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A Radley College old boy in the Second Boer War. ] Diary of a short tour of duty in South Africa by 'Frank' or 'F. R. W.', against the background of the lifting of the Siege of Ladysmith.

F. R. W.' ('Frank') [ Radley College, Oxfordshire ] [ The Siege of Ladysmith, Second Boer War, 1899-1902 ]

Editorial: In a 'Charles Letts's Improved Diary for '. Entries relating to England Madeira and South Africa dating between 1 January and 16 April 1900, 1900
Librería: Richard M. Ford Ltd (London, Reino Unido)

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[1] + 36pp., 8vo. The diary is in good condition internally, in worn and aged covers. The author is 'Frank' and 'FRW', a Radley old boy, belonging to what he calls 'more or less an Anglo-Indian & City set'. (The family's surname is not given, but family members include 'Sybil and Ella'.) An officer in a militia regiment, he sails out from England on the RMS Goorkha (Capt. Williams), and returns to Tilbury on the Oratava (Capt. Morgan). Preceding the diary is a list of 24 'Unpacked' items, from 'Hair brushes' to '2 Pr Pants'. The diary is written in a light-hearted, humorous style, and features romantic dalliances, captured Boers, a triple amputee, and continual pining after a girl left behind in England. The first entry, 1 January 1900, simply reads: 'Great excitement am for S. Africa'. On the journey out he is accompanied by 'Major J. W. A. Parr'. While stopping off in Madeira he sees 'funny looking women', one of whom he believes 'was 'enchanted' with him, 'as she spoke & asked me my name'. On 14 January he writes: 'After this I gave in. She asked me before leaving to stay for a fortnight on my way home. She was Spanish, very pretty, but old about 28. Tells me her father is a nice man, as if I was a bit curious. Shall I stay as I come home, if I ever get home'. On 17 January he arrives 'at a descision [sic]', that he is in love [.] I see her lovely face before me all day, at night I wonder continuously what she is doing & who is with her'. He vacillates over whether to write to the object of his affection. As the journey proceeds he smokes cigars (one, given to him by 'Capt Fisher', 'the worst I have ever smoked') and cigarettes, and passes his time taking part in cricket matches between smokers and non-smokers, and 'Sweethearts' and 'non-sweethearts'. On 23 January the ship arrives at Cape Town. Two days later he writes: 'We land, Parr, Fisher & I report, nobody knows anything about us, oh just as I expected. Fisher is very as he was given to understand he was for Buller at once.' The next day: 'I find on reporting myself that Fisher & I, Lord Bobs. 16 Special Service men are for Station Masters, divine idea too isnt it. We are to report ourselves to Capt Coddington. R.I.F. Cod'ton a good sort, but name too long, gave me a cheap cigar, which I chucked away after no whiffs & told him I felt devilish ill'. The same day he meets 'a devilish pretty woman' in a 'smart pink toque'. The following day he writes: 'Heavens, my pink toque is floating past, oh ye Gods what a look & a smile'. On 28 January he is disillusioned after calling on 'my Pink Toque & she is evidently well set up with this world's goods, but she is evidently an adventuress She had a boy of the 10, an awful mug running about for scent bottles called him '"Babs" oh heavens'. On 3 February he arrives at Durban, and the next day in Howick. On 7 February: 'War [.] makes unexpected bedfellows, when I awoke this morning, a pig sound asleep was the first thing I saw, poor beast'. The following day he writes: 'We got up a game of football for an hour to buck up the men.' A number of references relate to Redvers Buller, who is attempting to lift the Siege of Ladysmith, and on 16 February: 'The first Boer I have seen passed down 102 of them under an escort of the Connaughts & with Capt Robertson in command dirty looking brutes & so shaby [sic]'. On 20 February: 'Daglish turns out to be an old school friend. Damned funny I think 1000s of miles away & to meet an old Radley boy.' 22 February: 'More Boer Prisoners. I had a chat with one, he tells me he is very glad he is captured as he has had a fearful time of it. Poor devil.' And the following day: 'I have applied for leave to go up to Estcourt. Its raining cats & dogs. A Kaffir has just come in & says that Ladysmith has surrendered & that Buller is surrounded & that a force of 5000 Boer is marching [for] Maritzburg. I have put him in the guard Room. Damned Liar'. On 26 January: 'Hear that Cronje & 6,000 Boers are prisoners. N° de ref. de la librería 16976

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Título: A Radley College old boy in the Second Boer ...

Editorial: In a 'Charles Letts's Improved Diary for '. Entries relating to England Madeira and South Africa dating between 1 January and 16 April 1900

Año de publicación: 1900

Ejemplar firmado: Signed by Author(s)

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Private premises. Autographs, manuscripts and archives on any subject. Particular interest in publishing and bookselling history. Occasional catalogues. Company number: 03785276

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