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May 29, 1912.

Royal Goodbye to tho Island Yeomanry.— Capt. Sooly's Plodgo.—Tho Remount Depot at the Docks.—Tho Seamy Side of Martial Strife.— A Time of Tension.—Departure of tho C.I.V.'s.—Union-Castle Hospitality.—Sons of tho Shire
The auxiliary forces in the Isle of Wight ■were by no moans behind their compatriots on the mainland in their eagerness to prove their mettle. It was not to be wondered at, seeing tliat they had as their leader tho virile personality of Captain Jack Seely—then little known beyond the narrow confines of "Tho Garden Isle," but since destined to take exalted place in tho councils of tho nation. No one has before, nor since, quite gripped the imagination of tho Island populace like Captain (now Colonel) Seely, Under Secretary for War. In an ensuing chapter I shall relate how ho was elected member of Parliament whilst "at the front," and record his exploits on "tho tented .Geld." Tho Islanders left with Royal benedictions. H.R.H. Princess Henry of Battenberg saw them off to Southampton, en route for Qiristchurch to await embarkation orders. A smart little troop they looked in their kharki uniforms. The Islo of Wight steamers "Her Majesty" and "Carisbrooke" had been chartered to convey them, and when Captain Seely called tho roll every man responded with alacritj-. Princess Henry, who was accompanied by Princess Alexandra of Battenberg, addressing Captain Seely, assured him how much tho Queen appreciated their gallantry in volunteering for active service, and the Captain modestly, but not without pride, answered, "We all thank your Royal Highness from our hearts for your gracious words," and added, "We shall try to do our duty." Mrs. Sccly (who, it may be mentioned, is a daughter of Colonel Sir II. O. L. Crichton, K.C.I* , of Netley Castle) having been presented to her Royal Highness, cheers for tho Queen and tho Princess were lustily given ere the yeomen crossed the gang-
As we had rejoiced with those who rejoiced as they gaily went forth to war, so we mourned with those who mourned in the bitter hour of the nation'^ travail. Wo saw something of the seamy side of war when the transport delung* arrived at the Docks bringing homo refugee* in the persons of 400 wives and children of tho troops stationed on the Gipo Colony and Natal frontiers. It was a shipload of sadness that reached Southampton on a mid-December morning, affording a striking contrast to the scenes so recently recalled. Instead of bronzed faces and robust frames, the rails of the Jclunga were lined with sorely saddened visages. The clarion call to arms was to many of them the death knell—soldiers' wives and little ones, many of whom on tho passage home had been bereaved. Suspjnso and devoir were depicted on every countenance saviyihono of the children, who were too young to know. Hien they wondered and shivered, for when they left South Africa the sun was always shining. Their apparel was of the slightest, and altogether un-suited to the cold, chill December air. Sad indeed was their lot, but they found on arrival friends willing and eager to lighten it. Anticipating their straitened circumstances, Col. Stacpole liad exerted himself to the uttermost to prorido worm clothing fur the returning wandbrara. Tho knowledge that on the homeward trip six little ones hud died furnished "another note of sadrreis. The Colonel was splendidly seconded in his efforts of alleviation by Mrs. Walter and tlie Mi*** Newell, and when the women and. children passed down the gangway to thi embarkation plied they found cups of warm cnlfee and cocoa awaiting them, and woollen garments to ward off the cold. Many cried in their gratitude, and murmured broken expressions of thanks. One poor woman when asked what she would like softly whimpered 'Something black " On arrival she had been informed that her husband—a colour sergeant— had been killed in action.
