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ELANDSLAAGTE


Amongst other things, it was known in Ladysmith on the 18th of October that General Koch's commando was moving to the Biggarsberg Pass on the way to  Elandslaagte. The advanced guard of the Boers finding a train at the Elandslaagte station, attempted to seize it, but the driver with remarkable pluck turned on steam, and, though pelted with bullets, got safely to Dundee. The  second train was captured, however, and with it its valuable cargo of live stock, and two newspaper correspondents, who were made prisoners. Finding that the enemy was gathered in force round Dundee, and that an attack there  was hourly to be expected, and, moreover, that several Free State commandoes were shifting about round Ladysmith, the inhabitants of that town had an uneasy time. Major-General French, who had but recently arrived from England,  was directed by Sir George White to make a reconnaissance in force in the neighbourhood of ElandsIaagte. He moved his cavalry in the pouring rain some twelve miles along the Dundee road, but besides locating the enemy, and  beyond the capture of two of their number, who seemed not ill-disposed to be made prisoners, little was done. On the following day, Saturday, another reconnaissance was made. General French with Lieutenant-Colonel Scott  Chisholme and the Imperial Light Horse, the Natal Volunteer Artillery with six guns, supported by half a battalion of the Manchesters, with railway and telegraph construction companies, started in the direction occupied by the  enemy on the preceding day.

General French's orders were simple and explicit, namely, to clear the neighbourhood of Elandslaagte of the enemy and to cover the construction of the railway and telegraph lines. The troops slowly  proceeded along a low tableland which terminated in a cliff On a plain below this cliff lay the station and village of Elandslaagte, and round and about this settlement mounted Boers were swarming. These no sooner espied the  British than they made off as fast as their nimble steeds could carry them, ascending iri the direction of a high kopje some 5000 yards away. Those who remained in the station were fired on by' our Volunteer Battery, while a  squadron under Major Sampson moved round to the north of them.

The first two shells caused considerable consternation among the Dutchmen, but they were soon returned with interest. Though the enemy used smokeless explosives,  their battery was revealed by the yellow flash of the guns in the purple shadow of the hill. These guns were worked with marvellous accuracy, but, fortunately, many of the shells-fired with percussion fuses-dug deep into the  sand before bursting. The Volunteer Battery found their own guns so inferior to those of the enemy that there was little chance of silencing them, and General French, seeing there was no question of occupying Elandslaagte with  the small force at his disposal, moved his guns back towards his armoured train, telephoned to Sir George White, and withdrew in the direction of Modder's Spruit. There he awaited reinforcements from Ladysmith. These at I I  o'clock began to appear: One squadron of the 5th Dragoon Guards, one squadron of the 5th Lancers under Colonel King, and two batteries of artillery, the latter having come out at a gallop with double teams. Then the infantry  arrived under Colonel Ian Hamilton, the second half-battalion of the Manchester Regiment, a battalion of the Devonshire Regiment under Major Park, and five companies of the Gordon Highlanders under Lieutenant-Colonel  Dick-Cunyngham, V. C.

At 3.30 P. M. General White arrived on the scene, but the executive command of the troops engaged remained in the hands of General French. The Boers were discovered to be magnificently posted on a  horseshoe-shaped ridge about 800 feet above the level of the railway to north of the Ladysmith-Dundee road, standing almost at a right angle from the permanent way, though some 2000 yards removed from it. On the side nearing  the railroad the ridge was crowned with a peaked kopje, which hill was connected by a nek with another eminence of the same kind. These hills were held by the enemy, while their laager was situated on the connecting ridge. The  position was strewn on both flanks by very rough boulders which afforded excellent cover. On the main hill were three big guns strongly posted at three different points so as to command a wide expanse of country and leave a  retreat open over the hills in the direction of Wessel's Nek. Facing the ridge was a wide expanse of veldt rising upwards in the direction of Ladysmith.

