ONE OF THE BATTLES OF HISTORY. The" Daily Chronicle" War Correspondent tele. •graphs:— Modder River Military Camp. Thursday, November 30th. The battle of the Modder River will be long re flQeiwbered as the most sanguinary and fiercely CO" 1t1:ed engagement that has so far occurred in the (present war. In their rKreat north after the actions of Belmont and Enlin Hill the enemy determined to offer a stubborn resistance to the advance of the Kimberley Relief column, and chose for this purpose a position on the Modder River. They could not have had a better. They were well upplÍl-d wit.h artillery, and the bridge over the Modder had been wrecked so as to make it im- passable. The Boer commandant, with t'he river between him and the relipf force, must have felt that it would require a whole Army Corps to drive Tiim out. But he did not reckon on the bravery of the British infantry and. the precision of its rifle fire, and that of our artillery. The Boer position can easily be described. On the south side of the Modder there is a vast plain stretching a-s far a-the eye can reach along the river. The north bank had beeen strongly fortified. On the east side of the bridge stands the Retail's Junction Hotel and the Farm Hotel, stone build- ings with a number of outhouses of galvanised iron, wholf surrounded by trees. This group of buiidii:g> was the centre of the Boer position. Here the main body of the enemy was ooncentrated. On the right the enemy's line extended two miles. On the reft from the bridge it extended three miles, reaching beyond the border into the Free State territory. The Boer left flank rested on a farmhouse jusb across the border. The farm was surrounded with •earthworks, on which two guns were mounted. There were also two guns on the extreme right, and others were distributed along the line. Ooaa 10 the bridge were several guns, including a Long om. The enemy was better equipped in thp way of heary ordnance than the British force. About 100 yards in advance of the centre the enemy had a small post. Along the whole of his front he had dug rifle pits strengthened with breastworks or sand riveted with galvanised iron plates, and with parapets of sand ■banks. Ihese works were admirably constructed, &nù gave the riflemen absolutely bullet-proof cover. W eave now ascertained that ever since Sunday 'the Boers from both the Free State and the Trans- vaal were pouring into the Modder River position. There must have been fully 10,000 present on the day of battle. Lord Methuen did not anticipate en- countering such a strong force here. Commandants Cronje and Delarey, of Kimberler, were in command. The enemy received a. very heavy Temforcement from Jaoobsdal on Sunday night. The British force, consisting of the Scots Guards, Grenadier* and Coldstroams, under Sir Henry Col- L- •N|'or,h"ml>erland Fusiliers and West York- shire Regiment, under General Pole-Carew • and *he 9th Lancers, the XeW South Wales Lancers, the Mounted Infantry, and >hree batteries of Royal Field Artillery, advanced from Gragspan on Monday, ■and camped five miles from the Modder River thafe ■alight. At daylight on Tuesday thev advanced to the attack. Our patrols of Lanoers and Mounted Infantry drew the enemy's fire all along the line The engagement hegan at five o'clock, one of our •batteries opening fire against the enemv's extreme deft, at a range of 4-.500 yards. At our third shot the enemy s guns at the farm-house on the left re- plied, sending several shells in quick succession into the midst of our battery and its cavalry escort. In a few minutes the artillery duel became general •along the line, our batteries engaging the Boer centre and right. The Boer shells fell fast. Their •range was excellent, but. happily, few exploded. Aft^r two hours of this artillery engagement, the infantry brigades deployed under cover of our artil- lery, and the line advanced. On the right were the ficots Guards, then the Grenadiers and Coldstream a, •nd then the West Yorkshires and the Northumber- tande. and half a battalion of the I^ancashires. The :1,.t Argyll and Si/therland Highlanders, under Col. -Crough arrived just in time to participate in the ■(light. But they were at first pushed forward to support the Guards on the right, but later on were Ataed to reinforce the 9th Brigade on our left. The enemy hailed shells on our infantry, but not e rifle shot was fired at the British until 'they were "within 300 yards of the Boer position. Then a fear- ful rifle fire broke out from the intrenchments, supplemented by that of several Nordenfeldts and "Maxim-. The bullets poured upon our advancing ihne. but all the time it was absolutely impossible to catch a glimpse of the enemy. Our men fired all best they oould. While under this withering fusilade they fell in scores. There was no cover procurable, so the order was given for the men to lie down. and for three hours it rained lead without inter- jrussion. I have never seen such a terrible fire as ♦he British were exposed to. It meant instant death 4.o and upright. By a series of short rushes our men sought to get 4o close quarters with the enemy. Bravely