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Battle of Mostert's Hoek

Battle Name : Battle of Mostert's Hoek

Date(s) : 03 April 1900 - 04 April 1900

Part of : The 2nd Boer War (or Three Years War) ,

Outcome : A victory for Boer citizen militia over British infantry and mounted infantry

Type of battle : Land


Victory of Boer forces led by Christiaan de Wet over British force led by Captain W.J. McWhinnie.


Near Reddersburg, Orange Free State (South Africa) (South Africa)

More details

After De Wet's victory at Sanna's Post (Kornspruit Drift), the British are understandably nervous. A force of about 600 men under Capt. McWhinnie is cornered by 400 Boers at Mostert's Hoek. De Wet calls for their surrender, bluffing that he has 500 men and 3 Krupp guns although in reality he has no artillery. McWhinnie refuses and open fire even before the messenger has reached safety. The Boers then prove themselves better marksmen, inflicting heavy casualties at long range, even though the British have fortified their position. General Gatacre starts assembling a relief force and is within earshot of the battle when he receives a note from Lord Roberts advising him not to engage the enemy unless he has 'a sufficient force'. Gatacre decides not to move closer. At nightfall, the battle subsides. The burghers' numbers have increased to more than 800 and they light fires and eat roast mutton. The McWhinnie's force spends a cold, cheerless night with a dwindling water supply.

At dawn, McWhinnie's thirsty men crowd around the water carts, only to be dispersed by rifle fire from the surrounding Boers. De Wet concentrates some of his burghers to storm the hill. By they time they reach the dead ground at the foot of the hill, some of the British are already surrendering. Other pockets of resistance hold out until noon, when all the remainder are disarmed.

De Wet's commando captures a small convoy and about 500 Lee-Metford rifles.
Reference: 'The Anglo-Boer War: a chronology' by P.G Cloete.

[Entry provided by Chris Smith of the Heilbron Commando - see Links]

Casualty figures

Boer citizen militia

Number engaged :

Casualties :
6 (0.75%)

British infantry and mounted infantry

Number engaged :

Casualties :
600 (100.00%)