At four-an unusually late hour for the commencement of hostilities-the  first gun boomed out; the range was 4400 yards. A few moments of furious cannonading, then the enemy's guns ceased to reply. The silence enabled the artillerymen to turn their attention on a party of the foe who were annoying  them with a persistent rifle-fire on the right flank at a range of 2000 yards. It was an admirable corrective, and the Boer sharpshooters retired discomfited. Meanwhile the infantry had been brought up in preparatory battle  formation of small columns covered by scouts. The position of the infantry was then as follows

The first battalion Devonshire Regiment, with a frontage of 500 yards and a depth of 1300 yards, was halted on the western  extremity of a horseshoe-shaped ridge. The opposite end of this ridge, which was extremely rugged and broken, was held by the enemy in force. The first battalion Manchester Regiment had struck the ridge fully 1000 yards to the  south-east, just at the point where it begins to bend round northwards. The second battalion Gordon Highlanders were one mile in rear.

Now, no sooner had the Devonshire Regiment commenced to move forward than they attracted  the shell of the enemy, but owing to the loose formation adopted, the loss at this time was slight. In spite of the furious fire, the regiment still pushed on to within 900 yards of the position, and then opening fire, held the  enemy in front of them till 6 P.M. The batteries also advanced and took up a position on a ridge between the Devonshire and Manchester Regiments, about 3200 yards from the enemy. Then began an animated artillery duel, the roar  of guns mingling with the thunder of heaven, which at this juncture seemed to have attuned itself to suit the stormy state of the human tempest that was raging below. At this period considerable damage was done. Captain  Campbell, R.A., was wounded, an ammunition waggon overturned,' and many men and horses were killed or injured. For some time the interchange of deadly projectiles was pursued with vigour, then the 42nd Field Battery came into  action. The Imperial Light Horse now moved left of the enemy's position; some mounted Boers at once pushed Out and engaged them. Soon after this the guns from above ceasing firing, our gunners turned, their attention to the  mounted Boers, who rapidly fell back. Then, as the sun was setting and dark clouds were rolling over the heavens and screening the little light that remained, the infantry pressed forward. The plan was that while the Devonshire  Regiment made a frontal attack, the Manchester Regiment, supported by the Gordons with the Imperial Light Horse on the right, were to advance along the sloping ridge, turn the enemy's flank and force him back on his main  position. This movement was to be supported by the artillery, which was to close in as the' attack developed.

The Devons, under Major Park, marched out, as said, leading the way across the plateau and into the valley coolly  and deliberately, though under a terrific fire from above. The Boer guns, which were served with great courage, invariably gave tongue on the smallest provocation, and the ground was ploughed up in every direction with bursting  shell. But fortunately few of the gallant Devons were hit. Later on they drew nearer the position, and the regiment, halted under cover of convenient ant-hills, and opened fire. The rifles of the enemy were not slow to reply.  Their Mauser bullets whirred like swarms of bees around the heads of the plucky fellows, who, heedless of them, dauntlessly advanced to within some 500 yards of the summit of the hill. There they awaited the development of the  flank attack.

Meanwhile the Manchesters, with the Imperial Light Horse and the Gordons, were winding round the lower steeps, the Gordons bearing to the right through a cutting in the hills. Here, ascending, they came under  the artillery fire of the enemy, the Boers having moved their guns. Shells, and not only shells but huge boulders, dropped among the advancing troops, crushing and mutilating, and leaving behind a streak of mangled bodies. But  though the ordeal was terrible, and the sound and sight of wounded and bleeding were enough to paralyse the stoutest heart, the ever "gay" Gordons plodded on, passing higher and higher, while their officers leading,  cheered and roared them up the precipitous ascent. Thus they clambered and plodded, with men dropping dead at their elbows, with torn and fainting comrades by their sides. A storm of rain from the gathering thunderclouds  drenched them through to the skin, but they heeded it not. A storm of bullets from the Boers sensibly diminished their numbers, but they never swerved. Then their gallant commander fell. Colonel Dick-Cunyngham, the honoured and  beloved, was shot in two places. Several other dashing Scottish officers were wounded, but many still heroically stumbled and reeled over the boulders, some even waving their helmets to pretend they were unhurt, and to  encourage their companions to the great, the final move.

