A HOWITZER CORPS. CAPTURE OF A LAAGER. A Johannesburg telegram says that six howitzer batteries have been incorporated with the corps which is being formed from the Artillery, and which will eventually be equipped as Mounted Infantry. The corps will number fifteen hundred. A telegram from Pretoria, despatched yesterday, states that on the night of Decembar 31 General Bruce Hamilton, executing a night march, captured a Boer laager, with twenty-two prisoners and a number of cattle and waggons. Many Boers escaped across the Swaziland border.
ERASMUS CAPTURED. BRUCE HAMILTON AGAIN. Monday. Lord Kitchener, in a Despatch to the War Office, announces that General Bruce Hamilton's Columns, J.- iL. Vt-1 rt cnpra TWamW*r- filrasmus, a considerable amount ot stock, and a number of waggons. General Elliott secured twelve Boers in an action with De Wet's rearguard to the Northward of Reitz.
RUNNING THE GAUNTLET. BOER PARTIAL SUCCESS. One hundred men of the Standerton Commando, under Britz, endeavoured to cross the line, with the object of joining De Wet. General Spens, hearing of this, followed them along the railway. The block-houses opened fire on the Boers, of whom 50 got across. The rest retired and ran into General Spens's force, who captured 24. The Boers also lost several killed and wounded.-Col Garratt, while making a reconnaissance in the Vryheid district, had his advance guard charged by 500 Boers. The enemy were driven off.
STAR REPUBLISHES. STARTED BY LORD MILNER. Johannesburg, Jan. 3 The Star newspaper recommenced publication to-day in the presence of Lord Milner and many leading men of the Rand. His Excellency himself started the machinery, amid cheers, and afterwards proposed the success of the Star, saying he trusted that its future career would be as brilliant as its past.
DISPERSAL AND CAPTURES, Tuesday. A telegram from Pretoria states that General Elliott, while chasing De Wet, captured ten of his men. The pursuit resulted in the dispersal of De Wet's force.-From Standerton, it is said that General Bruce Hamilton, on Friday, captured sixty- nine Boers, with several waggons and some cattle, in the district round Amsterdam.-It is announced from Bloemfontein that Field Cornet Leroux and Corporal Erasmus, with thirty-three men, were captured on Saturday in the central district of Orange Colony by a force of Constabulary. Field Cornet PretoWus and ter other men were killed.
SCOTS GREYS CUT UP. DENIAL OF A REPORT. In the neighbourhood of Bronkhorst Spruit, last week, a squadron of Scots Greys were cut off from their main body, and, in the encounter which ensued, seven of them were killed and ten wounded. Lord Kitchener has replied, to a telegram of in- quiry, that the report recently circulated that two Intelligence Officers, named Steere and Kerr, had been treacherously shot by the Boers near Warm- baths, iff without foundation. Six batteries of Royal Horse Artillery have been formed into a corps of Artillery Rifles, and have taken the field.
THERON SURPRISED. DE WET'S CAUTION. Lord Kitchener also reports the surprise of Theron's commando at dawn on Saturday, near the jui ctirn of the Yet and Zand rivers, in the Orange River Colony, when Field Cornet Pretorius and another Boer were killed and 35 captured, includ- ing Field Cornet Leroux, and several wounded. He adds that General Elliot's columns have been con- stantly engaged with General De Wet's outposts, but have been unable to force a general engage- m6nt' IMPROVED SITUATION.
WEEKLY REPORT. Columns report following for the week, inclusive of those separately reported, namely Thirty-six Boers killed, nine wounded, 261 prisoners, 72 sur- renders. Also 145 rifles, 2680 rounds small-arm ammunition, 92 waggons, 460 horses, and 4700 cattle.
LOCAL CASUALTIES. 2nd Shropshire Light Infantry: 4183 Pte A Orchard, dead (pneumonia, Middelburg, Transvaal, Jan. 2. 6149 Pte W Jones, dangerously ill (enteric), Pretoria, Jan. 3. 3067 Pte C Littleford, dead (enteric), Middelburg, Transvaal, Jan. 3.
