A fascinating piece of first-person reporting from the British statesman’s early years as a war correspondent in South Africa.
As a young, ambitious soldier, Winston S. Churchill managed to get himself posted to the 21st Lancers in 1899 as a war correspondent for the Morning Post—and joined them in fighting the rebel Boer settlers in South Africa. In this conflict, rebel forces in the Transvaal and Orange Free State had proclaimed their own statehood, calling it the Boer Republic.
This book consists of two separate works in one volume, “London to Ladysmith via Pretoria” and “Ian Hamilton’s March.” In the former, Churchill is captured in Pretoria not long after he arrives to join the British forces—and is frustrated not by the conditions in the prison, but by the fact that he was missing the action. Churchill tells the story of how he escaped and made a daring overland crossing, traveling only at night to avoid detection.
Recounting Churchill’s own adventures and observations during the conflict, this book is fascinating for both its historical and personal perspective.
“We never think of Churchill as a reporter. That is our loss . . . His dispatches from the 1899-1902 Boer War in South Africa to the London Morning Post . . . sizzle with energy and daring.” —The Washington Times