and weil they fought. Undismayed by the torrent of shot and •hell, the British strove to press forward, pouring ■volley after volley into the enemy's works. The jground was strewn with our dead. The British officers set a magnificent example to men, sacrificing themselves unhesitatingly. Thus fell Colonel Stopford, of the Coldstreams, and many others, till the ground was littered with our dead. At length the Scots Guards reached the bed of dried-up watercourse. They dashed into it, while the hail of the enemy's bullets swept over their ;h»>ads. Then up the slope of the opposite bank they climbed, rill they stood again on the level ground, fully exposed to the enemy's fire from across the river. The cover afforded by the watercourse n-as gone, and [hey were assailed in front and flank by a murderous fire. It simply rained bullets. No one could live under «hi> sweeping fire, and they lost heavily. Meanwhile, the Grenadiers and Coldstreams. and ithe Northurnberiands, the Highlanders, and the Test of the 9th Brigade, were pushing gallantly for- ward 011 both sides of the railwav which bisected our ^advancing line. The railway line is here higher Jthan the surrounding plain, and every one who tried to advance along it was hit. The whole of our line was now about 600 yards irom the south bank of the river, and taking advan- tage of the little cover procurable, our infantry lay for hours returning the Boer fire. Still not one of the enemy was to be seen. It was at best haphazard shooting. No soldiers save ritish could have endured such a trying experience. Several rushes were now made for the river at various points. A company of the Argyll and Suther- land Highlanders succeeded in getting across, but they heavily, and had to fall back to thesoirh bank. W" found five of their dead in the Boer intrench merits to-day. The Northumberland* and the Guards also attempted the desperate task, and the former surprised a number of the enemy, who •were an bayoneted. While the Argyll- were pushing across the river they were fired on from the house, and several fell, on which a dozen of the Highlanders -tormed the house, and, though the enemy hoisted the white flag, no quarter wa- iriven. They were all-hot. The enemy had acted most unscrupulously, -hpllinjt our field hospital, ,"0 that some of our wounded -were killed, and repeatedly firing on our stretcher parties. Col. Codrington. of the Coldstream-, with twenty f his men, and Colonel Seedheim. of the Queens- land Volunteer-, despite a terrible fire, swam across the river, and closely reconnoitred the enemy. They had to -wim back through the deep river and the strong current joining hand-. Two of the men ""pre swept away. and Codrinroll was rescued from the stream with difficulty. In the afternoon our artillery concentrated its fire on the centre of the Boer position, our Naval Battery on the left, making some very fine shooting. At three o'clock the 62nd Battery of the Royal Artillery, with a detachment of the Munster Fusi'lers, arrived by train from Orange River "tation. This was a very welcome reinforcement. The effect of our artillery fire was soon visible. That of the enemy slackened, and then ceased, ex- cept the Long Tom in the centre, which blazed 2I.way to the last. The Briti"h shelJ, werp setting fire to the buildings held by the enemy along the river bank, and drove him out. many of the houses collapsing. Our shells must have killed hundreds of the Boer' in the trenches. We ascertained to-day that the enemy were terri- fied by the effect of our shells. Xumhers of them 1hr"w.down their rifles and fled. The contingent headed hy Cronjp retreated about o'clock towards Lang-berg. Oilier- followed in quick succession, heading for .(acok-dal. The firing continued on both side- till darkn<> = closed in. About eight o'clock the main body of the enemv re- tired. taking the guns with In all, the fight .lasted fourtpplI houq. To-day the British again shelled the Boer position, and when there was no reply, a. cavalry patrol i ro-sspd rite river, and discovered ¡ har the enemy had fled. They visited the Boer entrenchments, and the dead Uring everywhere. There were a No numerous graves where the enemy had buried a. number of t h" slain. Thp buildings occupied hy the enemy were masses of smoking ruins. The column cros-sed to-da. and Í. now in filii posse-siou of both banks of the river. flnr cavalry pursued the enemy for some taking a number of prisoners. Lord Methuen has onsratulated the troops on the hardest-won victorv in our jum&la of war,