At last the signal for the charge was sounded. The bugle blared out and was echoed and re-echoed. Then came flash of bayonet and sound of cheering throats, the rush of  Devons, Manchesters, Gordons, and dismounted Imperials-a wild, shouting mass making straight for the enemy's position.

To account for the presence of the Devons in the grand melee it is necessary to go back somewhat, as the  great assault was not accomplished in a moment.

Our men were advancing in short rushes of about fifty yards, the Boers all the while lying under cover and shooting till the troops were within some twenty or thirty yards of  them. Then the Dutchmen, as suited their convenience, either bolted or surrendered.

When the end ridge was gained and the guns captured, the enemy's laager was close in sight. A white flag was shown from the centre of the  camps. At this Colonel Hamilton gave an order. The "Cease fire" was sounded. There was a lull in the action, some of our men commencing to walk slowly down-hill towards the camp. Suddenly, without warning, the crackle  of musketry was heard, and a deadly. fire poured from a small sugar loaf.shaped kopje to east of the camp. For one short moment our men, staggered by the dastardly action and the fierce suddenness of the attack fell back, and  during this moment a party of some forty Boers had stoutly charged uphill and effected a lodgment near the crest.

But this ruse was a failure and their triumph shortlived. The 1st Battalion Devonshire Regiment, who, as we  know, had been holding the enemy in front during the commencement of the infantry attack, and had since then pushed steadily forward, had now reached to 350 yards from the enemy. Here they lay down to recover breath before  charging with fixed bayonet. Five companies assaulted the hill to the left and five to the right; and a detachment of these, arriving at the critical moment when the Boers were making their last stand, helped to bring about the  triumphant finale.

Like the lightning that shot through the sky above, the Boers, at the sound of the united cheers, had fled! Some scampered away to their laager on the Nek, and from thence to other kopjes. Others filed in  troops anywhere, regardless of consequences. While they were in full retreat, and the mists of darkness, like a gathering pall, hung over the scene, the 5th Lancers and the 5th Dragoon Guards charged the flying enemy-charged  not once nor twice only, but thrice, dashing through the scattered ranks with deadly purpose, though at terrible risk of life and limb. Never were Boers so amazed.

The despised worms-the miserable Rooineks-had at last turned,  and, as one of them afterwards described it, they had "come on horses galloping, and with long sticks with spikes at the end of them, picked us up like bundles of hay!"

The cost of victory, however, was heavy.  Roughly estimated, we lost 4 officers and 37 men killed ;31 officers and 175 men wounded. Ten men were missing. The Boers lost over 300 Burghers killed and wounded, besides several hundred horses. Their hospital with wounded  prisoners was placed under the care of the British hospital, they having only one doctor, who, with his primitive staff, was quite unable to cope with the arduous work of attending the multitude of sufferers.


Numbers of the  enemy of all nationalities-Germans, Hollanders, Irish, and others-were made prisoners, and among them were General de Koch and Piet Joubert, nephew of General Joubert. General Viljoen was killed. The mongrel force, estimated at  about 1200 strong, was commanded by Colonel Schiel, to whom it doubtless owed its excellent tactical disposition. This officer was wounded and taken prisoner. The Tirnes gave somewhat interesting character sketches of prominent  Boers who were killed or wounded on this occasion

"General Koch was Minute-Keeper to the Executive, and was President Kruger's most influential supporter. His son, Judge Koch, was appointed to a seat on the Bench, but  was not popular, and was regarded as a puppet. The fighting Koch is not to be confounded with the General Koch, who belongs to Vryheid, and is a sterling warrior.

"Advocate Coster was State Attorney at the time of the  Reform trials, but resigned owing to President Kruger having insulted him at a meeting of the Executive. He was an accomplished man, a member of the Inner Temple, and was very popular with the Dutch Bar.

"General Ben  Vujoen was responsible for most of the fire-eating articles which appeared in the Rand Post.

