Lincolnshire Lads On the Veldt
Letters home from Volunteer soldiers in the South African War 1899-1903
In January 1900, 133 young men, all volunteers from Lincolnshire, left their home county to travel to South Africa, where they joined the Lincolnshire Regiment in the fight against the Boer republics. Among them were two farmer’s sons from the village of Billingborough and a reporter from the local Lincolnshire Echo newspaper. Their letters and reports form the basis of this book, and tell a story of the last Imperial war of the Victorian age. It was a war that saw a mixture of pitched battles, open country skirmishes and the invention of the name and techniques of commando warfare, but for the participants it was also a war of roasting and freezing temperatures, worn-out boots and ragged uniforms and a two-month interval between writing a letter and getting a reply. One of the writers ran for his life from a mountain ambush, while another helped man a hospital where the staff tried to alleviate the effects of the biggest killers of the war – infection and disease.
The text is illustrated with contemporary maps and photographs.
Alan Stennett is a writer and broadcaster based in Lincolnshire. He is the grandson of Herbert Stennett, one of the letter writers featured in this book.
SIZE: 210mm x 260mm