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August 15th 9 years 2 months ago #5019

  • djb
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1900 - De Wet escapes Lord Kitchener who moves forward to the relief of Eland's River garrison. Buller reaches Twyfelaar.

From the 1900 diary of Lt Burne, RN:

Wednesday, 15th August.—We have now watched two fights round the town of Amersfoort, about eighteen miles north of us. On the 7th General Buller occupied the place and we were all in readiness to defend our right flank if need be, but our friends the Boers bolted to Ermelo instead of coming our way. We were all rather annoyed at Grass Kop, however, to see a Boer laager with a dozen wagons, guns and ambulances inspan at almost the last moment and slip off under the very noses of our Cavalry who were drawn up in force under a long ridge, doing nothing for an hour at least. This is all the more vexing because for a fortnight or more we had sent in accurate reports as to this very laager which a single flank movement of the Cavalry would have easily taken en bloc, instead of which they paid no attention to our heliograph from Major Adams to "hurry up and at them." These frontal attacks on towns without flanking movements seem to be absurd, as the enemy and his guns invariably get away under our noses. To-day General Buller occupied Ermelo, but as ill-luck will have it the commandos which split up before him have come south-east and are giving trouble on the Natal border.
Dr David Biggins

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August 15th 2 months 4 days ago #77959

  • BereniceUK
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1900 - A pro-Boer display provokes two nights of disturbances in Belfast, Ireland.


....A disturbance, which for a time threatened to assume serious proportions, occurred yesterday morning in Royal Avenue and North Street. About ten o'clock a crowd of youths organised an attack on a Nationalist arch—certainly of an exceptionally objectionable character—which had been erected in Winetavern Street—presumably in celebration of Lady Day. An opposing crowd soon collected, and some very lively stone-throwing followed. The police were rather weak in numbers at the commencement of the row, but they were expeditiously reinforced with the result that the crowds were scattered before much damage had been done to the property in the locality. They were able to make two arrests, and the manner in which the prisoners were subsequently dealt with by the magistrates in the Custody Court is reported below. The arch referred to, in addition to other mottoes, bore the mysterious words, "Let England not forget there's a day of reckoning yet," while two portraits—presumably of the noted Boer general—were inscribed "Bravo, De Wet" and "Remember Spion Kop."
....In the Custody Court yesterday, before Messrs. Garrett Nagle, R.M. and James Jenkins, two youths named Patrick M'Dowell. 37, Conway Street, and Patrick Gallagher, M'Kibbin's Court, were summoned for riotous behaviour. The latter was also summoned for assaulting Constable Hill.
....Mr. J. S. Osborne (for Mr. Spiller) prosecuted on behalf of the police, and the prisoners were not professionally represented.
....Constable Hill stated that he had arrested M'Dowell at ten o'clock yesterday morning at the corner of Union Street. There was a considerable commotion and disturbance in that part of the city. Two parties were throwing stones, one from Union Street, and the other from Royal Avenue. The crowd at the latter place numbered 300, and the one at Union Street fifty. A party of boys came up North Street, apparently from the Island, armed with sticks. He believed stones were thrown at that party and they retaliated. He saw the prisoner M'Dowell in the Union Street crowd, and saw him throw stones repeatedly. He arrested the prisoner, but was obliged to let him go as he was by himself. He was surrounded, struck in the face, and kicked. Afterwards he rearrested the prisoner in North Street, when he came to the barracks quietly.
....To Mr. Nagle—He was assaulted by the prisoner Gallagher, but it was Constable Murphy who proved the assault.
....Constable Murphy deposed that he had arrested the prisoner Patrick Gallagher about ten o'clock in North Street for assaulting Constable Hill and also for trying to rescue the prisoner. He saw Gallagher strike the constable in the face with a stone, also on the back, and kick him. Gallagher was also throwing stones at the police in Royal Avenue, and witness preferred a charge of riotous behaviour as well as one of assault against him. After arrest he admitted the charge.
....Mr. Nagle said this stone-throwing was a very outrageous thing in the city. As far as the magistrates were concerned, unfortunately their jurisdiction was limited, and the largest penalty they could impose for riotous behaviour was 40s and costs. This was the only charge against M'Dowell, therefore the magistrates' hands were tied. They considered the fine inadequate, and if they had power they would have sent him to jail for a lengthened period. In addition to the fine, M'Dowell would have to give two sureties of £5 each to keep the peace for twelve months. Respecting Gallagher, there was not only a charge of riotous behaviour, but also one of an outrageous assault on Constable Hill. He would have to go to jail for four calendar months.

....The rumour had got afloat during the day that some of the Islandmen were identified with the rowdyism in the morning, and consequently it was expected that the disturbances would be renewed on their return from work in the evening, but fortunately this did not happen. All of the men proceeded to their various homes without molesting or being molested. Unhappily, however, a most unexpected scene of disorder ensued in the neighbourhood of Brown Square Barracks shortly before ten o'clock. How it originated cannot be definitely stated, but it is believed that the principal offenders were importations from other districts in the city, and that their main object was plunder. They appear to have made their way singly into the district, and in order to create a row attempted an attack in the direction of North Street. The police, however, proved too strong for them, and, driven back, they collected into a mob, their numbers being increased by others, who, though peaceably disposed, were attracted to the scene by curiosity. The roughs then succeeded in driving the police off the thoroughfare, and directed a fusilade of stones at the block of buildings between Christopher Street and Israel Street. The windows in most of the houses were badly smashed, but this was not all. Having the field entirely to themselves, the disturbers broke into some of the premises, and pillaged the contents. The shop of Messrs. Beattie & M'Vea, tobacconists, was practically wrecked, and the windows of an adjoining public-house and fruiterer's shop were broken. In the meantime the police were reinforced by contingents drawn from country barracks, and under Chief-Commissioner Moriarty, District-Inspectors Seddall and Kelly, were effectively handled, several baton charges being made. While this was proceeding a crowd of the Nationalist element, including a great many importations also, assembled at Peter's Hill, and from there directed a counter attack. They wrecked the premises of a publican named Kelly, and made free with the contents of his house. Quiet was restored about eleven o'clock.
Belfast News-Letter, Thursday 16th August 1900

Royal Avenue, Belfast
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