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--THE ARMY'S RETURN.

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THE ARMY'S RETURN. HOW THE GREAT FORCE WILL BREAK UP. THE GUARDS BRIGADE. The break-up of the South African Army might be expected to follow close upon the signature of peace. That it will cease to exist as a self-con- tained fully organised militant body is probable. There will not, however, be any large or imme- diate return of troops-not as regimental units, that is to say. A statement was printed on Monday that the Guards Brigade would be sent home in time to participate in the Coronation festivities. This was said to be the King's desire, but it has been found that such a course is impracticable, and the Guards, as a whole, will not yet return. An official statement as to the disposition of certain bodies of troops will be made without delay, and its effect will doubtless prove gener- ally satisfactory to the people at home who desire to see some of the troops in London at an early date. The earliest embarkations of complete bodies of troops will be of the Reservists who are ripe for discharge or men who have earned the right to pass into the Reserve from the colours. Few people realise what this means. The exodus, all told, from the active Army will be enormous. It has been calculated that the number will total up to more than 100,000 men when all are gone, and go they must by the terms of their engagement. The effect of this upon the effec- tive strength of the Army will be very serious. The depletion when completed will leave regi- ments and battalions like skeletons, and so far from bringing home the headquarters of corps drafts must continue to go out in reinforcement. THE REGULAR GARRISON. Mr. Brodrick has put the eventual regular gar- rison of the new Colonies at some 15,000, but this low limit cannot possibly suffice for a year, prob- ably several years. The constabulary and Colo- nial corps to be depended upon eventually will take some time to organise in sufficient strength and -fitness. It would be manifestly unwise to part with any considerable number of Regular troops at present. When the country settles down, and it has been found that the war prisoners can be safely allowed to return—conditions that cannot be ar- rived at for many months-the return of the troops will commence, and generally in the fol- lowing order:— 1. The service companies raised from the ter- ritorial Volunteer battalions. 2. The Militia battalions in the order of their volunteering for service abroad. 3. The battalions of Guards that formed part of the first army-namely, the 3rd Battalion Grenadiers, the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the Coldstreams, and the 1st Battalion Scots Guards. 4. Lord Kitchener has asked to retain as much of the cavalry as possible to the last, though in the ordinary course the first of these regiments to return would be those that made up the two brigades of the cavalry division that went out with Sir Redvers Buller-viz., the 1st and 2nd and 6th Dragoons and the 6th Dragoon Guards, the 10th Hussars, the 12th Lancers, and the 5th Lancers and 18th Hussars (Natal). 5. Infantry of the line also in the order of their arrival out, governed by their original position on the roster for foreign service. This cannot be fixed exactly; nor is the list likely to be easily settled by the Quartermaster-General. No doubt the regiments that were already in Natal at the outset and those that were hurried across from India will be among the earliest to leave South Africa. Among those will be the 1st Battalion Man- 1 Chester, the 2nd Battalion King's Royal Rifles, the 1st Battalion Devonshire, the 1st Battalion Liverpools, the 1st Battalion Leicestershires, 2nd Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers, the Gordon Highlanders, the 1st Gloucesters, the 1st Bat- talion 5th Fusiliers, and the Munster Fusiliers. The several brigades that made up the divi- I sions of the 1st Army Corps contain regiments that have borne the chief part of the business, and regiments entitled to early return are Bar- ton's Fusilier Brigade, the Highland Brigade, Hart's Irish regiments, Hildyard's English regi- ments, and Lyttleton's riflemen, taking them as they were originally organised. I THE ARTILLERY. The withdrawal of the Horse and Field Ar- tillery began a long time back, and will no doubt be carried out almost completely, for it is not likely that any large force of field guns will be retained n South Afric, G, 0, P, R, T, and U, and many batteries from IV., V., VI., VII., VIII., IX., X., XI., XII., XIII., XIV., and XV. Brigade Divisions.. < There are a number of Engineer companies to come, those from 5th to 12th, the 17th, 20th, 23rd, 26th, 29th, 31st, S7th, 38th, 42nd, 45th, 46th, and 47th-bodies variously designed for performances of the many duties of the corps, whether mounted or on foot, for telegraph, pon- toons, trains, steam road transport, and the rest. The subsidiary services-Army Service, Army Medical, Army Ordnance, field hospitals, and so forth-may be reduced, but must depend largely upon the diminution of the general strength for their chance of speedy return. A considerable reduction in the staff and com- mands can be made almost immediately. Of the superior generals Sir John French, who is ac- tually the commander of the First Army Corps, with headquarters at Aldershot, will be one of the first to leave South Africa. Sir Ian Hamil- ton, who has been chief of the staff to Lord Kitchener, will, it is generally believed, be ap- pointed to the Fifth Army Corps at York, when formed, as it must be shortly. General Lyttle- ton, who is the chief in Natal, has been intended from the first to succeed Lord Kitchener in su- preme command) and will certainly remain at the Cape. Of other major-generals, those likely to be re- lieved of their commands are Barton, Hart, Sir Charles Knox, Sir Wm. Knox, Clements, Sir John Maxwell, Inigo Jones, Bruce Hamilton, and many more who have borne their share in the hardest fighting almost from the first, and who will be entitled to other and more peaceful employment. I THE HUGE STAFF. The General Staff of the Army, whether en- gaged with troops or in the thousand and one important duties connected with miscellaneous work, can be at once cut down. There is an army of D.A.G.'s, A.A.G.'s, and D.A.A.G.'s, brigade-majors, with commandants and staff officers innumerable, on railways with remounts, prisoners of war, supply and transport and traffic, and in command of mobile columns. A very sen- sible saying in outlay can be effected by dispens- ing with their services, and it must be insisted upon without delay. With regard to Lord Kitchener, it may be stated that he is at liberty to return home at once, but that he will wait a month or so before turning his command over to General Lyttleton. He is anxious for a rest from his lorg and ar- duous service, and his appearance in the Corona- tion procession would doubtless be the occasion for an immense popular ovation; but he is too good a soldier to take his hand from the plough when his guidance is still needed, and it will be probably found that he has yielded to the urgent request of Lord Milner to remain until the great task of pacification has been well begun. The withdrawal of the strong arm would be most un- wise until the machinery of civil administration, supported by constabulary, is firmly established.

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