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[By W. A. CLEAVE.]
Sir Ceorge White's Arrl»l at Southampton.—Town's Tribute to his Calient Defence ot Ladysmlth.—Presentation of an Address.—The General's Response.-Unprecedented scene at the Docks.—Captain Seely's Election to Parliament.—A Kharkl Contest.—Sir Barrlngton Simeon's Joke.—Factors In the Fight.
The horo of Ladysmith had quite as trying an ordeal to face on hi* arrival at Southampton as he experienced during many of the anxious momenta he spent m Northern Natal. I doubt whether more people have ever assembled in the Docks that was the case on that memorable Saturday afternoon in April, 1900, when the s.s. Dun vegan Castle brought the gallant officer home. By ten o'clock the entrance was besieged by clamouring crowds, and the stream of townspeople and visitors— all animated with the same idea, to welcome home the gallant General—continued unceasingly until every available foot of space on the quayside warn tenanted, and every conceivable coign of vantage was occupied. A guard of honour of the 2nd Hants Volunteer Battalion was in attendance, under Major Abraham, V.D., and Lieut. Arch dale. As the Dunvegan Castle passed her sister ship the Kin-fauns Castle, the band on board struck up "Soldiers of the Queen." The Dilwara was also lying at the Ocean Quay, and her crew made a demonstration, but the chews readied their climax when the Dunvegan Castle • drew alongside. Every eye was turned to the saloon deck, where Sir George White was standing in civilian attire.
Colonel Stacpole and the Mayor and Corporation advanced to the ship's side, and at the gallant Colonel's invitation the immense multitude raised three rousing cheers, which might have been heard for miles around. In response Sir George repeatedly raised his hat. The grand old General, in that crowning moment of his brilliant career, looked every inch a soldier. The first person to step on board was Lady White, who was followed by the Mayor and Sheriff, wearing their chains of office, and Colonel Sir Harry Cridhtcn and Lady Emma Crichton, tke la.f*rjf carrying a handsome bouquet. Sir George was visibly moved by the warmth and cordiality of his reception. As he stood for a moment on the gangway, with head uncovered, looking down at the sea of faces below him— faces beaming with pride and exultation—the muscles of his face quivered with emotion lie vainly strove to suppress. He had fought a good fight for tlie country he loved, he had passed through hardships such as rarely fall to the let of man, had defied the foe even when advised to surrender, and had emerged from the ordeal with honour unsmircbed. with reputation untarnished—to receive the homage of liis fellow countrymen, whose plaudits were already ringing in his ears.
When the excitement had abated Sir George Hussey, in the name of the townspeople, welcomed the gallant General home, and aakfd the Town'Clerk to read the following address: "To Lieutenant General Sir George Stewart
Whit*, V.C., G.C.R., G.C.8.I., G.C.LE.,
ColpaiO of the Gordon Highlanders, Honorary CdlcneF^>f the 2nd Volunteer Battalion of Prince Albert's Somerset Light Infantry, and Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Antrim.
"We, the Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses of the Ancient Borough and Port of Southampton, beg leave to greet and welcome you with feelings of the greatest admiration and respect on your first landing in Great Britain, after the noble and successful efforts you so gallantly made to uphold and maintain the honoui ard dignity of the British Empire in its distant Cblony of Natal.
Your dauntless courage and indomitable pluck, so characteristic of sons of our sister Isle, have wen the lasting admiration not only of the many millions of your fellow citizens but of the whole civilised world.
We, in Southampton, the port of tlie King-du*n in the clo*e*t touch with South Africa, followed with the greatest interest and sympathy the valorous and stirring deeds of ycu and .tlie heroic soldiers and Naval Brigade under your command, in withstanding for 119 days— hoping against hope, but never losing
hcart-4he f«*rful and mrnnwrnhle siege of | CAPTAIN SEELY'S ELECTION WHII^O^ Lad)smith. AT THE FRONT.
We deeply deplore that the terrible mental and physical strain which the responsibilities of your exalted duties forced upon you hat impaired your health " and compelled you, against your own inclination, to seek rest, but our heartfelt wish is that it is only of a transient nature, and that you will soon be restored and enabled to resume the distinguished tasks with which our Queen and country have charged you.
That the healing influence of quiet and domestic life may work a speedy and effectual change is the sincere prayer of us all.
Given under our Common Seal this 14bh day of April, 1900.
G. A. E. HT88EY. Mayor. R. R. LDCTHORSE, Tmrn Clerk.
The address, which was engromed on vellum, bcre the regimental badge of the 2nd Gordon Highlanders.
