Feature Letter of :

November 22, 2014

Robert Rooke

November 22, 1900

Dear Mother,

I have put off writing to you a long time on account of the many rumours about starting for home. We thought sure we were going about a month ago, when we returned from our trip with Buller through the Lysenburg Mtns. To Machadodorp, as we turned in all our horses to French & the Natal Field Force was broken up. However, when we reached Pretoria by train, they immediately remounted us & we marched for Elandsfontein, where we entrained for Wolverdiend to go to the relief of Gen Barton's column, which was surrounded by DeWet's force near Frederickstad.

When we arrived at Frederickstad, which we did with slight opposition, Barton had been besieged for 5 days & as he was only out on a flying trip, he was almost out of artillery ammunition. As soon as we came in sight, he ordered his infantry to attack the Boers who were in trenches on all sides of him except the one we were advancing from. When we got up, with several fresh guns & lots of ammunition for Barton's guns, the infantry had got the Boers out of their cover & they were flying across the open plain & between the Tommies' bayonets & bullets & the shrapnel from the big guns, they lost heavily, something like 120 killed besides wounded.