"Colonel Schiel was court-martialled in past days for shooting four natives whom he accused of insubordination."

The  courage of the Boers during this battle was immense. About two thousand were engaged, and these, though certainly aided by the strength of their position, fought valiantly, facing doggedly the heavy consummately well-directed  fire of the British artillery; and returning it with undiminished coolness.

An interesting incident is mentioned in connection with the battle~ When the fire of the British guns became overwhelming, eight plucky Boers dashed  forward from cover, and, standing together, steadily opened fire on the men of the Imperial Light Horse, with the evident purpose of drawing their fire; while. their comrades should change position. Out of this gallant little  band, only one man. was left to tell the tale !

The following is the casualty roll of officers killed at the battle of Elandslaagte :-

Imperial Light Horse.-Colonel Scott Chisholme,1 commander, killed; Major Wools Sampson,  bullet wound, thigh, severely; Captain John Orr, bullet wound, neck, severely; Lieutenant William Curry, bullet wound, foot, severely; Lieutenant Arthur Shore, bullet wound, chest, severely; Lieutenant and Adjutant R. W.  Barnes, wounded severely; Lieutenant Lachian Forbes, wounded severely; Captain Mullins, wounded; Lieutenant Campbell, wounded; Lieutenant Normand,~wounded. 21st Battery Field Artillery.-Captain H. M. Campbell, bullet wound,  chest, severe; Lieutenant W. G. H. Manley, shell wound, head, severe. Staff-Captain Ronald G. Brooke, 7th Hussars, bullet wounds, thigh and head, severe. 1st Battalion Devonshire Regiment.- Second Lieutenant H. R. Gunning,  severely, bullet wound in chest; Second Lieu-tenant S. T. Hayley, severely, bullet wounds in hand and leg; Second Lieutenant G. F. Green, severely, bullet wound in forearm; Captain William B. Lafone, slightly, bullet wound. 1st  Battalion Manchester Regiment.-Lieutenant-Colonel Arthur Curran, bullet wound, shoulder; Captain Charles Melvill, bullet wound, arm, severe; Captain William Newbigging, bullet wound, left shoulder, severe; Captain Donald Paton,  bullet wound, thigh, severe; Lieutenant Cyril Danks, bullet wound, scalp, slight. 2nd Battalion Gordon Highlanders.-Killed: Major H. W. D. Denne, Lieutenant C. G. Monro, Second Lieutenant J. G. D. Murray, Lieutenant L. B.  Bradbury. \Vounded: Lieu tenant-Colonel Dick-Cunyngham, bullet wound, arm, severe; Major Harry Wright, bullet wound, right foot, severe; Captain J. Haldane, bullet wound, leg, severe; Captain Arthur Buchanan, bullet wound,  right side, severe; Lieutenant M. Meiklejohn, fractured humerus, severe; Lieutenant C. W. Findlay, bullet wound, arm and thigh, severe; Lieutenant J. B. Gillat (attached from Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders); Second  Lieutenant I. A. Campbell, bullet wound, head and chest, dangerous; Lieutenant A. R. Hennessy (3rd Batt.), bullet wound, head and chest, severe.

The following tribute to the memory of Colonel Scott Chisholme is taken from Mr.  John Stuart's correspondence to the Morning Post

"No death has been more severely felt than the Colonel's. He was a good man and a good soldier, brave to the point of recklessness, a wonderfully-inspiriting leader, and,  as I judged from about a month's knowledge of him, single-minded, fervent in ali his work, passionately in earnest. His regiment almost worshipped him. On the day of the fight their keenness was increased because he was keen,  and they ignored the hardships they had gone through because he shared them and took them lightly, and did his best to improve matters.

