October 1908

On this, the first birthday of the Gazette, we thank all those who have so kindly accorded their support and encouragement during the first year of its existence, not only to our subscribers, but also to those who have contributed literary matter.

It can be claimed that success has attended our united efforts, and a steadily increasing circulation tends to the belief that the motive of the magazine, – to keep all Old Tenth Hussars in touch with us, and to maintain their interest in The Regiment, – is being fulfilled.

It is only by their assistance that The Gazette can be perpetuated, and we are sanguine that such aid will be continued in the future even more extensively than during the past year.


The weather, fortunately for the Editor, casting round for “copy”, is always with us, and when all else fails, may be relied on for a paragraph or two. Following the example set by the more important journals, we make capital out of the meteorological conditions which have prevailed in Rawalpindi since the first appearance of the monsoon. It broke here on the 6th July, since which date, until 8th September, unprecedently heavy rains, accompanied by heavy thunder, fell nearly every day.

Much damage has been done to house property; not only have kachcha native house been entirely swept away, but the bungalows of officers have, in some cases, collapsed, and it was only due to the fact that the occupants had vacated them, that serious personal injuries were evaded.

Loss of life has been the result in the native city, and in the Lal Kurti Bazar and in the city, houses were washed away by the flooding of the river Leh, and some of the inmates drowned.

That even these grave incidents may possess a humorous aspect is instanced by the experiences of a couple of officers of the 25th Punjab Regiment. The bungalow in which they were residing showed ominous indications of a probable collapse, and they quitted it for one unoccupied in the adjoining compound. The night following very heavy rain fell, and in the early hours of the next morning one was aroused by the whining of his dog, which had been put on a chain in his bathroom. On going to ascertain the cause, he found his dog, a small terrier, actually swimming in two or three feet of water, struggling in the limit of the semi-circles which the length of the chain permitted. The other officer in the bungalow was awakened by the noise of the splashing waters, to see his bath floating in from his bathroom to his bedroom.

Reminiscent of the happenings described in the Storm of London, but not so completely bereft of kit as the personages described in that book, they had to fly to the Officers Mess of their Regiment, clad in pyjama suits, and there await the coming day and a opportunity to retrieve dry and more conventional garments.

The same night the bungalow they had vacated the previous day collapsed.

Some idea of the conditions may be gathered from the following statistics of the rainfall from the 6th July to the 5th September:-

                                                                                    This Year                   Normal 

                                            July      ….     ….          18′ 25 inches             8′ 24 inches

                                           August  ….     …..       18′ 61 inches            7′ 71 inches

                                           September 1 – 5          4′ 79 inches            3′ 18 inches for whole month

The greatest fall was on the 5th August when 5′ 8 inches was registered.


By the last mail from home we learn that the 4th September was the 16th consecutive day in England on which rain fell, a circumstance which constitutes a record at this time of the year; the total fall during the 16 days being 16.22 inches.

An examination of the records for forty years shows, moreover, that even in the winter months there has been only one longer period of consecutive rainy days. This occurred during the winter of 1876-77 when there was rain every day from December 23rd to January 11th (20 Days) to the amount of 5′ 55 inches.

It is interesting to compare these statistics to those of Rawalpindi this summer, when, as already stated, more rain fell on the 5th August than on the whole 20 days which supplies the biggest record at home.

In the Topi Park, near the Park Lodge, the road for a distance of quite 40 feet has been entirely washed away, forming an immense chasm of about 20 feet deep; it will be many weeks before the road will be passable for foot passengers.

We present a photograph of the chasm taken by Captain Rose.

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The benefit conferred by the rains has been an abnormally low temperature during the hottest months, and the disadvantages the impossibility of indulgence in any form of outdoor games. The exponents of hockey were, however, an exception; they stuck to their game in all weathers in a most praiseworthy manner, and deserved more success than they encountered at the Murree Tournament which commenced on the 14th September.

