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November 18th 10 years 2 months ago #1449

  • djb
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1899 - General Wauchope re-occupies Naauwpoort.


General Wauchope

I always thought this was pronounced Way-Shope but a visit to the Regimental Museum in Perth corrected this to Walk-up.

In Kimberley:

Early in the morning enemy moved 2 guns from Intermediate pumping station to near Felstead and it appeared from the numbers opposite Kenilworth, that he intended attacking that suburb. In consequence 2 guns RFA and a larger force of mounted troops than usual were kept near the outskirts of Kenilworth during the day. Nothing however happened, and in the evening the 2 guns were taken back by the enemy to the Intermediate pumping station.

About 70 of enemy’s cattle were driven in to-day.

I have considered it desirable to give Captain Gorle ASC the local rank of major; he is president of the very important supply committee and has very important duties to perform in conjunction with the Mayor and other town officials. I think that the rank may assist him in his work.

Enemy fired 19 shells at the town to-day. None were fired at Beaconsfield or Premier Mine.

The enemy appears to have collected a very large number of cattle. It would appear that there are at least 1500 grazing near Alexandersfontein, and there must be nearly that number at the Intermediate Pumping station, and in the pan beyond it.

The health of the town continues good, and I am glad to say there have been no additional cases of small pox reported.

2 new searchlights have been started, one at the end of Kenilworth at De Beers machine No 2 and the other at the Reservoir – these will I hope prevent the enemy from creeping up towards this place during the night.

It is difficult to calculate with any degree of accuracy what transport would be available in Kimberley in case of an advance from here. The Regimental transport of the following corps is complete.

All British Corps and the Diamond Fds Artillery.

The following Corps have no transport.

Kimberley Lt Horse - 374
Cape Mounted Police - 348
Diamonds Fields Horse - 198
Kimberley Regt - 414

10 Brick wagons, 1 donkey wagon and 10 light wagons all with animals complete are available in town, and possibly as many as 20 more light wagons and animals could also be purchased or hired here at a high rate. Harness is rather scarce. De Beers Co would also in case of real necessity place their 500 mules at Her Majesty’s disposal.

In Ladysmith

The bombardment was continued without much energy. The balloon reported that the Boers were occupied in putting up more guns on Bulwan. Rumour says there will be thirteen in all, a goodly number for a position which completely commands the town from end to end. All day the shells had a note of extra spite in them as they came plunging among the defenceless houses. But they did no great harm till evening. As a rule the Boers cease fire about half-past six, and some twenty of us then settled down to dinner at the hotel—one or two officers, some doctors, and most of the correspondents. We had hardly begun to-night when a shell from "Silent Susan" whistled just over the roof and burst in the yard. Within five minutes came the louder scream of another. It crashed over us, breaking its way through the hotel from roof to floor. We all got up and crowded to the main entrance on the street. The shell had struck a sidewall in the bar, and glanced off through the doorway without exploding. Dr. Stark, of Torquay, was standing at the door, waiting for a place at dinner, and talking to Mr. Machugh, of the Daily Telegraph. The shell struck him full in the thigh, leaving his left leg hanging only by a piece of flesh, and shattering the right just at the knee. "Hold me up," he said, and did not lose consciousness. We moved him to the hospital, but he died within an hour. I have little doubt that the shells were aimed at the hotel, because the Boers know that Dr. Jameson and Colonel Rhodes are in the town. But the man killed was Dr. Stark, a strong opponent of the Chamberlain policy, and a vigorous denouncer of the war's injustice.

The havoc of the siege is gradually increasing, and the prospect of relief grows more and more distant. Just after midnight the Boers again aroused us by discharging all their guns into the forts or the town, and again the people hurried away to their caves and culverts for protection. The long Naval guns replied, and then all was quiet.
Dr David Biggins
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Re: November 18th 10 years 2 months ago #1454

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A picture from the ILN of the moment when Dr Stark was killed and below the plaque in the pavement outside the hotel.



Dr David Biggins
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Re: November 18th 5 years 2 months ago #49937

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1899 - From the diary of Trooper A J Crosby, Natal Carbineers

Rose’s Birthday. Woke at 2 a.m. when my thoughts conveyed my best wishes. Went to sleep again and was mercifully left till 5 o’clock omitting early parade, which all thoroughly appreciated. After stables, was put on fatigue duty that finished me. Slept remainder of morning. All were given leave till 5.30. A football match took place between a mixed team of Natal Carbineers and Natal Mounted Rifles and the Gordons, the latter winning by two goals to one. About half hour after commencement of play a shell burst amongst them causing much consternation. Fortunately no one was hurt. After the football the officers played polo - several mounted on mules. A shell burst in front of the Royal Hotel taking both legs off a civilian doctor who was standing in the doorway. He died shortly after. Several people who were standing close by escaped.
Dr David Biggins

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Re: November 18th 5 years 2 months ago #49940

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Absolutely fascinating and pause for thought as to the privations that the populace of Ladysmith were forced to undergo through no fault of their own during the awful siege.

djb wrote: A picture from the ILN of the moment when Dr Stark was killed and below the plaque in the pavement outside the hotel.



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November 18th 5 years 2 months ago #49983

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1899 - From the diary of Miss Bella Craw in Ladysmith

Another week gone and we feel in exactly the same position as we were two weeks ago. Long Tom drops a shell in amongst us when we least expect it, just to remind us he is still here. There was a football match down at the Gordon Highlanders' Camp this afternoon. One of his shells, they say, landed in one tent in which there was no one, and. buried itself between that and the next one in which a lot of men were playing nap. It scattered dust all over but they never moved, went on playing, so did the footballers. This just shows how used one gets to them and yet you always feel you must dodge them and hope they won't come anywhere near.

We played tennis this afternoon and had a real live Lord here! He came to see Captain Arnot and sat and watched the tennis. He is very tall and wears an eye-glass and his name is Lord Creighton. He is a Guardsman, but is now on General Brocklehurst's Staff. Mr. Fred Tatham and a Mr. Walker were here this afternoon and Aunt Fanny said I must go up town and see if I can manage to get a chicken for Colonel Green, who, by the way is still in bed. This Mr. Walker said there are two in the garden, now shall we commandeer them. They went outside and in no time had one. We don't know who they belong to.
Dr David Biggins

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November 18th 3 years 11 months ago #57433

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1899 - From the diary of Major George Tatham, Natal Carbineers

Boers fired a few shells into town, also a little rifle fire from various Boer camps without damage. About 7 p.m. shell struck Royal Hotel and cut off Dr. Stark's leg.

That night Boers commenced shelling us about 12.50 a.m. (following morning) and one shell from Pepworth's Hill landed within few feet of own conservatory, smashing all glass, etc. Wife and other ladies from house retired to shelter in garden, also some of the patients, others of these remaining in their beds. Firing shortly ceased and all returned to their rooms and I to camp. Took observations with theodolite to fix site near Weenen or Highlands Station for signalling, saw McFie's black wattle plantation near Highlands Station. Some black prisoners came in from Umbulwana.
Dr David Biggins

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