" Special Army Order.

"Ladysmith, March 3rd, 1900.

" Soldiers of Natal,—The relief of Ladysmith unites two forces, both of which have during the last few months striven with conspicuous gallantry and splendid determination to maintain the honour of their Queen and country.

" The garrison of Ladysmith have during four months held their position against every attack with complete success, and endured many privations with admirable fortitude.

" The relieving force has had to force its way through an unknown country, across an unfordable river, and over almost inaccessible heights, in the face of a fully prepared, well-armed, and tenacious enemy.

" By the exhibition of the truest courage, the courage that burns steadily, as well as flashes brilliantly, it has accomplished its object and added a glorious page to the history of the British Empire.

"Ladysmith has been held and is relieved; sailors and soldiers, colonials and home-bred, have done this, united by one desire, inspired by one patriotism.

" The General Commanding congratulates both forces upon the martial qualities they have shown. He thanks them for their determined efforts, and he desires to offer his sincere sympathy to the relatives and friends of those good soldiers and gallant comrades who have fallen in the fight.

" REDVERS BULLER, General."

This inspiriting " Order" was supplemented by the following gracious message to General Buller from the Queen-Empress.

" Hope General White and his force are fairly well. Trust you and your troops not too done up after your exertions. Pray express my deep appreciation to the Naval Brigade for the valuable services they have rendered with their guns. V.R.I."

The foregoing order and message were read out to the combined forces at special parades, as were also, to the naval contingents, the following appreciative telegrams from the Admiralty and Sir Harry Rawson, the Vice-Admiral commanding Channel Squadron, respectively.

1. "The Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty express to the Naval and Marine officers and Bluejackets and Marines who have been engaged in the successful operations in Natal and Cape Colony the sense of their great admiration of the splendid manner in which they have upheld the traditions of the service and added to its reputation for resourcefulness, courage, and devotion."

2. "Very hearty congratulations from officers and men of Channel Squadron to Naval Brigade."

With the relief of Ladysmith the primary mission of the Natal Naval Brigade had ended. The Terrible had been sent from England to relieve the Powerful, but that the relief should have been effected in such a dramatic manner, was beyond the limits of human imagination.  The episode stands unique.

Immediately following the relief the commands of General's Buller and White were broken up. A portion were transferred to the western theatre of war under Lord Roberts; the remainder were reorganized into one force under Sir Redvers Buller, who was to continue the operations in Natal.

Respecting the Naval Brigade, the Terribles and Powerful's contingents received orders to rejoin their ships ; Captain Jones, with the sections of the Forte, Philomel, and Tartar, was to be attached to the reconstituted Natal Field Force, to man two 4'7's and four 12-pounders ; the remaining naval guns were transferred to the Royal Artillery.

The following information may serve to interest those whom it will mostly concern. Numbers of officers and men landed from the Terrible in South Africa—

 

Officers

Men

Marine Battalion, Stormberg Defence Force (nearly one-fourth of the force)

2

88

Brigade, with Ladysmith Relief Column(about five-sixths of the brigade)

24

220

6-inch gun's crew, with Ladysmith Relief Column

2

53

Field guns' crews, Zululand contingent

2

50

Employed at Durban, Commandant's Staff, Town Guard, Transport Service, etc.

6

77

Total, on continuous service =

36

488

(Note.—The Durban Defence Force was comprised of the majority of the above officers and men.)

Numbers of guns landed in South Africa on Captain Scott's mountings were—

1 6-inch on mobile mounting.

8 4'7's   „

26 12-pounders (12 cwt.) on mobile mounting.

5 4'7's on platform mounting.

1 4’7 mounted on railway truck.

41 guns.

Two searchlights, with Scott's flasher attachments, were fitted on railway trucks.

Nearly 20,000 rounds of shell were despatched to the front for the naval guns, more than three-fourths of which were expended by the guns of the relief column, about 4000 by the 4'7's, and the remainder by the 12-pounders; the 6-inch, at the final operations, fired nearly 500. Gun-carriages were manufactured, gun trials carried out, and much arduous work of a continuous nature was performed by those employed at the Durban base.

