Corporal E. Alexander was killed in action at Manzipambana on 3 June 1906, one of only 15 men killed during the campaign.
On 3 June some of Royston’s Horse, under Captain E. G. Clerk, became detached from the main body in the heart of the forest, at Manzipambana, and were ambushed by a group of rebels vastly superior in number. Early in the action ‘Corporal Alexander, C squadron, killed later in the day, did some very accurate shooting at some natives who were, as they thought, securely hidden on their side of the same kopje, sniping at members of C squadron in the valley below. These were shot by him at a range of about 500 yards.’
The circumstances of Alexander’s death are described in Captain Clerk’s own account of the action: ‘Recovering my footing, I ran down and leaped into the donga, where I found Fraser, Woolnough, Alexander, Holmes, Flynn and Hawkins. The rebels seemed to surround us immediately and I had succeeded in firing only about two shots when Alexander staggered forward crying out, “Oh, my God, pull this out, pull this out!” referring to an assegai which had been driven into the middle of his back. Someone pulled the assegai out and he sank down and died immediately. This assegai had been thrown from a distance of about ten yards up the donga by one of the enemy who was there. Almost immediately afterwards, Hawkins staggered forward and sank against the east bank just on my right, with two assegais in his back.’ It was only the timely arrival of reinforcements, led by Royston, which prevented Captain Clerk’s men from being overrun. Nonetheless, there were four killed, viz. Corporal Alexander and Troopers Bouck, Harding and Robertson; eleven were wounded including Trooper Hawkins who succumbed to his injuries the same evening.