WAR ITEMS. The War Office, a News Agency says, has under consideration the subject of the supply of false teeth to soldiers, and especially to recruits for service abroad. It has been offically reported that in regard to 60 per cent, of the rejected volunteers for Major General Baden-Powell's South African Police the cause set down was bad teeth, and it now appears that hundreds of applicants for service with the Yeomanry in South Africa are being disqualified on the same ground. The dental hospitals of London have conveyed an iiafui mal intimation to the Secretary of State for War that they are prepared to make deficiencies in teeth good, or to supply complete sets to men otherwise eligible at 91 per head.
JOURNEY OF THE COURT. COMMISSARIAT AND SUICIDE. But few foreigners witnessed the passage of the Court on the way to Honan. There has been a great and continual crush at every stopping place, but complete order has prevailed. For eight days after the departure of the Imperial party from Kai-feng-fu the road was thronged with its retinue. At Cheng-te-fu a photograph was taken. Here the soldiers and populace were polite and friendly. At Fang-yin the runners and underlings who pre- ceded the Court devoured all the food prepared for the Emperor, and the commissariat officers, to avoid disgrace, committed suicide. The three hundred cooks engaged at Cheng-te-fu to prepare meals for the Court party secured their pay in advance, and when they found themselves unequal to satisfying the demands of the hungry retinue they decamped taking with them everything they could carry. The difficulty of supplying food has been the main cause of trouble along the entire route. Three Magistrates, it is reported, have already been dismissed in Chi-li on account of this.
ARRIVAL AT PEKIN. Wednesday. The return of the Chinese Court to Pekin yester- day was accompanied by a striking and brilliant scene. The Emperor and Empress were attended by a thousand Chinese noblemen gorgeously at- tired, and they passed through a double row of soldiers, all kneeling, extending over four miles,
+ — PUBLICATIONS. In The Strand Magazine for January The Hound of the Baskervilles," by Conan Doyle, is continued, and proves as usual exciting reading. Other articles include "A King's Gallery of Beauty," A New Year's Gift" (a tale of two children), "Sporting and Athletic Trophies," and many other interesting articles. The Quiver for January opens with an interview with Mr Frederic Goodall, R.A., under the title of "A Painter of Bible Stories," and, in addition, to serial stories by S Baring-Gould and David Lyall, offers its readers five complete stories suitable for family reading. The Dean of Gloucester writes upon What I saw in the Catacombs," and Dr R F Horton on The Decian Persecution." The Rev H B Freeman is the author of an anecdotal paper on "Martyrs of Money-making," and devotional papers are contributed by Canon Hay Aitken and the Rev Mark Guy Pearse. A new hymn tune by the organ- ist of York Minster, an article on cripple children at work and play, illustrated with reproductions of their drawings, some illustrated pages of Temper- ance Notes and News, and Short Arrows are among the other contents of the number. (Price 6d).
Principal Lang, of Aberdeen University, on Friday received from Lord Strathcona a cheque for £25,000 to assist in completing the University Extension Scheme. The noble Lord, who is at present Lord Rector of the University, promised the cheaue if a like amount was raised by the public before Christmas, and that condition has been complied with.
FOOTBALL CHAT. [BY "LINESMAN."] The matches at Dolgelley on New Year's Day were conspicuous for heavy scoring, the number of goals that were piled on being abnormal. The semi-final between Towyn and the Volunteers was disappointing, as although the Rovers were expected to win it was thought that they had a stiff task in front of them. But the reverse proved to be the case, and although for the first half-hour the Volunteers had a good share of the game they fell away with start- ling rapidity afterwards, and when the whistle went for time they had been defeated by seven goals to nil. However there is the making of a good team in the ranks of the 3rd V.B. but they will have to play regularly and get to understand each other's style which was their weak point on Saturday. Towyn played a fair game, but it was hardly up to the average and they will have to display a lot more energy if they intend to get the Cup, although they certainly were very smart at goal-getting on Saturday. They will have to face a very different quality of defence in the final they may be sure, when a single bad miss may cost them the game. It will be an eventful match, and given a fine day a good game should result, and may the best team win, say 1. The match in the afternoon between Aberystwyth and Dolgelley was somewhat spoilt by the heavy rain, but this did not prevent the home team from administering a severe thrashing to the town. It is true that they were weakly represented. How- ever as in the first game, there is not much need for comment. The result of the severe battles between Aberystwyth and Portmadoc has been a great surprise. It is to be hoped that after their severe training the Madocians will be able to get into the next round. It any case they ought to ""The iíûâT gelley uup taice" place next month, and given a fine day a splendid game is sure to result.
