" The Elands River force were critically short of support weapons having only one obsolete 7 pounder black powder, muzzle loaded field gun mounted on a 9 pounder carriage and two machine guns. The machine guns were one .450/577 black powder Maxim (belonging to the Rhodesians) and one more modern .303 Maxim that appears to have belonged to the NSW Citizen's Bushmen Regiment.
The machine guns appear to have been the responsibility of Captain Edwin Hockings (Queensland Mounted Infantry) who soon found he had his hands full with problems. Both guns were very prone to stoppages and bore out a statement by a British general of the time that, like all new fangled technology they were fine in exercises on Salisbury Plain but in action had a bad habit of letting you down in the most embarrassing moments. It seemed his prophesy was coming true. Hockings however went to work and had the .45 stripped down and cleaned to within an inch of its life; to make sure that all the parts moved freely and smoothly. It then gave perfect service for the rest of the siege. The .303 was a different proposition, the same treatment improved the performance but stoppages were still regular.
In a light-bulb moment he went to his OC, Major Tunbridge from Queensland, who at that moment was relieving Colonel Hore as the post commander due to the latter's illness, and requested permission to use the riflemen's ammunition in the guns. Permission granted, the .303 then worked perfectly for the rest of the siege. Clearly purpose-made British machine gun ammunition was causing a problem."