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- • [By W. A. GLEAVE.]
With the Hampshire Volunteers at the Front.—The march to Bloemtonteln.—The •• Siege '• of Pretoria.—Krugere Host.—Plot to kidnap Lord Robert,.-* Plague ot Files.—Departure of the Hampshire Yeomanry.—The Shambles of Splon Kop. _
On May 1st the cheering news arrived that th* Hampshire* wer* to move to Bloemfonteiu to join in Ix>rd Roberts' grand advance. Two days later they left Dc Dooms at midday, by train, and they reached their destination #* 2 a.m. the following Sunday morning. On ar rival they war* marched off to th* Reet Camp, and at night
BIVOUACKED ON" THE BATTLEFIELD.-Here they cam* in contact with their ctm-rades of the Southampton Ambulance Corps, and the officers of the Volunteer Battalion par. took of breakfast with Dr. Pnnria. Ihe latter told a terrible tale of sickness among the tioops, the arerug* number of the deaths from enteric being about ten per day, whilst the percentage of aickneea waa about 200 to 50 wounded. Most of the sickness was caused by the men whilst on the march drinking water which even the mules refused. The Voluntccm were now within forty miles of their Territorial Rcipment, which was in the advance with the 7th Division. They were experiencing what roil cam-paigmng warn, thsir rations consisting of a pint of coffee with hard biscuit for nnmkfast, and bully beef tea with biscuits for tuppor.
In describing the march to Bloemfontein, Oiptain Perkins wrote: "W*. arrived in l'loem-fontein on Sunday at daybreak, after a three days' journey through a most interesting country. Certainly as one gets further i orth the more uninteresting becomes the country, but its bareness seems hardly worth all the trouble of fighting. Nothing but miles upon miles of bush and kopje, and when you y* into the Free State nothing but an everlasting prairie, with farms at about 10 to 15 miles intervals, where water is usually to be found—of a sort."
Four days later the Company had orders to proceed to Vet River, but as there was no rolling stock for a gun or mule, Captain Perkins and a detachment of signallers from the Norfolk Regiment had to " foot it." It was a very trying march, with the terrific heat, the awful red dust, and dead and rotting carcases of bullocks and horses strewing the way. The stream from which they drew the water had a dead horse rotting in it. Our cavalry apparently had let a tired beast fall in whilst watering, and had not troubled to take it out. Vet River was readied by moonlight, after a tramp of 24 miles with full kit and with only one mule for the Maxim gun.
The next day a mover" was made to Zand River, where Captain Perkins and his Maxim detachment joined a draft of the Hants Militia, one of the subalterns of which was a son of the late Colonel Parker, the wine merchant, of Southampton. The officer commanding the convoy waa Captain Longmo**, an old Rugger player. Eventually the convoy jointed Lord Rcherts' grand army. Lord Roberts had arrived at Rloemfflutein four days sooner than expected, and enteivd the city without opposition. The Maxim detachment here got in touch with their Regular comrades of the Hampshire Reginiynt.
Pretoria was reached on June 6th. Tbe long-expected siege only lasted a few hours. Just a few artillery abuts were fired, and the Boers then deserted the fortress and trekked north In the town itself things were proceeding as though such an event as a war was unknown. The shop* were open, and all doing a rearing trade. Boers big and little, young and old, were, however, fighting for Kroger. One of the shop girls informed Captain Perkins that she had no less than 95 relations at the front. Tliero is a moral which need not be mentioned to be learned from this circumstance by the youth of England.
Owing to illness amongst officers Captain Perkins for a time had to act as Orderly, as well as Quarter master, and amongst his duties he had to attend the funerals. It was his painful duty to attend the burial bf six poor soldiers who had died In hospital one afternoon, and as there was no chaplain he read the service him-
self At this time ho was si taring a room with Major Huckley, who was vnee adjutant to the Lst \olunte.t Battalion at Winchester, and a gneat favourite with everybody
When the local Volunteer contingent eventually reached Preterm it mustered 105 out of 116, and the men were complimented by the Ceneral on thvir smart work. Their camp was pitched in a valley about eight miles outside - Pretoria, with hills all round, and life passed for a time fairly pleasantly.