SUMMARY OF THE CASUALTIES. The War Office on Saturday issued a complete list of the casualties at Modder River, of which the following is a summary: Regiment: Killed. Wounrt'd. Missing. Total. Staff Officers 1 1 2 Men — 1st Coldstreams Officers. — — Men 20 20 2nd Coldstreams Officers 2 1 3 Men 10 56 66 3rd Grenadiers Officers — 3 — 3 Men 8 40 4 52 1st Soots: Officers 2 2 Men 10 37 1 48 2nd Yorkshire L. I. Officers 1 3 4 Men 8 46 54 lstl.ova.iN Lancashire: Officers 1 1 Men 3 16 19 1st Argyle & Sutherland: Officers — 2 u — 2 Men. 15 92 2 109 Royal Engineers: (iffieers — 1 — 1 Men — — — Medical: Officers — 1 1 Men — — — 9th Lancers: Officers — — — — Men — 1 — •• 1 Remington Guides < >fficers — — Men 3 — 3 Field Battery Officers — 4 — 4 Men — — — — 18th Battery F.A. Officers — — Men — 9 — 9 62nd Battery F.A. Officers — — — — Men 4 — 5 75th Batten F.A. Otli,-ers — Men 2 11 13 7th Company, H.E.' Officers — — — •• — Men — 2 — 2 Northumberland Fusiliers Officers — — — — Men 11 34 — 45 R.A. Medical Corps Officers — — — Men — I — 1 South African Reserve Officers — — — -> — Men — 1 — 1 Grand Totals 72 392 -1.. m The record of killed given in the table above does not include the men who were reported wounded, md subsequently died. They numbered five. At last we have the list of killed and wounded at Modder River. with a total of 475. It is a heavy roll, and nearly double the length of those of pre- ceding battles in this war. It will be sa(l, reading for hundreds of homes, and the realities of warfare will be felt in a very tragic manner. Yet, heavy as it is, we cannot be so much surprised as shocked by it. If the exaggerated estimates of a thousand had been approached there would indeed have been grave cause for national lamentation, but in face of the warning Lord Methuen gave us in the brief and unsatisfactory despatch after the battle, that it was one of the hardest fight-i in the annals of the British army, five hundred is not an alarming figure. Tho list of officers, with only four killed and 19 wounded, which was given on Friday, was happily light compared with the rank and file, a result, we may well believe, of the similarity of garb for all, which prevents the use of the Boers' special corps for picking out the officers. A few comparisons will be instructive. At Glencoe out of total casualties of 229. 12 officers were killed and 21 wounded at Elandslaagte (total 262), 6 were killed and 29 wounded; at Rietfontein only one officer was killed and six wounded out of 116 but at Farquhar's Farm and Nicholson's Nek six killed and ten wounded was tho share of the officers in 294 casualties. That is one of the few satisfactory facts to be derived from the latest roll. The proportion of killed to wounded is very near the average for the whole war. Our total losses are, over 3,300, but twelve hundred are missing," and will be found at Pretoria when peace is made or we take the capital. There are under four hundred killed and over eighteen hundred wounded, and the proportion at Modder was 76 to 392, the latter having a slightly heavier mortality. Coming to the regiments, we find the Northumber- land Fusiliers with the heaviest mortality, one man being killed to three wounded, while the Scots Guards had one to four, the 2nd Coldstreams, the 3rd Grenadiers, the 2nd Yorksnire Light Infantry, and the Argylls varying from one to five to one to six. The Argylls lost heavily indeed. A hundred and fourteen killed and wounded is equivalent to ten per cent. of the full strength of the regiment, so that it may truly be remarked they were decimated. Why they should have suffered so severely we may learn from the accounts of the battle which are so long in coming. They had only just arrived at the camp, and it is supposed that, being fresh and eager, they were given the hard'-st task, but there were no kopjes to climb an(I storm, and in a duel of marks- men it is somewhat strange that one regiment should nearly double the losses of any other. Perhaps we shall find that the Boer Artillery is responsible, for a few explosive shells in the midst of a regiment would do much havoc. The Guards Brigade once more figures largely in the casualties, the 2nd Cold- streams with 69, the Grenadiers with 55, the Scots with 50, and the 1st Coldstreams with 20—a total if 194 for the brigade. The 2nd Yorkshire Light [nfantry. however, come third with 58, of whom four were officers, and the North Lancashire had 20. ')ne gratifying omission from the list is that of the Naval Brigade, who had a definite position given hem on the railway. After the frightful losses at Enslin, when the Marines had 46 per cent. on the roll, it is a welcome cha.nge to find they escaped larm Tor once.
LORD METHUEN'S DIVISION. The War Office on Saturday received the following despatch — Cape Town, Dec. 1st. Gatacre reports no change in situation. French made a reconnaissance from Nauwport. Rose- mead troops returned to-day. Methuen's flesh wound slight. Remaining at Modder River for reconstruction of bridge, and am reinforcing him with Highlanders and Cavalry Corps Horse Artillery. The Canadian Regiment, Australian contingents, and three battalions of Infantry here moved up to the line to De Aar, Belmont.
POSITION AT KIMBERLEY. BOER LAAGER CAPTURED BY PROTECTORATE POLICE. The War Officc has is-vied the appended despatch 'rom the General Commanding at Cape Town to .he Secretary of State for Var: < Received December 3rd, 7 45 p.m.) Cape Town. Dec. 3rd, 5-5 p.m. Kekewich reports, under date of November 30th, that the Bechuanaland Protectorate Police captured the enemy's laager to the west of Kimberley on November 28th. Communication by searchlight with Kimber- ley from the Modder River has been estab- lished.
