Слике страница
[graphic][graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]



By Caroline Macklem.


HERE are few who are not aware of the terrible suffering every day witnesses among the poor natives of India. Slow death by starvation is a sad thing to contemplate, yet since October of last year many have had such scenes before them in India. The cause of these famines, we are told, is the partial or complete failure of the monsoon rains, upon which the farmers depend for the production of their crops. At the best times there is only a narrow margin which separates a certain proportion of the people from starvation, and a failure of the crops at once plunges them into distress. In the famine of 1896-7, two and a half million people died of starvation-a number exceeding half the population of Ireland. The present famine affects a much larger area than the last one did, and alas, the distress is on the in


At a meeting held in Calcutta, the Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon, said :

"If any rich man in this city is in any doubt as to whether he should subscribe, I would gladly give him a railway ticket to a famine district, and take what he chose to give me on his return. He might go with a hard heart, but he would come back with a broken one. Nor need any poor man desist from offering his mite. A mite to him may be almost a fortune to the starving."

What was said in Calcutta may be echoed here and all over the world, for India is holding up empty hands to all who will hear her cry to-day. The Indian Government is doing its utmost to meet the wants of the sufferers, but as it only aims at merely saving life, much remains to be done by private charity. The missionaries are doubtless the best dispensers of charity. They are daily besieged by the piteous cries of the hungry and starving, and will carefully handle all money entrusted to them,

[blocks in formation]

Statale Mis 100

Famine Area

2000 In receipt of rehef
542 958 Population of Province


[ocr errors]



Lucknow Benares



29.375 817 BERAR Nagpur



381.000 11.537040



1939000 12.944.805

[ocr errors]



BENGAL 3000 74 843.366


that they may the better be able to save more lives.


In the poor-houses near the large towns, the people are better provided for, but in other places they strike one as being more like beasts than human beings. Clothed with scanty rags, which cannot hide their emaciated limbs, the poor creatures fall at your feet craving for a little food. Experience has again and again shown that on the part of petty Hindu officials, the tendency is constantly to pass over outcasts in distributing relief. Some of the natives are absolutely unscrupulous and seek every device for giving short measure; they mix dirt and stones with the grains, and sometimes taking the money first, before anything is supplied, insist that no payment has been made, and so cruelly rob the people. Thankful indeed are the starving ones when an Englishman investigates their cases. It is here that the agency of the missionaries proves so valuable.


Our church papers tell us that the famine funds raised during the famines

The sad and pathetic stories that have appeared in our papers showing some thing of the terrible suffering caused by famine has awakened the sympathy of many, and Canada no doubt has had the blessing of saving many lives in India-but can we not save more? Lord Curzon tells us that the distress must continue for months, so our charity must not slumber. Can we realize the mental as well as physical suffering that these people have to endure? Death by starvation is said to be the most painful of all forms, the burning sensations and mental fantasies are described as horrible in the extreme. We know to what crimes and cruelties it has led distracted parents; everything seems to be forgotten, except the one great struggle for existence. Yet very little feeds these people--one dollar, it is said, will feed twenty for a day. Ah! how many dollars uselessly spent on unnecessary pleasures and luxuries, might have been the saving of many of these suffering people. Many have given most generously, many out of their hard-earned wages have sent their dollar and half-dollar-all has been counted and treasured and appreciated.

Those desiring to send help to the missionaries in India may do so through Miss Caroline Macklem, Sylvan Towers, Rosedale, Toronto.



of 1877 and 1897 provided for the relief of over 100,000 sufferers, without respect to race, cast, or creed, and for the maintenance of hundreds of orphans.

Many are glad to send help, especially to the Leper famine fund, in which case this should be mentioned. These poor creatures, whose pitiable condition always appeals to the sympathetic, are doubly in need of our assistance this year.


By a Canadian Officer.

THE gift of three thousand Cana

dians for service in South Africa, and another thousand for garrison duty in Canada, was no small military gift from a country with a permanent military establishment of less than one thousand. It was a true gift, however-free, timely and of sterling quality. Canada rejoices to have been able to make the gift. She rejoices that her soldiers have shown in South Africa that the Britishers of the colonies are the equals of the Britishers of the mother country-equals in pluck, equals in strength, equals in bravery, and equals in sagacity. The gift has endeared her to the Empire and the Empire's Queen, and raised Canada to a more important position than she had previously held in the eyes of the world.

From December 9th to February 12th the thousand Royal Canadians, who comprised the

first contingent, garrisoned the little depot at Belmont.

The brick


sand, the limestone veldt, and

the paltry little village palled

upon these impatient heroes as

they performed

routine du

ties and waited for the word.

It was there, however, they learned to know their duties and themselves more intimately, and it was there they acquired much of the knowledge which was afterwards to make them famous as the heroes of Paardeburg.

During the last week in December they were joined by some Australians, and the whole garrison passed under the command of Colonel Pilcher. On January first came the Douglas raid, when they saw the first shot fired in earnest. A few days later A B and H Companies, under Major Pelletier, took part in a similar raid eastward. On Jan. 23rd there was a reconnaisance into the Tredear district by an Australian and Canadian force. This column did not return to Belmont for nearly a fortnight.

Early in February the Canadians heard they were to be ordered north. The lion's whelps were to be unleash





ed. They were entered in the 9th Division, which consisted of two Brigades. One of these was the 19th, under Major-General Smith-Dorrien, consisting of the 2nd Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, the 2nd Shropshires, the 1st Gordon Highlanders, and the Canadians. On Feb. 12th they were inspected by Smith-Dorrien, and sent to Gras Pan. On the 18th they were at the Modder River, thirty miles east of Jacobsdaal. Two days later they Two days later they received their greatest baptism of fire, having a score killed and three score wounded. For six days longer they held their ground with little to eat and less to drink, and then made the final rush an hour before Cronje surrendered. In this engagement they had 13 killed and 31 wounded. Paardeburg had been fought and won, and the Canadians had taken a heroic part in the tragedy.

Roberts entered Bloemfontein, and the Canadians were not far behind.

Two months

of waiting and one month of

fighting, and the thousand "boys" who

went to South Africa on a sort of picnic trip were tried and trusted veterans. They and the other colonials taught the world that the citizen with militia training takes little drilling to make him the equal of any soldier of the line. They and the other colonials taught the world that colonial troops are more capable of acting coolly and judiciously in an emergency than those soldiers who have been trained into automatic machines. They taught the world that the development of individual intelligence does not mean a loss of bravery or courage.


Worn and weary, emaciated by the lack of food, burning with fever brought on by impure water, ragged and unkempt, they set out for Bloemfontein with General Roberts. They acted as supports at Poplar Grove and took a slight part in the battle of Dreifontein on March 10th. Three days later

What about the Mounted Rifles and the Artillery? The Laurentian landed the first portion of the Second Contingent at Capetown on February 17th, and eight days later the Pomeranian arrived.

Early in March D and E Batteries, under Colonel Drury, and the Canadian Mounted Rifles-such as had arrived were sent up the railway to Victoria west, and were then marched west to Carnarvon, which they reached about the middle of the month. This town was used as a base from which to march into the Kenhardt district of Cape Colony, where rebel farmers had gathered in considerable force.

« ПретходнаНастави »