One form of sport which was uninterrupted was Water Polo. The Regimental Team, practiced assiduously, having entered the N. E. R. Aquatic Meeting, and would undoubtedly have been well in for their competitions. We are all disappointed in consequence of the disappearance of their chances by the cancelling of the Tournament.

The farmer, as usual, disconsolately declares that his crops are destroyed irretrievably, and ruin stares him in the face, but as he invariably pronounces to this effect, no matter what the weather happens to be, we still foster the hope that the excessively high prices of grain and foodstuffs now prevailing will ere long be lowered. They impose a great burden on the poorer native, and, incidentally, on his employer, who is induced, by the pathetic appeals of the gharib admi, to temporarily increase his pay. Somehow these temporary increments never fail to become the permanent scale.

Horse-owners also will greet with pleasure a reduction of prices of grain, which now constitute a formidable item in the monthly accounts.

Another consoling thought is that we need to have no anxiety about the water supply next summer: the difficulty and scarcity which we experienced in May and June of this year is not likely to be repeated.

It is by strange co-incidence that unusual weather appears to follow the Regiment, or is it only the local pride of the “oldest inhabitant” jealous for the reputation of his “his own, his native land” which implies him to assert that such weather has never been known before. Old Tenth Hussars will recall the long and severe winter we passed in York, when the Ouse afforded skating exercise from Naburn to Popleton for weeks without a break; the wretched rains and winds when encamped on the Curragh in 1891; the heavy falls of snow when in Ballincollig, never, we were assured, experienced there before. And numerous cases can be quoted. We hope that these weather vagaries are conscious that they owe us a little.


Supposedly many have read with interest of the Olympian Games at the London Stadium this year, and have been pleased to observe that, despite the assertions that the British race is a decadent one, our competitors have quite held their own against all comers. Very gratifying, although sanguinely anticipated, was the comparatively easy manner in which the Leander crew wrested the victory in the Grand Challenge Cup competition, at Henley, from the last year’s winners – the Belgian crew.

The Army was creditably represented in the Stadium by Lieut. Halswell, of the Field Artillery, who won a very exciting race, and his victory appeals especially to all soldiers.


It is not, however, generally known that the Regiment can claim a triumph, one obtained by Major Crichton; he skippered a yacht to victory in the race for six-metre yachts at Cowes.

It is reported that the contest was a very fine one and that the winning boat was most skilfully handled. This display of seamanship by Major Crichton might induce some who are not as familiar with him as we are, to suspect that he has missed his vocation, but we who are so conversant with his qualities know that, in spite of his nautical predilections and his ability as a sailor, had he adopted a career in the sister service, a very good sailor would have been wasted. The Regiment congratulated him on his performance at Cowes.


Many of the married families have re-joined from the Murree Hills. We have bade a pathetic adieu to those native gentlemen who have given us such successful and convincing proofs of the soporific effect of punkah-pulling, and we are now looking forward to the commencement of the drill season. A Divisional Order informs all and sundry that the Regiment will take part in the manoeuvres which are to take place in the Jhelum country in December, and it is strongly suspected that the Commanding Officers spends a great portion of his leisure hours preparing schemes, and formulating general ideas for our entertainment, during the time the Generals think they have no need for us. All ranks will welcome the cold season and the interesting occupations which accompany it.


The Army Commander, in his report on the Regiment for 1907-08, makes the gratifying statement that he saw the “Regiment of Brigades manoeuvres, and that a good, soldier-like spirit prevails”.


CAPTAIN GIBBS and SERGT. MARSHALL re-joined from Changla Galli on the 29th June. The former gives, in another column, the impressions gathered there by him: they will read with interest, if not profit, by those who are likely to undergo a course of training there.


On the same day Mr Wilson re-joined from Topa, and was relieved as Officer Commanding the Detachment there by Mr Chaplin.


 

CAPTAIN GIBBS left for sixty days leave at home, on the 11th July, and returned by boat which arrived at Bombay on the 5th September.


