DEFEAT OF THE BOERS. LONDON, January 1. General French turned the enemy's flank after a night march surprised and defeated them. The Boers fled from Colesberg eastward.
GENERAL FRENCH'S SUCCESS, NAAUWPOORT, Monday. The British camp having moved on from Arun- del to Rensburg, only two squadrons of the Innis- killing Dragoons, half the Suffolk Regiment, and No 11 Field Hospital were left behind. General French has given the Boers under Grobler a stern New Year's greeting. R and 0 Batteries Royal Horse Artillery opened fire this morning at 4.30 o'clock. The Boer guns were soon silenced, and the Boers were shelled out of their position. General French is keeping them on the move. On Saturday last a farmer named Hedges, belonging to Palmiefontein, near Colesberg, was made prisoner, together with an officer and one man of the Carbineers. M Hedges was attached to the Carbineers as a guide, and going past our outposts with the intention of visiting his home, was captured. Our troops have not yet entered Colesberg, but they hope to do so in a day or so. "From information received" it appears that the Boers are retreating to Orange River. Later. General French has followed up his advantage with rapidity, and a successful night march has been made from Van Rensberg siding. Our force consisted of half a battalion of the Royal Berk- shire Regiment and cavalry, accompanied by the guns of the Royal Horse Artillery. Firing began at four o'clock this (New Year) morning on the face of the kopjes at Yokeskey Nek, east of and about one mile from Colesberg. Twelve of our guns were engaged, The enemy replied with artillety and small arms, but their guns were soon silenced, our artillery, which was magnificently directed, driving them from hill to hill and giving them no peace. The enemy were obliged to evacuate that position and take to the hills on the west of Colesberg. But our artillery also shifted its position and poured ih a heavy fire amongst them. So rapid was our gun fire that it assumed the nature of volley-firing, and it was soon palpable that General French had the Boers well in band from the commencement of the action. From the direction of the enemy's fire as the morning advanced it became evident that they were retreating northwards. A regiment of cavalry deployed on the south side of the Colesberg range to draw fire from their guns, which were supposed to be posted at Vander Walts Fontein, an operation in which our fellows were entirely successful. Eight shells following each other in quick succession were belched forth, all of which, however, fell short and did no damage. From the dense volume of smoke they poured out the shells must have been of somewhat ancient date.
BRITISH VICTORY ON THE ORANGE RIVER. AUSTRALIANS KILLRD AND WOUNDED. 40 BOERS CAPTURED. The following was received on Tuesday from General, Capetown, to Secretary of State for War :— CAPETOWN, Jannary 2. Following message received this morning from Lieut.-Colonel Pilolier through Geneml Oi!iv*er Commanding Orange Rive r I completely defeated the hostile eotntrinmlo at Sunnyside this day, 1st January, taking laager an" 40 prisoners, besides killed and wounded. Our Casualties.—Dangerously mounded Lieut. Adie, Queensland Mounted Infantry. Killed.— Ptes. McLeod and A Rose, Qnt>e»sl>iud Mounted Infantry Pte Jones, Victoria. Am in camp at Dover Farm. (Dover Farm is 20 miles to the mrih-west of Belmont. Sunnyside 30 miles).
HEMMED IN BY THE FLOOD. HMALL PARTY OF BOERS CUT OFF BY THE SWOLLEN TUGULA. FRERF, CAMP, Dec. 30. Further heavy rains fell during last night, with the result that the Tngela River and other streams in this district are already partly in flood. There seems to be no doubt now that the main ittfee of Boers, who were on this side of the Tugela, have managed to get across safely, but the swollen waters now present an almost insuperable barrier to those remaining on the south. At least one commando, numbering about 300, are practically hemmed in, and their capture is almost assured, for it is impossible to bridge the Tugela in its present condition, and the average Boer is a very bad awini ni e r.- Central News.