' Colonel John James Scott Chisholme, who was killed at Elandslaagte, belonged to the 5th  (Royal Irish) Lancers, and who was detached on special service in South Africa, came of an old Scottish family, the Chisholmes of Stirches, Roxburghsh ire, his family seat being situate at the latter place. He was the only son  of the late Mr. John Scott Chisholme (who assumed the name of Scott in 1852 under the will of his uncle, Mr. James Scott of whitehaugh), by his marriage with Margaret, eldest daughter and co-heir of the late Mr. Robert Walker  of Mumrells, Stirlingshire, and was born in 1851. He entered the army in January 1872, his first services being with the 9th Lancers, and reached the rank of captain in March 1878. From that year till 1880 he served with the  9th Lancers in the Afghan War, was present at the capture of Ah Muslid, took part in the affair of Siah Sung, where he was severely wounded, and in the operations around Cabul in December 1879, when he was again wounded, and  obtained mention in despatches, being rewarded with the brevet of major (May 2, 1881), and the medal with two clasps. He reached the substantive rank of major in December 1884, and from that year till 1889 was a major of the  9th Lancers, when he was transferred to the 5th Lancers. He was Military Secretary to Lord Con-nemara when Governor of Madras from 1888 to 1891. He reached the rank of lieutenant-colonel in August 1894, and that of colonel on  August 12,1898.

"During the fight he only.took cover once or twice, going from troop to troop, praising and encouraging the men in words that were always well chosen, for no man could phrase his blame or praise more  aptly. At the last ridge he stopped to tie up the leg of a wounded trooper, and was shot himself in the leg. Two of his men went to his assistance, but he waved them off; telling them to go on with their fighting and to leave  him alone. Then he was shot in one of the lungs, and the men went to his help, but while they were trying to get him to cover, a bullet lodged in his head and killed him. The last words he was heard to say were, 'My fellows are  doing well.' His fellows will always remember that.

"I may be allowed to recall one or two interesting recollections of the Colonel. One is the speech he delivered when the Maritzburg Club dined him and his officers.  Both he and General Symons spoke. Neither man was an orator, and yet each was more convincing than many orators, speaking simple, soldierly, purposeful words, words whose simplicity drove them home. Almost a week before the  battle I saw the Colonel arranging his camp. He had taken off his tunic and helmet, and did twice as much direction as' any other officer, and he worked as hard as any of the men. It was then, when I saw his vigour in full  activity, that I realised his woriderful capacity for work-a capacity of which I had often heard, but which I had not been able to comprehend before.

"The last time I saw him was at the outspan before the battle began.  He came to a group of us and gave one or two orders in such pleasant words that one knew that to obey him must in itself be a real delight. Then he sat down and gossiped with us, first about his luck in the morning, when a  shell that hit the ground between his horse's feet had failed to burst, and afterwards about luck in general. He advised the officers to tell their men to sleep while they could, and then he said, 'Now I'll -go and get  half-an-hour's sleep myself.' But at that moment an aide-de-camp came saying that General French wanted to see him. When the Colonel returned, it was to order his regiment to saddle up and prepare to mount. In half-an-hour he  was leading the attack on the first kopje.

"I like to think that before death smote him he knew that the battle was won, and that his fellows bad done well, as he expected that they would, as he had helped them to do by  example and generous encouragement." -

A private of the Gordon H ighlanders, in a letter dated Ladysmith, November 2, gave a vivid account of the charge of the Gordons at Elandslaagte, and described how  Lieutenant-Colonel Dick-Cunyngham was wounded when leading his men, and that officer's chagrin at his being rendered impotent. He said: " We charged three times with the bayonet, and my gun was covered with whiskers and  blood, though I don't remember striking anybody, but I was nearly mad with excitement, shells bursting and bullets whizzing round like hail. I was close behind the commanding officer when he was wounded. He was shot and had to  sit down, but he cheered on his men. 'Forward, Gordons,' he cried, 'the world is looking at you. Brave lads, give it to the beggars, exterminate the vermin-charge.' He then started crying because he could no longer lead his  battalion, and he would not retire from the field until the day was won. He is a fine man to lead a battalion -as brave as a lion. The Gordons were the last line, and we raced through the Manchesters and the Devons and the  Light Horse Volunteers, all charging together."

Here we have a proof how much the morale of soldiers may be influenced by their immediate chief.

