MILITARY MATTERS. NOTES AND COMMENTS. (By "Ticquet.") " " When the tournament was held at Clannington a fortnight ago, it was found- that time would not permit of the deciding of all the contests listed, ard, as a result, several items were ex cised from the programme. An attack on a coxvdy by the Cannington Mounted Infantry was arranged for as -a finale, but.it had to be dropped. The members of the corps ~aving gone to considerable trouble in arranging the affair, Lieut. Wisdom, who commiands the company, has given permission to the men to carry it out today. ' It is probable, also, that several scratch competitions, in tilting, lemon-cutting, and tent-pegging, will be held. Captain Hurst, IRA.A., who has been "iqting as.adjutant. at Karrakatta camp during the preparation of the Western Austiralian sections of the Common wealth contingents, will return to Al bapy next week and resume his post at the garrison there. Captain Hurst was to have commanded our section of the Firsti Commonwealth Contingent, • but he failed to pass the medical officer. His work in controlling the encampments has been, of material assistance to the busy Acting-Commnandant, Lieut.-Col. Camp bell. The name of Lieut. Fred Bell,. V.C., does not appear among the list of officers returning to the State by the S.S. Collumbian which is expected to arrive at Fremantle on the 28th inst. It is now, officially stated that he was recommended for the command of the West Aus tralian section of the First Common wealth Contingent, and his non-return with the Sixth W.A.M.I. suggests that he has been given the position . The officers of the Sixth Contingent who are not returning to the State with thir.iii mn are Captain Bessell-Browne, Iieuts. Downes, Griffiths, Messer,: Wil-. hiams. Chalmers; Moore, Watson, Calls; and: Surgeon Caiitain Flynn. The lat te.i$bfficer, with L'ieuts. Giiffitlis and Willisams; hasgine to England? :There sWese_ wtilo liutenants :famed Williams wiqt the 'Sixth Contingent. One was appointe'd, before the corps left 'the State, and" the other received his coii missiodn when on active service. - It is not lknown which of . tho' lieutenants , 'of thbt name is returning:home. ?Lients. O?almers; Moore, Watson, and Calls. were sergeants with the Fourth .Contin gent ;+and' were given positions as sub alter~itinder Major Darling., Tliese appointments. caused some' trouble : At the time they were. made, the sergeants of the Sixth Contingent, all of,.whom had seen :service with the earlier contin gents. feeliing agglieved. ., Lieit. Venn is still. at,. Capetown, whither he was sent for the purpose. of adjistieng 'the accounts of :thie Second 'West Australian Contingent.. The state mentis sent hoale by the officers of that contingent werB so incomplete that it was deemed necessaryr to send an' offiier to Cape Colony to thoronghly inquire in-. to them. .. Officers of the Sixth Continget,' in additien o :Lieut., Bell. Y.C., 'who' are n-ot returmniig to the State; witli their corps, are Captafn, 'Williams; Captain TIhunider, and ,Liiuts. Bardwell,. "Hanr 'iusa;~ind MoCormiack. . Cap taiii'Wil liams has gonq.'to Englald, and, the .others are remaining:in.Sdutli Africa. To-dayFthose men enrolled in the Nos. 29, 3, and'4 troops of the West Austrp lian' section of the Commonwealth-Horse willj'o into camp' at Karrakatta. The No: ?.s troop; which was selected at the headqhatera iin Perth, will-, go under canvas to-morrow, "-'d the whole force of :116 .'ni' ivwill- `itherefore -comnimence wor' on Monidaymorning. Six men se le~eed at Northiam went idnto camp on l'hursday ,: There ,were. a great number of auplications in all districts, with the result that a fine body of men has been obtained. Over 200 ,men. presented themselves at Perth, and from them. 29 were selected. Ten of them have Already been out on active service, and' ten'hjire. been connected with the volunteer corps. The average height' is slightly'.over 5ft.. 7in:; and. the chest measurement is not' less than 34in. Fron a physical stand point, "the contingent should be an ad airable on? .and it may be taken. for granted tltt for efficiency they will.not be wanting ;fter patping through - the hands of Sergeant-Majors IChetham, Emmett; and Ilott, and Master ,Gunner. Manly. .. This week's issue of the "Western Mail" contaipis some excellent views. taken 't. .the-encamipmont of the No. 2 Battery, Field Artillery, at ~hibury. Thisbat-. tery' put in some very uieful work'under Major Hope and his assistant officers: The battery is .now 73 strong, ,Wiith twe R.M.L.. 9-pounders, and two B.L. 15 poundeis. . The twolattei guns were im. poited'in '198. With them, the battery did some excellenti shooting up to a range' of 2,400 yards: The targets were affixed in, tse stuary about three miles up from Builbury,.. At present the members of the lbatteiy are holding a skill-at arms competition. The skill-at-apns competition held an nually by the INo. 1 Battery, was advan ,-se smesther* Etnersb i nst9nr~avlonr rml +he.
