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WITH RIMINGTON

BY

L. MARCH PHILLIPPS

LATE CAPTAIN IN RIMINGTON'S GUIDES

SECOND IMPRESSION

LONDON

EDWARD ARNOLD

37 BEDFORD STREET, STRAND, W.C.

1902

All rights reserved

DEDICATION

This book is dedicated to the memory of my friend Lieutenant Gustavus Coulson, D.S.O., of the King's Own Scottish Borderers, who fell at Lambrechtfontein on May 19, 1901.

The Colonel in command writes that in that action Lieutenant Coulson rallied some men and saved a gun from falling into the enemy's hands. He lost his life in bringing off a wounded man from under the enemy's fire. For this deed, the last of many deeds as brave, he was recommended for the Victoria Cross.

I knew him from his childhood, and on the march from Lindley to Pretoria, and thence far south to Basutoland, we often rode together, and talked of West Country sport and his Devonshire home and faces that we both knew and loved there.

A keen soldier, a cheery comrade, and a brave and kindly English gentleman, he stands, it seems to me, the very type of those gallant boys who in this South African war have died for England .

PREFACE

These letters were written without any idea of publication, and it was not until I had been home some months that suggestions from one or two sources caused me to think of printing them. They appear much as they were written, except that sometimes several letters dealing with the same event have been thrown into one; and occasionally a few words have been added to fill up gaps. In no case have I been wise after the event, or put in prophecies which had already come off.

The parts in inverted commas are extracts from note books which I used to carry about in my pocket, and these passages I have left just as they were jotted down, thinking that such snap shots of passing scenes might have an interest of their own.

It is unlucky from a descriptive point of view that the big actions and fine effects should all have occurred during the first part of the war, leaving the dulness and monotony for the later stages. During the last six months of my service it was not my chance to see any important action, though slight skirmishing was constant, and I find therefore nothing in the later letters of a very exciting nature.

Such as they are, however, these letters contain a quite faithful account of things that happened under my own eyes throughout the chief stages of the western campaign. During the early part of the war many things happened that were splendid to see and that it gave me great pleasure to write about. During the later stages nothing particularly splendid occurred, though the patience and endurance of our men were in their way fine; but some things happened which were, as we say, regrettable; and these things also are in their turn briefly described.

L.M.P.

15 BURY STREET, ST. JAMES'S, S.W.

CONTENTS

LETTER PAGE

I. ORANGE RIVER CAMP 1

II. BELMONT 8

III. GRASPAN 15

IV. MODDER RIVER 22

V. THE 4.7 30

VI. MAGERSFONTEIN 34

VII. A RECONNAISSANCE 43

VIII. SCOUTING ON THE MODDER 49

IX. THE ADVANCE 59

X. RELIEF OF KIMBERLEY 63

XI. PAARDEBERG THE BOMBARDMENT 73

XII. PAARDEBERG THE SURRENDER 77

XIII. POPLAR GROVE 83

XIV. BLOEMFONTEIN 89

XV. MODDER REVISITED 97

XVI. JUSTIFICATION OF THE WAR 104

XVII. THE MARCH NORTH 112

XVIII. PRETORIA 126

XIX. THE MARCH SOUTH 139

XX. PRINSLOO'S SURRENDER I 151

XXI. PRINSLOO'S SURRENDER II 165

XXII. FIGHTING AND TREKKING 173

XXIII... Continue reading book >>




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