The Natal Advertiser in its account of the final scene said :-"By a  quarter past six the Devonshire Regiment, the Gordon Highlanders, and the Manchester Regiment, with the Imperial Light Horse, were in a position to storm the Boer camp from the enemy's front and left flank, and the signal for  the bayonet charge was sounded. Then was witnessed one of the most splendid pieces of storming imaginable, the Devons taking the lead, closely followed by the Gordons, the Manchesters, and the Light Horse, in the face of a  tremendous, killing fire, the rattle and roar of which betokened frightful carnage.. . . A bugler boy of the 5th Lancers shot three Boers with his revolver. He was afterwards carried round the camp amid cheers."

So many  acts of gallantry were performed that they cannot all be related. It is impossible, however, to allow the wondrous pluck of Sergeant Kenneth M'Leod to go unrecorded. During the charge this gallant Scot was twice struck, once in  the arm and once in the side. He however continued to pipe and advance with the Gordons to their final rush. Presently came more bullets, smashing his drones, his chanter, and his windbag, whereupon the splendid fellow had to  give in.

Perhaps the most heart-rending period was that following the last gleam of daylight, when the Medical Staff went forth to do their melancholy duty. All were armed with lanterns, which, shining like pale glow-worms,  made the dense gloom around more impenetrable still. Yet, groping and shivering through the black horror of the night, they patiently pursued their ghastly task with zeal that was truly magnificent. Dead, dying, wounded, were  dotted all over the veldt. There, bearded old Boers, boys, Britons in their prime, were indiscriminately counted, collected, tended, the Field Hospital men and Indian stretcher-bearers working incessantly and ungrudgingly till  dawn. Gruesome and heart-rending were the sights and scenes around the camp-fires when such wounded as could crawl dragged themselves towards their comrades. Pitiable the faces of the survivors as news came in of gallant hearts  that had ceased to beat. A pathetic incident was witnessed in the grey gloom of the small hours. One of the bearers chanced on an ancient hoary-headed Boer, who was lying behind a rock supporting himself on his elbows. The  bearer approached warily, as many of the enemy were known to have turned on those who went to their succour. This man, however, was too weak from loss of blood to attempt to raise his rifle. Between his dying gasps he begged a  favour-would some one find his son, a boy of thirteen, who had been fighting by his side when he fell. The request was obeyed. The little lad, stone-dead, was discovered. He was placed in the failing arms of his father. The  unhappy old fellow clasped the clay-cold form, and hugged it despairingly to himself, and then, merciful Providence pitied him in his misery-his stricken spirit went out to join his son.

An officer who was wounded, and who  spent the night in the terrible scene, thus described his dwn awful experiences: "I lay where I fell for about three-quarters of an hour, when a doctor came and put a field-dressing on my wound, gave me some brandy, put my  helmet under my head as a pillow, covered me with a Boer blanket which he had taken from a dead man, and then went to look after some other poor beggar. I shall never forget the horrors of that night as long as I live. In  addition to the agony which my wound gave me, I had two sharp stones running into my back; I was soaked to the skin and bitterly cold, but had an awful thirst; the torrents of rain never stopped. On one side of me was a Gordon  Highlander in raving delirium, and on the other a Boer who had his leg shattered by a shell, and who gave vent to the most heartrending cries and groans. War is a funny game, and no - one can realise what its grim horrors are  till they see it in all its barbarous reality. I lay out in the rain the whole of the night, and at daybreak was put into a doolie by a doctor, and some natives carried me down to the station. The ground was awfully rough, and  dropped me twice; I fainted both times. I was sent down to Ladysmith in the hospital train; from the station I was conveyed to the chapel (officers' hospital) in a bullock-cart, the jolting of which made me faint again. I was  the last officer taken in. I was then put to bed, and my wound was dressed just seventeen hours after I was hit.

They then gave me some beef-tea, which was the first food I had had for twenty-seven hours."

