Steinaecker and 6 men assemble at Eshowe for Komatipoort raid
Steinaecker and men set out from Eshowe. Sgt. Maj. A R Colborne,Scouts C S Carmichael,
B Duncan, A E Gray, J A Lawson, G Meissner- 7 men in total with 8 Zulu members of the
Zululand Police(Nonquai), 11 horses and 6 pack donkeys.
Early May the party arrived at Mtini's drift on the Pongola river.
Steinaecker sends scout Lawson to meet J major at Palata south of Stegi (Siteki)
Party at Mitini's drift, Meissner ill and Von Wissell from the local store joins the raiding
Party.They trekked along the the Pongola river until they reached the Usutu river where
it breached the Lebombo range at Usutu port.They then turned North and arrived at Major
s camp next morning (7/03/1900)
Steinaeckers party travelling slowly,men down with fever and horses suffering from horse
sickness. Party reaches Nomahasha and joined by J B Holgate.
Steinaecker leaves Nomahasha and rides to meet Consul general in Lorenco Marques.
The party receives replacement horses, clothes and money from the Consul general.VonSt
returns to Nomahasha and establishes his base camp near the kraal of chief Mbudula Mahl-
alela.All the original horses that set out from Eshowe were now dead. The bridge at Kom-
atipoort heavily guarded so the bridge at Malelane is the target.
Von St. and party leave Nomahasha for Komatipoort taking a packhorse with 100 lb of dyn-
amite fuses and detonators. They travelled that night by passing Kaapmuiden.
VonSt.party arrived at Malelane bridge the morning of 17th. Bridge and pumping station
dynamited then party headed 80 miles back to Nomahasha. The boers repaired the bridge
and it was operational again on the 29 th June.
The consul general at Lourenco marques had authorised Von St. to recruit up to 20 men.
See note 1.
Mahlalela Mdubula gave sanctuary in thick bush on the lebombo range to SH small party of
Roberts receives telegram advising Von St's force now 27 strong . Von St. wishes to increa-
se to 70 strong.Von St. mainly recruited from Nomahasha where swaziland refugees /iden
tities had gathered. They new the local conditions and layout of the land.
Boer commando headed by Van Damm leave Komatipoort and head towards Nomahasha,
they are ambushed by Von St's men.2 boers captured one shot- Cprl A E Gray saves a boer
s head from a native battle axe,
Authorities want to augment and increase Von St's force to 100 men
Von St. leaves Lourenco Marques for Pietermaritzburg to recruit extra men & get horses
R Griffin trooper is the 1st SH casualty -dies of disease in Swaziland
Von St. at newcastle in Nth Natal seeking assistance from Brig/gen JW Murray.
Von St. back in Durban and seeks Butler's permission to name force SH.
Von St. on board HMS Widgeon with stores bound for Kosi Bay in Nth Zululand.When land
ing at Kosi Bay one of the longboats overturned on the bar with much loose of arms & sad
dlery.Von St. met by Forbes with 3 wagons & cross the Lebombo heading Nomahasha.
Von St. arrives with Kosi Bay stores at Nomahasha. Sh now comprises 50 men.
Gen. Pole-Carew's force arrives at Komatipoort. SH(party of 40 men) pursues Coetzee's
men along Selati railway to Sabie river. Coetzee's force 3 to 400 men & wagons.
Capt. A G Gardyne from another unit joins SH. J Holgate SH chief scout leads party of other
units in chase of Coetzee.
Sh engages Coetzee's force beyond Sabie river. Sgt. Else mans Maxim machine gun and
trooper H. Hobbs was SH first casualty with bullet wound. Others named in the affray were
Trp. McLeod, Penaluna,Gray & Woolf.
Trooper Smart taken that night by a lion, the rest of the force head back to make kilo 44
on the railway line, numbers approx. 80 men black & white.
Von St. issuing passes for British subjects to enter Swaziland at their own risk.
permanent outpost camps established at Sabie Bridge with Capt. F Francis in command
and Crocodile Bridge under command of Lt Gazza Grey which also controlled the outpost
at Gomondwane ( the site of Sardelli's store) near Sabie Poort.
