S T R A T H C O N A ' S H O R S E
Green Point Camp
Cape Town, April 18th, 1900
Commanding "Strathcona's Horse",
The Right Honourable Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal G.C.M.C.
7 Victoria Street,
I have the honour to submit this my report on the disembarkation of your Corps and also as to the work carried on daily since we went into camp at Green Point, Cape Town.
As cabled the "Monterey" arrived at Cape Town in the 10th instant at 11 a.m. but stood at anchor in the harbour until the necessary arrangements were made for the disembarkation, which commenced the day following.
The Traction Transport provided at the Base, together with our own transport arrangements made the task an easy one, and the Regiment encamped at Green Point on the night of the 11th instant. It required the next day, however to complete the unloading of the stores, etc. and when this was done, the work of getting the camp straightened up was commenced.
The camp ground is very far from being a good one, but it might be worse. The great trouble is that there is not sufficient room for the Regiment on parade, and that it is rough and stony.
The harness and saddlery were fitted and the men's kits distributed and everything calculated to contribute to the comfort of the horses and men done.
On the 13th instant I called on Lieut. General Forestier-Walker, and was informed that Lord Roberts was very anxious to have us at the front as soon as possible, but that I must not be disappointed at not being ordered to Bloemfontein as he had important and special work for us in another quarter. It will require about ten days longer before we will be in a position to proceed to the front and by that time our horses will be sufficiently rested and the remounts taken on the strength.
Drills were commenced on the 14th inst. and continued for four hours daily since. The men are improving every day. A mounted parade was ordered for this morning, every available man attending. I was perfectly satisfied with the manner in which it was carried out.
A marked improvement was shown in the condition of the horses from the first day on land. Unfortunately, however, four cases of glanders developed, and it was necessary to destroy the horses affected. Every precaution has been taken to prevent an epidemic and it looks as though we have stamped it out.
There are plenty of remounts available, but from my observation of the horses in the remounting station adjacent to this camp, none of them are to be compared to those of your Corps, being smaller and lighter in bone.
The food supplied to the men is wholesome and there is plenty of it. I have not heard a single complaint so far. Fresh meat is served with every meal, together with plenty of vegetables and things of that kind.
The forage consists of a good ration of hay and oats of good quality.
Condition of the Men.
The weather so far has been fine and this, no doubt, has helped the men to become accustomed to the change of air and climate. Very little sickness has developed. Four of the men enlisted will be permanently unfitted for duty suffering from abscess, rupture and one with a weak arm. Some others are troubled with minor complaints but in the opinion of the Lieut. Surgeon, all with the exception of the four mentioned above, will be able to go forward with the Regiment.
I will let you know by cable when the Regiment leaves Cape Town and will forward to you a weekly report afterwards.
I have the honour to be,
Your obedient servant,
S. B. STEELE,
Commanding "Strathcona's Horse"