Article image
Article image
This article displays in one automatically-generated column. View the full page to see article in its original form.

TOMMY ATKINS AND THE COLORS.

A casual remark in a letter of Lord Wolseley to the D<:an of Lichfield Cathedral furnisheß a curious proof of the way-in whioh modern warfare is developing into something utterly unlike the bygone style lind ancient features of belligerence. The old oolors of that gallant regiment the 64th Foot have been presented, or are to be, to the Dean and Chapter for the purpose of being placed on the Walls of the oathedral. The Commander-in-Chief, in speaking of the precious symbols, took occasion to observe to. the ecolesiastical dignitaries concerned that it would not be possible in the future to deposit such valued trophies for preservation and reverence, for the very good reason that none would ever again be borne in the old glorious manner amid the ranks of battle. "In future," wrote Lord Wolseley, "it would be madness and a crime to order any soldier to carry colors into action. You might quite as well order him to be assassinated. The Germans carry the poles on which the colors used to bs so that they attract no notice in action. We have had most reluctantly to adaudon a practice to which we attached great importance, and which, under past and gone conditions of fighting, was invaluable in keeping alive the regimental spirit upon which our British troops depended so much." All war has been transformed by the invention of the farreaohing and fate-dealing rifle and automatic gun, with which an enemy kills whose face is hot even seen. Bittles were much more picturesque and interesting in those Homeric times when the foeman addressed some hisjhly-spirited remarks to hia adversary before commencing business, to which he responded with perfect and leisurely animosity, afterwards exchanging spears or arrows, and proceeding wish great decorum to the hand-to-hand combat. To-day nobody can know why he is killed, or by whom. Bayonets and sword-blades seldom, if ever, cross and clash ; it is almost all reduced to a mechanical interchange of volleys and salvoes, with short, fierce rushes at the last, in which there is no place for the dignity and grace of the antique " Battle of the Standard." Oa the colors of the 64th are inscribed many a noble record of valor and " derring-do." The names are there of Luoknow and Khoosh-ab, of Persia and the Punjab, of Sari nam and Santa Lucia, and the dragon of China writhes and glitters in gold and crimson under the white plumes of the Prince of Wales. Where shall we write these brave blazoninga now, if the regiments mußt not and dare not carry their colors into an engagement? They may be engraved upon the mess plate, or painted up in the orderly room, but Lord Wolseley says that they can never bo borne again in the van of the advancing line, for he who carries them, though he were braver than Alexander, would fall riddled with bullets as soon as the silk fluttered out to the breeze—London 4 Telegraph.'

This article text was automatically generated and may include errors. View the full page to see article in its original form.
Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18971018.2.47

Bibliographic details

TOMMY ATKINS AND THE COLORS., Issue 10447, 18 October 1897

Word Count
498

TOMMY ATKINS AND THE COLORS. Issue 10447, 18 October 1897

  1. New formats

    Papers Past now contains more than just newspapers. Use these links to navigate to other kinds of materials.

  2. Hierarchy

    These links will always show you how deep you are in the collection. Click them to get a broader view of the items you're currently viewing.

  3. Search

    Enter names, places, or other keywords that you're curious about here. We'll look for them in the fulltext of millions of articles.

  4. Search

    Browsed to an interesting page? Click here to search within the item you're currently viewing, or start a new search.

  5. Search facets

    Use these buttons to limit your searches to particular dates, titles, and more.

  6. View selection

    Switch between images of the original document and text transcriptions and outlines you can cut and paste.

  7. Tools

    Print, save, zoom in and more.

  8. Explore

    If you'd rather just browse through documents, click here to find titles and issues from particular dates and geographic regions.

  9. Need more help?

    The "Help" link will show you different tips for each page on the site, so click here often as you explore the site.

Working