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r1 WAR IN SOUTH AFRICA.1

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r 1 WAR IN SOUTH AFRICA. 1 THE INVASION OF THE FREE STATE. LORD ROBERTS'S BRILLIANT ACHIEVE- MENT. GENERAL CRONJE'S FLIGHT. FRENCH AND KELLY-KENNY AGAIN DISTINGUISH THEMSELVES. KITCHENER'S CAPTURE. BULLER ACTIVE IN NATAL. FIGHTING IN CAPE COLONY. PROMOTIONS. The following notice of promotions has bee* officially issued by the War Office The Queen has approved of the promotion 01 Colonel (and local Lieutenant-General) French to be Major-General, and of Lieutenant-Colonel Keke- wich to be Colonel for services in connection with the defence and relief of Kimberley." WAGGONS AND STORES CAPTURED. The following telegram from Lord Roberta was received at the War Office on Saturday JACOBSDAL, Feb. 17, 5.50a.m. Kelly-Kenny's Brigade captured yesterday 7E waggons laden with stores, two waggons with Mausei rifles, eight boxes full of shells, ten barrels explosives and large quantity of stores, all belonging to Cronje'i laager, which was still being shelled by our artillerj when Lord Kitchener despatched tho messenger." A Reuter's despatch stating that the Boers hac captured a British convoy was evidently founded on t misapprehension. THE BOER RETREAT. The news on Monday morning from Lore Roberts's force, which cannot number in all lesi than 50,000 horse and foot, including artillery indicated that the Boers are in retreat in two direc- tions. One force to the north-west of Kimberley which General French seemed to have severely punished, made for Barkly, and was proceeding in a north-easterly direction, chased by General French. These Boers had apparently beer reinforced by some of the enemy from tht deserted trenches at Magersfontien, who pro- bably slipped round the west of Kimberley os hearing of the British advance. These commandoei were apparently bent on reaching Pretoria, which if ibout 800 miles distant, with railway communicatioc from Klerksdorp, only about one-third of the way. the main body of the enemy left Magcrsfontein in ac easterly direction, hotly pursued by General Kelly- Kenny's Division, which was reinforced by General Macdonald's Highland Brigade. This chase every hour led pursued and pursuers nearer to Bloem- fontein, which is about 50 miles from Jacobs- dal, over wide-stretching plains, broken here and there by the nose of a hill thrusting itself ur through the prairie grass. Every step took the Boers away from the eastern mountain ridge. in which they have fought so well, out into the open prairie of these highlands of South Africa. The country it typical of most of the Free State-flat, sandy, and fairly well covered with grass, on which the Boer it wont to graze those thousands of cattle, which are his standard of wealth. Apparently it is a stretch of tableland that well suits British troops and British tactics, while Bloemfontein is believed to be undefended, and practically indefensible. HOW CRONJE WAS TURNED. Now that Lord Roberts's great strategic movement on the Modder and Riet rivers and in the Kimberley district has been crowned with success it is possible (says a Reuter's message) to give some details of the achievement. The mounted troops and horse artillery in four days covered a distance of 90 miles, fought two small engagements, and finished by relieving Kimberley. The rapidity of their move- mem s helped to solve one of the problems of the war and will enable us now to disregard Boer in- trenched positions wherever the country permits of cavalry movement. The movement began on Sunday morning of last week at three o'clock by the concentration of General French's Division at Ramdam. As the infantry appeared in sight early next morning, General French moved forward and seized two drifts on the Riet River. General Tucker's Division followed, and close behind came General Kelly-Kenny's Division. The drift was almost impassable for the transport, which was obliged to park on the south side of the river, but energy and perseverance overcame all obstacles. It was found impossible for a team of mules to draw its load up the steep north bank, and it therefore became necessary to run relays of oxen, which were hitched on in addition to the mules, and thus the loads were dragged over. At four o'clock next morn- ing most of the transport was on the north side of the river. Lord Kitchener accompanied General Tucker's Division, which marched to within three miles of Jacobsdal, being obliged to keep to the river on account of the water. Here the division stayed till the arrival of General Kelly-Kenny, who then moved straight towards Klip Drift on the Modder. General French, who was awaiting the infantry there, left for Kimberley immediately on the arrival of the division. Thursday night of last week saw the completion of the movement. Lord Methuen was opposite Magersfontein and General