BOER GUN CAPTURED. ttsJCCESSFUL RESULT OF A NIGHT SORTIE FROM LADYSMITH. CIIIEVELEY CAlIP, Dec. 30th. A native, who has just been brought into this wa/mp by one of our mounted patrols, states that General White made a successful sortie on Friday morning against the strong position held by the Boers. The position was carried at the point of the bayonet, and has been retained by our troops. One of the enemy' big guns was captured. Some confirmation of this man's report is afforded by the fact that the Boors around Lady- smith have been strangely silent since yesterday morning.— Central News.
ANTIQUATED STIELLS. MODDER RIVER CAMP, December 28. Several Boer shells fell near our guns to-day without bursting. On examination it was found thsy were manufactured in 1873.
REPORTED MUTINY OF FREE STATERS. T NO SYMPATHY WITH THE WAR. According to a report from Lourenco Marquez, Mat Steyn and 800 Free Staters with Cronje, at Magersfontein, have refused to take any further part in the war, with which they have no sympathy. Cronje's high-handed behaviour to the force under him has for some time been occupying the attention of the correspondents. The Times stated on Wednesday that the Free Staters allege that Delarey, the Free State commandant, conceives the strategy for every encounter, and that Cronje, with the aid of sjamboks, carries it out. The use of sjamboks is undoubted. One Boer asked an English doctor if much sjamboking was necessary among ns also.
A MAGNIFICENT SHOT. BOERS' TERRIFIC FIRE. MODDER RIVER, Thursday.—The Boers disclosed three of their guns yesterday afternoon. A naval gun, which had up to then been silent, immediately fired a lyddite shell at them. The shot was magui. ficent, bursting close to the embrasure of the enemy's guus, upon which the Boers at once ceased to work. Lord Methuen ordered three naval guns to be laid while daylight lasted, and about eleven o'clock last night they began to fire at intervals of a few minutes. The effect on Boers was extraordinary. A heavy rifle fire blazed from Magersfontein ridges. A strong wind was blowing from that direction at the time, and this made the fusilade appear very close. Nevertheless, our outposts did not fire a shot in reply, though the night was very dark, and the enemy's fire was the most terrific which our troops have yet witnessed. Suddenly the firing ceased, but was renewed half-an-hour later as vigorously as before. The Boers are undoubtedly in a state of great nervousness, and are apparently in nightly expectation of bayonet attack. Early this morning Boers opened with two guns, but they were quickly silenced.
BENNET BURLEIGH'S FORECAST. I PLUMP FOR A COMPLETE BRITISH VICTORY. Mr Bennet Burleigh, the chief of the war correspondents on Sunday wired to the Daily Telegraph the following message :— The following is what I may term an end of the year review of the situation as it now stands. Despite many drawbacks and various unsatisfactory matters which might and could be remedied, the military situation is better, more secure, and more hopeful for us than since the outbreak of hostilities. This is the case elsewhere, but particularly so in Natal. The invasion of this colony is now slowly -perhaps many say too slowly-but surely being rolled back. There is no longer any danger for Pietermaritzburg to-day. The country is secure from the foe practically from Coleuso to the south, A few raiders may for a short time venture along the lrills as far as Estconrt, but I doubt if ever they will water their horses again in the Mooi river. Ladysmith, although on account of its situation it is a place difficult to defend, continues easily to hold out, and is repelling the Boer attacks, for the enemy has never relishod the coming to close quarters. Nor have they shown any capacity for ASSAULTING THE BRITISH POStTtOXS. Their own method is to catch our troops in the open and from cover overwhelm them with fire. For not many days more will the Ladysmith gallant garrison be required to lie low behind their works. The relief column will surely free their hands from pnaroing the town and camps, and will enable he in to cut in upon the retreating commandoes. To dav General Bailer has within hail a force of all arms equal to that of the Boers, and eagerly demanding to be led against General Juubert's men and the Free State Boers who are also before Colenso and Ladysmith. I take it that the enemy between Colenso and Ladysmith, all told, number somewhere between 20,000 and 30,000 for what with renegades and Colonial Boer recruits their total strength must be SOMEWHERE NEAR 60,000 MEN. Generals Joubert and Botha have made the most of their advantages of position by emplacing many cannon, some of large calibre— up to 15 centimetres, — and by constructing numberless trenches and works. Their positions, however. I assume, will bo c judiciously turned and the enemy rolled back. I confidently anticipate that the coming battle will be by for the biggest and the fiercest of the war. But then war is even more uticer aiii than cricket. Our soldiers will n,,(, fail the country. That is absolutely certain if they arc given a fair chance to engage upon anything like equal terms. I plump for A COMPLETE BRITISH VICTORY, and it is given me further to forecast that if the punishment meted out to and the pressure brought to bear upon the discomfited Boers be vigorous and persistent many prisoners, guns, and much spoil should fall into General Buller's hands, the invasion of the Republics be terminated, and the end of the war certainly be brought within a few months distant.
