The Australian Boer War Memorial
Anzac Parade Canberra

Coetzee's Drift 5 May 1900

5 May 1900 NSW Mounted Rifles Charged The Boers in the River Vet at Coetzee's Drift in the Advance from Bloemfontein to Pretoria, Sth African Boer War.

"Next morning, on 5 May, the army engaged perhaps 5000 Boers along the Vet. While the infantry and guns crawled toward the ruined railway bridge over the river, Hutton's brigade fought its way across the river ten kilometres to the west at Coetzee's Drift. The Canadians crossed the river enthusiastically against heavy rifle fire, but Ricardo sheltered his Queensland Mounted Infantry in a creek bed and refused to budge. Fortunately the Boers began to run when Hutton launched the New South Wales Mounted Rifles straight at them in a wild charge down to the river, over the drift, up the steep banks and on through long grass. A dash by some MI forced the remaining Boers to saddle up and flee."

Australian Mounted Troops Involved Included:

Queensland Mounted Infantry (QMI)
NSW Mounted Infantry (NSW MI)

Reference: Wilcox, Craig. Australia's Boer War. The War In South Africa 1899-1902. Oxford University Press in conjunction with AWM, Australia, 2002, ISBN 0 19 551637 0 p 80-82

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Major John Baines May 2009


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RUSI of NSW Boer War Battlefields