Sunday 30 April 2023


It’s dawn on 15th December 1899 and Colonel Long has just ordered the 14th and 66th Field Artillery Batteries to unlimber 500 yds from the banks of the Tugela River. Just 300 yds to their left the buildings of Colenso are becoming visible through the early morning haze. 

The Boers are reported to be on the far bank of the river and have been spotted in the town as well. Some of Long’s subordinates are concerned that their position may be a bit exposed.

"Colonel Long, I think we may be just a bit too close to the Boer positions?"
"Nonsense Captain, the Boers have almost certainly withdrawn!"
"But Sir, we've had reports that they hold the far river bank in strength."
"If so, the best place for the guns is up front just like we had 'em at Omdurman!"

"Blimey Sarge, if we was any closer to the Boers they could brew us a cuppa tea!"
"Hold fast there laddie, Colonel says we was this close at Omdurman."
"Yeah Sarge, but at Omdurman they was armed with spears!"

"Order the men to hold their fire, the Tommies are walking right into our trap!" 

The third battle of Black Week is about to begin.