|Rushden Echo, 1st December 1899, transcribed by Kay Collins
Private G Thacker, one of the Northamptons wounded at the battle of Belmont last week, is connected with Rushden by marriage, and is well-known to many residents in the town. He was formerly a member of the Temperance Band and was at one time Bandmaster of the Northampton Town Silver Band. He has also been in the Militia Band.
|Rushden Echo, 8th December 1899, transcribed by Kay Collins
A Former Rushden Policeman WoundedAmong the wounded at the battle of Modder River last week was Private H Ellingham, of the 2nd Coldstream Guards, who was formerly a police constable at Rushden. Private Ellingham was a second class constable, joining the force on May 18th, 1897. In November of that year he was sent from headquarters to Rushden, and on March 19th of the following year was transferred to Stanwick. In May last he was moved to Bozeat, where he was when the order came for him to rejoin his regiment.
|Rushden Echo, 29th December 1899, transcribed by Kay Collins
A Rushden Policeman’s Experience at the Front
A very interesting letter has been received by P C Dickens, a Wellingborough constable, from Private G Newberry, of the 2nd Northamptonshire Regiment, who was stationed at Rushden when he received orders to join his Regiment. The letter which was dated Orange River Dec. 3rd. And arrived on Christmas day was as follows:-
“Dear Friends,I thought I would write a few lines to let you know we are progressing. I am in the same division as the Brigade of Guards, and they and we have fought in the same fighting line in two battles. But they have dropped two companies o our regiment at Graspan, and I am with them to guard the line. Dear friend, I am very sorry to tell you that the wounded train came through here last night with PC’s Ellingham and Wardell in it. I was unable to see them, as I was on outpost duty, but some of our men went out to them as they were lying in the coal trucks and gave them some water, as water here is as precious as gold. Ellingham told them to tell me that one of them was wounded in the leg and one in the shoulder. We have often talked about soldiering in the guard-room, but now is the time to see it. The first day we fought at Belmont. We got into camp the night before about nine. We had nothing to eat scarcely, only dog biscuits, and we started fighting at two the next morning. My left hand man was shot through the body, and we lost three officers in about ten minutes. One shot went in between my feet and dropped against my boot heel. There are scores of dead Boers here, and vultures are eating their bodies. Tell Charlie Bridle, Bill was getting on all right the last time I saw him. We are having it rough now, but we must expect that. But I am looking forward to the time when I can have a good meal, and in peace. So good-bye, old pals, hoping you are all weel, as it leaves me at present; but I don’t know how long for. Please excuse paper, as we are a thousand miles away from anywhere and anybody. The general told us the other day we were not fighting cannibals now; we were fighting our own equals, and we cannot give them a peg. They are masters of mounted infantry, and a fight like this has never been seen before by a British soldier. I hope it will be the last for me if I get through this one. Write us a few lines if you can, and I will tell you more when I see you.Yours truly, G Newberry”
Two days after writing the above, Private Newberry was severely wounded at Graspan. The two police-constables mentioned in the letter are of course P C Ellingham, of Bozeat, and formerly of Rushden and Stanwick, and P C Wardell, successively of Irchester and Little Harrowden.
|Rushden Echo, 5th January 1900, transcribed by Kay Collins
More News from the Front - Another Rushden Man Under Fire
The thrilling experiences which have been undergone by our gallant soldiers in South Africa, especially the Northamptons, have supplied the material for numberless interesting letters to the friends at home, and these interesting missives continue to arrive. On Sunday last Mr and Mrs Eli King, of Pemberton-street, Rushden, received a letter from their son, Private E King, No. 5652, 2nd Northamptonshire Regiment:-
Dec 8th 1899
Dear Mother and Father and Sisters and Brother,
I write these few line to you hoping to find you well as it leaves me the same. The first fight that I went into was at Belmont and the bullets fell like hailstones. The next one was at Graspan and we had it a bit rough there too. Then we started to march the next morning at 2 o’clock, and we had not got above two miles before they started to fire at us again, and we were at it all day. It lasted 18 hours and a half, and we had no food from 2 o’clock in the morning till 8 o’clock at night. I think we are going to stop at this place to keep the supply depot. This place is Modder River. I wrote a letter at Orange River and I received no answer yet. If you happen to write don’t forget to send a paper. If you send one, send Lloyd’s. Since we have been at Modder River, we have had plenty of food. We had a lot that was captured from the Boers, but it’s no joke to be fighting with lumps of lead flying around you. The worst thing I saw was when we were going toward the mountain. There was a chap aside of me was going along chatting to me when all of a sudden there was a bullet hit him straight in the eye and came out at the back of his shoulder, and the dead look horrible to see. But I don’t think we do any more fighting, not our Regiment, because I think we stop at Modder River. I think this is all this time from your loving son. Ernest.
|Rushden Echo, 12th January 1900, transcribed by Kay Collins
Another Rushden Man for the FrontMr David Manning, of Glassbrook-road, a reserve of the Royal Field Artillery, on being ordered to re-join that force was entertained to dinner on Friday, at the Windmill Club. Mr Croot occupied the chair, supported by Mr H Bramley in the vice-chair. Mr Croot wished Mr Manning well, and hoped he would soon return, and, on behalf of the members, handed him 15s. and a box of cigars. The remainder of the evening was spent in a harmonious manner, Miss Lea, of Northampton, and Mr Eitelberg contributing to the programme.
|Rushden Echo, 16th March 1900, transcribed by Kay Collins
Off to the WarPrivate Neil, of the Northants Militia, on leaving Rushden for South Africa, was on Friday entertained at a farewell concert at the Windmill Club. The performers were Messrs J H Derbyshire, R Barfield, T Underwood, L Eitelberg, S Banks, E Greaves, R Lott, Taylor, and J Timson. The members of the club presented Neil with 12s. 6d. in cash, and 5s. worth of cigars. Mr H Barron was the chairman.