RATTLING south by train we were a merry crowd; ready to
laugh at any discomfort, and able to endure almost any tax on our patience,
since we hoped each would be the last of its kind. The eight days we spent
at Worcester waiting for a transport seemed to pass quickly in spite of the
hurry to get home, and we enjoyed a foretaste of our return to civilised
life in the pleasant little town.
On 25th May we entrained
for Cape Town, and on our arrival were immediately put aboard the transport
"Tintagel Castle," which sailed the same night. The Ayrshire men followed us
ten days later. About fifty of our company came home together, the rest had
mostly got their discharges and sailed before us. Though but a handful among
I2oo English Yeomanry we made our mark on board, winning the tugo'-war
competition, and causing great wonderment among the "Sassenachs" by holding
a Presbyterian service amongst ourselves at which the lessons and sermon
were poems from Burns.
Our voyage home was uneventful, and
we landed at Southampton on Sunday, 16th June. When we reached Glasgow next
day the civic authorities and our home Yeomanry people were almost
quarreling as to who should entertain us. After lunch together in the
Central Hotel we dispersed to our homes.
To say that we
were glad to be back but faintly describes our sensations; but I am sure
there is not one of us who regrets the seventeen months spent in the service
of his country.
There is now nothing to add but to express
our wishes for a safe return to Colonel Campbell and Surgeon-Major
Naismith—still at the front. May good luck attend them— two of the best men
in the British Army—regular or Volunteer. And to the new Scotch companies
that have taken up our work, we would say—May the good fortune which
attended us in all our wanderings likewise follow you.