THE LEAGUE. Goals. P. W. L. D. F. A. P. Sunderland. 20 12 4 4 33 23 28 Aston Villa. 21 11 6 4 30 19 26 Everton 19 10 5 4 36 24 24 Blackburn Rovers 20 9 6 5 28 23 23 WolverhamptonW. 20 8 7 5 28 32 21 Sheffield United 20 8 8 4 37 27 20 Bury 19 7 6 6 26 22 20 Derby County 18 7 5 6 21 18 20 Notts Forest 21 7 8 6 26 29 20 Sheffield Wednesday 17 7 5 5 27 30 19 I Newcastle United 18 6 6 6 28 16 18 I Liverpool .18 6 6 6 28 20 18 Bolton Wanderers. 19 6 7 6 29 28 18 Stoke 19 7 8 4 28 36 18 Notts County 21 7 12 2 31 41 16 Small Heath 18 5 10 3 23 31 13 Grimsby Town 19 5 11 3 18 38 13 Manchester City 17 3 11 3 16 36 9
DE WET AND BLOCKHOUSES. BOTHA AND PARLIAMENT. Saturday. A Correspondent at Pretoria reports renewed Boer Activity connected with the blockhouse lines. De Wet has ordered his Commandants to retard the work of building the blockhouses at any cost, and further fighting of a more or less serious nature may be anticipated. From Johannesburg it is stated that General Botha has sent a note to all the Boer Commandants urging them to keep on fighting, as the British Parliament is about to meet and when more money is required to carry on the war the troops will be withdrawn from the country.
PLUMER ENGAGED. SERIOUS BRITISH LOSS. Wednesday. In a despatch from Johannesburg Lord Kitchener states that General Plumer, working north from Amersfoort, in the Eastern Transvaal, in connection with General Spens and Colonel Pulteney, was engaged with a strong Boer force under Chris. Botha and Opperman on January 3 and 4. The enemy were driven from their positions, but in the second day's fighting a portion of the British force suffered severely. Major Vallentin, of the Somereet Light Infantry, and 18 men were killed, and five cfficers and 28 men wounded.
THREE LAAGERS SURPRISED. A Boer laager was surprised on the Upper Oliphant's River on Sunday, a column from Kimberley surprised another at Mokwani on Saturday, aud at dawn on Sunday a third was surprised at Waterval. Five Boers were killed and 46 prisoners taken in the three laagers.
General French reports a great improvement in the situation in Cape Colony. In the north- eastern district, General French says, little more than an elaborate police system is required. In the south-west the British columns are chiefly em- ployed in getting supplies up to facilitate operations at greater distances from the railway line. The midland district remains clear.
PROMOTIONS AND APPOINTMENTS. The undermentioned Officers, on having relin- quished their Commissions, are granted honorary rank in the Army as follows, with permission to wear the uniform of the Corps:- 9th Battalion Imperial Yeomanry (Montgomery Denbigh and Pembroke).-To be Honorary Lieut. ColonelLieut. Colonel H R L Howard, C.B. To; be Honorary Captains Captains S L Parry, D.S.O., R W H W Williams-Wynn, E D Miller D.S.O. G Fitz Hugh, and A S Trevor. Temporary -Adirjtani;. To be Honor.a.rv ,V 8 H Jones, F J Walton, W H Partridge, L Tamworth, and C W Neligan. To be Honorary Veterinary Lieutenant -Lieut. A Bate, Veterinary Officer.
