Slabbert’s Nek – 23/24 July, 1900

After the bulk of the remaining Orange Free State forces had retreated into the Brand Water Basin, General Hunter attempted to break into their supposed mountain-fastness in a series of actions in late July 1900. The twin battles of Slabbert’s Nek and Retief’s Nek were both fought on the 23rd and 24th of July.

While Hunter personally commanded at Retief’s Nek, General Clements commanded elements of the 12th and 20th Brigades against the positions at Slabbert’s Nek:

No breakthrough had been achieved on the 23rd, but the Boers – rather belying the ‘super human status’ that has since been bestowed upon them – decided to leave their defences and sleep in the comfort of their laagers that night. It was a dereliction of duty unthinkable in the British army, and was quickly exploited by the Tommies:

With the khakis breaking through at both Retief’s Nek and Slabbert’s Nek, the supposedly impregnable position had been breached.

Within days, over 4,000 Boers would surrender.

Slabbert’s Nek today… featuring the Best 4x4xFar.


  • Mark Hope Posted July 26, 2020 2:40 pm

    Chris, Sorry to use this route but is your ‘contact’ facility working? I think not. I have a question re CWGC to discuss.

  • Chris Posted July 26, 2020 5:09 pm

    Is the — best 4×4 by far — outfitted with a best GPSr ( SatNav ) ?
    Would it be possible to pass on these co-ords ?
    Would help to locate and peruse the terrain
    Because of COVID — vicariously via GEPro

    • Bulldog Posted July 26, 2020 7:56 pm

      Alas, I have escaped the scamdemic, and am thus away from the maps I used to draw my ones from.
      I will get you the details when I manage to get back home.

  • Chris Posted July 29, 2020 2:15 pm

    Dear Bulldog ,
    Many thanks much appreciated
    There is however somewthing else for you to chew on
    The other blog post was getting a bit crowded
    Perhaps you would like to start a new one ?

    “Although Britain threw more than half a million troops from across the Empire into the war, it had been unable to break the Boers. When the Treaty of Vereeniging was negotiated it was a peace treaty – not the unconditional surrender the British had sought. The Afrikaners still had thousands of troops in the field and were willing to continue fighting.”

    There is a lot more like that
    Martin Plaut — a Brit like you

    • Bulldog Posted July 29, 2020 2:29 pm

      Well, it’s factually incorrect, wherever the writer is from. ‘More than half a million’ British troops did not serve in the war, and, by the end, there were under 200,000 Imperial troops in the theatre, including local forces, mounted police, town guards etc.
      I’m not aware of anyone ever stating that Britain would only accept an unconditional surrender? That would be new to me. Wars are not commonly fought until unconditional surrender – WW2 being an exception.

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