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THE CRETAN TROUBLES.

SOME GRAPHIC PARTICULARS. THE MASSACRE. An interesting letter has been received by a Uhristcnurca resident ironi a gentiemali who is -urgeoii on __.__.._». Revenge, a_._ was an eye- witness ol the troubles in Crete alter the ____-_c_-. He says: — "_he fft__ news the oh__er_ of the Revenge got of the massacre was at Malta, where they coaled and nrovisioned, and immediately lelfc ior Canuia. A day or two before they lett Malta, a steamer, the Vulcan, had sailed with about three thousand troops, w-hilst tho Izal left with four hundred more the following day, September Bth. A regiment had also been ordered from Egypt, consisting of 760 of the Welsh Fusiliers! Ua the arrival of the Revenge, evervthinc looked very peaceful. There were* some foreign war vessels with ______ ships Camperdown, Hazard, and Asfcraea, anchored in the roaastead. The Vulcan was protectine tne disembarkation of her troops about fiv* miles off. From there the troops were marched into the English camp placed against the western wall of the town. Candia is the largest city in Crete, a walled place, and since the Powers have taken in hand the pacification of the country, which owing to jealousie-, they have done very badly, the town has been under the protection of, and garrisoned by, British troops. There are net enough of them, however, as we have to keep a number outside the walls to prevent thu Christians coming in, and the fllahommedans from going out. The Moslems, or Bashis, as they are called for short certainly have a grievance against both the Christians and the Powers. Inside the town are living about thirty or forty thousand Moslems and about one thousand Christians, while outside are thousands of Christians living on other people's \farms and sending the produce inside for sale. "The Cretans are about the biggest scoundrels that ever breathed. The Council of Admirals, a short time back (and the Admirals have always agreed wonderfully well) decided to collect the tithe tax to carry on the government of the island. So on September 6th Colonel Reid, ,of the Highland Light Infantry, the regiment now on shore, went to the Government with an escort of about sixteen men, as he had been informed in the morning that the natives were in a very excited state, to demand the keys of the tithes office from a Major Churchill, the commandant of the gendarmerie. Churchill, whom we know very well, is. half an Englishman, and more Turk than a Turk. He refused, saying that the demand was not official. The Colonel took them from a soldier and went to the office. As soon as he was inside, three of'his men were stabbed in the back by the Moslems, and one, while falling, shot a.Mo_!em. Then firing opened from all the windows round. The whole thing must have been pre-arranged, as all the Briiish guards in the town were fired on at the same time. The colonel w-as the man they wanted to shoot particularly, arid he says he must have been fired at at least two hundred times. Bullets flew all around him, but owing to the bad shooting he escaped uninjured. Other soldiers came up rapidly and assisted, and a signal was made to the gunboat Hazard for assistance—as she was the only ship we had there to render assistance. The British camp was too far off for thenl to grant aid. - Two boatloads of blue-jackets, under a sub-lieutenant, were sent in and landed, and several men were extra-iainary story is told about one of the blue jackets, who was shot at close quarters through the body. In this condition he bayonetted four mm, stuck a hlth in the throat, and pinned bjinvto a door. He was too weak to pull his bayonet out again, so with his fists he his enemy's head and then died. The blues managed to close the gates of the fort, but the Moslems set fire to them. A. signal was then made for mescal so t£e lieutenant in commaud of the sh-P, and the surgeon and "seven men came ashore in the whaler, and were, of course,.fired at. Two -were kill-d and two wounded. The commander was grated by a bullet, and the doctor had two or three bullets through his clothes. There were narrow shaves. ihe sub-lieutenant, who had come ashore previously, also had the sole of his boot knocked off by a bullet. _ "The lieutenant left on board did a very good thing on his own responsibility. Not knowing what had become of his commander, he opened fire with the big guns, clearing a street in no time, and knocking down some houses. • He made one very good shot. Seeing some fourteen or fifteen men crawling one after the other along a wall, and making for the Turquoise, a small English steamer made fast to thp wharf, and used for condensing water for the troops, he fired, and got the whole lot in one shot with a p.r. shot. - , ,' . -The row began about 2 p.m., and about three hours after Edhem Pasha, the Turkish General, came down with some troops, and said he had just heard the fighting. As soon as he arrived the whole thing stopped, and he escorted the remainder of our soldiers back, to the camp, and the sailors, with the wounded and, killed, went off in the Turquoise. . Before this the camp wsa attacked, and some Bashis got on the roof of a church and fired into the British Hospital. 'The losses were one officer (St. Haldare) and nine men killed, and thirty wounded. Among the sailors lour were killed and seven wounded. The Bashis acknowledge fqjrty killed, and nobody knows how many wounded. You must know that there are ten thdusand men with rifles in the town, and as every window was full of armed men it was hot at all a nice position for our fellows to .be in.

