From The Kent
& Sussex Courier
Friday 13 September 1901
THE LATE SERGEANT-MAJOR BARNETT: ONE OF HIS LAST LETTERS
Sir, - I noticed in your last week's issue that a subscription list was being opened for the widow and family of the late Sergeant-Major Barnett and, having received the enclosed from the poor fellow on the Saturday, as he died on the Sunday, and it being his last letter, I thought you would publish it in this week's issue of your paper. The sad part about it is I sat down on the Thursday (Aug. 22), after I received the letter to write to poor Barnett, and took up the day's paper first, and noticed his death. I will forward something to the list for the widow and family. I remain, yours truly, T. D. HARRIS, Shernden, Capel, near Tonbridge, September 10th, 1901.
Detail Camp, Kroonstad, 12th I.Y., 1st August, 1901.
Dear Mr. Harris, -Just a few lines to let you know I am alive and well, and trust you are also. I have gradually got on until now. I am Sergeant-Major of this Detail Camp and have a splendid officer to deal with. It is bitterly cold here at night, but very pleasant at daytime. I have been through many eventful marches and assisted in capturing Wet's convoy. I have been on several columns, General Broadwood's, General Elliott's, and am expecting at any moment to go away again. We are a nice little camp fully entrenched, and ready for any attack which may be made. Shots are fired every night between our pickets and the Boers, and we never know at what moment we may be called out. There are plenty of Boers left which are being hunted like rabbits in burrows. We live well, but there is much trouble in procuring wood, etc., as this is rocky and stony country. Many think the war is nearly over, but it is not, and if you were here and saw the fighting and sniping going on, you would see there is much to settle yet. It is a fine country for farming, but only down in the Colony. I should like to come home, but I am determined to see the finish of the war once for all, and for the sake of dear old Tunbridge Wells and England. The work at times is very hard and trying, and sometimes very easy. Luckily I have had my health well all the time, but many a poor fellow has left through enteric fever, which is very bad here in this district. We have all kinds of fellows here-some from old Ireland, some bonnie Scotland, some Whitechapel, and all the Counties. It's fine to hear them argue, although when at work they all pull well together, and in fact all of us are trying our best to settle this war once and for all. When we pack up to go on the march, Petticoat Lane is not in it. We carry pots, pans, and in fact all that is necessary. Now with kind regards to Mr and Mrs Harris and family, and I shall be very glad to hear from them.
H. BARNETT. Sergt. Major.
76, Rough Riders, I.Y., Detail Camp, Kroonstad.
P.S.- I wish you every luck with your hops this year.