Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

14 erthygl ar y dudalen hon



LETTER FROM INDIA. BY A LOCAL WELSHMAN. INTERESTING DESCRIPTION OF MILITARY OPERATIONS. GRAPHIC ACOOUNT OF TRAVELS AND ADVENTURES. We have been favoured with the follow- ing remarkably interesting letter received by Mr T. Thomas, Tonyrefail, from his nephew, who is a soldier in India:- Heavy Field Battery, Mhow, Bombay, India, 6th February, 1888. My Dear Uncle,—I received your kind letter at Camp Danowi, near Kirkee, and take the earliest opportunity of recounting our travels and adventures since I wrote last. My last, I believe informed you that we were about to go on a Camp of Exercise. Well, on the 16th of December we left bar- racks at Trimulgherry, and formed part of a force supposed to be sent out to an enemy marching to attack the City of Hyderabad. This force had left Trimulgherry the day before and encamped a day's march, away. The first day we came insight of the enemy about IS miies from barracks, but being too late in the day we could not open fire on them, so we encamped for the right, and next morning our scouts brought news that the enemy had fled and were moving off to the right, so we struck camp and moved off so that we would be between them and the city; and so we went on, day after day, marching all day and camping at night, sometimes exchanging a few shots with the enemy, but they would not come near enough to have a serious engagement, their object evidently being to pass us to the right and attack the city. But we ar- ranged to be well-informed of their move- ments by our cavalry scouts. The distinc- tive marks of the two forces were that we wore white helmets, and the other force (the enemy) wore Khaki helmets. If we found anybody wearing Khaki helmets we made them prisoners of war which we often did. I enjoyed the thing very well though of course we had to undergo a good deal of hardship in travelling over rough ground and living in tents. The sun was scorching us by day, but it was the reverse by night— we were nearly freezing. My face and lips were peeling off when we came back to bar- racks again. There were thousands of men in each force—infantry, cavalry, and ar- tillery (natives and Europeans), and there were hundreds of mules, elephants, camels, and bullocks, carrying the tents and camp equipage, rations and cookery utensils, forage for the animals, &c., because every- thing was the same as in war with the ex- ception that we fired blank instead of ball cartridge. The last day, however, the enemy finding they could not dodge us, tried to force their way in through us, and were firing away from 9 a.m. fill 3 p.m., when we were nearly as black as colliers, and then we marched in together, enemy and all, and of course we had a march past for the General Commander-in-Chief of Madras, Sir Charles Arbuthnot. The Com- mander-in-Chief of India, Sir Frederick Roberts, could not come as he was inspect- ing- the frontier posts. Therefore, the camp only lusted six days instead ot three weeks as originally proposed, so we came back a few days before Christmas, which past un- eventfully, as it always does in this country; in fact it did not look like Christmas at all with the sun shining hot all day. After those few days were over we wero busy making preparations for leaving the station. On the 2nd of January,at 8 p.m., we started by train from Trimulgherry, and arrived in Wade at V next morning, and after resting we stat to I from here again at 5 o'clock the same day by train and arrived at Poona at 9.30 a.m the 4th of January. We marched abcut three miles from the railway station at Poona to a place called New Ghansi, where there were tents pitched for us. They were small mountain tents to hold six to each tent. We stopped here twelve days going through what is called Siege operations," i.e., working guns in trenches, and firing these from behind a parapet. The Sappers and Miners (native regiment) dug all the trenches, so we had only to shift the guns from one entrenchment to another, and fire them. We worked sometimes by chy and sometimes by night, the idea being that we were firing at an enemy, and that it was getting too hot from the enemy's fire in one place, so we had to go by night, and take our guns away from one trench through a wood, on a wheel track, to another trench, ready to open fire in the morning. It was very interesting work, and it gave us some idea of what v- ould be required of us in real action. The Duke and Duchess of Con- ns ught were here looking at. us at work -several days. One day we had to take a gun over a wooden bridge aoaross the river, and when we were about the middle of the river the bridge broke down, but the gun r did not go down altogether, for the gun and carriage being about 10 fet-t long, the last part held the first from going down, but we i had some trouble in getting it away again. 1 There were about fifty men on the bridge at < the time, but none were hurt, because they were pulling 0:3 a rope, and had passed over the place where it broke down. The bridge w. s only a temporary arrangement, erected "by the engineers as an experiment, and some -of the wood was qnite rotten. the water in the river was nbuut 9 ftet deep at that spot, but there were plenty of boats about in caw of accident. The next day we took -the guns accross on pontoons, i.e., some ',barrels lashed together, and pbtnks lashed over them, and everything passed without a hitch. The Duke alJd Duchell18 were present :both days. On the 16th we shifted camp -to a place about 5 mile distant, called Dhanouri, wbero we went through just the same sort of work, only that we fired real shells here. There were entrenchments dug at about 12 and 16 hundred yards distance, and dommy and guns placed in them, to represent a battery of artilleiy in action, and we fired iiwll into them, to see what --d,ms o w. ep,14 do. We finished sp aDd eft on the 27th. There was a photographer with us most of the time, so I would not be surprised to see some sketches of our oper- ations in the Graphic or some other illust- rated paper. We had some beautiful sights from the train. In coming through the Khandalla Ghants, between Poona and Bombay, the train was several times on the edge of a precipice, and the next minute in a tunael. Looking one side of the train we could see down straight, like a stone wall, for hundreds of yards, and the other side up for a similar distance. You cannot con- ceive the magnificent sights these Ghants afford-how these tremendous gorges cross in all shapes that it would seem impossible to make a railway through them. Between Kirkee Station and Mhow we passed through no less than 41 tunnels, and at some places we had to get three engines to take us up and down the inclines. We saw thousands of doves, parrots, and other beautiful birds, and scores of monkeys. On one tree es- pecially, the monkeys were actually weigh- ing the branches to the ground. Tigers and panthers were also to be seen. In some parts of the country there is splendid soil, and we saw hundreds of miles of sugar-cane, Indian corn, wheat, barley, tobacco, &c., and prettier wild flowers than the flowers that are grown in hothouses at home. Though the last few months haye been busy ones, and we have bad a good deal of shifting about, I have enjoyed myself splendidly, and have had as good, if not better, health than ever. I must now draw to a conclusion, lest I vex you beyond endurance with my long scribble. Remember me to all my friends. I re- main, your affectionate nephew, BOM. H. EDWARDS. P.S.-You mentioned in your last that you j would send my letters to the CHRONICLE, if you did not fear that they would in- duce others to join the ranks. Well, all I say to that is this, if you know some j young men too lazy or too drunk to work, by all means send them here.—H. E.

Pontypridd Police Court.'

Rhondda Police Intelligence.

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