Boy Scouts Beyond The Seas
CHAPTER III CANADA PASSING Out of the United States, northward, we enter on British territory, namely, Canada. How Our Empire Grew
All the vast Overseas Dominions did not come to Great Britain of themselves. They were won by the hard work and the hard fighting of our forefathers.
In South AFRICA we had to fight the natives for our foothold, which once gained we never let go-and though it has cost us thousands of lives and millions of money, we have got it now.
AUSTRALIA and NEW ZEALAND were got by our sailor-adventurers, like Captain Cook, outstripping all other nations in their plucky navigation of immense, unknown oceans.
INDIA was practically in possession of the French when Clive and Wellesley drove them out, and then in turn had to fight the hordes of fighting natives of the - interior; and gradually, foot by foot, by dint of hard fighting we have won that country for our Empire.
EAST AFRICA, UGANDA, and the SUDAN beyond Egypt, and SOMALILAND, have also been fought for and won in quite recent times.
Most of North America belonged to Great Britain at one time. Sir Walter Raleigh, Captain John Smith, and other pioneers founded colonies in the southern and eastern parts, coming across the ocean in little cockleshells of ships, some of them only thirty tons, in measurement no bigger than a barge.
Think of the pluck of your forefathers in tackling a voyage like that, which took them some months to carry out, with only a limited supply of food and water. And then, when they got to land with their handful of men, they had to overcome the Indians, and in some cases other European adventurers, before they could call the land their own; and for years they could hold it only by continual fighting with Indians.
Eastern Canada was similarly discovered by Jacques Cartier and a gallant lot of sailor-explorers from France, who set up French colonies along the coast and the St. Lawrence, nearly four hundred years ago. The English were near them to the south, and in Newfoundland, which had been annexed for England by Sir Humphrey Gilbert – the half-brother of Sir Walter Raleigh – in Queen Elizabeth’s time.
As Britain and France in Europe were continually at war, it was natural that their respective colonies in North America could not be on the best of terms, so that friction and fighting were frequent between them, and both were brave and seasoned fighters, for they both had continually to be fighting the Indians, and thus the struggle between them was a long and tough one.
Sometimes the French won, and sometimes the British. In the fight at Ticonderoga, 3600 French, after a gallant resistance, beat off the British attack, which had been also carried out with the greatest bravery by the 42nd Black Watch Highlanders.
Six times the attackers tried to carry the fort by storm, and even climbed the parapet, only to be pushed back again with heavy losses, until at last they were forced to retreat with the loss of 1944 officers and men. Of the Highlanders, nearly all the officers were killed or wounded, and three- quarters of the men.