A narrative and diary of personal experiences with the CIV Battery (Honourable Artillery Company) in South Africa.

By Driver Erskine Childers, Clerk in the House of Commons.

Dedicated to my friend and comrade Gunner Basil Williams

Contents

CHAPTER I. THE “MONTFORT.”  A wintry ride—Retrospect—Embarkation—A typical day— ”Stables” in rough weather—Las Palmas—The tropics— Inoculation—Journalism— Fashions—”Intelligent anticipation”—Stable-guard—Arrival.

CHAPTER II. CAPETOWN AND STELLENBOSCH. Landing—Green     Point     Camp—Getting     into     trim—My horses—Interlude— Orders to march—Sorrows of a spare driver—March to Stellenbosch— First bivouac—A week of dust and drill—The road to water—Off again.

CHAPTER III. PIQUETBERG ROAD.  Piquetberg Road—A fire—Kitless—A typical day—A bed— ”Stableman”— Picket—A rebel—Orders for the front, with a proviso—Rain—An ungrateful patient—”Bazing”— Swimming horses—My work—The weather—A blue letter.

CHAPTER IV. BLOEMFONTEIN.  The railway north—Yesterday’s start—Travelling made easy—Feeding horses—A menu—De Aar—A new climate— Naauwport—Over the frontier— Bloemfontein—A fiasco— To camp again—The right section—Diary days— Riding exercise—A bit of history—Longman’s Hospital—The watering-place—Artillery at drill—A review—A camp rumour—A taste of freedom—A tent scene.

CHAPTER V. LINDLEY.

CHAPTER VI. BETHLEHEM.

CHAPTER VII. BULTFONTEIN.

CHAPTER VIII. - SLABBERT’S NEK AND FOURIESBERG

CHAPTER IX. TO PRETORIA.

CHAPTER X. WARMBAD.

CHAPTER XI. HOSPITAL.

CHAPTER XII. A DETAIL.

CHAPTER XIII. SOUTH AGAIN.  Ordered home—Back to the Battery—Good-bye to the horses—The charm of the veldt—Recent work of the Battery—Paget’s farewell speech— Hard-won curios—The last bivouac—Roberts’s farewell—The southward train—De Wet?—Mirages—A glimpse of Piquetberg road—The Aurania— Embarkation scenes—The last of Africa—A pleasant night.

CHAPTER XIV. CONCLUSION.  Impressions of the voyage—Sentry-go—Troopship— Limitations— Retrospect—St. Vincent—Forecasts—The Start—The Needles— Southampton Water—Landing— Paddington—A dream.

 

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