Australia’s Boer War: The war in South Africa 1899–1902
Oxford University Press, $69.95 hb
Ever since Federation, Australians have heard of the Boer War, as they have heard of the Wars of the Roses. As to deep understanding, they have as much about the one war as about the other. As a ‘Matric’ student in 1939, I had for my Commercial Practice teacher a Boer War veteran – lean, tall, bowlegged – every schoolboy’s image of our horsemen who had taught the Empire’s enemies such a lesson in South Africa. Beguiled by eager juvenile diversionists, he would treat us to ten minutes of soldier anecdotes, straight from his saddle forty years earlier.