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Author Topic: Op die spoor van die generaal. The general, the agterryer and the sweep  (Read 2301 times)

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Offline Armpie

Now after 117 years I set off to follow the spoor of the Boere Pimpernel.  From the Brandwater Basin to Rustenburg I am on the tracks of general de Wet, his hated 600 wagons and his beloved 2500 men.  Alone through the mountains, the Riemland, the Northern Freestate, over the Vaal, along  the Vaal and up over the Gatsrand.  Through the mielielande of the Western Transvaal, throught the Kareekloof and over the Olifansnek.

I make it to the newspapers and to the airwaves.  Behind the Boerworscurtain people start to take notice of the old KLR.   I started to practice the signature.  And back at the motorbikes sites they is dikbek!  You have all the fun, and you leave us alone on the Kanaalpaaie!!!  Hoeveel keer moet ek nog oor Breedsnek voor ek die koerant haal!!!!??

Well you know about peer pressure.  And I have a soft heart.  And I listen to the customers.  And the story was not finished.  So a newer, better, greater ride was organized.  But I had to arrange a team.  And as old Churchill said “Cometh the hour, cometh the men”

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Sedert 8 Janaurie 1666 toe die "Vergulde Tijger" geanker het
 
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Offline Armpie

Die Generaal, die Agterryer (die Sweep), die Commandant, die Natalse rebel, die Verkenner en die Veldkornet

So the team started to take shape. I was always going to be the general.  That spot was not advertised.  Then Peet was the first man to report for duty.  He the organizer of Stofkat.  He had to be the Commandant.  He was also a keen navigator.  The came the verkenner.  Piet du Plessis.  He came from the Freestate and was the main navigator.  Then came the Natal Rebel.  Callie played in the Natal Youth Orchestra.  He could read, music also.  He would talk us through Brian May and the kitaarkerels.  Callie offered to bring along his brother, an officer in the SADF or the Voortrekkers.  We made him the Veldkornet.  He would take the orginazation on his shoulders.  He had a sharp military eye. The position of agterryer was open until the day before we left.  Tertius would be the Agterryer.  Also known for his nick name the Sweep.
Sedert 8 Janaurie 1666 toe die "Vergulde Tijger" geanker het
 

Offline Armpie



Die generaal oefen vir die trip voor die tyd
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Offline eberhard

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Offline Armpie



Nou die roete sou baie soos verlede jaar se solo lyk.  Maar danksy die inset van die Verkenner en Kommandant sou ons hierdie keer op die presiese roete bly.  My Tomtom het op plekke alles blou gewys.  All roads lead to Rome, but not to Olifantsnek.  Hierdie is die pers se weergawe. Daar is verskilende weergawes.  GPX en ek weet nie wat alles nie.  maar nie GS of KLR nie
Sedert 8 Janaurie 1666 toe die "Vergulde Tijger" geanker het
 

Offline Armpie



Die Basecamp kaart met n paar plekke van belang
Sedert 8 Janaurie 1666 toe die "Vergulde Tijger" geanker het
 

Offline Armpie

So the trip started at the One-Stop in Centurion on a cold Sunday morning.  We travelled on the N3 till Heidelberg and then past the gigantic cattle feeding kraals, over the Vaaldam wall, over the bridge in oranjeville and then through Bethlehem, where we had coffee.  The cattle feeding kraals always upset me.  Those thousands of animals in that smaal enclosures.  How inhumane our food chain became?  The further south we travelled the colder it became.  Just past Bethelehem we could see the snow on the Lesotho mountains.

Snow on the Lesotho mountains.  No it is not clouds
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Offline ClemS

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Offline Armpie



n Natalse Rebel by die Vaaldam



Proviant by die Jood se winkel
Sedert 8 Janaurie 1666 toe die "Vergulde Tijger" geanker het
 

Offline Armpie

We booked in at the Lemon Tree Guesthouse in Fouriesburg, maar daai Ingilse tannie Maxin gee net bed.  So we went up street to the Fouriesburg Hotel.  Walking 5 abreast up the dirt street made me feel like being in a cowboy movie.  So while some Africans and Croatians were kicking a ball at each other on TV, I ordered some Scottish mountain water mixed with wheat.  I would need the carbos, and the courage.  It was cold.


