Ladies of the Veldt: Two Accounts of Remarkable Women in South Africa During the Boer War

TitleLadies of the Veldt: Two Accounts of Remarkable Women in South Africa During the Boer War
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsWilson, Sarah Isabella A., and Sarah Heckford
Number of Pages499
CityLaVergne, TN

Two resolute women-the first female 'warco' and the trader This special Leonaur two-in-one volume contains accounts by two resourceful and independent women who made their way through the often hostile bushlands of Southern Africa in the 19th Century. The youngest daughter of the 7th Duke of Marlborough and aunt to Winston Churchill, the future Prime Minister, Lady Sarah-Spencer Churchill became the first female war correspondent when she was recruited to cover the siege of Mafeking, during the Second Boer War, for the Daily Mail. Baden-Powell and his garrison including (Lady Sarah's husband), under constant attack by superior Boer forces, were awaiting relief from the British Army under Roberts. On Baden-Powell's insistence Lady Sarah had left Mafeking before it was surrounded, but had been captured by the Boers and returned to the town under a prisoner exchange scheme. Although untrained as a journalist, Lady Sarah's 'matter of fact' style proved to be a huge hit with the domestic reading audience for depicting the' carry on under any adversity' bulldog spirit that they felt typified their national character. From an earlier period of the Cape's troubled colonial history, the second work in this book, relating Mrs. Heckford's experiences, are of no less interest. Arriving in the Cape on the eve of the Zulu War in the late 1870s, this remarkable and resolute lady carved a life for herself in close proximity to the potentially dangerous Kaffir tribes and the Boers who were disaffected by British Imperial rule and by the annexation of the Transvaal in particular. The hostilities of the First Anglo-Boer War, notable for the British disaster at Majuba Hill in 1881, broke out in late 1880 and Mrs. Heckford found herself besieged in Pretoria in the midst of the uprising.

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