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July 24th 9 years 1 month ago #4722

  • djb
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1900 - De Wet reaches Reitzburg. Capture of Retief's and Slabbert's Neks. Howard captures Rooikopjes.
Dr David Biggins

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July 24th 2 months 12 hours ago #77538

  • BereniceUK
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1901 - The Yorkshire Evening Post reported on the Leeds Engineers' drill ground.

...."The Leeds Engineers are a busy corps. After three months hard labour they have converted the upper portion of their drill-ground into a series of modern fortifications. There are long, deep, narrow, winding trenches communicating with splinter-proof shelters in the rear; there is a sample of a Boer rifle pit made for two men, with a head cover of railway sleepers; there are various specimens of rifle loop-holes—some through brickwork, others in steel plates, protected by sandbags, and a third type, which is an ingenious idea of the Adjutant of the regiment (Captain Nelson) consists of a steel rail resting upon railway chairs. A gun epaulement—an earthwork designed to afford protection from a flanking fire—has also been constructed, and one of the most conspicuous objects in the yard is a tressel bridge some 30ft. in length, suitable for all arms.
....Adjoining is the model shed containing four big sand bins, in which on a scale of 1in. to 15ft. have been constructed specimens of the most modern defensive works. In one bin is a complete field redoubt, with its embankments, its shelters, and its maze of trenches. Then there are several stockades made of miniature sandbags, tiny railway sleepers, and small sticks, in shape resembling telegraph poles. Field casements, gun pits, and a variety of other earthworks and bridges are likewise modelled in sand and sticks and stones.
....An important lesson of the war has been taken to heart. The trenches in the yard are made 5ft. deep instead of 3ft. deep, as hitherto, so that a man inside them is practically underground. They are much narrower, too, than of old, and are obviously intended for only one file of men. The need for extending a force as much as possible has again and again been shewn during the progress of the war. The shelters, likewise, are deep, and the cover is composed of such materials as to resist shell-fire. If anyone should still retain the notion that the work of the Volunteers is mere child's play, an inspection of the Engineers' drill ground would instantly dispel such an erroneous impression. The ground is of a most rocky nature, and a tremendous amount of navvying must have been necessary in order to construct some of the outdoor works. But the men do not complain. Their labours are made interesting by the practical military knowledge which they thereby obtain. They have not done yet, but everything is expected to be in readiness for the inspection next month."
Yorkshire Evening Post, Wednesday 24th July 1901
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