Siege of Mafeking: British soldier’s diary tipped to promote for £2,000 | UK | Information

The Long Tom cannon used by the Boers during the siege of MafekingGETTY

The Lengthy Tom cannon utilized by the Boers in the course of the siege of Mafeking

The 15,000 phrase diary, filling 4 notebooks, was penned by a British soldier recognized solely as ‘Bob’ who wrote house to his dad and mom to maintain them abreast of their defiant 217-day stand in opposition to the Boers.

The entries seize their precarious plight as 2,000 British troops resisted a Boer military who had besieged the city.

However additionally they reveal how on a regular basis life went on behind the city’s partitions in the course of the Second Boer Warfare as competitions have been held for the ‘finest’ child born in the course of the siege.

Addressing his ‘darling previous dad and mom’, on November 24, 1899, just a little over a month into the siege, he wrote: “I can however guess the extent of the suspense and nervousness you should have undergone as regards the destiny of this little city.

“That is the place the place the warfare which is to as soon as and for all determine British supremacy in South Africa began.“

In one other extract, he wrote: “We hope that by tomorrow night time we could also be relieved however should hold a really sharp lookout tonight.

“I count on you may have some very conflicting stories about this city, my dearest ones, however to this point the previous flag nonetheless waves aloft.”

One entry describes how Colonel Robert Baden-Powell, who led the rearguard in opposition to the Boer besiegers, raised spirits with a rousing handle.

He wrote: “We have been addressed by Colonel Baden Powell, the officer commanding right here who received laurels within the Matabele warfare.

“He mentioned a number of good phrases of cheer to which all of us responded with cheers for the Queen and the Colonel.“


The manuscript is beforehand unpublished and is a vital Boer Warfare doc

Antiquarian Auctions’ spokesperson


One other harrowing entry spoke of a horrific damage inflicted upon a fellow soldier by a shell.

He wrote: “Two days in the past Elkington, a really good fellow, had each of his eyes and a chunk of his nostril knocked out by a chunk of a 5 pounder shell. He says he needs to die.“

Away from the warmth of battle, the soldier paperwork an agricultural present the place prizes have been awarded for the ‘finest’ child born in the course of the siege.

He wrote: “Final Sunday we had an agricultural present right here & additionally a prize for the very best ‘siege child’.

“It’s actually fantastic what few lives have been misplaced right here contemplating that about 100,000lbs or practically 50 tons of lead have been hurled into this little place.”

A diary which belonged to a British solider during the Siege of MafekingBNPS

A diary which belonged to a British solider in the course of the Siege of Mafeking

The fascinating diary has been consigned to public sale by a late main Africana guide supplier and it’s unknown when he acquired it. It’s tipped to promote for £2,000.

A spokesperson for South Africa based mostly Antiquarian Auctions mentioned: “This can be a exceptional manuscript diary of the Siege of Mafeking.

“It accommodates an exquisite, literate and simply legible account of situations within the city, an in depth nearly blow by blow account of the navy operations each of the British and the Boers together with the reduction.

“It refers to lots of the folks concerned together with Lord Edward Cecil and Colonel Baden-Powell.

“The manuscript is beforehand unpublished and is a vital Boer Warfare doc.”

The fascinating diary will be auctioned tomorrowBNPS

The fascinating diary shall be auctioned tomorrow

“Sadly, we’ve have been unable to determine who Bob, the writer of the diary, was.” The Siege of Mafeking was a battle for the city of Mafeking in South Africa in the course of the Second Boer Warfare from October 1899 to Could 1900.

The British drive stood agency lengthy sufficient for the city, the place Lord Edward Cecil, the son of the Prime Minister, was amongst these held captive, to be liberated, incomes Baden-Powell his standing as a nationwide hero.

Baden-Powell deployed crafty methods like planting pretend minefields and getting his troopers to faux to keep away from non-existent barbed wire whereas transferring between trenches.

On one event, he loaded an armoured locomotive with sharpshooters and despatched it down the rails into the guts of the Boer encampment and again once more in a profitable assault.

The reduction of Mafeking was a morale increase for the struggling British.

The public sale takes place tomorrow.

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