During the brief stay in Ladysmith camp, full advantage was taken of the permission accorded to visit the town defences and Boer investment works; visits which were interesting and instructive to the brigade. The town itself appeared practically impervious to assault, so methodically and scientifically were the defences arranged and constructed ; so that, assuming that the works could have been fully manned, and that supplies were not lacking, the town's safety could not have been jeopardized, even if assailed by the whole Boer strength of Natal. The perimeter of the defence—about thirteen miles in extent—was very large indeed for so small a garrison to defend, yet could not have been reduced without imperilling the whole position. All honour is due to the general and force for preserving such a vast line of defence intact, even when stricken with famine and disease, against a vastly more numerous, better equipped, and well-supplied foe.

An inspection of the Boer works was of equal interest to those of the town. Everywhere was evidence of a sound and scientific knowledge of military matters ; the disposition of the investing works offering little opportunity for the Ladysmith garrison to co-operate with the relieving army, or to force a way through (even if such a venture had ever been contemplated). A view of Nicholsons Nek could provoke nothing but sympathy for Carleton's unfortunate column. Unless the most cogent reasons demanded the utmost of resistance, surrender was the inevitable outcome of that luckless enterprise. The alternative was annihilation. The Boer gun positions naturally offered the greatest attraction to the gunnery men. They were indeed object lessons, which real war only seems to provide, especially those oh 'Bulwana, where the guns and magazines enjoyed absolute immunity from hostile shell fire, except, perchance, from a lucky shot fired with a miraculous precision of aim. Nevertheless, the Boer artillery, being kept at respectable distances by the long-range naval guns, had not produced much visible disaster, for the straggling-built township did not present the appearance of a place which had been heavily bombarded for some four months past. The Boers may be termed a nomadic and unmilitary people, but their works here, as elsewhere, were the products of the higher military skill, even though the strategical ability of the Boer generals was certainly in inverse ratio to the tactical mobility of the forces they commanded. The strategy they displayed, especially during the early period of the war, when the military and political situations were all in their favour, and the inexplicable inactivity of their forces at the Spion Kop withdrawal, and on the occasion of other reverses to our side, confirm this judgment.   Yet they were no mean adversaries.

A brief account of the main incidents of the now historical Siege of Ladysmith is here given. On November 2nd, three days after the abortive action of Lombards Kop, the town was isolated from the outside world, General French and his staff escaping south in the last train—the general who subsequently rendered very signal service under Lord Roberts, and who relieved Kimberley. The next day the mounted forces attempted to prevent the enemy from closing too near the southern side of the town, but their effort proved fruitless. During this day the bombardment of the defences was very heavy, numerous shells also falling inside the town, particularly about the public buildings and churches, which were then being largely used as military hospitals. This dire visitation of war to their very homesteads naturally alarmed the civilian inhabitants, who besought General White to obtain permission for them to pass the enemy's lines and proceed to Southern Natal, which request, for obvious reasons, the Boers refused to accede to. Many now bemoaned their ill-luck in not having cleared away when opportunity afforded.

" One example of that historical luck," writes Dr. Conan Doyle, " was ever before their eyes in the shape of those invaluable naval guns which had arrived so dramatically at the very crisis of the fight, in time to check the monster on Pepworth Hill and to cover the retreat of the army. But for them the besieged must have lain impotent under the muzzles of the Creusots . . . when every hill, north and south and east and west, flashed and smoked, and the great 96-pound shells groaned and screamed over the town, it was to the long thin 4'7's, and to the hearty bearded men who worked them, that soldiers and townsfolk looked for help. These guns of Lambton's, supplemented by two old-fashioned 6*3 howitzers, manned by survivors from No. 10 Mountain Battery, did all that was possible to keep down the fire of the heavy Boer guns. If they could not save, they could at least hit back, and punishment is not so bad to bear when one is giving as well as receiving."