COLONEL PRYCE-JONES, M.P., ON THE VALUE OF VOLUNTEER FORCES. Colonel Pryce-Jones, M.P. (officer commanding 5th V.B.S.W.B.) has expressed the opinion that the Volunteer force is not so efficient as it ought to be because it is not treated as it should be by the Government. To take an example of this, during the time in camp a Volunteer loses his wages. Why should he be expected to make sacrifices and half starve his family and risk losing his situation ? With more encouragement and better financial treatment the Volunteer force could be made a i most valuable addition to the Regulars, and then if called upon would after a few months' consecutive drill be excellent soldiers. There is, iu Col Pryce- Jones's opinion, no inducement given for the men to join. Some compensating privilege should be given. Col Pryoe-Jones sees no difficulty in carry- ing out a system of a Volunteer Reserve if the country, Government, and War Office desired it.
RENEGADE BRITISH SOLDIER CAPTURED. IMPORTANT STATE MENTS. CAPETOWN, December 23. I learn on good authority that a man named Green, who was formerly a sergeant-major in the British Balloon Department, fell into our hands, having been shot in the leg at Magersfontein. He deserted from Aldershot in 1893, and it is under- stood that he has been for some time in the service of the Boers. lIe says he instructed the Boers in trench-making. According to his account, there are 23,000 of the enemy at Magersfontein, of whom 21,000 were engaged on the day of the battle. The trenches extend 15 miles. Green further states that the trenches were full of dead after the battle and that the Boer losses were very heavy. He declared that if the attack had been pressed the boers would have given way. Boer horses had to Be taken to Moddsr River to water.
STRENGTHENING 3TOBMDERG POSITIONS. STF.RKSTROOM, December 24. Boers are reported to be busily engaged strength- ening their already strong positions at Stormberg. Our troops are in excellent health and spirits, and the scouts are doing splendid work.
A WELSHPOOL MAN AT ESTCOURT INTERESTING LETTER. Mrs M Owen, 25, Mount street, Welshpool, has received a letter of which we give extracts, from her son, Pte John Owen (4319), a bandsman of the D" Company, 1st Battalion Royal Welsh Fusi- liers :—" Dear mother and sister,—Just a few lines to let you know that I am alive and kicking. The Boers have been shelling our camp and one of the shells dropped about ten yards from me. Alto- gether about twelve shells fell around us, and several times I thought I was a goner." We have been guarding a bridge at JYloGi river, but now we are at Estconrt, having arrived after a forced march from Mooi during which we drove the Boers in front of us. The enemy have gone further up now. I have not had my boots or clothes off for a fort- night, and have often slept near the camp of the Boers. I have seen a little life in my time but none so bad as this. It is pitiful to see so many of my comrades dead and wounded on the ground. The Government is giving a Victoria Cross for the first man who gets into Pretoria. Please remember me to all enquiring friends.