Saturday 12 February 1916 – We Lost 359
Salaita near Moutn Kilimanjaro is one of the principal German centers for railway communications situated near Taveta in German East Africa. The German force defending it is seriously underestimated and believed to consist of some 300 men with machine guns and no artillery. In fact the local command amount to almost 1,400 with additional 1,000 men distributed between Taveta and Salaita. The forces defending Salaita Hill is also equipped with artillery. The South Africans moving against Salaita Hill begins their advance at 05:00 supported by scouts, armoured cars, artillery and machine guns. Shortly after 07:00 when Brigadier General P S Beves’ 2nd South African Brigade comes under sporadic fire from enemy artillery. Three South African Infantry Regiments penetrate enemy forward positions but are ordered to withdraw due to heavy enemy fire. The South African losses at Salaita Hill are 138 killed, wounded and missing.
- Captain William George Horace Mules (Baluchis) dies of wounds at Taveta at age 29. He is the son of ‘Sir’ H Charles Mules.
Today’s losses include:
- A Wanderers Cricket Club player
- The son of a member of the clergy
- Multiple families that will lose two sons
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Captain Kenneth Rees Habershon (Rifle Brigade) is killed at age 26. He played for the Wanderers Cricket Club and his brother will be killed in November of this year.
- Second Lieutenant Hugh Fabian Barton (Norfolk Regiment) is killed at age 19. His brother will be killed in July of this year and they are sons of the Reverend Alfred John Barton Rector of Strumpshaw.
- Sergeant Albert Edward Reay (Royal Field Artillery) is killed in action at age 25. His brother was killed in March 1915.