“At dawn of 26 August all were awakened by the rattle of rifles and the boom of guns. Olivier and his men were audaciously attempting to rush the town. After two hours’ heavy firing the Boers were repulsed and the mounted men among the British were ordered to follow them up. The Queenstown Volunteers pressed close on the enemy’s extreme left. Sladdin, whose modest and interesting narrative of these events we have followed, with seven others found himself, in the heat of the chase a long way in advance of the British and right in the midst of the enemy. Reaching a small eminence, this little band halted there, when one after other burghers rode up to them, taking them for Boers, and were compelled by their levelled rifles to surrender.
“Among the first we took,” says Sladdin, “were General Olivier and his three sons. We had captured 24 prisoners by now and they were being taken over the eminence to a kraal on the other side, where they were dismounted and sent on on foot. I was riding up in the rear, when I turned around and saw another man coming towards me. I rode towards him and ordered him to give up his gun. He said he was damned if he would. He had his rifle loaded but was uncertain whether to fire or not. The instant I saw him hesitate he was lost, for I was only a couple of yards from him, and I dug the spurs into my horse, bounded on to him, and caught the muzzle of his rifle in my hand. At the same time, I called to one of our fellows to shoot him. On hearing this he gave me his gun.”
He proved to be Field Cornet Swanepoel, a well-known Boer leader. As soon as he had been secured, the captors returned to the summit of the kopje, and were startled to see 200 Boers galloping towards them. There were now only five of the British left, as two mes¬sengers had been despatched to beg assistance. But these five put on a bold face and opened a hot magazine fire. The Boers were so surprised at this unexpected shower of bullets that they bolted incontinently. Three were killed, the rest made good their escape. As for the Queenstown Volunteers, they brought their prison¬ers back in safety to the British lines, and were received as heroes.”
“After Pretoria: The Guerilla War” p152-3
Jacobus Johannes Swanepoel served in the Rouxville Commando under Gen J H Olivier. When completing his Vorm “B” medal application, he listed 15 engagements in which he had participated. These included Stormberg, Wepener, Waterwerk (Sannas Post), Mostertshoek, Rooiwal, Retiefsnek and Lindley.
He was taken prisoner by Pte Sladdin and sent to Ceylon as PoW No 11613.