Colony of Natal: Boer War: Armoured Train Disaster

Colony of Natal: Boer War: Armoured Train DisasterColony of Natal: Boer War: Armoured Train Disaster
Form: Cross pattee with inlaid silver coins in the centre.
By: ?
Date: 1899
Ref:  Laidlaw: 0920;
35 mmIron cross. Silver coins.$260

Edge: Plain.

Obverse: On the arms of the Cross: "ARMOUR (left) TRAIN (top) DISASTER (right) 15.11,99 (bottom)". Obverse of Kruger sixpence in the centre.

Reverse: Blank. Obverse of Queen Victoria jubilee head sixpence in the centre.

Notes: On the morning of 15th November 1899 an armoured train carrying British troops under the command of Captain Aylmer Haldane set off from the Natal town of Escourt to patrol the line north towards Colenso which was in Boer hands. The train reached Chieveley about 10 miles south of Colenso and then started on the return journey. Close to the village of Frere the train was ambushed by a force of 2,000 Boers under the command of General Louis Botha. Two trucks were derailed but the engine and tender were able to force through the obstruction and escape. However 74 prisoners were taken , among them the young Winston Churchill later to become the British Prime Minister during the Second World War.