11 October 1900
I received yours of July 20th at Spitz Kop & was very glad to hear you were all well. We got a nice long letter from Eva yesterday, also I got one from one of my Ottawa friends.
We have just got back from a long march through the Lydenburg Mountains, by Lydenburg, Spitz Kop & Pilgrim's Rest. I tell you, it was a terrible rough road, but we kept the enemy on the move all the time. They are so badly broken up now that you might say the war is over.
When we got here the day before yesterday, Gen. Buller left for home. Before leaving, he addressed a few words to each of the regiments under his command. He told us that he had orders to break up the Natal Field Force & return home. He then said he had spent some of the happiest months in the Can Northwest & that, when he heard at the beginning of the war, that there were men coming from there to the front, he did his best to get some of them under his command. He thought for a long time that he was not going to succeed, but, at last had his wish fulfilled when we joined him. Since then, he said, we had proved as brave, willing & useful a body of men as he could have wished to have. He then wished us goodbye and goodluck & you may depend we gave him three hearty cheers. We have a splendid brigade general also, viz, Lord Dundonald. He is a soldier & a gentleman in every sense of the words.
Trains are going through here by the dozen taking troops down country. We expect to go down soon, but it is no use trying to say when or how, whether by march or by rail, as everything is so uncertain. Volunteers were called for from the irregular corps for the police force. Our fellows who joined left for Pretoria yesterday. We did not join as I think it will be a very unsatisfactory job while the country is unsettled. Besides, I am pretty sure I could not stand the heat which is just coming on. The pay in the police is not bad, being 10 s per diem, free rations & free quarters on a 3 month probation.
Yesterday a list came around, they are asking us whether we wanted our discharge in Cape Town, remain in England, take leave in England or return to Canada. Charlie & I put down for leave in England & if the cash box is heavy enough, we will run up to the north.
Our fellows who were taken prisoner & released some time ago rejoined the regiment the other day. We were very glad to see them, you may be sure. I must close now, the mail closing at 3 p.m. With love to everybody.