Under the Union Jack, No. 31, Vol. 2, June 9th 1900

UNDER THE UNION JACK. [June 0,1900. be removed to Watervaal Boven, a station on the Delagoa Railway, and after that probably to Lydenburg. Refugees are flying, or attempting to fly, to Lorenzo Marquez, but the intentions of Presidents Kruger and Steyn have not been disclosed. The railway is completely blocked, and while large numbers are only too anxious to find some means of laying down their arms or to escape, it is to be feared that many are desperate, and it would not be surprising if wholesale destruc­tion were wrought. One Pretoria telegram has announced that startling events are imminent if the fighting area should approach the Rand. These, however, are only rumours that rise out of the chaos at Pretoria, and Lord Roberts has intimated that he believes he has forestalled the wreckers. We maybe quite sure that Lord Roberts will continue to display the same masterful qualities that have so far distin­guished his progress, and that all the energies of such com­manders asIan Hamilton, French, and Broadwood will be devoted to saving the Transvaal from the evil deeds that have been contemplated, and to the work of checking the beginnings of guerilla warfare. In the Oran geState and Natal. We have heard comparatively little of the most useful operations of Generals Rundle and Brabant. They have had avery difficult task in driving the Boers through the broken country south and east of Kroonstad. In their front were many scattered parties of the enemy who had been headed off from the Transvaal by Lord Roberts’s advance, and while some of these were ready enough to lay down their arms, there were many others willing to give trouble, and in a •country where it is easy to do so. The Colonial Division under General Brabant marched from Clocolan, and entering Ficksburg on May 22nd tore down the Boer flag and captured the Landdrost. The place was occupied in force on May 24th, •and prisoners to the number of 150 with ten waggons had been captured on the previous day. The enemy made an attempt to drive out our forces on the morning of May 26th, but after a sharp engagement were compelled to withdraw. Sir Leslie Rundle, who had been for some days at Trommel, advanced without opposition to Senekal, which was occupied on May 26th. The two columns are moving upon a wide front towards the east, protecting our communications, and slowly pushing back the Boers in the direction of Bethlehem, and though the operations are not so striking as those which are taking place in the Transvaal, they are, of course, essential to the success of Lord Roberts’s advance. The same maybe said for those of Sir Redvers Buller in Natal. He swept out the enemy from the Bigg:irsberg by a bloodless victory, which had a tremendous moral effect, and Dundee, Glencoe, and Newcastle were successively occupied, the Boers being driven up to Laing’s Nek. According to reports they are bringing down some forces to strengthen that position, although it is sufficiently obvious that they need •everyman they can putin the field to resist Lord Roberts in the neighbourhood of Pretoria. Those Boers who are now in Sir Redvers Buller’s front, at Volksrust and Laing’s Nek, may soon find a force operating in their rear, for it cannot abe difficult matter for Lord Roberts to cut the Johannesburg and Volksrust Railway somewhere in the vicinity of Heidelburg. Meanwhile some of Sir Redvers Buller’s troops ¦have crossed the Buffalo and occupied Utrecht. We have therefore to record most satisfactory news from every part of the seat of war. The Boers have retired confused after the severe lesson given to them by General Baden-Powell on the day of the relief of Mafeking. General Carrington has mustered his forces in Rhodesia, and with excellent effect, for his Canadians and Queenslanders made record marches to join Colonel Plumer, and hearty congratu­lations have been addressed to the Premiers of Canada and 'Queensland by the brave defender of Mafeking on the invaluable assistance rendered. Commandant Snyman, whoso dishonoured himself during the siege of Mafeking, is a rough bully who is detested by his own forces, and those who were with his standard have rapidly departed. The gallant garrison and their relievers have separated with great regret, therefor was a genial character in their intercourse and in the mutual help they rendered- one another that made them something of a happy family. General Hunter has moved up the base of the western advance eighty miles to Vryburg, and by the time these lines appear the railway will probably have been opened the whole way to Mafeking, and therefore a force of considerable magnitude may soon approach Pretoria from the direction that President Kruger most fears. Pretoria reports, indeed, say that our troops have occupied Zeerust and are advancing on Lichtenburg. In another direction, Sir Charles Warren has been doing good w r ork with his Colonials and Yeomanry. He has occupied Douglas, and is engaged in pacifying that much disaffected region. In all these operations our troops have shown the very best spirit. The cavalry have made wonderful marches, covering immense distances, and-the horses seem yet to be in good condition. The infantry have also marched admirably, and have proved themselves to bethe equals, in this respect, to any foot soldiers in Europe. We may certainly congratulate ourselves that we now possess an army with unique experience. We have not only wielded together a great force, which is a bond of Empire, but have the only army in the world that has gone through a war outfought under modern conditions. It is true that the actions between the Americans and the Spaniards are comparatively recent, but owing to the condition in which they were fought they did not give the combatants on either side anything like the experience that our men have gained. We have made many mistakes, but we have not made so many as the Boers, and, whatever has gone wrong, it has not been in the quality either of officers or men as a body, and the business of transport and supplies has been conducted in a manner that would be impossible to any other country in the world. •The Parisian Libre Parole thus delivers itself upon the Mafeking celebrations:“ I would ask what would London do when in a future war the siege of Portsmouth or Plymouth is raised ?And this is English joy! Well, their splenetic sadness is preferable to this orgie, which reveals the depths of their barbarous, brutal, and ferocious souls 1 ”From far-away Japan we learn that the possibility of a collision with Russia stimulated interest in the Army, and the native papers are outpointing a good deal that is deficient, especially in the matter of cavalry. The Japanese cavalry is mostly beneath contempt. The men are bad riders, and the horses are diminutive and unserviceable for heavily armed troops. One of the reasons is, that Japan, being a mountainous country, cavalry were not, until quite recently, expected to be of much service. But the war in South Africa has opened the eyes of military men and shown them that it is justin a hilly country that mounted men are of most service. It has shown them, too, that scouting duties are more than ever important, and that commanding officers must place most reliance on wide flanking movements, for both of which operations serviceable cavalry is vitally necessary. Not only progressive Japan, but also the vaunted military powers of the Continent, will gain much useful information from the Transvaal war. Some of the photographs used in this number are owned by Messrs. Bowers. Chase. Clayton, Cribb, Elliot and Fry, Gregory (London), Lambert Weston, and Russell. The Stereoscopic photographs on page 722 were taken by Messrs. Underwood and Underwood, London, W.C., copyright 1900 and we are indebted to the courtesy of the Illustrated London News. Sphere, and Navy and Army illustrated for some of the other illustrations in this number. “UNDER THE UNION JACK’’—PHOTOGRAPHS OF ALL THE GENERALS AT THE FRONT.
Add Names


We have sought to ensure that the content of this website complies with UK copyright law. Please note however, that we may have been unable to ascertain the rights holders of some items. Where we have digitised items, we have done so with items that to the best of our knowledge, following due investigations, are in the public domain. While the original works are in the public domain we reserve all rights to the usage of the digital works.

The document titled Under the Union Jack, No. 31, Vol. 2, June 9th 1900 is beneath this layer.

To view this document now, please sign up as a full access member.

Free Account Registration

Please enter your first name
Please enter your surname
Please enter a valid email address
Please enter your password, it must be 8 or more characters
By creating an account you agree to us emailing you with newsletters and discounts, which you can switch off in your account at any time

Already a member? Log in now
Small Medium Large Landscape Portrait