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August 13th 9 years 2 months ago #5021

  • djb
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1901 - Gorringe routs Kritzinger's commandos near Steynsburg.

From the 1900 diary of Lt Burne, RN:

Monday, 13th August.—General Hildyard rode up here and expressed himself much pleased with our trenches and defences. I had a talk with him about matters and he does not seem to anticipate a further advance of the 5th Division just yet. However, here we are, and the kop "has a fine healthy air," as the General who was quite blue with cold remarked. Neither my men nor self have had any letters for weeks, which is rather dreary for us; our mails are, no doubt, chasing the Commander-in-Chief at Ermelo. One feels a certain amount of pity for these Boers; they are, owing to their reckless and cunning leaders, in the position of a conquered race, and this position to such a people who are naturally proud, cunning and overbearing must be awful. One notices this much even among the few old men, boys and women who are left on the farms; they display a certain air of dejection and are even cringing till they see that they are not going to be robbed or hurt when their self-confidence soon reasserts itself. There is a typical old Boer farmer and his family living at the foot of Grass Kop; a few presents of coffee and sugar have made this family grateful and quite glad to see us; still one detects the cunning in their nature, and they don't hide for a moment that they wish the English anywhere but in their country. Poor people, they have one good point in their characters which is that they won't hear of anyone running down their President even although he has terribly sold them.
Dr David Biggins

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August 13th 2 months 6 days ago #77924

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1900 - André Chappuis, of Jersey, was released after 284 days in a Harrismith prison.

1900 - A communication from Lord Roberts to a soldier's father.

...."We (Jersey Times) are very pleased to hear that the States Medical Inspector, Dr. P. Chappuis, has received a letter from his eldest son who had been mourned over as killed in the Transvaal war. This gentleman had been confined as a prisoner in Harrismith for 284 days, and three weeks ago was relieved by General Hutton, his privations having been very great, food being scarce, and the cold being so intense that water placed by the prisoners head during the night was frozen in the morning, one blanket only being allowed to cover the prisoner's as they slept on the bare floor. We congratulate Dr. Chappuis on this pleasing intelligence."
The Star [Guernsey], Thursday 13th September 1900

...."Mr. André Chappuis, son of Dr. Paul Chappuis, of Victoria-st, St. Heliers, has just returned to Jersey from Harrismith, where he has been locked up as prisoner by the Boers for 284 days. Mr. Chappuis was a foreman on a farm just midway between Harrismith and Ladysmith. On the 23rd October, 1899, he was on his way to Ladysmith when he met a company of Boers returning from Ladysmith, who made him prisoner and took him to Harrismith. On arrival he endeavoured to obtain his release on the ground of being a Frenchman, but it was three months before any notice was taken of his application, and then it was when the Boers made him the offer to join Colonel de Villebois-Mareuil's company, in which they said he would find many of his countrymen, Mr. Chappuis, however, strenuously refused to fight and as a result was imprisoned for a further seven months, and it was only on August 13th, 1900, when Gen. Hutton, of the Canadians, arrived at Harrismith, that he and 68 other prisoners were released. Of the war he knows absolutely nothing, being completely shut out of all communication ; in fact, it was impossible to send any information, although as much as £50 was offered to the Kaffirs, or runners. We felicitate Mr. Chappuis on his safe return.—Jersey Times."
The Star [Guernsey], Tuesday 20th November 1900

Charles Eugene André Chappuis was born in Jersey, 14th August 1879, and died on 26th December 1923.

...."Mr. J. W. Fawell, farmer, of Danby Wiske, near Northallerton, who has a son serving as a Volunteer with the Yorkshire Regiment, in South Africa, had an impression that his son was in prison. He wrote Lord Roberts for information, and has received the following reply :— Pretoria, 13th August, 1900. Sir,— l am desired by Lord Roberts to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 2nd July, and to inform you that we learn from the officer commanding the Yorkshire Regiment, that your son is in good health and still serving well with his company.—Yours faithfully, Stanley, Colonel, Private Secretary."
York Herald, Tuesday 11th September 1900

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