- Your loving son, John Owen." A CORPORAL'S ACCOUNT OF THE WAR. A corporal in the 3rd Grenadier Guards, who is a Preston man, has sent a letter written at Modder River a few days after the engagement. The writ- er states:—" You will no doubt have seen by the papers that my regiment has been in the thick of the fight, and of the bayonet charge we made when we took the hills at Belmont. We were not men that morning we were madmen. The bullets were coming down on U', like rain, and 20 of our batta- lion went down never to rise again. But when we did get at them our bayonets went through them. We would not give or take any mercy. Every Boer we got to had to go. I must have borne a charmed life, as the bullets were whistling around me like hailstones, and I escaped without a scratch. My poor companion, a corporal, was shot dead wlose to me. When I saw him fall I had no feeling in me, and avenged his death, 1 know. The next engagement we had we had not so much to do, but this one at Modder River on Tuesday was a terrible fight. It started at six o'clock in the morning, and lasted until seven o'clock at night. I was twelve hours lying on the ground shooting, without any- thing to eat or drink, and it was scorching hot (as it is the height of summer here), and my lips were swollen like puddings. I fired over 500 rounds of ammunition, and we shifted them at the finish. We did not lose as many men as at Belmont, and I say this, [ Anyone who says the Boors can shoot teil them I say they can't.' Well, I thank God I am alive. Out of 1,040 men that left Gibraltar of the 3rd Grenadier Guards there are 650 of us left The rest are either killed or wounded. We are stopping here for the week, and then I expect we shall have another fight and get into Kimberley, which is 20 miles from here. I never had my booti off for nearly three weeks, and we have to sleep with one blanket around us, ready dressed, to rise at any minute, and our rifies ready by our side. We even have to keep our hats on. It is a very hard campaign, but I hope we shall get through all right."
FIGHTIN' BOBS. The Fall ill-ull Gazette reprints Rudyard Kipling's verses on Lord Roberts, which appeared in the Pall Mall Magazine of December, 1893. We quote the poem. There's a little red-faced man, Which is Bobs Rides the tallest'orse 'e rears, Our Bobs If 'e bucks or kicks or rears, 'E can sit for twenty years, With a smile round both 'is ears— Can't yer, Bobs! Then' ere's to Bobs Babadur- Little Bobs, Bobs, Bobs 'E's our pukka KancTahader- Fighting Bobs, Bobs, Bobs 'E's the Uook of Aggy Cliel 'E's the man that done us well, An' we'll follow 'im to 'ell— Won't we, Bobs ? If a limber's slipped a trace, 'Ook on Bobs If a marker's lost 'is place, Dress by Bobs, For 'e's eyes all up 'is coat, An' a bugle in his throat, An' yon will not play the goat Under Bobs, Bob, Bobs! 'E's a little down on drink, Chaplain. Robs; But it keeps us outer Clink— Don't Bobs ? So we will not coniplam, Tho' 'e's water on the brain, If 'e leads us straight again—- Blue-light Bobs. If you stood 'itll on 'is 'ead, Father Bobs, You could spill a quart o' lead Outer Bobs, 'E's been at it thirty years, An-amassin' souveneers In the way 0' slugs an' speal's- Ain't yei-, Bobs? What 'e does not know 0' war, Gen'ral Bobs, You can arst the shop next door- Can't they, Bobs? Oh, EttIe, but he's wise; 'E's ,i terror for 's size, Au' e does—not—advertise— Do, yer, Bobs ? Now they've made a bloomin' Lord Outer Bobs, Which was but 'is fair reward— Weren't it Bobs? An' 'e'll wear a coronet Where 'is 'elmet used to set; But we know you won't forget— Will yer Bobs ? Then 'ere's to Bobs Bahadur- Little Bobs, Bobs, Bobs; Pocket Wellin'ton an' arderf Fighting Bobs, Bobs, Bobs; This ain't no bloomin' ode, But you've helped the soldier's load, And for benefits bestowed, Bless yer, Bobs! Go ahead. f And a half.
