18 JUNE 1904, Page 15


(TO THE EDITOIt OP TSB "SPECTATOR.") $iu,—Lord Kitchener's recent Army Order placing the services of the regimental schoolmaster at the disposal of officers in order that they may have an opportunity of com- pleting their elementary education is, possibly, only an in- stance of the ironical humour of that grim warrior. But the as yet unwritten records of the South African Campaign include, among many other farcical incidents which supply the comic relief to the tragedy, some deliciously quaint efforts in the composition of Brigade Orders, three of which have recently come to my knowledge. As they seem to prove that certain officers of sufficient military attainments to hold Staff appointments would be decidedly the better for instruction in the gentle art of saying what they mean in their mother- tongue, you may care to reproduce them. In the first instance, a certain Brigade Major would appear innocently to have regarded himself as equipped with the special powers of Joshua- Brigade Orders for a certain day in 1900 ran :— ".Reveiltg will be at 3.30 a.m. The Brigade will parade at 4 am. The Brigade will move at 4.15 a.m. The sun will rise at 5 amt." Secondly, it was during the guerilla war of 1901-2, after the building of the blockhouses, that it became necessary to check the habit of the men of sleeping outside the block- houses for the sake of coolness and comfort. A certain Staff Officer thereupon issued the following quaint order : "No one is permitted to sleep outside the blockhouses except the sentries." Thirdly, though the intention of the order is clear, Its phraseology is not : "Men on outpost duty are forbidden to strike matches on the sky-line."—I am, Sir, &c., X.