Ghost dated Queens South Africa Medal. Modder River. Mackie. Leith, Edinburgh. Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders.



Availability: 1 in stock

Correctly named 6568 Pte J Mackie A&S Highrs

Born in 1880 in St Cuthberts, Edinburgh, James was a labourer when he enlisted aged 18 in May 1898.

His records shows his mothers name as June and she was living at 16 Cannon Street, Leith, Edinburgh.

He enlisted into the 1st Battalion and went overseas to South Africa in October 1899 until August 1900. He saw action at the Battle of Modder River in November 1899.

The Battle of Modder River (‘Battle of the two rivers’) was an engagement in the Boer War, fought at Modder River, on 28 November 1899. A British column under Lord Methuen, that was attempting to relieve the besieged town of Kimberley, forced Boers under General Piet Cronjé to retreat to Magersfontein, but suffered heavy casualties altogether.

The battle became a day-long stalemate. Most of the British infantry lay prone on the veld, tortured by heat and thirst, but safe from enemy fire unless they moved. Many stoically smoked pipes or even slept. Methuen galloped about the field trying to renew the advance, and was himself wounded. At midday, some of Pole-Carew’s 9th Brigade found the open Boer right flank at Rosmead drift downstream. British infantry infiltrated across the ford and about 1:00 pm drove the Boers out of Rosmead. The attack was disjointed, and suffered casualties when a British field artillery battery (62nd) which had just arrived on the field shelled them by mistake. By nightfall, De la Rey had driven them back into a small insecure bridgehead.

Nevertheless, the Boers feared that they were now vulnerable to being outflanked, and withdrew during the night.

Methuen reported that the battle had been “one of the hardest and most trying fights in the annals of the British army”. Although casualties had not been cripplingly heavy (between 450 and 480), mainly because the Boers opened fire prematurely, it was clear that any simple frontal attack by infantry only against an enemy using bolt-action rifles, was effectively impossible. The British were forced to pause for ten days, to evacuate their casualties, receive further reinforcements and repair their lines of communications. The delay allowed the Boers to construct the entrenchments which they were to defend in the Battle of Magersfontein.

On the Boer side, there were about 80 casualties, including, Adriaan, the eldest son of Koos de la Rey, mortally wounded by a shell.

Summary of the battle:

Modder River – 28 November 1899
British Victory ~ Was a tiring day again with the heat and especially after forming at 4:30 am and being the 3rd battle in a week. Boers fled after British catch vital positions. Fiercest battle yet fought in the war. An almost impossible offensive task. The total Boer casualties may perhaps have amounted to 150, mainly due to shell-fire. 70 British were killed and another 413 were wounded.

The clasp is confirmed on rolls although they have him named as Macthie. He was discharged as medically unfit for further military service in Belfast in April 1903

The medal has ghost dates and is mounted for display on card.

Ghost dated Queens South Africa Medal. Modder River. Mackie. Leith, Edinburgh. Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders.

Availability: 1 in stock

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