CORPS OF RAILWAY PIONEERS. The Imperial Government has authorised forma- tion of a Corps of Railway Pioneers. Many men have already been enlisted, mostly mechanics. The corps is to be sent to Cape Town immediately. Major Copper, of the Royal Engineers, will command the corps. In view of probable requirements the transport Nubia," at Durban, is being fitted up as a hospital ship. The transport Roslin Castle," after landing troops from Cape Town, left Natal for Cape Town yesterday. The Imperial Yeomanry Committee has now every hope of obtaining the full number of men asked for, namely, ten thousand. The limit of three thousand mentioned by the newspapers iwas not an official statement, but merely a suggestion.
TEE DEPARTURE OF THE SOUTH WALES BORDERERS. RESERVISTS LEAVE BRECON. The first draft of Reservists, numbering 52, left Brecon en route for Aldershot by the 7.45 Brecon n and Merthyr train on Wednesday morning, Captain Goring being in command. Before leaving barracks Colonel E S Browne, V.C., (commanding 24th Regimental District), addressed a few words of excellent advice to the men, and wished them good luck. The men were played to the station by the band of the 3rd Battalion South Wales Borderers, and a large number of the townspeople assembled on the platform to see the men off. As the train steamed out of the station the band played" Auld Lang Syne," and there were patriotic demonstra- tions on the part of the townspeople and military. The bulk of the first division of the Reserve (A, B, and C sections) left on Thursday morning at ten o'clock, by special train. The depot of the 24th Regimental District at Brecon was on Wednesday the scene of consider- able bustle and activity, as the day was the last on which A, B, and C classes of the Reservists of the South Wales Borderers had to arrive at head- quarters. A, B, and C number in all 551, and of these 78 had arrived up to midnight on Tuesday. During the morning men came iu quickly. During the afternoon the Reservists poured in from the Ebbw Vale and Tredegar district, and early in the evening a coi.siderab>e number arrived from Bristol and the Newbridge and Abercarn districts. By 8 o'clock over 500 men had arrived, and each train to arrive added to the number. The first batch for Aldershot, consisting of 43 Reservists and 10 men from the depot, left, as stated above, for Aldershot in the course of the day. On Thursday morning 150 more left in special coaches by the train leav- ing Brecon at 7-45. They travelled to Aldershot via Newport, where c1urÏJ¡g a brief stoppage they were entertained by the Newport Companies of the 3rd and 4th V.B. South Wales Borderers. NEWPORT VOLUNTEERS' HOSPITALITY. At Newport Station, where the train conveying Wednesday's contingent arrived at ten o'clock, a welcome surprise had been prepared by the officers and men of the two Volunteer battalions of the South Wales Borderers. This consisted of hot ccffee and sandwiches of a substantial kind, wrapped in packages before hand, tobacco in two-ounce papers, and a briar-root pipe for each man. A twenty-minute wait was utilised whilst the con- tingent was regaled with the lunch, waiters handing round the hot drink and the sandwiches. The Volunteer officers included Major Llewellin, Major Celborne, Lieuts Dawson, Phillips and Roberts, and they assisted in seeing that the wants of all were met. The men were delighted with this evidence of good comradeship from the Newport Volunteers, and the bitterly cold morning gave a zest to the extemporised lunch. The train steamed out on its way south amidst hearty cheers and the exchange of good wishes. His Worship the Mayor of New- port, who was also present, addressed a few words to the men as the carriages were hitched on to the London train, and wished them God-speed and a safe return. As far as the people of Newport were concerned, they promised to look after the wives and children whilst the men were away doing their country's work. OTHER RESERVISTS. On Wednesday about 200 men of the East Lancashire Regiment left Burnley for Aldershot en route for South Africa.
MORE BORDERERS OFF. A third draft of Reservists of the South Wales Borderers left Brecon on Friday for Aldershot. They numbered 302, and had a good send off, the railway station being crowded. Captain Beau- cbamp is in command. Printed and Published bv Samuel Salter and David Rowlands, at their Offices, 21, Berriew Street, Welshpool, in the County of Montgomery, and Hock View, Towyn, in the County of Merioneth. —Thursday, January 4, 19CO.