Bergendal Monument and Battlefield – Mpumalanga – 27 August 1900.

Bergendal Monument and Battlefield – Mpumalanga – 27 August 1900.

Bergendal battle fought on 27 August 1900, represents to the Boers, the courage of their men in the face of overwhelming odds.It also represented the last stand of the ZARPS (Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek Polisie), force of 74, as a unit,  commanded by Sarel Oosthuizen of whom, 40 were killed or injured in the ensuing battle featuring heavy artillery fire.This unit and others faced General Redvers Buller’s force of 9000 men, comprising the 2nd Rifle Brigade, 2nd Gordon Highlanders,1st Devonshire Regiment, and Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, with 42 guns. Their losses included six officers and 19 men, attempting to break the 80 km Boer lines, of 5000 men, under the command of General Louis Botha, between Machadadorp and Belfast. Bergendal was at the centre of this line, where the main offensive took place, by the above mentioned units.

This battle was the culmination of the British offensive that had commenced on 21 August, including prior engagements at Amersfort and Geluk.

This battle resulted in the retreat of the Boers, and the British taking Waterval Boven, and the Boers retreating east on Nelspruit. This was the last fixed battle of the Boers, who then resorted to guerrilla tactics.

The battle was described as a “British victory without glory, and a Boer defeat without shame”,  by war correspondentF.W. Unger.

This gallery has images of the Monument, its commerative plaques, the Rifle Brigade monument, the battle field views, and the adjacent Bergendal farm and family graves associated with the farm.