Black and White Budget, Transvaal Special, No. 4

BLACK AND WHILE BUDGET 3 THE GOD OF BATTLES Lifting lip his eyes in that unctuous manner now so familiar to thn world, Mr. Paul Kruger said:“ I appeal to the God of Battles.” On Thursday, October 19th, in the House of Commons, Mr. Chamberlain answered: “All right,” and before another Thursday had passed we were able to boast of three brilliant victories over the Boer. Yes, the)- were victories, although those busybody politicians at the Cape had insisted, for “political ”reasons, on our occupying military positions that left us open to extreme danger. Dundee, Glencoe in front, and Ladysm ith in the rear, were occupied by three separate British forces, all in touch with one another, of course, but all open to separate attack. Our com­manders, however, made the best of the situation, and instead of allowing the enemy to swallow us up one by one, we made bold attacks upon them before their forces were altogether ready, and we taught them that they had not merely to deal with men that stayed still and shouted “Come o n !”but with swiftly- moving artillery, dashing cavalry, and fiery infantry— all as fit and as ready as could be for strong offen­sive operations. The first fight was at Glencoe, on Friday, October 20th. The Transvaal Boers, under Lucas Meyer, occupied Smith’s Hill, commanding our camp, and commenced missing us with their German guns and gunners. But General Sym ons knew his business.“ Here’s a chance for the Irish boys,” he said to an A.D.C. “Move up both the Fusiliers, and let the Kin g’s Royal Rifles go, too, to show that Londoners areas good as any.” So our artillery covered the advance with beautifully-directed shots, the Dublin and Royal Irish Fusiliers and the Kin g’s Royal Rifles crept up the hill, the cavalry slipped round the hill to the right to prepare for the enemy’s retreat, and then, just at the right moment, we swept the foe from their position and dashed them back into Joubert’s astounded arms. “It is reported,” said that skilled arithmetician in a telegram to Pretoria, “that ten Boers were killed and twenty-five wounded.” And Mr. Kruger, also strong in mathematics, got ready 850 beds at Johannesburg. Meanwhile the line of communication between Dundee and Ladysm ith was being threatened, and General Sir George White determined to keep the coast clear casein Joubert should outnumber the advance posts (now under General Yule) and compel them to retire. A reconnoitring party discovered a large body of Free State Boers entrenched in a strong position at Elandslaagte, and General French was ordered to clear them out. Now, General French likes nothing so much as work of this kind, and on the following morning (Saturday, October 21st) he wakened the enemy with the crow of a shell dropped right into the middle of a station shed. On this occasion it was the Devons, the Gordon Highlanders, and the Imperial Light Horse that bore the brunt of the hand-to-hand fighting. A s they dashed on, the artillery tore up the ground on which the enemy were posted, and drove the gunners time after time from avery strong position. British pluck knows no limit, and in spite o f the deadly fire which, alas !laid many a man and officer low, the place was carried at the poinf of the bayonet, General K ock was taken, and the truculent General Viljoen killed, three hundred Boers were captured in addition to the killed and wounded, and the Free Staters lost large stores of food and ammunition. Our losses were by no means light, but this brilliant victory, holding open as it did the line of communication with General Yule and demoralising the Free State Boers, was well worth the heavy price paid in blood. The Battle of Rietfontein on Monday, October 23rd, was occasioned by an attempt of the Free State Boers to cut our lines between Ladysm ith and Elandslaagte. It was a small engagement, abut disastrous one as far as casualties were concerned. W e lost one officer ER:OAD1E K - UENEHAT, YULE Commanding 4th Division in place o f the late Sir IV. 1\ Symons
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