SHELLING LADYSMITH AGAIN. 10,000 BOERS ABOUT THE TOWN. IMPUDENT MESSAGE TO SIR GEORGE WHITE, ["Morning PoAt" Second Edition Telegram.] L-ady,mitb, Nov. 25th, via Pietermaritzburg, Nov. 30th. The chief feature of the Ia.st three days has been the deliberate shelling of the town, especially the hospital. Schalkburgher. commanding the Boers, impudently sent a message that the wounded must o to Skombi Camp. General White peremptorily refused. The burghers then continued to shell the hospital. Much more damage has been done to the town recently. The Liverpool* and the remnants of the Gloueeter,, lost eleven killed and wounded yesterday. Several civilians and members of the Natal Police were killed and injured. The Boers probably number 10,000. The siege is strong. rhe health of the troops is good, but tkey are mpatient under the delay.
) THE BATTLE OF ENSLIN. RANGES MEASURED BY THE BOERS. GALLANTRY OF MARINES. Additional details which have been received of the fighting on the Western frontier, show how severe was the task imposed upon Lord Methuen's columns both at Belmont and Enslin. Most of the kopjes were over 200ft. in height. They were furrowed with trenches, and the ground had been carefully measured to find the ranges. The enemy were well informed of the British movements, and had carefully prepared their plan of campaign. t TOnslin the armoured train advanced slowly in front of the column, and was already in action when the troops reached the battlefield. Lord Methuen deployed the cavalry on the Hanks, while the artillery t.ok up a position to shell the Boer trenches. At the same time the Ninth Brigade was sent forward in skirmishing order. At six o'clock in the morning all artillery duel began. The enemy's guns were «|)]endidlv posted, and they had the range to a nicety. Shell after shell burst right over our batteries, but ,ir men stuck to their guns. One shell struck the armoured train. Subsequently our guns withdrew distance of one thousand vartk. This affected the enemy's marksmanship, but our artillery continued to make splendid practice, the Boers only replying at ulÍery¡tk Meanwhile the infantry were moving forward in preparation for attack. The Northamp- ton", worked from the left to the right, where they Verc joined by the Yorkshires and Northumberlands A rter three hours of the. duel. Lord Methuen ordered a general advance, and our infantry swarmed forward in magnificent style in face of a scathing they adxaausd. .Ike. tfOQ, .J;ar.iCo?'. COYP-t. returned the Boer fire, and forging steadily ahead compelled the enemy to abandon their first position. Our cavalry charged 200 Boers who were retreating across the plain, and succeeded in catching tip the enemy's rear dose to a kopje. where they were sheltering. The Lancers found the kopj alive with Boers, and were consequently forced to retire. The capture of the second line of kopjes, every cne of which were strongly held, was only accomplished after very severe fighting. but nothing could resist the impetuous advance of the British Infantry, who continued steadily onward to the last of the enemy's positions. Here the fighting was fearful. The brunt of it was borne by the Marines. Though their officers were falling on all sides the men clambered undauntedly up and over the boulders. Nothing could stop their rush. The remnant of the Bocrs fled to the plain, where the 9th Lancers were unable to follow them, their horses being exhausted. The detachment of the New South Wales Lancers, how- ever, intercepted one party of the enemy attempting to retreat, and charging forced them back to their former position. The enemy were capably com- manded. but their rout was complete. v
BRITISH LOSSES. The following is a summary of British losses to date Mafeking, Oct. 15 7 2 17 Oct. 24 6 9 — Oct. 30-31 3 4 — Talana Hill and Glencoe, Oct. 20-26 48 221 208 Elandslaagte, Oct. 21 51 213 Crocodile River, Oct. 22 3 3 4 Rietfontein, Oct. 24 12 104 2 Kimberley, Oct. 2'4 3 21 Nov. 5 — — „ Nov. 16 — 3 „ Nov. 18.23 3 Nov. 26 2 ? ? Ladysmith Farquhar's Farm, Oct. 28—Nov. 2 23 134 (VIT Nicholson's Nek 44 150 j Sulwana Hill, Nov. 3 3 20 Nov, 3 1 12 Nov. 7 — 1 — Nov. 9 — 1 — Rhodesia, Nov. 2 — — 6 Kenilworth, Nov. 4 1 Selmestdoft, Nov. 4 1 1 — Belmont, NL\V. 10 2 4 — 11 Nov. 23 52 240 2 .)rai-i;e River 1 Kunuiian, Nov. 13-20 1 1 Kstcourt, Nov. 15 1 18 45 Mooi River, Nov. 19 3 Nov. 21 1 2 Nov. 22 3 Arundel, Nov. 22 3 Tugela Drift Nov. 23 1 Willow Grange, Nov. 23 13 65 9 Enslin, Nov. 25 26 164 7 Modder River, Nov, 28 • 76 392 7 15 383 1,816 1,135 Grand total, 3,334.