MR CHAPLIN had the misfortune to sustain and accident whilst playing polo on the 24th July, resulting in two ribs and the collar-bone being broken. He was admitted to hospital, where he stayed until the 29th, when he, with Mr Peto, left for ninety days privilege leave at home. We are glad to hear there was no diminution of his gastric powers en route.


MR. BORTHWICK left the following day on six months leave on medical certificate.


An Army Order issued from the War Office sets forth clearly the conditions and rates of compensation which will be paid, in lieu of clothing in kind, from the date on which the order takes effect. The Government of India has not notified its decision on the subject yet, but there is reason to believe that the measure will be introduced in this country next year.

The quarterly allowance referred to in our July number is merely a projected payment in lieu of the 2d. per diem now issued as kit allowance after six months service.

The order provides that, from the 1st April 1909, the personal clothing and necessities of soldiers at home and in the Colonies shall be maintained by the soldier out of an allowance to be credited to him in the pay-list quarterly, in advance, at rates that shall be determined and promulgated from time to time by our Army Council.

The clothing portion of the allowance shall be based upon the quarterly value of the personal clothing included in the existing scale of free issues.

The first year’s outfit shall be supplied free to recruits as at present, but no subsequent periodic free issues shall be made.

Subsidiary orders define the rules and dates on which the allowance shall be credited to the soldier, and the responsibility of Squadron Commanders for the up-keep and provision of kit, required to be in the possession of the soldier, in accordance with the Regulation for Clothing.

The system will be a boon to the careful and thrifty man, and should not fail to engender those qualities in all.


We have again to express our thanks to all those who have so ably entertained us at the fortnightly concerts. Captain Rose’s resumption of the management of the Dramatic and Concert Club was a guaranteed that there would be not falling off in the qualities of the vocal and instrumental menus placed before his audiences. Sergeant Curtis, as sub-manager, has continued to contribute to the pronounced success of the performances by happy rendering of songs from his extensive repertoire, in that style which is so peculiarly “Sergt. Curtis’ own.” Mrs Bevington has been frequently heard, and never failed to obtain an encore. Pte. Wilkinson has easily maintained the opinion created by his first appearance, and at every succeeding one increased the desires of listeners to hear “yet another.”

Among new names, pride of place must be given to that of Gunner Forde, a most amusing vocalist and expert dancer, whom we hope to hear often. Others include Pte. Hotine, who made a very successful debut, Pte. Arnold, Corpl. Lyons, Sergt. Keats, Gunner Salmon, lion comique and accompanist, Gunner Brooks.

CORPORAL GIBBS, as leader of the band, during the absence in hospital of Sergt. Smith, was a great success.


On the 21st August the programme was strengthened by the kindness of Mr. Hans Drewitt, who made an unexpected appearance, accompanied by some of his concert party, during the course of the entertainment. Songs were cheerfully given to the delight of all, by Miss Mabel Woods, Miss Rose de Vella, and Mr. Ford.

We must not emit mention here of the new proscenium and scenery painted by Pte. Allcorn, and to congratulate him heartily on the result of his work. The design selected for the proscenium is naturally a regimental one, consisting of the crests and battle honours; it is tastefully executed and greatly admired.


BEFORE this Gazette is in the hands of subscribers, we shall have lost a number of our old soldiers, men with whom we are very sorry to part, and whom we can ill-spare. Many of them served with us in the South Africa Campaign, and several have served uninterrupted in that country and India since they left home. A perfectly comprehensible desire to return to their friends and old associations overwhelms the wish to stay with the Regiment, and this opportunity is taken of placing on record the valuable services they have rendered to it and their country.

Among the number is one of whom special mention must be made — Sergeant Engleheart V. C.

