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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - April 4, 1907, Lethbridge, Alberta w {it pip I milUMHK DON'T LOSE SIGHT OF Nicely LocoLed, next to the Agricultural Grounds. Level as a table and all under cultivation. Lots going nicely at WILLIAMSON BROSm N. T. MACLEOD, CALGARY^ LETHBRIDGE. How Paardeburg Was Won A Soldier's Story of what he Saw And How He Felt When Face to Face ^^^th the Doers. Seven years ago last month Canadian volunteers vero lielping British > regulars to draw teeth from the lion of the Transvaal-General Cronje. Seven years ago last Wednesday . the final tooth was pulled, and upon ' the advice of Dr. Roberts, the patient left for a health resort in the South Atlantic, to recover from the �flect8 of the operation. Tlie anniversary of Paardeburg! .To some it is fraught with sorrow, for it only recalls that the bones of cherished sons and brothers mingle with tne African soil. To otlicrs it is chiefly reminiscent of physical pain, but to the majority it speaks of a time in their lives when thuy had the privilege of being present at the mailing of dramatic history. Few can forget the blistering days and chilling nights; the sunlit sweep of tawny veldt and the curving line of tho Modder along the banks of which tho gaunt and ragged Boers dug for protection in the face of a owrcilew bombardment from machine guns and rifles. Few, indeed, can forget that baptism of fire at the first general action, where the casualties numbered thirteen hundred "and where some of the dead wore : . the badge of the Maple Leaf. Paardebul-g was part siege, part battle. Gut olT, in atteniipting to ford Paardeburg Drift, tho Boer, . Xeader's force of four thousand threw, up fortifications along the high banks of the stream'and settleddown to resist until the arrival of rein-' forcomeuts. Then, British heliographs twinkled pritish cavalry horses were ridden to death, and British infantry lived on excitement and hard tack. Wo all knew thut soinothing of supreme im-: porta nco was impending. But to ask V a tiue.silon was-to (ace, by way of rcily, another query, it was patent that a great move-Waa in progress. The exact why or: wherefore, though- that'a i : rbere tho shoe pinched. Although at the (ronti the rank and file knew ,j leM than the readers of tho press : i (Uspatches thousands of nvlles away. Dusty columns plodded forward, >i,e�valry Jolted past, batteries lumr ..bkred along, oxen and mules strained 'lUMler the lust of Kafflr transport, �i'i^'Jb&iifUfA�n. Rumors flew. Sweat ^ \fMM^: i'm and shoulders 'mI^ under the riflea' weight. ;fjCninJ� waa being pursued, Oronja �M';Maf� IB Bloenafonteln, Cronje |�d;i�iWMl 9e Wet, 0r9Bje wm a�k. ing a last stand, Cronje was fight -ing for life-no one was positive as to what was just happening; but all were agreed that General Cronje was a very bu.sy man. The latter surmisal, if somewhat colorless, was accurate. The doughty chieftain was busy. He was handling a large order. He was trying to stem a khaki tide, that rolled across the Modder i.lain from sun to sun. He was trapped, yet game. Though with a sinister, an almost black reputa -tioo, admiration of the Boer general was oijenly expressed as the day wore along. The burghers were stubborn to the verge of madness. Their position was ringed around with cannon. Overhead hung a baloon. In it were men with field-glasses who signalled the substance of what was taking place in the enemy's laager. Beyond were the bivouacs of many brigades. Miles avay were patrols j of cavalry to beat back any possible , rescuers. On the bare, rounded summits of distant kopjes were posted detachments to watch for. the appearance of hostile troops. It was my fortune, as a momil^r of "G" Company, to spend a couple of days and nights on one of these isolated hills. - We christened it Starvation Kopje Tho bill of fare was not composing. We were haggard and profano. There was one youth who seemed to find deep gratification in referring to his 'mother's e.xcellenco .ns a cook. I ndv-er doubted him, but his confidential [allusions to juicy steaks, mealy potatoes; frothy cofice, deep pics, and honey and hot cakes wore peculiarly irritating. Ho became unpopu  lar. But if sustenance was practically-eliminated, tho view from tho hill's bleak crest was exhilarat.ng. Under a sky of deepest blue, flecked with morsels of fleecy clouds, tho yellow veldt stretched a,wa,v, apparently endless in its scppe. It hadtho vastness of the ocean. Here and there level-topped or cone-shaped kopjes veiled in violet haze, dotted the great spaces. The winding course \ot the Modder could be traced, but