News from the Front – 1900
Isle of Wight Observer September 22nd 1900
Mr H Weeks, of Union Street Ryde, has received the following letter from Sergt Weeks, of the I W Section. It is dated Eastern Redoubt, Pretoria, August 14th.
“Lord Roberts, his staff and the Misses Roberts, paid us a visit this afternoon. We have about 120 mounted infantry encamped below us. We get no real news of the war. We have put in a lot of work since we have been here and it looks quite respectable now. We have huts here capable of holding 200 men, and it is quite a treat to be under cover after sleeping in the open so long. We still have to stand to arms with our equipment on out in the open every morning at 5 am and sometimes at 4 am but that is a mere detail. We heard again today, for about the 50th time, that De Wet has been captured; but I am afraid that he will turn up again like Osman Digna. Lady Roberts sent us some tobacco, socks, a few pipes, handkerchiefs and housewives. it was very kind of her to think of us. We are having splendid weather. I see butter was sold in the market at Pretoria yesterday at 11s the pound. I am going into town tomorrow to get a square meal.
August 22nd I received a parcel of pipes today from Harrod’s Stores, addressed to the I W Section, but no indication from whom they came. We were very pleased to get them. I had a letter from the Military Parcel Office at Bloemfontein saying that three parcels for the I W Section were sent on to Pretoria on July 28th, so we have hopes of seeing them soon. Some of our fellows saw Wallace Woods on Saturday. Lieut Nicholson is leaving us in a day or two. He has a commission in the Northampton Regiment. We had an alarm last night: the DAAG of the 7th Division sent up to say that the Boers were signalling from an adjacent kopje and that an attack might be expected at dawn. Needless to say, it did not come off. If you will post the IW Observer to me on Friday evening, I should get it a week earlier.