He has served his full period of twenty-one years, and now reverts to the less eventful and interesting, but more placid life of a civilian. He will no doubt cast many a thought to the Regiment to which, by a combination of circumstances and the abolition of the rank of riding-masters in cavalry regiments, he returned, after a period of training to that appointment at the old Canterbury riding establishment; circumstances which, if they were to his advantage, were unquestionably to the gain of the Regiment.

He was one of the detachment on board the Transport “Ismore” and did good work on the occasion of the wreck of that ship, so graphically described by Capt. Cadogan in our last number. He was wounded in the action near Colesberg, on the 2nd January 1900, and went into hospital at Rensburg, but inaction did not suit him, and he was back again at duty within a fortnight. The cumulating honour was the deed which won him the proudest distinction a soldier can acquire – the VICTORIA CROSS, — that unpretentious badge, the value of which can only be described in pence, but which all ranks, from Field Marshall to Private, regard as a possession the most coveted.

This decoration, in the form of a Maltese Cross, of bronze, cast from guns captures at Sevastopol, with its Royal crest, and laconic inscription “For Valour”, was awarded to him for having “under heavy shell and rifle fire and imminent peril of capture, rescued Sapper Webb, of the Royal Engineers, dismounted in a deep spruit; having also previously shown great pluck in face of a large number of the enemy, near Bloemfontein, on the 13th March 1900, the date of the capture of that town, the capital of the Orange Free State”.

We trust he will live long and enjoy the fruits of his service, and that his civil career will be one of unbroken success.


To S. Q. M. Sergeant and Mrs. Miller we also have to make our adieux, and express similar hopes that the future for them will be as happy and prosperous as the past years spent in the Tenth Hussars. Mrs. Miller was presented with a very handsome plated coffee set by the wives of the N. C. O.’s and men as a token of their esteem for her.


THE views taken of us by other nations are so rarely of a flattering order that the following instance of “as others see us” is worthy of repeating; it is taken from the newspaper Stampa, published in Turin:-

“The English soldier is not only picturesque and elegant, he is the healthiest   person in the world.”

The report of the Director General of the Army Medical Department, for 1907, confirms this as regards the health of the British Soldier, compared with the statistics of the Armies of France, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Russia, and the United States of America, which come next in the order named.


THE ANNUAL Regimental Dinners took place this year – The Officers’ at the Whitehall Rooms, Hotel Metropole, on the 4th June, The Old Comrades’ at the Holborn Restaurant two days earlier.

The former was attended by Major-General Viscount Downe (presiding), Major-General Brabazon, Brigadier-General the Hon. J. Byng, Colonels Alexander Baird, the Hon. E. Baring, Crichton, St. Quinton, Spottiswoode and Wilson; Majors Barry, D. S. O., Crichton, Durham, Sir J. Milbanke, V. C., Poole, Waite and Wilson; Captains Hon. H. T. Allsopp, Hon. A. Annesley, Hon. W. Cadogan, Chaplin, Cave, Greenwood, Hon. D. R. Pelham, Phillips, Lord G. Scott, Hon. W. Stanley, and Williams; Mr. Dorrien-Smith, Earl of Gainsborough, Earl of Mayo, Earl of Shaftesbury, Viscount Valentia, Viscount Hampden, Lord Southampton, Lord Farnham, Lord Alwyne Compton, Sir Owen Slacke, Messrs. Bass, Potter, Neilson, Boucher, Palmer and Gordon-Canning.

Of the Old Comrades gathering, it is somewhat disappointing to state that no particulars beyond what were given in the Military Mail have been received. The attendance of Officers must be very gratifying, but it is feared that the Warrant and N. C. Officers did not appear in anything like the numbers which might have been expected.

Mr Bradshaw writes that the presence of S. Q. M. S. Black, Sergts. C. Mitchell, Rawson and Quinn gave much pleasure to the Old Comrades, and expressed their disappointment that R. S. M. Gordon was unable to attend.

Two cable-grams sent, one from the Officers and one from the N. C. Officers, were read out, and greeted with manifest satisfaction.

