The Second Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers in the South African War - With a Description of the Operations in the Aden Hinterland

The Second Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers in the South African War - With a Description of the Operations in the Aden Hinterland

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The Project Gutenberg eBook, The Second Battalion RoyalDublin Fusiliers in the South African War, by Cecil FrancisRomer and Arthur Edward MainwaringThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and withalmost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away orre-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License includedwith this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.orgTitle: The Second Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers in the South African WarWith a Description of the Operations in the Aden HinterlandAuthor: Cecil Francis Romer and Arthur Edward MainwaringRelease Date: May 26, 2008 [eBook #25618]Language: EnglishCharacter set encoding: ISO-8859-1***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE SECOND BATTALION ROYAL DUBLIN FUSILIERS INTHE SOUTH AFRICAN WAR***E-text prepared by Jonathan Ingram, Christine P. Travers,and the Project Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading Team(http://www.pgdp.net) Transcriber's note:Obvious printer's errors have been corrected. All other inconsistencies are as in the original. The author's spelling hasbeen maintained. W. & D. Downey.H.R.H. THE DUKE OF CONNAUGHT AND STRATHEARN, K.G.,Commander-in-Chief of The Mediterranean Forces, and Colonel-in-Chief of The Royal Dublin Fusiliers.THE SECOND BATTALIONROYAL DUBLIN FUSILIERSIN THE SOUTH AFRICAN WARWITH A DESCRIPTION OF THE OPERATIONSIN THE ADEN HINTERLANDB yM a j o C r .s F . R O M E R & A . E . M A I N W A R I N GE libris.LONDON: A. L. ...

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The Project Gutenberg
eBook, The Second
Battalion Royal Dublin
Fusiliers in the South
African War, by Cecil
Francis Romer and
Arthur Edward
Mainwaring
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no
cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it,
give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg
License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org
Title: The Second Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers in
the South African War
With a Description of the Operations in the Aden
Hinterland
Author: Cecil Francis Romer and Arthur EdwardMainwaring
Release Date: May 26, 2008 [eBook #25618]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK
THE SECOND BATTALION ROYAL DUBLIN
FUSILIERS IN THE SOUTH AFRICAN WAR***
E-text prepared by Jonathan Ingram,
Christine P. Travers,
and the Project Gutenberg Online
Distributed Proofreading Team
(http://www.pgdp.net)

Transcriber's note:
Obvious printer's errors have been corrected. All other
inconsistencies are as in the original. The author's
spelling has been maintained.

