Letters from Kimberley: Eyewitness Accounts from the South African War

TitleLetters from Kimberley: Eyewitness Accounts from the South African War
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsSpiers, Edward M.
Number of Pages198
PublisherFrontline Books
CityBarnsley, United Kingdom

The defense of Kimberley - and the mission to relieve it - was one of the great dramatic sagas of the South African War. The actual relief, following a spectacular cavalry charge, represented the first decisive upturn in the fortunes of the British war effort, soon followed by a crushing defeat of the Boers at the battle of Paardeberg. Within Kimberley, citizens suffered from dwindling food stocks and enemy shelling, but even more controversial were the tensions that erupted between the siege commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Kekewich, and Kimberley's leading citizen, Cecil Rhodes. In this new history, the author presents a selection of first-hand accounts of this epic siege. The 260 letters published in this volume were originally published in British metropolitan and provincial newspapers, and they provide crucial insights into the perceptions of civilians caught up in the siege; the desperate and bloody attempts to relieve the town; and the experiences of junior officers and other ranks as they struggled to cope with the demands of modern warfare. 

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