Black and White Budget, Transvaal Special, No. 14, Vol. 41, January 13th 1900

6 BLACK AND WHITE BUD G E7 Jan. 13,1900 The Bath Corporation has made a most generous offer to soldiers invalided home. They arc to be allowed to drink the waters for nothing, and to be most comfortably housed while undergoing the cure. Bravo Bath !Arise of the Hooligans will be almost as difficult to cope with as an invasion at the present moment !On December 30th upwards of a hundred and fifty men of the Metropolitan Police received notice to join their old regiments. What ’sin a name? The Natal Carbineers by any other name would fight as well. But for that very reason we must respect their wishes. They do not wish, says the Agent-General for Natal, to be called Carabineers or Carabiniers. Others are looking for victims to the public dis­pleasure besides the more hysterical of our daily papers. But the Orange Free Staters propose more drastic methods than we do. One prisoner has expressed his determination to shoot President Steyn, if he can get hold of him, for bringing disaster on his country. With regard to the calling up of the Militia, it is well known that they are not, as a rule, intended for foreign service. During the Crimean War a certain Militia regiment was required for Gibraltar, and the Colonel was requested bv the War Office to ask for volunteers. The Colonel had no doubt but that all would readily volunteer, but he determined that no risks of refusal would be permitted. So at parade he formed the regiment inline and marched them closeup to one of the barrack walls. Then he said :“Those men who do not wish to volunteer for foreign service, two paces Step forward remainder steady.” As the men were acing the wall within the distance of afoot, it is need­less to say that the Colonel had the gratification of informing his superiors that his regiment had volun­teered to a !“Businessman carried on as usu al” seems to bethe motto ot the besieged and others in South Africa. Christmas Day in Ladysmith was celebrated by, among other things, an entertainment to the children, including a Christmas tree. At the Modder River Lord Methuen has established a market where a general “swopping” takes place between the soldiers and farmers, the latter of whom bring milk and vegetables to exchange for tea and other articles. Lord Methuen has also been arranging cricket matches and athletic meetings, and 011 New Year’s Day a grand series of races were held for silver cups, &c., which Cape gentlemen had pre­sented. Such a little thing as a war must not be allowed to disturb the sporting proclivities of Private Thomas Atkins !Colonel Sir Howard V in cent, M.P .,was appointed commander ot the City o f London Volunteers, but he has tailed to pass the usual medical examination for active service. The Colonel, therefore, will not be able to carryout a matter which he has long advocated. Most ot the Continental armies are. allowed to sing while on the march, and Colonel Vincent, thinking that a song relieves the monotony o f along tramp, recently gave instructions for the Queen’s Westminster Volun­teers to be practised in the sing ingot lively songs. In the Soudan in 1898, our soldiers sang lustily popular airs, accompanied by the fifes, as they were marching to meet the Dervishes. There is not likely to be much scope for the recreation during the present campaign, however, especially during surprise night marches. The last words of Colonel Northcote, ashe lay dying the night after the Modder River engagement, were to the surgeon as follows: “Get the wounded in the hospital train as quickly as possible.” Those noble last words are only to be classed with those with which Sir Philip Sidney closed his glorious career. He fell mortally wounded when leading the English, who' were assisting the Dutch, against the Spaniards at the battle of Zutphen in 1586. A bottle of water was brought to Sir Philip to relieve his intense thirst ashe lay 011 the ground, but observing a poor common soldier lying wounded near, the great soldier turned away, refusing the bottle, and said, “That man’s necessity is still greater than mine.” Only those who know the terrible thirst of a wounded man can ade­quately realise what the sacrifice meant. The Boer Christmas cards were conceived in the spirit of the messages which used to be sent into Paris during the great siege. They fired two plugged shells into the town with the compliments of the season printed 011 them. One contained apiece of plum, pudding. A magnificent and most timely offer has come from the native chiefs in India. This is a promise to send horses to the Cape. The Maharaja of Patiala leads the way with a present to Lord Roberts of a splendid Arab charger. “How long do you fcxpect to be away from England ?”said Mr. Comyns Carr to Sir Redvers Buller when the latter was visiting the “Beefsteak Room ’’of the Lyceum Theatre the night before he left. “About six months,” was the reply. “Six months is- a longtime,” rejoined Mr. Comyns Carr. “South Africa is along way off, Carr,” said Sir Redvers. P riv ate Mont g o m ry,e of the West Yorkshire Regi­ment, is a brave man. He was wounded through one thigh at Willow Grange, but went on firing as if nothing had happened. Shortly after he was wounded through the other thigh, but even then he refused to betaken to the rear for fear of exposing the stretcher- bearers. Among the London regiments supplying a quota to the City of London Corps is the 14th Middlesex Volun­teers, better known as the “Inns of Court, or Devil’s Own.” How that appellation came to be bestowed is very amusing, and it may not be generally known. Erskine, the famous Lord High Chancellor, was Lieutenant-Colonel of the regiment when George III. asked him how the corps was composed. “They are all lawyers, sire,” was the reply. “What? All lawyers ?”exclaimed the king “then call them the Devil’s Own.” And the nick-name stuck. There areas many as 5,000 Uitlanders employed with our forces in South Africa. The Imperial Light Infantry accounts for 1,000 of them. The remaining 4,000 are horsemen, who are distributed as follows :—800 in the South African Light Horse, 700 in the Dia­mond Field Horse, and 500 each in the Imperial Light Horse, Thorneycroit’s Mounted Infantry, Bethune’s Mounted Infantry, Baden-Powell’s Horse, and the Rho­desian, Kimberley, and Colonial Scouts. This is an effective answer to the charge that the Johannesburgers are not ready to fight for their own rights. I t would be well if modern armies were accompanied by professional jesters. The amateur humorist is weak in repartee. When the Boer heliographed to our camp at Frere, “Why is Roberts coming? What has Buller done ?”some more effective answer might have been thought of than “How did you like our lyddite in the late battle ?”The Boer signallers, who seem to be very idiomatic in their English, could think of moreno convincing reply than “Rats !”The Superintendent-Register of Mile End Old Town is issuing 3s. 7d. certificates of births, deaths, and mar­riages free of cost to those dependent 011 our soldiers in South Africa. A most excellent thing in the case of births and deaths, but why should marriages be thus- encouraged?
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