| U Batery's guns were Jammed in among the wagons and could not turn and the men were scattered and unarmed. The Battery was helpless and with two exceptions were captured to a man.
In the meantime Q Battery was moving in Battery column at the walk towards the Spruit. It had arrived within about 400 yards of it with no suspicion of any untoward event. A gunner of U Battery, who had escaped, ran up and told Major E J Phipps Hornby, commanding and leading Q Battery, what had happened. Major Phipps Hornby instantly wheeled the head of his Battery to the left in order to obtain as much cover from view as possible behind the mass of wagons in front and, as soon as the wheel was completed ordered "Sub-divisions left wheel gallop". As the Battery galloped away to the rear in line, the Boers, seeing that part of their prey was escaping, opened fire with rifles from the edge of the Spruit. They brought down the teams of one gun and one wagon and the gun overturned. The remaining five guns got clear and dropped into action near some half built buildings of corrugated iron, about 1,200 yards from the Spruit. The guns were in the open, though the buildings gave some cover from view for the wagons and the teams. The only ammunition in the gun position, however, was that in the gun limbers which had been unhooked.
Q Battery's guns were severed for four hours in that exposed position, subjected all the time to continuous rifle fire at 1,000 yards range- it must be remembered that at the time the guns had no shields. It was in the bringing up of the ammunition, when the small amount in the gun limbers had been exhausted, that the greatest dangers and the greatest need arose. One attempt to bring up an ammunition wagon with its team led to the whole team being shot down.
In recognition of the conspicuous gallantry displayed by all ranks of Q Battery on this occasion it was decided to treat the case as one of collective gallantry, under the Rule 13 of the Victoria Cross Warrant. Accordingly direction was given that one of the officers should be chosen by the other officers, one non commissioned officer by the non commissioned officers and two gunners or drivers by the gunners and drivers for the award of the Victoria Crosses.
The men who were awarded the Victoria Crosses were:
Major Phipps Hornby VC
Sergeant Parker VC
Gunner Lodge VC
Driver Glassock VC