Thu, 05 Oct|
Military History: The Graspan Skirmish
On 6 June 1901 about 100 South Australians were part of a 200-man force which captured a convoy of Boer wagons, carts, women and children near the little village of Reitz, and then fought off a commando determined to recapture it.
Time & Location
05 Oct 2023, 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Adelaide, 111 Hutt St, Adelaide SA 5000, Australia
About the event
The Graspan Skirmish
Guest Speaker: Dr Tony Stimson
On 6 June 1901 about 100 South Australians were part of a 200-man force which captured a convoy of Boer wagons, carts, women and children near the little village of Reitz, and then fought off a commando determined to recapture it. In little more than an hour’s fighting on a gentle ridge on Graspan farm eight South Australians and many others died. It was easily the province’s worst day in the Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902.
Graspan was not your typical skirmish. The fighting around and under the wagons and their cargo of terrified women and children was hand to hand when long range sniping from cover was the norm in war on the high veldt. Moreover, the battlefield was tiny, no more than four or five tennis courts in size. Modern magazine rifles could wreak terrible damage at such short range.
Graspan was unusual for a second reason. The temper of the war was changing for the worst by mid 1901, a response to Kitchener’s ruthless torching of Boer farms on the one hand and British outrage at Boer white flag ruses and use of captured khaki on the other. It all spilled over at Graspan. Stiff letters flew back and forth when the two sides accused the other of atrocities on the ridge. Some claims were well founded.
Time: 1830 lecture begins; 1930 dinner
Members Price: $75.00; $15.00 lecture only
Non-Members: $85.00; $15.00 lecture only
Dress: Jacket and Tie
RSVP: By 5PM, Friday 29 September 2023
(Bookings cancelled after the RSVP will incur a 50% charge of the ticket price)
Dr Tony Stimson Biography
Dr Tony Stimson is an expert on the Boer War in general, but specifically South Australia’s involvement in it. His links at the Club run deep as his grandfather, AEM Norton, DSO was a Club member himself and Boer War veteran. Tony is currently the President of the South Australian Boer War Association, has spoken at the Club on previous occasions and has done much work with the Army Museum of South Australia to promote the recorded, photographic and artefact-based history of this conflict. Tony is well travelled over the battlefields of the day in southern Africa and a dedicated and highly professional historian.