oa Historia - Two Victoria Crosses near Krugersdorp

Volume 36, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0018-229X



During the Anglo-Boer War a battle took place near Dwarsvlei in the vicinity of Krugersdorp on 11 July 1900. Here the British 19th Brigade was led by Maj.-Gen. H.L. Smith-Dorrien. The Krugersdorp Commando which laid an ambush for the British were under the command of Field General S.F. Oosthuizen. The action took place from 11:30 till after dark. The greater part of the action revolved around the two British field guns. As a result of heavy Boer fire pouring down upon the crew the guns had to be temporarily abandoned, while subsequent British attempts to bring in the guns. were once more prevented by accurate Boer fire. In an effort to bring in the guns Capt. D.R. Younger was mortally wounded and subsequently died soon after. As a result of their efforts to bring in the guns Capts. W.E. Gordon and Younger were both awarded the Victoria Cross. After dark Gen. Oosthuizen and twenty Boers stormed the guns in an attempt to capture them, but the Boers were stopped dead in their tracks by the heavy fire directed against them from the British. During this attempt Gen. Oosthuizen was heavily wounded, and he died a month later. Although the guns were not captured by the Boers they prevented the British from advancing any further.

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