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Boer War book re 1900 (apologies if this isnt your idea of 20th Century)

Posted: 03 Aug 2018, 17:25
by CarlL
OK I saw this ad in Newsletter of the Victorian Military Society so you may not see it as 20th century but its a publication of diary of a reservist called back in 1900 to serve in Boer War so it may interest some of you.

The blurb says:

"The Society is delighted to present our latest publication. We have been given access to a the
previously unpublished diary of a recalled reservist serving in from the Anglo Boer War, a daily
record of impressions of the news and events from the perspective of an ordinary soldier in the
year 1900. "The Boer War Diary of Private Charles Holmes: 2nd Northamptonshire Regiment".
Copes are £5.00 plus £1.50 p&p for the UK. Overseas postage rates on application. If you are
interested in buying a copy, you can do so via the Society’s web site"

Their website is

although so far I cant find a link there! And I am a (recent) member!?


Re: Boer War book re 1900 (apologies if this isnt your idea of 20th Century)

Posted: 04 Aug 2018, 10:06
by CarlL
OK, like Sotcw the VMS is run by volunteers, and Dan Allen, their Honourary Treasurer, has let me know postage is usually £1.50p in UK on this book, and their volunteer webmaster is on 'catch up' with this item. I am yet to learn what the cost is to non VMS members.


Re: Boer War book re 1900 (apologies if this isnt your idea of 20th Century)

Posted: 12 Aug 2018, 11:38
by bannockburn bhoy
Carl Coincidently im reading a book at the moment , Battles of the Boer War by W Baring Pemberton .It was published in 1964 and is refreshingly devoid of all things PC , a lot of the source material is taken directly from those that took part in the Campaigns. Im only at the Modder river action ,but three things stick out a mile already :-

How badly the Boers were underestimated.

How poor the British intelligence was ,particularly in disseminating information gathered.
For example a British officer observing an artillery barrage on enemy positions , noted that the soil thrown up by some of the shells was of a much deeper colour than the existing topsoil ,indicating prepared positions or trenches.
Although this information was duly passed on ,when the attack on these positions was prepared and executed it had not been briefed or taken into account by the attacking troops and resulted in a costly failure.

The great difficulty in coming to term with the terrain and conditions ,this proved costly on a number of occasions.

Good insight into the period and the mind set of the British military and political hierarchy . cheers John

Re: Boer War book re 1900 (apologies if this isnt your idea of 20th Century)

Posted: 16 Aug 2018, 17:52
by CarlL
My copy arrived a couple of days ago,its a softback, and I am slowly reading through this daily diary.

IF You want a copy (available to VMS members AND non-members), the way to do this curently is via

"cheque please. The amount is £6.50 made out to The Victorian Military Society.
Please send it to me at 20 Priory Road, Newbury, Berks. RG14 7QN. ... Thanks. Dan Allen, Hon Treasurer VMS"

there isn't a working link on the VMS website currently.