contests are proving very close and inter esting., Among the members of the bet. tery, which is at present 76 strong, there are many enthusiasts. Bombardier C.. A. Sherwood, of the battery; has been instructed to perform the duties of se-. cond lieutenant till further orders. Con' siderihg that the four R.M.L. 9-pounders which the battery possesses are somewhat obsolete,' the artillery force of the city may .be said to be in a flourishing condi tion. With the 64 men comprisipg the Al bany Volunteer Garrison, thbre are .at' present about 220 !,artillerymen on the rols of the volunteer forces in the State. This nuniber should be.considerably aug= mented now that recruiting is again per_ mit ted. a Some months ago, the Federal. do-. fence authorities issued a general order precluding fiuthei" recruiting' till 'such time as the Federal forces were estab lished on a proper basis. It is now an nounced that recruiting is to be again permitted, a .privilege which many offi cars commanding will hail with gladness. With almost every company--ifantry and artillery-there will be a perceptible swelling of numbers. Especially is this so with the mounted infantry corps. Lieut. Bretag, who is returning with the Sixth Contingent, went to the front with the force as a sergeant. He had seen service with the Second Contin gent. .A splendid photograph of Lieut. Mofant, who was court-martialled and shot in Pretoria, in February, for Inur dering Boers while in command of theo Bush Veldt. Carbineers, appears in this week's issue of the "'Western Mail." Morant was a corporal with the Second South Australian Contingent when the photograph was taken. This morning, thh half of our contribu. tion to the Second Commonwealth Con tingent, which was left behind a fort night ago, will embark on board the s.s. Englishman, and before many hours are passed they should be on their way to the front. Lieuts. Esdaile and Finunerty, will go in command of the men. The first-named officer has already fought in South Africa. He was a private with the Second Contingent, and served for the full time. He was one of those en thusiasts who, when the first opportun ity was offered to those who had -urgent business to return home in October, 1900, elected to remain and served for a further five months. He is a native of New Zea land, and was at one time connected with the Taranaki Rifles. Since the sudden death of Bandmaster Campbell, the Headquarters' Band has been without a conductor. Fcr the po sition numerous applications were re ceived, among the seekers after the post being men with splendid qualifications, The choice of the authorities has fallen on Signor Bellizzi. He was first violin, and first clarionette player of the Royal Marine Artillery Band .at Portsmouth, which is accepted as the first military band of England. For some years Signor Bellizzi has been head bandmaster of the Australian Squadron. He was the con ductor of -the band of the flags.ip Royal
Arthur, when he received the appoint. ment. Signor Bellizzi. is now en route to Perth from New Zealand, where HJM.S. Royal Arthur was when he re ceived the appointment. The Commonwealth Continigents are now supplied with hat ahd cap badges of special design, uniform for the whole of .Australia. Every English regiment wears its own badge, the device of which typifies some brilliant incident in the career of the regiment, or the country of one of its successful campaigns (such as the tiger of 'the Munster Fusileers) r.r the arms of a Royal patron, such as the lamb of the Queen's, said to be taken from the arms of Catherine of Braganza: or a design indicating its origin, such as the roses of the York and Lancaster Re giments. The Canadians wear their national badge, the maple. leaf. The soldier always regards these devices with special pride. There was good scope for the designing of an artistio badge for Australia, but that which has been cho sen can only be described as inartistic and paltry. The territorial idea which has been carried out in the enlistment of the latest Contingent has not'been ex tended to a distinction in the uniform of the troops from the several States, but this might easily have been carried 'out by the issue of a distinctive badge. Tht' worn by the West Australian Vol unteer Infantly, the principal feature of which is, of course, a representation of the black swan, might have been chosen for this State,-and it is certainly artistic' and striking. In connection with the annual skill at arms competition of the No. 1 (Perth) Battery, Field Artillery, the "laying" coifpetition has been practically con cluded. There.his been a keen contest for:the.first fogr places, agd two mem b.rs of .the battery have gone through the competition' withdut losing a' point. The