Tourism, Accommodation and Historical Attractions in Natal, South Africa
The Natal Battlefields
The Second Boer War (1899) - Colenso.
The Second Boer War The Relief of Ladysmith 1: Colenso.
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1899 15th December - Colenso
Buller's first attempt at relieving Ladysmith
The British launched eighteen thousand troops at six thousand well entrenched Boers across the Tugela river at Colenso, South of Ladysmith in an attempt to break the siege of Ladysmith.
Poor intelligence and siting of guns too close to the Boer positions caused the attack to be called off with the loss of one thousand British soldiers (to eight Boer casualties) and ten of the twelve guns. The guns were sent to Pretoria (below).
A marker is situated at this point, also the place at which Freddie, the only son of Lord Roberts, soon to become Commander in Chief South Africa fell. He is buried in the Chieveley Military Cemetery off the R103. The Clouston Field of Remembrance is on the site of General Buller's HQ - also off the R103.
The Boers were excellent horsemen, adept shots and knew how to use the veld. Botha had positioned his artillery well, with a wide field of view over the advancing British.