Roberts decides to raise SH to 200 men
Von St. left for Durban aboard the Matabili
Lt. Geldenhuys of a boer corp captured at the Nkhomati river on the Swazi border taken
on foot to McCorkindales farm (member of SH) at Ndzingeni east of Piggs Peak
Under army orders SH was raised as a unit of the British Army, no longer a guerilla unit
Headquarters at Komatipport and its depot at Pietermaritzburg.
The South African Mounted Irregular Forces (SAMIF) roll shows that 5 squadrons of SH was
raised at Pietermaritzburg for 6 months or 3 years and was the last SAMIF unit to be dis-
banded at Komatipoort on 7 feb 1903.
Harry Wolhuter meets the 2 Willis brothers at Nkomati, they all join SH. Wolhuters first job
to make a road from KP toMateveskom when road was completed Wolhuter stationed at
With the fall of Koamtipoort Swaziland was the only effective route for Boer communicat-
ions with lourenco Marques. On 14 /11/1900 a group of Boers left Bremersdorp to make for
the lebombo mountains and to dodge SH and make for L.M.
trp D Buchanan in charge of an outpost near Nomahasha with 3 men capture a Boer patrol
Trooper R Chambers died as a result of a fall from a horse at Nomahasha.
Trp H Hobbs wounded at Sabie river
H.Wolhuter stationed at Sabie bridge. With a contingent of native police they build a
Smuts, acting resident commissioner for Swaziland advises that armed Africans had acco-
mpnied SH in the December patrol to Bremersdorp& that in camp on the Lebombo they
were used to escort white prisoners to bathe and to the latrines.
Forbes complains of SH successes and that SH African scouts were armed and had been
sent out on their own to seize cattle from the whites (Boers). He Complaines their salaries
were high and this would have a detrimental affect in Swaziland in years to come. He also
advises the authorities that SH men were nicknamed in Komatipoort-"Steinaecker's forty
Lt. Carmichael leads patrol into Bremersdorp and takes 8 people prisoners including the
brothers VM & BB Stewart.
Lt J B Holgate occupied Bremersdorp after being active in the area. After a brief recall to
Barberton he re occupied Bremersdorp in mid March and held until June when the
garrison was reinforced.
Lt. E C McCrystal Vet/surgeon dies of disease at Lourenco Marques.
Trp G(jnr) Holgate wounded at Forbes Reef.
Harry Wolhuter instructed by Maj Gardyne to take a patrol consisting of Perry & Hatchwell
and 30 natives as far as the Oliphants river and identify suitable places to station picquets.
The picquets to police the Port. Border and stop the movement of the Boers. Wolhuter
contracted black water fever on this trip, he was evacuated to Komatipoort leaving Perry
in charge of the post at Ngwanetsi.
Trp. N Nilson died of disease at Waterval Onder and buried at W.O grave no.28
Capt. J B Holgate with patrol visits Oshoek's store(Transvaal) and takes away gold.
Capt. Francis to establish fort at Mpisane.
Sgt. D Buchanan commanded an outpost with 10 men 40 miles from nearest support,the
post was a dangerous one.(fever ,boers or both?)
Capt.H Webb-Stock senior Capt.in regiment and commanded A squadron. In command of
detachment that occupied Bremersdorp (for about 3 months)
Trp. E Beck dies of disease at Howick, Natal.
Trp. N Moss dies of disease at Lourenco Marques.
Trp. M J Twomey dies od disease at Lourenco Marques.
Lt. M McDonald invalided to England aboard Dunera.
Trp C G Hill dies of disease at Nomahasha and buried at Komatipoort. Later reinterred
Smuts British consul in Swaziland found Bremersdorp occupied Von S and 100 men of SH.
Von S.unable to escort Smuts to Nomahasha due to lack of horses.
Trp.F Paton dies of disease at Nomahasha
Trp C G Hill dies of disease at Nomahasha and buried at Komatipoort. Later reinterred
A McCorkindale reported to have shot 2 Boers at the Sheba mine in the upper Nkhomati
Trp J T Garside(trumpeter) dies of disease at Komatipoort.