gunnery, driving, and. rangefinding. competitions have not yet been entered upon., . .' A comparison of -the condlitions of en listment in the latest Commonwealth Contingent.with those of the earlier Con tingents from the various: Sthtes show. that the most striking departure is in the reduction' of the limit of height. The. minimum, is now fixed at 5ft. 3in. In all the Western,Australian Contingents, the minimumi height was ,5ft. 6in., and the chest measurement 34in.i,.but owing to the large :iumber' of applicants the great majority 'of the men selected were, considerably above th6 minimuim in. both respects. FEora njounted infantry force the advantages 'of ah high standard:, of height, whichI genetally argues extia weight,. have, under .practical conditions, been difficult fo 'find. In a war waged under South African ,conditions there was nothing .iviich the heavy 'weights couild do which the lighter weights; pro vided their physique vas good. gould -ot do e?ually well, while the latter possess ed dn"infinit dv?? antage in'being easier" tn their horses, and in being suited .withl 'amhllemouuts' It is'this'fabt, and riot apy scarcity o'f men tdo' coiform' ,the higher "conditions, which'has induced' the ieductioh dof the standard .. The Londcn "Gazette" notifies that; on M1arch:14 the appointoient of S'E. Stolie, "gent., late' 'Corporal, West.' Australian l3ushmen-" as'second lietant iknthe 2nd Dragoon Guards.' To Corporal Stone referred to in this a?ouncement served ,with .the Fourth W.,. (Imperial) Itushmnen.", Major R._ Fanushawe, D.S.O.' -whom West. Australiains of the First or Sepond "Contingents will remmb~er as second in command' of' the Sixth. M.I. unuder Colonel de Lisle, is gazettdd' to, the local rank of Lieut.LColonel in 'South Africa, while comilianding a3 mobile column.' Corporal' Mitchell," 'of the Fifth W.A.M.I., reahclid Perth during the week, having'beeni.invalidedhome. ' He was wounded on Noiaeibdr 9, when out with a jiarty of scouts. ' Ontthab occ?a sion 'he and 'his compantioiis distinguish ed 'themselyes by. refusing to surrender, anrd Mitchell receied' two bullet wounds,. from which he has fiot yet recovered. He is now:under the'care.of Lieut.-Col. Md ' Williams ' - . The practic'e of tendering public wel comes to ieturning soldiers is being re-. vived in connection with' the 'home coming of thie Fifth and Sixth Contin gents. The action-is warranted on this occasion, in that the force consists of 15 officer and 242 non-comnmissioned officers and men. Ladies' committees have been *ofmed to ?rrange a.dinner foil the sol :dier~ on their a raval, and:a gentlemen's conimittee: is:alsobbeing'got together. It. ;is the intention of,,the !officers of the' volunteer corps of the'State, to assist.by providing, a table for the 'returning offi cers,. nd' by inviting leadin ipublic men aii'd roinment citizens It is'probable that the large body of soldiers now homeward bound- will, -on arrival, march through the city by: way "of: William- treet,? , Haystreet, and Bar rack-street to the Drill Hall,; Where the. .pubh~id ?r~cep+tieonis to be held' 'An:effort wvill also be madu to tender a reception to the .tioqps for the.other States, which are aboard the s.s. Columbian. If. this is finally decided upon, the parade in the city of the whole of the' troops will prd vide an imposing sight. Altogether, there are 4i76 men, irith their officers,' on the transport.- : Amongst the .menibers'of the local de fence force who kwill be in London dur ing the Coronhatiqn ceremonies is Major J. Talbot-Hobbs *the officer comimanding the No. 1 (Perttt Battery Field Artil-, lery. Major Hobbs will leave for Eng 2, +i. 004l.'S, + Thrn' h5' 5 h
eanu oU +g -sence, the command of the battery will devolve upon ITieut. Nicholson. Western Australia holds pride of place in the whole of the British Empire. in having contributed to the war a greater number of men in proportion to the popu lation. In the compilation of the Aus tralian contingent for the Coronation ceremonies,, the authorities have drawn upon each State on a population basis, with the result that we will be represen ted by but six privates and one sergeant, truly a nunber to be regretted. Seeing that only those finei who have served in South Africa'are to be chosen, it appears to be only just and equitable that each State should be represented in proportion to its contribution to the war. Had this system been adopted, we would have had more than one-fifteenth of the contingent. for the Coronation drawn from this State. From 'the Government Actuary, I have obtained the'following interesting state ment regarding the contribution of each State to the war, prior to Federation, since which time each State has contri buted in proportion to the population. Each