Colonel Kavanagh occupied a considerable time (which was however thought too short) in a speech relating the doings of the Regiment during the past year; this is a subject, Mr. Bradshaw says, of which the Old Comrades never tire, and of which they ever possess an insatiable desire for more.

The change of venue, from The Trocadero to The Holborn Restaurant, appears to be an advantageous one, which should make for an increased attendance year after year.


MR. FAY, formerly of the Regiment, whose cycling efforts in this country are still green in our memories, has entered the ranks of professional riders in England, and his supporters confidently anticipate great achievements next year, when he will have become thoroughly accustomed to the home climate. He has this year secured some good events at provincial athletic meetings.


THE TRANSFER of Lieut. H. L. Fraser to the 31st Lancers, Native Cavalry, has been approved. He takes with him the good wishes of “D” Squadron, and the whole Regiment.

The most discussed topic among Cavalrymen at home this summer has been the Cavalry Manoeuvres on Salisbury Plains. The largest force of Cavalry ever assembled together in England was engaged in them, and valuable lessons learned.

No fewer than twelve past and present Tenth Officers attended, including Sir John Milbanke, Captains Gibbs, Cadogan and Mr Palmer. The two latter utilised a period of their leave by acting as gallopers to our old C. O. Brigadier-General Byng, Commanding the 1st Aldershot Brigade.

Among others who attended were Col. Kavanagh, Viscount Hampden, The Earl of Shaftesbury, Major S. L. Barry, Captain Sandeman, Major Waite and Lieut. Thwaite.


CAPTAIN KEARSEY who was employed with the skeleton force, under General Bethune, sends a description of the work done, will be read with interest. It enables readers to compare the manoeuvres to those with which we are familiar in this country.


OUR first re-inforcing draft this season of 70 N. C. Officers and men, under 2nd Lieut. Gordon-Canning, arrived by rail from Karachi, the port of disembarkation, on the 26th September.

The draft sailed on the transport “Rohilla” from Southampton on the 4th, had a very pleasant voyage, over untroubled waters, and disembarked on the 24th.

The event of the voyage was the manner in which the men selected, and trained by Sergeant Dixon, secured the first prize for the Physical Drill competition, one of the events of the Ship’s Sports. It was all the more remarkable, in that the entry for the Competition was quite an impromptu idea, only conceived by Sergeant Dixon when first announced. Considering that  not one of the men had been previously trained in the exercises, great credit is due to them for beating Infantry Teams on what may be termed “their own ground.” When presenting the prize, the Officer Commanding the Troops on board complimented them very highly on their performance.

In the Tug-of-War competitions they also acquitted themselves with credit, getting into the final, and only being narrowly beaten by a much “heftier” team of the Seaforth Highlanders. Much of the success in this contest too was due to the efforts of Sergt. Dixon who coached the team.

In the boxing competitions the display of Lance-Corporal Ryan was conspicuous; he was the runner-up for the Middle weights. Other men of the draft fought well in their classes.

There were several concerts on board, in which, it is no surprise to learn, Sergeant-Major Black maintained his popularity as a vocalist, and organizer of this class of entertainment.

The health of all was excellent.


The draft includes the sons of Sergeant-Majors Beckwith and Matthison, formerly worthy Tenth Hussars; the reoccurrence of old familiar names like these on the Regimental rolls is very gratifying, and we hope the boys will have as successful a career in their Regiment as their fathers had.

The following N. C. Officers returned from furlough on the same ship, and received a hearty welcome from their comrades:-

S. Q. M. S. Black, Sergts. C. MItchell, Dixon, Rawson, W. Mitchell, Quinn, and Sergt.-Farrier Noble.


Notable also was the influx of brides who joined at the same time. Mrs. Payne, Mrs. Pater, and Mrs. Munton, whose marriages took place in England, and the wives of Sergeants Nance and Ward who were married at Karachi, on arrival, are the additions to our Married Roll: we welcome them to the Regiment, and wish them all happiness.