As is usual " under canvas" the hour produced—tbs wit. Some of tlie Hampshire*, to I beguilu the evening hours, composed Limtricka. The w*ult *aa not, as a rule, good poetry, but i the following had at least the merit of being
" There was m old man of Pretoria.
Who attempted to defy Queen Victoria,
Rut Tommy and Jack were soon on his
And tho'old man was heard of no mor-i ar."
The Boers did not long permit the days to pass so peacefully. After an interval Botha lie-came very troublesome, and in one of his sorties a squadron of the Greys was cut up, and a couple of guns were captured. The Greys were shot because they refused to surrender. Rein-foremcnts were then hurried up. In the mean time the II am pah ires furnished outposts on thi
Jove nor money. Lord Rolvrls, with his wife and daughters, occasionally visited the various camps. Siikned*. of course, them was, and - amongst those invalided Dome was Captain Reid, formerly adjutant to the Royal Artillery at SouthampUm. Tl»us the season pasK'd. and ti»e war was far from over. Tl»e trocps were murmuring* tliat " lkia" was far too lenient. There was a suspicion that his kiiKhwws was construed into weakness, and one day a plot was hatclifd to take him prisoner at a garden party. but fortunately it was discovered ill

i the ravages
th.« campaign, gradually bnxko up. Lieut. NiciKil.Mii, of the Hampshire Volunteers, was Civen a commission in the Northampton*. His • dep.Tituro was greatly regretted l»y his com-i nudes. With the approach of autumn th© veldt became wundnswly transformed. It began, to amumo a tinge of green, and to flower most l«eautifully with niargiwiUm. »ris orchids, and miniature foxgloves. The lulls and valleys, hitherto pirched and sunburnt, were clothed with emerald nndure, restful and beautiful to the eye. But there were attendant disadvantages, fcr the- weather grew unbearaWy hot, and the flies swnrmed pi myriails. Captain Perkins and several of his comrades contracted enteric. The ft rmer, afUr a very sjvere attack,

hills, and built mangara to resist further tlxrvatened assaults. Artillery duels were of hourly ovurre.Uf, and for days thi whole camp was constantly standing to arms. On* night the Derbyshire Militia were taken by surprise The "Boers crawled up to tlie piLater the Hants Volunteers cliaiigtd tlieir location to a point six miles east of Pretoria. Life hereabouts grew very monotonous, for one day was very much like another. The men rore at 5 a.m., s.tood to arms from 5.30 to 6.30, had breakfast at 7.30, followed by a wash and baths and aliav, before parade at 9.30. Dinner was served at 12 o'clock, and so on until bed time at 9. At night sentries were posted all round the hill, which row- 200 feet above Pretoria. Alternating dust and thunderstorms— during which tl»e lightning was exceptionally vivid—were the principal diversions of the dull routine. There waa
when the mail arrived—somewhat irregularly, but ever welcome. How eagerly th* new* from Homo wua dovourrd only those who were out there know. Another privation—tobacco—wn* >t -a premium. II^w the "Tommies" longed for a amoke^ Cigarettes could not be had fcr
urvived. Inrt others unfortunately si;
iicluding S.rgt, Compton.
It was in Uie fituiss of thingy that the I lamp shire Yeomanry should emlwirk from a Hampshire pf,n and in a Hampshire ship.^They left in the Union linortlotlw In.-addition to Captain tkely the outgoing officers included Major ChraAcpher liceeltine (the well-known Hamp-shire County cricketer), Captain II. A. John-j son, Lieut li Hescltine, anil Second-Lieut. B. | K. Grenweil.
