15 Sep 2016

Majuba Dawn

I have been reading Pierre Bertons "Marching as to War".
It is an absolutely great read, that satisfies both my interest in History and in the images of War Art.

The book was released about 15 years ago and probably everyone read it then. After years of too much work and raising kids, I enjoy this book now.
It gives accounts of Canadian military and political involvement in the major world conflicts, starting with the Boer War.
I did not know nearly enough about it, so the details are captivating.
The description of events surrounding the capitulation of the poor Dutch farmers.
The "Dawn of Majuba Day" was one of those mornings he brings up.

Several years ago I had created an impressive in size and appearance reproduction of a painting by Richard Caton Woodwille, Jr, an English painter, known for his battle scenes.

The Boer War was a terrible one, and really not a "Canadian War" and the presence of our armed me (albeit volunteers) was cunningly orchestrated by the press.
The battle ended with the British defeat, but the civilian atrocities were most serious, and as I learned later, almost too hard to mention.

It was Arthur Connan Doyle who passed the message to Chamberlain.
This was a story of Lizzy, a girl of Dutch descent who was dying of starvation in a lazareth managed by the British stuff. Unable to speak English, week and confused by the ravavges of war she was mistreated by doctors and nurseds as nuisance when calling for her mother.
Lizzy died at the age of seven.
The subsequent coverage by the press brought the to focus the civilian cost of the military conflicts.
We learned more of Concentration Camps in subsequent wars.
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