SOUTH-AFRICA-EASTERN-CAPE-L ArchivesArchiver > SOUTH-AFRICA-EASTERN-CAPE > 2005-12 > 1134338799
From: "Paxie" <>
Subject: Re: [ZA-EC] Thomas Kibble BERESFORD - Part 3
Date: Mon, 12 Dec 2005 00:06:39 +0200
Don't you find it curious that there is no reference to Elizabeth, if she was indeed related ie. married to Charles Hill? Surely
Looking Back must have SOME reference somewhere?
----- Original Message -----
From: "Becky Horne" <>
Sent: Sunday, December 11, 2005 11:07 PM
Subject: [ZA-EC] Thomas Kibble BERESFORD - Part 3
Thomas Kibble BERESFORD.
Continued from Part II.
The military were caught unawares in Kaffirland. Routed by the waiting
Gaika warriors, they were forced to retreat. Elated with their success
the Gaikas, joined by all the other tribes, poured across the Fish
River. Bedaubed in war paint of red clay, they rushed through the Colony
pillaging and burning down the deserted farmhouses in their path and
leaving the bewildered troops to reorganize themselves in the rear.
News of the disaster reached Port Elizabeth simultaneously with the
proclamation of martial law throughout the Eastern Province. Magistrates
received instructions to assemble all men capable of carrying arms and
to move them to the frontier.
A few days later the Xhosa warriors reached the Bushmans River and the
whole of the frontier was in their hands. Their advance was finally
halted along the Bushmans River by the burghers of Uitenhage and Port
Elizabeth, assisted by Malay, Hottentot and Fingo levies. For several
weeks the Bushmans River from Sidbury to Oliphants Hoek (Alexandria)
became the frontier of the Colony and General CUYLER came out of
retirement to assume command of the burghers assembled there.
Eventually the invaders were successfully dispersed and they withdrew
across the Fish River, taking nearly all the frontier cattle. It is to
be wondered how Thomas and his brothers fared in the subsequent campaign
to recapture the cattle. There were finally 14,000 men gathered along
the Fish River in readiness for the campaign into Kaffirland, the
largest force ever to assemble in the Eastern Province.
Even for the trained British soldier campaigning in South Africa was a
novel experience. "Rolled up in our cloaks, rifles in readiness, our
[upturned] saddles for a pillow, protected by the shelter of the bush,
we curl up for the night," wrote Col. NAPIER.
On the return journey, he continues, "We slept on top of a hill in a
circle round six thousand cattle, with a strong line of sentries outside
against the Kaffirs and inside against the bullocks."
"The Kaffirs followed in small parties," recorded Harriet WARD. "Little
rest could be had because they and the Fingoes kept up an incessant
exchange of shots and the yells."
At the end of the war NAPIER wrote. "I bade farewell to the Eastern
Frontier, to 'cattle lifting' and to campaigning in Kaffirland - I
sincerely hoped forever."
In 1847 Sir Harry SMITH arrived as the new Governor. From Port Elizabeth
to Graham's Town is one scene of joy and welcome for Harry SMITH", wrote
Harriet WARD. "Rockets are ascending and lights flashing.''
For the Colonists the future did indeed appear bright. The Xhosas had
been brought under British law. Their new Governor knew and understood
Settler, Boer and Xhosa alike. It seemed that a new era had begun for
the Eastern Province.
After the war Thomas was at first a woolpacker in Port Elizabeth. He was
a member of the Glee Club and took part with his friends, John HURRY and
Harriet DUNSTERVILLE, whose wedding he later attended, in a concert
given in the Commercial Hall by the Glee Club and the Amateur Music
Society in aid of funds for the Public Library.
The pleasant social life of Port Elizabeth - "where friendly intercourse
redeemed what nature had neglected" - was shattered once more in 1850 by
the outbreak of the 8th Xhosa War.
Tragedy loomed for Thomas and his family as well. Thomas was sponsor at
the christening in St. Mary's of his sister Louisa's baby. Within three
years the baby, her mother, the officiating minister and the godfather
had all died.
In 1853 George KEMP sold 'Rietkuil' to the SAAYMAN family's predecessor,
J. H. MAYER, and 'Brak River' to B, RUDMAN, who sold the farm two years
later to Gert SCHEEPERS of 'Brakfontein[research by Mrs.ffolliott].
On an excursion to visit farmsteads near Uitenhage some years ago Mrs.
LORINER was interested to find the name McCLELAND scratched on a
window-pane of 'Rietkuil' homestead. Did his two small sons accompany
the Rev. Francis McCLELAND to 'Rietkuil' when he married Louisa
BERESFORD to Joseph GRAHAM on the farm in 1846? Or was there a romantic
interest between one of his two pretty eldest daughters (members of the
Glee Club) and one of the BERESFORD sons?
Conclusion of Thomas Kibble BERESFORD.
SOURCE: Looking Back, June 1978.
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