The Boer War diary of Colour Sgt John Thomas Pegum, 1st Battalion, the South Lancashire Regiment (Prince of Wales Volunteers)

-13- eight months V.R.I. The following special Natal A.O. is published for information. The General Commanding congratulates all officers N.C.Os. and men of the force upon the result of the past ten workdays The 3rd. Mounted Brigade and 2nd. and 3rd. Divisions have driven over Lang's neck from carefully prepared positions on the Biggarburg including that which the enemy had christened the Gibraltar of South Africa. A force of over 7000 men and are only checked at Lang's Neck itself by afresh commando sent by the Transvaal forces by the Free State The result which reflects the greatest credit on all the troops has been obtained by continuous hard work long marches and steep mountain climbing far more trying and wearisome and the most severe fighting. 22nd June Marched about 9 miles then bivouaced. 23rd. June Marched about 10 miles then bivouaced. 24th. June Marched about 6 miles and at last reached our destination Standerton. Nice town two churches. We are bivouacing tonight about half a mile from the town. Just before we got into the town we saw a railway bridge blown up by the Boers. The 2nd. Division are encamped here. They all have their tents. 25th. June rested here got fresh meat. 26th. June Retired about 8 miles towards Pardekop Platrand 27th. June Retired 3 miles towards Platrand station and occupied a small hill. E,F,G,H,I Companies. C B A Companies are about 5 miles from us. We are guarding the railway from Volkrust to Standerton. Lancashire Brigade guards all the railway between these two stations The name of the hill we are on is Linnes Kop. 28th. June Entrenching here we got fresh meat today 29th. June Resting. Got our tents at last. 30th. June Resting. Digging trenches. 1st July to 7th. Still entrenching hill. On outpost duty every 5th night. On 8th July we went about 10 miles. Hand F Companies with three Companies of Y.I.L. Regiment also four guns as a reconnaisance in force. I saw about 30 Boers They retired. We fired our guns having found out the strength of the Boers. We retired after a delay of two hours. While we were retiring the Boers advanced and fired several shots amongst us. 2 Squadron of Bithuns Mounted Infantry were behind us. They galloped through our ranks. We were ordered to halt and fire by alternate sections whilst the guns got into position again. Then the guns fired and we carried out the retirement successfully. I was glad to learn that there were no casualties although we had a heavy fire poured onus. Returned to camp having completed about 20 miles march. 9th. July Running drill at 7.15 a.m. C/S Newal acting S/M C/S Faster acting Q.M.Sergeant(?)
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