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May 22, 1912
The Southampton Hospital Contingent.—Tho Town's Proud Rocord.—Farewell Presentations.—Incidents of the Voyage.
Departure of tho Second Hampshire*.—A Memorable Day.—A word about tho Militia..
.—Tho Puzzle of the Borough Arms.
On December 9th, 1899, an intimation was received fmm the Secretary of Stale for War " that the generous offer by tho citizens of Southampton to provide a contingent of medical officers and sick attendants, for service in South Africa is accepted," subject to certain condi tions, ono of whioh was that the personnel should consist of two medical officers and twenty attendants, whoae services mould be utilised in a general hospital. The requisite number of volunteers was quickly forthcoming. Dr. Wade, Dr. Eliot, Dr: Harris, and other medical men lost no time in imparting the necessary instruc-Lion to tho recruits, and on December 18th they were inspected at the Margate by Major Kelly, from Xetley Hospital, with Doctors It. E. Lauder and W. P. Purvis at their head. They were put through the ambulance course by Staff-Sirgt. Coles, of tho Portsmouth Brigade, and eventually, attached to No. 5 General Hospital, mobilised at Xetley. It is worthy of note that Southampton was the only town in the kingdom to furnish a hospital contingent at the town's expense.
On tho eve of the departure of the contingent tho members were, owing mainly to the initiative of Dr. W. P. O'Meara, entertained to a complimentary dinner at tho Suisse Restaurant. Sir George (then Alderman) Hustey presided, and Th bunding Dr. Lauder and Dr. Purvis, who eat right and left of him, silver cigarette cases, referred with pride to the circumstance that Southampton was the first town in the' United Kingdom to *quip a detachment of volunteers for service in South Africa. Pipes wore presented to the men, and mention was made of the fact that the ist* Sir Donald Ourrie had subscribed £50 towards the local ambulance fund.. Flattering reference was made to the services rendered bv Sergt. Knox, ot the 2nd Hants Volunteer Battalion, for the drill instruction he had imparted, and Dr O'Meiaca made the gratifying announcement that, as a result of a whip-round at the Liberal and Gladstone Clubs, a sufficient sum had been raised to send down to'the ship on which the contingent sailed 2711m. of tobacco. ' Farewell speeches were delivered by Drs. Lauder and Purvis, who fervently voiced the determination of their colleagues and themselves to "do their beat f< the credit of the tpwn." How they succeeded in. their ambition, and how the town late showed it« appreciation of their public sph&* will be related in a subsequent chapter.
The contingent sailed on Wednesday, January 3rd, 1900, in the Kildonau Castle. It consisted of. Dm. Lauder and Purvis, Sergt. B. T Coles, and Order lies Puddock, C. H. Swannell, A W. Colliw, E. J. Eburne, E. H. Mont-goniery, A. B. Marsh, E. W. Corbet*** A. It. Martin, H. A. Day, Home, G. Wetton, C. Welch, A. H. Gricourt, J. Mernin, C. M. Smith, Ilsey, W. Gilbert, E. J. Chillingford, A. Cavill, and Seward. The men assembled at the Bargate. and marched down the High-street, through Bernard and Oxfufd atreeta, k* the Docks, where friends and relatives assembled in force to /jreet them. The Polica kind, under Inspector \eeson, was in attendance, and played \rspiciting selections at the ship's side. The qbgy, ** viewed from the Kil-dunsu's deck, was a living mass of colour, the pretty costumes of the fair sex vicing with the bright uniforms of the soldiers. The strains of the National Anthem accompanied tlie last good-byes as the Castle liner cast her moorings, ~ the huge coucuurse dispensing with the satisfac-. tion that Southampton was doing its share, not only to keep the old gag Hying, but to succour
the sick and sore distressed in the coming hours of agony. It may l» added that before sailing the contingent presented tire Mayor with & framed portrait of themselves.
The voyage out was as agreeable as voyage well could be under such circumstances. The troops were not exactly quartered in " suites do luxe." As a matter of fact, in the figura tire language of one of the party, they were "packed as close as sardines." The local contingent were for a time not a little mystiti.d by the babf-I of tongues to be heard on deck and at tho dining table—Gaelic and Lowland, Scotch and Irish, mingled with the different
One day tie ordetlies were s.rvcd out with material to make a plum duff, and great anxiety prevailed as to the outcome of the venture. It is gratifying to set on record that no lives were last. Tiro plum duff was, indeed, devoured without ilia slightest ill-effect.
GOOD BYE, HAMPSHIRE I A day later another stirring scene was witnessed st the docks—in the local sense the moat memorable of all. for the 2nd Battalion Hampshire Regiment left for the front. The Battalion formed part of the Seventh Division. Five thousand troops embarked at Southampton that day |iu the Assaye, Braemar Castle,
To the left of the top picture will be seen the sliding doors "which shielded the driver and stoker, and below one of the guns.
dialects of many Kngliah and Wei Hi counties As time v/ent on the Southampton Ambqlauc* men began to recognise their compatriots by their badges Thj local volunteers their distinguishing .insignia the borough arms, which sorely puzzled the regulars, and led to many conjectures and disputes as to what regi-ent they b. longed to.
