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

BLACK AND WHITE BUDGET Dec. i 6,1899 The Government have just ordered afresh supply ol mules from the United States, whichever since the Cuban War have been famous for that animal. We give an illustration on another page ol the embarkation of mules at New Orleans. Tmc Colonial Secretary of Barbadoes collected a large sum of money after giving a spirited recitation of the “Absent-minded B egg ar.” Here is a hint to Mr. Chamberlain ol away to turn his popularity to account and benefit the widows and children. Two Dublin Fusiliers captured two Boers on the veld soon after the battle of Dundee. “Who are you? What have you got? Fork out 1” said Mr. Patrick Atkins. The Dutchmen were mightily offended. “My dear fellow, you must not talk tome like that,” said one,“ 1 am a Field-Cornet.” “ 1 don’t care whether you’re a field—trumpet,” quickly relorted the Irishman. “Fork out !”It seems a pity that rifle battalions still have to wear black belts which cannot be coloured on service like the white belts of the Line Regiments. These black belts not only soil the khaki uniforms, but also show up conspicuously against them. There seems to be something in the suggestion that the exceptionally heavy losses of the 6oth Rifles in the recent battles maybe attributable to this cause. The presence of the Guards at the Cape has revived the story of the famous Duke of Wellington, who was supposed to have said, “Up Guards, and at them !”in the linal charge at Waterloo. It may not be generally known that the Duke always scornfully denied ever making use of such an expression, and it is now generally considered by experts that the saying was made by an officer of the Guards on the Duke giving orders to charge. Sir James S ivewric.ht, whose portrait, in company with his wife, appears in these pages, has had an interesting career. Born at Foshabur, he took a degree in art and medicine at Aberdeen. He then went to the Cape, where he became a member of Parliament, and was also a member of the Rand. R ¦cently in England he got up a fund to send out Boer students who were working in Edinburgh to the assistance of their countrymen. They left a few weeks ago in the Moravia with English assistants. The British Government is sending a nice little Christmas present to Mr. Kruger, and everyone hopes that it will get therein time. It consists of a shipload of war material (in the steamship Karam i) embracing 40,000,000 rounds of small-arm ammunition, 7,000 rounds of shrapnel and common shell, 4,000 rounds of lyddite shell, and 800 boxes of fuses, besides a large number of miscellaneous “dainties.” If Mr. Kruger hangs up the family stocking on Christmas Eve, therefore, he will receive a gentle surprise. “Tell General Yule my accident is but slight, and that I will be out again to-morrow.” Such was the last order of General Sir William Symons. When Nelson was struck while pacing the deck of the Victory, he exclaimed, “They have done for meat last! My backbone is shot through.” Nelson was killed because he made himself a marked man by wearing all his decorations, while Symons attracted the Boer marksmen by riding .about with an orderly who was carrying a lance and red pennon. Such methods are almost criminal, though none will deny the bravery of them. Major Scott Ti. ’rn er, the news of whose brilliant sortie at Riverton Road has been so soon followed by the sad news of his death, was a young officer of great promise, whose knowledge of South African warfare was unusually extensive. He had served in the operations in •Matabeleland in 1893-94, and received a medal with clasp for his services to the Mashonaland Relict Force. Three days before lie was killed in the capture of the Boer laager, he had been wounded and had his horse undershot him. His loss will be much felt. Owing to the losses in the war, there is an extraordinary run of promotion taking place. Sergeant- Majors are being made by the dozen, and sergeants by fifties, while rises of double promotion, skipping two ranks, are frequent. Warrant officers are getting their commissions in profusion, when, in ordinary circumstances, such an event was of a not frequent occurrence. It reminds one of former days when, in the piping times of peace, the junior officers used regularly to toast “Yellow Jack ,”because fatal cases of fever among the seniors were the only means of ensuring promotion !It is rather surprising to learn, after all the past military history of England, that General Buller’s army is the largest that has ever been sent from England. At ale st'50,000 men are at the Cape, yet at Waterloo there were only 15,000 British Infantry, while in the Crimea there were not more than 30,000 British troops. Lord Wolseley, in Egypt, had 30,000 soldiers. Every military critic, however, has overlooked another campaign, when the British numbered 41,000 men. This was theW alcheien Expedition of 1809, which, till the present war, ranked as the greatest armament of this country ever sent abroad. W e reproduce on another page a menu, designed by Mr. Leighton Waud, for a dinner given at Hyde Park Barracks to the squadron bound for the Cape. Here is another menu of a dinner in Ladysm ith with which the Gordons celebrated St. Andrew’s Day :Scotch Broth. Salmon. Haggis. Saddle of Mutton. Turkey and Ham. Fruit. Salad. Haddock 011 Toast. Dessert. “Almighty !Do you suppose I waited for that? ”said a captured Boer who was asked what he thought of the bayonet-chai ge at Belmont. It is interesting to rccall that the bayonet was first made at Bayonne, in France—hence its name. Its origin illustrates the proverb, “Necessity is the mother of invention,” for in 1671 a Basque regiment was hard pressed by the enemy, and their ammunition being exhausted, one of the soldiers fixed his long knife into the barrel of his musket. His comrades followed suit, and immediately afterwards the first bayonet charge on record was made, and the enemy was defeated. '1 he importance of the new weapon was at once recognised and it was adopted allover Europe.
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