THE COMBINATION. Goals. P. W. L. D. F. A. P. Wellington Town 15 9 3 3 26 14 21 Wrexham 12 8 0 4 36 10 20 Witton Albion 18 9 7 2 31 28 20 Nantwioh .15 8 5 2 36 25 18 *Burslem Port Vale 12 7 2 3 27 14 15 Oswestry United 14 6 5 '3 29 19 15 Tranmere Rovers 13 5 4 4 28 21 14 Liverpool White Star 11 6 5 0 27 23 12 Bangor 10 3 4 3 18 20 9 Rhyl 11 3 5 3 20 23 9 Chirk .14 4 10 0 23 41 8 Newton. le- Willows 13 2 8 3 16 48 7 *Chester 14 2 8 4 26 39 6 Birkenhead 11 2 7 2 14 29 6 *Two points deducted for playing an ineligible man. WELLINGTON AND DISTRICT LEAGUE. P. W. L. D. F. A. P. Trench .oo oo. 5 5 0 0 26 4 10 Singleton & Cole's. 6 3 1 2 22 7 8 Bridgnorth 5 2 2 1 11 15 5 Hadley 6 2 3 1 9 13 5 Shrewsbury R. 0. 4 2 2 0 12 11 4 Brosetev 2 0 2 0 4 8 0 Welshpool 4 0 4 0 6 32 0
FRIENDLY MATCHES. I ROYAL WELSH WAREHOUSE v OSWESTRY. In view of the Cup tie the R.W.W. offered a guarantee to Oswestry United to visit them last Saturday. This was acoepted, but the gate, owing to the inelement weather, hardly covered the ex- penses and the guarantee figure. Nevertheless the Oswestry team, which included two reserves, gave the homesters a lot of useful practice. The home. sters were minus Rees and Nock which materially altered the play all round. Mr Thomas Evans ful- filled the duties of referee very satisfactorily. The visitors won the toss and elected to play with a strong wind and the slope in their favour. The Oswestry men kept the play well down in their opponents' quarters and forced a corner which was got away, but Hodnett made a brilliant run, the ball finally going over the line. Tudor, Morris, and Parry made a very pretty run, the latter putting the ball over the bar. Percival tricked two opponents very effectively and gave the ball to his partner and H Jones sent in a long shot which Edwards cleared with ease. Off.siae against Mar shall stopped a nice bit of work, Marshall and Hodnett sent in some strong shots, and Edwards gave a corner in clearing one from the latter. Edwards went through a lot of work after which the Warehousemen had a try at the top goal, Latham sent in a shot over the bar when he should have scored easily. He and Miller got up and Latham gave Tracey a very difficult shot to clear, a corner resulting. Miller put the corner rather far out, but E Davies sent in a lightning shot which Tracey again tipped over the line, Morris headed the free-kick over the bar. A corner was given to Oswestry, but from this the homesters again got up, and Pilot sent in the ball to a heap of players and Morris got his head under and placed the ball in the net. This livened matters somewhat but play was not of a brilliant or attractive nature half time being called with the homesters leading by one to none. In the second half the play opened very tamely but the home forwards seemed to get most of the play, and peppered shots into Tracey's charge, who treated the spectators to the finest goalkeeping seen on the ground this season. Despite shots, and good ones, from all quarters of the field Tracey proved invulnerable, his clearances being as marvel- lous as they were cool. After this the visitors played up but they also found an impregnable defence. The game at the end became very loose none of the players exerting themselves, and time was called, leaving the Warehouse men again the victors by one goal to none.