W. & D. Downey.
H.R.H. THE DUKE OF CONNAUGHT AND
STRATHEARN, K.G.,
Commander-in-Chief of The Mediterranean Forces,
and Colonel-in-Chief of The Royal Dublin Fusiliers.
THE SECOND
BATTALION
ROYAL DUBLIN
FUSILIERS
IN THE SOUTH AFRICAN
WAR
WITH A DESCRIPTION OF THE OPERATIONS
IN THE ADEN HINTERLAND
By Majors C. F. ROMER & A. E.
MAINWARING
E libris.
LONDON: A. L. HUMPHREYS, 187 PICCADILLY, W.
1908PREFACE
The 2nd Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers is one of the
oldest regiments in the service. It was raised in
February and March, 1661, to form the garrison of
Bombay, which had been ceded to the Crown as part
of the dowry of the Infanta of Portugal, on her
marriage with King Charles II. It then consisted of four
companies, the establishment of each being one
captain, one lieutenant, one ensign, two sergeants,
three corporals, two drummers, and 100 privates, and
arrived at Bombay on September 18th, 1662, under
the command of Sir Abraham Shipman. Under various
titles it took part in nearly all the continuous fighting of
which the history of India of those days is principally
composed, being generally known as the Bombay
European Regiment, until in March, 1843, it was
granted the title of 1st Bombay Fusiliers. In 1862 the
regiment was transferred to the Crown, when the word
'Royal' was added to its title, and it became known as
the 103rd Regiment, The Royal Bombay Fusiliers. In
1873 the regiment was linked to the Royal Madras
Fusiliers, whose history up to that time had been very
similar to its own. By General Order 41, of 1881, the
titles of the two regiments underwent yet another
change, when they became known by their present
names, the 1st and 2nd Battalions Royal Dublin
Fusiliers.
The 2nd Battalion first left India for home service on
January 2nd, 1871, when it embarked on H.M.S.
Malabar, arriving at Portsmouth Harbour about 8 a.m.
on February 4th, and was stationed at Parkhurst. Itshome service lasted until 1884, when it embarked for
Gibraltar. In 1885 it moved to Egypt, and in 1886 to
India, where it was quartered until 1897, when it was
suddenly ordered to South Africa, on account of our
strained relations with the Transvaal Republic. On
arrival at Durban, however, the difficulties had been
settled for the time being, and the regiment was
quartered at Pietermaritzburg until it moved up to
Dundee in 1899, just previous to the outbreak of war.
The late Major-General Penn-Symons assumed
command of the Natal force in 1897, and from that
date commenced the firm friendship and mutual
regard between him and the regiment, which lasted
without a break until the day when he met his death at
Talana. The interest he took in the battalion and his
zeal resulted in a stiff training, but a training for which
we must always feel grateful, and remember with kind,
if sad, recollections. It was his custom to see a great
deal of the regiments under his command, and he
very frequently lunched with us, by which means he
not only made himself personally acquainted with the
characters of the officers of the regiment, but also had
an opportunity of seeing for himself the deep esprit de
corps which existed in it, and without which no
regiment can ever hope to successfully overcome the
perils and hardships incidental to active service.
As the shadow of the coming war grew dark and ever
darker on the Northern horizon, the disposition of the
Natal troops underwent some change, and General
Penn-Symons' brigade, of which the regiment formed
part, was moved up to Dundee, and was there
stationed at the time of the outbreak of hostilities. Inspite of the long roll of battle honours, of which both
battalions are so justly proud, the South African
Campaign was the first active service either had seen
under their present titles, and the first opportunity
afforded them of making those new titles as
celebrated as the old ones which had done so much
towards the acquisition of our Indian Empire. Imbued
with these feelings the regiment lay camped within full
view of Talana Hill, waiting the oncoming of the huge
wave of invasion which was so shortly to sweep over
the borders, engulf Ladysmith, and threaten to reach
Maritzburg itself. But that was not to be. Its force was
spent long ere it reached the capital, and a few
horsemen near the banks of the Mooi River marked
the line of its utmost limit in this direction.
The present work only claims to be a plain soldier's
narrative of the part taken by the 2nd Battalion Royal
Dublin Fusiliers in stemming this rush, and its
subsequent efforts, its grim fights on the hills which
fringe the borders of the River Tugela, its long and
weary marches across the rolling uplands of the
Transvaal, and its subsequent monotonous life of
constant vigil in fort and blockhouse, and on escort
duty.
All five battalions took part in the war. The 1st sailed
from Ireland on November 10th, 1899, and sent three
companies under Major Hicks to strengthen the 2nd
Battalion. They arrived in time to share in the action at
Colenso on December 15th, and all the subsequent
fighting which finally resulted in the relief of Ladysmith,
after which they returned to the headquarters of the
1st Battalion, which formed part of the Natal armyunder General Sir Redvers Buller, and later on
advanced through Laing's Nek and Alleman's Nek into
the Transvaal. The 3rd Battalion sent a very strong
draft of its reserve, and the 4th and 5th Battalions
volunteered and came out to the front, where they
rendered most excellent service. In addition to the
battalions there were a good many officers of one or
other battalion employed in various ways in the huge
theatre of operations. Major Godley and Major Pilson
had been selected for special service before the war,
and the former served in Mafeking during the siege,
while the latter served under General Plumer in his
endeavours to raise it. Captain Kinsman also served
with the latter force. Major Rutherford, Adjutant of the
Ceylon Volunteers, arrived in command of the
contingent from that corps. Lieutenants Cory and
Taylor served with the Mounted Infantry most of the
time, as did Lieutenants Garvice, Grimshaw, and
Frankland, after the capture of Pretoria, while Captain
Carington Smith's share in the war is briefly stated
later on. Captain MacBean was on the staff until he
was killed at Nooitgedacht. The M.I. of the regiment
served with great distinction, and it is regretted that it
is impossible to include an account of the many
actions and marches in which they took part, but the
present volume deals almost exclusively with the
battalion as a battalion.
The authors are desirous of expressing their most
hearty and cordial thanks to all those who have
assisted them in the preparation of this volume. They
are especially indebted to Colonel H. Tempest Hicks,
C.B., without whose co-operation the work could not
have been carried out, for the loan of his diary, and forthe sketches and many of the photographs. To
Colonel F. P. English, D.S.O., for the extracts from his
diary containing an account of the operations in the
Aden Hinterland and photographs. To Captain L. F.
Renny for his Ladysmith notes. Also to Sergeant-
Major C. V. Brumby, Quartermaster-Sergeant Purcell,
and Mr. French (late Quartermaster-Sergeant), for
assistance in collecting data, compiling the appendix,
and for photographs, respectively.
C. F. ROMER.
A. E. MAINWARING.
CONTENTS
PART I.—FIGHTING.
CHAP. PAGE
TALANA 3
THE RETREAT FROM DUNDEE 16
FROM COLENSO TO ESTCOURT 22
ESTCOURT AND FRERE 28
THE BATTLE OF COLENSO 34
VENTER'S SPRUIT 42
VAAL KRANTZ 55
HART'S AND PIETER'S HILLS—THE RELIEF OF
LADYSMITH 61
THE SIEGE OF LADYSMITH 76
ALIWAL NORTH AND FOURTEEN STREAMS 83
PART II.—TREKKING.FROM VRYBURG TO HEIDELBERG 97
HEIDELBERG 111
AFTER DE WET 121
SEPTEMBER IN THE GATSRAND 141
FREDERICKSTADT—KLIP RIVER—THE
LOSBERG 164
BURIED TREASURE—THE EASTERN
TRANSVAAL—THE KRUGERSDORP
DEFENCES 182
THE LAST TWELVE MONTHS 193
PART III.
THE ADEN HINTERLAND 205
THE RETURN HOME AND RECEPTION 217
THE MEMORIAL ARCH 229
APPENDIX 239
ILLUSTRATIONS
FULL-PAGE PLATES.
H.R.H. THE DUKE OF CONNAUGHT AND
STRATHEARN, K.G., COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF
OF THE MEDITERRANEAN FORCES, AND
COLONEL-IN-CHIEF OF THE ROYAL DUBLIN
FUSILIERS Frontispiece
REGIMENTAL BOOK-PLATE Title-page
CASUALTIES AT TALANA 8
MAJOR-GENERAL C. D. COOPER, C.B.,
COMMANDING 2ND ROYAL DUBLIN FUSILIERS
IN NATAL 24
CAPTAIN C. F. ROMER AND CAPTAIN E.