Breakfast was partaken of at 7.30, dinner at on, and tea at 4. The repasts were not of e sumptuous order, but the ambulance men >re better favoured than.the majority of their comrades, for they were supplied with such delicacies as butter and cnndensxl milk, thanks the fund raised by their fellow townsmen.

il Gooikha. 'Ihe Hampshire* quartered the former v .«sel, where the/ had as com-nioi's doling the voyage'the 2nd Xorfolks. . e county regiment had a great send-off from Aldeiv-hot, and all along the route, as the train pnsscel th rough villages and hamlets, little knots of people took up every conc.ivable coign ot vantage. The whole county felt it had a personal, interest- in the regiment's departUf*. 'flie Hampshire Reservists had re# ponded to the call to arms to a men. From the far corner* . { the county tliey came to Fight for the 'Mother-land, from jhe ploughshare and the shop, from farm and Held and vale. Though tlie majority were going forth to experience their/1,uptism nf fire, there were many seasoned warriors in the ranks, men who had fought with the regiment in Burma-, m 11 who knew what grim and
ghastly warfare meant, and shrank not from the fray. They were men of whom not only the county but the country might well be i proud, veterans whose baribboned breasts be-., tokened arduous service in foreign lands ia ^ long distant days, but who had once fallen into line in the hour of the Empire's need. Many of them were leaving wires and little ones behind — wives, alas, destined to b* widows, and chikfrcn who waited in vain for daddy's return. Such is the tragedy of war. But there was no sliadow of gloom 00 this great day of days. Tears there tears then* must be when husbands, sons, and 7 fathers leave their loved ones—perhaps for the ;> Inst time, but through the mist of tears there * peeped the sunshine of proud smiles.
From noon onwards visitors poured unsnd% ingly into the docks, and it was with the utmost difficulty that tho dock police were able/ to protect the barriers from being broken down, y Amongst th^ company were the Earl of North-brook, the Mayors of Southampton and Win- ' cheater, Sheriff Bunsfprd, tho Recorder of Southampton (Mr. Temple Cooke), Colonel^ Mobetiy. then commanding tho 37th Regi-^ mental District, who came to mee his old regl- J mcnt off, Colonel E. K. Perkins, V.D., and other officers of the 2nd Volunteer Battalion ^ Hampshire Regiment—Major Candy, Captain j and Adjutant Trethewy, Captain Copper, and ' Lieutenants Nicholson and Belf. 0? non-com-utjj missioned officers and men there was also goodly muster. The latter assisted at fatigue ; duty, whilst a deputation of Volunticr "grants allowed the true spirit of "camarnderle" ^ by presenting to their Regular co rankers 500Vg cigift-s and 281 bs. of tobacco. The gifts handed over by Sergt. Forr, vice-president of,; tlis sergeants' mws, who was accompanied by; Sergeant-Major McManus, Sergeant InstructoM^ Warner, Langrish, and Meredith, Quarter->1 master Sergeant Waterman, and Sergeants'^ Fairey, Alton, Ratters, SQna, II. Banger, Kir by ^ Morgan, and Payne.
2£he Hampshires mastered 29 officers and 860 3 men, under tho command of Lieut.-Col. W. H.-jj| Briggs, Addressing thftn on lieard slifp Lord.-1 Northbrook reminded them of tho gallant deeds
their predecessors had accomplished, and ex-pf rased the hope that they would prove themselves worthy successors of the men who fought 7 so valiantly with Lord Reiberts in tli^ Afghan war of 1879. He then wished themgod speed ' and a safe return. The Mayor of Winchester also added a few remarks, and tendered tho 9 ancient city's tribute in the ahape of present* ^ for the men. Darkness had enshrouded tlie •• day ere the vessel cast off to the strains of the Regimental march, played byuthe 2nd Hants ' ,1 Volunteer Band. The ship departed in a Hood of radiance, and when Inst seen from 1 head was strikingly silhouetted glorious sun-shot sky. . , y|,, '
It was only natural that the Militia she&ild join in the fiay, and that their fighting ibatjpict' should assert itvlf, and thousands of them sailed from Southampton. Tho first departure> took place on January 11th, 1900, when a goodly company boarded the L'nrbria and the Nile, some hundred offices* and nearly 3,000 non-commissioned officers and men all told. They represented the Third Durham Light In- : fantry, the 4th Rattsliqn D.iby Regiment,-. (Sherwood Foresters), the 6th Royal Wurwicka 5 (under the command of Colonel Harry McCal-'* mout, so well-known in Southampton as the -one-time owner of tlie palatial yacht tJiislda, 11 and tho famous racehorse Isinglass), and the 4th Royal Lancaster*.. These formed the ad-vanoe guard of a considerable Militia force, who, if they did not in the same degree as the Regulars endure the higl*r hardships of the campaign, did sterling, if less glorious, ' work in manning the blockhouses and maintaining 'tho lines of communication. Young in years for tho most part they were, but thoy were eager and full of vigour, and it was not their fault if they did not often come to grips A with the foe.
(To be continued.)
li in a noo** j in the elodf-^ against a J

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