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From: steve Becker
Time: 2:15:06 PM
Remote Name: 188.8.131.52
For those who still believe in that Morant was a inercent pawn in this British affair we should purhaps follow a list of the events that led him to his demize.
Capt Hunt, the instergater of events appears to have returned to Pietersburg from Kitcheners HQ in early July 1901, where he his stated to have been informed by Col Hamiltion, Kitcheners Miltary secretary, that prisoners should not be taken?
He is said to have relayed this to his officers while at B Sqn at Spelonken.
On the 11 July, Hunt with 60 men (including Morant and Hannam) of B Sqn went to A Sqn at Fort Edward, arriving on the 13 July. This was due to indisipline with the Sqn, then began patroling.
Three boers were captured on the 16/17 July by Lt Hannam (who carried dum dum bullets) and a furthur three were captured by Hannam on the 28 July. All were sent back to Fort Edward but none were shot.
Eighteen boers with women and Children, 15 wagons and 500 cattle were captured by Lt Morant on the 30 July. Morant on his return with his prisoners was repuked by Capt Hunt for "Bring them in, any more and you feed them with your rations".
This is the famous repramand of Morant by Hunt for bring in prisoners! This same statement was used by a Sgt during the trial to reinforce the defence. Weather Hunt ment to shoot prisoners is open to intupration, Fort Edward was a small fort with limited rations or areas to kept prisoners so they were sent quickly down to Pietersburg. Does this statement sound like an order to shoot prisoner or not? Then why didn't Hunt have them shot or order Morant to shoot them? purhaps its the former and not the later! What ever the reason none were shot.
Two boers were captured by a BVC patrol under Lt Picton on the 1 August. He also captured 14 more with 30 members of their families, 7 wagons and cattle later that day. Next day, 2/3 August he captured 13 more with families, all returning to Fort Edward, Lt Picton never recieved a rebuke? and none were shot.
On the 6 August Capt Hunt and Sgt Eland were killed attacking Viljoen, and Pte Yates taken prisoner. Hunt's body was badly knocked around by the boers after he had shot their leader and his brother in the attack. If they mutilated him out of revenge why leave Yates alive?
It is believed Hunt was mulilated by the blacks who had followed Hunt to the battle site and stayed once all had left, Viljeon and his brother as well as Hunt and Eland had been stripped but only Hunt was kicked around and cut up after death.
Morant never saw Hunts body, he had been buried before he arrived and then went after Hunts killers. Visser was captured wounded on the 9 August and during the return next day Morant decided to shot him, so he was shoot on the 10 August.
On the patrols return Lt Neel and Picton went to Pietersburg to report to Maj Lenehen and we are told, Col Hall, but there is no everdence that the visser shooting went in any form to Hall. And if so how was it worded, the man had been wearing a british jacket?
Morant sent a written report to Maj Lenehan on the 22 August, in which he states that he had killed 13 boers in operations, he nevers said he had shot them as prisoners? So any follow on report to Col Hall is suspect to.
On the 22 August Lt Hannam captured many prisoners and set them back to Fort Edward, none were shot.
On the 5 September Lt hannam captured many prisoners with families and wagons after shooting into them killing two small boys and wounding a little girl, all went to Fort Edward and were later sent under escort to Pietersburg under Lt Witton none were shot.
On the 23 August Lt Morant shot eight prisoners after they talked with Rev Hesse.
Three Boers were captured by Lt Morant on the 7 September,(one aged about 16 to 18) and were shot.
On the 23 September, Kelly with nine boers were captured by Lt Morant, with british rifles and equiptment, none were shot.
On the 16 Oct 1901, 15 Australian soldiers of the BVC submitted a report to Col Hall of the shootings at Fort Edward.
Col Hall straight away started an inquiry over it. The accused were arrested on the 23 Oct and the trials of all seven was started on the 16 Janurary 1902. The same court (with minor changes in personal) heard all cases. The trials went till the 20 Feburary and the men were told of there sentences between then and 26 Feb when the main three were told. Morant and Handcock was shot the next day.
Although I don't agree in how the men were imprisoned, three months awaiting trial is not uncommon in any justice system. That the defence had little time to prepare was not justice but Maj Thomas presented a soild defence with the limited time he had.
But the crime of selectivly shooting prisoners is on Morants head not the court that comvitted him of it.
The use of the order to shoot prisoners was a poor defence, when the list is shown there was no shooting of prisoners untill the death of Hunt and only by Morant. And if this order was there why wasn't it obayed by all officers at Fort Edward. You can't switch it on the off as you please, you either obay the order or not!
We all know why he did it, it was never denied by Morant. He took the guilt on himself to the court. Revenge for the death of Hunt, his best friend set him off and his wrath was boundless on all who were involved.
The case against Morant was set up by men of less then honest chareter, but the defence had its own cast of men with less then honest answers. What was not said has more to do with the cases then not.
I know I can never change your opition of the Morant affair but you should not give all your anger to the British, I am no lover of the Poms, I still believe Morant brought it on himself.