MRS. WARD who, as Miss Sparkes, took part in the concerts on the transport, is, we hear, a vocalist and musician of very high order, and her assistance at our Regimental entertainments is keenly anticipated.


LANCE-CORPORAL W. OVENDEN is congratulated upon his success in winning the “Tenth Hussar Watch” for the best solution of the first X. R. H. Gazette problem.

The remarks of the adjudicator will be found in the “Problem” columns.


REFERRING to the allusion of Furloughs for Soldiers in India, which appeared in the July number, we are now able to announce that, by an Indian Army Order dated 21st September, sanction has been given that, subject to the following conditions and exigencies of the service, such furloughs may be given, commencing this trooping season:-

  1. The number of furloughs to be granted is limited to 250 days for all India, and is termed “Furlough on Payment.”
  2. The amount to be paid is £15 (Rs 225) and for this sum the soldier will receive passage and messing on a Government transport, but have to pay his own railway or other fares from or to the ports of embarkation and disembarkation. Concession tickets will be given.
  3. He must have two years service in India.
  4. Whilst being subject to military discipline, he will not be required to do duty on board ship except in cases of emergency.
  5. He must satisfy his Commanding Officer that he has some urgent or valid reason for going home: a wish merely to get away from India for change is not sufficient.
  6. He must be of “good” character, and in receipt of either service or proficiency pay, Class I.
  7. The furlough is ordinarily only to be granted during the summer months, the men proceeding home by the last transport of one season, and returning by the first of the following one. Thus the duration of the leave will be from five to six months.

One of the results of Colonel Vaughan’s visit to Quetta is a contribution to the Gazette, in the form of a most interesting description of that place, depicting it as a most alluring place in which to be located, but it is clear that its most appealing feature to him is its desirability as the scene of a fight in which the Tenth may have the fortune to participate.


OUR THANKS are again due to Dr. J. Fitzgerald Lee for contributing to out letter-press. It takes the form of an original poem, written by him, entitled “The Russian Private Soldier.”


The receipt of the following Regimental Journals is acknowledged with thanks to the Editors:-

“The White Lancer“,  “The Eagle“,   and the “Black Horse Gazette.”


                                             OBITUARY

 

We regret to have to record the death of another good Old Tenth Hussar, that of Sergeant Edmund Buckland, a Dorchester man, who enlisted in the Regiment on the 31st August 1866, and was discharged to pension at Aldershot on the 25th September 1885.

He served in the campaigns in Afghanistan (1878-79) and Eastern Soudan (1884), was discharged to pension on the 25thSeptmeber 1885, and news has just been received that he died in August last at his native place in Dorsetshire, a victim of the dreaded disease – cancer.

He had, for a long time, been unable to do any work, and his last days were lightened by assistance from the “Tenth Hussars Aid Fund,” which has unostentatiously done such a vast amount of good work in relieving needy old soldiers of the Regiment.

Mr. Bradshaw reports that efforts are being made to secure the admission of the deceased’s son to the Duke of York’s School, and it may be expected that he will, one day, be as good and useful a Tenth Hussar as his father proved himself.

A remarkable instance of telepathy in connection with the death of Sergeant Buckland’s father is recalled by the present event. When the Regiment was serving at this station, in 1878, he had a vision that his father was seated on his bed, he wrote down the date and hour of the occurrence. By the first mail that left England after that date, he received a letter informing him that his father had died at the same hour and day that he had noted.

He was ever a most unselfish and genial comrade, his unwavering cheerfulness earning him the sobriquet “Sunny,” and many old Tenth Hussars will regret his last bad days, and remember acts of kindness for which he was noted.

 

The Regiment sustained another loss by the death, from enteric fever, of Private Walton of “A” Squadron, a young soldier of much promise.

It occurred in the station hospital on the 25th September, when he had just completed two years service.

He was interred, with full military honours, in the Garrison Cemetery, Rawalpindi.