THE DEADLY SHRAPNEL „ l SHELL. According to Lord Methuen, the part played by the artillery and their shrapnel shell in the Modder River fight was no minor one, and at this stage of hostilities in South Africa some particulars will be of general interest. The bullets in this shell will find, cut. and kill men concealed behind rocks and intrenchments. Each shell scatters 200 bullets over a space of 24 square yards. Life within that space is impossible for man or beast. But for this shell the British soldiers would be unable to hold their own against the superior numbers of the Bctrs. It is admitted that on the effective use of this weapon depends the safety of the British army new in Natal. This has been practically the first time England has brought into play her new rapid- firing field guns. A; Omdurman Lord Kitchener employed high-powdered field pieces, but the :weapon of the Sirdar lacked many of the nice adjusting features and qualities of steadiness possessed by the .batteries in Natal. At Gleacoe, shrapnel fire delivered by the English guns proved effective at 3,800 yards. The shrapnel shell of the new English field gun weighs about 151b. The shell itself is but a piece of steel tubing filled with small balls. The balls weigh 42 to tho pound, cr a trifle ever one-third of an ounce each. Each shrapnel shell contains 260 of these small balls. In the head of the projectile praper is a time-fuse, which admits of being adjusted with aJI the ricety of a safe's timc-lock. At the base of the fuse is placed a. small charge of black powder. This charge is very aight. and just enough, in quantity to ensure ren l- ing the walls of the steel tubing. Below the ex- ploding charge are the small balls. The firer first calculates the distance of the enemy. Knowing how long it takes the shell to travel that dis'.ance, be orders the fuse to be cut accordingly. Ifhe adjusting of the fuse is effected just as the pro- jectile is about to be entered in the gun. The dis- charge of the piece ignites the fuse train located in the head of the projectile. As the shell pushes through the air the fuse steadily burns. Suddenly the flame reaches an open gate (the point where the cut was made) connecting direct with the explosive charge, and in that instant the projectile bursts. The effect of the burst of the shrapnel is to release the small balls contaia-ed within the case. These small balls till retain thP. impetus imparted by the shell proper, and they continue to advance upon the line which the shell was describing prior to the burst. As the shell was on a downward trend at ,the time the burst occurred, the small balls are pro- jected onward and downward. At the same time there ifl imparted a slight scattering effect to the right and left, much after the fashion of bird-shot on clearing the muzzle of a fowling piece. The gunner ,tries to explode his shrapnel shell at a point in the air about thirty yards short of the enemy's position. Experiments have proved that all of the balls con- tained in one of the new British shrapnel shells will, at a distance of thirty yards, be projected within a circle on the ground having a. diameter of about 24ft. The velocity of a shell is about 1.600 feet per second on leaving the gun muzzle, and at 3,500 yards from the muzzle the small shrapnel shell still travels at about 870 feet per second, or a resulting energy of impact of 280 foot-pounds, which energy is deemed the minimum necessary to ensure destruction of men and horses. Conse- quently, 3.500 yards. or. roughly, two miles, is to- day about the practical limit of field-gun service of shrapnel. Only a few years ago 2,000 yards was considered the limit, but modern improvements have added 1,500 yards to the range of this projectile.
