Untitled

Herbert Walker White 

aged 31    Pte Kings Own Scottish Borderers, killed in action at Karee Siding 29th march 1900

Bap at Keswick 6th Dec 1868 to Sarah Ann White, 1871 he was living on Church St Keswick, 1881 on Back Lane, keswick and in 1891 he was lodging with another keswick man William Mounsey  at Shap, they were both quarrymen.

Karee Siding 29th march 1900
These wandering patrols who kept the country unsettled, and harassed the farmers who had taken advantage of Lord Roberts's proclamation, were found to have their centre at a point some six miles to the north of Glen, named Karee. At Karee a formidable line of hills cut the British advance, and these had been occupied by a strong body of the enemy with guns. Lord Roberts determined to drive them off, and on March 28th Tucker's 7th Division, consisting of Chermside's brigade (Lincolns, Norfolks, Hampshires, and Scottish Borderers), and Wavell's brigade (Cheshires, East Lancashires, North Staffords, and South Wales Borderers), were assembled at Glen. The artillery consisted of the veteran 18th, 62nd, and 75th R.F.A. Three attenuated cavalry brigades with some mounted infantry completed the force. The movement was to be upon the old model, and in result it proved to be only too truly so. French's cavalry were to get round one flank, Le Gallais's mounted infantry round the other, and Tucker's Division to attack in front. Nothing could be more perfect in theory and nothing apparently more defective in practice. Since on this as on other occasions the mere fact that the cavalry were demonstrating in the rear caused the complete abandonment of the position, it is difficult to see what the object of the infantry attack could be. The ground was irregular and unexplored, and it was late before the horsemen on their weary steeds found themselves behind the flank of the enemy. Some of them, Le Gallais's mounted infantry and Davidson's guns, had come from Bloemfontein during the night, and the horses were exhausted by the long march, and by the absurd weight which the British troop-horse is asked to carry. Tucker advanced his infantry exactly as Kelly-Kenny had done at Driefontein, and with a precisely similar result. The eight regiments going forward in echelon of battalions imagined from the silence of the enemy that the position had been abandoned. They were undeceived by a cruel fire which beat upon two companies of the Scottish Borderers from a range of two hundred yards. They were driven back, but reformed in a donga. About half-past two a Boer gun burst shrapnel over the Lincolnshires and Scottish Borderers with some effect, for a single shell killed five of the latter regiment. Chermside's brigade was now all involved in the fight, and Wavell's came up in support, but the ground was too open and the position too strong to push the attack home. Fortunately, about four o'clock, the horse batteries with French began to make their presence felt from behind, and the Boers instantly quitted their position and made off through the broad gap which still remained between French and Le Gallais. The Brandfort plain appears to be ideal ground for cavalry, but in spite of that the enemy with his guns got safely away. The loss of the infantry amounted to one hundred and sixty killed and wounded, the larger share of the casualties and of the honour falling to theScottish Borderers and the East Lancashires. The infantry was not well handled, the cavalry was slow, and the guns were inefficient--altogether an inglorious day. Yet strategically it was of importance, for the ridge captured was the last before one came to the great plain which stretched, with a few intermissions, to the north. From March 29th until May 2nd Karee remained the advanced post.


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