On November 5 th, by special arrangement with the Boer commandant-general, the sick, wounded, and such of the civilian population as elected to go, were sent to a neutral position, termed Intombi Camp, about four miles outside the town. As a prolonged siege appeared inevitable, all the provisions in the town were requisitioned by the military authorities and systematically issued as part of the government rations. On the 7th, a vigorous shelling of the British positions took place, and a threatening movement was directed against Caesar's Camp, but beyond a long range rifle fire no actual attack occurred. At dawn on the 9th, the enemy's artillery opened forth as a sort of prelude to another attempt to oust the British from the Caesar's Camp defences ; the Boers, on this occasion, pressed the position more closely, but were held off without very great effort, and driven back. To ascertain the enemy's strength to the westward, and attempt the capture of some convoys observed on trek in that direction, a strong cavalry reconnaissance was made on the 14th, but the enemy being found too strongly posted on the intermediate kopjes which must have been left in the rear, the movement altogether failed. That night the enemy bombarded the camps and town at midnight for a brief period ; a practice which they indulged in for about a week, after which they ceased altogether with their nocturnal gunnery. Until the 20th little of import occurred, but on this date many casualties were caused from shell fire. The next day one of the most regrettable incidents of the siege took place, the enemy on this occasion deliberately shelling the Town Hall, which building was then being used as an auxiliary to the neutral hospitals at Intombi Camp, the Red Cross flag flying upon its tower being visible evidence of the use to which it had been put. On the evening of the 23rd, an old engine was sent under full pressure of steam along the Harrismith line to try and wreck the only engine the enemy possessed on that branch to the Free State. But the astute enemy, expecting that such an attempt was likely to be made, had blown up a culvert near the town where the evil-intentioned engine came to grief. On the 27th, the Boers unmasked a 6-inch gun on Middle Hill, south of the town, about 4500 yards distant from Caesar's Camp. An extract from General White's despatch of March 23rd, 1900, seems a propos to insert just here.

" On November 28th, two 6*3-inch howitzers were sent to occupy emplacements which had been prepared for them on the reverse slope of Waggon Hill; a naval 12-pounder was also placed on Caesar's Camp. From this position they opened fire next day, and proved able to quite keep down the fire from the enemy's 6-inch gun on Middle Hill, which some days afterwards was withdrawn from that position. I arranged an attack on Rifleman's Ridge for the night of November 29th, but was compelled to abandon it, as just at sunset the enemy very strongly reinforced that portion of their line. There can, I think, be no doubt that my plan had been disclosed to them, and indeed throughout the siege I have been much handicapped by the fact that every movement or preparation for movement which has taken place in Ladysmith, has been at once communicated to the Boers. The agents through whom news reached them, I have, unfortunately, failed to discover. I have sent away or locked up every person against whom reasonable grounds of suspicion could be alleged, but without effect. ... On November 29th, also, we observed flashing signals on the clouds at night from Estcourt, and were able to read a portion of a message. At a later period of the siege no difficulty was experienced in reading such messages, but we were without means of replying in similar fashion."

On November 30th another 6-inch gun disclosed its presence from Gun Hill, about 7000 yards distant eastward from the town, and one of its shells entered the Town Hall, causing ten casualties. From this date the building was evacuated for hospital purposes, and its inmates were placed under canvas in a gorge where shell fire could scarcely penetrate.

Certain enterprises were planned and carried into effect on the night of December 7th.   One of them, a sortie, was made with the object of destroying the 6-inch on Gun Hill. Six hundred men from the colonial regiments, and an explosive section, commanded by General Hunter, Chief of the Staff, sallied forth about 10 p.m. on their perilous mission, no one on starting, except the principal leaders, knowing whither they were bound or what was expected from them. Absolute secrecy was essential to ensure success. On arriving at the hill two-thirds of the force stayed at its base to support the movement, while the remainder scaled the hill-side in silence. When nearing the top the stormers were challenged by a suspicious Boer sentry, who, upon being answered in his own language, was content with the reply, but soon afterwards discovery of the plot took place and a heavy rifle fire ensued. Too late, however ! The explosive section rushing forward, placed the gun-cotton charge and ignited the fuze, when, after a few moments of intense suspense, the heavy gun was completely disabled. A 4'7 howitzer close by received similar treatment with the same result, and a Maxim gun was seized and carried off as a trophy of the successful venture. This brilliant exploit was performed at the small cost of eight wounded. Coincidently with the departure of the sortie force, three companies of the 1st Liverpools marched out and seized Limit Hill, an enterprise which permitted a small cavalry force to penetrate some four miles northwards and destroy the enemy's telegraph wires, and also fire some of their encampments, without loss of any kind to our side. Early the next morning a strong cavalry force proceeded north again to reconnoitre, and, if possible, destroy the railway. The reconnaissance was successful, but the vigilance of the enemy prevented any demolition of the line.

