Lord Methuen's task with his division was to force his way north up the railway to raise the Boer siege of Cecil Rhodes's diamond town, Kimberley.
Methuen moved off from his forward base on the Orange River, with the Naval Brigade, the Guards Brigade, the 9th Brigade, the 9th Lancers, a detachment of the New South Wales Lancers, two batteries of artillery and Rimington's scouts.
Arriving at Belmont station it was apparent that the Boers were in position on the range of Belmont Kopje behind the road to the North.
Methuen directed the Guards Brigade to advance by way of a night approach march up to the Boer positions. Delays caused by agricultural fencing and defective maps found the Guards well short of the line of Kopjes at dawn. As a result of the faulty maps, the Grenadier Guards discovered themselves not at the exposed flank of the Boers as was planned, but at their front below a steep incline. The 9th Brigade also found themselves in open veldt when dawn broke.
The two brigades launched their attack from the open ground up onto the hills under heavy rifle fire on the exposed lines from the Boers entrenched on the crest.
British losses were 75 dead and 22 wounded; among the dead were Dai St. John, self-proclaimed heavyweight boxing champion of Wales, who was shot during the bayonet charge. Of those wounded were Lieutenant Colonel Eyre Crabbe, the commanding officer of the 3rd Battalion, Grenadier Guards, who was back in action soon, and a war correspondent, Edward Frederick Knight of the Morning Post, who lost his arm to a dumdum bullet.
The Boers did not wait for the final bayonet attack, hurrying away down the far hillside to where their ponies were tethered and riding back to the next line of kopjes, pursued for some distance by a small force of 9th Lancers and Mounted Infantry.
Following the battle for Belmont the Boers fell back to the next station on the line, Graspan, where the fighting was similar in pattern and the British suffered another 200 casualties. The Boers occupied positions on the neighbouring kopjes and were this time assaulted by the Naval Brigade with the 9th Brigade. Again the infantry advanced across open country and stormed the Boers' hilltop positions, a small force of 9th Lancers and Mounted Infantry giving chase to the Boers as they cantered away across the veldt on the far side of the hill line, inflicting some casualties.
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