Inniskillings return to the field force, South Africa.

Mon, 08/06/1900

Following the Battle of Colenso, in which the 1st Battalion The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers suffered so many casualties* that the Battalion, while it slowly recovered its strength, remained on garrison duty in Ladysmith until August. For five months the Battalion feared that the Boer War might end before it had the opportunity of further active service.

The Commanding Officer appealed during July to General Sir Redvers Buller that the Inniskillings be allowed to return to field force duties. At length the General relented and ordered the Battalion to join the 4th Division. The Inniskillings entrained at Ladysmith and after a long slow journey through northern Natal detrained at Paardekop on 6 August 1900. The next day, they marched to Meerzicht where they joined their new Division which was about to continue its advance through enemy territory. The Inniskillings' first task was to form part of the escort to the baggage, field hospital, ammunition columns and supply trains as the Division advanced into the bitterly cold, bare and treeless 'high veldt' of the Transvaal. There the Inniskillings would fight the Boers in the action at Bergendal Farm at the end of August.

The casualty figure for the 1st Inniskillings at Colenso was 117 killed wounded or missing.