Black and White Budget, No. 23, Vol. II, March 17th 1900

0 BLACK AND WHITE BUDGE7 March 17, 190a General taG a c r elias given the 2nd Royal Berk-shires anew name. “It did look grand in the dark,” writes one of them describing a night attack. “There was the hill, and there were three tiers of fire from the enemy but being close under the hill our loss was nil. Our Major gave the command ‘fix bayonets,’ and they went home with such a click that the Boers couldn’t stick it. Our boys got that hill, and it has,been named after the Major who was first up,‘ M cCrackan’s Mill.’ The General, who witnessed our work, gave us a good name, and called us the ‘Iron Chests,’ which name we will keep for that day in place of 1 Green Tigers,’ which was our former name.” British residents in Buenos Ayres have not been behind their brethren allover the world in rallying to the assistance of the Empire in the pre­sent war. The organisation of a corps of British volunteers from that coun­try was undertaken by Mr. Henry Somerwell, known locally Senoras Enrique Somerwell, an ex-officer in the British Army who has been for five years a resident in Villaguay. A hundred and fifty men offered them­selves, and of these about twenty of the most efficient were chosen, among them being Mr. John Wood, who fought at Tei-el-Kebir. The ss. Mab, which was chartered to carry the volunteers to the Cape, set sail on January 17th. Well done, Buenos Ayres ! A good deal of difference of opinion seems to exist as to the humanity and the reverse of the Boers. Probably the true view is the common-sense one which comes from a Grenadier at Modder River. “You asi< me what I think of the Boers,” he writes. “Well, 1 must say that for artfulness they will take some beating. We call them cowards because they won’t outcome and fight us in the open, but when we come to think of it we cannot blame them. For though they are good shots they are not regular soldiers, and they have no discipline whatever. There are some cowards among them, the same as there are among most other nations. 1 mean those who fire under the white (lag.” Some good, some bad, that must bethe verdict. Both qualities show more in individual acts than in our army, because the units are more independent. Scoundrels and cowards are, therefore, in abetter position to show their character than in a more disciplined army. In* our description of Mr. J. Walter W allis’s collection of pipes last week we should have said that the photo­graphing was due to him and the printing of the pamphlets and photo -mounts to Mr. Foote. Mr. Wallis has already twice the number of pipes in the heap which were there represented 10,000. The generous donor would like those who have friends at the front who would care for pipes to send their addresses to him at 47, Loughborough Park, Brix- ton, S.W .He also wishes us to express his thanks to a number of our readers who have responded to his request. He finds it impossible to acknowledge separately all the parcels of pipes he has received. “The men are splendid,” wrote General Buller in one of his dispatches. When one reads the letters from Tommies who took part in that desperate struggle tc reach Ladysmith, and sees how calmiy and confidently they met reverse after reverse, o.ie appreciates the meaning of the phrase. After Spion Kop a Bandsman in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers says :“The position was no use owing thereto being no water, and the troops had to retire to their old positions with heavy losses. But we are sure of success. Before another month is out Ladysmith will be relieved.” Another writer after the third attempt to breakthrough the Boer lines :“We are going to attack them again shortly, and the men are all in the best of spirits and anxious to get at them again, and this time 1 am sure we will relieve Ladysm ith.” And they did !Who can wonder that a General, of whom such stories as the follow­ing are told, is popular with the Tommies ?One day when Lord Roberts was driving along the quay at Dublin, he saw a private in the Fusiliers who had been indiscreet and indiscriminate in quenching his thirst and was in consequence un­able to keep 011 the pavement, but rather showed a tendency to get under the wheels of the passing cars. ‘‘Bobs” was equal to the occasion :he stopped and hauled the Tommy 011 to the vacant seat in his car, saying,“ Y ou’ll be safer there than on the pavement.” So the General conveyed the private to the barracks. And the latter did not aftercare that what punishment befell him. Here is another storv (fromM. A .P.) of the popular hero of the hour. Just before Lord Roberts left for South Africa, a friend met him in Sackville Street, and said :“So you are once more going to take the field?” There was a twinkle in the deep-set eyes of Lord Roberts as, with characteristic modesty, he replied:“ I am only going to see what my boys are doing !”What “Bobs’ ”boys have been doing the whole world knows. The letters which have come to hand describing the fighting on Spion Kop show war in its most terrible aspect. “The kraal on the sum m it,” writes a trooper in Thorneycroft’s Mounted Infantry, was a butcher’s shop, men beinj blown to pieces before my eyes. One poor fellow who was covered' with blood begged tome shoot him to put him out of his misery. I could not stand it, and had togo away” A private in the Scottish Rifles sends the following description of the ghastly scene:—“ A shell,” he says, “slid over my back, took the inside out of one man, and went through another’s armand thigh. Another man had both his legs blown off, and the next man had one leg hanging only by the skin. They never murmured. I saw two of the Middlesex burning where the shells had set fire to their clothes.” Such horrors could be multiplied, but these quotations will serve to give an idea of the grim realities of war. I none of the Free State commandoes no less than ten languages are spoken. It looks as if the Austrian Emperor were right when he said that all the riff-raff of Europe was fighting against Britain in the present war. No such confusion of tongues since Babel 1 “regular simply Mr. Henry Somerwell, who organised the volunteer corps at Buenos Ayres and leave him.
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