Battle Of Berea

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Battle Of Berea

Postby mike snook » 18 Feb 2015 22:03

Evening all

I am leaving next week on a new African field trip. Amongst all the other exciting places I intend taking in is Berea in Lesotho. I am currently working on an account of the battle, for which the source coverage is generally pretty poor. I am looking for two things to help.

One is any decent and authoritative map; which necessarily means not the map drawn by Lt Edward Stanton RE. I have seen Sir George Cory's which is a derivative of Stanton's. Doesn't need necessarily to be primary, as all clues will help, but if secondary the originator will have to have a compelling back story.

The second is an official report said to have been written by Maj Charles Somerset CMR. The 'said' bit comes in because Lt Col George Napier CMR says in his official report words to the effect of 'I am attaching Major Somerset's report as an annex'. However where Napier's report was published in the papers, the purported annex was not. Of course Napier might have written in anticipation of something which didn't ever come to pass in the end. But the long and the short of it is I don't know whether that is the case or not.

Does anybody have any good ideas?

M
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Re: Battle Of Berea

Postby Josh&Historyland » 18 Feb 2015 23:53

Wish I could help Mike, but I'm one of those chaps who are waiting for your book to enlighten us about battles like this! I'd like to wish you a safe trip and the best of British luck in your research.

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Re: Battle Of Berea

Postby mike snook » 19 Feb 2015 00:07

Thanks Josh.
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Re: Battle Of Berea

Postby sjwalker51 » 19 Feb 2015 22:11

Happy hunting, Mike, and don't forget to stop for Tiffin :-)
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Re: Battle Of Berea

Postby mike snook » 20 Feb 2015 02:26

'I'm afraid, sir, Lady Ruff-Diamond is enamoured of the Khazi.'

Brilliant.

Will do.

As ever

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Re: Battle Of Berea

Postby Frogsmile » 26 Feb 2015 22:33

Far too late now, but I am surprised that the Royal Engineers Historical Archives don't have such maps given their famed mapping of the British influenced parts of the Empire. Failing that, what happened to the Colonial Office library? I can just imagine exactly what you seek sat on a dusty shelf somewhere. Such poor form in the information age, but then I suppose we have so much queuing up waiting to be digitised. Good luck anyway, the results will be read with great interest.
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Re: Battle Of Berea

Postby terrylee » 11 Mar 2015 13:45

Mike,

I have done a fair amount of research on the battle from the perspective of the 12th lancers. I have sent you a private message explaining my interest and would be happy to assist with reference material.

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Re: Battle Of Berea

Postby mike snook » 17 Apr 2015 18:10

This has been left hanging for a bit due to my absence in Africa. Just to say that I have been in contact with Terry who has been exceptionally helpful to me, for which I should like to express my thanks publicly. Thanks Terry. You're a gentleman and a scholar sir.

Berea was fascinating and Lesotho a different experience from RSA. I didn't see another European. There are large gaps in the history of Cathcart's little operation to 'chastise' Moshoeshoe, but I'm making good progress in piecing it all together. One of the most remarkable things is that there is a pass directly above modern Maseru which has always been called 'Lancer's Gap' (well, it was certainly being called that by the early 20th century): and yet it is very clear to me that the 12th Lancers didn't go within 4.5 miles of the place during the battle! One more urban myth bites the dust: makes you wonder just how many urban myths there are in Victorian Mil Hist!

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Re: Battle Of Berea

Postby jf42 » 17 Apr 2015 21:44

Indeed. Or myths, pure and simple. Urban, rural or regimental.
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Re: Battle Of Berea

Postby Brett Hendey » 18 Apr 2015 06:57

I remember a Lancer's Inn in Maseru - as good a memorial to a regiment as any!

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Re: Battle Of Berea

Postby Josh&Historyland » 29 Apr 2015 16:08

Mike,

I haven't yet had the chance to welcome you back, I am glad you're trip was successful and that someone has been able to help. But that I could have done so, alas the Cape Frontier Wars are unknown to me.

Am I right in remembering this effort is directed towards a book? Of so is there a publication date yet, and will you or the publishers be sending out review copies?

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