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August 29th 9 years 1 month ago #5251

  • djb
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1900 - "The men of the Liverpool Regiment who were taken prisoners by General De Wet, and have since escaped, declare that when captured the Boers on approaching them held up their guns above their heads as a sign that they were surrendering. When they were only 50 yards from the Liverpools they fired, catching the Britishers unready. Subsequently, the escapees assert, the Boers deliberately killed the British wounded."

1901 - Lord Kitchener is forwarding to Mr. Steyn and General Botha sworn evidence, which was given before Major General Elliot, showing that Lieutenant John Mair, late of the New South Wales Artillery, but at the time of the 6th Mounted Infantry, and Lance-corporal W Harvey and Private G Blunt, of the 2nd Bedfordshire Mounted Infantry wore shot down by the Boers at Graspan, near Reitz, on June 6, after the three men had surrendered. Mr. Brodrick, the Secretary of State for War, yesterday, in view of the absence of satisfactory assurances respecting the murder of wounded at Vlakfontein, and in view of the occurrence at Graspan, cabled the terms of the proclamation which has been issued by Lord Kitchener. The proclamation declares that members of any commando committing such an outrage (the shooting of men who have surrendered) shall, after a trial proving that they were present at such shooting, all be deemed guilty, that the leader of the commando shall be sentenced to death, and that other members of the commando shall be sentenced to death, or to a less sentence, according to the degree of their complicity in the crime. There is great indignation throughout the kingdom at the Graspan murders. The newspapers express regret for the delay which has taken place in announcing what is one of the worst and saddest episodes of the campaign. The principle of applying collective responsibility for such a crime to any force guilty of such outrages is generally approved, provided the proclamation contains certain necessary safeguards. The issue and the final terms of the proclamation have been left to the judgment of Lord Kitchener. The "Standard" states that Great Britain is humanely resolved to bring home the guilt to the guilty individuals before inflicting punishment. The "Times" doubts the utility of formally proclaiming what the enemy are aware they must expect if they allow the war to generate into murder.
Dr David Biggins

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August 29th 1 month 2 weeks ago #78260

  • BereniceUK
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1900 - The Chester Courant, of Wednesday, 29th August, 1900, published the undated transcript of a letter home by an unnamed trooper of the 23rd Company Imperial Yeomanry.

....It is interesting to know that the J. J. Brocklebank whose name appears in the "London Gazette" as having been given a commission in the 1st Dragoon Guards, on the recommendation of Lord Roberts, is a son of Mr. Thomas Brocklebank. He went out as a gun commander in the 23rd Company Imperial Yeomanry. This gratifying promotion is no doubt a result of Lieutenant Brocklebank's gallant behaviour in the action at Faber's Farm. Lieut. Brocklebank was mentioned in Sir Charles Warren's despatch after that action. His share in that action is thus described by a trooper of the same regiment, in a letter home :—
...."The Colt Gun Section had undoubtedly and admittedly the hottest corner of the whole column. We measured the distance by strides, and found the garden to be about fifty-two yards from our Colt guns, and the hut twenty-five yards. Seventy-two Boers were planted in the garden, and concentrated their fire on our two Colt guns, and the hut was full also, and these men had absolutely safe cover in the hut, and fired from the windows. Paget's horse (eleven of them) lay within twenty yards of the hut, the Colt Gun Section lay about twenty-five yards off it, and the D Troop (D.L.O.Y.) thirty yards off it, and these men in the hut did the crack shooting to our cost. At the first alarm, the Colt gunners grabbed their revolvers (had no rifles then, but have now) and rushed to their guns. God knows why we were not all killed who crossed the few yards of open from our ring to the guns. Inside ten minutes both Colts were literally pumping bullets into the garden at the rate of 400 a minute each, but not for more than five minutes. Bang, bang, crash, on the shields came the heavy Martini bullets, and smash into pieces went No. 2 gun shield, and immediately after No. 1 shield was knocked off unbroken, and Gunner David Rew killed stone dead by a bullet through the temple. Both guns were momentarily out of action. However, Mr. Brocklebank, our officer, got down to us from the other extreme end of the camp (the officers' quarters, at least 250 yards off), and scatheless, too, which was a marvel. He had to run the gauntlet right across the open through the terrible fire. I shall never forget seeing him come up to his own little Colt Gun Section (fourteen of us). He simply rushed into us at a wild run to be in time to get the guns to work, and as he came he shouted, 'Gun Section, Gun Section, stand to your guns! stand to your guns!' I replied, 'We are at them now, sir, all of us, with Sergeant Storey.' He smiled, and said, 'Good ; I thought you would be.' If ever there were two brave, cool men on the face of the globe, and particularly in this fight, those are our young officer and our Sergeant Storey."
....Lieutenant "Jack" Brocklebank has quite won the hearts of the men under him by his consideration for them, and his desire for their comfort. One other pleasing and characteristic story about him that has come from the front is that, having given his blankets to a wounded soldier, he himself was one night without any, in the open, with several degrees of frost. His men discovered this, and four blankets were "found" for him next night.


1922 - Joseph Absalom Travers died at Bradpole, Dorset, today, aged 52.

....Joseph Travers, a platelayer on the Great Western Railway, was walking through the village at the bottom of Middle-street, on Tuesday, when he had a seizure, and before medical aid could be summoned he passed away. Mr Travers saw active service in South Africa during the Boer War and in the late war in France. Apparently he was in the best of health.
The Western Gazette, Friday 1st September 1922

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