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TOPIC: March 18th

March 18th 5 years 2 months ago #2538

  • djb
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1900 - Mafeking siege day 157 (72%). Broadwood with 2nd Cavalry Brigade moves to Thaba 'Nchu. Lord Kitchener occupies Prieska. Boers blow up railway bridge at Glen Siding.
2012 - Launch of the Talana Account and Medal Roll

In Mafeking:

I went down to the brickfields to the advanced trenches; down there both parties had agreed not to shoot, and exchanged tobacco for peach brandy, &c, asking after their various friends and relations. I got three snap shots at the Boers in the advance trench, and we studied each other with great curiosity, our clean shirts, collars, and Sunday clothes apparently astonishing them as much as their remarkable grime surprised us. On the way back there is a pleasant meadow, in which we lay and smoked and tried to pretend it was England, though that was somewhat a failure. Whilst down there I met an old warrior who had drifted a long way from his last fight. A native of Bagdad, he was in Sarif (?) Pasha's command at Plevna, which he said was a very different siege to this; he says they fought only occasionally there, and then killed thousands of men, but rested in between, whilst here we were continually shooting. If we killed thousands here the siege would soon come to an end. The old man is very fit and seems to enjoy his fighting still. Runners came in from the south this morning who had seen the relief of Kimberley, which impressed them very much. They said that the man who wrote the Bible must have been referring to the English army, when he spoke of the Tribes of Israel and the thousands which composed them, and that the aforesaid army was big enough to eat up all the Kaffirs; they reported, also, that the searchlights of the force advancing up the line had been seen as far as Taungs, and that the Boers were concentrating, but are pretty thick between here and the advancing force. As regards this place the boot will soon be on the other leg, as the Boers are now afraid to move about except in large bodies, and we hope that our communication will soon be thoroughly restored. The runners from Setlagoli reported that the raiding party I spoke of on the 13th, had killed and wounded some twenty Boers, including the man who had shot one of our Baralongs in cold blood the day before. There was a smoking concert to-night to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, largely attended by Irishmen and others; the proceedings were harmonious throughout.

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David Biggins

March 18th 2 months 1 week ago #52678

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1900 - From the diary of Miss Bella Craw in Ladysmith, the penultimate entry.

Bert about the same, very weak and temperature high. The others doing nicely. I didn't realize until I heard the Church bells ringing that it was Sunday. Uncle Joe left this afternoon taking Uncle George's portmanteau with him. Mr. Fred Tatham evidently had forgotten all about it. I am afraid Uncle George will think it was my fault.

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David Biggins

March 18th 2 months 6 days ago #52688

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I have certainly enjoyed reading these entries, they provide a scarce and fascinating insight into situation in Ladysmith during the wretched siege.


djb wrote: 1900 - From the diary of Miss Bella Craw in Ladysmith, the penultimate entry.

Bert about the same, very weak and temperature high. The others doing nicely. I didn't realize until I heard the Church bells ringing that it was Sunday. Uncle Joe left this afternoon taking Uncle George's portmanteau with him. Mr. Fred Tatham evidently had forgotten all about it. I am afraid Uncle George will think it was my fault.

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