The Rifle Brigade, having volunteered to destroy a 4'7 howitzer on Surprise Hill, north-west of the town, nearly 500 of that battalion, under Colonel Metcalfe, proceeded after dusk on the night of December 10th on what General White described as "an undertaking of very considerable risk." Skilful guidance took the force to within a few yards of the crest line before discovery occurred, the surprise being most complete, likewise the gun's destruction.   While effecting the retirement the line of retreat was found barred by the exasperated enemy, who compelled the stormers to fight their way through to safety with the bayonet. Though success had rewarded the venture, the gallant Rifles lost in casualties about one-tenth of the number who went forth. The inspiriting feeling which these cheering episodes had created was soon to be marred by the dispiriting helio news received on December 16th, announcing General Buller's reverse at Colenso. That "hope deferred maketh the heart grow sick" was bitterly realized by the disappointed garrison. The rapid increase in the number of sick, which had risen from 475 on November 30th to 1558 on December 31st, was, states General White, " a chief source of constant anxiety," as is easily understood, for each sick man was a unit lost to the defence.

The desperate assault on Ladysmith on January 6th having already been dealt with in a previous chapter, further description here would be superfluous, suffice it to say, that by the issue of that brilliant contest a crisis of immeasurable magnitude was averted. On the 8th a thanksgiving service was celebrated in commemoration of this invaluable victory to the British arms. From that date until the town was relieved on March 1st the struggle, to quote General White, " became one against disease and starvation even more than against the enemy . . . the supplies of drugs and suitable food for invalids being entirely insufficient for so many patients for so long a period. Even more important was the regulation and augmentation of the food supplies, as will be realized from the simple statement that 21,000 mouths had to be fed for 120 days . . . and that at the date of relief we still possessed resources capable of maintaining this great number on reduced rations for another 30 days." The general's statement may be more fully appreciated when the fact is adduced that on November 30th only 70 days' rations were in stock for the garrison. Colonel Ward, C.B., was the military Moses who organized the system which supplied the multitude of oppressed warriors and townspeople with food.   Towards the close of the siege the bill of fare became scanty and variable, every conceivable means of sustaining the defence to the last extremity being resorted to. Horseflesh was issued in various forms, such as meat joints, sausages, soup, and jelly ; and those horses that were likely to die a natural death from exhaustion and weakness, following upon an insufficiency of food, were timely killed, and their flesh prepared into a reserve ration of " dried biltong."

Respecting the part taken by the Navy in the defence, Sir George White wrote (Desp., March 23rd, 1900)—

" The Naval Brigade of H.M. Ship Powerful, under Captain the Honourable Hedworth Lambton, R.N., have rivalled the best of our troops in gallantry and endurance, and their longe-range guns, though hampered by a most serious want of sufficient ammunition, have played a most prominent part in the defence, and have been most successful in keeping the enemy from bringing his guns to the ranges at which they would have been most efficient."

The amount of ammunition taken for the two 4'7's was 200 rounds each of lyddite, common, and shrapnel shells, with a corresponding supply of cartridges, and about 1150 rounds of assorted shell for the four 12-pounders. The casualties among the Powerfuls during the siege included two officers and 25 men killed or died from wounds and disease. The gunnery officer, Lieutenant Egerton, lost his life on the first day of the siege. He was directing the fire of a 4'7 gun when a 6-inch shell from a Boer " Long Tom " entered the sand-bag redoubt and shattered both his legs. "This will put a stop to my cricket, I'm afraid," was all he said, after which he lit a cigarette, thus proving himself a born leader of his fellows. All his men idolized their " Gunnery Jack," and knew him for an officer and a gentleman, whose loss could never be made good to them.