Sir iVorge White's reply deserves to |be quoted in full. Addressing the vast concourse he saidMr. Mayor, Aldccmen, ladies and gentlemen,—I beg to return you my very earnest and very sincere thanks for tlie all too flattering words which have been conveyed in your address to me, but I accept them, not only for myself, but also the more for the garrison which I had tlie honour to command, for every officer and man in it, from my chivalrous and gallant second in commsnd, who is so well known ifi South Africa—Sir Archibald Hunter —to the youhg boy trumpeter e>f the 5th J&mocrs, who behaved with such gallantry at the action of Elandslaagte. I am also deeply indebted to the distinguished company I see around me fur the encouragement their presence liere gives to our troops. It is to tributes such as Uiese that the rank and file look, perhaps, for their greatest reward, after four months of hard work done under constant exposure to the enemy's guns, and to the violence of the weather. It is to the rank and file that these tributes appeal with the greatest f<*ce, and for my own part I value them exceedingly. When messages of sympathy and congratulation came from our Queen—God bless her-and our countrymen, they were posted in prominent pi ices in and about Ladysmith, and it was a joy to see with what pleasure I bey were read »nd re-read, by our men. Yes, and even oopiw were irtade and dtvpat.lied to England as soon a.i our comrades, under the gallant Sir Bed vers Buller. had cleared away the enemy. But, I ad its and gentleman, this is not the occasion for me to make a long speech, though there is a greut deal for me to say. I should like to give you a number i,f incidents that occurred during the siege, to show you that the tribute, von are tendering to tlie garrison of Ladyamith to-day they thoroughly deserve, but 1 will not detain you any longer, Mr. Mayer. I am afraid I can .iy n. thing nuve without going into the ■ question of the siege at great length. I may just «y here that I have Iwu congratulated on my appra ante. and ;t is d"1' to tin* healthy up Southampton Water. I am not in a coudu.en to make a very long speech, but I sincerely thank you. '
When Sir George White finished the people again clevied madly for f «?v rul minutes. Lady White sharing in the cu-:|»'»ment paid her g-d-I ant husband. Mr. A. »Unt, tlte local manager . of the Union Castle fVmrpany, then started "God save the Queen,"' which was instantly i taken up and sung with great fervour, There could not have been lees tlian ten thousand parsons in the Docks when the official prsewl ingt terminated, and wlien S:r Ceorge White entrained for London there were further scenes of jubilation.
Sir George and lady White a few days later visited Colonel Sir Harry and 1-ody Kmma Crichton. at their beautiful Castle at ^etiy.
The whirligig of time brings many changes. Little did Captain (now Colonel) Seely, his Majesty's Minister for War. think when he left, twelve years ago, with the Island Yeomanry for the front, tliat he would be elected as member of Parliament during his absence, *nd probably nothing was farther from his calculation* at that time than that in the year of grace 1912 he would hold Cabinet rank in a Liberal administration, for Colonel Seely wan then a Conservative in politics.
The vacancy in the Island was precipitated by the elevation of Sir Richard" Webster, the present I-ord Chief Justice, to tlie position of Master of the Rolls. In his valedictory lotfer as men.ber of Parliament Sir Richard appealed to those who had worked so hard for him, and whom it had bqpn his pride to serve for fifteen years, not to relax their efforts "to secure the triumphant return of my suocem* (Captain Seely), who is now gallantly serving our Queen in South Africa." The next day the Isle of Wight Conservative Association formally adopted "Captain John Seely sa the candidate of the party at the forthcopiing d«tion," and pledged itself "to uee every legitimate effist to secure his triumphant return at the poll."
The late Sir Harrington Simeon, Bart., then member for Southampton, at the same meeting exprttetod his intention to remain in the Isle of. Wight during the campaign "to render his friend Captain John Seely every amm stance in | his power." Sir Barringtou threw his whole ; heart into the fray, but perhaps the most prominent figure of all was Captain Seely's wife, a daughter of Colonel Sir Harry Cridhton, of j Netley. Sir Charles Seely, Bart, father of the absent candidate, also personally interested ; himself in the campaign. Colonel—or Captain ; —Seely had as his opponent Mr (now Sir) God ; frey Baring, who, it will be remerrtbored, sub-I sequently represented the constituency in the I Liberal interest before being 1 fa ten by Mr., ' Douglas Hall, tlie present member.
Tlie conduct of the war formed one of the main bones of political contention during the j election. Tlie Liberals inwd a p.wter stating ! that Baden Powell's position at Mafcking was : due to the neglect of the War Office. The Unionists tkseupon retort«d that Captain ; Seely and the Island contingent of Yeomanry , and Prinnvs Heatriee's Volunteers had gone to the front to do what they could to bring about "B.P.'s" succt-ur and relief. Sir Cliarlm Seely, in his appeal to the electors, trusted they would endorse the policy of tlie Government with respect to South Africa, and declared that any elector who voted for an opponent of the Government would be voting for a continuance of the war.
| Tlkfi"*clection aroused enormous interest, not ! o dy in tlie Isle ed his ehanevs. Apart from politics the whole island ■ .idmind Captain Jack."

