§ MR. CAINE (Cornwall, Camborne)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether he can give the House any further information concerning General Clements' engagement.
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for WAR (Mr. BRODRICK,) Surrey, Guildford
I have a telegram from Lord Kitchener which arrived at six o'clock this morning, and more or less bears out the less favourable account which was given yesterday of the attack on Nooitgedacht. It is as follows—Pretoria, Dec. 14, 6 p.m.General Clements has brought in his force to Commando Nek unopposed.His casualties were, I regret to say, heavy.Killed.—Five officers; nine other ranks.Missing.—Eighteen officers and 555 other ranks.These latter were four companies Northumberland Fusiliers, who ware stationed on hill, and some Yeomanry and other details sent up to support them. Name and nature of wounds are being telegraphed from Cape Town.Broad wood's Brigade took no part in the engagement. Boers suffered severely.The other telegrams refer to the operations against De Wet, and are as follows—Pretoria, Dec. 14, 6 p.m.General Knox drove De Wet north to the Thaba Nchu-Lady brand line, which was held by our troops. De Wet's force, about 3,000 strong, has made several attempts to get through during the day, assisted by a force of Boers operating from the north. These attacks have been driven back, though some Boers from the south have been able to get through the line.Two commandoes still in the neighbourhood of Zastron are being dealt with by mounted troops operating from Aliwal and Rouxville.9.30p.m.Whilst passing our lines in the neighbourhood of Thaba Nchu, De Wet's force lost considerably.The South African Light Horse and Thorney roft's Mounted Infantry captured one 15-pounder taken at Dewetsdorp, one Pom-Poin, several wagons a munition, twenty-two prisoners, and some horses and mules.A portion of the enemy's force has not been able to pass north.
§ * SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucestershire, Forest of Dean)
Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether the force was the 1st or 2nd (Northumberland Fusiliers)?