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Help with: BMI and 14th Hussars - action near Colenso 23 Jan 1900 1 month 3 hours ago #93876

  • Rob D
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I'm having a bit of difficulty with this and would appreciate being pointed in the right direction. Hussar Hill was part of the relief of Ladysmith (Feb 1900) but this concerns the same hill in January 1900.
Lieutenant J. G. Browne, 14th Hussars, was with the squadrons in Natal, and he kept a sketch book, which Arnold van Dyk in Bloemfontein had - I believe it's gone to a new owner recently.
Arnold sent me scans of several sketches, including these three of an engagement on 23 January 1900 at Hussar Hill, near Chieveley or near Colenso, involving the 14th Hussars and BMI.
Note, on this date - 23 Jan 1900 - the army was mainly on the upper Tugela [ it being the day before Spioenkop]. General Barton was guarding the railway and camps south of Colenso, with an armoured train, artillery, and mounted patrols by a small number of mounted men: elements of 14th Hussars, South African Light Horse and Bethune’s Mounted Infantry.
From the casualty lists, I see these men were casualties at Hussar Hill on 24 January 1900 (note there is usually 1 day between the action and the date on the list)
Royal Army Medical Corps Major Dalton C Wounded Severely
Bethunes Mounted Infantry Trooper Barton Prisoner of War
Bethunes Mounted Infantry Trooper Bridgewater H Prisoner of War
Bethunes Mounted Infantry Trooper Edwards Prisoner of War
Bethunes Mounted Infantry Trooper Freeman Prisoner of War
Bethunes Mounted Infantry RSM Freeman T Prisoner of War
Bethunes Mounted Infantry Trooper Hyams Prisoner of War
Bethunes Mounted Infantry Trooper Kane Prisoner of War
Bethunes Mounted Infantry Trooper McRae Prisoner of War
Bethunes Mounted Infantry Trooper O'Hara Prisoner of War
Bethunes Mounted Infantry Trooper Parry Prisoner of War
Bethunes Mounted Infantry Trooper Rosenthal Prisoner of War
Bethunes Mounted Infantry Trooper Stewart Prisoner of War
Bethunes Mounted Infantry Trooper Thomas Prisoner of War
Bethunes Mounted Infantry Trooper Barton Wounded
King's Royal Rifle Corps Private Davies Samuel Killed
Scottish Rifles Private Kiernan, Frederick J Killed

So it seems more than a small skirmish, though I can't make head or tail of it from these sketches.
Can anyone steer me towards an account or a map of what happened in this action?
Thanks
Rob



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Help with: BMI and 14th Hussars - action near Colenso 23 Jan 1900 1 month 3 hours ago #93877

  • Neville_C
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Rob,

I don't know whether this helps, but Lieutenant J. Gilbert Browne, 14th Hussars, drew the sketches for Goldmann's "With General French and the Cavalry in South Africa" (found in the pocket at the end of the volume).

I own Lieutenant Browne's copy of Goldman, which is inscribed: "With the author's compliments and his warmest thanks to Lieut. J. Gilbert Browne for the assistance given him by the freehand sketches, which form so valuable an addition to the volume. C.S. Goldmann".

I used to have the original sketches, but sold these on to Arnold (via Ron Hackett) in the 1990s. They now reside in the Koos Bekker (Babylonstoren) Collection.
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