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VOLUNTEER ENCAMPMENT.

THE SHAM FIGHT. 1 The annual week's encampment of the B Battery at Grant's Bra'.s, and the Engineers, Highlanders, North Dunedin Rifles, and City Guards at Forbury Park, was brought to a close yesterday by a sham fight. The plan of campaign was as follows ;—The Battery and Engineers were looated on Shiel Hill, at Grant's Braes, 'vvhioh they were to defend against an attack by the Guards, Highlanders, North Dunedin Rifle?, and High School Cadets. Shiel Hill affords good defending facilities, and in order to gain the eminence some neat manaiavring and tactics wore expected lrom the attacking force. That this expectation was not fully realised was not the fault of the chosen scene for the encounter. The defending force was under command of Captain Chalmer, who had placed twogunsunder Lieutenant Morris with a small escort at the extreme point of Grant's Braes, overlooking Vauxhall. The other hulf-battery, under Lieutenant Baron, was placed on a cross road close to the Upper Peninsula road. Punctually at ten o'clock the attacking force, under command of Captain Smith, left the Forbury Park. Captaiu Smith divided his force into two sections. One, comprising the Guards, under Lieutenant Crawford, kept to the road aDd marched round by Anderson Bay. The other section, comprising the Highlanders, North Dunedin Rifles, and High School Cadets, took to the sandhills by Tahuna Park, and a very rough hour's work they had. Their object was to attack the left flank of Captain Chalmer's force. The defence offered, however, was very weak. The guns supposed to be commanding the approach _of the Guards by the road were easily overcome, although it is alleged by some of the defenders that one of the attacking companies were blown off the face of the earth, but continued the charge. The combined companies then went in extended order dp the hill, and after a short and sharp enI counter put the remaining guns out of action. Had the brow of the hill been defended by these two guns the fight would I have been interesting, but as it was thf: I enemy were able to cam the summit I practically unmolested, and then had the advantage of being on tho rising ground above the guns. The umpires, Colonel Webb and Captain Robin, declared the attacking division victors, and after a conflict that ouly lasted ten minute 3 ordered firing to cease. Each man carried thirty rounds of ammunition, but only about a third of this was fired away. On the "cease firing" and "assembly" sounding the force was collected on Grant's Braes. Colonel Webb addressed a few words to the officers, and explained that the guns had been lo3t in consequence of the attacking force having acquired high ground. Had Lieutenant Baron's guns taken up a position on the summit of Shiel Hill, with an escort 500 yds down the slope, and the guns on the right under Lieutenant Morris been retired to the same position, it would have been extremely difficult for the attacking force to have taken them, or, at any rate, they would have done so at a considerable loss of life. Cyclists were freely used by both sides for reconnoitring purposes. After a short rest at the B Battery's camp the attacking division marched back to Forbury Park, which they reached at two o'clock. After a well-deserved dinner the camp was struck, and, headed by the.Garrison Band, the companies marched in to the Garrison Hall, where the men were dismissed. The Battery camp also broke up during the afternoon. The camp has been most successful and enjoyable. Yesterday's proceedings,' though arduous, were very much appreciated, and are likely to have a beneficial effect, as officers and men are unanimous that the operations were of an instructive nature. The food Bupply for the camp at Forbury Park was under the control of Messrs Owld and Gilland, of whose catering che volunteers speak in terms of unstinted praise. The South Canterbury volunteers had a field day for the holiday. Captain Dolman, of the Ashburton Rifles, aided by cyclist scouts, had to discover and attack the enemy's camp in rough country unknown to him. Very satisfactory work was done.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18971110.2.14

Bibliographic details

VOLUNTEER ENCAMPMENT., Issue 10467, 10 November 1897

Word Count
698

VOLUNTEER ENCAMPMENT. Issue 10467, 10 November 1897

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