1900 - Mafeking siege final day 217 (100%). Relief of Mafeking. Methuen enters Hoopstad. Ian Hamilton occupies Lindley. Ladybrand and Clocolan occupied by Colonial Division.
1901 - Civil administration instituted at Johannesburg.
Officers in Mahon's relief column:
Roused out this morning at some ungodly hour to be told they had arrived, and strolled down to the I. L. I. to see Captain Barnes of my old regiment. It appeared that Mahon and Plumer had effected a masterly junction the day before, and that the former, following the only true policy of South African warfare had, as usual, said he was going to do one thing, and done something else, viz., camped out, and then suddenly inspanned and marched into the town. I can't quite convey the feelings of the townspeople, they were wild with delight, and pleased as they were their bonne Louche was to come later. Edwardes and Barnes breakfasted with me and then went back (personally I borrowed a horse from the I. L. I.). About 9 o'clock the guns moved out to the waterworks, and then the fun really began. The Boers had been going to intercept Mahon's entry, but he was a bit too previous. All the morning their silly old five-pounder (locally known as "Gentle Annie") had been popping away, when suddenly the R. H. A. Canadian Artillery and pom-poms began, ably led by our old popguns, who had the honour of beginning the ball. I rode well out, as I wanted to see the other people have a treat, but literally in half an hour all there was left of the laager, which has vexed our eyes and souls so much for long months, was a cloud of dust on the horizon, except food-stuffs, &c, which we looted. I got a Dutch Bible, and from its tidiness I was pleased to see its late owner was a proficient in the Sunday school. So, quietly back to the town, and after the march past of the relief column the relieved troops began. And now, I suppose, after being bottled up for some eight lunar months, I may effervesce. As I have said before, I have seen many tributes to her Majesty and joined in them all, but dirty men in shirt sleeves, and dirtier men in rags on scarecrows of horses touched me up most of all. We were dirty, we were ragged, but we were most unmistakably loyal, and we came from all parts of the world—Canadians, South Africans, Australians, Englishmen, Indians, and our Cape Boys and various other Africans, and there was not one of us who did not respect the other, and know we were for one job, the Queen and Empire, not one.
I wonder how the prisoners felt, poor devils; they must have wished they were not against us. The Boers had certainly executed the smartest movement I had seen for some time; I had not believed it possible that a laager could break up and disperse so rapidly. We all went back to lunch, having recovered Captain McLaren, who, I am glad to say, is doing very well. Then after lunch an alarm was raised that we had rounded up old Snyman, and everybody started off to help - in the operation; but, alas, Snyman knows too much. They said that he and four hundred Boers were surrounded and refused to surrender, and we all wanted as much surrender as we could get—or the other thing. I am glad to say he was hit on the head in the morning with a bit of shrapnel, but not dangerously wounded, unfortunately, at least so they report. He seems equally execrated by Dutch and English — Psalm - singing, sanctimonious murderer of women and children and his son takes after him. I may contradict my previous statements, but his actions have also varied frequently. Well, we had a great dinner; old friends from all parts of the world foregathered, and at our head was Smitheman. Many dinners then combined, and more old friends were met—so to bed, still pleased with England. Men of all sorts and conditions, trades, professions and ranks, relievers and relieved, slept that night in and about Mafeking, with a restless sleep, thinking of what England would think, and we knew and were sorry we couldn't hear what they said.
The garrison in Mafeking hope to get some recognition or decoration, but what they attach particular importance to is receiving the Queen's chocolate.
Immediately after the relief column marched in our Baralongs under Montsoia Wessels, Silas and Sekoko and Josiah, marched off on their own to settle up Abraham Ralinti at Rietfontein, and bring in our trusty ally, Saani. He had been utterly looted, and taken away from his own stadt, and kept a prisoner at Rietfontein, his great notion being that we should have a conference with the Boers, and then lay down what he called "plenty polomite," and blow them up when they came to confer. You cannot get very far ahead of a Baralong. I suppose this is the first occasion on which one black man surrendered under a white flag to another. These Rietfontein rebels have always been against the remainder of the Baralongs, and have invariably fought for the Boers since the disturbed relations between Briton and Boer have existed. I hope they will shoot Abraham, as his people's invariable cunning in stopping our runners has caused us great inconvenience, not to mention the numbers they have killed.
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