A little more unknown military history on just how South Africa has shaped some of the greatest men of our time, this time we focus on Mahatma Ghandi, the famous Indian political reformer and spiritual leader.
Ghandi’s formative years where in South Africa and he even took part in the 2nd Anglo Boer War. He was present at the battle of Spionkop as a stretcher bearer.
Spionkop is such as significant battle that three future heads of government where present, Winston Churchill, Mahatma Ghandi and Louis Botha. Amazing how South Africa, and that battle in particular, moulded contemporary history of the world in the years to come.
During the battle, Ghandi performed the role of a medic, Churchill acted as a courier to and from Spion Kop and General Buller’s headquarters and General Botha led the Boers holding the Tugela River and Buller’s advance.
In the header image is Gandhi as a medic on the side of the British this time, seen in this photo with the stretcher-bearers of the Indian Ambulance Corps during the Boer War, South-Africa cira 1900.
Standing: H. Kitchen, L. Panday, R. Panday, J. Royeppen, R.K. Khan, L. Gabriel, M.K. Kotharee, E. Peters, D. Vinden, V. Madanjit.
Middle Row: W. Jonathan, V. Lawrence, M.H. Nazar, Dr. L.P. Booth, M.K. Gandhi (Mahatma Ghandi), P.K. Naidoo, M. Royeppen.
Front Row: S. Shadrach, “Professor” Dhundee, S.D. Moddley, A. David, A.A. Gandhi.
The Battle of Spion Kop (Dutch: Spionkop; Afrikaans: Slag van Spioenkop) was fought about 38 km (24 mi) west-south-west of Ladysmith on the hilltop of Spioenkop along the Tugela River, Natal in South Africa from 23–24 January 1900. It was fought between the South African Republic and the Orange Free State on the one hand and British forces during the Second Boer War campaign to relieve Ladysmith. It was a resounding Boer victory against the numerically superior British.
The British took in 20 000 men and 36 Field Guns and sustained 243 killed and 1,250 wounded, whilst the smaller Boer force of 8000 men and 4 Field Guns and 2 cannon only sustained 68 killed 267 wounded.