Lot Archive


№ 209


27 September 1994

Hammer Price:

QUEEN'S SOUTH AFRICA 1899-1902, 5 clasps, Relief of Kimberley, Paardeberg, Driefontein, Johannesburg, Diamond Hill (68227 Gnr. W. Gorman, G. Bty., R.H.A.) good very fine

‘G' Battery were the only Horse Artillery present at the battle of Magersfontein on 11 December, 1899. 'G' battery, together with the three field batteries engaged, each fired over 1,000 rounds and remained for 30 consecutive hours within 1,500 yards of the Boer position.

'When at 4.30 next morning an armoured train chugged cautiously forward, it was soon halted by some brisk firing. Elsewhere, however, there was no interference when the British advanced to succour their wounded and bring in the dead and dying. Indeed, in this work of mercy the Boers took a willing part and in so doing became indirectly responsible for perhaps the most outstanding exhibition of heroism of this or any battle of the war. The officer in charge of 'Joe Chamberlain', seeing from a distance in the early morning light Boers emerging from their trenches, imagined they were about to attack and opened fire. Instantly and not unreasonably, the Boer gunners retaliated and concentrated upon the nearest target, which was the audacious ‘G’ Battery, still only 1,400 yards away. Realizing that the enemy was firing under a misapprehension, its officers and men stood stiffly by their guns, making no attempt to reply and remained perfectly still until, a message having reached the naval gun, all firing ceased. Happily there were no casualties.' (Ref 'Battles of the Boer War,' W. Baring Pemberton)