Named after the 124-day Siege – or as likely the Relief – of Kimberley which took place between October 14, 1899 – February 15, 1900 during the Second Boer War. Kimberley was – and remains – a major centre of diamond mining in South Africa. When war broke out Boer forces from the Orange Free State and the Transvaal besieged the the British enclave. The defenders organised an energetic and effective improvised defence that was able to prevent it from being taken. Cecil Rhodes, who had made his fortune in the town, and who controlled all the mining activities, moved into the town at the onset of the siege. Many blamed him for starting the war following an incursion on Boer land. The siege was finally relieved by a cavalry division under Lieutenant-General John French, part of a larger force under Lord Roberts.
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