A very long drive today with a couple of important battle sites to visit.
Our first site was Belmont where the first Australian Soldiers in Australian uniform fired their weapons in anger. We were able to view the exact hill the Fighting 29 NSW Lancers covered the withdrawal of the 9th Lancers they were acting as rear guard for. At Belmont we also visited the historic buildings that are now the derelict Belmont Railway Station. An interesting find in what were once the station masterís quarters was a treasure trove of books, of great interest to the literate amongst us.
Next stop was De Aar, the rail yard staging post for those soldiers heading north to engage the Boers. A bleak place 40° in the summer and -9° in the winter. You could feel for the unfortunates expected to wait on the freight rail cars for the next move.
We then had our longest run of the day to Arundel where we were able to see the place where Trooper Tom Morris' action saw him the first Australian nominated for the VC. Sadly Tom was a contract farm hand not a doctor, the action was equally brave, however, the award was never made.
A short run into Colesberg from where, our bus filled with diesel we were to strike for our resort stop-over at Gariep Dam.
Tomorrow we consider the actions around Colesberg, then head for Bloemfontein.