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Boer War

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  • Boer War

    The Boer War (1899-1902) was one of those wars where Irish ended up fighting on both sides.

    Anyone got any further info about the Irish involvement?

    Two general histories of the war I can recommend are:

    The Great Boer War
    by Arthur Conan Doyle

    An eyewitness to the war, this book by the Sherlock Holmes author is now available free online.

    The Boer War
    by Thomas Pakenham

  • #2
    Battle of Colenso

    heres something i dragged up on google

    Battle of Colenso: From that sleepy hollow among the hills of Natal where Sir George White made his gallant stand we heard the booming of cannon and hoped that help had come at last. Our deliverers, we knew, had to face fearful odds. Before them stretched a billow sea of mountains with an unfordable river in front and securely entrenched in these hills lay the Boer marksmen. In order to engage the enemy General Buller's troops had to cross a long level plain and to expose themselves to a deadly fire. Our guns poured a tempest of lyddite upon the slopes beyond the river, but they remained as silent as the tomb. With courage that needed no urging three brigades advanced - the Irish on the left, the English on the right and between them Lyttelton's brigade, with orders to act in support. As the dauntless Irish approached the curve of Tugela they were met with a devastating fire of rifle and pom pom. on they pressed with ever thinning ranks until the bank of the river was in sight. But where was the ford? To cross at that point was impossible and for hours the gallant Irish had to endure the storm of lead which belched from the distant foothills. Nor was the English brigade more fortunate. The Boers had evidently anticipated attack on the bridge and had concentrated their heavy artillery and quick firing guns at this point. Moving forward by short rushes some of the leading regiments succeeded in reaching Colenso and established themselves in the railway station. Their losses had been heavy and it is doubtful whether they could ever have crossed the river. An incident changed the position to hopelessness. Two field batteries and six naval guns had been ordered to support the assault. With characteristic dash Colonel Long carried his guns into range of the enemies' rifles and a terrible struggle raged around them. From the security of their trenches the Boers kept up a steady fire until man and horse were laid low under the hail of lead. Every gun had its litter of dead, yet there were not wanting brave men who refused to abandon the batteries. Colonel Long fell shot through the arm and the liver, and soon there remained only a few survivors who, being unable to work the guns, took refuge in a donga. Seeing the effect of this disaster, General Buller gave the order to retire, and the regiments withdrew in sullen silence. But the guns were still at the mercy of the enemy. "Who will save the guns?" cried the General. The response was immediate, and led by 3 aides-de-camp the volunteers set out on their desperate enterprise. Their gallantry was useless. None could live under that murderous fire; but Roberts, even in death, won an undying name.
    Over the centuries, mankind has tried many ways of combating the forces of evil...prayer, fasting, good works and so on. Up until Doom, no one seemed to have thought about the double-barrel shotgun. Eat leaden death, demon...


    • #3
      Got a source for that TIM? Bad historical practice not to reference your sources...