2 DECEMBER 1899, Page 17

The battle of Graspan was followed by another advance, and

on the Tuesday by a severe action at the Modder River. Even now the accounts of the fight are so short and conf used that we do not know whether the Boers fought us with their backs to the river or with the river between them and us. All we do know is that there was a long and arduous fight, somewhere on the Modder River, which lasted ten hours—most of it in the blazing sun—during the whole of which time our men got neither food nor water, and that in the end the Boers were driven from a position where they had been "strongly entrenched and concealed." Our loss was heavy, and Lord Methuen was himself slightly wounded in the thigh. This is really all we know, except the somewhat cryptic item that General Pole-Carew was "successful in getting a small party across the river, gallantly assisted by three hundred sappers." Bat though it is always tiresome not to know details, there should be no need for any anxiety about Lord Methuen's force, for on Friday news was received that the rail and telegraph were open to Modder River. This must mean that Lord Methuen's work has been very effec- tively done, and that his rear is clear of the enemy. Kimberley was also known to be safe on Thursday.