E J Harris enlists in SH. Pay at 8/- per day rising to 10/- after a year of service.
Trp A Jackson wounded at Kaapmuiden.
Trp E Impey dies of disease at Usutu river, Josanes (near homestead of J Maziya)
Trp G T Wynne-Webb dies of disease at PM, Natal.
6th Dragoons pick up two burghers (boers) who had been shot by McCorkindale.
Trp A Aitken dies of disease at Stegi near homestead of J Maziya
Capt j B Holgateat the head of a patrol of 20 men turned the line of retreat of a large scatt-
ered movement of the enemy in Komati valley. The night before the force climbed the
Inquanya Berg , the range beteween Oshoek and Komati river and fought the boers as the
morning dawned,captured some 500/1000 head of cattle and 2 troops(60)?of horses & then
returned to base at Bremersdorp.
On return from patrol to Lebata river H Wolhuter takes charge of outpost at Gomondwane.
Bremersdorp held by Capt. Holgate from March to June and then garrison reinforced
Trp R C Luxford dies of disease at fort Mpisane
Construction of fort Mpisane well advanced.
Trp O Engstrom committed suicide at Josannes (near Stegi)
Sgt Wolhuter sent on a 2 week patrol along foothills of the Drakensburg as far as Letaba
river,took Perry? & 6 native police.Wolhuter now on intelligence staff, the patrol goes fur-
ther north than any other SH patrols.
Trp J C Wilson dies of disease at Lourenco Marques.
Trp. J Knox dies of disease at PMB.
Trp F Hennessy wounded accidentally at Nomahasha.
beginning of July a detachment of 110 men of SH under Von St. based at Bremersdorp
Capt B Duncan & H Wolhuter and SH men rustle cattle belonging to Abel Erasmus from
fhis 'Orinoco' farm. Cattle and men head for Sabie Bridge. Next day threy drive them to
Gomondwane(Gaza Grey's outpost/Sardelli's store) which had a 20 men garrison. Fort
Mpisane did not appear to have any involvement however Erasmus on hearing of the fate
of his cattle requested a boer attack on Mpisane.
Lt. J .Baillie and E.Harris/W.Haines fight with Boer despatch riders and kill both Boers and
In the days before the action at Bremersdorp there were some 110 men and most of the
Trp W Kerswell dies of disease at Elands Fontein.
Smuts and Ermelo Commando move out for Bremersdorp.
Killed at Bremersdorp were trp W L Beattie, Trp J W Drew, Trp T J O'connor,, Sgt A J Mill-
er. Wounded at Bremersdorp Trp W J O'Hara, Trp W S Haines, Trp J H More, Lc/Cprl J. Ge-
ntle. There were Boers serving with SH and natives.8 men wounded or killed and 31 taken
prisoners.Bremersdorp was sacked and prisoners left to fend for themselves for 2 weeks.
25 men of SH sent to Usutu river to look for a Boer commando.
Boer commando that raided Bremersdorp back in Amsterdam
7 men of SH killed 2 Boers & 4 horses, wounded 18 and took 14 prisoners. The prisoners
had to be taken 70 miles (to Komatipoort?) on the 2/08/1901
Ben Viljoen holds meeting at Pilgrims Rest, the Boers plan surprise attack on Fort Mpisane
125 men of the commando set out for Fort Mpisane
Boers attack fort Mpisane and after furious fighting take the fort. 21 men of SH taken with
13 natives. Capt. Francis only casualty. Boers lost 8 men killed and 9 wounded. Deaths at
Mpisane Capt H F Francis, wounded at Mpisane-Trps J Travers,R Longstaffe, W Frost
Taken prisoner at Mpisane- W Frost, Sgt Maj F Barratt, Sgt B Dale, Capt H Savage, Cprl J
Barber, Trps S Bowden, E Banger, W Cooper, W Jones, A Jeffreys, W Muller, M Nolan, W
Archer, W Oak, J Renaluna, J Soundy, J Waits, W Bennett, F Hills, . Missing at Mpisane
and rejoined SH later-D Sardelli, D Roberts.
