Black and White Budget, No. 18, Vol. II, February 10th 1900

6 BLACK AND WHITE BUDGE7 I'Eii. 10,1900 The Boers are rather mystified as to how two Free Staters, father and son, were killed at Colenso by one of the armour-piercing shells from the naval guns. “Strange to say,” runs the report, “in the case of these casualties, there are 110 visible wounds.” The enemy are apparently unacquainted with the fact that the rush of a shot close past any person will kill, though it does not actually touch the body. There are many such incidents 011 record. f c The famous Boer attack on Ladysmith was, it will be recalled, something of a surprise to the British. Sir George White evidently means to take 110 risk in future, for star shells are fired at night, the light of which shows whether the enemy are massing to attack or not. Curiously enough, when Ladysmith announced that it was firing star shells, a dispatch was published from the Boers at the same time, stating that the British had been firing rockets, “the object of which is conjectured, but is by no means clear.” Probably the enemy imagined the garrison were giving a belated celebra­tion of the Gunpowder Plot !We have come across an item which is somewhat interesting in view of the recent presentation to the London Volunteers of the Freedom ol the City. An old soldier died a few months ago at Ballarat, Australia, at the age of ninety-three, in a local benevolent asylum. His name was John Gurney, and the Colonial Press said that “an examination of his belongings after death revealed an ancient and faded document, which proved to abe deed, dated 1827, conferring the Freedom of the City of London for distinguished service inaction.” The old veteran must have been proud of it. The fact that there are so many Russians serving with the Boers indicates a sort of base ingratitude to this country. When Napoleon invaded Russia at the head of his great army, the man whoso cleverly con­ducted the retreat of the Russians was Michael Barclay, whose ancestry was Scottish, and who died a Russian Prince in 1818. Barclay desolated the country in advance of Napoleon in 1812, and fought the Battle of Borodino, which was a dearly-bought victory for the French. It was a Scotsman, too, who founded Russia’s navy. But nations know no gratitude. The recent crossing of the Tugela by General Lyttel­ ton’s Brigade was a clever performance. The rosewater above the soldiers’ waists, but they steadied them­selves by grasping one another’s rifles. A case of “United we stand, divided we fall !”Three or four years ago several hundred French soldiers in Southern Algeria were marching down a deep ravine, when heavy rain began to fall. Before they were able to get out of the ravine a great torrent came down, and the soldiers would certainly have been swept away had they not stood in a square holding each other’s hands. The deaths from fever at Ladysmith shows the saddest side of war, and the present campaign will bean ex­ceptional one if it does not cost a greater number of deaths from disease than from anv other cause. Let some figures speak for themselves, however. During the Crimean War, the British lost about 3,500 in killed and deaths from wounds, but 4,200 died of cholera and 15,000 of other diseases !The French lost many more. A still later instance is that of the Spanish-American War, when the Yankees lost, in a few months, 454 in slain and 5,277 by disease !The enemy are a smart lot generally, and very resourceful. At the Modder River battle, the Boers cleverly Ccirried oil’ one of their big guns right from under the noses of our soldiers, by tearing off one of the canvas covers from their ambulance wagons and putting it over the gun-carriage !Of course, they got safely away without being fired upon. In the assault on Ladysmith some of the enemy were in a tight corner, and th'*v shouted,“ Don’t fire we are the -uiard.” When the English turned away, the Boers, who num­bered about twenty, poured in a volley. Our lot, who were Colonials, therefore charged and practically killed everyone of the twenty. Most of the Boers who will fight moreno in thi> world have been killed by the deadly lyddite. Joubcrt affects to disregard it, but nevertheless he would like some of it, thank you—if ha could get it !One soldirf at Colenso writes :“Our lyddite shells fairly took ridges off the hills. You could see them strike with a great cloud of dust, and a rumbling like distant thunder then an explosion, and up went—well, what­ever was there.” The Boers recently stated that Coin mandant Viljoen and two burghers were knocked senseless by the effects of a lyddite shell at the Tugela, and that the Commandant had recovered. Not everyone knows what salaries the Generals receive while 011 active service. Lord Roberts, as General Commanding-in-Chief, recer £10.'s 15s. a day, awhile General not in chief command (such as General Sir Redvers Buller) draws£ 8 a day. A Lieu­ tenant-General obtains for his services £510s. daily a Major-General (of which there are many) receives£ 3 awhile Brigadier-General (such as Hector Mac­ donald) gets £21 os. per day. All these sums are exclusive of allowances for forage, A&c. Colonel on Staff secures£ 2 a day, and an ordinary Colonel or Lieutenant-Colonel has 18s. to 24s. 9d. daily, according to the arm which he belongs to, Royal Horse Artillery being the highest paid. Here is a little incident that shows, according to a writer from a hospital at the front, “how we leave our hatred in the field.” “One of our men had lost a left arm ,”he writes, “and a Boer his right. They received their tobacco in despair, until a bright thought struck Tommy A----- .‘Mate, shift up closer,’ he said‘ I’ve cigarette papers in my pouch.’ They rolled the cigarettes, one man using his right hand and the other his left, and this was how they always made their cigarettes until the men left hospital.” --Our of 4,000 applicants at the CapeTown offices of the Light Horse Enrolment .Committee during the last two months, a little over a thousand have gained admission to the regiment. The selection has evidently been most carefully made. Not only has everyman togo through a rigorous medical exam inat:on at Un­hands of a most particular doctor, but forty as an age limit is, with very few exceptions, insisted upon, and of course everyman must be something of a shot and a thorough horseman. But this is all preliminary to a four days’ probation at the Rosebank Camp, where the chaff is finally sifted from the wheat. B e l fast is naturally indignant that it should not have honour where it is due. We gave Bradford the palm last week for containing the person who had the largest number of relatives at the fron^. Numerous correspondents write to inform us of another instance of a large family serving the Queen in South Africa that “beats all previous records.” In Aughrim Street, Sandy Row, Belfast, dwell Mr. and Mrs. Ginn, whose seven sons are fighting the Boer. The names of the men are—William, James, Joseph, Herbert, Henry. Charles, and John. A strange feature of the case is th.it, although several members o f the family at first joined the Irish Rifles and the Dublin Fusiliers, they were irresistibly drawn to the famous Lincolns, under whose colours the seven now are, in South Africa. The two first-named were reservists, and went through the campaign which was marked by the death of. General Gordon. Mr. and Mrs. Ginn had twelve of a family, eleven sons and one daughter, and it is interesting tu note that the latter married a Royal Irish Rifle reserve man, who has also been called up. Here is a record for someone to beat.
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