THE MACHAVIE RAILWAY ACCIDENT.
Press, Volume LIX, Issue 11278, 20 May 1902, Page 5
THE MACHAVIE RAILWAY ACCIDENT.
The following extracts from letters received by his parents from Trooper Glenie, of tbe Eighth Contingent, a Sumner boy, well known in Christchurch, will 'be read with interest, particularly as he was in the train accident at Maohavie, in which so many New were killed and injured : — ' Mellor's Pass, S.A.. April 4th, 1902. "Wts are having a very exciting time just I now. Two squadrons of us have been sent up here to hold this pass, because they expect the Boen to come this way ia the drive the column have on now. Every day Iwe send out patrols after the Boers. Yesterday it was very exciting. We were s?ignaltett that there" were 200 Boers in sight, so we got the orders to saddle up. We had to gallop abi>ut four miles, and then to leave our horses down ihe gpily and climb steep hill. When we got to the top, and posted all round, we B«--! covered that it was a British column. We hardly ever get any sleeo, because we are. all on duty, of a night. We are sent up to block-hou&es, which are all in the pass.and we have to stay there till <kidight. They are very particular. We have orders to' *boot any white man that comes towards us. Two nights ago one of cur officers went with some men to a blockhouse, and when he went he told them to be very careful and watch for him coming back, and when he came he aaid he would' whistle. But the fool of a sentry got frightened and shot at him, but, as luck would have h, he missed him. "General Lyttelton has been up here twice firing orders. When we were in Newcastle met a tellow I knew in the Seventh. He was telling mc about the terrible cutting up they had at Bothasberg. It was a gireat shock to us when we got the news. It is very cold up here sleeping out of nights, for we are a terrible height above sea level. This is an awful country for thunder and lightning. We get- wet through and are dry ugain in about two hours. Klerksdorp, April 13. "I was very pleaeed to receive a letter from you. 'When I got it we Jiad just come irom Mollers Pass to Kollingburg. That was ln«t Suriday morning. We stayed there all night, and then went back to tfewoastle on the Monday. On Tuesday we roadeastart* for where we are now. We got a* fan aa Majuba Hill and, camped, there. Then on Wednesday we wient on to Charlestown, and camped there till Thursday, and then went about three miles to Vollcsrtttt. and entrained our horses. Wa left there at three o'clock on Friday morning. We pasted many places where large battles had been fought. We stopped at Standerton. and fed tlie horses at 10 o'clock, an t then went on, stopping at small stations. We got to Elhngfontein a/, 8 o'clock, and fed the horses again. "We then lock a brafich line, and passed Johannesburg at about ten the same night. I was very sorry it was dark; we could net see anything, only the beautiful station. We then went on travelling all night till about 7.30 am., when the sad accident occurred in which fourteen men were- killed and fourteen injured. All the men killed were in Ihe first truck. t was in the second one. Our truck was thrown right off the line, and the third and fourth ones went on top of the first and hilled rhe men. They were simply crushed to death. "VVhen we came to our senses again we started to get the poor fellows out. There was one thrown up '>n top of the engine, and he wan scalded to death. «There were others crushed between the first and third trucks. After we got them all out. we had to lay them out and wrap them in blankets. It was a terrible sight to see the poor fellows, some of them with their heads off, and others smashed to pieces. ,1 may think myself lucky I was not killed. Everyone thought we were 'passed out.' "After we. sot the l;ne cleared we had. to go back to FotobeMrom. We left them again last night, and arrived here at one o'clock this morning. They are burying the poor fellows this afternocn at Klerksdorp; we are all going to ihe funeral."