Tucker held Jacobsdal, with General Col- vile's Division close at hand, ready to move wherever required, and General Kelly-Kenny's holding the Klip and Rondeval Drifts on the Modder. General French had meanwhile arrived at Kimberley. General Cronje bad thus been completely out- flanked and the position rsf the Boer army at Spytfontein was untenable. Starvation or retreat was the only alternative. The Boer commander chose the latter, and at the moment of writing we are uncertain whether it is his whole force which is retreating via the Modder to Bloemfontein or only a portion of it, while the rest is going away to the north of Kimberley. According to the latest reports General Kelly-Kenny is pressing hard on Cronje's rearguard, following him and harassing his retreat. There are three points to be noted in connection with the movement-viz., General French's mobility, the efficiency of the transport arrangements, and the splendid marching of the infantry. 1. It has been proved that a large mobile force is able to move on exterior lines with sufficient rapidity to completely outflank the Boers, although they are so wonderfully mobile. The effect of General French's march upon the enemy has been sufficient to move them out of a strong, indeed, almost im- pregnable position which they had been preparing for two months. So far, the relief of Kimberley has not cost us 50 men. 2. The transport arrangements have been beyond praise. The long marches were made across a veldt of deep sand, without water. Pr1.fre88 was neces- sarily slow, and four divisions had to be fed while they were purposely cut off from their base. It is hardly possible to adequately appreciate the marvel- lous work accomplished by the transport department under such conditions. Added to all the work of the day was the duty of issuing stores during the night, so that the transport officen toiled continuously. This they did with the utmost cheerfulness, and with- out the slightest fuss they everywhere evolved order out of chaos. 8. The marching of the infantry, considering the great heat and the absence of water, once more proves that the British soldier is willing and ready to respond to any call. The men never faltered. Some fell out of the ranks from sheer exhaustion, but these, as soon as they had sufficiently re- covered, aeized the first opportunity to re- join their companies. It was, perhaps, a finer sight than any battle to see the battalions moving through the heavy sand under a broiling aun, every man determined, persevering, and cheerful. Not a murmur was heard, and the whole force was animated by a grand faith in their com- mander. It is no exaggeration to say that nearly flhe whole of the troops, horae, foot, aad artillery, and especially the transport service men, had not more than three hours sleep on any of the last three nights of the movement- Yet there was no sign of any falling off in their health or strength. All are willing and cheerful, and ready and anxious to do all that men can do. General Kelly-Kenny is still pursuing General Cronje's army. He has capture" over 100 waggons and a German ambulance. The prisoner s state that if the pursuit is continued the whole force will pro- bably surrender. According to Dutch reports received here, General French twice charged home through the retreating Boers to the north-west of Kimberley. u General Pole-Carew and the Guards Brigade occupy Magersfontein, the Boer former position. The Boer laagers have been deserted everywhere and a great quantity of stores, tents, &c., has been taken. The repairing of the railway is proceeding. The enemy are fighting a good rear-guard action. They are occupying succve kopjes in order to allow the moving of the convoy, which, however, is forced to go at a slow pace as apparently the animals are dead beat. The Boers in the neighbourhood of Jtlipkraal's Drift are undoubtedly disheartened. BRABANT AND THE BOERS AT DORDRECHT. General Brabant's force has had (said a message irom Bird's River Camp of Saturday's date) some iharp fighting with the rebels, who were eventally forced to abandon the country between Penhoek and Dordrecht. The British loss was 16, including eight killed, among the latter being Captain Crallan and Lieut. Chandler. Brigadier-General Brabant, in command of a mounted division of colonials, left Penhoek on Thursday of last week early in the morning. The column, which was 2000 strong, took their slow- moving transport oxen and mules, not by the mail road, but over the trackless veldt and through a mountainous and most difficult country. Bivouack- ing on the first night in the heart of the rebels' territory, we next morning pushed on our cam" close to the Boer position. Early on Friday we were fired on, and fighting continued all day and night. We cleared the enemy out of successive positions under a terrific rifle fire which was kept up for nearly eight hours, until