Private E. Spink was killed in action at Vlakfontein on 29.5.1901 when General Dixon's rearguard was overwhelmed by a Boer force fighting with new offensive tactics.
The rearguard, commanded by Major Chance, were posted on a ridge of hills in what should have been a secure position. Two guns of 28th Battery R.F.A., 230 men of 7th Battalion, Imperial Yeomanry and one Company of the 1st Battalion, Derbyshire Regiment were well situated on high ground until the Boers started a veldt fire and drove the flames towards the static troops. Chance was forced to retire his troops along the ridge and, as he did so, 500 Boers burst out of the smoke screen and charged on horseback into the rearguard. Rifles at such short range and in such skilled hands rendered any opposition useless. The escort of the 100 Derby's fought to the last and was almost annihilated, losing 71 killed or wounded.