colony prior to July, 1901, contri buted per thousand of population as fol lows :-Western Australia, 5.06; Queens-' land, 4.09; New Zealand, 3.83; New South Wales, 3.49; Tasmania, 3.24; South Australia, 2.86, and Victoria, 2.21. The whole of Australia' and New Zealand had contributed 14,939 men, of which Western Australia's quota was 923. According to general orders, each con tingent serving in South Africa, is to be represented, so that the authorities here will be reduced to selecting one man from each of the six contingents, and a ser geant. The Fifth and Sixth Contingents will have reached home prior to-the Coro nation Contingent leaving, and they will each have.a representative. It is prob able that the names of those chosen will be available for publication towards the end of next week. A London cablegram, dated April 14, states that at Bulfontein, a British patrol was overpowered, and that "two members of the West Australian regiment were kil led." The cablegram further states that fourteen others were wounded, and some were captured. That message was pub lished on Wednesday last, but up to last evening the military authorities had received no intimation of the casualties. This latter fact gives strength to-the hope that the message is incorrect, for hither to the authorities at Capetown have im. mediately cabled particulars of casualties upon their being reported. There is no West Australian regiment in South Afri ca at present, but merely a half company. forming part of the First Commonwealth Contingent. The name of a Captain Robinson, Bush Veldt Carbineers, "late sergeant, West Aunstralian Contingent," has fre qnently cropped up in the telegrams re lating to the Handcock-Morantomilitary scandal. It was mentioned that Cap tain Robinson was given command of a troop of the Carbineers, when that corps was first raised, but was afterwards re lieved of his command, and was succeed ed k hitii 1Int. whose death, itwe
alleged was being avenged by the mur der of Boer prisoners under circumstan ces which' have since gained such wide publicity. Captain Robinson, when a sergeant in the Second Contingent, at iarrakatta, was the object of the famous "mutiny" in that corps. A number of members of the corps, amongst whom was Private (afterwards Lieutenant) S. S. Reid, objected to Sergeant Robin son's appointment, and, in ignorance of the serious light in which miitfary con ventions would regard their action, pro posed to pptition the Commandant for his removal. The matter came to the ears of the present Acting-Commandant, who nipped the affair in the bud. Ser geant Robinson subsequently fell foul of the officer commanding the Second Con tingent in South Africa, '. and had to suffer reduction to the rank'of corporal. He was afterwards transferred to a post of instructor, at Daspoort, Pretoria, for the trarning of English infantry as mounted infantry, and then secured a captaincy in the newly-formed Bush Veldt Carbineers. The cause of his re moval from this post has not been pub lished, but is generally known amongst returned members of the Second Contin gent by the medium of private letters from South Africa. It appears that in the matter of the se lection of a Commonwealth rifle team for Bisley. Western' Australia has been persistently ignored by the authorities in the East. The history of the movement' is hardly creditable to the controlling powers.' The Councils of each State are represented b# delegates on the Com monwealth Council, the Western Austra_ lian representatives being Senatdrs Stani. forth Smith' and N. K. Ewing. When the Bisley team (as mooted, the Coni monwealth Codncil requested the State Councils to hold competitions and -for ward the scorces of the eight leading com. petitors; This was accordingly dohe by the Western Australian Council. Pri vate advices recently received, however, state that the personnel of the. team. was settled before -aselection shot was fired. Ohe'of the West Australian competitors gained the same fiumber of points as the sedond from Queensland; the;secold front New South Wales; the third from South Australia, and the' fifth from Victoria. Despite this, Western Australia was.- ig nored:. Now, that th' Federal Parlia ment has-refused, the proposed grant to wards tliu expenses of the:team. the Coma mohwealthi Founcil is endeavouring to raise; the money ,by public subscription, anid again Western Australia has been-ig. nored., Seeine -that complaints of the manner in which the team is ieing se lected are rife in, the East, it is hardly to -be wondered- at that; some difficulty ii finaincing the affair has.arisen. ' Oni the whole, Western Australian riflemen, under the circumstances, mray, perhaps, congratulato themselves on being well clear .of the wholed matter.