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IN SOUTH AFRICA., Issue 15672, 10 December 1914
IN SOUTH AFRICA.
The East ' Herald' (South Africa) of October 27 states that " General De Wet and General Beyers have thrown off the mask of political opposition to the Government., and armed burghers in their name, have seized Government stores, made prisoners of Government officials, and have gone openly into rebellion against the Government of the cduntvv The men affected reside in the north of the Free States and in the west of the Transvaal."' The 'Herald' goes on to state that " General Botha stands by his pledge of loyalty. How do General De Wet and General Beyers stand? Why have they turned traitor? Judas Iscariot was a worthless man who sold his master for 30 pieces of silver. Ho was tempted by _ money. W r hat is the temptation to which General Do Wet and General Beyers have yielded '! Is there German gol 1 available? . . . To all of us South Africans thero is but one response to Urn treachery." The following from the news columns on Maritz's mode of operations:—The temporary occupation by Maritz of Kakamas, the well-known settlement on the Orange River, was inevitable; but the small force who were in garrison at the time when Maritz's defection was definitely announced gave the rebel leader more to do than he expected. It seems Maritz first of all, in his capacity as a commandant in the Defence Force, disarmed them on the plea that he needed all their rifles, as he was leaving them at Kakamas in order to lead a force against the German border. What subsequently happened is described as follows by the ' Cape Tirnes's ' correspondent at Carnarvon, who gives the gist of a conversation with one of the escaped garrison as follows: —" Maritz is a clog. He disarmed us all on the Friday, saying that as we were staying in Kenhardt he would need all rifles obtainable, to go to the border with. He went away, and was retnrning with about 700 Germans and traitors when we luckily heard of his approach, and going to the camp where he had lately had his men we—there were 38 of us all told—took all the rifles, armed ourselves, destroyed the others, took 10,000 rounds of ammunition, 70 horses, and ' did a guy ' in the night. But they were too quick for us, as we had to travel with donkey waggons, and they caught us up about 30 miles from Kenhardt the next night. We let them have it hot for about three hours, and then gave way. We got plenty of ammunition, etc., in Kenhardt, and went out into the veld and played the old De Wet game of hide and seek till wo got to here. And what a reception we got. The whole town turned out to meet us. In six days' retreat I had about 12 or 14 hours' sleep. W r c lost one man in the fight. I never want to bo in a moro exciting chase again, unless we are doing the chasing, instead of running. About 300 chased us for about 140 miles day and night, but, thanks to our scouts, we got safely here. As I said before, there were only 38 of us and 300 of them, and wo were first ambushed, and then chased, at the same time losing all our kit except what we stood in. We fought them for about three hours, but then had to scoot for fear of being surrounded." The same correspondent adds that if Maritz does not make tracks into German South-West he is likely to have a short life and a lively ono. Practically the whole countryside in the southern"parts of Calvinia, Fraserburg, Van Rhyn'* Dorp, and Carnarvon is out in pursuit of the freebooting traitor. Tho farmers are incensed at their sons having been misled into an adventure which is as foolish as :t is dishonorable.
The following extract from Router's correspondent with Bret's force is also interesting:—ln connection with the capture by the Imperial Light Horse under Captain Rennie of a batch of 70 rebels reported on October 19, it inav now be stated that wc sustained one" casualty, Trooper Spencer of "A " Squadron, 1.L.H., being shot dead under dramatic circumstances. It appears that earlier in the day during a severe duststorm a partv of seven of the Imeprial Lij?ht Horse became detached from the main body mistaking their direction, and were surprised and captured by a patrol of the rebels Tho names of the seven were Sergeant* Fletcher and Threufal, Corporal Blake, Lance-corporal Cawdle, and Troopers Gronaux, Spencer, and Hartmann; Undor escort of five rebels onr men were being despatched to Maritz's camp, when Sergeant Fletcher conceived the idea of overpowering their guards. The plan was communicated to tho others, and at a given signal each man selected his nearest escort, simultaneously seizing their rifles and unhorsing them. All went well with the exception of Trooper Spencer's guardian, who proved too bulky to dislodge, and. in the ensuing tussle he contrived to point his rifle behind him and to' shoot poor Spencer dead. Spencer held a Browning pistol in his hand, which he had managed to. retain, but which for some inexplicable reason he neglected to usf The tables were successfully turned upon all the escort, including the man responsible for Spencer's death, and, reversing their direction, the plucky littio band of I.L.H safely brought their late captors into camp as prisoners.
IN SOUTH AFRICA., Issue 15672, 10 December 1914
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