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Tpr. C. E. Garratt, 47th Co., 13th Imp. Yeo. PoW Lindley 8 years 6 months ago #19915

  • azyeoman
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Another good group of four for another disasterous battle to a yeoman in the well-known 47th Company (Duke of Cambridge’s Own) Imperial Yeomanry.

QSA with three clasps: CC, OFS, TRANS, officially named to 14172 TPR. C E GARRATT. 47TH COY. 13TH IMP YEO.
1914-15 Star trio officially named to C E GARRATT. B.R.C. & O. ST. J. J. with badges

Picture and locket with wife's photo and lock of hair inside.

Tpr. Garratt was taken PoW at Lindley on 31 May 1900 when the Boers captured over 400 men.


Lindley was laid out in 1875 on the farm Brandhoek and proclaimed a town in 1878. Lindley is named after a missionary, Daniel Lindley, an American Presbyterian minister of the Voortrekkers (i.e. European pioneers).

The Battle of Lindley or Yeomanry Hills

The 13th Battalion of the Imperial Yeomanry Guard consisted of 4 squadrons which were involved in the battle of Yeomanry Hills, two miles outside Lindley in the old Orange Free State Republic. This was no ordinary Battalion as it was comprised of the nobility and upper crust of British society. The 13th Battalion had been sent from England to the Cape Colony where they undertook their preparations at Maitland, Stellenbosch and Matjiesfontein. From there they were sent to the 13th Battalion was sent from England to the Bloemfontein, Cape Colony, which had recently been captured from the Boers. From Bloemfontein they were ordered to proceed to Kroonstad by train as far as they could. Finding the railway destroyed they proceeded by horse and on foot until Ventersburg and then eventually reached Kroonstad after spending two nights in the veld. At Kroonstad a signal was received from General Colvile ordering the whole Battalion to join him 40 miles away at Lindley. What was unbeknown to the battalion was that this signal was not sent by General Colvile and was in fact a trap which had been set by the Boers.

After spending another two days in the veld the Battalion eventually reached Lindley in a poor state as there had been no provision of logistical supplies for the last four days. By this stage both the men and the horses were hungry. Upon riding into Lindley in the afternoon there was an initial skirmish where after the Battalion withdrew to the two hills that would later be known as Yeomanry Hills. During the night the Boers brought up extra forces and encircled the battalion who were then cut off with no supply lines.
On the morning of 28 May 1900, a messenger who knew the area was dispatched to summon help and a second messenger was dispatched on the 30 May. The two sides continued to snipe at each other with the battalion suffering a number of casualties. On the night of 30 May the Boer forces brought up two cannons which they used to bombard the Battalion’s position. The tired and exhausted battalion had no way to respond to artillery fire.

The final surrender occurred by chance when a corporal who was isolated in an exposed position, raised a white flag of surrender. His captain then felt obliged by the white flag not to return fire and he then also surrendered. The Officer Commanding, Lt. Col. Spragge then had no choice but to order the entire battalion to surrender. Ironically this occurred at around 4 o’clock on the afternoon of 31 May 1900 when relief was minutes away. In fact the relief force consisting of the 3rd Imperial Yeomanry Guard managed to cut off two cannons and 16 wagons that the Boers were forced to abandon. Ironically all the prisoners were released a few months later when the British forces captured Pretoria and the Boers of the Transvaal Republic neglected to evacuate them in time. This caused a lot of friction between the Free State and Transvaal Boers.

The loss of this elite battalion and the capture of 500 prisoners of war caused a national outcry in England. At subsequent courts of enquiry, it emerged that the first messenger who was sent to General Colvile arrived with the message for assistance.However, General Colvile knew nothing of the signal supposedly sent by him to Lt. Col. Spragge and he chose to obey his orders that he should proceed to Heilbron and arrive by a certain day rather than to deviate to Lindley to help Lt. Col. Spragge. At the end of all the enquiries no one was found to be at fault although Lord Roberts, the Commander in Chief of the British forces was under no such illusion as to who was to blame.General Colvile had already blotted his copy book at Sannashof and Lord Roberts had General Colvile relieved of his command and sent back to England. In 1903 General Colvile appeared before an Imperial Commission in England and was cleared of all blame and this was the last official word on the “Lindley Affair”.



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Tpr. C. E. Garratt, 47th Co., 13th Imp. Yeo. PoW Lindley 8 years 6 months ago #19920

  • Brett Hendey
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John

Congratulations on another excellent acquisition. The men of this unit are often well "worth further research".

Regards
Brett

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Tpr. C. E. Garratt, 47th Co., 13th Imp. Yeo. PoW Lindley 8 years 6 months ago #19931

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Hi Brett,

While researching this, I came across this You Tube clip. ; )

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Tpr. C. E. Garratt, 47th Co., 13th Imp. Yeo. PoW Lindley 8 years 6 months ago #19932

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British war graves Lindley.
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Tpr. C. E. Garratt, 47th Co., 13th Imp. Yeo. PoW Lindley 8 years 6 months ago #19933

  • QSAMIKE
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Great Clip.....

Thanks for posting.....

Mike
Life Member
Past-President Calgary
Military Historical Society
O.M.R.S. 1591

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Tpr. C. E. Garratt, 47th Co., 13th Imp. Yeo. PoW Lindley 8 years 6 months ago #19957

  • Brett Hendey
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An interesting clip indeed! I did some searching and it seems that in spite of hopes for repeats, the 2009 re-enactment was a one-off event.

As far as I know, the Dundee Diehards are the only active re-enactment group in South Africa. Their annual re-enactment at Isandlwana is a notable event and has done a great deal to interest the present generation of Zulus in their early success against the British in 1879 - a little bit of positive Colonial history from their point of view.

Regards
Brett
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