one's gaze would wander to the clump of sickly brush in a loop of tho river, where men battled against desperate odds. There would be Intervals between the boR4iardments, but the ensuing silence seemed more ominous than the crashing of the artillery. More than once was opportunity given for the holding of an armistice for the chance to surrender, but with dogged and aullen courage, the burghare refused and clung to their works. Then would recomiracnce a period of destruction. The Boersliad burrowed beneath tho bonks, but it was dillicult to convince oneself that life could continue, as shell after shell from tho steel throats out on the plain whirled into the position. The turf was ploughed, tho' banks scarred, every apparent shelter searched by the relentless gunqers, yet there was nothing approaching annihilation. February, the 27th, was a whimsical day, from the veather point of view. Tiio afternoon was gray, with occasional gleams of sunshine. Darkness fell, with tho quickness common to tho climate. Our regiment had received orders, and we were expected to carry them out without wonder and without question. In conjunction with the other battalions of tho brigade, the Gordon Highlanders, the Cornwails and tho Shropshiresi we were to advance under cover of the night, against one of the important Boer positions, dig a trench, occupy it, and await further instructions. It was felt that such a course would render tho nearest Boer trench uit-tenalHe, and that the movement would bring to a consummation tho long-Klravm struggle. How little incidents stick in our memory! The regiment, beyond the field hospital, stood at ease Jt>y a growth of low brush olong,the river bank. Presently we received permission to sit down. Occasionally yfw* would hear the zip of a bullet, seenv-iogly fired ot random from the laager ahead. We were too fatigued to commiunt at any length on the undertaking which had boon cntru.sted to us. In niy section, a man sank against some shrubbery, and. curling up fell asleep. A tew yards away, or down on tlie narrow shore, a few officers stood chatting. One was an officer who has long been in tho Canadian service. He is a native ot Quebec, and is stationed there at present, ilo hud rsmoved hi.i sun -helmet, and was gravely digging in tho bowl of a briar pipe. The few. who were not too tired to talk conversed in whispers. At last, after about half-an-hour by the river bank, we were aroused by nudge, more than by voice, and nvovod to the outlying British trench, into' which we silently filed. Ahead was darkness and the Boer position. Tho distance was perhaps . t^o hundred yards. To find repose in the trench was to endure a cramped posture, but within u quarter of an hour af -tor doubling up on the ground I was nodding. Then somebody prodded [tne, and lawoke, stifl and chilled. It was past midnight, starlight and frosty. "Fall inr" Tho order was whispered by the various section commanders along (the line. There were two ranka, the front with bayoneta fixed, and the rear with rilles slung, and every man carrying alternately a spade and pick. I WHS in tho roar rank. There was tho soft shuffling of many feet, the anxiaus staring into the blackness ahead, the occasional gritting of a pebble against a steel-shod Loot, and the advance had commenced. 1 cannot clearly j remember how long our section stole forward, but all seemed to halt instinctively, as if inlu,tion had warned us. A subal tern tiptoed down the lino. 'For Gods sake don't talk out loud," he whispered. We stood irresolute. ^ Ahead there was prSTound silence. We were about to take a few moro steps, when from the left we heard a faint clatter. Someone had walked ^gainst tincans ! strung on wires-a burgher danger -alarm. Instantly, it almost seenned part of the disturbance, there rang out a sini^le shot. We flung ourselves to the bare ground as the gloom in front was split by a dancing line of fire that zig-za-gged and raced from !end to end of the Boer position. A hail of bullets sang overhead. Again, there was the rippling streak of rod light, and the man on my right clutched his shoulder. Bullets were thudding tho ground-whizzing from an apparently inexhaustible [source. From volleys, tho shooting changed to independent firing, and for at least half an hour thcMaus-crs were working incessantly. But that half hour was well utilized by those who lay,exposed, and the exposure was absolute. Tho enemy's trench wa.s hardly forty'yards distant and tho only cover between us wa.s a decaying steer. It required more courage to crawl behind the heaat than to remain in the open, where tho surroiinding, if more dangerous, was less