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Today in Kimberley's History

TODAY IN KIMBERLEY’S HISTORY 4 JUNE

UPDATED: 04/06/2019

4 June 1878, Charles Warren arrives at Griquatown with a military force.
4 June 1902, Peace celebration at Monument Hill.

DID YOU KNOW

Lt-Colonel Charles Warren’s colonial force arrived at Griquatown from the Eastern Cape on Tuesday 4 June 1878. On Wednesday 5 June Warren’s force attacked the rebel camp at Koegas and succeeded in driving the Griqua and their allies away. Thirteen of the rebels were killed, while 1700 sheep, 60 oxen and three wagons were captured. Goodliffe of the colonial forces was killed. The captured cattle were sold to the Victoria West burghers for £1300 and they left for their homes immediately.

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Charles Warren

On Sunday 9 June Warren with 75 Diamond Fields Horse and 13 Hopetown burghers attacked a force of 100 Griqua and Koranna/Matswana at Withuis in the Campbell hills, killing 31 of the rebels. In Griquatown on Tuesday 11 June Major Nesbitt’s artillery were welcomed with a parade on their arrival from Prieska.

Theft and looting was rife among both the Griqua besiegers as well as the Kimberley relievers. Apart from the capture of the arms and ammunition in Griquatown, the Griqua looted the deserted farms, while the relieving column were not averse to the theft of chickens and sheep, as well as stealing from their own comrades. One man of the Rangers, Mostert, was sentenced to seven days hard labour for theft. Even Quartermaster Litkie was not disinclined to some looting as he returned to Kimberley with Piet Jonas’ bullet riddled waistcoat jacket as a souvenir.

The alleged atrocities of the campaign were discussed in the Cape parliament during June 1878.

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1873 map of Monument Hill

The Griqua abused the use of the white flag when Roper was led into an ambush; a common factor among untrained ill-disciplined armies which would be repeated on a few occasions by the Boer armies during 1899 and early 1900. Of more concern was the cold-blooded killing of Griqua men pleading for their lives after surrender. In a letter to the Daily Independent it was written that “…one came pleading to W.D.T. for mercy, and he gave him mercy between the eyes with a blue pill.” Another wrote, “We didn’t bother about prisoners.” Neither the military nor the government denied the story, and the newspaper rather chose to attack Saul Solomon, the Cape politician who complained quite justly about such atrocities.

4 June 1878, Charles Warren arrives at Griquatown with a military force.
4 June 1902, Peace celebration at Monument Hill.

DID YOU KNOW

George Wyndham Hamilton Knight-Bruce was the inaugural Bishop of Mashonaland in 1891.

He was born in Devonshire, England, in 1852, the eldest son of Lewis Knight-Bruce and Caroline Knight-Bruce (nee Newte). His grandfather was the judge and politician Sir James Knight-Bruce.

He was educated at Eton and Oxford (Merton) and ordained into the Church of England ministry in 1887, beginning his career with curacies at Bibury and Wendon. He also held incumbencies at St George’s Church Everton and at Bethnal Green.

He was elevated to the Episcopate on 25 March 1886, becoming the third Bishop of Bloemfontein that year.

On 21 August 1878 he married Louisa Torr of Cheshire, the marriage producing one daughter. His wife remained in England the entire time he was in southern Africa.

Knight-Bruce was then transferred, if that is the correct word, from Bloemfontein to Salisbury (now Harare), becoming the first Bishop of Mashonaland in 1891.

As Bishop of Bloemfontein he had already visited King Lobengula of the Ndebele in 1888 and travelled as far as the Zambezi River. The Pioneer Column under the auspices of the BSA Company had established Salisbury by 1890 and the Diocese of Mashonaland was formed in 1891. Stations were begun at Salisbury and at St Augustine’s Mission at Penhalonga near Umtali. While visiting England in 1891 to raise funds he also recruited three nurses to work at St Augustine’s Mission.

He was accompanied to Mashonaland by Bernard Mzeki, who, under Knight-Bruce and his successor Gaul, would perform missionary work among the Mashona until his martyrdom in 1896. Knight-Bruce wrote about his experiences in Journals of the Mashonaland Mission 1888 – 1892 and also Memories of Mashonaland.

In 1893 during the Matabele War he accompanied Dr Jameson’s expedition to Bulawayo and his courage while attending to the wounded of both sides won great admiration.

He resigned the bishopric due to ill-health in 1895 having already returned to England in 1894, becoming rector of Bovey Tracey and Assistant Bishop of Exeter Diocese.

George Knight-Bruce died in Exeter from the effects of Blackwater Fever on 16 December 1896.

This memorial tablet pictured is in the Exeter Cathedral.

Memorial Tablet in the Exeter Cathedral

From Kimberley Calls and Recalls on Facebook By Steve Lunderstedt

Aeon Computer Kimberley

About Steve Lunderstedt

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