Trp W Butler taken prisoner near Volksrust.
W Haines promoted to Sgt and awarded the DCM on 23/06/1902.
Trp D Blackhall died of disease at Komatipoort.
Maj Robertson takes over command at Sabie bridge. Uses blockhouse as headquarters.
Towards end of Aug Gazza Grey was in charge of a party of SH which captured 11 Boers
wagons & cattle in the lowveld north of Komatipoort.
trp J Donald severley wounded at Oliphants river near the Klein Letaba river. Sh engaged
and captured 23 Boers.
Spring of 1901 a commando coming North through Swaziland. SH moved from Piggs Peak
and met the commando(remnants of the Ermelo commando) in the Nkhomati valley. Pris-
oners taken to Barberton and old men women & children sent on their way with wagons.
Capt J B Holgate commanded a detachment of SH in action at Wit river near Lozie's Kob.
Trp E J Carless accidentally wounded at Waterval Onder.
Trp F Hultman accidently wounded at Stegi (Siteki, Swaziland.)
Lt Harry Woon meets Von S. at Pietermaritzburg and signs up along with 50 to 60 other
recruits. They travel by train to Komatipport but are derailed at Belfast by the Boers. With
train carrying soldiers and not goods the Boers are beaten back. SH recruits arrive at
Komatipoort on the 16/11/1901. KP now the base for Duke of Cornwalls Light Infantry,a
battery of artillery,Military Police and Imperial Military Railways along with SH.
Von S. arrives from PM. 3 squadrons of SH returns from Swaziland. Boer commandos are
heading for Piggs Peak. Von S, Harry Woon set of for Piggs Peak taking all of SH except
H.Q. staff and the Nth Garrisons.
Von S and party arrive at Pigg's Peak
SH moves on Boers position on the Usutu
2 squadrons of SH remains at Pigg's Peak and the 3rd squadron returns to reoccupy their
outposts on the Lebombo range
Trp C Boylan discharged following court martial at PM.
Trp G Gaines taken by crocodile in the Usutu river at Usutu Poort. Trps F Hennessy & D.
Wilson tried to rescue Gaines.
Trp F Tuft serves in Komati valley from 1/12/1901 until discharged at Cape Town 7/02/1903
SH moves on Boer positions at Sand river.
SH to remain permanent border guard. Garrison duty at KP, Pigg's Peak & Sabie Bridge.
To patrol border with Portugese East Africa
D Forbes appointed Capt. And was instructed to raise a unit known as the Lebombo Intell-
igence Scouts. Mainly operating south of Stegi to hinder the movement of the Boers to
P E Africa.
Trp C Archibald killed by horse,died at Waterval Onder.
Forbes recruiting for L I Scouts, they eventually number about 60 men.
Br Intelligence report the Lydenburgh Commando are thinking of attacking SH at Sabie
Bridge. Sh told to recruit to full strength to allow for permanent garriosn duty and patrols.
Telephone communication was established between Barberton and SH at Pigg's Peak.
During Jan & Feb Capt Holgate with his C squadron patrolling western Swaziland from P.P
Recruiting for special squadron of SH with Capt J McQueen the 1st to join. Most of the
members of this squadron recruited in Feb 1902. They served in a variety of fighting groups
under various commanders and why they were part of SH is unclear as they were mostly
removed geographically and leadership from Komatipoort.
Trp R Longstaff joined Lebombo Int. Scouts at Komatipoort.
Trp W percy dies in a fit at Sabie river
Forbes Lebombo Scouts passed through Komatipoort for Nomahasha
Trp H Palmer evacuated to Komatipoort with Blackwater fever
Lebombo scouts reach Black Mbuluzi river
Trp F C Allen dies of disease at Barberton
The Lebombo scouts make camp above the Ngwavuma Poort on the Lebombo range
Lebombo Int. Scouts send patrol under D Forbes and attack Vermaak's laager
at Mkwakweni near Hluti. Wounded taken on the 22nd to Malla Moe(missionary) nearbye
Trp R Longstaff and Lt J Munro are named in this patrol
Trp W Halpin died in a fit at Sabie river buried at KP cemetary, wooden cross erected
Capt Holgate leading a party of 24 men (C squadron?)of SH and 6 white intelligence guides
surprised and captured a Boer commando 7 miles inside Transvaal
Sgt H E Barnes died at Komatipoort.
