During the mobilisation of tens of thousands of men and the transportation of the materiel of war to the seat of conflict, it is inevitable that there will be mishaps whilst going about these huge logistical movements.
One such incident befell the men of the Black Watch before they even left our shores. These casualties will not show up in the casualty lists of Palmer, Hayward or Watt as they had not set foot on South African soil.
From the Rhyl Recorder and Advertiser dated Saturday, 6th January 1900; p. 5:
TWELVE "BLACK WATCH" MEN INJURED"
"The Press Association's Perth correspondent telegraphs:- Shortly before seven o'clock, on Tuesday eveninginformation was received at Perth that a serious accident had occurred to a special train, consisting of a dozen carriages, carrying 150 Seaforth Highlanders from Fort Georgia and seventy-five men of the 3rd Battalion Black Watch (Militia) on their way to Southampton, en route for South Africa.
It is said that at Blackford, about twenty miles from Perth, the train was run into a loop-line to allow the 5:47 postal express from Perth to pass, and that, on the station officials giving the signal for it to proceed, in some unaccountable way, instead of coming out, it dashed back against the buffers at the end of the line, with the result that the two rear carriages were telescoped and a dozen men injured.
The three rear carriages were occupied by the Black Watch. Of the injured men, one had a leg broken, and seven had bruised limbs, while the others had scalp and other wounds. The ambulance corps from Perth Station was at once sent out by special train, and eight of the injured men were conveyed to Perth.