HC Deb 05 July 1900 vol 85 c631

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is now in a position to give the House any information as to the British garrison in Coomassie and as to the relieving column. Is there any confirmation of the report that the garrison has succeeded in escaping?


I have received this morning the following telegram from Colonel Willcocks:— Fumsu, 4th July.—Just received letter sent by Governor Hodgson, in which he states! that he with 600 native soldiers under the command of Major Morris, departed from Coomassie, 23rd June, by way of Patiasa and Terrabuui. Two British officers severely wounded; does not send names. Captain Bishop, inspector of constabulary, Gold Coast, and Ralph, Lagos Constabulary, and 100 native soldiers, have been left behind at Coomassie, with rations up to 10th July I will personally relieve Coomassie by that date under any circumstances. Hodgson states that he intended to go over River Ofin by way of Mempong to Cape Coast, but I have applied to him by urgent special messengers to leave behind as many men as possible in order to give assistance to me to enter into Coomassie. Lieutenant-Colonel Burroughs, with 400 native soldiers, arrived at Dompoasi 1st July. Enemy's force taken completely by surprise; stockades evacuated by them. Burroughs captured forty guns, quantity of gunpowder and caps, and also killed thirty of the enemy; our loss, one native soldier killed in action, three native soldiers wounded.