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WEI-HAI-WEI.

♦ HOW THE TRANSFER OF THE PLACE WAS AOOOMPLIBHED. Tho special correspondent of the Shanghai Mercury, now at We-hai-wei, sends an interesting account of the evacuation of that place of arms by the Japanese and its occupation by a British force. On May 20 a score of officers, military and civilian, arrived and took formal posession. The next day the Toatai landed m state, and was ceremoniously received by the Japanese General and staff, The Toatai bowed to the General and said, ' Thank you." The General bowed also, but stiffly, and said nothing. Japanese and Chinese then proceeded to the General's headquarters, where a plan of each fort was handed over to the Toatai, Complete silence prevailed during the half-hour which this part of the proceedings lasted. At the conclusion the Japanese officers proceeded on board their vessels, which immediately steamed oul of the harbour. Her Majesty* chip Narcissus, which had arrived on the 20th, and anchorec m the inner harbour, landed a force of 40 marines on the 21st, and these men marched to the headquartei buildings as soon as the Japanese had left, and took possession. Thf Chinese officers had, m the meantime, disappeared, m what the correspondent describes as a " miraculous manner. As the Japanese vessels left the Narcissus fired a salute. Ii the afternoon of the 21st the blue jackets of the Narcissus took i couple of flagstaflis ashore, anc erected them on the fort of th< western side of the harbour. Thf foxts are m good condition, but th< Japanese have removed all the guns with which they were armed. Hei Majesty's ships Centurion, Barfleur. and Iphigenia have arrived at Wei-hai-wei. THE HOISTING OF THE FLAG. Early on the morning of the 24th ult. a British bluejackef, accompanied by a Chinaman beating a gong, marched round the island of Liukuangtau, which dominates the harbour and is the key to the en-ire position. As the Chinaman thumped his gong he cried out to the Chinese that the British flag would be hoisted at half-past one o'clock m the afternoon, and that all the inhabitants who cared to witness the ceremony were at liberty to do so. Half an hour before the appointed time 1 00 blue jackets, under the command of Commander Charles L. Napier, landed from Her Majesty's ship-Nar-cissus. A few minutes later adetachment of 50 Chinese sailors from the cruiser Fooohi appeared on the scene, headed by a band, playing " A Life on tho Ocean Wave." The Chinamen marched smartly to the West Fort, where two flagstaffs had been erected, one bare, the other flying the Chinese flag. At the West (Fort the British tars and the Chinese sailors formed into a hollow square, and awaited the arrival of the commissioners entrusted with the duty of carrying out the transfer of Wei-hai-wei from Chinese to British ownership. The Commissioners proved to be Mr Lionel Charles Hopkins, British Consul at Ohefoo, and Captain George F. King-Hall, commanding Her Majesty's ship Narcissus, for Great Britain ; and the Toatai Yen and Captain Lien, of the Foochi, for the Emperor of China. The Commissioners proceeded to the centre of the square, and, after the exchange of courtesies and some formalities, Captain King-Hall addressed the Chinese Commissioners and the assembled crowd. Before formally taking over the lease of Wei-hai-wei, Captain King Hall read two declarations. The Toatai then delivered a brief address, which was scarcely audible to the crowd owing to His Excellency's nervous manner and low tone of voice. This concluded the legal formalities, and immediately Commander Napiergave the order for the British flag to be hoisted on the bare staff. As the glorious old flag was unfurled at the top of the staff the band played the National Anthem and the bluejackets gave three lusty cheers for Her Majesty the Queen, a similar compliment being given to the Emperor of China. The British flag was hoisted at the mainland forts at the same time as it fluttered m the breeze over Liukuangtau.

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WEI-HAI-WEI. Marlborough Express, Volume XXXIII, Issue 175, 28 July 1898

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