TROOPS. ) MORE GUARDS LEAVE LONDON. In the very early hours on Monday, the 2nd Life Guards stationed at Albany Barracks, London, completed th&ir preparations for sending off their contingent of the composite regiment of Household Cavalry to the Cape. They supply a squadron com- prising eight officers and 185 non-commissioned ■officers and men. Punctually at one o'clock the men paraded in the barrack square, presenting a very imposing appearance. Major Anstruther Thomson was in command, and with him were Captain Fergu- son, Lieut. De Crespigny, Lieut. Spender Clay, Lieut. Hon. O. Neill, Liput. Earl of Wicklow, Lieut. Surtees, and Veterinary Officer Farrant. Within ten minutes the order to march was given. The men rode in. files. As they passed out into Alba,ny-st the regi- mental band, which rode at their head, struck up Auld Lang Syne." Albany-st. was packed with people, who cheered loudly as the troops appeared. The squadron moved at a walk- ing pace in the direction of Portland- rd. The people in their thousands took up the march .with them, and they had no lack of company all the ,way to Waterloo Station. A party of youths led the van carrying miniature flags and Chinese lan- terns and singing patriotic songs. Then followed ft dense mass of men and women. Here and there a sweetheart or male friend was holding on to a trooper's stirrup. Many among the throng had provided themselves with bottles of spirits, which, as well as offering's of tobacco, were passed along the line of mounted men. The band played popular and patriotic airs nearly the whole of the way to the station, and whenever there came a break in the instrumental music, the crowd filled up the gap with rounds of cheering and singing. Windows of the houses en route were occupied, and farewells were shouted to and by the soldiers as the cavalcade passed on its way. At the station the Life Guards were received bv Col. Mclvmnon, of the Home dis- trict: Staff Major King. I).A.A. (also of the Home district staff), the entraining officer; Mr. Hilditch, Station superintendent, and a number of past and present officers, non-commissioned officers, and men 'of the regiment. They halted at 2-15, and at once dismounted and began to entrain c -ly, their horses. This was done expeditiously, and all was ready for the start of the first special long before the appointed time. It left at 3-10, and the second some time later, both departing amid the playing of "Auld Lang Syne, and the cheering of regimental friends. The re- mainder of the Royal Horse Guards Squadron (a. portion having gone on Wednesday last) also left London early on Monday. Their band played The absent-minded beggar," and other selections in the Knightsbridge Barracks Square, but did not play through the streets en route to Waterloo. Major Vaughan Lee was in command, and the force com- prised in addition to Lieut. Hon. Reginald WarJ, Lieut. Hon. D. Majoribanks, and 89 men. The Earl of Errol and Christian Combe were at the bar- racks to bid them God speed," and among thoss at the station were Lord Dudley. Lord Herbert. Col. Lord Binning, the Hon. 1. Ward, and other-. Waterloo was reached at 4-10, and within half-an- hour the officers, men, and horses were entrained. Only one special was needed in this case, and that left at 4-45 amid loud cheers. "0"
A DEAD OFFICER'S PATHETIC STORY. f There is a more than usually melancholy interest attaching to one name in the list of killed officers in the battle at the Modder River. Lieutenant Lionel Long, of the Yorkshire Light Infantry. is a son of Mr. C. E. B. Long, brewer, of Portsmouth and Fareham. Last September, Lieutenant Lone, who had just-got hi-s commission, was explaining the technicalities of a. new rifle on the lawn of his father's place at Fareham to a favourite sister, when 4he gun slipped' and went off, and'Miss Long. a girl of only 15 or 16, was'killed on the spot. Young Long had since then be-en absolutely inconsolable, and his burning desire was to-gCK.to the front and oee- iLotiVo. serv.i.ce. -—
OFFICIAL DESPATCH. The following despatch from General Forestier. WTalker has been received at the War Office — Cape Town, Tuesday. Methuen reports that at Mcfdder River he found twenty-three bodies. Twenty-seven have since come up from the river. People say bodies were buried, and others taken on mules to .Tacobsdal; also wounded at Enslin. Albrecht's wagon, perfect in pharmacy and surgery arrangements, taken. Am quite satisfied that the enemy's loss was more than equal our own, and their morale much shaken.
BOER OFFICIAL REPORT. Pretoria, Nov. 29th, via Lorenzo Marquez, November 30th. Commandant Delarey's official report states that a large force of British made an attack yesterday morning upon the commando at Modder River, twenty-five miles from Kimberley. Heavy fighting ensued, lasting twelve hours. General Cronje and Commandant C Delarey occupied strong positions. The Free State burghers were subsequently rein- forced. Commandant Delarey reports that he had seventeen killed and wounded, including his eldest son. The losses sustained by the Free State com- mandos were unknown to him. The report con- cludes by stating that as darkness fell the Boers re- tired slowly to their positions, having prevented the Briti-h from forcing their way to Kimberley.
SMART WORK BY THE NAVAL BRIGADE. [Press Association War Special.] Orange River, Nov. 30. Mr. Walsh, of the South African Storage Co., describes a smart piece of work which was performed by the Naval Brigade at Modder River. Mr. Walsh, who was at the front of the business, said that about two in the afternoon about two hundred Boers mounted on horses rode off at a hard gallop on the left of the position. The Naval Brigade, who had been shelling the entrenchments, slewed round their guns with marvellous rapidity, and opened fire on the fugitive horsemen. The first shell fell short and the second too far in front, but the remainder exploded in the midst of the Boers, and must have done considerable execution. C. Wilman, of Krood- stad, and Van Ileerden, of Bloemhof, are among the Boer prisoners. The latter is the man who, while hidden up a tree, fired on our operating tent at Modder River.
