Take a closer look at the Battle of Lake Chrissie

MBOMBELA – “On the night of the attack, low mist clouds swept past, if not hiding the moon, then fading its light. Visibility was poor. Of the commando approaching from the west, the Heidelberg Commando was guided by Org Rademeyer of the farm Mooiplaats. He must have led it too close to the camp’s north-western picket line, for hardly had the Heidelburgers dismounted than they were fired at by the West Yorkshires.

“And so it happened that the Battle of Lake Chrissie started at 02:55, not at 03:30 as planned, and that the first shots were fired from the British side, not from the Boer side.”

This is the first paragraph of Ton Sanders’s well-researched description of the start of this battle, which was supposed to be a surprised attack by the Boers on British forces under Maj Gen Horace Lockwood Smith Dorrien at Bothwell Camp on the banks of Lake Chrissie at a place later to become the town of Chrissiesmeer.

The book will be launched in Nelspruit on Saturday May 31 at 10:00 at Stoep.

In this latest book on the region, Chrissiesmeer and the Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902, local town historian, Sanders gives a sober, yet riveting account of this engagement that marked the highlight of this war in these parts of the old eastern Transvaal.

Including an interesting run-up to the Second Anglo Boer and then focusing on the action around here during the war, this is a well-researched, easy-to-read piece of regional history.

For collectors of books on local history as well as on the Anglo-Boer War, this is the second publication in two months on Mpumalanga. It follows lasts month’s launch of Gert van der Westhuizen’s revised Guide to the Anglo-Boer War in the Eastern Transvaal.

Sanders will be the guest of the Mpuma-langa Heritage and History Interest Group and will give a short talk on this project.

His other two publications on the history of the town of Chrissiesmeer as well as one on the Bushman still to be find around this area, will also be on sale.

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