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 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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Port Elizabeth of Yore: The Boer War Years

The Boer War, or as it now known, the South African War, might not have physically ravished the town, yet it did affect Port Elizabeth in so many other ways. The denial of the right to citizenship of the Uitlanders in the Transvaal Republic was the ostensible reason for the declaration of war by Paul Kruger on Britain on the 11th October 1899. Instead the underlying reason was a century of pent-up animosity between Boer and Brit. 

Main picture: No. 2 Remount Depot

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Port Elizabeth of Yore: Concentration Camps during the Boer War

During the latter stages of the Boer War and the defeat of the conventional Boer forces, the fighting devolved into a guerrilla war with the open veldt and the scattered Boer farmhouses providing the logistics system. In order to sever this supply line, the farm houses were torched, and the animals slaughtered, in terms of the Scorched Earth policy, while the wives and children were placed in concentration camps. Without this sustenance, all the Boer forces apart from the bitter einders opted to surrender.

Main picture: Memorial at the North End Cemetery to those who died at PE’s Concentration Camp

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Port Elizabeth of Yore: Defences during the Boer War

 

Although Port Elizabeth was never directly affected during the Anglo Boer War as it was never occupied or fought over, measures had to be taken to prevent the destruction of infrastructure in the unlikely event of a Boer raid. 

The blog only covers those defensive measures. 

Main picture: One of the two forts at the Upper Van Stadens Dam which was constructed during the Anglo-Boer War

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Port Elizabeth of Yore: The Horse Memorial

For me the inscription on the granite statue, “The greatness of a nation consists not so much in the number of its people or in the extent of its territory as in the extent and justice of its compassion” is apt. That Port Elizabeth chose to honour our equestrian friends who were slaughtered during the Boer War epitomises that humanity.

Main picture: Horses being offloaded  at the Port Elizabeth harbour during the Anglo Boer War using the sling-hoist method.

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