The amazing  spirit of chivalry that animated all classes, general officers, medical officers, chaplains, and even stretcher-bearers, in this campaign has been the subject of much comment. It was thought that modernity had rendered effete  some of the sons of Great Britain, and the war, if it should have done no other good, has served to prove that times may have changed, but not the tough and dauntless character of the men who have made the Empire what it is.

The following, from a Congregational minister of Durban, who had volunteered to go to the front as honorary chaplain to the Natal Mounted Rifles, in which corps many of his congregation enrolled, is of immense interest. It  gives us an insight into the inner core of valour-the valour of those who, unarmed, share the dangers without the intoxications of the fight. It runs :-

"The Lancers, who were mistaken by the Boers in the growing  darkness for a body of their own men, fell upon them and turned a rout into a wild flight. Commander Schiel was very furious at losing the battle, and said he would like to kill every man, woman, and child in Natal. In this he  was the exception to the rule, for the captives whom we liberated said the Boers bad treated them with great kindness. After the battle Dr. Bonnybrook and I spent the night on the field of battle, and also followed the  retreating Boers for a distance of six or seven miles, searching for and tending the wounded and dying. In the early hours of the morning we came to a Boer field-hospital, and shouting out, 'Doctor and Predicant,' we entered  and rested, and slept there awhile. By daybreak we were out again. About six miles from camp Dr. Bonnybrook rode up to twenty-five mounted and armed Boers, and told them they were his prisoners. Ordering two to take the weapons  of their comrades, he marched them into camp prisoners. For an unarmed man to accomplish alone, this was an exceedingly brave thing to do. After the battle one of the captured held up his gun and said, "Look through this.  I have not fired a shot. I am a Britisher. They forced me to come".

Among other heroes of Elandslaagte was Lieutenant Meiklejohn of the Gordon Highlanders. This young officer, one of the "Dargai boys," helped  the charge in an endeavour to embarrass the Boer flank. Supported by a party of Gordons, so runs the narrative, Meiklejohn waved his sword and cried out to his party hastily gathered round him. But the Boer ranks were alert,  and poured in a deadly fire on the gallant band. Lieutenant Meiklejohn received three bullets through his upper right arm, one through the right forearm, a finger blown away, a bullet through the left thigh two bullets through  the helmet, a "snick"in the neck, while his sword and scabbard were literally shot to pieces. He has by now lost his right arm, but, happily, being left-handed, it is hoped he may remain in the profession he is so  well calculated to adorn.

A private soldier in the 2nd Battalion Gordon Highlanders recounted an extraordinary personal experience. He said :-

"We, the Devons, Imperial Light Horse, and others, had a fight at  Elandslaagte with the Boers, and I never enjoyed myself so much before. You first have to get christened to fire, and then you think nothing of the shells bursting about you, and the bullets which go whistling past like bees.  We went forward by fifty-yard rushes, and at every rush you could hear a groan, and down would go one of our comrades, either killed or wounded, poor chap. When we were miles from the enemy they opened fire on us with shell,  and as we were going along in mass, one of the shel]s burst on the left of the company, and one of our men of my section-Bobby Hall-got shot dead with a piece of the shell going straight through his head. That was what made  more than one wish to turn and run. But what would Britain do if her soldiers ran from the enemy? At last we got to where we could get a shot at the Boers with our rifles, and you may bet we gave them more than one, as perhaps  the papers have told you. I got through the rifle-fire down to the bayonet charge on the hillside, when I felt a sting in the left arm, and looking down, found I was shot in the wrist. In changing my position I got shot in the  centre of the forehead. The bullet did not go straight through. It glanced off my nose-bone, and came out above my right temple. . . . On looking round, I was just in time to see the blood squirt from the first wound. I shifted  my position in quick time, for I did not want another from the same rifle. I lay still after doing this for a while, when the thought came to me to get my wrist bandaged and try to shoot again. On changing my position I got a  bullet right in the 'napper.' I was out of action then, for all was dark. I heard the officer I was going to get the bandages from say, 'Poor chap! he's gone.' But no, I am still kicking."