Anglo Boer Oorlog Medal, Burger P. S. Grobler, Middelburg Commando, taken as Prisoner of War at Nooitgedacht on 20th February 1902.
There was actually 3 Burghers of the Middelburg Commando, who were all named Paul Stephanus Grobler, and were all taken as Prisoners of War at the action, they were aged 52, 29 and 15, they all later applied for the ABO Medal. As this medal is a WWII type issue it is determined that it matches the one from file 431.11758 issued in 1942 as the other 2 medals would have been the earlier type.
Includes copies of the papers for all 3 of the men and assorted research including book extracts.
The battle at Nooitgedacht (Bothasberg) on 20th February 1902:
The action at Nooitgedacht was a mopping up operation by the Columns of Col Park and Lt Cols Williams and Urmston to try and net Commandant Trichardt’s Middelburg Commando that was known to be in Bothasberg, some 40 km north-west of Belfast. Two Australian units, 2nd NSW Mtd Rifles and 3rd NSW Imp Bushmen, which were part of Williams’ Column, played the major role by taking 120 of the 163 Boers captured. A report published in “The War with Johnny Boer” by Chamberlain & Droogleever”, p553-555, gives an excellent rendering of the Australians’ assault and unarming of the Boers.
However, not all surrendered meekly: “One giant, who while his comrades were surrendering all around him, had fired the last cartridge from his magazine at an officer a few yards away, fortunately without hitting him, let his rifle fall to the ground, then folded his arms and stood waiting. ‘Hands up!’ roared the officer past whose ear the bullet had swished. ‘I will never hands up to a Britisher’, was the reply but as he was now unarmed and helpless he was speedily a prisoner with the others”.
The Official History comments: “Trichardt himself escaped, but for hours his followers were hunted….the victims as much of their own negligence as of their enemy’s dash, for… the British had been undetected by so much as a single scout or sentry.”