The Battle of Talana Hill
Location: 5kms outside the town of Dundee
The British infantry attack regained its momentum and continued up Talana Hill in the face of heavy fire, gathering below the peak for the final attack. As the troops stormed the top of the hill the Boers fell back. One of the British batteries firing from the open ground outside Dundee failed to identify the troops on the top of Talana as British and continued to fire on the crest, inflicting unnecessary casualties and hindering the assault.
The Boers could be seen mounting their ponies and streaming away across the valley on the far side of the hill. Penn Symons had sent the 18th Hussars and Mounted Infantry around Talana Hill to take advantage of just such a situation, but there was no sign of them. The country was not familiar to the officers and they had become lost; straying away towards the main Boer force where later that day they were surprised by a larger contingent of Boers and captured.
Confusion over identification of the retreating Boers is only one of the reports as to why the British did not pursue them. However, only a few days later the Boers had regrouped and attacked the town of Dundee. The British then were forced to retreat to Ladysmith and the Boers occupied Dundee for 7 months.Back