On 15 December 1900, just two months after the commencement of the Anglo-Boer War, Justice JBM Hertzog and Commandant Pieter Hendrik Kritzinger, each with about 700 men, crossed the Orange River and entered the Cape Colony. Amongst those who followed them into the Cape were commandants Wynand Malan, JC Lotter and Willem D Fouche, and Captain Gideon Scheepers all of whom were subsequently very active in the Graaff-Reinet and surrounding districts.
Their orders were to disrupt the enemy lines of communication, to blow up railway lines wherever possible, to wreck trains, to encourage Cape Colonials to rebel and join the Boer cause, and last, but most significantly, to burn down the houses of those Dutch-speaking citizens who helped the enemy.
In pursuit of this objective, Malan entered the Upper Karoo, and on 25 February 1901 attempted to occupy Richmond but was repulsed. So he moved southeast where he joined up with Kritzinger, and together they on 21 June captured a British patrol at Waterkloof in the district of Somerset East killing nine, wounding twelve and taking 66 prisoners.
Leaving Kritzinger, Malan returned to the district of Richmond, where, on 25 June 1901, he again attacked the village, occupied at the time by a small British force. The attack lasted all of twelve hours, and had he not been ill-informed by his scouts Malan would undoubtedly have taken the town. Those imperial soldiers killed in action are buried in the town's old Anglican cemetery, whilst the remains of the well-preserved fort, Vlagkop, built to defend the village may still be seen on private property.
Flag Hill (Vegkop) - 1900
A British Fort dating back to the Anglo-Boer War
It is known as "Vegkop" today, but, under the British occuopation of Richmond it was known as "Flag Hill", and the Boers called it "Vlagkop".