Old English Fort And The Most Southern Battle Of The Anglo Boer War

Old English Fort FarawayOn easter weekend we traveled on the Kogman’s pass (also spelt as Cogman) to Montagu on our way to Stilbaai. From 1875 to 1877 Thomas Charles John Bain (1830 to 1893), son of the pioneer road builder Andrew Geddes Bain, constructed the Kogman’s Kloof Pass. Thomas Bain, was a renowned road builder and designed and built many of the spectacular mountain passes in South Africa. The pass goes through a little tunnel in the mountain. In 1899, during the Anglo Boer War, the English built a small fort on top of it. It’s a very small fort, resembling a blockhouse without a roof, with rugged walls and loopholes (embrasure) on the north and south walls.

Old English Fort Close-upCogmanskloof passes through folded layers of the Table Mountain Group in the Langeberge. Rivers deposited the sediment of which these rocks (mostly sandstone) are composed along the coastline some 400 to 450 milltion years ago. Burial below other deposits compacted the beds and transformed them to stone. Kogmanskloof PassAbout 280 million years ago, compressional forces in the earth’s crust began folding the beds and continued to do so for the next 60 million years. Upon this followed tensional forces, which formed large crustal fractures roughly parallel to the present coastline. One of the largest of these, the Worcester Fault, passes near the southern entrance to the Kloof and displaced beds to the south of it downward by several kilometers. Cogmanskloof is but one of several deep gorges carved into the tough sandstone of the Cape mountains by the erosive action of swiftly flowing rivers over millions of years.

Anglo Boer War Memorial At Stilbaai

Most Southern Battle Of The Anglo Boer War

About 10km after turning off from the N2 to Stilbaai you’ll find a memorial at the location of the most southern battle of the Anglo Boer War. The battle took place on 12 September 1901. Commandant Jan Theron’s Boer commando clashed with the District Mounted Troops and Riversdale Town Guards of Lieutenant Smalberger and a unit of British troops under the command of Major Kavanagh. The Boers were on the hills North-West, West, South-West and South-East of the valley. Two Boers, field-cornet J.A. Van Biljon from Kroonstad and R.C.H. Tiell of Johannesburg, were injured. They recovered and got banned. The British troops incur numerous incidents, but exact numbers are unknown.


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