Corporal T.E. Downard served with the Mounted Troop of the Royal Engineers and was wounded at Aliwal North on 11.3.1900. He was Mentioned in Despatches by Lord Roberts (London Gazette 4.9.1901 refers).
From 9.3.1900 General Gatacre sent his Mounted Troops out from Stormberg, which had been occupied on 5.3.1900, to capture the bridges at Bethulie and Aliwal North. Aliwal North itself had been occupied by a Boer force under General Olivier. On 11.3.1900 the advanced Squadrons of Brabant's Horse, with some Mounted Infantry, surprised the Boers by dashing through Aliwal North and capturing the road bridge. They then entrenched themselves in the bank by the bridge, beat off all attempts to dislodge them and held the position for three days.