A.J. Montgomery: Part 8 – Mounted Infantry Actions in the Eastern Transvaal

A member of the 10th Hussars and a survivor of the sinking of the SS Ismore near Paternoster, Arthur John Montgomery recounts his part in the successful routing of the Boer forces in the Orange Free State and the Transvaal. In this episode Arthur Montgomery recalls his part in the mounted operations against the Boers subsequent to the victory at Diamond Hill north east of Pretoria in the Transvaal.

AJ’s narrative has been edited for readability and grammar, but it still largely remains the voice of the author narrating his impressions, concerns and fears while providing vivid images of war.

Main picture: Painting of A.J. Montgomery of the 10th Hussars 

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A.J. Montgomery: Part 7 – From the Vaal to the Battle of Diamond Hill

A member of the 10th Hussars and a survivor of the sinking of the SS Ismore near Paternoster, Arthur John Montgomery recounts his part in the successful routing of the Boer forces in the Orange Free State and the Transvaal. In this episode Arthur Montgomery recalls his part in the attack on Diamond Hill north east of Pretoria in the Transvaal.

AJ’s narrative has been edited for readability and grammar, but it still largely remains the voice of the author narrating his impressions, concerns and fears while providing vivid images of war.

Main picture: Painting of A.J. Montgomery of the 10th Hussars  Continue reading

A.J. Montgomery: Part 6 – Skirmishes through the Free State to the Vaal

A member of the 10th Hussars and a survivor of the sinking of the SS Ismore near Paternoster, Arthur John Montgomery recounts his part in the successful routing of the Boer forces in the Orange Free State and the Transvaal. In this episode Arthur Montgomery recalls his part in the various skirmishes after the defeat at Sanna’s Post 16 miles outside Bloemfontein, all the way to the Vaal, thereby occupying the Free State. 

AJ’s narrative has been edited for readability and grammar, but it still largely remains the voice of the author narrating his impressions, concerns and fears while providing vivid pictures of war across the dry, dusty and wind-swept plains of the Free State

 Main picture: Painting of A.J. Montgomery of the 10th Hussars

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A.J. Montgomery: Part 5 – The Deadly Ambush at Sanna’s Post

A member of the 10th Hussars and a survivor of the sinking of the SS Ismore near Paternoster, Arthur John Montgomery recounts his part in the successful routing of the Boer forces in the Orange Free State and the Transvaal. In this episode Arthur Montgomery recalls his part in the attack on Sanna’s Post 16 miles outside Bloemfontein. Instead of success, the ambush by the Boers claimed countless lives and an ignominious retreat.

AJ’s narrative has been edited for readability and grammar, but it still largely remains the voice of the author narrating his impressions, concerns and fears while providing vivid pictures of war with Imperial Forces being decimated by Boers in front of the waterworks at Sanna’s Post.

Main picture: Painting of A.J. Montgomery of the 10th Hussars

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A.J. Montgomery: Part 4 – The Relief of Kimberley

A member of the 10th Hussars and a survivor of the sinking of the SS Ismore near Paternoster, Arthur John Montgomery recounts his part in the successful routing of the Boer forces in the Orange Free State and the Transvaal. In this episode, Arthur Montgomery recalls his part in the Relief of Kimberley.

AJ’s narrative has been edited for readability and grammar, but it still largely remains the voice of the author narrating his impressions, concerns and fears while providing vivid images of war with Imperial Forces still using swords and lances against the wily Boers with their superior fieldcraft using Mausers.

Main picture: Painting of AJ Montgomery of the 10th Hussars

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A.J. Montgomery: Part 3 – Baptism of Fire at the Battle of Colesberg

 A member of the 10th Hussars and a survivor of the sinking of the SS Ismore near Paternoster, Arthur John  Montgomery recounts his part in the successful routing of the Boer forces outside Colesberg during January 1900 with the cavalry still using swords and lances aginst the Boers’ mausers.

AJ’s narrative has been edited for readability and grammar, but it still largely remains the voice of the author narrating his impressions, concerns and fears during his baptism of fire outside the dusty hamlet of Colesberg in the northernmost part of the Cape Colony.

Main picture: Painting of A.J. Montgomery of the 10th Hussars

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AJ Montgomery: Part 2 – Survivor of the SS Ismore Ship Wreck in 1899

Despite opposition from his family, Arthur John Montgomery enlisted as a Cavalryman on the 4th May 1897 in London. Travelling to Newbridge, Ireland, he then underwent his training. After completion of his course and promotion to a Corporal, he was posted to Aldershot in England. Rumours of an impending war in South Africa were confirmed on the 11th October 1899 when war was declared.

As a member of the 10th Hussars, AJ Montgomery – “Monto” to his friends – was shipped to the Cape. On November 4th, the vessel embarked 455 men of the 63rd Field Battery, No.9 Company of R.A.M. Corps, “A” Squadron of 10th Hussars, and one troop of “B” Squadron, plus 6 field guns, 334 horses and 22 vehicles, stores and ammunition, and sailed for South Africa in the early morning of November 6 under command of captain Frederick Crosby. On the early morning of the 3rd December 1899, the SS Ismore struck a rock off Columbine Point 13 miles from the Dassen Island.

This is the personal story of AJ’s experiences on that fateful voyage from embarking on the SS Ismore on the 4th November 1899 until he is once again on terra firma on the 3rd December 1899. The narrative has been edited for readability and grammar, but it still remains largely the voice of the survivor narrating his concerns and fears during his eventual voyage.

Main picture: Painting of AJ Montgomery of the 10th Hussars

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Quo Vadis: NDE, LBJs & other TLAs

With Quo Vadis’ resident chef not being in attendance on the Barrett’s Coaches Hike at Kaapsehoop, I expected some twittering in the ranks about the attendees’ inability to prepare food. Little did I expect that a member of long standing, and generally not given to being ill-disciplined, would sink to a new level of incompetence: he forgot his food altogether.

The generous members of Quo Vadis stepped into the breach and offered their own food to a Comrade in order to prevent him from contracting anorexia.

This was but one of the numerous incidents which beset the hike to Barrett’s Coaches on the Kaapschehoop Trail in August 2018.

Main picture: Rob & Dean in front of one of the many huge rocks littering the area

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Estina Dairy Farm: The World’s Greatest Business Plan

Even according to the most favourable estimates, the Estina Dairy Farm was at best, a marginal enterprise. Even giving the proposers the benefit of the doubt regarding its viability, surely the accountants who perused the proposal would have poked numerous holes in the financial logic.

On checking the current status of this project, the Sunday Times has uncovered an even deeper hole.

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