GEN. GATACRE MOVING NORTH. A special correspondent of the Daily News," telegraphing from Naauwpoort on Thursday last says:—Patrolling parties sent from here yesterday and to-day reveals the fact that the Boers in this district are returning north. Practically the country from here '0 Colesburg is free of the enemy. The display of force made by us at Rosmead, Middel- burg, and the district has had a most reassuring effect. Disinclination on the part of the Colonial farmers to join the Dutch is becoming more pro- nounced. This is not due to their inherent loyalty, but from a desire to espouse the winning cause. The spread of the rebellion may consequently be re- garded as completely checked. Unfortunately dire punishment cannot be inflicted on the commando which invaded the colony, threatening the main line of communication and inflicting great suffering and loss on the inhabitants. A very strong desire is manifest among our troops of all arms to attack the Boer force covering Colesborg. This would have a tremendous effect, lightening General Sir W. Gatacre's task of clearing the colony of invaders and restoring loyal colonists to their own. Meantime the force here is inadequate to undertake offensive operations, great though the occasion may be. Plate- layers have left by train to repair the line near Steynsberg. A strong cavalry patrol accompanied the train, and will probably reconnoitre the com- mando supposed to be in the vicinity. The Boers are now ascertained to have left Arundel and fallen back on Colesberg. Writing on Friday the same correspondent says:—The reported retirement of the Boers from Arundel is confirmed by a patrol of the 12th Lancers, whose colonel, with reckless "bravery, ordered his men under cover and himself advanced on the post believed to be occupied by the enemy. The place was, however, found to be abandoned. To-day's patrol pushed further afield, hoping to bivouack to-night near Arundel and to reach the vicinity of Colesberg to-morrow. Yester- day's apparent discouragement of the enemy appears to have passed away, Steynsubrg being occupied and damage being inflicted on the railway bridges near the junction. It is obvious that the disaffection existing here and its recrudescence is probably attributable to false accounts circulated amongst the Boers as to the result of the battle of Modder River.
THE RECALL OF CRONJE.. BOIBARDJIENE FOn. 40 DAYS, [Press Association War Special.] Mafeking, Nov. 21, by runner to Mochudi, Nov. 23, and thence by armoured train via Lorenco Mar- nuez. Nov. 29. Nothing of great importance has happened. Tbfi Boers continue shelling us from a ten-ton gun. They have secured the correct range, and have seemingiy got new shells, containing a very high explosive and great destructive power. Commandant Cronje haa been recalled, and a considerable portion of the be- sieging for's, with complete equipment, has left either on account of their inability to reduce this place, or because reinforcements are needed in Natal. The departure of Cronje's commando has not materially weakened the forces which are now investing us. The enemy have pushed their en- trenchments to the east of the town, to within 2,000 yards of our defences. Our men have exchanged shots at 1,500 yards with the Boer sharpshooters. The Boer flag is floating at all the fortified points surrounding us. The bombardment, though de- structive to property, has so far killed anl wounded very few, but hairbreadth escapes of our citizcns are nothing short of providential. The hotel has suffered most. A heavy hundred pounds shell struck an iron verandah pole, blowing in 25 feet of the frontage ,o wall. The convent has received eight shells, but the nuns still refuse to leave, having bomb-proof shelters. They aro setting a splendid example. We have received congratulations from Buluwayo on our brilliant stand. We are glad to hear that Kimberley has been relieved. Meanwhile, as we have now been bombarded for forty days, we are beginning to wonder whether someone will relieve Mafeking, if only for the sake of variety. Although we visit the enemy at night and in the early morning we feel that he has the best of the game. Having played not without credit an arduous part assigned to us, we feel that it will be hard if we are^not allowed to take share in the British triumph which must soon be celebrated in Pretoria. Besides, our position grows daily more serious. The citizcns have done their work like men. They have lain night and day in the wet trcnches, not daring to pufc their heads above breastwork for fear of the Boer sharpshooters. Tho garrison, however is confident of holding out.