When concluding his despatches (March 23th, 1900) concerning the siege operations, Sir George White, after justly commending his forces for their respective quota of services, which will ever illuminate the pages of British military history, wrote as follows :—

"The civil inhabitants of Ladysmith, of all ages and both sexes have uncomplainingly borne the privations inseparable from a siege, and have endured the long-continued bombardment to which they have been exposed with a fortitude which does them honour.

" In conclusion, I trust I may be allowed to give expression to the deep sense of gratitude, felt not only by myself but by every soldier, sailor, and civilian who has been through the siege, to General Sir Redvers Buller and his gallant force, who, after such severe fighting, so many hardships, and notwithstanding very severe losses, have triumphantly carried out the relief of my beleaguered garrison."

Contrary to the general and hopeful anticipation that, with Kimberley and Ladysmith relieved, Cronje's army surrendered, and Blomfontein in British occupation by March 13th, the war would either end with the fall of Pretoria, or, in the mean time, collapse altogether, a bitterly protracted struggle was maintained for more than two years longer. The subjugation of the two republics taxed the utmost military resources of the nation, and demanded all the traditional fortitude and intrepidity of British troops during that lengthy period. In about five months, or by the end of March, 1900, over 166,000 troops left English ports for South Africa, exclusive of the Colonial contingents, troops drawn from India, and those forces already at the Cape when this war broke out. Few greater achievements have ever been successfully carried out than the transport of this enormous force, a feat the difficulties and importance of which have been well brought out by that distinguished historian, Captain Mahan,1 U.S.N.   He wrote—

" The transportation of the above immense body of soldiers, with all the equipment and supplies of war needed for a campaign, a distance of 6000 miles by sea, is an incident unprecedented, and in its success unsurpassed, in military history. The nature of the war, it is true, removed from the undertaking all military or naval risk; there was in it nothing corresponding to the anxious solicitude imposed upon the British generals, by the length of their thin railroad line and its exposure in numerous critical points to a mobile enemy.

But as a triumph of organization—of method, of system, and of sedulous competent attention to details—the performance has reflected the utmost credit not only on the Admiralty, to which, contrary to the rule of the United States, this matter is entrusted, and which is ultimately responsible both for the general system in force and for the results, but also upon the director of transports, Rear-Admiral Bouverie Clark,2 to whose tenure of this office has fallen the weighty care of immediate supervision. To success in so great an undertaking are needed both a good antecedent system and a good administrator; for administration under such exceptional conditions, precipitated also at the end by the rapid development of events, means not merely the steady running of a well-adjusted and well-oiled machine, but continual adaptation—flexibility and readiness as well as precision, the spirit as well as the letter. When a particular process has had so large a share in the general conduct of a war, a broad account of its greater details is indispensable to a complete history of the operations. The number and varied distribution, in place and in climate, of the Colonial or foreign posts occupied by the British Army at the present time, and the extensive character of its operations abroad, during war and peace, for two centuries have occasioned a gradual elaboration of regulation in the transport system, to which, by the necessity of frequent changes of troops, are added an extent and a continuity of practical experience that has no parallel in other nations. These have vastly facilitated the unprecedented development demanded by the present war. A leaven of experimental familiarity, by previous personal contact with the various problems to be solved, suffices to permeate the very large lump of crude helplessness that may be unavoidably thrown upon the hands of regimental officers; and even where such personal experience has been wholly wanting to a particular ship's company, the minuteness of the regulations, if intelligently followed, gives a direction and precision to action, which will quickly result in the order and convenience essential to the crowded life afloat. Nowhere more than on board ship does man ever live face to face with the necessity of order and system, for there always the most has to be disposed in the least space.....When an embarkation is to take place, the position and arrangement of the ships at the docks, the number and regiments of men assigned to each, are arranged often many days before. The system and manner are laid down by regulation, from the time the detachment leaves the post where it has been stationed until the ship is ready to cast off from the dock and go to sea. Each man takes with him in the car, from the starting-point, his sea kit and immediate personal equipment, from which he is not permitted to part until it is handed aboard for stowage in the precise place assigned to it in the vessel. The muskets, when carried by the men on the journey, are marked each with a label corresponding to the rack where it is to stand in the ship.

