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November 21st 10 years 2 months ago #1480

  • djb
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1899 - Lord Methuen commences his advance for the relief of Kimberley.

In Kimberley:

The prices of meal flour, sugar etc and the allowances as follows per head per day were altered from to-day on the recommendation of the Supply Committee.
(1) Bread 1 lb
(2) or Meal 1 lb
(3) or Flour ¼ lb and meal ¾ lb

Only one of either of these 3 portions to be supplied as persons buying bread are not entitled to meal and flour and Vice Versa.

As enemy has now thrown up 3 works off Kenilworth, which is the only good grazing land left for the cattle I sent out 2 guns this morning to if possible shell them out of Webster’s farm. Enemy opened with shrapnel from near Felstead. The fire of our 2 guns searched Webster’s farm, and the enemy moved their houses under cover in rear. The enemy gun was well worked, and we were lucky to have no casualties. It is a pity they can burst their shrapnel with their Krupp guns at a much longer range than we can with ours. They fired about 20 shells in all. Lt Col Scott Turner was in command and previous to our opening fire estimated the enemy’s numbers at 450.

I am inclined to think that many of the enemy may be moving South. I had a shell fired last evening in to Carter’s farm and another this morning into the Lazaretto, and the enemy’s guns did not reply. It looks as if their guns have been moved South.

De Beers Company has taken up shell making. At a trial to-day they worked really well. Fuse shells and powder were in every way satisfactory. It is not known at present what number can be turned out per day.

The wounded are I am glad to say all doing well. There were only 13 remaining in hospital to-day.

I really am inclined to think that perhaps our greatest danger is from locusts. I have seen enormous clouds of them in the hollow dry districts every day from the Conning tower but we had had good luck so far and they have not come to Kenilworth Wesselton, or to anywhere in the immediate vicinity in large numbers. If they came round the town, and eat up all the remaining grass and vegetables and we could not stop them, it would be really serious.

The difficulty of grazing the cattle has become a serious matter. I am going into it fully to-morrow.

We fired a couple of shells in the evening at the enemy who was showing in some numbers about 4000 yards from the Reservoir.

About 40 head of enemy’s cattle were driven in to-day.

In Ladysmith:

The desultory bombardment went on as usual, except that "Long Tom" did not fire. The Staff is said to have lost heliographic communication with the south. To-day they sent off two passenger pigeons for Maritzburg. The rumour also went that the wounded Dublins, taken to Intombi Spruit, from the unfortunate armoured train, had heard an official report of Buller's arrival at Bloemfontein after heavy losses. Another rumour told that many Boer wives and daughters were arriving in the laagers. They were seen, especially on Sunday, parading quite prettily in white frocks. This report has roused the liveliest indignation, which I can only attribute to envy. In our own vulgar land, companies would be running cheap excursions to witness the siege of Ladysmith—one shilling extra to see "Long Tom" in action.

In the morning they buried a Hindoo bearer who had died of pneumonia. The grave was dug among the unmarked heaps of the native graveyard on the river bank. It took five hours to make it deep enough, and meantime the dead man lay on a stretcher, wrapped in a clean white sheet. His friends, about twenty of them, squatted round, almost motionless, and quite indifferent to time and space. In their midst a thin grey smoke rose from a brazen jar, in which smouldered scented wood, spices, lavender, and the fresh blossom of one yellow flower like an aster. At intervals of about a minute, one of the Hindoos raised a short, wailing chant, in parts of which the others joined. On the ground in front of him lay a sweetly-scented manuscript whose pages he never turned. It was written in the Oriental characters, which seem to tell either of Nirvana or of the nightingale's cry to the rose. At times the other friends tapped gently on three painted drums, hardly bigger than tea cups. The enemy, seeing from Bulwan the little crowd of us engaged upon a heathen rite, threw shrapnel over our heads. It burst and sprinkled the dusty ground behind us with lead. Not one of the Hindoos looked up or turned his face. That low chant did not pause or vary by a note. Close by, a Kaffir was digging a grave for a Zulu woman who had died in childbed. In the river beyond soldiers were bathing, Zulus were soaping themselves white, and one of the Liverpool Mounted Infantry was trying to prevent his horse rolling in four feet of water.

In Mafeking:

20th to 23rd. Daily shelling and sniping. Captain Sandford moved the Boers and the seven-pounders from the western entrenchments. One of these guns they now abandoned with the exception of a picquet.
Dr David Biggins

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Re: November 21st 10 years 2 months ago #1481

  • Mark Wilkie
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Thanks, David ! My daily Boer War dose ! Keep them coming.

Cheers,

Mark

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Re: November 21st 10 years 2 months ago #1484

  • djb
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Mark,

I'm pleased you are enjoying them. I thought today I had better start including Mafeking to the daily digest. I found the diary of Major Baillie so will include that from now on.

Best wishes
David
Dr David Biggins

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Re: November 21st 10 years 2 months ago #1485

  • QSAMIKE
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I am waiting till January then I can poccibly add in the Strathconas Horse Diary with David's permission of course......

Mike
Life Member
Past-President Calgary
Military Historical Society
O.M.R.S. 1591

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Re: November 21st 10 years 2 months ago #1486

  • Mark Wilkie
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djb wrote: Mark,

I'm pleased you are enjoying them. I thought today I had better start including Mafeking to the daily digest. I found the diary of Major Baillie so will include that from now on.

Best wishes
David

A great addition to our daily BW dose, David !

QSAMIKE wrote: I am waiting till January then I can poccibly add in the Strathconas Horse Diary with David's permission of course......

Mike

Looking forward to it, Mike !

Cheers,

Mark

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Re: November 21st 10 years 2 months ago #1487

  • Brett Hendey
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The 'anniversary' thread is an essential early morning read for me and additions such as that promised by Mike give me more to look forward to.

Regards
Brett

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