Black and White Budget, No. 19, Vol. II, February 17th 1900

4 FLACK AND WHITE BUDGET FEI5. 17, IfOO NOTES 0 ’WAR The war is apparently not a hardship for everybody. A private in the Durban Light Infantry has written home to his parents in England to the elTect that, though he has been roughing it and has slept in his boots for a month, he weighs 11 st. 8 lb. against only iost. 4 lb. when he started! A member of the Natal Mounted Police writes home that he is now as hard as andiron, that “the experience has done me good physically.” It is the same warrior who, speaking of our soldiers when fighting said, “In the moment of battle there is something God-like in those men their faces change to andiron, they seem like Fate itself.” It is stated on good authority that one of the dead artillerymen of the two batteries captured at Colenso had no fewer than sixty-four wounds on him !This gives one an idea of the hell that existed round those guns. According to a Pretoria telegram a Boer at Coles’ berg, who was killed by a .shell, had twenty wounds 011 him. A few years ago, during the Indian frontier wars, a Sepoy received thirty- one wounds, and, what is more wonderful, still lived to receive the Chitral relief medal !It takes a lotto kill a Sepoy, however, and the brave fc-llows will do anything so leng as there is a medal at the end of it. The Lancashire regiments have been the greatest sufferers at Spion K o p the 2nd Lancashire Fusiliers lost 39 officers and men killed and qS wounded the 2nd Lancaster Regiment lost 34 killed and 98 wounded and the 1st South Lancashire lost 5 killed and 23 wounded. These three old and famous regiments have fought together on previous occa­sions, notably at Vittoria, under Wellington, in 1813. The Fusi­liers (20th Foot) dates from the year 1688, the Lancasters (4th Foot) from ib8o, and the South Lancashires (40II1 Foot) lrom 1717. During the Spion Kcp light the 2nd Middlesex (771 h Foot) lost 23 killed and 62 wounded. It dates from the year 1787. Major C h ii.d e, who was killed at Spion Kop, had, it will be remembered, a strong presentiment that he was going to light his last fight, and asked that the following epitaph be placed over his grave :“Is it well with the child? It is well” (2nd Kiinrs, 4th chap., xxvi verse). Sir John Astley told a similar Crimean story. It was just before an attack, and “Crow” Corbet went to Sir John, who says,“ I think I never saw so sudden a change overcome a brave man. lie took me on one side and said,‘ I feel a stroi g pre­sentiment that 1 shall be killed before morning. Will, A SOMEWI!AT amusing incident happened at the you take care of my Derby winnings when they C olens:« light, of w hich'an account is given from i arrive? I did all I knew to cheer him up, but all to 11 purpose.d When the storming party fell in he wrung my hand. We never met again .”When the Boers were firing so heavily on the unfor­tunate batteries at Colenso, our gunners, though their ranks were thinning every minute, affected to make ‘'c atch es” ofthe spent shells as in cricket, at the same time crying out “How’s that, umpire ?”In Sir John Astley’s reminiscences, there is a capital story ot the same sort. It was at Sebastopol, and Sir John’s regi- The German idea of Lord K'.i '.:encr (From“ Lustige Blatter ") ment was going into action wlien around shot came bounding along. The ranks opened to let the ball go through, when Astley shouted to someone called Duff, the regimental wicket-keeper at cricket, “Du ff! you are wicketkeeping you ought to have taken that.” Duff turned round and said, “No, sir !It had a bit too much pace on, and 1 thought you were long stop, and I left it for you.” This banter occurred when they were marching into a battle in which many, including Duff, were killed !After a battle, what the soldiers, wounded or other­wise, require is a joyous drink of water. After that dreadful day at Magersfontein, when the Highlanders inlay a blazing sun fearing to move, the demands for water were pathetic in the extreme. One of the Scots Guards states that some of the Highlanders offered tenpence for a drink of water. A large number, instead of waiting for the roll-call, wandered off in search of a spring, and they were conse­quently posted as “missing.” A wounded man is always seized with a terrible thirst, which causes intense suffering. There is only one regiment that has so many as four bat­talions at the front, and that is the old 60th Foot, or Kin g’s Royal Rifles. There are the 1st and 2nd Battalions with White in Ladysmith, the 3rd Battalion with Buller, and the 9th Militia recently arrived at CapeTown. Though now largely an Irish regiment, it was originally raised in America in 1755, and was called the 62nd Loyal American Provincials. It naturally saw considerable service in the War of Independence, and also went through the Peninsular War and the Indian Mutiny. The Rifles were at the Cape in 1S50 when they fought the Kaffirs. Discussing the character ol the wounds received on the bat­tlefields in South Africa, a well-known surgeon has outpointed that experience of the present campaign would seem to show that the only absolutely fatal region is the heart. To even this, however, there are exceptions, therefor is more than one man now living who has been shot through the heart. Colonel Sloggett, Military Director of the- Imperial Yeomanry Hospital, has had the experience, and at the Battle of Omdurman lie was outlaid among the dead, and would have been buried had he not begun to show signs of life. In itself, the heart is avery tough piece of orsfani. m. soldier’s letter from the front. The Boers started firing at the ambulancemen, and though the bullets hailed around them, it did not prevent the men doing their duty. To show his contempt at the mean action, one of the men halted about halfway, and in spite of the hundreds of bullets flying around, leisurely pro­ceeded to light his pipe. Strange to say, not one of the party was hit. During the war of 1870, a Prussian cavalry regiment once galloped into action with all the troopers smoking pipes and cigars!
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