(Viptain Seely's charger, originally a grey Arab, attracted iconsideraUo attention whim it l>ecame known that it lad been dyed khaki colour I There was only one South amp toman in the Carabineers—Trooper T. Lucas, of Three-field lane, tlie large majority of the contingent hailing from tlie Imle of Wight. Tliere was a large muster to witness the departure of the Island contingent from Cowed, friends and ; relatives journeying from all parts of " .'he garden isle." The train from Newport was crowded, and most of the cccupunl* aocom-j panied the Yeomen to Silodismpton. Tlie Colonel of tile Carabiinjerr. tile Pxtrl of Nortii-| brook, and Cokmel Wood were amongst three who saw them off His lordship inspected the I Khip. and addressed the men in inspiriting
The next day anotlier draft of Hampshire* loft the Docks It cousisUd of two officer* (Lieut. Brook and Second-Lieut. Parker) and. 156 men of the 3rd Battalion (Militia) from Aldersht. They were all county men, several hailing from Southampton, Second-Lieut. Par-" ker being a sou of the late Colonel Parker, of WoolsUsi. l*be Karl of A-lbome, in addition to making patents to tlw men, and entertaining tlie'officers on the eve of their departure, aaw them olf on the s s. Dictator. Ho told them he was sure that when they joined tlio 2nd Battalion in South Africa they would do their duty as well *s the Regulars, lie wished them a safe return, and promised them a {warty welcome on returning. The Mayor of Winchester al*» witneamrd their dfpaAur*.
Tl>e Southampton police force at the time of the war—as it does now—contained many army reservists. Many of them had to street duty for the more strenuous work on th* veklt. Amongst the number were Sergeant Holmes and Trooper Benham, who rejoined tlnur old regiment the 7th Dragoons, Carpi. Albert Tupper, of the 2nd Coldstream Guards, Sergeant F. Good ridge, of the 2nd Wilts Regt., Sergeant ' Jwk" Brown, of the Royal En-gin«M, Serg*i:t IklmoU:, P.C. Barlmr, of tl* ScoUieh Rifk*, and P.C. Curky. ~D*Wo-tiw Fred l*arker servod with the 3rd Grenadiers, and P C. French with th* ' .Scottish Rifles. PC. Banning, of the Winchoster City police, also sailed wit& the 7th Dragoons. Uirpl. Tupper, after fight-ing with Lord Atetliuen's force all the way to Bloemfqntein, tnere suouumbed to an attack ot
The. outlcok waa blsdt indeed on the departure of the Hsmpahire Volunteers. Details of ^ the th i ad ful disaster of Npicn Koj> were reaching the Homeland. Sir Gharle* Wai liad retreated across tlio Tugela, and the terri. bk» toll of British bsses caused many hitter b«art pangs.
In describing the tragedy of Spion Kop Oen. Duller burs just tribute to the gallantry of th* troops, but, as all the world now knows, the position was untenable, and had to bo reluctantly abandoned.
A rivid story of Wis battle of Spion Kop ia given in *»ir Conan Doyle's fine narrative Gix-at Boi r War." Tlio troops selected for th* task were eight companies of the 2nd Lancashire Fusiliers, mix of the 2nd Royal Lancaster*, two of the lst South Laucasliires, 100 of Thnmrycrofts, and half a company of U*M*Mm. " I "It is not necessary to recount in detail what ensued. With the clearing of tlie mist. Sir Conan l)oj-lo relates, tlie Britisli found them-eelv»» ex posed to a cross-fire loth from the left oikI right. Tlie plateau was so narrow that the troops were compelled to bunch together. The cover was scanty, and the shell tiro—especially tlie fire of the pom poms—soon became very murderous. Karly in the action th* gallant Wood gate and many of his Lancashire m «hot down. From morning to midday the aboil, NJaxim, and rifle fire swej* aorum Uw top in 1 continual driving show or. Hour after hour of unintermitting crash of tho Boer shells among the rocks and of the groans and streams of meu torn ajul burst by the most horrible of all wcuimIs had sliakeu the troops badly, l'rodigie* of valour were performed that day, but the position was so Isul that no efforts of officers men could do anything to mend it. At night 1,300 of that gallant, force lay dead and dying. Next , day th* blood-spattered hilltop was in the hands of Hot ha.
(To be continued.)

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