On This Day – Boers Defeat the British at Battle of Tweebosch


On this day in 1902, Boer forces defeated the British at the Battle of Tweebosch during the Second Boer War. The battle began when Lord Herbert Kitchener, who wanted to trap Boer guerrilla forces in the Orange Free State of South Africa, constructed lines of blockhouses that were connected by barbed wire. He launched a hunt for Roos De la Rey, Boer General, and for other commanders in the area. A skirmish took place between De la Rey and Lieutenant Colonel S. B. Von Donop on February 24, which saw the loss of just 51 Boer forces compared to the wounding and capture of 12 British officers and 369 men. In response, Lord Paul Methusen of the British forces tried to track down De la Rey and exact revenge.

On 7 March, De la Rey ambushed Methusen’s forces at Tweebosch. Out of a British force of 1,250 men, 200 were killed and wounded, while 600 were captured. After suffering a broken leg when his horse fell on top of him, Methusen was captured, making him the only British general captured by the Boers during the war.

On 9 April, Boer and British delegations convened to discuss a negotiated surrender, which was signed on 31 May.