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Majuba Hill, battle of

Majuba Hill, battle of, 1881. Majuba Hill was the only major battle of the first Boer war (1880–1), which arose from the British annexation of the Republic of the Transvaal in 1877. In December 1880 the Boers rose in revolt, laying siege to isolated British garrisons. A relief column of 1,100 soldiers and sailors led by Major-General Sir George Pomeroy-Colley was checked at Laing's Nek (pass) in January 1881. The area is dominated by Majuba Hill, rising 1,100 feet above it. At night, on 26 February, Pomeroy-Colley led a force of about 400 men onto the hill, failing to reach the summit by dawn. The defending Boer force of 3,000 men also sent contingents onto the hill, and in the ensuing fight the British were driven off with 287 casualties compared to 7 Boers. Pomeroy-Colley was killed, and (the future General Sir) Ian Hamilton lost the use of his hand. By the convention of Pretoria of 5 April the Transvaal regained its independence.

Stephen Badsey

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Majuba Hill

Majuba Hill (məjōō´bə), E KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, in the Drakensberg Range. On Feb. 27, 1881, a British force of 500 was routed there by Boer (Afrikaner) troops under the command of P. J. Joubert.

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