Topic: BatzB - Diamond Hill
The Battle of Diamond Hill
South Africa, 11-12 June 1900
The Australasian Account, 23 June 1900
The account is transcribed below.
IN THE TRANSVAALOfficial despatches have been received by the War Office from Lord Roberts, giving details of victory on June 12, and the subsequent rout of the enemy's rear-guard.
THE OFFICIAL DESPATCHES
Lord Roberts explains that the Boers on June 12 held so strong a position that they thought that no frontal attack would be attempted, but that he would confince himself to attempting to turn their flanks. The result was that General Louis Boths, the Boer commander-in-chief, strengthened both his flanks by the addition of troops from his centre, which was consequently greatly weakened.
Directly Lord Robers perceived the new form the Boer defence had taken, he determined upon a change in his plan of attack, and he directed General Ian Hamilton to attack Diamond Hill with the following troops:-
- 1st Battaion of the Royal Sussex Regiment under Colonel BDA Dunne.
- 1st Battalion of the Derbyshire Regiment under Colonel FC Goodley.
- City of London Imperial Volunteers under Colonel Cholmondeley.
The Guards Brigade, under General Inigo Jones, which prolonged the attacking line on the left, consisted of the following regiments:-
- 2nd Grenadier Guards
- 1st Scots Guards
- 1st Coldstream Guards
- 2nd Coldstream Guards
The Boers were taken completely by surprise, and were so impressed by the loss of the position that they believed that they were practically surrounded. Lord Roberts adds that he immediately despatched the mounted infantry in pursuit of the retreating enemy.
In the fighting on June 12, Lord Roberts states his casualties were under 100 of all ranks.
The City of London Imperial Volunteers who, the commander-in-chief in South Africa adds, greatly distinguished themselves, lost two killed and 25 wounded in Monday and Tuesday's fighting.
General Ian Hamilton, in leading the attack on Diamond Hill, received a contused wound on the shoulder from a shrapnel bullet.
In concluding his despatch, Lord Roberts states that all the troops who were engaged bore themselves gallantly. The New South Wales Mounted Infantry under Colonel GC Knight, and the Western Australian troops, under Major R Moore (Colonel De Lisle's corps), are singled out by Lord Roberts for special praise.
ROUT OF BOER REAR-GUARD
Lord Roberts reports that General Louis Botha retreated upon Middleburg, 95 miles east of Pretoria and 6 1/4 miles west of Machadodorp, where President Kruger has established his temporary headquarters.
General Ian Hamiliton, continues Lord Robers, who had been despatched in pursuit of the retreating enemy with the mounted infantry, came up with the Boer rear-guard, whom he surprised and thoroughly routed.
Lord Roberts again draws attention to the efficient service rendered by Major Moore's Western Australian troops, who took, he states, a very prominent part in the defeat of the Boer rear-guard.
Citation: The Battle of Diamond Hill, South Africa, 11 - 12 June 1900, The Australasian Account, 23 June 1900