Two Companies Of The 60th
Rifles And A Small Body Of The Ubiquitous Gordons Happened To Be
Upon The Hill And Threw Themselves Into The Fray, But They Were
Unable To Turn The Tide.
Of thirty-three Gordons under Lieutenant
MacNaughten thirty were wounded.
[Footnote: The Gordons and the
Sappers were there that morning to re-escort one of Lambton's 4.7
guns, which was to be mounted there. Ten seamen were with the gun,
and lost three of their number in the defence.] As our men retired
under the shelter of the northern slope they were reinforced by
another hundred and fifty Gordons under the stalwart
Miller-Wallnutt, a man cast in the mould of a Berserk Viking. To
their aid also came two hundred of the Imperial Light Horse,
burning to assist their comrades. Another half-battalion of Rifles
came with them. At each end of the long ridge the situation at the
dawn of day was almost identical. In each the stormers had seized
one side, but were brought to a stand by the defenders upon the
other, while the British guns fired over the heads of their own
infantry to rake the further slope.
It was on the Waggon Hill side, however, that the Boer exertions
were most continuous and strenuous and our own resistance most
desperate. There fought the gallant de Villiers, while Ian Hamilton
rallied the defenders and led them in repeated rushes against the
enemy's line. Continually reinforced from below, the Boers fought
with extraordinary resolution.
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