Cape Town Highlanders
had a strength of 458 in October 1899 and were employed chiefly in garrison duty and in guarding the Cape to Kimberley railway during the campaign.
From the next City Coins auction, November 2020
Jacobsdal Siege, 25-27 October 1900
“The story of Jacobsdal was one of carelessness and bravery. Here were 45 Cape Town Highlanders, 8 police, and a 15-pounder, manned by some Colonial Volunteers.
The men were lodged partly under canvas on the market square, partly in houses near at hand.
In the night of October 25… 70 Boers under Field Cornet Bosman crept up the bed of the Riet River which runs through the town and gained some houses commanding the tents of the sleeping Volunteers. Opening fire at 3am, they killed 14 and wounded 13 of the 34 men in the tents. Those in the buildings held out until a relief party of 54 men arrived from Modder River.
On the next day the town was evacuated, only to be immediately reoccupied by the Boers.”
Time History, Vol V, p25-6
QSA (2) CC, OFS (1006 Pte. H. Pope. Cape Town Highrs.)
Pte Pope was one of the 14 men killed in the Bosman attack.
A patrol left Garies on 18 March 1902 and during an engagement at Brandy Wyn’s Kop, Lieutenant Charles Darter was killed in the “the Gorge”… after the engagement they encamped in the gorge and buried Lieutenant Darter at 12pm. On 19 March 1902 they were nearly surrounded at Rietkloof by the Boers, who failed also to occupy Brandy Wyn’s Kop. Captain Montagu led the Cape Police to capture a kopje occupied by the Boers; he was successful with no one being hit. The Boers were unable to bottle up the column. The column retired from Brandy Wyn’s Kop with the assistance of Lieutenant Maddison, who held the pass in advance of the withdrawal. Captain Montagu and his men covered the retreat.
Sergeant Bidmead was mortally wounded and Corporal Kenney slightly wounded. At a subsequent time, Commandant de Villiers told Major Cobbe that he thought the attack on the Kopje one of the smartest things he had seen. Garies was reached but Sergeant Bidmead died.
“O’Okiep” by Brian Kieran, p.46
CGHGSM (1) Bechuanaland (Pte. 489 H. Bismead. C.T. Highdrs.);
QSA (1) CC (489 S.Q.M.Serjt. H. Bidmead. Cape Town Hdrs.)
Although Bidmead’s QSA was issued off the roll of the Cape Town Highlanders, the Supplementary QSA roll of the Namaqualand Border Scouts (dated 7 August 1907) indicates his service with the NBS as 1.6.01 to 19.3.02 (his date of death) and states “No” in the column referring to service in any other units.
The clasps SA01 & SA02 issued off this last roll probably never reached Bidmead’s next-of-kin.