Tuesday 24th October
The first fight near Kimberley took place today between Dronfield siding and Macfarlanes. The Boer commandant was killed beside a many more. Our side also suffered by three killed & 15 wounded. You should have seen the men women & children on the debris heap on the left hand of Transvaal Road witnessing the fighting. You could see very plainly with glasses. Capt May was in charge of the DF [Diamond Fields] Artillery. Two battles have been fought on the Natal side of the Transvaal with heavy losses on the Boer side but you will hear more correct news from there than we do. Mr Beaton & family arrived home last Tuesday 24th looking more the worse for being prisoners. When all communication was cut from Kimberley the storekeepers began to raise the prices of all foodstuffs, especially groceries & paraffin went up to Three pounds a case & other things accordingly but after Martial Law was proclaimed the authorities made them reduce their prices to the old rates. There was no occasion for them to raise the prices for Kly [Kimberley] is very well stocked with all kinds of Foodstuffs, meat being the only thing that is likely to be short in fact perhaps none at all Morgan being the only butcher that has any quantity & he is restricted to killing so many head per day. His Crown Butchery is closed & it is as good as a pantomime to see the people flock around the Washampton market, it is literally crowded right across the footpath on to the road, then there is a rush round to the back & there a crowd congregate trying to find their way in, a many having to go away without getting anything, everything is sold for cash and as soon as the meat is sold the shop is closed. All this fun goes on from 6 in a morning to about 10 o'clock.
There is very little new now to report but war news, & few a few days things have been very quiet in this direction.
|23rd October 1899|