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With the Guards' Brigade from Bloemfontein to Koomati Poort and Back   By:

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WITH THE GUARDS' BRIGADE

FROM BLOEMFONTEIN TO KOOMATI POORT AND BACK

by THE

REV. E. P. LOWRY

Senior Wesleyan Chaplain with the South African Field Force

London Horace Marshall & Son Temple House, Temple Avenue, E.C. 1902

TO THE OFFICERS, NON COMMISSIONED OFFICERS, AND MEN OF THE GUARDS' BRIGADE THIS IMPERFECT RECORD OF THEIR HEROIC DARING, AND OF THEIR YET MORE HEROIC ENDURANCE IS RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED, IN TOKEN OF SINCEREST ADMIRATION, AND IN GRATEFUL APPRECIATION OF NUMBERLESS COURTESIES RECEIVED BY ONE OF THEIR FELLOW TRAVELLERS AND CHAPLAINS THROUGHOUT THE BOER WAR OF 1899 1902

PREFACE

The story of my long tramp with the Guards' Brigade was in part told through a series of letters that appeared in The Methodist Recorder , The Methodist Times , and other papers. The first portion of that series was republished in "Chaplains in Khaki," as also extensive selections in "From Aldershot to Pretoria." In this volume, therefore, to avoid needless repetition, the story begins with our triumphal occupation of Bloemfontein, and is continued till after the time of the breaking up of the Guards' Brigade.

No one will expect from a chaplain a technical and critical account of the complicated military operations he witnessed at the seat of war. For that he has no qualifications. Nor, on the other hand, would it be quite satisfactory if he wrote only of what the chaplains and other Christian workers were themselves privileged to do in connection with the war. That would necessitate great sameness, if not great tameness. These pages are rather intended to set forth the many sided life of our soldiers on active service, their privations and perils, their failings and their heroisms, their rare endurance, and in some cases their unfeigned piety; that all may see what manner of men they were who in so many instances laid down their lives in the defence of the empire; and amid what stupendous difficulties they endeavoured to do their duty.

We owe it to the fact that these men have volunteered in such numbers for military service that Britain alone of all European nations has thus far escaped the curse of the conscription. In that sense, therefore, they are the saviours and substitutes of the entire manhood of our nation. If they had not consented of their own accord to step into the breach, every able Englishman now at his desk, behind his counter, or toiling at his bench, must have run the risk of having had so to do. We owe to these men more than we have ever realised. It is but right, therefore, that more than ever they should henceforth live in an atmosphere of grateful kindliness, of Christian sympathy and effort.

"God bless you, Tommy Atkins, Here's your country's love to you! "

My authorities for the statements made in the introductory chapter are Fitzpatrick's "Pretoria from Within," and Martineau's "Life of Sir Bartle Frere." For the verifying or correcting of my own facts and figures, given later on, I have consulted Conan Doyle's "The Great Boer War," Stott's "The Invasion of Natal," and almost all other available literature relating to the subject.

EDWARD P. LOWRY.

PRETORIA, March 1902 .

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER

Page

THE ULTIMATUM AND WHAT LED TO IT 1

Two Notable Dreamers A Bankrupt Republic The Man who Schemed as well as Dreamed The Gold Plague Hated Johannesburg Boer preparations for War Coming events cast their shadows before The Ultimatum The Rallying of the Clans The Rousing of the Colonies.

CHAPTER I

ON THE WAY TO BLOEMFONTEIN, AND IN IT! 14

A capital little Capital Famished Men and Famine Prices Republican Commandeering A Touching Story The Price of Milk... Continue reading book >>




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