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May 1st 9 years 8 months ago #2936

  • djb
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1900 - Mafeking siege day 201 (92%). Boers driven from Houtnek by Ian Hamilton. General Hart occupies Smithfield.
1901 - Fresh instructions issued to martial law administrators in Cape Colony.
1902 - 1st - 10th - Last drives in the N.E. O.R.C. Capture of Manie Botha in the Brandwater Basin.

In Mafeking:

We expect a mail today, and this dashing fellow Eloff promised us another attack. He has made it. It was the usual sort of performance, and they blazed away for two or three hours and didn't hit anybody. I got up and looked on, because I felt I ought to, but I was rather cross and very bored. If the fools want to fight, why don't they do it? They are doing themselves no good, and not attaining any object whatsoever. Colonel Baden-Powell told them some months ago they would not take Mafeking " by sitting and looking at the place," but even now, if they would sacrifice two or three thousand men, they might get in, but I am afraid they will never try. They make me quite angry, they are so stupid. Here they are, daily losing one or two men, and the greatest success they can show is a few stolen cows, whereas if they would come on and fight properly they wouldn't lose very many more men than they have already, and we should have a chance of a show. Seriously speaking though, it is their duty to take this place, and it is very disheartening waiting for them to try to. We got our pigeon mails to-day; unfortunately, no news whatsoever. We have not received any decisive news or had any optimistic rumour confirmed for weeks, and in fact our last good news is Cronje's mop up. Isn't there an old figure in some square dance or other called the chassez croissee? It seems to be fashionable out here. I don't like square dances or slow generals. As I telegraphed to you this morning my general sensation is that of an aching void. The only satisfaction I can derive therefrom is the certainty that most of my friends and acquaintances will be much amused at my being kept quiet an}'where on short commons. Tom Greenfield is looking terribly hungry, but then with his length he naturally takes more filling up than ordinary mortals. Godley, too, looks as if he could do with a bit more, but he always is thin. We have got a very tall lot of men here, Cecil, Tom Greenfield, Godley, Fitzclarence, Bentinck, all make an ordinary six-foot individual feel small, and McKenna isn't exactly short. If we have length represented we also have breadth, which even our present rations are unable to reduce. I am certainly not going to quote a nominal roll of these individuals, as they are fine strong men and I can't get away.
Dr David Biggins

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