Story: South African War

New Zealand Hill

New Zealand Hill

This slightly romanticised image from the London Graphic shows the action which really established the New Zealanders' reputation in South Africa. The 1st Contingent had helped set up a camp at Slingersfontein, north-east of Rensburg. The camp was dominated by a steep hill and on 15 January 1900 Boer troops attacked the hill. It was held by 30 men of the Yorkshire Regiment and 30 New Zealanders under Captain William Madocks. The Boers feinted an attack on the section held by the New Zealanders but then launched their major attack against the Yorkshires. Their commander and other men were injured, but Madocks sent some of his men around the flank of the hill and then led others in a bayonet charge over the top straight at the Boers. This is the action illustrated here. The Boers retreated and Madocks and his men chased them down the hill. Two of the New Zealand force died, but the New Zealanders became the talk of the camp and the next day Major-General John French visited to congratulate them on their 'gallant stand'. The feature was renamed 'New Zealand Hill'.

Using this item

Auckland City Libraries - Tāmaki Pātaka Kōrero, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Reference: AWNS-19000420-6-2

Permission of Auckland City Libraries Tāmaki Pātaka Kōrero must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Jock Phillips, 'South African War - The troopers in South Africa', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/artwork/36200/new-zealand-hill (accessed 28 September 2020)

Story by Jock Phillips, published 20 Jun 2012