Under the Union Jack, No. 23, Vol. 2, April 14th 1900

532 UNDER THE UNION JACK. [April 14,1900. utterly discomfited them, and at five o’clock in the afternoon, after defending their kopjes all day, they withdrew, and retreated in the direction of Brandfort. As they did so our troops pressed forward, and the enemy’s evacuated position was ¦occupied, giving us possession of a commanding plateau six miles wide, from which the town of Brandfort can be seen a few miles away. The mounted forces had suffered from shell­fire in working round the flanks, and the losses were numerous on both sides, for the action was hotly contested. Among the King’s Own Scottish Borderers, Captain Going was killed on the spot, and Captain W. D. Sellar and Lieutenants E.M. Young (since dead) B.and J. Coulson were severely wounded. The Norfolk Regiment had two officers wounded, the Lincolnshire Regiment, the South Wales Borderers, and the Hampshire Regiment one each, and Captain W. V. Marter, brigade-major, of theist Dragoon Guards, was seriously wounded in the abdomen. Among the rank and file the casualties were nearly -200. In the result the enemy were completely defeated, and a satisfactory position was secured. Mr. Rudyard Kipling, the friend of Tommy Atkins, had his “baptism of fire ”in this action. The F u git ives from t heS outh.It is quite likely that the Boers were thus adventurous in our front in order to relieve any pressure we might be directing against the commandos of Commandants Olivier, Lemmer, and Grobler, whose forces had retreated before Generals Clements, Gatacre, and Brabant from the Orange River. The fugitives had mostly got away to the east, and were hugging the Basutoland border in their eflort to escape by Ladybrand to Winburg or Ficksburg, and thus to join forces with their friends in the north. It was gteatly hoped that Lord Roberts might be able to cut them off, but the movement made by General French to Thaba Nclm, forty miles east of Bloemfontein, though it threatened the flank of the retreating Boers, was not insufficient force, and, in view of the activity of the enemy in the neighbourhood of Brandfort, the cavalry were withdrawn, as we have seen. There is no doubt that the long and arduous march upon Bloemfontein had inflicted great losses upon the cavalry and artillery horses, and also upon the huge body of transport animals, and that an operation inadequate force further to the cast, valuable as its effects would have been, was imposoible. The Boers numbered from 4,000 to 6,000, and had with them avery great ox-train, of which part was abandoned. They made forced marches in order to escape the pursuit of Generals Brabant and Gatacre, coming byway of Wepener, and being compelled to halt forty-eight hours forrest at Clocolan. Their movements were periectly well known to our generals, for they were located in their flight, and particulars concerning their situation were heliographed from the Basuto hills to General French, who was at the time at Thaba Nchu, between which place, or a few miles to the east of it, and Basutoland the flying Boers must pass in order to escape to the north. Colonel Pilcher, whose name is infamous connection with the raid to Sutinyside from the Modder River 011 January ist, did a most plucky thing in riding with a small force into Ladybrand on March 26th and seizing the lanodrost and a field-cornet. The same night the Boers entered the place, and seemed to have established themselves on the Platberg Range there, probably in order to protect the rear of their retreating column. Presumably before these lines appear it will be known tint Olivier has got safely to the north, and probably to Winburg, from which place there is a branch railway to Smaldeel, 011 the mainline from Bloemfontein to Pretoria. Some particulars concerning the retreat of the Boers were given last week, but their flight is so exceedingly interesting, and had such close relationship to the movements on Lord Roberts’s front, that it has been thought well to draw attention to what must have an important effect in the subsequent operations. The general advance of our colnmns from the south is also well worthy of note. Of all the operations of the war none promise to be more interesting than the movement of Generals Brabant, Gatacre, and Clements from the Orange River. General Brabant, with his colonials, has had a great deal of work to do on the eastern side by quelling a rebellious spirit among the populace, and despatching parties through the district and in pursuit of the fugitives, many of whom laid down thsir arms. He will probably advance through Wepener to Thaba Nchu. Sir Alfred Milner warmly congratulated him upon the splendid service of his troops when at Aliwal North, the High Commiss’oner then being on his way to confer with Lord Roberts at Bloemfontein. General Gatacre, in the centre of the advance, has the railway in his possession, and is probably already at the late capital of the Orange State, or closely in touch with Lord Roberts. His movement has been slow, in order to bring about the pacification of the subjected region. On the western side the advance of General Clements from Norval’s Pont through Philippolis, Jagersfontein, and Faure- smith has had a most valuable effect in settling the country. He has been received with pleasure almost everywhere, and in some places with positive enthusiasm, for the Orange State is looking for the Pax Britaniiica to give it freedom from the turmoil of disaffection and revolt. General Clements has read Lord Roberts’s proclamation of inclemency the various places he has passed through, and received the surrender of large numbers of rifles, and a Martini-Maxim, a 9-pounder, and a quantity of buried ammunition were discovered at Fauresmith. His men marched splendidly, though the weather was rainy and unfavourable, and a flying column which was despatched to Koffylontein, in the direction of Jacobsdal, whereabout a Boer commando was reported to be, covered a distance of about thirty-five miles in a single day. That was marching, indeed, and was worthy of the famous times of Central India in the Mutiny, when British soldiers in this important respect surpassed themselves. The advance of the three generals, and especially of those on the eastern and western flanks, who have not the advantage of the railway, will abe triumph of pacification and administrative skill, for our soldiers are statesmen as well. How About M a fek gin ?Fortunately for Colonel Baden-Powell and his gallant garrison they have not stood in need of such immediate relief as some at home supposed. Much was said about the heroic commandant of that remote place last week, and it is needless to dwell upon the subject here. His resource, his courage, his inspiring cheerfulness, and his tenacity are beyond all praise the same qualities are found in his garrison. Colonel PI inner was obliged to fallback to Crocodile Pools, but still we have the news “All well.” The gun, the ammu­nition, and the searchlight, all made locally at Mafeking, have worked mosf successfully, and Colonel Baden-Powell has never failed to“go one better” than the Boers. Meanwhile Colonel Money’s force advanced Mafekingward as far as Warrenton on the Vaal has been engaged in some fighting with the Boers, who are in strength at Fourteen Streams, 011 the other side, and have wasted much ammu­nition. The disaffection among the colonial farmer^eastward of Kimberley, in the Barkly district, has involved the exercise of force in that-direction but Lord Methuen, being then at Likat Long, west of Barkly, was recalled to Kimberley by Lord Roberts, and it is likely that before these lines appear there will have been developments further north, upon the Vaal or beyond. Some of tlie photographs used here are owned by Messrs. Burke, West, and Hancox. We are also indebted to the courtesy of the C laphic, Illustrated London A civs, Sphe. c, Navy and At> ny Illustrated, and Spear for some of the illustrations in this number. •UNDER THE UNION JACK”—FIRST AND FOREMOST AMONGST SIMILAR PUBLICATIONS
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