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ler. It went up the railway and joined the advance upon Laing's Nek. It did not come into the fighting line until about the 1st of July, near Watervaal in the Transvaal. In its first engagement it had one man killed and two missing. On the 5th and 7th it was again subjected to slight losses, but so far has given an excellent account of itself.
The Mounted Rifles have been separated. The First Battalion has remained with General Hutton and shared in the advance past Johannesburg and Pretoria. On June 18th, at Rustfontein, just east of Pretoria, it captured two Boer 12-pounders. On July 7th it was in action near Bronkhorst Spruit, and Capt. Nelles was wounded.
The Second Battalion C. M. R. was on duty at Kroonstadt for some time. Here a small party distinguished itself by marching some distance into the country and capturing General Olivier and a son of General Botha. They were found in a farmhouse which was surrounded in the night. Later this Battalion was doing duty along the
railway lines in the northern part of the Orange River Colony.
This necessarily incomplete account of "The Maple Leaf in South Africa " may fittingly be closed with Lord Roberts' latest despatch to His Excellency Lord Minto concerning the Mounted Rifles :
"Pretoria, July 6, 1900.-I have much pleasure in bringing to your Excellency's notice the good work done by the First and Second Battalion Canadian Mounted Rifles, who have been repeatedly conspicuous for their gallant conduct and soldierlike instincts.
"During the attack by the Boers on Katbosch, on the 22nd June, a small party of Pincher's Creek men of the 2nd Battalion displayed the greatest gallantry and devotion to duty, holding in check a force of Boers by whom they were largely outnumbered.
"Corporal Morden and Private Kerr continued fighting till mortally wounded. LanceCorporal Miles and Private Miles, wounded, continued to fire, and held their ground.
"On June 18 a party of 1st Battalion, under Lieut. Young, when operating with a force under General Hutton to the northwest of Pretoria, succeeded in capturing two of the enemy's guns and brought in a herd of cattle and several prisoners without losing a man.” "ROBERTS."
IN TIME OF WAR.
OR those who went, for country and for right, To brave the battle, and to face the fight, And keep the flag triumphant in her might, Lord, we beseech Thee.
For those who fall upon the shadeless plain,
For those who watch, alone and sick at heart;
For those who lie within a soldier's grave,
AST September it began to look as if there would be serious trouble in South Africa. Special Cabinet councils were held in London to consider the unsatisfactory replies made by President Kruger to the representations of the British Government that something must be done to remove Uitlander grievances. Troops began to be despatched to augment the forces in South Africa, the British Government being animated by the patriotic spirit which rings through Tennyson's last Ode to the Queen :
A SHORT HISTORY OF THE BOER WAR.
By Norman Patterson.
The loyal to their Crown Are loyal to their own far sons, who love Our Ocean Empire with her boundless homes, For ever broadening England and her Throne In our vast Orient, and one isle, one isle That knows not her own greatness.
Early in October came the Boer ultimatum, the despatch of an army corps and Sir Redvers Buller to South Africa, and the advance of Transvaalers and Free Staters into western Cape Colony and Natal. The war to decide between
the British and the Afrikanders in South Africa was on in earnest. A special war session of the British Parliament was opened on October 17th, three days after General Buller had embarked on the Dunottar Castle at Southampton.
The first serious fighting took place in northern Natal near Glencoe and Newcastle. The Boers appeared in strength and endeavoured to get in between the forces at Ladysmith and those farther north. On October 20th there was stiff fighting around Glencoe and Dundee, marked by the death of General Sir William Penn Symons, The commander of the Natal forces. following day Sir George White issued out of Ladysmith and ably assisted by Major-General French stopped the Boer advance by a hard won victory at Elandslaagte. Four days later White again fought at Rietfontein in order to cover General Yule's retirement from Glencoe. The junction of
the two forces was effected after a memorable march by General Yule's army, and 12,000 British troops were concentrated at Ladysmith. The whole of northern Natal was thus left to the Boers and Free Staters who, to the number of 15,000, had crossed the passes with the intention of driving the British into Durban. On October 30th, White endeavoured to attack the enemy, but lost the Royal Irish Fusiliers, the Gloucester Regiment and No. 10 Mountain Battery, owing to the cutting out of the mules with the ammunition waggons.
In the meantime the Boers were advancing in the west, and Kimberley and Mafeking were besieged. From this time forward, the three border garrisons were isolated and the great interest in the early weeks of the war centred in the possibility of relief.
On November 12th, a British armoured train moved out from Estcourt south of Ladysmith and was attacked and destroyed between Frere and Chie
veley, showing that the Boer forces were penetrating south towards the Tugela. Major-General Hilyard found it necessary to defend Estcourt from
On the 23rd, in the west, Lord Methuen, who had accompanied Sir Redvers Buller to Capetown, met the Boers at Belmont where Colonel Gough had been holding them in check. The British lost over 200 killed and wounded, not having learned that frontal attacks are foolish in fighting a mobile force armed with long range rifles and assisted by modern artillery. Two days later the Boers again endeavoured to check Methuen at Gras Pan, again inflicting much loss on the victorious British. On the 28th, Methuen crossed the Modder River in the face of strong opposition and found himself within a few miles of beleaguered Kimberley. His loss on this occasion was, four officers and sixty-eight men killed, nineteen officers and 396 men woundedan almost indefensible casualty list.
December opened with Gatacre's defeat at Stormberg, where instead of surprising the enemy he was himself surprised, and lost nearly 700 men and two guns. The Northumberland Fusiliers and the Royal Irish Rifles were the unfortunate battalions. Scarcely had the British public recovered from this sharp surprise, when word came that Lord Methuen had been defeated in an attack on the Boers at Maagersfontein, the Highland Brigade being badly cut up and General Wauchope killed. This was one of the most serious disasters of the war, the casualties in the Highland Brigade alone numbering 650. Two or three days later, General Buller, who had gone to Natal to personally lead a relief expedition to Ladysmith, was defeated at the Tugela with heavy loss.
London was dazed.
The British Government acted promptly in the emergency. On December 16th, the day after Buller's defeat, the Cabinet met and decided to appoint Lord Roberts commander-inchief in South Africa, with Lord Kitchener chief of staff. On December 27th, the same steamer that had carried Sir Redvers Buller to Cape Town, sailed from Gibraltar with Roberts and
Kitchener aboard. In the meantime troops were sent
from Great Britain in
son of a hundred kingsFifty thousand horse and foot going to Table Bay.
The leading colonies were sending contingents, amounting in
all to about 6,000 men, all the reserves were called out in Great Britain, 10,000 yeoman cavalry were ordered to be enrolled, and sixty volunteer rifle corps were asked to contribute six officers and 110 men each.
Thus the year closed in gloom after two and a half months of disastrous campaigning. The Boers had lost perhaps 2,000 men, while the British losses totalled over 7,000. At first it was thought that 100,000 "Tommies," commanded by the darlings of British society would be ample to defeat the 70,000 uncultured Boers; but when Winston Churchill escaped from Pretoria he hastened to tell the British people that 250,000 men would be required, and the nation heard and believed him. The men were sent. It was a stupendous contract, but the Empire. never faltered. About the same time, Secretary Wyndham announced in the House of Commons that the army would be democratized.
January was another dark month. On the first day of the year the Canadians and Australians distinguished themselves at Douglas, and there were similar isolated successes throughout the month. On the 6th, however, seventy men and seven officers of the