Black and White Budget, Transvaal Special, No. 7

8 BLACK AND WHITE BUDGET The Boers have been experimenting with lyddite at Pretoria. It is said that they exploded a shell in the midst o f thirty dogs. None were hurt, but the noise (of the dogs) was tremendous. The new British field-guns are able to fire twelve aimed shot a minute. 'I he importance o f this is enormous when one reflects how many wars have been won by the side which has the quickest firing guns. It must be very evident that the Battle of Omdurman was child’s play in comparison to what is taking place now. Against the Dervishes, only 47 British were killed and 342 wounded. In the present campaign, so far, there have been some 200 killed and over 700 wounded. Fat Mather thews ,who was captured Nat ickolson’s Nek with the Royal Irish husiliers, is a fine soldier priest like Father Brindle, with whom he was in the Soudan. He is much loved by the I ommies, for he tells them good stories and sings them good songs, and is a true priest who does his duty faithfully. President K r u ger would not be complete without his pipe, which it is said he takes to bed with him like his shoes. Much of his animus against England is probably attributable to the nauseating tobacco lie smokes. Perhaps it was o f him Mr. Gladstone was thinking when lie said that the beard ol one of his colleagues was“ a positive offence.” The Gordon Highlanders, at Ladysm ith, are, of course, the 2nd Battalion, the old 92nd boot. I he 1st Battalion (the 75th underFoot), Colonel Downm an, is on the way out. It was the latter battalion that stormed the heights at D argai, when Piper Findlater gained renown and the V .C .The story of Colonel Mathias, who then commanded, will perhaps be recalled. In the final rush, the Colonel, who is not so young ashe used to be, was outpaced but Colour-Sergeant M ackie gave him a helping hand, saying :“Y e’re gaun verra strong for an au l’ man !”The Earl of Dundonald, who has just gone out to South Africa, is the inventor of the new galloping gu n-carriage, which will probably be severely tested during the war. One of its principal merits is its extreme lightness, for though it is built of steel, and is the same width as the ordinary service pattern, its weight, inclusive .of gun and ammunition, is less than 400 lb. whereas a Maxim weighs upwards of 9 cwt. As a result o f the lessened weight, one horse is required, instead of two while, in an emergency, a single man can move and manoeuvre the gun easily. Three famous cavalry regiments, i.e., the Scots Greys, Royal Dragoons, and the Inniskilling Dragoons, will gel together* once more during the present war. These three formed the “Union Brig a d e”at Waterloo, where the Scots Greys in particular distinguished themselves. They took a large number o f prisoners, and captured the eagle of the 45th French Infantry. The trophy was secured by Sergeant E wart, after a desperate conflict, in which, after cutting down the bearer of it, lie was attacked successively by a Polish lancer and afoot soldier, both of whom he slew. R e gar ding the sending of Colonial troops to help theM other-country, it maybe remarked that it will not bethe first time that Canada has shown its loyalty in that way. During the Crimean War o f 1854 the Canadians out,fitted at their own expense, an infantry regiment for service with our troops before Sebastopol. This deed was gratefully acknowledged, and the Queen asked in what way she could honour them. The Canadians therefore begged her Majesty to send the Prince o f Wales to visit them, and this resulted in the famous tour of 1861, when the Prince also visited the United States. Several correspondents have attacked us for instating a recent number that Sir Redvers Buller had gone up into Natal. If these correspondents had the inestimable privilege o f know in gall we know about tlie movements of Sir Redvers Buller they would abe good deal wiser than they can ever hope to be from the perusal of theM ilitary-Censored daily and evening papers. And yet even these occasionally manage to let the cat out of the bag. “Sir Redvers B uller,” we read in one last week, “is not at Cape Tow nat present, but upcountry.” Where was co“up u n try ?”If the Boers had only known, wouidn’t they have been delighted ?In these days of Maxim sand Mausers, no regiment dreams o f tak in gits colours into action. The 1st Suffolks have sent their colours for safekeeping to the depot at Bury St. Edmunds. Lord W olseley has said: “In future it would be madness and a crime to order any soldier to carry colours into action. You might as well order him to be assassinated. The Germans earrv the poles 011 which (he colours used to be, so that they attract no notice inaction.” The Boers, however, seem to have flags o f some kind, for in the fighting around Ladysm ith it was reported that one had been captured. Perhaps they are only “annexation ”pieces of bunting, however! Some astonishment has been expressed at the wonderful recovery o f one o f the Gordons, who was shot through the head at Elandslaagte. He was about to be buried when signs of life were seen, and after three days’ unconsciousness, he began to revive. During the Franco -German War, a certain M. Charles Jallerat was struck in the temple by a bullet, and the surgeons failed to extract it. M. Jallerat got well, however, and went about his ordinary business till May, 1897, when the bullet, which had for twenty-seven years remained buried in the frontal tissues, moved up towards the brain, and M. Jallerat became insane. After a fortnight, however, the bullet again shifted, and the victim recovered. He did not again experience any difficulty till some months after, when, his throat being obstructed, he succeeded in bringing the long-lost bullet into his mouth !The leisurely methods of the Army Transport Department have been severely, criticised lately. The supreme importance ol getting the first 10,000 men, at least, to the scene of operation has been obvious for weeks, yet the Department has been content to take the third grade steamships o f the companies who are paid nearlv £.(10,000 a year in subsidies. I"or the Campania and Lucania, the Cunard Company receive ^15,000 a year for the Australia and Himalaya, the P. and O. receive ^'3,300 each, and ,*£2,400 each lor two others lor the Teutonic and ATajestic, the White Star receive jQ7,000 each, not to mention a large sum for the new Oceanic while for three of their steamships, the Canadian Pacific receive a lump sum ot ,£.7,300. All these vessels are 20-knot boats, and have been in English ports. Four of the liners mentioned could have landed an Army Division a fortnight ago, and allowed General White, at Ladysm ith, to take the offensive.
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