Cove Redoubt

Cove Redoubt

19L |

A fairly concealed position some way back along the flat crest of a hill 500 ft high, from which commanding altitude it could fire in any direction.

Originally occupied by the Natal Naval Volunteers with an antiquated 7 pounder, it became home to the Princess Victoria Battery, who had one of the two 4.7 inch ships guns and were joined by one of the 12 pounders to the west of the redoubt which engaged the Boer guns on Surprise Hill and Rifleman’s Ridge. They were in direct telecommunications with Headquarters in town.

Lt Lionel Halsey wrote to his mother in London giving his return address as follows: Princess Victoria Battery, Cove Redoubt, Ladysmith. He wrote to her on Christmas Day from Cove Redoubt: “7:30, Christmas Day. My Dearest Mother. The Boers gave us a very early Christmas Box in the shape of several shell and rifle bullets at 4:45 am.” He continues with: “My men have decorated the gun and parapet with green stuff and are very lively under the circumstances. I was so pleased to have the good fortune yesterday to procure 16 pounds of fresh pork, which I bought at a fabulous price and gave them just the right amount as I have 17 men up here.”

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