" Upon arrival at the port, and during the operation of transferring, a naval officer is in charge so far as general direction on the dock and on board the ship is concerned, but without superseding the military ordering and management of the troops by their own officers. The same general arrangement continues at sea. That is, the discipline, routine, and supervision of the troops are in the hands of the military officers, as though in a garrison; but they can give no orders as to the management or movements of the ship to the sea captain who commands her. On board, the mode of life is fixed by regulation—subject, of course, to the changes and interruptions inseparable from sea conditions. The hours for rising, for meals, for drills, for bed, and all the usual incidents of the common day are strictly prescribed.....The large number of seasoned sergeants and corporals, who had embarked and disembarked half a dozen times before, contributed immeasurably to the order and rapidity of the process in each shipload that went to make up the 166,000 that left England for South Africa. But while so much falls naturally to the military element, and can best be discharged by them, because by their own self-helpfulness alone it can be carried out, the choice and equipment of ships, the entire preparation and internal arrangement of them, as well as the direction of their movements, coaling, etc., belong most fitly to the Navy, for the simple reason that equipment and supervision of this character are merely a special phase of the general question of naval administration and management, and no specialty, in whatsoever profession, is so successfully practised as by a man who has a broad underlying knowledge of, and wide acquaintance with, the profession in its general aspect. To this unimpeachable generalization the settled practice of the nation, whose experience in this matter transcends that of all others combined, gives incontrovertible support.

"A brief detail of the methods of the first departure, October 20th, 1899, will facilitate comprehension, and serve for all others.   That day four transports lay at Southampton Docks, to take on board Major-General Hildyard, with the first brigade of the first division of the army to be commanded by Sir Redvers Buller. The trains ran down to the wharf near the ships, the troops remaining in them till the usual officers, alighting, had placed the markers to indicate the positions for each company. At the signal the companies fell in; the regiments in quarter column. The companies then advanced successively, forming in line abreast their ship, between two gangways—one forward and one aft—along each of which was stretched a chain of men, who thus sent on board, one set the rifles, the other the sea-kits and valises, which, passing from hand to hand, reached certainly, and without confusion, the spot where their owner knew to seek them. The company then moved off, clearing the ground for its successor, and was next divided into messes; which done, each mess, under charge of its own non-commissioned officer, went on board by a third gangway to the living or " troop" deck.

"This unceasing, graduated process completed its results for the first ship by 2 p.m., when she cast off her lines and steamed out. The three others were then nearly ready, but were delayed a short space to receive a visit and inspection from the Commander in-Chief of the Army, with a number of the distinguished higher staff-officers. Thus five thousand troops, who had slept inland the previous night, were before dark at sea on their way to South Africa. The same scene was repeated on the Saturday, Sunday, and Monday following. By the latter evening—October 23rd—21,672 men had sailed, the order for mobilization having been issued just a fortnight before. Of this number more than half were of the Army Reserve; men, that is, who had served their time, gone into civil life, and now rejoined the colours. ... In October, from the various ports of the United Kingdom, were despatched 28,763 officers and men; in November, 29,174; in December, 19,763; in January, 27,854. In the short month of February the spur of the December disasters began to show its results, for then the figures rose to 33,591; in March, with which month my information ends, 27,348 went out. The grand total, 166,277, mav m its effects be summarized by saying that from October 20th to March 31st—162 days—an average of over one thousand men sailed daily from Great Britain or Ireland for the seat of war.

" Some illustrations of the capacity of great ocean steamers for such service may also be interesting.   Thus, the Cymric carried a brigade division of artillery, 18 guns, 36 waggons, 351 officers and men, 430 horses, with all the ammunition and impedimenta, besides a battalion of infantry; in all, nearly 1600 men. Another, the Kildonan Castle, took on an average 2700 officers and men on each of three voyages. The greatest number in any one trip was by the Bavarian—2893.

" In effect, although embarkation was not wholly confined to the great shipping ports, the vast majority of the vessels sailed from Southampton, the Thames, and the Mersey. At each of these was stationed a captain on the active list of the Navy, representing the Director of Transports at the Admiralty, and having under him a numerous staff of sea officers, engineers, and clerks, by whom the work of equipment, inspecting, and despatching was supervised. After sailing, the vigilant eye of the Transport Department still followed them by further provision of local officials at foreign and colonial ports, and by the network of submarine telegraphs, which has so singularly modified and centralized the operations of modern war."

