Military History Tours On Tour - Boer War in South Africa 5 June 2016
Today was our long drive.
Breakfast in our hotel was excellent and well received, at 0800 we headed south.
Our first stop was Belmont where Australian soldiers, some 29 NSW Lancers, fired their weapons, Martini Enfield Carbines for the first time in battle. John H was able to detail on the ground the positions held by these men, as they covered the withdrawal of the British 9th Lancers whose command they were under.
Then to a coffee stop at Hopetown, and a visit to De Aar, the large railway junction and staging centre where soldiers were staged before being sent to the front.
Lunch was at a roadside stop on the road to Hanover, an excellent meal provided by our hotel in Kimberley. Rather too much for most of us, the excess of untouched items being boxed and handed to a local at Hanover where we refuelled.
On further, we stopped at Arundel just short of Colesberg where John H explained the action where Trooper Tom Morris was nominated for the VC. The medal was never awarded, Tom returned to NSW and joined the Police where he proved as gallant in crime fighting as he did in combat. He is buried in Corowa alongside his wife, there is no mark on the grave to indicate he was the first Australian nominated for the VC.
We then drove to Gariep Dam where we stayed the night in a resort. Great accommodation, albeit a bit of a distance to the restaurant.
Tomorrow we visit Colesberg before driving to Bloemfontein where we will spend the night.