LADYSMITH, a town in Natal, South Africa, in 28° 32' S., 29° 4o' E.: altitude 3,284 feet. Population: white (1931) 3,659, (1921) 3,221, natives (1921) 1,93o, Asiatics (1921) 1,551, coloured 81; total (1921) 6,783. The town is built near the Klip river, 201 M. by rail from Durban, and about 3o m. from the Drakensberg. Here the main railway line of Natal bifurcates, one branch going to the Transvaal, the other to the Orange Free State. There are important railway workshops in the town. Lady smith, founded in 1851, is named after the wife of Sir Harry Smith, Governor of the Cape. It was besieged by the Boers during the second Boer War, and the church contains stained glass win dows and tablets in memory of over 3,00o men who died in its defence. The new town hall is a substantial building of local dolerite and sandstone, and contains a hall, theatre and adminis trative offices. The main street is largely occupied by Indian stores. The town has several schools, and a good water supply.
Siege of Ladysmith.—In the first and most critical stage of the South African War of (q.v.) Ladysmith was the centre of the struggle. During the British concentration on the town there were fought the actions of Talana (or Dundee) on Oct. 20, 1899, Elandslaagte on the 21st and Rietfontein on the 24th. On Oct. 3o the British sustained a serious defeat in the general action of Lombard's Kop or Farquhar's Farm, and Sir George White decided to hold the town, which had been fortified, against investment and siege until he was relieved directly or in directly by Sir Redvers Buller's advance. The greater portion of Buller's available troops were despatched to Natal in Novem ber, with a view to the direct relief of Ladysmith, which mean time the Boers had closely invested. His first attempt was re
pelled on Dec. 15 in the battle of Colenso, his second on Jan. 24, 1900, by the successful Boer counterstroke against Spion Kop, and his third was abandoned without serious fighting (Vaalkranz, Feb. 5). But two or three days after Vaalkranz, almost simul taneously with Lord Roberts's advance on Bloemfontein, Buller resumed the offensive in the hills to the east of Colenso, which he gradually cleared of the enemy, and although he was checked after reaching the Tugela below Colenso (Feb. 24) he was finally successful in carrying the Boer positions (Pieter's Hill) on the 27th and relieving Ladysmith, which during these long and anxious months (Nov. i-Feb. 28) had suffered very severely from want of food, and on one occasion (Caesar's Camp, Jan. 6, 1900) had only with heavy losses and great difficulty repelled a powerful Boer assault. The garrison displayed its unbroken resolution on the last day of the investment by setting on foot a mobile column, composed of all men who were not too enfeebled to march out, in order to harass the Boer retreat. This expedition was, however, countermanded by Buller.
the common name of the plants of the botanical genus Cypripedium, belonging to the orchid family (Orchidaceac). The genus comprises about 3o species, native to north temperate and subtropical regions. They are leafy-stemmed herbs, usually 1 ft. to 21 ft. high, with broad, many-nerved leaves and showy flowers. The lower petal is developed into a large, inflated, slipper-like sac.