From beginning to end of the war the number of troops despatched to South Africa reached nearly the enormous total of 400,000 men, who were transported, together with horses, guns, impedimenta, and other necessities of war, almost without incident or accident. Truly an undertaking, in magnitude, in conception and execution, which the Empire may contemplate with wholesome pride!

******

On March 11th, the Terrible s contingent left Ladysmith by special train for Durban, whither the Pozverfuls, who were en route for Simonstown—homeward bound—had proceeded four days previously. General Sir Redvers Buller, his staff, and several distinguished officers of the relief column were present at the station to bid farewell; a high compliment much appreciated by the Terribles. " Good-bye, Terribles, and good luck to you all—hope you will have a pleasant commission in China," was the general's valediction as the train slowly steamed away, which received responsive British cheers, three times three, for the distinguished Commander-in-Chief who will ever retain the most profound respect and sincere admiration of his Terrible naval brigade. For Captain Jones, also, under whose command the contingent had found campaigning the most pleasurable of service, lusty cheers were spontaneously given. His genial personality at all times, under every condition, and the cheeringly optimistic attitude he aptly displayed even when the darkest clouds of military misfortune overhung the relief column, were just the qualities to make him a popular leader.

Early on the 12th, after some eighteen hours' passage on a much-congested line, the train steamed into Durban, and during the forenoon the Zululand contingent, which had also been recalled, arrived back from their bloodless but adventurous mission. A special mark of favour from this notoriously hospitable town was awaiting the combined contingents, for the townspeople had prepared a noonday banquet, which was well calculated to leave upon men fresh from campaigning fare a pleasant impression of the last few days spent in South Africa. On the 13th nearly the whole of the landing parties rejoined the ship, which had remained continuously in the roadstead off Durban, performing the duties of senior officer's ship under the command of Lieutenant Hughes-Onslow, the navigating officer. On the 27th, Captain Scott and his staff re-embarked, Colonel Morris, C.B., having relieved the captain as Commandant of Durban.

To conclude the narrative of events of Part I., an extract from the speech {Times, June 6th, 1902) of Earl Spencer, delivered in the House of Lords on the "vote of thanks to the troops " at the expiration of the war, is here given as aptly ending the South African war history of H.M.S. Terrible. After delivering a well-merited panegyric upon the conduct of the military operations and the brilliant services rendered by the Army, British and Colonials, he said—

" Our thanks are due to all these forces. But I come to another force to whom I may perhaps be allowed to refer in somewhat partial terms—I mean the Royal Navy and the Marines. I say I may refer to them in partial terms because I had the high honour, not many years ago, of presiding at the Board of Admiralty. Our thanks are specially due on this occasion to them, and I will recall some of the circumstances connected with the advent of the Navy to South Africa. When his Majesty's ship Powerful was returning home, nothing was known of what was going on in South Africa; but when the gallant captain who commanded her heard that war was declared, he at once put into port and placed himself at the disposal of the general commanding. He at once, although he had no orders from home, took action, which was no doubt highly appreciated at home. He proceeded to the Cape, and placed his forces at the disposal of the general commanding. His colleague, a very gallant officer, Captain Scott, of the Terrible, was also there, and he did very signal service by enabling the heavy guns of the Navy—heavier, I believe, than any of those sent out with the Army from England—to be put at once into the field. The efforts of those two gallant men enabled a most powerful force to be added to the Army, and in all the earlier battles that took place you will find prominent in action the sailors and marines. (Cheers.) With regard to Ladysmith, I would venture to say that the propitious and fortunate arrival there of Captain Lambton and the ship guns had an enormous and predominant effect on the possibility of resisting the great attack of the Boers on that place. The Navy on that occasion proved, as they always have done, their valour, their desire to come to the front in war or whenever their services are required, and their power of adapting themselves to circumstances."

1 Author of " Story of the War in South Africa." Extract inserted by special permission of the publishers—Messrs. Sampson Low, Marston & Co

2 Received the honour of knighthood for his distinguished services.

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