november memories / 23


23rd November, 1900 : Australian troops returned from the Boer War to a tumultuous welcome today. Crowds flocked to Melbourne to greet the 700 men who arrived home from South Africa on the Harlech Castle. People from all over the state converged on the capital to greet the returning soldiers, and lined the route to cheer them as they marched through the city. Passengers travelled by train at excursion fares to join the demonstration. The troops left Pretoria for Cape Colony towards the end of last month and received a hearty farewell from the people of Capetown on their departure. There are now some 6000 Australians serving in South Africa. About 500 of them distinguished themselves at the siege of Brakfontein on the Elands River last August, where they held out against a Boer force of 3000 for 12 days until they were relieved by Lord Kitchener.

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