« Last Edit: July 26, 2018, 08:53:30 am by Armpie »
Sedert 8 Janaurie 1666 toe die "Vergulde Tijger" geanker het
 

Offline FrancoisTz

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Offline Armpie

The plan this time to do it the same time of the year de Wet and his men did the route.  It would be winter.  It would be cold.  The mielies would be all harvested.  We would get more of the feeling.  And we were not wrong it was cold.  Minus 3 degrees when we took our bikes from under the tree at Lemon Tree that morning of 16 July 2018.  118 years later.  My riding pant cracked the ice when starting the KLR..

Sedert 8 Janaurie 1666 toe die "Vergulde Tijger" geanker het
 

Offline Armpie

By July 1900, about 10 000 of the remaining Freestate Commandos were squeezed against the Maluti Mountains.  But not only the Maluti’s behind the Commando’s,  also surrounded by a  series of mountains on all sides.  In front of them to the west and south was the Witteberge.  To the north was the Roodeberg.  The area was known as the Brandwater Basin  And if the British knew what to do all the Commando’s would be cut off from escape.

But to continue the war, there had to be an escape.  And the man with the plan was General Christiaan de Wet.  He had to get rid of the wagons.  But to ask the burgers to abandon the wagons would lead to mutiny.  So he had to get away with the wagons and then leave then somewhere.  But this plan he told nobody.

So de Wet knew he had to get out.  The most obvious way to get out was through the Slabbertsnek to the north. Slabbertsnek was not occupied by a british force as most of the other possible escape routes.   The July of 1900 was bitter cold, and on the afternoon of 15 July the around 2500 men with their 400 wagons and carts were instructed to be ready at sunset.  That night would be breakout.  Nobody knew what was going to happen,  as nobody knew where they would be trekking to.  It was blind faith in de Wet.


The Oranje Vrystaat Artillerie Corps voor die Oorlog.  Kaptein Muller voor sou 'n belangrike rol speel in die tog.
Sedert 8 Janaurie 1666 toe die "Vergulde Tijger" geanker het
 

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Offline Armpie

So the Kommandant saw the temperature and ice on his seat, turn around.  Blew some hot air, and the temperature drop.  Not much.  But it did
Sedert 8 Janaurie 1666 toe die "Vergulde Tijger" geanker het
 

Offline Armpie

So we left behind the ice and cold of Fouriesburg en moved north to Slabberts Station were the press wanted to talk to the general before he and his men moved off.  It was bitterly cold when we hit the first dirt road of the trip.  But the mountains were beautifull.  In front of us, the Roodeberge and the little nek at Slabberstnek, where we would make our escape.



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Offline Armpie

So after our audience with the press, we sang the Vrystaatse Volkslied and we set off in the dust and the wind.

So before our trip started,  we were in the newespapers.



« Last Edit: July 26, 2018, 12:40:42 pm by Armpie »
Sedert 8 Janaurie 1666 toe die "Vergulde Tijger" geanker het
 

Offline Armpie

After meeting the press and singing the vrystaatse Volkslief, we left north towards Slabbertsnek.  Here on the night of 15 July 1900 de Wet and his convoy escaped into the dark.  We crossed the Bethlehem Senekal road and receached the farm Witklip.  In the afternoon of 16 July 1900 the English launched an attack againste the Burghers here.  And here were we 118 years later.  Burger Koos Papenfus of Heilbron was the only Boer Casualty that afternoon.  The Heilbronners and the artillery saved the day.

Die amptelike begin.  Die stasie by Slabberts


Slabbertsnek- the way to escape.  it took the 400 wagons 4 hours to get through the narrow nek
Sedert 8 Janaurie 1666 toe die "Vergulde Tijger" geanker het
 

Offline Armpie

Witklip.  Place of first action.  The Vrystaats Artillerie was at the crest of the ridges and the Heilbron Commando at the bottom as a decoy.  It kept the Ingilse busy till darkness fell.  16 July 1900.

The Veldcornet on his Super Tenere lead the charge

Sedert 8 Janaurie 1666 toe die "Vergulde Tijger" geanker het