Boer War Stuff

Discussion in 'Prewar' started by dbf, Mar 31, 2008.

  1. Deacs

    Deacs Well i am from Cumbria. Patron

    I hope you don't mind Diane but here is a newspaper clipping from The West Cumberland Times dated 2nd December 1899.

    Regarding a Private R L Elliot of Workington of the 1st Bn Manchester Regiment.


    Elliot 1.jpg

    Elliot 2.jpg
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  2. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Don't mind at all, glad this old thread has still got some legs.

    Thanks for adding.
  3. ritsonvaljos

    ritsonvaljos Senior Member

    Although featuring stories from the WW1 years a temporary exhibition at The Beacon Museum, Whitehaven, Cumbria (early 2015) has some stories from the Boer War and / or WW2 (i.e. taking the slightly longer view of history where there is a connection to events in WW1).

    One of the information boards in this exhibition deals with Winston Churchill's time successful escape after being taken prisoner by the Boers during the Boer War. Churchill was hidden down a mine (Witbank Colliery) by expatriate Britons, two of whom were from Cleator Moor, Cumbria (close to Whitehaven which is the reason it is included in this exhibition). As most people reading this will already know Winston Churchill went on to become an M.P., and in WW1 was a member of the British War Cabinet as well as serving on the Western Front and eventually became British Prime Minister during WW2.

    The two Cleator Moor miners who helped Winston Churchill escape during the Boer War were Joe McKenna (mine captain) and Joe McKendry (miner). More than a year after his successful escape, a grateful and generous Winston Churchill sent mementos to those at the mine in South Africa who aided his escape (which included the two ladies who assisted in preparing his meals).

    In addition to Joe McKenna and Joe McKendry, the names of the others who assisted Winston Churchill during his Boer War escape were:

    John Howard (the mine manager)
    John Adams (mine secretary)
    Dr Gillespie (doctor)
    Daniel Dewsnap (engineer)
    Charles Burnham (storekeeper / shipping agent)
    Ada Blunden (housekeeper)
    Ellen David (cook)

    Many people will have heard of Daniel Dewsnap who was an Oldham man where Winston Churchill later stood as a successful Parliamentary candidate. At one of the hustings events during the election campaign Daniel Dewsnap's wife was one of those who went to hear Churchill speak. The mine manager, John Howard, is also reasonably well known for assisting Churchill.

    The revolver that John Howard gave to Winston Churchill after leaving the mine and the pocket watch Churchill presented to Joe McKenna are on display at the Churchill Cabinet War Rooms Museum, London. I was a able to take a photograph of the revolver and the pocket watch when I visited the Cabinet War Rooms museum in 2014. Although most people in the modern era associate Winston Churchill as Britain's Prime Minister during WW2 the Churchill Cabinet War Rooms Museum at London, and the temporary exhibition at the museum in Whitehaven, take a longer view of some wartime events.

    Attached Files:

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  4. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    From Gilbert's TV series Churchill:
    Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 20.21.05.png

    Churchill’s search for action and adventure took him to South Africa to report on the Boer War. His articles warned the British public that in their fight for Independence the Boers were a formidable force, masters of the art of surprise and he was soon to experience this for himself.

    Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 09.42.09.png Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 09.42.28.png

    On the 15th of November 1899, an armoured train with 150 British soldiers onboard set off on patrol along this railway line. Churchill had been invited to join them. At first he had been reluctant to do so, thinking that it would be a routine patrol with nothing new to report but the Commanding Officer persuaded him to go. It was to be one of the most fateful days of Churchill’s life.

    The armoured train was ambushed and derailed by the Boers. During the attack that followed Churchill took command, clearing the line so that the engine with him on board got away, taking 60 men, many of them wounded, to safety. Churchill returned to help the troops still fighting but was captured before he could reach them.

    Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 09.43.46.png Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 09.44.02.png

    ​He was taken prisoner, despite his protests that he was a War Correspondent and not a soldier.

    Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 09.44.19.png Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 09.44.37.png

    When the Press wrote about his exploits he became an immediate hero. He was held prisoner in this building in Pretoria.

    Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 09.44.50.png

    Churchill stated in publication: "I hated every minute of my captivity, more than I have hated any other period in my whole life. Great events were in progress, fine opportunities for action and adventure were slipping away."

    After three weeks in captivity, Churchill escaped over the prison wall and jumped a train.

    Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 09.45.34.png Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 09.45.48.png

    “Young man fair-haired, moustache, with a lisp” the description went out. “Wanted Dead or Alive”.

    Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 09.45.59.png Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 09.46.14.png

    He hid in a mine, surrounded by Boer forces and finally escaped again by train. The newspapers speculated on his whereabouts. Eventually he appeared in Durban. Here he told an enthusiastic crowd of his daring exploits. An article ‘How I Escaped from the Boers’ promptly followed; then a book.

    Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 09.46.28.png Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 09.46.53.png

    In the Autumn of 1900, with the war over, Churchill presented himself for election as the Conservative candidate for Oldham. The 26-year-old hero won by a narrow majority, helped by his mother.

    Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 09.47.16.png Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 09.47.35.png
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  5. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Northern Whig 8 November 1954
    Northern Whig 8 November 1954.png
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