DOLGELLEY V ABERYSTWYTH. This match was played during the afternoon of New Year's day, and attracted a large gate, but unfortunately rain fell shortly after the commence- ment, which made it unpleasant for both spectators and players. The game was in charge of Mr Matthew Edwards, Towyn. Dolgelley were repre- sented by :—Goal, R J Meredith; backs, H Hum- phreys and Gomer Davies halves, J Fitchard, H Parry and R J Williams; forwards, 0 Evans and R Meredith, E A Williams, J Owen and W Lewis. The visitors opened proceedings and attacked the home goal briskly, but they were beaten back. A smart run by Oswald James, enabled him to wet well in, and successfully evading the backs, he scored with a good shot. In a few minutes how. ever the home quintette got to work, and after some splendid play, E A Williams equalised with a terrific shot, which gave White no chance. They maintained the pressure and in less than five minutes, the same player again netted the ball and the game was won. From this to the end the visitors seldom got over the half-way line. After some sound play on the right wing Jno Owen beat White with a difficult shot. After the change of ends there was no improvement in the play of Aberystwyth, and they were penned in, preferring to remain on the defensive. The home Jen was prominent and after repeated efforts Meredith added number four. The rain made things very unpleasant and nasty slips became frequent, but Dolgelly seemed to be in their element and attacked the visitors' citadel with determination and vigour. Hugh Parry hereabouts essayed a run, but was pulled up by the backs. This however only seemed to whet his appetite and shortly after he got through with a long shot. Aberystwyth strove desparately to get away, and occasionally showed a bit of good play, but suffic it to say that Mereeith was not once called upon to save his charge. The home forwards retaliated and the left wing again showed up well, and finally Meredith beat White with a tricky shot. This finished the scoring and nothing further of note occurred, the remaining play being of a desultory character, and when Mr Edwards blew for time up the score stood at:—Dolgelly, six goals; Aber- ystwyth, one goal.
THE WELSH CUP. ABERYSTWYTH V. PORTMADOC This match was played at the Traeth Field, Portmadoc, on Saturday. The two previous games had ended in a draw of two goals each, but strong hopes were entertained that the homesters, would be successful this time. Notwithstanding the heavy rain, a large crowd assembled and a fast game resulted, Portmadoc ultimately running out victorious by two goals to one.
I A BIG BLAST. A MOUNTAIN SHATTERED. A spectacle of a grandeur was (says a Pall Mall Gazette correspondent) witnessed near Ancona last week. Twenty thousand tons of stoce were needed for building the canal quays of Pesaro, and resolved to obtain a large proportion of it by one great blasting operation. Mount Murano, a peak in the Appennines, running close to the Roman railway, in the Sierra San Quirico district of the Marches, was selected for the purpose, and fourteen quintals of dynamite were used. Strangers and tourists had assembled from a great distance to witness a blast" of such proportions. At 10 a.m. the huge mine was exploded by electricity. The effect was awe-inspiring. Deepreveberationa oohood fchrougll all the valleys of the region, and a column of flame shot up a great height, bearing enormous blocks of stone and masses of earth upon its crest. When all wa.s over, Mount Murano bad ceased to exist. The rock formation has been shattered into easily manageable blocks.
KAISER AND OFFICERS. SOME PLAIN SPEAKING. The Kaiser is said to have issued some decisive orders on January 1 to the officers of the Imperial army. He seized the occasion of congratulatory greetings to his highest officers to refer to some of the scandals which agitated the Germany army some time ago. The Kaiser insisted, in usually plain words, that drinking and duelling among officers and maltreatment of the rank and file must be stamped out once and for all. He declared that no quarter would be shown to commanders who permitted such practices. At the conclusion of his speech he said 1 have spoken to you as a gentleman to gentlemen. I wish my remarks to be received in the friendly spirit in which they are uttered, but my orders in this matter are to be obeyed."
♦ ■ The Shrewsbury District Coroner on Tuesday evening held an inquest on the body of William Edmonds, an octogenarian, and a possessor of a fortuue of £ 30,000 or £40,000, who led a solitary life in a house on the i oadside five mile from Shrewe. bury, and who was found on Monday morning lying dead from exposure on the kitchen floor, with noth. ing on but a couple of shirts. The house was in an extraordinary condition, full of old bottles, barrels, and other litter, and the windows were broken and stuffed with rags and old papers.) Printed and Published by David Rowlands, at 21, Berriew Street, Welshpool, in the County of Montgomery, and at Towyn, in the County of January 9, 19C2.