D S Garvie of Barberton Intelligence meets 3SH at Komati river and camps night with them
Capt J B Holgate&16 men capture 15/18 Boers near Steynsdorp.
Capt J B Holgate at D.Klas's Kraal near Forbes Reef.
Lt. G Hartley killed in action at Klipdrift while temporarirly attached to Lord methuen's
column which was attacked by Boer general De La Ray.
Capt J B Holgate heads for Barberton( with prisoners ? )
Beyers and commando surround Fort Edward
Lt Denny leads 115 men of the SH special squadron, 100 Pietersburgh Light Horse,120 men
Beddy's Scouts and others to relieve plight of Fort Edward.
Denny & men attack Boers at Vliegenpan, 4 miles south of Fort Edward & were repulsed
Col. Colebrander & men attack Beyer & commando at Vliegenpan and drives them East.
Col Colebrander and forces arrive at Fort Edward
Col Colebrander & column marched to Dwars river to await the arrival of fresh horses for
SH and Kitchener's fighting scouts.
Sgt Maj G Holgate thrown from horse at Piggs Peak.
Party of SH special sq. under J McQueen left Pietersburgh in evening for night march to
Chunigspoort to block the Boers from exiting Malispoort.
Colebrander and various units including 100 SHSSq. Move to attack Boers at Malispoort.
Beyers & commando trapped at Malispoort.
Colebrander & forces succesfull aginst Beyers commando but Beyers escapes.
Colebrander still trying to trap Beyer. Capt Blaine in charge of various forces including SH
Blaine and various forces including SH ride into abandonded Boer laager at Scandinavia
reef & are drawn into a trap. After combat SH lossses are Sgt Cashman,Trps Cleasby,
Chatcuff ,Griffin. Lt Robertson & 11 men wounded & 23 are taken prisoner including
Cpt mcQueen. Wounded at Haenertsburg are Sgt Bentley, Capts Mockford & Davie, Trps
Christainsen,Moore, Fogarty, McIntyre, Foley,Johnson, Ayson, McCall. Taken prisoner are
Capt McQuee, Sgts Kilgannon,Tinsley, Gillies, Brand. Cprls Cock, Dolman,Roberts. Trps
Davis, Scobie, Scull, Beitts, Pickering, Gove, Luke, Sheppard, Hancock, McGree, Murdoch,
Stone, McGregor, Robinson.
All available men of SH to rejoin Colebrander in the Haenertsburg district. Colebrander
& men remain idle in camp near Legalie's location
Colebrander, SH and other forces advance to Chuniespoort,pass through Mphatlele's locat
ion on the night of thefourth and are in the Pylkop area on the morning of the fifth. They
attack Beyers commando's laager on the sth slopes of Pylkop. 3 days of fighting ensue.
SH put on special alert along border with Port.E A. men placed a mile apart to stop Boer
SH special squadron returned to Pietersburg.
Capt Woon, Coprl A Walker, Trp F Hillier and a native scout shoot a despatch rider and
seize 2 others on the Port E A border. The despatch riders were carrying messages to Gen.
Declaration of peace between parties.
Sgt W Haines awarded the DCM. SH special squadron received orders 2 disband on 25/06/2
Trp T Boyd the engine driver on the Selati line died at Komatipoort.
SH special squadron disbanded at Pretoria.
TrpJ Lees a NZ'er died at Middleberg, Transvaal.
Lt J Baillie and Sgt W Haines/Harris mentioned in dispatches.
Lt J Baillie awarded DSO.
Cprl/Sgt C Hatfield injured on patrol at Gomondwane near Komati when thrown from horse
SH disbanded at Komatipoort.
Time line for