Black and White Budget, Transvaal Special, No. 10, Vol. 1, December 16th 1899

V J BLACK A:YD 1 1 HI TE BUDGET Dec. i 6, 1S99 is dear enough in England jti»l now. But in Pietermaritzburg it is selling for /,.<>per ton, and other necessities are equally expensive. Tub magistrate at Kuruman was one loo many for the Boers. Collecting twenty natives and thirty half-castes he barricaded llie Mission Chapel, and there resisted the attack of five hundred Boers for six d ivs and nights. W e learn at school that one Englishman is equal to three Frenchmen. Apparently he is better than twenty-live Boers. At any rate Dr. Hornabrook brought back twenty-five prisoners single-handed to Klandslaagte Station. The little son of Mr. Benjamen, the well-known costumier of Houndsditch, has been parading the streets of the City and East End in the garb of a Waterloo soldier, and collecting money for the war funds. Every night the little fellow brings home as much ashe can carry to testify to the charity of the passer-by. It is computed that the average age of the soldiers now at the front is two years higher than at Waterloo. And yet i f seems that the majority of the killed are very much younger. Indeed, some difficulty is being met in the distribution of the Mansion House Fund for the widows and orphans, in consequence of the fact that so few married are among the dead. It has been outpointed that no other nation but England could provide such a fleet of oversea transports as is now conveying troops, provisions, and war stores to South Africa. There are no fewer than 140 steamships devoted to this purpose, representing 650,000 tons, and they have all been secured within three weeks !And all this without disturbing the regular sailings of the various companies with their best liners!“ Exr.usit officers,” says a Russian paper, “arc courageous, but they are too fond of comfort. Every transport is followed by a private steamer carrying officers’ luggage, cigars and champagne.” Perhaps this item is founded on the statement that Lord Methuen’s personal luggage has been forwarded by a London linn addressed to “Lord Methuen, Pretoria, via CapeTown !”Anyhow, it shows how soon a defeated country can forget the Crimean War. It appears that big packing-cases full of Mausers, and labelled “Transvaal Bacon,” have been sent by the Boers to certain of the Dutch in Cape Colony. The British have now taken a leaf out of the enemy’s book, for recently a stationmaster at a junction on the way to De Aar was notified of the arrival of a “goods train,” which turned out to abe trainload of marines! Again, an engine steamed up with a number of heavy guns, covered with a tarpaulin and labelled “ F ru it! ”The ladies of Natal are evidently a plucky and determined lot. When they have taken up a good position to seethe fighting, they are not to be daunted because it happens to abe dangerous one. One lady whose white' dress was attracting the Boer marksmen, refused to sit down because “she was not going to' soil her dress by sitting 011 the dirty ground.” At the battle of Rietfontein the ladies turned out 011 bicycles but at Nickolson’s Nek they must have been met with a warning placard, “This hill is dangerous.” The gathering of Jew sat the great Synagogue last Saturday, when the Feast of the Hammer, which recalls the feast of Maccabeus, was celebrated, revealed the fact that over 200 Jews are now lighting for our llag in South Africa. One of the first victims of the war was Trooper Levi, who was with Colonel Plumer at Tuli, and a distinguished Jewish officer is Colonel Goldschmid, who is second in command of the Sixth Division. Still we should like to know how many of the Johannesburg Jews are lighting for the property for which they are so loudly clamouring to be indemnified. It is now stated that the disastrous affair at Glencoe, which resulted in the capture of so many of our troops, was caused by the treachery of a guide who led the regiments into a Boer ambush. It was a peasant guide who can be almost said to have lost Waterloo for Napoleon. After having searched in vain lor the sunken road ofO hain, the Emperor turned to the guide and asked if there was any obstacle to the advance of cavalry. The peasant shook his head, and Napoleon gave the order to charge. Soon 2,000 horses and as many men were plunged into the hidden road, and the carnage was horrible. Some amusing stories are being told of the someway Boers have been taken prisoners. After Elands- laagte, Dr. Hornabrook, riding alone, came across a party of twenty-five Boers who had lost their way. The Doctor told them that the British had won the battle, and that they must consider themselves his prisoners !He ordered two to take the weapons of the party and the others to march before them, and in that way brought the whole to camp. A trooper of the 5th Dragoon Guards came across one Boer who offered him money not to kill him.“ I took him prisoner,” he writes home to his parents, in a matter-of- fact style. The Naval Brigades in South Africa are rendering capital service, and, as many people know, it is not the first time that Jack has won honour off his native element. During the Crimean War, and particularly in the siege of Sebastopol, many of the land batteries were manned by sailors, and, indeed, the Navy secured twelve Victoria Crosses as a result of their gallant efforts. Then, again, during the Indian Mutiny, the crew of the Shannon frigate, when at Calcutta, petitioned the Governor to allow them to land. This was granted, and the Shannon's party of 570 men (only 140 were left 011 board) were always to the front in the struggles with the mutineers which ensued. It is not improbable that the present war will put an end to the custom of officers carrying swords 011 active service. It is almost as absurd as the carrying of flags would be in these days of high-class marksmanship. Lieutenant-Colonel Powell advocates the substitution of a Martini-Metford carbine with a magazine attached. The sword used by ourcavalrv weighs 2 lb. o/, and the scabbard, in addition, weighs 1 lb. 14 X °7- This does not seem much, abut well-known authority says an average soldier could not wield such a weapon in a melee for above five minutes. Ton a the’:e swords lighter, however, would be to diminish their strength and entail considerable risk. For a charge the lance is a more deadly weapon.
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