f his many spew lies Sir Harrington lid he had seen a placard a'uout dis » for faring and uld only imagine misprint for Seely. Wlio | was th«' man who had dons ju<*neUiing for : BritL-Ui supremacy? Was it the man who was I fighting fix it, or the man who stayed heme and i tlung ink a brut? He d d not blame Mr Raring I f.»r staying at home, but when it came to talk I ing about 'British supremacy,' he thought it might be left to men like Captain Seely." Sir

Kruger got it into his bead that by elections wnaturally come to the conclusion that the country was going sgainst the Government, and t&iat he would, therefore, have a greater chance of getting his own way in the end. Sir Barring-ton commented on the circumstance that Mr. Baring had described Captain Sctly's address -as "Jejune and mesgre," and raised a roar of laughter by observing that those names wees very pretty, and would do very well for a pair of coach hoises.
Referring to the presence of Mrs. Seely at ; the meeting Sir Harrington Simeon recalled how her father (Colonel Sir Harry C rich too) worked . morning, noon, and night to secure his (Sir Harrington's) election ss member for*Southamp-ton, and he was now working, with the greeted pleasure, first of all "for his friend Captaja Seely himself, and secondly because be wu the son iik-law of Colonel OrWxton."
Mr. Baring availed himself of the platform services of Mr S. F. Mend I, MP, and the Hon. Armiue Wodehouse, both of whom had previously stood, in opposition to Sir Ridu&rd Webster, as Liberal candidates for the Island. '' Mr. Mend I admitted that Oiptain Seely waa # 1 brave Englishman, but added that a soldier': • place was in Uie Army, and not at West* minster. It was not, he added, the fault of the Liberal party that Captain Seely waa in South Africa. Mr. Baring also paid tribute to • Captain Seely's loyalty and gallantry, but he i thought it hardly re^>cctful to the electors to try and confine the contest to a narrow per. sonal issue. |
Captain Seely himself knew veiy little about tlie election. He wss at the time attached to . a Mounted Infantry force under Major-General Bundle, and repeated attempts to communicate with him failed. On tlie day of the poll Mns. Seely started on a tour of the Island, being e\ cry where sympathetioally, and in many places enthusiastically received. The khaki element -was t4» tlio ft re to the last. At tlie eleventh.'' hour tiio Liberals issued a poster "Vote for Bar- •. ii*g and back up Bobs,", to width the Con- -servatives promptly responded with "Vote for ' SiH'ly, who IS bat Ling up Bolis," with special emptnisis on the "is." I
'11k» result of the poll was declsred at noon next day as follows:—
S^ely (C.) - - 6.433
Baring' (L.) - - • ft,370 . i
Majority - - 1.062 Tliousands of peipls asieinbled to hear the declaration at Xewyat, ami tremendois* Arheer-• ■ ing signalised •'Captain Jack's" return. Ai proof of his pipiilarity it may be mentiiHied tlist I he doobltd Sir Hichard W<4*ter's previous majority, liven when hs changed his political envd lie would pn>l«ably have been re-elee-ted, . .. l»y his faithful followeis in tlie Island, but he ; chose, quite rightly, to represent aiH-tln-r con-stituency.
During the war ictlsliajis at sr#^weks remarkably few. Tlie Union Castle ^Company, how-mer, .lost one of their tleet by the foundering of tlie Mexican after collision with tlie Winklkld. The Mexican, which had been chartered Ui talu» out l»rd Lu ll's contingent i»f Yeomanry and other troop*, was retuiuing «'» S,,uthainploii wla n she collided witii the Winlqield 80 miles from Cape Town. It waa very foggy at tlift time Tlie Mexican was cut ' (b'wn to the water's edge, and soon Ix-gan to *ettle, but fortunately no li\vs we-re lust. There were 1U4 passei^gers on Unrd at "The time, and ;k'l were transfemxl to the Winkfield, which was loaded with remounts. Although badly damaged the Winkfield's watertight cumpsrt-roent sav«d her from the Mexican's fate, and Ikt mptain managtd to get her safely into Capv Town iiarbot who was abUi the as hless and discipline of Captain Cupp ; and the other officers of the ship.
r. The^Alat*ju4s of Lothian,
■ Mexican, bore fitting tribute
(To be continued.)

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