Klipdrift. Capture of Lord Methuen [drop title]. Boer War, Lieutenant General Lord METHUEN.
Klipdrift. Capture of Lord Methuen [drop title]

Klipdrift. Capture of Lord Methuen [drop title]

[Klerksdorp, Printed and Published by H.M. Guest, 1902].

Octavo (225 × 137 mm), 8 pages; the last five pages reprint 'Lord Methuen's Official Despatch ... Klerksdorp, 13th March, 1902'.

One large sheet, issued folded and uncut, now opened a little inexpertly, with minor marginal loss to one top edge; outer hinge split for most of its length; small puncture in the top left-hand corner; trifling signs of use and age; a very good copy.

'In the Battle of Tweebosch or De Klipdrift on 7 March 1902, a Boer commando led by Koos de la Rey defeated a British column under the command of Lieutenant General Lord Methuen during the final months of the Second Boer War.... De la Rey ambushed Methuen's column at Tweebosch on the Little Harts River. The British force numbered 1250, including nearly 1000 mounted men and four guns. Methuen's force was largely made up of green troops; these panicked and fled or surrendered. Only the British regulars in the column fought stubbornly in the combat which lasted from dawn until 9:30 am. The British lost 200 killed and wounded, plus 600 men and all four guns captured. After being wounded twice and suffering a broken leg when his horse fell on him, Methuen was captured.... De la Rey sent the wounded Methuen to a British hospital in his own carriage under a flag of truce' (Wikipedia). The hospital was in Klerksdorp, where Herbert Guest, the enterprising local 'Printer and Publisher, Bookseller, Stationer, etc.' was based; we presume the publication (and the initial three-page account of the battle and its aftermath) are his work. The last paragraph of that section was written after 'the declaration of peace' (31 May 1902). In 1939, Herman Guest, the publisher's son, had some of these original Klerksdorp printings bound up and issued with a new foreword, telling the story of the production of his father's 'records of the campaign in the Western Transvaal and elsewhere. It will be realized that the accounts were written during times of stress, and consequently some of the statements have an "ex parte" complexion. The[ir] value ... lies in the fact that [they were] written and produced when Klerksdorp was practically in a state of siege. The inhabitants were unable to proceed a mile in any direction from the market square, and the one railway line, although closely guarded, was frequently disturbed by Boers'. Provenance: a Western Australian member of the 4th Battalion, Australian Commonwealth Horse.

Item #121029

Price (AUD): $300.00