Skip to main content

Extracts of Denys Reitz's memoirs (BBC Radio)

A Boer View (BBC radio)
Denys Reitz, a young Boer commando, at the Spion Kop
A Boer picket on Spion Kop, Ladysmith (Getty Images/Hulton|Archive)
A Boer picket on Spion Kop, Ladysmith
(Getty Images)

"We woke with the falling of the dew and, as the sky lightened, gazed eagerly at the dim outline of the hill above, but could make out no sign of life. Gradually the dawn came and still there was no movement. Then to our utter surprise we saw two men on the top triumphantly waving their hats and holding their rifles aloft. They were Boers and their presence their was proof that, almost unbelievably, defeat had turned to victory - the English were gone and the hill was still ours. Leaving our horses to fend for themselves we were soon hastening up the slope past the dead until we reached yesterday's bloody ledge. From here we hurried across to the English breastworks to find them abandoned. On our side of the fighting-line there had been many casualties, but a worse sight met our eyes. In the shallow trenches where they had fought the soldiers lay dead in swathes and in places they were piled three deep. "

The death of a British Spy (BBC Radio)
Denys Reitz, a Boer soldier, describes the final moments of Lemuel Colaine, British spy

"Colaine was taken to a little smithy behind the dwelling house, and when I looked in I saw him and the clergyman kneeling side by side deep in prayer. We sent some Hottentot servants to dig a grave out of the sight of the house, to spare the feelings of its inmates, and, ordering three men who had off-saddled in the garden to fetch their rifles, we went to the workshop door. The clergyman touched the kneeling man on the shoulder and said 'Brother be a man, your time has come.' Colaine took the news calmly; he rose from his knees, shook the parson by the hand, and bidding goodbye to the guards, said that he was ready.

We led him to where the grave was being dug. He said he knew he deserved to die, but he was a poor man, and had taken blood-money to keep his wife and children from starving. The Hottentots were just completing the grave when we came up, and the unfortunate man blanched when he looked into the shallow pit. Perhaps he had still hoped for a reprieve until he saw it. We thought that the sooner it was over the better, so de Wet blindfolded him and placed him at the head of the grave.

Realizing this was the end, Colaine held up his hands and in a low tone recited the Lord's Prayer while the firing party silently ranged themselves. As he came to the final Amen they fired. With a convulsive jerk he pitched backward into the grave and the frightened Hottentots quickly covered him with earth."

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Why Madge Networks, the token-ring company, went titsup

There I was shooting the breeze with an old mate. The conversation turned to why Madge Networks which I wrote about here went titsup. My analysis is that Madge Networks had a solution and decided to go out and find a problem. They deferred to more incorrect strategic technology choices. The truth of the matter is that when something goes titsup, its not because of one reason only, but a myriad of them all contributing to the negative consequence. There are the immediate or visual ones, which are underpinned by intermediate ones and finally after digging right down, there are the root causes. There is never a singular root cause for anything but I'll present my opinion and encourage everyone else to chip in. All of them together are more likely the reason the company went titsup. As far as technology brainfarts go there is no better example than Kodak . They invented the digital camera that killed them. However, they were so focused on milking people in their leg

Flawed "ITIL aligned"​ Incident Management

Many "ITIL aligned" service desk tools have flawed incident management. The reason is that incidents are logged with a time association and some related fields to type in some gobbledygook. The expanded incident life cycle is not enforced and as a result trending and problem management is not possible. Here is a fictitious log of an incident at PFS, a financial services company, which uses CGTSD, an “ITIL-aligned” service desk tool. Here is the log of an incident record from this system: Monday, 12 August: 09:03am (Bob, the service desk guy): Alice (customer in retail banking) phoned in. Logged an issue. Unable to assist over the phone (there goes our FCR), will escalate to second line. 09:04am (Bob, the service desk guy): Escalate the incident to Charles in second line support. 09:05am (Charles, technical support): Open incident. 09:05am (Charles, technical support): Delayed incident by 1 day. Tuesday, 13 August: 10:11am (Charles, technical support): Phoned Alice.

Updated: Articles by Ron Bartels published on iot for all

  These are articles that I published during the course of the past year on one of the popular international Internet of Things publishing sites, iot for all .  These are articles that I published during the course of the past year on one of the popular international Internet of Things publishing sites, iot for all . Improving Data Center Reliability With IoT Reliability and availability are essential to data centers. IoT can enable better issue tracking and data collection, leading to greater stability. Doing the Work Right in Data Centers With Checklists Data centers are complex. Modern economies rely upon their continuous operation. IoT solutions paired with this data center checklist can help! IoT Optimi