To return to Mafeking. On the day that Colonel Mahon and Colonel Plumer joined hands near Jan Massibi's thatched village, news leaked in that the long-
Meanwhile, as we know, Colonel Mahon had outspanned. He did this only to inspan again,
and proceed by moonlight to the town. He had followed the rule of South African
This one was 'abandoned in the hurried flight, the Boers having taken the precaution
to destroy the breech, but it was nevertheless captured as a precious souvenir of
times more pleasant in reminiscence than in being. The forts were visited in turn,
and at Game-
By noon the reconnaissance was at an end,-
Perhaps the march past of the united relief columns was the most unique and imposing
ceremony ever performed within the confines of such a "chicken-
The painter, when he depicted Agamemnon in the hour of sublime sacrifice, drew a veil over the features of the chief. He judged the supreme moment of human exultation too sanctified for common gaze. Even so must we draw the veil of silence over this supreme moment in the life of the saviour of Mafeking. . . the soundless epic is the more sonorous.
The parade over, addresses were presented and the usual formalities gone through.
The gratitude of the town for the relief-
On the 19th, the garrison assembled for a last, a solemn function. A great thanksgiving and memorial service was held at the cemetery, and all bade a last farewell to those who had shared with them the tribulations of the siege without reaping the harvest of honour their hands had sown.
At the close of the impressive ceremony three volleys were fired over the noble dead who had given their lives to attain the great end, and then an effort was made to sing the National Anthem, but the notes were quavering with the emotion which these hitherto fearless men now feared might unman them.
Finally Colonel Baden Powell -
He then thanked the ladies, beginning with the matron of the hospital, whose pluck and devotion could not be sufficiently extolled. Turning to the Protectorate Regiment, he said
"To you I need say nothing. Your roll of dead and wounded tells its own tale."
Shaking hands with Colonel Hore he thanked him for the assistance he had given him, and to the artillery, under Major Panzera and Lieutenant Daniel, he said
"You were armed with obsolete weapons, but you made up for these by your cool shooting and the way you stuck to your guns."
The colonel afterwards turned to the British South Africa Police
"I need not repeat to you men the story of the little red fort on the hill, which Cronje could not take."
And to the Cape Police, under Captain Marsh, he addressed himself as follows
"You have not been given an opportunity of doing anything dramatic, but throughout the siege you have held one of the nastiest places in the town, where the enemy were expected at any moment, and where you were always under fire."
The colonel next made some graceful remarks to the Town Guard. He compared them to a walnut in a shell; saving that people thought that they had but to break the shell to get at the kernel. But the enemy had learnt better. They had got through the husk and found they could get no hold on the kernel. In conclusion, he 'announced that any civilians who wished to return to their ordinary occupations immediately might do so. Those who had none to return to, whose billets had been lost or businesses ruined, would be permitted in the meantime to draw trench allowances and to remain on duty in the inner defences.
Major Gooli Adams was then cordially thanked for all the excellent work he had done as Town Commandant, after which the Railway Division (under Captain Moore) and Lieutenant Layton (who had received a commission for his splendid services) were addressed
"I cannot thank you enough for what you have done. You have transformed yourselves
To the Bechuanaland Rifles Colonel Baden-
"Men, you have turned out trumps. With volunteers one knows that they have been ably drilled, but there is no telling how they will fight. I have been able to use you exactly as Regular troops, and I have been specially pleased with your straight shooting. The other day, when the enemy occupied the Protectorate Fort, they admitted that they were forced to surrender by your straight shooting, under which they did not dare to show a hand above the parapet."
The chief delighted the juvenile Cadet Corps by giving them their need of praise for their conduct as soldiers, concluding with, "I hope you will continue in the profession, and will do as well in after life."
He then turned to the outsiders, the Northern Relief Force under Colonel Plumer,
which had borne the brunt of the seven months' fighting, and expressed his regret
that they had been too weak to relieve the town "off their own bat." But he eulogised
the splendid work done in bad country and climate. The Southern Force under Colonel
Mahon were congratulated on having made a march which would live in history. Their
chief was complimented on the magnificent body of men he commanded, while the Imperial
Light Horse, associated as it was with memories of Ladysmith, Colonel Baden-
So the amazing defence of Mafeking was over! For seven months the gallant little town had withstood every ingenious device of the Boers, and in the end it had come off victorious. The first shot was fired on the r6th of October, and from that day the rumble of bombardment had been the accompaniment of almost every hour between the rising and setting of the sun. And now all was serene and still, and only the battered walls of the once neat little hamlet told the terrible, the glorious tale of British doggedness and British pluck.
HOW THE NEWS WAS RECEIVED BY THE BRITISH EMPIRE.
For some time the ears of London had been pricked up in anxious expectation. Lord
Roberts had promised to relieve Mafeking by the 18th of May, and the Field -
He then delivered the following speech : " I wish the music of your cheers could
reach Mafeking. For seven long weary months a handful of men has been besieged by
a horde. We never doubted what the end would be. British pluck and valour when used
in a right cause must triumph. The heart of every one of you vibrates with intense
loyalty and enthusiasm, I know, and the conscience of every one of you assures you
that we have fought in a righteous and just cause." The crowd, incapable of silence
for very long, broke into "Rule, Britannia, and when this outburst of emotion was
expended, the Lord Mayor continued: "We have fought for our most glorious traditions
of equality and freedom, not for ourselves alone, but for the men of all those nations
who have settled in South Africa and who were under the protection of the British
flag" Three cheers for Colonel Baden-
"Citizens London relieved and rejoiced by good news just received. Your gallant defence wilt long live in British annals. Cable me what money wanted for needs of garrison and inhabitants after long privations. "ALFRED NEWTON, Lord Mayor."
At the same time a huge portrait of Colonel Baden-
Kensington and remote Clapham, sq that men and women turned in their beds-
Then, the whole face of London seemed transmogrified. National emblems, red, white,
blue, yellow, green, stars and stripes-
By nightfall, the whole Empire was pouring forth its excitement in congratulatory telegrams, for, four minutes after the receipt of the intelligence in London the news had passed over the Atlantic cables and was in the New York office of the Associated Press, whence it was forwarded to the farthest limit of the North American Continent. Canada, New South Wales, Sydney, and all the other colonies whose bravest and best had contributed to the great doings in the Transvaal, were now aglow with bunting and illuminations. Church bells pealed, processions passed shouting and rejoicing, ships were dressed from truck to taffrail, and prayers and anthems of praise were got ready to be offered up on the following day at all churches.
Thus, for a brief space, was seen a vast concourse of millions of souls of differing
opinions, customs, and creeds, diffused even to the remotest corners of the British-
The hero of Mafeking at Charterhouse was nicknamed "Bathing Towel."
|The Growth of the Transvaal|
|The Web Thickens|
|The Zulu War|
|Isandlwana, an hour by hour account|
|Affairs at Home|
|The First Anglo Boer War|
|Between the Wars|
|The Fate of SGT Elliot|
|The Siege of Pretoria|
|The Reform Movement|
|The Critical Moment|
|The Fate of the Raiders|