The first month of the new century—which waa haihd with fervent hopes for brighter dsya by thousands in the streets on New \ear s Eve, as the bells of Holyrood "rang out the old and rang in tlie new"-^was a time of extreme tension. Kimberley, Mafeking, and Ladysmith wew still invested. their garrisons were starv- E
ing, and despite the heroio defence our troops Cmrk^a* representing the latter, both agreed
were offering, there was still the fear that after to convoy the C.I.V.'s free of any charge what-
all their gallant efforts might bo in vain, over. Thus the 250 troops allotted to each ship
Troopships were still speeding south under full wore for the time being actually the guests of
steam, each one packed with patriots, each one tli« steamship' componk*.
tagcr—oil so eager—to strike a blow for the Tho Garth Castle was the first to sail away
Empire. Those at home were not unmindful of to tho strains of martial music discoursed by
the sacrifice they were making, and vied with the 1st Hants Artillery Sand, and two hours
each other in their efforts to look after the later t'ie Briton followed to the accompani-
wives and families left behind. In some verses ment of thousand.- of full-throated cheers,
published at the time Lady Lindsay wrote quite When the band played the opening bans of the
"Dear heart, you would Not keep mo if you could,
Your hand, your little English hand.
Points to the fight.
For the sake of this our mother-land, Her honour, and heir might." DEPARTURE OF Tim C.I.V.'a. The departure of tho City of London Volunteers—tho "C.I.V.'s" as "they became better known—was another memorable day at South-
National Anthem a remarkable change look place. Tho cheering suddenly ceased, being succeeded by a volume of harmony which echoed f;ir and wide over the smooth waters, whilst the vast assembly loyally stood bareheaded.
A few days later another hatch of wounded arrived from the front. Amongst them were several familiar, hut strangely transformed, faces. We had seen tham but a few months earlier glowing with the prospxt of active
ampton. They had a great send o@ at the Man. Their wish had been gratified. They had
mien House, and a triumphal journey to South- rwkoned the coat, and uncomplainingly paid
anipton. trom tho windows of hundreds of the price. Amongst tlie number returning was
bona* on each aide of the railway Union Jacks Major Dashwood, of the Northumburland
were jiaphyed, and people gathered at various Fiaili*,. which regiment, it will be remem
The little black KafRr boy in the picture grew quits friendly with two of the Hampshire soldiers at the front.
points and cheered enthusiastically-went by. There can surely bo grander moment
mnpatriota, to lay down his life if need be I t!i
•the train Wed, was the first reinforcement to Jeavo for prouder, | tho aeat of war. He had been shot in the life than-when , neck si Modder Hirer, the bullet enwving fmm the hoi.iol.nd, to tho cjjccre of his \ his shoulder, whilst hading hi, regiment to attack. In tho same engagement nine of
for the country he loves.
The "C.I.V.'a" were and Garth Castle.
I Urn officers of the Msjor's regiment fell. Many ere to sail in tho Briton ! „f (he returning soldiers bore tribute to Lord Fmm an early Lour .there j Metliu^i'a soldierly abilities, on* going an far waa tho usual procession to tlie docka, where a ! =* to drrlsn, tliat he warn the beat officer In company of the local Artillery, under Captain j South Africa.
(no* Lieut-C6l.) Shiel, also pnwmdid la relieve Details at this I'me had reached h** of ths I^Klonera of Uieh fatiglw dutkw, and in- H^ral Wamto,*'* d^h, concerning whlcl^a eidentally to pay a compliment to Captain Reid, ' iwrnkroftheR^iUArmy Aledhal Cwnawmte:
second in command of the "Imperial,," who I I *,ut to the funeral of my old General- **** Tf" ^ hate a Bow or a
fwmuiy Adjutaat of the lat Hants. Tlie Wauchope. It was most impwrnire. The yw Oh, it is lively, but :
charge of tho Maxim gun when he»loH his life. His brother, who had been serving with tho 2nd Battalion Royal Fusiliers, had to be invalided home. -
During a fight at Belmont Colonel Crahhe —a name that will over be revered in South' ampton—was wounded. Becoming detached from his regiment he was immediately surrounded. This led to a Lne piece of heroism. -Sewing his CXilonel's dm&Cr a private of the Grenadier Guards rushed to his assistance. He shot two Boers, bayonet ted a third, and amidst &he firing carried Colonel Crabbo to the ambu-lauoj waggon. The Colonel was shot in the wrist and injured in tho thigh—wounds which be merely described as "scratches" when wiring the result of the battle. Ho was soon about again, and recommended the Guardsman for the Victoria Gross.