unbearable. That half hour was occupied in digging. P ersonally, I wos moro concerned with that particular form of labor than with answering the Boer shots. I devoted myself ex -clusively to It. I dug with hands and bayonet. I had a pos-sion for digging. I never worked witb such wholo-hcnrtcd fervor, with such unselfish zeal before. I have not foiled so recklessly since. ' With the coming of the tender South African dawn, the trench thougl) crooked ond crude, was com-�pleted. inside crouched men, their j rifles wavering over the heaps of 'fresh dug earth. A few yards dotvn tho trench lay a private. He hod been shot in the stomach. He was writhing-that was all. Out in front lay scattered a half dozen or so still fosms. Close, by was one, the ground was wot, and over ti>o body swarmed a myriad of ants. The tension was almost to snapping point. Someone, with a husky laugh, mentioned "bayonet charge," Both sides waited and watched. Prwently a rag fluttered above the opposite trench. I A voice yelled, "They are coming in-coming in." Then a face appeared below the rag, ond next, a man dragged him^ self out of the trench, and with the ' emblem of surrender held aloft walked forward a few paces and halted, j He looked like a seedy clerk or book keeper. He seemed uncertain as to I his reception, but by this time, practical assurance was given that the aignal was comprehended-and Paar-j doburg was. won. A few hours later, a detachment was sent over the ground to gather ]up tho coats, picks, spades, bottles and guns, which were dropped during tho construction of tho trench, j We were busy, when a dapper little man on horseback riding in advance of other officers, went past. He wore plain khaki dress had keen gray eyes, a red face, and heavy gray moustache. "Who's that cove?" asked a mem -bcr of our detachment. "That cove," answered the lieutenant in charge, "is Lord Roberts.' HI SlXiiSS IS BUSINESS. HOKSKMEN BEAD THIS. X have use^ MINARB'S LINIMENT in my stables for over a year, and consider it the VERY BES'T for horse flesh I can get, and would strongly recuminend it to all horse -men. GEO. HOUGH. Livery Stables, Quebec, 95 to 103 Ann Street. Judge. j "How's bu.sinoss? ' I said to a butcher I mot While out for a stroll on the street. 'Well, sometimes it's tough, but bv chopping,' he said, ' "I manage to nmke both ends meat." ! "I spoke to an author, a cheerful ) .voung chap. Whose life seemed exceedingly bright ' Whose life seemed exceedingly bright, ^ "IIow goes it?" I a.skod, and ho promptly replied; "Oh, everything seems to be write.' "You're looking quite well," to a broker I said. Whom 1 sat beside in the car. - "Don't tuko any stock in my'health' lie replied; "I'm feeling away below par." My tailr I met on a prominent street, "Good morning," I 8a,d; "you look cute." "Why shouldn't I, pray?" he replied with a smile, "When everyone's easy to suit." "Ah, doctor, good morning. How goes it with you?" I asked with a. smile on the side. "Oh, I'm going along in tho same old way,' Enjoying bad health," ho replied. I said to tho man who makes automobiles, "It isn't quite proper to frown." "I know it's dead wrong," he replied with a pout, "The fact is, I'm all broken down.' RHEUMATISM MAKES UFB MISERABLE. A happy home is the most valuable possession that is within the reach of mankind, but you cannot enjoy its comforts if you are sufTering frota rheumatism. You throw aside,bual-ness can� when you enter your hoiiio and you can tie relieved from those rheumatic pains also by applying Chamberlain's Pain Balm. ~ One application will give you relief and its continued use for a short time will bring about a permanent cure. For sale by All Druggists. ^ ROCKY COULEE. Notwithstanding the inclemency of the weather the social at Mr. Mulligan's on Thursday evening last was well attended. ' Real estate continues to change hands. Mr. C. Blunder has bought Section 23, 10 and 25 at $20 per ently purchased the property former-acrp. Mr. Noble of Clarasholm has ree  ly owned by Freeman Andersan at S2t per acre. Born on the 25th inst.,  daughter to Mr. and Mrs. Knutson. Miss Gilbert has returned from Macleod for her Eatter vacation. Boys and Girts Grow Strong and Sturdp when raised on pure, nutritious Bread. You'll have wholesome Bread the children will "eat without butter," by baking with\ PURiry FLOUR Made entirely from the finest Western Canada Hard Wheat by latest improved methods In the - most modern mills, in the world. That's why Purity If lour MallM BrMd that Builds Dojne and Miiflcle Retailed everywhere throughout the Great Dominion WtSTimi OANAOA VLOWB MILM Mm UmHMl MIIIB at VWnnleea. OMeitet^ m� BraaiMn .1 ll-^&ll ;