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Private T.H. Holmes

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Private T.H. Holmes

Return of Private T.H. Holmes

Advertiser (Abridged version of published article) 17th May 1901

Back from the War

Private T H Holmes, of Morwell, who was one of the first volunteers for service in South Africa, and one of the last of the First Contingent to leave the front, returned home on Tuesday, and was accorded a welcome at the Club Hotel. It appears that his arrival was unexpected by the townspeople, otherwise the “welcome home” would have been of a more general and fitting nature.

Private Holmes has seen much active service with the Australians, and also with English Regiments, and although he has had many “close shaves” and narrow escapes, he was fortunate enough not to get wounded. Soon after reaching the front he was stricken down with enteric fever, and for weeks was in an unconscious state. His recovery was looked upon as hopeless, and on more than one occasion his death was reported, but such was not the case, and after being in hospital for three months was able to go to the front again, and although forced to camp out almost every night in the open, with but a waterproof underneath him, and no covering overhead, he enjoyed the best of health afterwards.

He states there are only two of the first contingent now at the front, and is of opinion that the war will probably last another twelve months. At the same time he believes if the British were to move faster and do more forced marching, that the war would be terminated much more speedily that it is likely to be under the present system of only marching fifteen miles (mounted) a day. He states they could have repeatedly captured many Boers by some forced marching, but they were not permitted to travel more that the fifteen miles, with the
result that although close to the Boers when they halted, the enemy were at a safe distance when the march was resumed.