Harrismith is still a lekker dorp thanks to some hard-drinking maniacs that hang out there, bitter-einders clinging to life behind the boerewors curtain.
See this report – reproduced below – of a highly important, highly competitive Boer War re-enactment golf – or moer-en-soek – tournament last year.
Conquering of the Boers
Her Majesty The Queen
4th June 2018
Our dearest and beloved Queen,
After the marriage of Prince Harry to Ms Megan Markle, I wish to convey further good news to you, and to the rest of your Royal family.
As your military attaché in Africa, it gives me great pleasure to advise that the Boers have been conquered at the battle of Harrismith which took place on the 2nd & 3rd June 2018. The white flag of surrender was raised by General Hamman, at 13h00 on this historical day for your universal British Empire.
During my lengthy military career I have never witnessed a display of such loyalty and courage, as shown by your troops in this bloody battle. Your forces received only a few minor scratches and bruises, while the Boer field hospital has called for additional nursing staff, surgeons and even psychiatrists to treat their mentally scarred soldiers. There were no fatalities.
Your Majesty will also be most pleased to hear that during the cease-fire period, as declared by Chief Justice Lord George Galloway, the British and Boer troops were treated to an elaborate Royal Banquet. At this very grand occasion, the soldiers from both sides mingled and socialized well. In some cases, too well! This developing inter-continental relationship seems to be getting stronger, despite the humiliating defeat dealt out to the Boers.
On a personal note, please pass on my fondest greetings to my old friend Prince Phillip. I trust he is enjoying his retirement.
I await your instructions regarding any further military operations required .
Your loyal Military Attaché,
Field Marshall Mark Russell VC
After the 2017 tournament Field Marshall Russell VC’s report to Her Majesty, Mev Queen had been far more tragic . . .
“Boer War” Defeat – 2017 – Letter to the Queen
Her Majesty The Queen
Buckingham Palace, London, England
5th June, 2017
Our Dearest & Beloved Queen,
It is with deep regret that I inform you that your courageous soldiers have been severely defeated, at the hands of the Boers, at the battle of Harrismith on 3rd & 4th June 2017.
Although there were no fatalities, the Boer Commando, led by General Wessel Hamman, showed immense bravery, superior marksmanship, and deft field skills in the heat of battle. Your loyal soldiers raised the white flag of surrender at 12 noon on this bloody Sunday.
The Royal Medical team of nurses, led by Sister Mandy Pollock on Spionkop, are still very busy treating your loyal and wounded troops. The most severe and common treatments, were for the after effects of the toxic Boer medicine “Mampoer”. All your troops are showing signs of making a full recovery.
I would recommend that our soldiers be shipped back to London, and returned to Her Majesty’s Military Academy, Sandhurst, for further instruction in the skills of warfare.
Apart from this humiliating defeat, I have pleasure in advising Her Majesty, that your troops have been well treated by the Boer Commandos, and have enhanced the tattered relationship that existed between the Boer Republic and the British Empire. Our soldiers and their spouses were treated to a Royal Gala dinner, featuring a clash of British & Boer cuisine, expertly prepared by Afrikaner chefs, Anel Bekker & Lizet Du Plessis. Your troops were further entertained by guest speakers. Nick Leslie spoke eloquently about previous battles, and the bravery of both the Boer and British forces. Dr Braam Joubert, from The Orange Free State, added a good deal of humour to this illustrious occasion. It was a grand banquet indeed!
There was a fly-past, performed by a Royal Airforce squadron of fighter aircraft, led by Flight Commander Sir Gareth Pollock (MBE). The Boers entertained our troops with “Boere Musiek” and “Volkspele” dancers and singers. Our own Captain Venning (OBE), joined in to demonstrate the British version of these Boer dance moves.
In order to commemorate this battle, and to remind future generations to further develop Anglo Boer relationships in Harrismith, Captain Venning (OBE) has donated a perfectly “in-scale” model of an ox-wagon. I wish to appeal to you to consider rewarding Capt. Venning (with some more alphabets?) at Your Majesty’s Birthday Honours ceremony.
Other candidates to receive your Majesty’s recognition at this ceremony should include Major Gert van Tonder, who chose to enlist in Her Majesty’s Army, and then donated the battle dress to all the foot soldiers. There were others who have not only enlisted in your forces, but have made considerable contributions to this historical battle. These include Private George Galloway and the Scottish piper, Dr. Martin Reeve, who certainly stirred up the patriotic emotions of your troops. I respectfully recommend that the following be granted British citizenship with immediate effect, Dries Lategan, Steve Niewoudt, Justin van Tonder, and Quintin König. I was going to request that Kobus Bester should also be granted British citizenship, but on second thoughts, your Empire could do without this rascal.
Many of your troops traveled from the Last Outpost of your Empire (Natal), as well as from the Transvaal Goldfields, in order to fight this battle. They too, should receive your recognition. These include Craig Surmon, Gary Bellars, Andrew Miller, Reggie Jelliman, Richard Butcher, Wayne Warburton, Gavin Scholefield and Chris Smith. I would sincerely appreciate your kind consideration of the above. Mark Bebington also answered your call to take up arms, and should be given Royal recognition.
I am under the impression that your troops are enjoying the warm sun in Africa, and may wish not to return to your United Kingdom. Perhaps Your Majesty could tempt them to return, with the lure of a “danger-pay” bonus, of a few Pounds Sterling.
I await your further instructions.
Your humble military servant,
Field Marshall Mark Russell (VC)
lekker – romantic
bitter-einders – to the bitter end; lager, ale, bitters
boerewors – sausage; and like laws, you may not want to know how it’s made – based on a quote by: John Godfrey Saxe American poet
moer-en-soek – golf as prescribed by the Royal and Ancient, which only frowned on women membership for the first 260 years
boere musiek – noise emitted by farm implements called ‘constant screamers’ and ‘pull pianos’
volkspele – dance in which you can grip your meisie in a dominee-approved manner
meisie – lass
dominee – veld pope; village vicar