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Page 36

Meanwhile, back in Southern Africa ….. After the ill-starred ‘Jameson Raid’ relentless diplomatic and political pressure was brought to bear on Kruger to enfranchise the Uitlander community so that the political domination of the Transvaal by the Afrikaner oligarchy would be undermined. In October 1899 a final impasse was reached in the negotiations and Kruger chose to seize the military initiative by declaring war on Britain in defence of his Republic’s political independence Thus began the Anglo-Boer War. Failing to seize any major port, the Boer commandants contented themselves with besieging the inland garrisons at Ladysmith, Mafeking and Kimberley. The need to relieve them dictated British strategy. The three British commanders in the field suffered grievous losses. Lord Methuen was forced to retreat at Magersfontein Gateacre was beaten at Stormberg and Buller was defeated both at Colenso and Spion Kop. Lord Roberts, with Kitchener as his chief-of-staff was sent out to take over conmand. Roberts was successful. By February 1900 Kimberley and Ladysmith were relieved, although Baden-Powell ‘s besieged garrison in Mafeking was not liberated until May 17th. With the Boer capitals of Bloemfontein and Pretoria occupied, the Boer’s field forces captured, all their main towns in British hands and a huge army guarding communications, the war seemed over by November 1900. The ILN celebrated the apparent end of the war with the second of its Record Numbers entitled
‘The Transvaal. War 1899-1900’

(Appendix List no. 36).

This is an account by Mr. Spencer Wilkinson of Lord Roberts’s rapid success in the conduct of the war, together with the detailed doings of every regiment, both home and colonial, which served under him in South Africa and elsewhere. The illustrations, comprising several vivid scenes by the ILN’s special artists at the Front, as well as portraits of the most prominent officers, find their central interest in the splendid photogravure of the hero of the hour, Lord Roberts. In all there are 8 photogravures each one protected by a tissue guard. The card cover of this issue is multi-coloured Against a background of the arms of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland stands the allegorical figure of the Winged Victory holding aloft a laurel wreath in one hand and grasping a palm frond in the other. Framing this picture are the arms of those colonies which sent troops to support the British cause. A white rectangle contains the names Elandslaagte, Kimber1ey, Paardeberg, Ladysmith, Bloemfontein, Mafeking and Pretoria. The issue comprises 86 gold-edged pages, measures 30 x 39 cm and was priced at half a crown. next page >>

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