Tho wastage of horseflesh in South Africa, though not altogether unexpected, was terrible. The lives of thousands of poor, dumb, innocent . creatures had to be sacrificed to feed the in-satiahlo maw of the great war god^ - The horses played their ungrudging and. by no means inconspicuous part in the plan of operations, as their bleached bonce on tho lonely veldt too ■ truly testify. And so II came shout that la addition to becoming the principal embarkation port, Southampton was also a recognised remount depot. For this purpose one of the sheds near the outer dock was transformed into a huge stable, wbers accommodation waa prlA vided for nearly 600 horses. Colonel tho Hon. Sir Harry Orichton superintended tho depot, but much of the work devolved upon Lieut, (now Ciiptain) Listar, of tho Hunts Carabineers, who was assisted by many members of the
F-ach mail heat from Capo Town brought homo huge batches of personal narratives from . tho front. Many of them were of" tragic im-port, but the majority contained b*\exy episode* • I of the campaign. The following extract* from letters published at the time throw illuminat- j ing sidelights on tho experiences of our troops:
Constable Lutman, of tha Portsmouth Borough Police Force, who was serving with the Black WaW, wmte:'"! Iiave often had to nmgh it when on the march in India, but I never had W rough it like this before. It's not so bad when we halt for a couple of dfiys. Then we got fresh meat and bread, but 00 the march *e g*noUiii,g but "bully beef" and biscuiW. = Mm biscuits are hard enough to beak ear tyth, but I suppose we muit maks the best
Bugler Brunt, a^ho served with the Ilamp. slnre criclwtore—(blonel gpens and IJeutenant (now Csptsin) Sprot, skipper ef the Hampshire . lenn-on returning from a six houxa' skirmish on the Modd.r River, wrote to relatives at Southampton: The Boers had the cheek to oome and. fire on our camp, #o we went after them, and .mptured fifty. I snesked 50 fagm (cigarettes) off onm. This is a fine country for a—yar. It is all hills and mountains, and by lieawn It ia hot. You hay* got to keep
■ — .........• »»uuouope. it waa most impressive. lne . '
City Volunteers were, both pliyrically and in j whole of his brloved Highland Brigade followed I ^ myaelf.'
trileetually, a, fine a body of men as ever _jt lesat thew whe wera left sftor the batUe , u Chwveley Camp to his mother
donned the King's usiform. Very workmanlike j of Alag^afontein." The same lettrr acclaimed * Southampton a member of the 1st Dirisloo they looked in their khaki serge jackets and the heroism of the nurses. "One of the sisters ' '\mni,iu,tu)^ Column. R.F.A. in describing the brioches, with bandoliena alung aaoss their |*n, (wrote tlx? same officer) ia Miss Heec Innea - Colenao said: "It was honible. W* .
slMeltm, and wearing hmls of tho (Mo,ual ! daughter of the M.I' ; the other is-Sister de ' ^ hours, and then hW to
ty,*. The Ufd Msyor and Slierilfs of London Montmorency, daughter, of the Gemraj of the ' , , , *** idea of the
journeyed to .Southampton to are them ofi. I «une nam^—two of the pluckiest women lir- ! ^ y«u that the Isading
At th, lunclwon «n board the Briton the Earl | ing. They do n,4 mind the bulleta one bit, , ammunition cart)"
of Denbigh mads a stirring speech. It was, , a„d atLixl the wounded w ihnu*), ,k#* off.. We made three
he remarked, | in the ward."
net only because it was the first occasion on which Volunteers were going forth to serve
-a 5:=
though thry aers tp get to tk* Bstte?, but It wsa no
In ,*her .hrectmns asis of the shire *«#|day. I thouglit In myself that I would like a | fighting thsir way "to victory or dyaOT j,„p of beer, if only to drink my own kWth.
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