Topic: BatzB - Driefontein
South Africa, 10 March 1900
The Times, 20 March 1900, Item 3
The Times, 20 March 1900, p. 5.
The account is transcribed below.
(THROUGH REUTER'S AGENCY.)
DRIEFONTEIN, MARCH 11, 6.35 A.M.
Yesterday General Broadwood's Brigade came in contact with the enemy, who were found holding a good position on the Driefontein kopjes.
General Broadwood posted his mounted infantry on a kopje opposite the Boor centre pending the arrival of General Kelly-Kenny's Division.
Hard fighting ensued, the Welsh, Essex, Yorkshire, and Gloucestershire Regiments and the Buffs being engaged.
The enemy shelled freely, having three guns and two Vickers-Maxims.
Our cavalry turned the position, but night came on before the movement had been completed.
During the night the enemy began returning (? retiring) owing to General Broadwood's flanking movement, which they tried their best to prevent.
About 40 prisoners were taken, and a number, of Boer dead were found on the field. Our artillery behaved splendidly.
The fight was not expected, as the Boors were supposed to have left the country open between here and Bloemfontein.
The Boers were driven off the kopje in the centre of their position, but clung tenaciously to the other kopjes the whole day.
Our force is moving forward today.
A large number of Australians were engaged in yesterday's fighting. The 1st Australian Horse, brigaded with the Scots Greys, advanced within 800 yards of the enemy under heavy fire. One trooper was wounded in the shoulder and another had his leg broken, his horse being killed under him.
The New South Wales Mounted Infantry, under Colonel knight, and the mounted rifles, under Captain Antill, who were with Colonel Le Gallais's Brigade, pursued the enemy northwards.
The New South Wales ambulances, under Major Fiaschi, were out all night and collected many wounded. The fighting was very severe.
The New South Wales Lancers, with Colonel Porter's Brigade, were under shell fire.
When the enemy fled the horses of the Australian cavalry alone were able to pursue.The Welsh Regiment at nightfall cleared the enemy at the point of the bayonet from their centre position.
Citation: Driefontein, South Africa, The Times, 20 March 1900, Item 3