at length towards midnight we forced the enemy at the point of the bayonet out of their last position-an important one overlooking Dordrecht. On Saturday the position taken up by the Boers, who have retired beyond the town, was on the highest mountain behind it. Our artillery shelled them at intervals, the Boers replying with one gun of bigger calibre than our mountain artillery. The in- fantry were scouting and holding all the hills in the neighbourhood. We command all the enemy's posi- tions, while the Boers have been driven back north of Dordrecht, and.cannot further invade the colony. Our laager is safely ensconced behind our positions. So far the work accomplished by the colonial division is beyond all praise. BULLER IN ACTION AGAIN. CHIEVELEY, February 18 (7.20 p.m.). On Thursday of last week (says a Reuter's tele- gram from Chieveley Camp, dated Sunday evening) our operations were confined to shelling the enemy's trenches. Our front line of infantry advanced from Hussar Hill, and took up positions on the low range called the Red Belt, which connects with Hussar Hill, and runs in a north-easterly direc- tion. The enemy's artillery fire was heavy, but did little damage. The new positions were strongly entrenched, and the infantry advanced further into the plain, which was strewn with bushes and trees. The enemy fired through the trees, using a Nordenfeldt posted on a bill. The casualties on our side were few. On Friday morning the enemy sent several shells in the direction of the naval 12-pounders and the eminence of Hussar Hill, where General Buller had established his headquarters. Two of the General's escort were wounded by shrapnel. The artillery duel continued throughout the day. On Friday evening the attack developed. The infantry in the centre forced the enemy through the wood into the hills. They crossed a deep spruit, and took possession of the small kopjes at the base of Monte Christo. In the meantime a force under General Lyttelton moved up the mountain on the extreme right. The enemy fired from the summit over the road over our men's heads. Lyttelton's force advanced, meeting with little opposition. They worked their way along the fringe of the Boers from six in the morning. Our artillery incessantly shelled Monte Christo with the neck separating it from the hill on the right, called Blauw Krantz. Six lyddite shells burst within a few minutes on the left spur, causing great havoc. The trenches were searched with lyddite, while shrapnel was poured into the trees." The enemy fired a large Creusot in the morning, but app-trently shifted it, as it was not heard in the afternoon. The Nordenfeldt was not used, and it is supposed that the enemy moved their big guns across the TugeJa. The infantry advanced steadily in the centre up to the neck between the hills, the musketry lire being very heavy at times. By Friday night they had gained a couple of hundred yards on the hill. The whole range is called Cigolo, and is very thickly wooded. During the heavy musketry fire a subaltern successfully took ammunition up the hill to the men on the right, who used a Maxim effec- tively. THE RENSBURG RETIREMENT. The retirement from Rensburg was (says a message from Arundel) carried out in the most orderly manner. The stores were withdrawn by railway on the previous day, the baggage waggons leaving before the evacuation by the troops began. Two companies, however, were left behind. They were presumably asleep after cutpost duty. A portion of them have since arrived at Arundel, but some have probably been capt.ired by the enemy. On Saturday morning Colonel Henderson, of the Inniskillings, made a reconnaissance northward, with four guns of field artillery, and a company of Dragoons, together with a squadron of Lancers, under Captain Hay, and two companies' of Aus- tralians, under Captain Legge and Lieutenant Homes. This force proceeded towards Kuilfontein homestead, which is situated in the middle of a wide flat. They rode in skirmishing order, with flanking parties, approaching the hills on the right and left. Those on the right found Vaal Kop occupied by one or two Boer scouts, who fired the usual three shots as a signal, and retired towards Rensburg. Those on the left found the enemy occupying, several hills to the southwest of Kuilfontein, and brisk musketry fire ensued for a few minute", Our scouts then took shelter and firing qeased. As soon as they reached a suitable position our mins opened fire on Kuilfontein, and about 500 Boers were seen to leave the homestead and gallop away to the westward. We continued to shell what appeared to be their camp. In about half an hour the enemy sprang a sur- prise on us in the shape of a Pompom gun, which opened from some hills on the left. As the musketry fire had come from there our artillery was immediately sent in that direction, but no smoke re- vealed the position of the guns, though