120 Years ago…
120 years ago on the 24th of January 1900, the oldest Badminton Club was formed, Newcastle Badminton Club, in the United Kingdom.
Undoubtedly for South Africa, 1900 also saw the Battle of Spionkop take place on the 23-24 of January, just 30km south of Ladysmith.
Britain marched into the South African war in the spring of 1899, confident that it “would all be over by Christmas!” The war lasted three years and was to become the most costly Britain had ever fought. The British suffered heavy losses in an effort to relieve the beleaguered town of Ladysmith, where their forces were besieged by Boer Commandos for 118 days.
Spion Kop was the site of the most futile and probably bloodiest battle of the Anglo-Boer War, fought on the 24th of January 1900. What a spectacle it must have been. The British in their cumbersome uniforms, climbing a hill in 40 degree heat, with not much water to relieve them. Digging trenches, on what they thought was the top of Spion Kop, only to be shelled by the Boers as they weren’t high enough. The Boers, with a smaller regiment, were a lot faster and better equipped for the conditions and were able to kill a large number of Brits. The Boers didn’t realize they had the upper hand and retreated. The British forces had lost a lot of men and decided to retreat themselves. Neither side claimed the Spion Kop.
Astoundingly, there were three men on Spion Kop that day who were to influence the course of world history: Gen. Louis Botha, Winston Churchill and Mahatma Gandhi.
Relive the memories of that day and walk in the footsteps of three great leaders. Join Anglo-Boer raconteur, Raymond Heron, and Alastair Heron who will accompany you. They paint a vivid picture of the personal trauma and military mindset that resulted in the slaughter of so many British and Boer soldiers. Take a look at the Battle of Spionkop itinerary with Ray Heron.
Are you a Liverpool fan? Do you know the story of Anfield? Watch here, and discover how South Africa’s history is remembered in the UK football world.