1900 - Mafeking siege day 195 (89%). Wepener siege day 17 (100%). Dalgety relieved. Boers retire from Wepener and Dewetsdorp. Hamilton and Grobler engaged at Israel's Poort.
1905 - Promulgation of Lyttelton Constitution.
Last night we received warning from native sources that the Boers intended to make an attack on the town to-day, and that it was to be a personally conducted tour by young Eloff, who had been sent from Pretoria to take Mafeking or die in the attempt. He is, or ought to be, very much alive, for his operations were conducted from a safe distance and the town is much as usual. Of late we have been so dull here, that a considerable amount of fictitious enthusiasm was boiled up over this impending attack. Mr. Hamilton of The Times thought it was good enough to sleep in the advanced trench, but the more wary and possibly less enthusiastic, amongst which I include myself, considered a good bed was preferable to an indifferent one. However, I looked out cartridges and laid out weapons when I went to bed, but didn't wake any earlier next morning, and was roused by Ronny Moncreiffe shouting out, "Get up, there is a battle going on." I vainly tried to persuade him to allow me to remain in bed until the enemy were near enough to be dangerous, but he insisted that I should get up and look on. I decided there was no immediate necessity for weapons, and rode off to the nearest telescope to find the enemy. At the B. S. A. P. fort I found the officers of the Protectorate Regiment just coming off the roof, yawning and looking very bored. They told me what had happened up till my arrival, and I went and looked through the telescope for a bit-at our friends the enemy whom we could clearly see. They were firing their guns-and maintaining a heavy musketry fire, though in somewhat purposeless manner about one thousand five hundred yards from our advanced trench. A gentleman on horseback, presumably the dashing Eloff, galloped out from the western laager, and with many gesticulations and fruitless haranguing endeavoured to get them to advance, but they were obdurate. They pitched one or two shells up by the fort,, which were promptly annexed by piccaninnies, as the majority did not burst, and they killed a nigger, and a ricochet hit old Whitfield in the stomach, but, owing to the width of his figure,, the bullet did not penetrate. I think what put them off most was our absolute silence. We did not fire at all except some twenty rounds at some Boers that had been ambushed in the culvert, which had the effect of driving them into some bushes, where they hid for a couple of hours. I really think the people surrounding us here have honestly had enough of it, and it will take a better man than young Eloff to bring them up to the scratch, though there are certainly more Boers about here than there have been for some time. The object of this particular attack was to draw our fire and make us disclose our positions on the western front, and the result was a most conspicuous failure. We refused to be drawn b}' the feint, and so the real attack, which was supposed to be concealed elsewhere, was never able to develop. Apparently the plan was good, like General Trochu's, but it has at any rate so tired them that they have been unable to do anything since.
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