the shells came up in a quick succession of five or six at a time, even as many as 10 falling in a row across the flat, sometimes in front of us, sometimes behind, and again right in our midst. But we were well scattered, dotting the whole plain, and never a man was hit. Our guns took up a more favourable position, and reopened fire. In the course of a couple of hours the enemy were seen about a 100 strong creeping along a ridge from Rensburg towards Vaal Kop, P, with another" Pompom gun, which soon got into position on our right flank, and opened very briskly, firing its full 10 shots every time, but, like its mate on the left, always finding ground in which to lodge them. The position was now uncomfortable for us. A slight ridge which had afforded some cover from the first gun was subjected to a cross fire, and there being nothing to gain by affording the enemy further target practice we came home, having ascertained the enemy's strength and position. Capain Longhurst, R.A.M.C., speat a night with the Boers at Hobkirk's Farm, looking after the wounded Australians. He says the enemy were remarkably kind both to him and the wounded. They provided mattresses for them and gave the Boer doctor all the eggs they had for the sufferers. The doctor rode a fine charger, well accoutred, and the Boers cast longing eyes at him but he, on the other hand, discovered that both he and Captain Longhurst had many mutual friends in London, and soon they were on the best of terms. The Boers and our wounded also fraternised. Noticing that most of their bandoliers were filled with softed-nosed bullets, one of our men re- marked that they ought not to bring such things as these to fire at us; whereupon a Boer replied: We must bring whatever we can get to fire at you." Then the friendly doctor explained that this coatingent consisted of Boers from the north- of the Transvaal, who were used to hunting big game along the Limpopo, and had obtained their ammuni- tion for that purpose. One of our fellows, whose thigh was shattered close up to the hip, interjected Well, I wish you had been kind enough to shoot me a little lower down." After the retirement of our forces the Boers met and held a prayer meeting to thank God for their successes. Captain Longhurst appears very favour- ably impressed with the treatment received at the hands of our friends the enemy, who assured him that the war was hateful to them, and they would be happy to see it at an end. THE SOLDIER'S PRAYER. Beuter's special correspondent at Cape Town has received communication of the following prayer by the Archbishop of Armagh, Primate of Ireland, which Field-Marshal Lord Roberts has ordered to be distributed for the use of soldiers in the field: Almighty Father. I have often sinned against Thee. O, wash me in the precious blood of the Lamb of God. me with Thy Holy Spirit that I may lead a new life- Spare me to see again those whom I love at home, or fit me for Thy presence in peace. Strengthen us to quit ourselves like men in our right and great cause. Keep us faithful unto death, calm in danger, patient in suffering, merciful as well as brave, true to our Queen, our country, and our colours. If it be Thy will, enable us to win victory for England, but above all grant us the better victory over temptation and sin, over life and death, that we may be more than conquerors through Him who loved us and laid dowa His life for us, Jesus our Saviour, the Captain of the Army of God.-A-en." The letter of Lord Roberts's private secretary directing the distribution is as follows: J Army Headquarters, Cape Town, January 23, 1900. "Dear Sir,—I am desired by Lord Roberta I to ask you to be so kind as to distribute to aU ranks under your command the short prayef for the use of soldiers in the field,' by the ¡ Primate of Ireland, copies of which I now forward. His lordship earnestly hopes that it may be helpful to all her Majesty s soldiers who are now serving in South Africa.—Yours faithfully, II MELVILLJiJ CHAMBERLAIN, Colonial Private Secretary. "To the Officer Commanding." THE GALLANT LONDON VOLUNTEERS. On the receipt at the London Mansion House on Friday night of Lord Roberts's cable announcing ;he engagement at Jacobsdal, in which the City of London Imperial Volunteers took such an im- portant part, the Lord Mayor promptly telegraphed co Colonel Cholmondeley at Jacobsdal: '"tv Well done, City Imperials." A cablegram received by the Lord Mayor from Cape Town on Sunday stated that the City Imperial mounted men drove the Boers out of Jacobsdal, and further announced that a strong section of the City of London Regiment.. with their commandant, Colonel. Mackinnon, were leaving Cape Town for the front, accompanied by Mr. Newton, hon. sec. of the C.I.V. in South Africa. Colonel Cholmondeley's men are highly praised on all hands, and were reported to have behaved at Jacobsdal "like fire- hardened veterans." THE