OUR ARMED STRENGTH IN SOUTH AFRICA. Approximately the number of fighting troops of present, in South Africa (including the original gar- risons but deducting casualties) is as follows (men of the Army Service and Medical Corps are not in- cluded) Natal Inlitil 10,(0) Southern Natal 20,000 Total 30,000 Cape Colony — Cape Town 1.500 Methuen's Force 3,000 Dc Aar and Belmont 5.500 Hanover 5,000 Xaauwpoort 5,000 Vueenstown 5,500 Kimberley 2,000 -Mafeking 1,500 Total. 34,000 Rhodesia ii500 Total 65,500 S'nco November 9, 58 transports with troops and artillery have arrived at South African ports, carrying 36 regiments of British infantry, numbering nearly 43,000 officers and men, 11 batteries of trt Ilery (36 field pieces), including about 2,000 of all ranks, and 10 detachments of cavalry, aggregating between 3.000 and 4.000 officers and men. In addition to those 1.200 colonial troops have been landed up to the present to join the fighting line. With a very few exceptions Sir Iledvers Bullcr may be said now to be in possession of the force originally arranged for him. The Fifth and Sixth Divisions of the South African Field Force, under the command respectively of Sir Charles Warren and General Kclly-Kennv, will in a short time swell the grand total of the British Army in the field. The Fifth Division is now well on its way to the front, but the Sixth has yet to cmbark. There are indications at Aldershot which point to the possibility of a. Seventh Division being mobilised for service in South Africa. A~ the battalions of the Sixth Division have drawn their mobilisation .stores from the Field Stores, everything is being replaced with the utmost speed. 0 1 The 7th Dragoon Guards arrived at Aldershot on Tuesday. This regiment, with the 17th Lancers and the 8th Hussars, are to form another brigade of cavalrv for active service. At'TbrkJAssiises. John William Parkinson, for a series of offences against women and girls, was sen- tenced to twenty years' penal servitude. A it named Laybourne chased the fellow for five mile; across country. Mr. Justice Grantham, who warmiv commended Laybourne for his conduct, asked him to accept 92 as a reward. FIERCE BATTLE IN WALES. ¡ Six schoolboys, all Hilder fourteen years of age, stood before Ihe Towyn (Merioneth) magistrates on a charge of damaging a house. I IlL wns explained to a mirthful court that all the boys of LUmegryn, a village at the foot of Cader Idris, recently formed themselves into a "com- mando of Boers" and a "rcgilllclIl of British troops." Then they marched to the top of an adjoining mountain (Dundee) by different routes and a desperate contiict ensued, resulting in the defeat of the "commando." Being unable to retain the position, however, the British" retreated to the fool of the mountaiu and occupied a vacant house (representing Ladysmilh). When the "Boers" arrived they bombarded the house so effectively with stones that every window was smashed. The belligerents were, in consideration of the fun they had supplied the magistrates' lightly lined.
ALLEGED CONCEALMENT OF BIRTH. At Shifnal Police Court, Mary Alllle Marsh the ehler IUIII William Marsh, her son, were charged with concealing the birth of the illegitimate female child of Mary Anne Mulsh the younger,at Shifnal, oii- the 22mi ult. The male prisoner, acting Oil the orders of his mother, buried the body of the child in a box in the garden. They were com- liiitle(I for trial at the assizes.
Oysters and Civilization. The succulent and nutritious oyster has always been recommended by the medical faculty," and now the Church is bringing evidence to show that the dietetic dainty is not only assimilating," but is a great and grand civiliser. Speaking at the time-honoured oyster feast at Colchester, on the 25th October, Cardinal Vaughan proposed The Lord Mayor and Cerporation of london. When he was recently in the United States an American friend told him that he ought to like the oyster very much, because it was the origin of civilization. (Laughter.) Upon his asking the American how he made this out, the reply was that when the early immigrants into the United States arrived in Chesapeake Bay they immediately attacksd the oysters, and afterwards they were taken farther and farther inland, as was proved by the shells. The, Indians had never consumed oysters, and remained uncivilized. (Laughter.) Colshester, as the early home of the British oyster, might occordingly be regarded as the cradle of British civilization—(laughter)—and, this being the case, it was not surprising that there should be a close connection between the Lord Mayor of London and the Mayor of Colchester, and that the Colchester Oyster Feast had become a bond of union between the two municipalities. (Laughter and cheers.) The Lord Mayor, in expressing his acknowledg- ments, said in the present crisis in the national aflairs London had given a magnificent proof of its interest in all that concerned the national welfare in connection with the fund raised for the benefit of the Transvaal refugees. He was reminded of a conundrum propounded by the American Minister at a meeting of the Savage Club Why is an oyster a great orator ?" The answer was Because the oyster always knows when to shut up." (Laughter.) He (the Lord Mayor) could not do better than follow the example of the oyster. (Laughter.) Oyster Shell Fences and Annexations. At the same feast ])ean Hole confessed to very early and tender associations with the oyster. When I first began to cultivate the soil, seventy- six years ago—I am now very nearly what the gardener called an octo-geranium—my landed estate was surrounded by a ring fence of oyster- shells. I had all the instincts of the horticulturist, among them that of annexation, and 1 tried to square the circle and disturb the boundaries of my sister's allotment, which adjoined. She ran to the great powers with howls and lamentations, and denounced me as I an 'orrid ogre and a thief.' I was compelled to make restitution. See, now, how history has repeated itself within the last few days. The spirit of annexation always leads to disaster for somebody (Laughter.) Both these reverend gentlefflen might have gone further and said that all my oysters are jmr txcdlence and can be had in any quantity at quotations submitted. JOHN DOBBINS, Importer of Dutch, Irish and American Oysters. RHYL. Telegraph address—"Dobbins, Rhyl."
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