach Lindley twenty-sixth, and Heilbron twenty-ninth.”
Colvile’s force (the Highland Brigade, Commander Grant’s 2 Naval 4.7-inch guns, 5th Battery, RFA, 7th Company RE and 100 Eastern Province Horse) set out on 24 May for Lindley.

He realised that to reach Heilbron on 29 May he would have to make forced marches all the way: it turned out that 16 miles per day was quite the norm. His first encounter with the enemy was on 25 May at Spitz Kop, some 12 miles from Lindley when he lost 1 killed and 7 wounded (mainly Eastern Province Horse).

The next day, 26 May, he had a sharp encounter at Blaauwberg Ridge on the approach to Lindley, losing 7 men killed, 1 died of wounds and 14 wounded. Grant’s Guns played a prominent part by shelling the ridge at 3700 yards and Colvile was sufficiently impressed by the Colonials to write: “The Eastern Province Horse, whose scouting was very bold, suffered much more heavily in proportion, losing 4 men killed and 8 wounded and 6 horses, nearly all in the first fusillade.”

On 28 May there was again heavy fighting at Roodepoort in which Colvile lost 2 killed and 33 wounded.

He wrote:

“The day had been a trying one, and with less trustworthy troops may have ended badly for us, but the Highlanders, who had always been ready to go ahead against any odds, had by this time picked up a good many wrinkles from their enemies, and were as clever as the Boers in making the best use of ground. The excellent practice of the two batteries had enabled us to clear Roodepoort with hardly any loss, and later the naval guns had kept those of the enemy at a distance, while the while the Field Battery had removed the pressure on the Seaforth and materially helped the Argyll and Sutherland to hold their own. The Eastern Province Horse, by this time reduced to 35 mounted men, had enabled us to seize the advanced position.”

On 29th May, the day on which Colvile had been ordered by Lord Roberts to be at Heilbron, he occupied that town. There are some errors/discrepancies in the SAFF Casualty Roll, as well as in the section dealing with the Eastern Province Horse in Stirling’s “The Colonials in South Africa”.

SAFF Casualty Roll: Argyll, Sutherland Highlanders & Royal Highlanders: Casualties for “Bloemberg 26 May” to read “Blaauwberg 26 May”. Eastern Province Horse: Casualties for “Roodepoort 28 May” to read “Blaauwberg 26 May”.

Stirling: The sentence “At Roodepoort the tiny mounted force…” on p181, should read “At Blaauwberg the tiny mounted force…” It refers to the men mentioned by General Colvile on p180.

The corrections are confirmed by the QSA roll for the Eastern Province Horse, Colvile’s “The Work of the Ninth Division” and the “List of Graves in the Orange River Colony” (1904).

QSA (2) CC, OFS (157 Tpr. W.J. Corbett. Eastn. Prov. Horse)

Medal re-suspendered with heavy edge bruising and attempted partial erasure of rim details.

Pte Corbett was one of the seven men killed at Blaauwberg on 26 May 1900.
Dr David Biggins

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