IMPERIAL YEOMANRY. The Duke of Cambridge inspected at Southampton on Saturday the corps of Imperial Yeomanry which bears his name, prior to their embarking on the Dun- vegan Castle. They had an enthusiastic send-off in London on their way to Nine Elms. The transports Gascon and Guelph also sailed for the Cape on Satur- day, and further contingents went out subsequently in the Cymric and other transports. BOERS DRIVEN OVER THE TUGELA BY BULLER. SEVERAL CAMPS CArTVItIED. On Monday evening the War Office issued the fol- lowing deslpitt(:h: "From General Buller to Secretary of State for War. "CIIIEVELEY CAP, February 19. I yesterday moved round the enemy's flank. The Queen's, who had bivouacked on the northern slope of Cingolo, crossed the nek and, supported by the rest of the 2nd Brigade, under General Hild- yard, assaulted and took the southern end of Monta Cristo the 4th Brigade, on the left slope, the western. The Royal Welsh c Fusiliers, supported by the rest of the 6th Brigade; assailed the eastern flank of the enemy's position while the 2nd Brigade ofCavalry, on the extreme right, watched the eastern slopes of Monte Cristo, and drove back those of the enemy who went there to escape from our artillery fire. Assaulted by a heavy artillery fire on their front and flank, and attacked on their flank and rear, the enemy made but slight resistance, and, abandoning their strong position, were driven across the Tugela. I have taken several camps and waggonloads of ammunition, and several of stores and supplies, and a few prisoners. The weather has been intensely hot, and the ground traversed exceedingly difficult. The energy I and dash of the troops have been very pleasant to see, and all have done well. The work of the irregular cavalry, the Queen's, the Scots Fusiliers, and the Rifle Brigade was per- haps most noticeable, while the excellent practice of the artillery and the naval guns, and the steadiness of the gunners under at times a very accurate lire, was remarkable. "The accurate fire of the naval guns from Chieveley was of great assistance. Our casualties are not, I think, heavy." CIUEVKLET CAMP, Monday (10.30 a.m.). A Reuter's message, dated as above, said To-day the enemy's line of fortresses has been broken, and an important success has been achieved by the British arms. Yesterday the whole of the enemy's position facing up from Hlangwana to Green Hill was shelled with lyddite, and shraphel was poured into the Boer sandbag trenches, which could be distinctly seen. It seemed incredible that human beings could out- live such a storm. Our infantry was well advanced last night. The Fusiliers Brigade held the enemy in check in front, while Ljttelton's division moved along the crest of a high hill to the right, called Monte Cristo, which was separated from Green Hill by a low kopje. About noon to-day General Lyttelton's men appeared on the extreme point of the Bummit of Monte Cristo Hill. The General had found a chink in the enemy's armour, and decided to strike without delay. The Scottish Fusiliers commenced advancing up the slopes of the little kopje which intervened between Monte Cristo Hill and Green Hill. They were met with a very scattered fire, to which they paid no heed, and the summit was easily gained. The Irish Fusiliers at the same time commenced the ascent of the Green Hill heights, where the enemy were in position. CONDITION OF LADYSMITH. LADYSMITH. Sunday (by heliograph to Weenen). A Central News despatch thus headed, said: All is well here. Dr. Jameson is ill in bed with an attack of fever. Three Natal Dutchmen, alleged to be rebels, and awaiting trial here on the charge of high treason, made a determined attempt to escape last night. They had cut through the solid iron window-frame and the bars of their cell, and were in the act of get- ting out when they were discovered and seized by the sentries. THE COLONIAL DIVISION AT DORDRECHT. The subjoined official despatch was published by the War Office on Monday Lord Roberts to Secretary of State for War. (Received 11.30 a.m., Feb. 19.) JACOBSDAL, 11.40 p.m., Feb. 18. "Brabant wires from Bird River, 17th, that he attacked Boer position previous day. "He gradually closed in on laager during day, fighting lasting trom nine a.m. till dusk. "At midnight Captain Flanagan, 1st Brabant's Horse, attacked, and took laager at point of bayonet, capturing stores. Enemy has now taken up position on heights, near Dordrecht, where they have a Krupp gun. Our casualties slight-seven killed and eight wounded. Clements reports from Arundel that he made a reconnaissance on February 17, and found the enemy in position, west of Rensburg." THE CAPTURED BRITISH CONVOY. Reinforcements have been hurried to Lord Kitchener, and, according to reports, he has had hard fighting with the enemy's rearguard. His men are said to have taken a great quantity of stores, in- cluding 150 waggons and