Black and White Budget, No. 25, Vol. II, March 31st 1900

March 311900 BLACK AND WHITE BUDGET operations o f Sir R edvcrs B uller in Natal. It cost over 5,000 killed, wounded and m issin g,in the attempts to tind a route to Ladysm ith. The signal success o f Von Moltke s tactics in 1870 was almost entirely due* to his knowledge o f the country passed through. He had plans o f every road that fed to' the French capital, and every matter likely to be useful to an invading arm v was noted down! Von M oltke always said that the American Civil War was one mass o f blunders. What would his opinion o f the Natal campaign be? L o r o Roberts attitude’s to General C ronje, raft< the surrender, was an admirable instance o f self-restraint. Only a few weeks before, the Boer General had made prisoner a British officer who had gone to the enem v’s lines with a white flag. At the siege o f C haluz, it will be remembered that Richard the First forgave the man who had given him his mortal wound and ordered him to beset at liberty. This self-restraint is all the more astonishing as Richard was a hot-blooded man. As is well known to readers o f history, the King ’swish was not carried out, the man being skinned alive. Privates Allison and Mackenzie, Blairgowrie Volunteers (See below) with the fellows over there?” “Le t’s go down and join in the fun,” suggested another, and, notwithstand­ing the arguments o f the officers, the whole battalion forthwith started Bout! uller discreetly winked at the ilagran t disobedience. The little town of B lairgo w rie, Perthshire, was stirred to its depths by the departure of its Volunteers for the lront. Out o f the small local company forty men had volunteered, but the authorities only accepted two. j The townsfolk, however, determined to give these a goodly send-off, and [a scene o f spontaneous enthu­siasm was witnessed that has never been equalled in the town. The factory workers declined to return to work after breakfast, until they had seen the train containing the warriors leave the scholars deserted their playground and joined in these, combined with the townspeople, thronged the streets. The two men, Privates Allison and Mackenzie, were escorted to the railway station by the members o f the company, in uniform. At the station the crowd was terrific, and the wonder is that accidents did not occru. Just before the train left apathetic touch was given to the scene by. the arrival of M ackenzie’s little sister, who clung to her brother’s neck, and sobbed as if her little heart would break. Cheers and good wishes followed the warriors as the train steamed out of the station. A decidedly pathetic feature o f the casualty list is the frequent appearance o f the names o f drummers and buglers among tIn? slain. At D rielontein, theist Essex Regiment had Drum merTon ghan killed and another wounded, theist Welsh had one wounded, and the 2nd East Kent also had one wounded. Perhaps you have heard the story o f a drum m w boy during the Revolutionary War with France ?He was only liftee.i years of age was this particular drum m er, and wander­ing away from his own lines, he was taken prisoner by the French. H e told his captors that he was only a drum m er, but being suspected as a spy, the French General ordered him to beat a couple of marches 011 a drum. This the English boy did, upon which the French­man asked him to beat “the retre'af.” The boy quaintly said that he didn’t know how to beat a “retreat,” an answer which so pleased the French officer that he sent him back to his own friends with a letter commending the youth’s spirited behaviour !“They will never print the truth about this battle (M agersfontein),” says a soldier, in speaking o f the Boers stripping the British dead. One dead officer was found absolutely naked on the battlefield, the enemy having taken away every stitch o f clothing. At Spion Kop, one of the surgeons states that some of the officers’ fingers had been cutoff to secure the rings !He adds, however, that many o f the Boers were indig- 1 nant on hearing o f the matter, and said that they did not see who did it. The true Boers, it maybe remarked, do not act so savagely. It is emphatically the work of the Hollanders and other scum. The so-called Intelligence Department o f the Army |Trooper O.R. Gregory, soldier, poet and reader of "Black has been severely criticised in connection with the and White Budget"
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