Private R. Gardner was severely wounded in the disaster at Yzer Spruit, near Klerksdorp, on 25.2.1902.
During the Guerilla War the 1st Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers was in Lord Methuen's force which operated in the Western Transvaal. On 23.2.1902 225 men of the Fusiliers set off as part of a column of 700 under Colonel Anderson which was escorting 150 wagons, mostly empty, and three carts loaded with small arms ammunition, to Klerksdorp. At dawn on 25th they were ambushed by de la Rey and 1500 men and a three pronged assault made on the convoy. The attacks were beaten off but in attempting to drive out of the ambush they reached a declivity by the Jagd Spruit. It was the end of the convoy:
' ... the first wagon stumbled and stuck; others followed suit, and then the whole mass collapsed into irredeemable confusion. The spectacle heartened the Boers. De la Rey ordered a general charge on horseback, with fire from the saddle. The rearguard, under Captain A.L. Phillips, which hitherto had stood unflinchingly under heavy losses, gave way before the overwhelming odds; the guns and other troops were ridden down, and although many brave groups of men fought to their last cartridge, the Boer victory was assured. Sunrise shone upon a complete disaster. Save a few men who escaped to Klerksdorp, the whole force, with its artillery and material, was in de la Rey's hands. Five Officers and 48 men were killed; six Officers and 124 men wounded; the rest were prisoners. While Kemp covered operations, de la Rey took all the plunder that he wanted - half a million rounds of ammunition and some hundreds of mules and horses were the principal prizes - burnt many of the wagons, and carried off the rest, with guns and prisoners, to the north-west' (Times History refers).
The Fusiliers' losses were three Officers and nine men killed, two Officers and 62 men wounded.