A battle of the second Boer War (1899–1902). The battle arose from British attempts to relieve the siege of Ladysmith. The highest point of the Tugela Heights, Spion Kop (‘Lookout Mountain’) was defended by a Boer force of about 7,000 under Louis Botha. Lieutenant‐General Sir Charles Warren ordered a night attack by 1,700 troops under Major‐General E. R. P. Woodgate to capture the heights. As the fog lifted after dawn on 24 January the British found themselves in a position completely exposed to enemy fire. After dark the British retreated, having lost about 250 dead including Woodgate, and 1,000 wounded.
Subjects: British History.