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  • Si Biggs

Operations in the Transkei

Unit/ Formation: Royal Marines


Location: Transkei


Period/ Conflict: The Frontier Wars


Year: 1878


Date/s: 13th January 1878


“After marching about six miles, halted two hours for breakfast, and then proceeded past the Centain mountain, and had halted and commenced pitching camp and cooking men's dinners, when a messenger from Major Owen, giving information concerning the movements of the enemy, arrived. Tents were at once struck, and column hurried forward.


The detachment of 24th Regiment and Marines were ordered by Colonel Glyn to be kept in hand, and strike in when required. Soon after hearing the musketry fire, running up from right to left, Captain Nixon, R.E., brought orders from Colonel Glyn to move those troops towards the left flank. On coming over a sharp rise we could see the enemy in considerable numbers in a strong position. The detachment extended from its right, and by a rapid advance, firing, succeeded in driving back the enemy in confusion. Inspector Bourne, Frontier Armed Mounted Police, on our left, asking for reinforcements, Lieutenant Ansty with one company, 1st battalion, 24th, Regiment was ordered to strengthen him. Owing to the formation of the ground, we were able to flank the enemy immediately in front of the 88th, and by our cross fire drive the Kaffirs from their position.



The men of the 24th Regiment and Royal Marines behaved splendidly; in spite of their long march, they came on for the last quarter of a mile at a steady double, and when hotly engaged did not fire except when ordered. The total number of rounds fired by the detachment was 1,700.


Lieutenants Dowding, Royal Marines, and Ansty, 1st battalion, 24th Regiment, commanded their companies with the greatest coolness and judgment, and both non-commissioned officers and men did their duty right well.


(Signed) RUSSELL UPCHER, Captain 1st Battalion, 24th Regiment, Commanding 1st and 2nd Column.

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