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The advent of the war of 1899-1902 put a stop to development. The battle for Pretoria in June 1900, which was hardly a battle at all, began with a skirmish near Irene, where upon Lord Roberts decided to outflank the main defences to the South of Pretoria by following a route roughly along the Hennops River and then entering Pretoria from the West. After the capture of Pretoria one of the regiments which were encamped at Irene was the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry. A strong point was constructed on LimeworksHill, and a fort was built on top.of Cornwall Hill, so named after the regiment. These Cornishmen were excellent stone-workers and the fort still stands having been constructed with rough-hewn chert blocks without the use of mortar. Four Casuarina trees planted at the Officers’ Mess are still growing on the slope to the East of Irene Station. When Deneys Reitz was on commando with the Boers they once raided the British lines near Pretoria and, despite the investment of the area, crossed the railway line at Irene.

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