a vast number of cattle. The waggons necessarily move much slower than the mounted Boers, and have been doubtless abandoned, as the oxen have sunk one after another exhausted. Against this loss of the Boers we have to set the capture of a British convoy, which is now definitely ascertained. Still, it is difficult to see what the enemy can do with this convoy, as Lord Kitchener's troops must lie between it and their main force. BOY BUGLER'S VISIT TO OSBORNE. A great honour was conferred on Monday upon the boy Dunne, of the 1st Royal Dublin Fusiliers, who, on duty as bugler in the Battle of Colenso, was wounded in the breast and right arm. When visited at the Netley Hospital by Princess Chris- tian and Princess Henry of Battenberg, the little hero is said to have made a characteristic answer to the question as to what he would like the Queen to do for him. "I should like her Majesty to send me back to the front," he is reported to have replied. Instead of sending him to the front her Majesty commanded him to proceed to Osborne, and the little fellow, clad in khaki, and wrapped in a military overcoat, ,on Monday morning crossed the Solent from Southsea on the first ordinary steam-packet, for the purpose of paying a visit to his Sovereign. He had a hearty reception at West Cowes when he left the boat at the side of Lieutenant Knox, who had charge of the lad. A great number of people lined the pon- toon to catch a passing view of him. Entering a carriage, which had been sent for them, they pro- ceeded direct to the palace, and were admitted to the Royal audience chamber. Her Majesty gave the boy a gracious welcome, and presented him with a new bugle, to take the place of the one he lost at Colenso. After lunching at the Palace Lieutenant Knox and Bugler Dunne drove back to West Cowes pontoon, and returned by the noon boat. Dunne, a manly little chap of 15, was born at Ballingawn, Isle of Man, but his father is a native of Tipperary. He is a member of the Army Temper- ance Society. During his absence at the front from home he left his mother half his pay. Since his return to Portsmouth he has been quite the hero of the hour. A large number of presents have been sent to him from all parts, one being a goat, which he has turned over to the drummer boys as a regi- mental pet. Naturally the little bugler is proud of the honour conferred upon him. I saw him (says a correspon- dent of the Daily Telegraph) at his mother's quarters in Cambridge Barracks in the old town of Ports- mouth soon after his return in the afternoon. He was still in khaki, and was evidently well-pleased with his reception by the Queen. Of course I was a little nervous," he said, in answer to my question as to how he got on; but her Majesty was very kind. When I was ushered in by Sir John McNeil, I found the Queen sitting in a small room, near a table. I bowed and stood still, but was called, up tip the Queen's side. Her Majesty I seemed pleased to see me, and asked me where I was wounded. I pointed out the place on my right arm, and, in reply to another question, I explained the circumstances. This took me two or three minutes. The Queen did not ask for any particulars about the battle. I told her that I was in A' Company; we were doubling towards the Boer line late in the day, and I was in front with the officers, when I was hit on the muscle of the right arm and on the chest with pieces of shell. My arm was badly wounded, but I was so excited that I did not feel any pain. My arm dropped powerless by my side, so I shifted my bugle to my left hand and ran on with the others. About five minutes afterwards, though, I fell to the ground from loss of blood, I suppose, and I was carried to the ambulance waggons in the rear by a stretcher party. There my wounds were dressed. I had dropped my bugle in the river. I knew the spot, and wanted to go back, but of course could not do so." The Queen questioned the little fellow as to his future: I told her," Dunne said, **I liked the army, and wae anxious to get on in it, and her Majesty, who was very kind, wlshed me; a Successful career. She then presented me with this bugle." With a natural pride little Dunne then showed me the bugle. It was silver-mounted, with a green bugle-cord attached. On a silver plate was the fol- lowing inscription: Presented to Bugler John Francis Dunne, 1st Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers, By Queen Victoria, To replace the bugle lost by him on the field of battle at Colenso on the 15th December, 1899, when he was wounded. As her Maiestv had been desirous of having Bugler Dunne's portrait he took several to Osborne, including a large-sized portrait of himself taken soon after his return to England. This 'he gave to the Queen. The interview soon afterwards terminated, and Bugler Dunne and Lieutenant Knox returned to 'Portsmouth.

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