Saturday 9th December
Nothing particular has happened this week. Today makes the 8th week of the siege, & when communication will be opened I cannot say. On Nov 14th reinforcements were expected in a few days & everyone was looking forward to receiving letters etc. but they have not yet arrived. I believe that 10,000 troops left Orange River some time ago for Kimberley, but besides having to fight their way here they have to make the line good & the Modder River bridge so that trains can run & of course this will take a considerable time. We are given to understand that they are on this side of Modder River & from the River to Kbly is the worst part of the journey. The Boers have all massed at Spytfontein [?] & are occupying the Kopje round about & today Saturday some very heavy guns were heard in that direction so that it is not at all unlikely that our troops have had an engagement. The Boers are still in possession of the Intermediate & Kamfersdam & our men had an engagement with them today.
It appears that on Tuesday Nov 8th the day that Lieut. Col. Scott Turner & so many of our local men were killed & wounded, a very heavy encounter was going on at Modder River, between the Relief Column and the Boers. The British loss being 455 killed & wounded. The Boers' losses were very heavy & a many prisoners taken including J J Michau the attorney, Maritz the autioneer, old Van Jaarsveld & Combrink. These are rebels. Michau left Kimberley the day Martial Law was proclaimed & went down to M River, when he was caught working the telegraph for the Boers. Maritz being an old Kbly Rifleman would be useful for the Boers.
|3rd December 1899|