"Now, to come to the massacre. The Mahommedans, after getting their blood up, j next went for the Christians, and the whole j night long the massacre went on. Utterly unknown to the ships in the bay, about 000 men, women, and children, were murdered. No.shots were fired, and only houses set fire j to. The Turkish troops, about 3000 strong, did nothing to stop it. Some horrible details have come to light. The British ViceConsul, a Cretan, and the richest man in Candia, was offered his life for 2000 Napoleons. He gave the mc*-»y, and immediately his throat was cut, and he was. burned in his house. His daughter, the prettiest girl in the place they say, and about fifteen years of age, was outraged and taken to a harem. We have her brother on board and he says she is dead, and hopes it, I expect. He has lost ten relatives, including his father and sister, but his own wife escaped. Other tales are too terrible to tell you. Some of the survivors next morning came on board the man-of-war, two others having arrived in the night. Some of the women and babies were horribly cut about. We have several refugees on board now, including three women and a child, and the Greek priest who buried all the victims. "Edhem Pasha was on board this morning looking very flurried. Our Admiral had ordered him on board the day before. He went away considerably more flurried than he came, having had forty-eight hours given him to give up the lingleaders of the movement and surrender, at once, two redoubts which command our camp. We have not heard what the alternative will be; bombardment, I hope. _- is a lovely town for bombarding, cram full of honsas, very close together; in fact, you cannot see the town for house-. H.M._>. Hlustrioaa and Venus are coming to-morrow from Malta. We shall be able to land a j and marines if nece____y." &* j Writing two days later theme gentleman states:— "Two more items in the ultimatum of the Admiral were the pulling down of all the houses that the camp was fired into from, and tho giving up of about five tho-sand rifles. The Sultan telegraphed Edhem Pasha to co__ply, so that yesterday (September 14th) t__rty--_»e houses came downForty ringleaders have been taken, but the Sultan has detnaaded that their trial, as well as the di-armaaaent, shall be international, which the cons-Jar people on board say means that nothing at all wilt be done. It will be a great shame n this is the case. Churchill sent his wife and family on board here yesterday, and he himself cleared out

in a French steamer in the night, which was the best thing he could have done. Later news states:—-"I have just^heard that Churchill has not gone. We cannot get any correct information here on the spot, so you may imagine what yarns get into the papers at Home. Seventy marines landed this afternoon to receive the prisoners. I'orty-two in all, who "were brought down tied together, under a very strong guard of soldiers. They are now on board H.M.S. Augustine, * guarded by thirty marines and an officer." Next day he writes:—"Another regiment, the Rifle Brigade, is ordered here from Egypt. They were at the battle of Omdurman", but did not fire a shot. Two other regiments had the same bad luck. The Augustine .ailed this afternoon for Alexandria to bring some of them here. Before leaving she sent twenty prisoners to this boat and twenty-two to the Illustrious; another seven came on board last night. I hear that another four days h_ve been allowed in which to give up the _rms, probably they will not be given up till a new regiment comes." On Sunday, September 18th, he writes:—"Eleven more prisoners were sent off yesterday, but the principal ringleaders have not been caught vet."

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/CHP18981119.2.53

Bibliographic details

THE CRETAN TROUBLES., Press, Volume LV, Issue 10197, 19 November 1898

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1,641

THE CRETAN TROUBLES. Press, Volume LV, Issue 10197, 19 November 1898

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