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Pte. W. Patterson, Northumberland Fus. PoW at Nooitgedacht 7 years 2 months ago #21030

  • azyeoman
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6750 Pte. W. Patterson, 2nd Northumberland Fusiliers.
Confirmed PoW on 13 December, 1900 at Nooitgedacht, Transvaal.

In Lord Roberts' despatch of 10th October 1900, dealing with the escape of De Wet from the Brandwater basin and the steps taken to pursue him, his lordship mentions that the 2nd Northumberland Fusiliers were about the end of July taken from the garrison of Bloemfontein and put into a brigade under Hart, who was then assisting to enclose De Wet in the Reitzburg Hills (see 1st Northumberland Fusiliers). In September 1900 the brigade of General Clements was broken up, and he was given a column to operate in the Megaliesberg range, chiefly between Rustenburg and Krugersdorp. His force consisted of the 2nd Northumberland Fusiliers, 2nd Worcestershire Regiment, 1st Border Regiment, 2nd Yorkshire Light Infantry, 900 mounted troops under Colonel Ridley, and the 8th Battery RFA. Much hard and useful work was done, but, as a rule, the enemy retired and would not fight. He was waiting for an opportunity, which came in December, when Clements was out with only a part of his force, and the Boers had been able to gather a very large body. The words of the despatch are: "General Clements' force, which had encamped immediately south of Nooitgedacht Pass (in the Megaliesberg Mountains, NW of Pretoria), was attacked before daylight on 13th December 1900 by the combined forces of Delarey and Beyers. Four companies of the Northumberland Fusiliers, who were holding the ridges overlooking the camp, were surrounded and captured by the enemy. The loss of the outpost rendered the camp untenable, and though the Boers suffered heavy loss in pressing home their attack, General Clements found himself obliged to fall back on Commando Nek". The attacking force was probably about 4000. The losses of the Fusiliers in killed and wounded were about 100, and neither Lord Kitchener nor General Clements seemed to be at all dissatisfied with the defence made; and it is satisfactory to know that 1 officer and 12 men were mentioned in despatches for exceptional gallantry.
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Pte. W. Patterson, Northumberland Fus. PoW at Nooitgedacht 7 years 2 months ago #21031

  • Henk Loots
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Hi Azyeoman

The photos of British PoW's were taken at the Nooitgedacht PoW camp near Waterval Onder in the Eastern Transvaal and not near the Nooitgedacht battlefield west of Pretora.

Henk

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Pte. W. Patterson, Northumberland Fus. PoW at Nooitgedacht 7 years 2 months ago #21034

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Thank you. I didn't know that. Do you know where the British PoWs were held after the battle? It seems some were released as early as two days later on the 15th of December.

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Pte. W. Patterson, Northumberland Fus. PoW at Nooitgedacht 7 years 2 months ago #21044

  • saxon
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hi, there is a good section in the book After Pretoria: The guerrilla War, pages 243-252 worth reading.
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Pte. W. Patterson, Northumberland Fus. PoW at Nooitgedacht 7 years 2 months ago #21046

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Thank you. Wilson's book? Volume I? :-)

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