Laing’s Nek Battle

The first battle of the First Anglo Boer War in Natal territory took place at Laing’s Nek. The ultimate goal was to take the nek and advance from there into the Transvaal. On the 28 January 1881, with a force of 870 foot soldiers, and 180 mounted men, General Colley set out early morning to seize Laing’s Nek. Six cannons and a number of rocket launchers were also taken with.

“To the Boers watching from the heights it must have been an astonishing sight. Five companies of “Rooibaadjies” or Redcoats were advancing parallel to one another. All in columns of four, with white helmets and scarlet coats brilliant against the green plateau. In their midst, as had always been the custom of British infantry going into action, the Colours were unfurled. Two large, heavy standards nearly six feet square,· the Union flag for the Queen’s Colour and the regimental flag, each carried by its ensign. “The Anglo Boer wars by Michael Barthorp.

The cannon were set up at 1.5km from their target and the Boer positions were bombarded for 20 minutes. The gunners’ aim was not accurate and most of the shells went over their targets. Immediately after the bombardment, the 58th Regiment under Colonel Deane ascended Laing’s Nek by foot while the mounted men ascended from the left wing. This part of the offensive lasted for only half an hour and left 76 British soldiers and 6 officers dead, with 111 wounded. The Boers lost 14 men with 27 wounded.

General Colley had no option but to order a retreat to Mount Prospect. He also requested a cease-fire to retrieve their corpses and wounded, which was granted by Commandant General Joubert.

Zulu History

Zulu History

The Zulu ancestors first settled in Zululand in the late 17 century in the valley of the Mhlathuze...

The Voortrekkers

The Voortrekkers

The introduction of British rule in the Cape Colony after 1806 resulted in wide spread...

Vaalkrans Battlefield

Vaalkrans Battlefield

The scene of the third unsuccessful attempt by Gen. Buller, which was then abandoned because of...

Battle of Tugela Heights

Battle of Tugela Heights

General Buller's fourth attempt was successful. It began on 14 February and during the next few...

Spioenkop Battlefield

Spioenkop Battlefield

Scene of the most futile, certainly the bloodiest, of the four battles fought in an effort to...

To Our Newsletter

To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!